Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Fires of Imbolc

A Blessed Imbolc to all of my friends! Though it seems unlikely, the groundhogs have more or less agreed that spring will come early this year! Fingers crossed!!

I have had a ROUGH start to 2019, physically speaking. I am happy to kick January to the curb to be honest. It started off well, then I got the stomach flu, some kind of mystery eye infection...then earlier this week, I strained my arm from shoveling snow. I'm afraid to leave my bed lol! Well, the arm was my fault, I didn't take a break, I wanted to finish getting the heavy snow off the deck so I paid for it. I wore a bandage and a sling for 4 days and then got sick of it, so I'm loaded up with painkillers...which I don't like very much, but at least I'm able to function now!

I can't stand being out of the kitchen! I'm hoping that February will put a stop to the injuries and illness!!

Imbolc brings with it the hope of spring, light and warmth. It's time to leave the cold darkness behind and look forward to the joy of a new season. I was looking through my photos from last year and I really long for the warm humid summers again!

So...on to the thoughts. What darkness must you leave behind? What is keeping you frozen in darkness? How can you bring warmth and light into your life?

I guess this translates to how can you make the best of life despite the challenges it brings? I had some big challenges in January with my health and I think I did an okay job of accepting those things I couldn't change. It was hard, but it taught me the lesson that I need to be better prepared physically for whatever could pop up. I walk every day, weather permitting, so my cardio health is in great shape - but my muscles aren't what they used to be so I have to pace myself when it comes to repetitive activity (like shoveling snow) or else I put too much strain on myself. It's a hard lesson for me to learn because once I have something in mind, I like to finish it in one shot!! :)

Is there a project you have in mind that you want to start? Why not start it TODAY? Or at least start thinking of it and planning it? Winter is a great time of the year for some very deep thinking and lots of planning. My biggest project for the next 3-4 months is about finding a property to buy. I'm proud to say that Alex and I have saved our down payment already, the credit score has improved over the last month too; so all that's left is FINDING the dream home and land. That's my project and I'm 100% focused on it.

Is there an area in your life that you want to thrive? What can you do to make that happen?

Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year Light Bulb Moment

Hello my friends!

I hope you have a nice evening tonight if you're ringing in the new year. Alex and I will be spending a quiet night at home, having a Raclette dinner and some cocktails with homemade sugar pie at midnight. We are such homebodies, which is funny because we both used to be such social butterflies. We both worked as bartenders and had lots of friends in our 20's. Now we would just prefer to spend our lives away from society, with each other and the pets!

So...on to my light bulb moment - just in time for the new year! :)

It's about my shadow self. Carl Jung defined the shadow self as the "hidden or unknown dark side of the personality." After reading his definition, I certainly didn't want to uncover my shadow self! I started to do some work in the fall, but got scared and forgot about it.

But lately I've been doing more reading and this is a different definition that motivated me to do more deep thinking. I found it after typing into Google "What is the shadow self?":

The shadow self is at first an unconscious side. It is only through effort to become self-aware that we recognize our shadow.

Although many infer the shadow is ‘negative’, this is not really true. The Shadow is rather what you yourself perceive as dark and weak about yourself, and therefore needing to be hidden and denied. But this depends on your own perspective on life, and your levels of self-esteem.

So while for one person their shadow might just contain such classic elements as sadness, rage, laziness, and cruelty, you might also hide your personal power, your independence, or your emotional sensitivity.

The above definition explains things more clearly for me. I've been spending lots of time in the woods lately walking with Charlie. Being in the woods is like therapy for me, I can kind of think out loud, consider lots of ideas and options and talk to Mother Nature and nobody bothers me! :) I guess it's my version of prayer.

I had my epiphany moment this morning walking home from the woods. I realized quite suddenly what my shadow self was and why I was hiding it. I wish I could share it with you but it's so personal that I just can't! But trust me, it's not the "classic elements" mentioned above like rage, cruelty or laziness!!

The realization of my shadow self abruptly boosted my self-confidence through the roof. I have never felt as happy as I do in this moment! What I thought I wanted out of life for so many mind just debunked. Now I realize that what I truly want out of life isn't something to be hidden or ashamed of. It's something to celebrate and put into action.

Without being too cryptic, I'll try to explain. I thought I wanted a certain lifestyle; and when I am truly honest with myself - I don't want that certain lifestyle. I want something almost completely different. The way I was finally able to see this hidden self was through a very simple exercise. 


Every day for the last week, I've set some time aside to day dream, just to see where my thoughts would go. I would ask myself "how do I want to live the rest of my life?" and "how do I want my relationship to go forward?" etc...Well, the daydream I had this morning was so poignant. It was the exact opposite of what I'd been THINKING I wanted for the last decade or so. I think that my perception on how a woman in her 50's should be living was just skewed. I'm not going to beat myself up, just to say that my life experience has put a damper on a lifestyle I've been wanting to live since I was a teenager.

This epiphany moment is something that will definitely strengthen my independence, personal power, self-esteem, happiness and my relationship with Alex. My plans to homestead are still there and even stronger now. 

It's just unbelievable to me how one moment the light bulb was just turned on and I feel so enlightened. And interestingly enough...I knew all of this about myself for many years and somehow, some just fell back into the shadow.

Does this make any sense to anyone? :)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Winter Winds Of Change

Happy Solstice Friends! :)

I hope you're having a nice day. I am! Today I celebrate the return of the Sun. Fall goes by so quickly, it feels like it's too fast for me. But, for someone like me, who lives for the warm weather, it's definitely a day to celebrate!

What good things are blowing your way this season? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Holiday Planning and Consumerism

Hello Friends,

I hope you're all doing well. Yuletide is just around the corner. It's a fun time of year! I celebrate the Pagan holidays and the traditional ones. Since we're in savings mode, Alex and I decided on no gifts for the holidays - including our birthdays which fall in January and February!

So instead I'm celebrating with food. This really brings out my creative side. Not only for the menus, but for the cost - I need to be frugal!!

Most of you know I do a monthly shopping list. This means I plan a month's worth of meals according to the shopping flyers. Then Alex and I spend one grueling day a month in the "flats" shopping and driving; then we're safe in the mountains and free from being around society for another 30 glorious days! :)

I've pretty much planned every holiday meal so far:

December 21: Yule
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 25: Christmas
December 31: New Year's Eve
January 1: New Year's Day
January 2: Twelfth Night.

Lots of fun food, drink and sweets planned! What's your holiday season looking like? Alex and I don't have any family, nor do we really have close friends, so we spend all of our time together and with the furballs. This pretty much eliminates all stressors for us and we can enjoy each day as it comes. I hope you don't deal with holiday's not fun. I've been there and I won't do that again - EVER!!

Another subject I wanted to discuss is consumerism. Let's face it, though a lot of us would LOVE to live like pioneers, off the land, off the grid, self-sufficient etc...we were born in a modern world. I personally LOVE plumbing and electricity! :) And I love my internet. But...I still try to make do with what I have, not buy new things unless it's absolutely essential. Alex and I are striving for more self-sufficiency, but we will always rely on some supplier or another for something in this modern world.

I can give you countless examples of my beef with companies. I don't know how many times I opened up a container of milk to find it had already gone sour WELL before the expiry date. I write to companies all the time when their products are mediocre and I always get replies - usually in the form of a coupon or refund. In this case, I wrote to Quebon because of the milk going sour. I got the standard reply and some coupons in the mail. YES, it helps the budget and I am grateful for that...but what is really being done about this? The companies seem to be in this mind-frame that throwing money at people will just shut them up. Are they REALLY practicing sound quality control? I'm not an alarmist, but gosh...we really do rely a little too much on other people for safe products. 

Another great example I can give you happened this week. We only recently were able to drink the water here in our well. Before it wasn't in good shape and now it's testing fine. So before now, we had to purchase our water. To make life easier, we'd invested about $100 towards a counter top water dispenser. A few months after purchase, it leaked, so we had to fight Amazon to get a replacement because it was one or two days past their 3-month return period. 

We were drinking that - yuck!

Now, a year later, the tubes feeding the water from the jug started to deteriorate, causing little bits of plastic to float in the drinking water. Amazon wouldn't do anything so I actually wrote to the company asking them to look into the quality control of the plastic tubing in their water dispensers. I wrote a very thoughtful email, including photos of the deteriorating tubes, the plastic "floaties" and a description of our disappointment in the product. I honestly wasn't expecting much and didn't ask for anything either. This was their reply:


Your order for replacement unit is being processed. Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery.

Thank you"

No standard "we are sorry" "Dear Ms. Frances"...not even the name of a representative after the "Thank you" - just a "signature" of the company. Really? Are companies so used to complaints about their crappy items that they can't even bother to personalize a response anymore? And you're sending me an entirely new unit? How is this really going to change the quality of the item that will likely deteriorate in another year's time?

I have to tell you my friends, I feel weird about this. They are simply sending me a new unit that I didn't even ask shut me up again? Of course beggars can't be choosers and I always appreciate replacement items and coupons, but this trend is bothersome.

It's almost like it gives the companies a free pass to sell crap because of their "very generous" return policies. 

As a Pagan, I try my best to be gentle with the Earth. I try to re-use, recycle, re-vamp or go without as much as possible. I try not to use non-biodegradable items. I'm not perfect by any stretch. But the continuous replacement of crappily made is this honouring Nature and the environment? It bothered me to the point where I replied asking them NOT to send me a new unit. But I didn't get any response so I have no idea if it's been sent or not.

Anyway, that was bothering me and I needed to vent about it!! Any thoughts?

PS: I've noticed the "Followers" gadget isn't showing up at all on any of my blogs anymore, same with you guys?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Busy As A Beaver

November's Full Beaver Moon is in the sky! Do you feel that energy? I do! Alex and I did our monthly shopping yesterday and driving back, the full moon lit our way home. I felt like the moon was guiding us back to safety and comfort! :)

This has been a very busy week for us. We are trying so hard to be frugal, to save money and to use the car less than 10 times until the spring, so there is a lot of planning to do when it comes to the monthly grocery shopping.'s done for this month!

Rain and Alex (not actual photo)
This is how we feel today lol...I don't think I will ever get used to a bustling society ever again. We've become quiet homebodies over the years...hermits really. We get physically and emotionally exhausted when we're around crowds now. I'm happy to be home in the mountains, quietly listening to the dogs snoring! Did you know that beavers mate for life? :) I think I do too lol...

If you need a little inspiration this month, take your cue from the beaver who is hard working and determined to build his home through hard work. Sink your teeth into whatever project you've started, be flexible but don't give up!

Build yourself a firm foundation, but if it's not working, walk away and re-invent. Then remember to rest up after all of your hard work!

How about a little snow magick? Make some ice lanterns and light them at night. Gaze at them and make wishes! I make these lanterns every winter. All you do is fill some balloons with water and let them sit out and freeze. Usually I will chip away a little bit so the candles rest on the inside of the ice lanterns but today we didn't have any wind, so I set the candles on top. :)

Snowball magick: If I have any worries, I grab some snow and roll it up into a ball, imagining my worries are being absorbed by the snow, then throw that snow ball of worries away as far as I can!

Building a snowman is fun too. Ancient Pagans used to build snowmen and charge them to protect their homes from intruders or enemies. Not a bad idea! :) I'm still working on learning this digital painting program. I'm having fun with it! Are you trying something new lately?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What Do You Want?

Is there something that you've always wanted to do but you haven't for one reason or another? Is there a way of life you want to live, but for some reason, you've chosen not to?

I've always wanted to travel across Canada in an RV. Not a big expensive RV, but I thought about buying a beat up van and restoring it into a wee little living space for myself and whichever dog(s) was with me at that time.

I really was THIS close in the spring of 2010!! But my older pug Winston developed very severe dementia and I couldn't put him through that constant change. So I decided to shelve that dream for a few years. In 2013, when I found my relationship, the dream got lost in the shuffle as I changed my life.

What about you? Is there a reason why you are not fulfilling a dream you've always had? Is it lack of money? Lack of motivation? Lack of skills? Is something stopping you from being YOURSELF?

Is it lack of support from someone you love; or is it that someone seems to be holding you back? Are you holding yourself back?

Deep thoughts! :)

Since I was very young, I never related to the Catholic upbringing in my family. Mainly because the way they practiced it was based on anger and fear. I was going to hell every day for some reason or another.

I remember at the age of fourteen, walking by a Buddhist temple in China Town, in Old Montreal. I was intrigued by the outside of the building. I just sat out there for a while as I saw people coming and going. I braved getting a little closer and even walking in. There was a meditation in progress and a light bulb went on over my head! There WERE other options!

During my teenage years, I secretly researched every type of religion and spirituality that my local library had books about. These were pre-internet days! Later on, I even took a few courses on World Religion at Concordia University in Montreal. Paganism always appealed to me because I was so nature-based in my thinking, even at a young age.

I was confused for too many years and at some point, decided I didn't believe in anything. But then when the internet became readily available, I learned how to use it and started to research more about Paganism, especially Kitchen Witchery and Cottage Witchery.

Everything made so much sense to me. All of the spirituality revolved around Nature and the Universe, the garden and the harvest. I did more research about all Nature-based religions and spirituality. I looked up ideas about Celtic Paganism and my ancestry. I felt really at home with these concepts and they made me feel safe and whole. I had faith for the first time in my life!

It took me a long time to "come out of the broom closet" so to speak - to admit publicly that I have different spiritual beliefs than a lot of people do. When I mentioned my spirituality to my family one day back in the 1990's...I was so ridiculed that I hid myself for another 20 years. I think this is one of the reasons why I didn't want to share my life with anyone, I was afraid I'd be made fun of just for being me.

Even in my relationship now, it took me years to talk openly about Paganism and my beliefs and spirituality. And despite the fact that I'm totally comfortable being myself - I always have a little bit of trepidation that maybe I'll still be made fun of.

We all have our soft spots. I know I'm very emotionally fragile. I will never have a "thick skin". When you've experienced humiliation from people who are supposed to love you, it's not easy to shake off. But I do believe in myself, I do know that what makes me happy is right for me.

I try to live MY best life now; and not let anything or anyone stand in the way of my spiritual lifestyle because I do cherish it very much. We only live once on this Earth, let's make the best of it.

My other blogs:

Rain's Garden 
Latest Post: Painting and Pesto

Rainy Day Cheese Making 
Latest Post:  Wrapping The Cams

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

New Moon Intentions and Cherries

I believe in magic. Not the "I hate society and will seek revenge by conjuring a hurricane" type of nonsense you see in the movies!!  😲

For me, magic is all about intent and action. If I want something to manifest, I need to believe in my intention; then follow it up with action to actually make it happen. 

Of course, I am not too much of a dreamer. I know that I have limits to my intent and actions. I can't change the world, but I can change MY world!

I also believe in projecting my wishes out to the Universe and the law of attraction. If you are a negative, terrible will attract negativity into your life. If you are a positive and happy person, you will attract positivity into your life. It may not happen immediately, but you will see the change when you make it! 

When I was younger, I lived a negative, bitter and unforgiving life and I was miserable. When I shifted my thoughts to positivity and started to live a meaningful life of gratitude, I got all of that back in return. That's not to say that all of my troubles disappeared; but life became so much better, so much so that those troubles and challenges were and are easier to cope with. I have faith that everything will always turn out in the end. I know the Universe has my back! :)

We are entering a New Moon phase of the lunar cycle. The moon is dark and quiet and her energy is weak - recovering from the immense energy of the past full moon. Now is a great time to set intentions and start the magical process of making your wishes come true. What you project out to the Universe right now sets your intentions into motion. As the moon strengthens over the next four weeks, her energy gets stronger and keep those intentions in mind as you take action to manifest your dreams, goals or intentions.

I came up with a general charm for this time of the month because I believe in symbolic acts and rituals to make the intention stronger.

Cherries represent love and happiness. The New Moon's element is Earth. So this charm involves cherries and the Earth. When it comes down to it, all I want in life is love and happiness, so tonight I took a few cherries out to the yard and held them in my hands in the darkness of the New Moon. I voiced my intentions out loud as I buried the cherries into the Earth. I had to get through a little snow first though! :)  

I then sprinkled a little cinnamon on top for protection. There is a spot in my garden that gets full moonlight and that's where I did my little charm. That way when I look out my window, that part of the garden will be moonlit and I'll remember my intention and work earnestly towards achieving it.

My photo didn't turn out, this is a photo from the cookbook!

I also decided to do some kitchen magic! :) I made Cherry Cheese Blintzes with the Absinthe cherries that Alex and I aged in the summer of 2017. The filling is a mix of cream cheese, Ricotta and those delicious cherries among other things! They melt in your mouth!! As I made our supper, I had my mind on my intention. 

It's very easy to wish for something...but unless you have great luck, you need to take action to make that wish come true. These little charms I do help me to keep the intentions in focus. And it's fun. :)

If you're looking for a fresh start or to start/restart a project, now is the time to do it! Try taking some time every night to gaze up at the sky and feed off the energy and beauty of the Moon!