Hey there, so glad you popped by! I've moved to a new address, however, and you can find my new blog at: The Weaver's Apprentice as of Monday, January 26, 2015. I hope you'll come visit me there! See you soon! XOXO

Monday, January 26, 2015

New beginnings (yay!)

Good morning, dearies!

About a week and a half ago I started a draft talking about new moons and new changes...

... and a new blog.

But then I got really sick and have spent the vast majority of the past ten days asleep, trying not to drown in my own snot.

Yes, just as disgusting as it sounds. Ugh.

But now I'm mostly better. Still a bit sniffly and sneezy, but pretty sure I'm gonna make it (it was touch & go there, for a while... ^__~).

So I've spent the last seven hours poking at things on my new Wordpress blog, trying to get everything okay enough so that I can give you the link and not cringe at the thought that someone might just click it.


Here is my new bloggy home:

The Weaver's Apprentice

I'm still working on figuring out Wordpress, so if you see something completely ridiculous, PLEASE let this n00b know. Thank you.


I have absolutely loveLOVEloved being part of community with everyone who has taken the time to read my ramblings here. And I would love even more if you'd follow me down this new meandering path of mine. FYI... The framework for the new blog is there, even though my first post is still being written.

I hope to see some familiar faces soon! Love you all uber bunches!!!


PS... I will be maintaining this blog as an archive, although I'll no longer be posting here. This blog is the past five years of my life, and although I'm ready to move someplace new, I don't want to lose or change anything that's brought me to where I am now. ^_^

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Blues

It's been kind of somber and quiet around these parts for the past (almost) two months. I've been feeling frustrated since whatever it was that took wing inside me in the Fall that had me writing, painting, art journaling and cooking like mad seems to have faltered the last week of October, when Phiphi took a turn for the worse, and it's been gone almost entirely since he died.

I've also gained back some of the weight I'd lost and haven't done anything very active in almost two months. Britt and I had been going to Zumba (which I love...) twice a week, but we haven't gone since mid-October. I hate how easy it is to get out of healthy habits and how hard getting back on the self-care wagon is when I fall off... ugh.

We deep cleaned our apartment last weekend, which was nice. I've got some picking-up to do tomorrow, but it's still mostly clean. ^_^

Having a tidy apartment helps me feel less depressed, but once I start feeling depressed, it's hard for me to care enough to keep things clean.

I've slipped back into some of my bad habits the past two months, but I'm working on kicking them to the curb (again).

I've been trying hard to be kind to myself even when it's easier for me to be cruel... I've been taking lots of deep breaths lately and repeating nice things to myself under my breath. It mostly works (or I just sound crazy... who knows...) ^_~

I've missed blogging, but every time I've sat down to write in the past few weeks, there's just nothing. I'm just blank.

My usual hate/hate-slightly-less relationship with Facebook has swung back into the 'hate' side of things, so yeah... for whatever reason, I just can't find it in my heart to actually like that particular branch of social media. But I do like being connected to the people I like, so I keep my account and try to check it occasionally. ^_~

I ended up working all the holidays this year because my coworker is a selfish asshat, but there wasn't much to be done about it, so yeah.

We rescheduled Christmas dinner with Britt's folks for the 26th, and we just got back home. I ate too much... but we had a really nice time and I'm grateful that we have her parents to visit with. I am truly, truly lucky to have such great in-laws. ^___^

So yes... I'm kind of depressed, kind of irritated at being depressed and working on not being depressed anymore. And in my efforts to not be depressed (or irritated...), I'm off to finish cleaning up my kitchen... I made quite the mess this afternoon while making a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake to take for dessert tonight (it was sinfully delicious, btw... NOM)

I'm still working on revamping this here blog, but kind of thinking about maybe moving it to Wordpress? I don't know. I'm still figuring it out. Once I do figure it out, there will be fair warning before I do anything too terribly drastic. ^_~


I hope y'all had extra wonderful Winter holidays! I'm looking forward to the start of a new year and I hope that we'll see more of each other in 2015... Love and hugs!


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Come dance with us...

I tried to schedule this to post on November 2... but apparently I still struggle with the finer points of blogging... o_O

Posting it now, in memory of our cat, Phiphi, who passed away on November 3rd.

I think I've moved through most of the stages of grief a few times now, so I'm hoping healing can begin. Britt is struggling much more, since she and Phiphi had such a special bond... like in the Golden Compass.

We're both working hard to make sure that we don't tumble headlong into our respective abysses, and get stuck in depression, but it's hard... some days more than others.

I've had a few days where getting out of bed didn't really happen, but not many of those days. We're working hard to pick up the pieces and put them back together as best we can.

So even though Phiphi probably isn't dancing so much as curled up sleeping someplace toasty and warm with Kyo (the only cat he ever really liked, who passed away in 2008), this song makes me smile at possibilities someday, and cry because I can't have him here with us now.


Blessed Dia de los Muertos, my loves.

Like the celebrations this day, this song made me cry and smile... at the same time. It struck such a strong chord in me, it was like a physical blow. 

I'm off to visit with my beloved dead, but I wanted to share this with you. If you've read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, this might remind you of the Macabray...

 " ...Step and turn, and walk and stay,
  Now we dance the Macabray..."

Enjoy your special company today.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's time for the 7th annual Halloween Party!!!

Ah, my spooky darlings... It's that time of year where I once again run late to the party...

...Oh, wait... that's just about any time of year actually... I'm working on it.


At any rate, welcome to the seventh year of fabulous Halloween parties, hostessed by the even more fabulous Vanessa Valencia!!! =D

If you haven't visited her blog, A Fanciful Twist, you're in for a super treat... so get yourself over there and say hi!

For this year's Halloween party, I crafted a spell that's been needing crafting...

And this witch would love your help with something tonight (whether you consider yourself witchy or not), so without further ado...

Let's gather the supplies...

Then light the candles...

And lay out what we'll need tonight to make some extra special magic (for my godson, Sebastian.)

Some wee smudge sticks, made from dried herbs from my garden...

A feather found in the forest.

And a saint medal with St. Peregrine on one side and the Blessed Mother on the other side.

St. Peregrine is the patron saint of those fighting cancer. Sebastian (who turned 1 back in July), has just been diagnosed with leukemia... but that story is another post that I'll finish in the next few days.

Some witches have a ritual knife that they use... I have some nice, sharp embroidery scissors, re-purposed for kitchen use (and magic making). For me, they're more practical... and I'm less likely to accidentally cut off a finger. ^__~

Some melted wax from my kitchen candles hold tonight's spell candle steady. Toppling candles make a waxy mess (not to mention the fire hazard...)

Then into the mortar go the herbs, each chosen for their magical properties... 

Star Anise, Chamomile, Peppermint, Spearmint, Mullein, Red Clover, St. John's Wort and Valerian for protection...

Basil for strength...

Cinnamon for peaceful energy...

Cumin for good luck...

Dried Elderberries for blessings...

Ginger for good health...

Lavender and Tarragon for calmness and peace of mind...

Sage to banish negativity...

And Thyme for courage.

With the pestle, I grind everything up into as fine a mixture as I can get it. 

Not strictly necessary, but I've found that things mix better this way. ^_^

Lighting a smudge stick...

And letting the smoke waft around my work area.

I use my feather to fan the smoke from my smudge sticks in the directions I want it to go. I also use it to direct the smoke in my direction, to smudge myself. 

St. Peregrine sat in the herb mixture for a bit, soaking up the good vibes and magical properties of the herbs.

Then I poured the dry mix into a small jar and tied the medal around the neck.

The next ingredient is olive oil, to make this into candle anointing oil... since I do a lot of candle magic. ^_^

Once the oil has been added, it kind of just sits on top of the dried herbs...

So give it a good shake to mix all the goodness inside together.

Pouring the mixture onto his candle...

And then adding a little more...

There! Almost ready...

My last not-so-secret ingredient is glitter. Yup, glitter. A few shakes is all you need. 

As a side note, if you add the glitter after you light the candle, it sparks quite impressively... but this might upset your significant other, causing them to yell a bit... So don't do this while they're in the same room with you... ^_~

And now it's ready! 

Sometimes when doing candle spells, I'll use a thumbtack to inscribe words or phrases into the candle itself, sometimes I'll inscribe words or pictures and then add the oil/herb mixture or sometimes just the oil/herb mixture, which is what I did this time.

Sending my love, my thoughts, my hopes and wishes for Sebastian into the candle...

And now it's time to light it up!

I love candle light... it's always so cheery, even on the dreariest of days and nights...

The St. Peregrine medal will stay around the bottle of oil until the next time I go to Seattle to visit Sebastian. 

But for now, it's capped and sitting on the shelf that serves as part of my altar...

...Until I need to bring it down for another candle spell for him. ^_^

So, my lovelies, I mentioned that I'd love to have your help tonight... 

So if you would, for a minute, send a good thought my godson's way, I would be incredibly grateful. ^_^

Thank you all for stopping by for a spell

(I apologize, that was an awful pun... I just couldn't help myself though...)

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into some of my magic making... 

And I can't wait to see what everyone else has been up to! 

Remember to stop by Vanessa's blog!!!

See you all soooooon...


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Yep, I'm running late...

Eeks! Running a wee bit late because I had to work tonight! Boo! My face looks like Shock's...

But pretty please come back in a few hours to party with me for Vanessa Valencia's 7th annual Halloween Party!

Thank you! Love you! See you soon!!!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Witches in Fiction 2014... Crafting Blooming Howls

It's time my lovelies!!!

The fourth annual Witches in Fiction party has begun! And as per usual, I'm a little late to the party... but at least this year I'm getting my post in on the proper day! Ha! 

Ahem. Anyways...

If you haven't been over to Magaly's blog, Pagan Culture, click HERE and you'll find yourself there.

A wee story that's been kicking around in the back-most attic of my imagination... most notably every time I make coffee and my coffee pot steams and hisses and growls when it's just about done. I don't have a title yet, and I might write more, I don't know. But enjoy this little tidbit!


Written for Witches in Fiction 2014... Crafting Blooming Howls ^__^

Lightning forked through the sky, illuminating the room through the filmy curtains. It was followed a few seconds later by a long, deep roll of thunder. The cat sleeping on the back of the couch stretched, arching her back, then jumped down onto the belly of the woman sleeping on the couch, then onto the floor.

“Umph,” said the now-awake woman, as she turned a half-hearted glare at the cat, “Was that really necessary? You're not exactly light you know.”

The cat just looked at the woman with her large yellow-green eyes, yawned and walked the rest of the way to her food dish, before turning back and looking expectantly at her.

The woman sighed, “There's still kibble in there... finish those and I’ll give you more.”

The cat waited, staring... she almost looked as if she'd cocked an eyebrow.

“Fine, have it your way,” the woman said to her cat as she got up and poured more food into the dish. “Such a finicky cat...” and then she smiled as the cat wound around and through her legs in a 'Thank you' before heading back to her bowl to eat.

The woman, whose name was Maggie, looked at the green numbers glowing from the clock on the stove: 05:59. She groaned; it was way too early to be up since she had a full day of clients ahead of her. She flipped on the kitchen light and began rummaging through the cupboard filled with boxes and tins of tea.

She pulled out some chamomile, fully intent on going back to bed after a cup, and as she was reaching for her tea kettle, another bolt of lightning flashed in the sky, followed by another growl of thunder. This bolt, however, exploded spectacularly as it made contact with something a few miles away... and Maggie was plunged into darkness.

Maggie sighed again, “Oh well, guess I'll do it the old-fashioned way.”

She cupped her hands in front of her and called up a tiny ball of witchfire, just enough to see with. Then she walked around the kitchen lighting the candles. Soon the room was filled with soft, warm flickering light. She turned her attention back to the task at hand – making something warm to drink.

She decided that since she was up, and mostly awake now, she might as well get some work done. She could always take a nap later if she had to. She placed the tea back into the cupboard, having decided to make coffee instead.

Since boiling water on the electric stove was no longer an option, she went to Plan B. Still cupping the tiny ball of witchfire, she walked back over toward the cupboard filled with tea. This time, however, she opened the cupboard next to it and was greeted with the smell of good coffee beans and the tiny snores of the house's resident coffee maker – a small, kitten-sized dragon.

“Abelia,” Maggie said softly, “Abelia, I have a snack for you.”

Abelia opened one eye, then seeing the witchfire dancing on Maggie's hand, opened both eyes and stretched... quite similarly to the way the cat had stretched several minutes before. Abelia, however, didn't jump onto her mistress. Instead, she carefully rested her front claws on Maggie's hand and then delicately lapped at the witchfire until it was gone.

Then she began to purr, and a glow could be seen in her belly. Maggie smiled at the little dragon, “Will you make us some coffee, Abelia, pretty please?”

Abelia nodded then flew down from the shelf where she slept and landed next to the “other” coffee pot.

Maggie had a regular plug-into-the-wall kind of coffee pot that she used when she had guests, clients, customers, etc. over. She also had a coffee pot that had been passed down to her from her grandmother, who had created it with Abelia's help, to facilitate the making and drinking of coffee when electricity wasn't available – or when Abelia felt like making a pot for herself.

This coffee pot had been Abelia's idea, but she'd needed Maggie's Grandmother's opposable thumbs to bring it into existence.

Abelia loved coffee. It was her favorite thing to drink, and since all the women in Maggie's family, the ones since the invention of coffee anyways, had loved the brew as well, they were perfectly matched. Abelia figured out a way to brew a pot using her dragonfire, but since she was about the same size as a coffee pot, she really did need someone else to drink with. The witches of Maggie's family, and now Maggie herself, were the perfect drinking companions.

Also, coffee made by dragonfire gave back a bit of the energy to the witch that feeding the dragon witchfire had cost her... so it was a fairly equal exchange. Both giving and receiving each other's energies, deepening their bond and creating something that equaled out to much more than just the sum of its parts.

Abelia settled into her stone and cast-iron coffee maker and Maggie added the ground beans into their compartment, then added water into the compartment above the grounds. Then she stepped back.

Abelia's purr was louder now, almost a tiny roar. Then with as great a belch of flame as a small dragon could make, the water boiled and Abelia tipped the compartment so that it poured a little at a time into the ground coffee beans, then through the mesh bottom and into the pot below.

While Abelia was brewing the coffee, Maggie had collected her and Abelia's favorite mugs. She'd also cut the last of the bread she'd made two days before into slices along with some cheese and made up small plates for the two of them. Maggie cut some extra cheese for the cat, whose name was Crow, and then brought the plates to the kitchen table.

Abelia left her coffee maker and flew over to Maggie and perched on her shoulder. Maggie poured two cups of coffee and then added cream and honey to both before taking them back to the table and sitting down. Abelia flew to her seat across from Maggie and Crow jumped up to sit beside her.

After they'd finished breakfast, Maggie sat and sipped her second cup of coffee. Crow was curled in her lap and Abelia had draped herself about Maggie's neck and was snuggled beneath her thick, wavy hair, purring once again.

She visualized her day planner, which was in her bag in the living room, then called it to her along with a pen, a pencil and a notepad.

Maggie opened up the book and started going over her appointments for the day, making notes on the notepad about various things to do, gather, look up, etc. before each client would arrive.

The sky began to lighten as thunder continued to roll across it from one side to the other. Maggie continued sipping her coffee as she made out her To Do list for the morning, before her first client arrived at 10:30.

Since it was not quite 07:00 yet, she still had plenty of time. So she sat back in her chair to snuggle her dragon and cat, sip her coffee and watch the wind whip the Autumn leaves from the trees.

Today would be a good day, she could feel it in her bones. But then, any day that began with Abelia's coffee, followed by snuggles from both purring creatures was a good day.

She called the flickers of witchfire back from the candles and into her cupped palm, then closed her hand and absorbed the energy back into herself.

Crow yawned and stretched, then hopped down and padded across the floor to her water dish. Abelia snuggled deeper beneath Maggie's hair and smiled in her sleep.

Maggie got up from the table and crossed the kitchen to the dishwasher, where she placed their dirty dishes. She would run the thing tonight after dinner. Then she picked her To Do list up off of the table, scanned it one last time and then started getting ready for the rest of her day.

Click on the above pic to be taken to Magaly's blog and join in the partying! I hope you enjoyed my little tidbit here, and I can't wait to hop on my broom and visit the rest of Magaly's Wicked Darlings!!! See you sooooon!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Halloween Party with A Fanciful Twist

Hello lovelies!

It's almost time for the seventh (seventh!!!) annual Halloween party with the lovely Miss Vanessa Valencia over at her blog, A Fanciful Twist! Wheeeeee!!!

So grab your pointy hat and shoes, your broom, your cauldron and a black cat if you've got one... because it's once again time to party!

Make sure to visit her blog for all the details, and to sign yourself up!

And on the 25th come party with the other best pointy-hat-wearing group of people around! ^_~

I can't wait to see you then!


The Fourth Annual Witches in Fiction Blog Party!!!

It's almost tiiiiiiiiime...

For this year's Witches in Fiction party, over at Magaly Guerrero's blog, Pagan Culture!

Come join the party before the end of Wednesday, October 15th.

Then, finish a witchy project that's been patiently awaiting your attentions and post about it in your party post on October 17th. You'll find all the details on Magaly's blog.

Come party with the best pointy-hat-wearing group of people around! ^_~

And then go visit all the other participants and see what they've been up to as well. See you in a few days!!!

Oh, yes... she's also hosting quite a few give-aways in the days leading up to the party... so go check out her blog not just because she's fabulous, but also because several also-fabulous people have offered up goodies for her to give away, possibly to YOU. ^___^


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Midnight Wanderings & The Bitter End Coffeehouse

Tonight I am on a solo adventure, in a city I’ve never been able to muck about in by myself before.

Last Wednesday, I flew from Seattle, WA to Minneapolis, MN. My folks picked me up and we drove the two hours to their house in Britt, IA. The next morning, my mom, my sister, my niece and I left Britt before the sun came up and drove the ten hours to Grand Rapids, MI.

Grand Rapids is where my mom, myself and both my siblings were born. She lived here her entire life (until she married my dad) and I lived here on and off until I was about four. I’ve visited a handful of times, but each time I’ve been tied to my family and unable to go off on my own.

We're staying with my mom's sister, her husband and their two kids. Since everyone there is in bed, but I’m so not even close to being tired (my brain is still on Seattle time...), I decided to go to the 24 hour coffee shop I saw yesterday when we were driving home from visiting my grandma.

So here I sit, at The Bitter End Coffeehouse, sipping my coffee and eating my neon pink raspberry scone, blissfully happy at finally having some time to myself.

I’ve had a wonderful time with my aunts, uncles and cousins so far, but I’m in need of some time to myself to recharge my socializing batteries... lolz.

So I grabbed my laptop, my notebook and pen, stuck my debit card in my pocket and drove myself to The Bitter End. I drove around the block a few times, looking for parking and scoping out the place... it was packed... I parked across the street, sat in my car and stared for a few minutes, then grabbed my stuff & went inside. Take that, social anxiety! ^_~

And now I’m sitting at the long table along the wall, next to a college student who's working on her math homework.

I’d only planned to be gone for an hour or so, but I think I could happily stay here and drink coffee and type all night... but I won't, or my mom will worry. ^_^

I love wandering around places I’ve never been before, especially if I have several hours in which to do so. If it wasn't so late at night, I’d wander up and down the block as well, but since I don't know the neighborhood (and I’m by myself), I’ll pass on that this time. Safety first, and all that. ^_^

I really wish Britt had been able to come out with me... she would still be awake with me, and we could have wandered with impunity. But alas, she couldn't get the time off of work and school starts for her on Tuesday... and she can't miss her first day of class. And even though I’m really enjoying my visit with my family, I miss her and my kitties (and my bed) so much. I’ll be home in five days, though, so I’ll get to see them soon. ^_^

I bought Britt a Petosky stone as a souvenir... And since I know she doesn't read my blog, I can tell y'all about it. ^___^ Petosky stones are really neat. They're fossilized coral from the inland sea that used to cover Michigan in prehistoric times. Petosky stones are only found in Michigan, apparently, and are getting more and more rare. Britt has a love for anthropology and archeology that is possibly even greater than mine, and she also loves cool rocks... so I can't wait to get home and give her this stone. ^___^

Well... between my strangely tall chair an the strangely low table against the wall, my legs are falling asleep... so I think I’ll finish my coffee and head back to my aunt & uncle's place, and maybe even try to go to sleep. Or maybe I’ll just move to that empty table over there and do some writing... I think I’ll try that first.

Wherever you are, I hope you're having a lovely weekend! The Autumn Equinox is almost here (YAY!!!) and then October and Halloweeny goodness descends... I simply can't wait.

Until next time...