Saturday, December 25, 2010

Yuletide Blessings!

We both wish you warm hearts & hearths and that you all have loved ones to share them with and leave you with some luverly seasonal music from the album Castle of the Holly King by Shira Kammen.

The Castle of the Holly King by Shira Kammen


Aymi & Laurel

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Program on English Folk Dancing

The BBC has an one hour program called Still Folk Dancing...After All These Years. It features all types of different folk dancing from England. It has been posted on YouTube as well. Enjoy! :)


Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sad Fate for the Holy Glastonbury Thorn

Photo by Alwyn Ladell

On December 10, 2010, the 2000 year old Holy Thorn Tree was found chopped down in Glastonbury, a town in Somerset, England. While police try to determine who cut down the Glastonbury Thorn Tree and left the discarded branches by the stump, others are wondering what could have motivated someone to cut down a tree of such seasonal and religious significance. The Glastonbury Tree has special meaning for Christians, especially at Christmas and Easter.

Read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Neat Museum of Witchcraft Video

Places I Have Loved: The Family Farm

Or perhaps more accurately: The Once Upon a Time Family Farm, as the farm was sold outside of the family about a decade ago. It is my dream to buy it one day.

A few weeks ago my mom, brother and I went there to have a look at the old farm, and I took some peektures and video footage.

Walking down memory lane can be an enriching experience, but sometimes a haunting one as well. As we trekked towards the heart of the property I was overcome by both a joy and sadness.

This is a beautiful place. My great-great grandfather cleared this land, all 100 hundred + acres of it, back in the 1880's. My great grandmother and grandmother were both born here. There is a lot of history...history of my ancestors, thus my history as well. I am tied to this land.

As I walked down that roadway I felt as if I were coming home. But it is not my home. Perhaps one day it will be.

I was happy to see that it is still a working farm with some cattle and chickens. The new owners also have done quite a nice job keeping the property in good condition. It looked much the same as when it did when I was a child. Even though my grandmother was so sad when the property was sold {by a second cousin who inherited the farm}, I think that she would be pleased with how the current inhabitants have treated the land.

A portrait of my grandmother's brothers and sisters, my grandmother being the baby. Circa 1924 on the family farm.

A painting of the farm done by a cousin.

Below is some of the video footage I took. Please excuse the quality, I am a shoddy 'videographer'.



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Some Etsy Announcements

I have opened a new shop over on Etsy called Ye Olde Pretties. It will have digital collage sheets, as well as digital artwork. Right now it has various Christmas themed sheets, but I am working on getting other pretties up soon. I am having an introductory sale where everything is 50 percent off, which will last til the end of December.

We are also having a Yuletide sale over at the nefaeria shop where all readings and vintage items are 25 percent off until December 30th.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baking w/ Goats.

Another nifty video from Piebird. :)

Garden Crop Report for 2010

For the last few gardening seasons I have been participating in The Growing Challenge, and this is my '2010 crop report' to share with others in the challenge {or anyone else who would for whatever reason care how my garden did :) }.

Last year I used a rating system from 1 to 5 {1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest}, which was an idea that I got from Gumboot Goddess. Simple yet effective.

Beans {Bush & Pole}

5. I had plenty to trade/swap, give away and eat. Our freezer is full of them and we were able to collect plenty of seed too. The star this year was Contender bush beans.


4. We got amazing greens again this year and the roots did better than last year. Hopefully next year will be a 5!


3. Better than last year. Still have a boron issue.


5. Same issues as the beans. More than we know what to do with. Our freezer is packed with it as well, AND it is still kicking after plenty of hard frosts.


2. Any fruit that grew was pretty much eaten by critters before we could get any. Got some nice stalks, that's about it.


1. Complete failure. It died before it even got started.


5. All did excellent and we have more new perennials.


4. Got a touch of powdery mildew, but was caught in time. Still doing well in the garden.


5. We had LOTS of salads this year!


5. They never disappoint me!


4. The Evergreens did very well, the Red Barons were a bit more of a challenge.


5. Plenty in the freezer and still growing.


4. Some of the tatters were a little runty, but overall we were happy.


5. These guys took over the garden. Even after giving many away, and making plenty of pies, we still have gaggles. We also have a lot of blossoms in our freezer and craploads of seed. Powdery mildew lost the battle!


4. Nice tops and bottoms this year!


5. No bolting this year! Still growing.


4. If it weren't for the powdery mildew, I think that they would have been a 5.


5. We had gorgeous blossoms from August to the end of October. I want to grow more varieties next year. We got plenty of seed and cuts. Along with the pumpkins, they were my pride and joy this season.


4. There was some late blight, but a fruitful season.


4. Hobo did VERY well and Golden Globe did ok.

So there you have it. :)



Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Sneak Peek of Our New Esty Pretties!

In the next couple of days I will be adding a few vintage items to our Etsy shop. Here is just a few photos of what will be available shortly {and I hope to add some more soon!}.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

~Pretty Song & Video Intermission~

The Woods by Polly Paulusma. Video done by Rima Staines.

You Can Count on the Poets

Photo by Liam Quin

Finding lore on appropriate practice can sometimes be difficult for Reconstructionist Pagans and Traditional Witches alike. That’s why I squeal like a school girl when I stumble upon the right books.

I recently bought a yummy, yummy book from one of our local thrift shops {perhaps the last pockets where one can find something of value for next to nothing, without breaking the law!} called 1000 Years of Irish Poetry edited by Kathleen Hoagland.

It is a pretty thick book and I have already spent hours getting sucked into it. I love a lot of the poetry in it, but the two following pretties are good examples of why I was extra giddy to find this book:

Song of the Forest Trees

O man that for Fergus of the feasts dost kindle fir,
Whether afloat or ashore burn not the king of woods.

Monarch of Innisfail’s forests the woodbine is, whom none may hold captive;
No feeble sovereign’s effort is it to hug all tough trees in his embrace.

The pliant woodbine if thou burn, wailings for misfortune will abound,
Dire extremity at weapons’ points or drowning in great waves will follow.

Burn not the precious apple-tree of spreading and lowsweeping bough;
Tree ever decked in bloom of white, against whose fair head all men put forth the hand.

The surly blackthorn is a wanderer, a wood that the artificer burns not;
Throughout his body, though it be scanty, birds in their flocks warble.

The noble willow burn not, a tree sacred to poems;
Within his bloom bees are a-sucking, all love the little cage.

The graceful tree with the berries, the wizard’s tree, the rowan, burn;
But spare the limber tree; burn not the slender hazel.

Dark is the colour of the ash; timber that makes the wheels to go;
Rods he furnishes for horsemen’s hands, his form turns battle into flight.

Tenterhook among woods the spiteful briar is, burn him that is so keen and green;
He cuts, he flays the foot, him that would advance forcibly drags backward.

Fiercest heat-giver of all the timber is green oak, from him none may escape unhurt;
By partiality for him the head is set of aching, and by his acrid embers the eye is made sore.

Alder, very battle-witch of all woods, tree that is hottest in the fight---
Undoubtedly burn at thy discretion both the alder and the white-thorn {hawthorn}.

Holly, burn it green; holly burn it dry;
Of all trees whatsoever the critically best is holly.

Elder that hath tough bark, tree that in truth hurts sore;
Him that furnishes horses to the armies from the sidh burn so that he be charred.

The birch as well, if he be laid low, promises abiding fortune;
Burn up most sure and certainly the stalks that bear the constant pods.

Suffer, if it so please thee, the russet aspen to come headlong down;
Burn, be it late or early, the tree with palsied branch.

Patriarch of the long-lasting woods is the yew, sacred to feasts, as is well-known;
Of him now build ye dark-red vats of goodly size.

Ferdedh, thou faithful one, wouldst thou but do my behest:
To thy soul as to thy body, O man, ‘twould work advantage.

~translated by Standish Hayes O’Grady {by an anonymous poet, 13th century}.

The following are different types of love magic that what I presume mostly women and girls might have tried.

The Midnight Court

…After all I have spent upon readers of palms
And tellers of tea-leaves and sellers of charms.
There isn’t a plan you can conceive
For Christmas or Easter or All Saint’s Eve,
At the moon’s eclipse or the New Year’s chime
That I haven’t attempted time on time.
I never would sleep a night in bed
Without fruit-stuffed stocking beneath my head,
I would steep my shift in the millstream deep
And await the vows of my spouse in sleep,
With broom I brushed the barn as bid,
My nails and hair in ashpit hid,
Beneath the hearth the flail I laid,
Below my pillow placed the spade,
My distaff in the graveyard’s bed,
In lime-kiln low my ball of thread,
The flax I strewed amid the dust,
A cabbage-head in bed-straw thrust…

…A potent charm as I have heard
Is putrid herbs well stewed and stirred,
I know the sort and will proceed
To make it aid me in my need.
A subtle spell that succour brings
Is orchid’s leaves and dung fly’s wings
And root of figwort powdered well
With more besides I may not tell.
‘Twas wondered everywhere of late
How yonder maid secured a mate,
At Shrove her secret she confessed
And Hallow E’en has seen her braced,
For water-spiders soaked in beer
And withered grass formed all her fare…

~by Brian Merriman, 1780 {excerpts from the poem}.

I am off to read some more. ;)



Monday, November 8, 2010

Seeing Red. {Monday Morning Mini Rant}

Our house is situated very close to a highway and we often see livestock trucks going by. No matter how many of them drive by, it never takes the edge off the effects of seeing them. Given that we are at a set of lights, often the trucks will be stopped for a spell and we can hear the animals kicking and stirring up a fuss. We can hear how frightened the animals are.

These trucks are a reminder for me of how fucked up our society is and how we are going about many things the wrong way.

It might sound odd coming from a vegetarian, but I actually have no ethical issues with folks eating meat. What angers me is the process of how meat gets to most of our tables.

We could be going about it in a more sane and caring way. Apparently that costs too much. These mega farms and mega corps don't want to dole out the cash that might actually give these animals a better of quality of life AND a more humane death.

It is this ass-backwards thinking that makes sometimes feel that we as a society deserve nothing short of collapse.