Sunday, December 21, 2008

Have a Happy Winter Solstice!

yule santa Pictures, Images and Photos

Blessed Yule Pictures, Images and Photos

Green Man Pictures, Images and Photos

Sorry for the short message, I have been extremely busy with moving and getting my house set up. I am now back to work also. I hope to be posting a lot more during the new year! Also I will be starting my herbal workings come the new year, so I am sure you all with hear about it.

Have a blessed Winter Solstice and Christmas!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING Pictures, Images and Photos

I want to wish everyone a happy thanksgiving. This is my first thanksgiving with Jeff. I am happy about it in some ways, and not so happy about it in others (I woke up at 5am to cook plus we are moving this afternoon!) I woke up bright and early to start cooking. Last night I did the pumpkin rolls. This morning I started the turkey and jello, and pumpkin pie (deep dish). I am currently working on the green beans and stuffing. I completely forgot to buy rolls and potatoes. So Jeff is gonna have to make them. I am taking everything over to his fathers, so he can enjoy it with us. After that we are starting to move! My car will be packed with Thanksgiving food and boxes of stuff.

Last night we signed the papers on the house we are leasing. Its exciting and frightening at the same time. But once we are all settled in I am sure all will be great. We are in a rush to get everything in as we want to be able to celebrate Yule and christmas there.

Some things I am thankful for:

1. My Mother, without her I am sure I would have set the kitchen on fire at least once since I hadnt woken up completely before I started cooking.

2. Jeff, he is a wonderful man. He makes sure I am always OK.

3. To have the lease done and over with. We now have a house of our own.

4. For my Grandmother who was awake at 6am, when I called her because I forgot how to make the family secrete jello recipe. (I have made it 100 times before!)

5. Also to have a job. Michigan is in trouble job wise. Even though I am currently injured and on Workmans Comp. I stilll have my JOB!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and I will post again once the internet is turned on at the new house!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day Dreams and a Good Blog!

Ok, so one of my dreams is to own a farm. One, because I own and breed horses. Two, because I want to grow my own herbs, veggies and have egg chickens. Three, because I think that would be a great environment to raise children. One day I will have this!

So I was perusing some blogs and cam across a link for Fast Grow The Weeds blog. Its a interesting blog, and I look forward to reading more!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Goddess of the Week #2

Hera Pictures, Images and Photos

The queen of the Olympian deities. She is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and wife and sister of Zeus. Hera was mainly worshipped as a goddess of marriage and birth. It is said that each year Hera's virginity returns by bathing in the well Canathus. The children of Hera and Zeus are the smith-god Hephaestus, the goddess of youth Hebe, and the god of war Ares. According to some sources, however, her children were conceived without the help of a man, either by slapping her hand on the ground or by eating lettuce: thus they were born, not out of love but out of lust and hatred.

Writers represented Hera as constantly being jealous of Zeus's various amorous affairs. She punished her rivals and their children, among both goddesses and mortals, with implacable fury. She placed two serpents in the cradle of Heracles; she had Io guarded by a hundred-eyed giant; she drove the foster-parents of Dionysus mad, and tried to prevent the birth of Apollo and Artemis. Even Zeus usually could not stand up to her. Sometimes when he got angry, he chained her to the mountain of Olympus by fastening anvils to her feet. However, most of the time Zeus resorted to stratagems: he either hid his illegitimate children, or he changed them into animals.

Hera's main sanctuary was at Argos in the Peloponnesus, where she was worshipped as the town goddess. Also, in this town the Heraia, public festivities, were celebrated. Other temples stood in Olympia, Mycene, Sparta, Paestum, Corinth, Tiryns, Perachora, and on the islands of Samos and Delos.

The peacock (the symbol of pride; her wagon was pulled by peacocks) and the cow (she was also known as Bopis, meaning "cow-eyed", which was later translated as "with big eyes") are her sacred animals. The crow and the pomegranate (symbol of marriage) are also dedicated to her. Other attributes include a diadem and a veil. Hera is portrayed as a majestic, solemn woman.

Her Roman counterpart is Juno.

What to expect at a Handfasting and/or Pagan Weddings

Ok, I have been talking a little bit with friends about handfasting and pagan weddings. No, I am no engaged to get married, so dont freak out or get ready to party just yet. Anyways I thought I would do a posting on my blog. It is the "Holiday" Season and it is also a time when a lot of people decide to get engaged. You can find the whole article here, I am just posting the important info. I chose "what to expect" rather than the actual rituals, because I have talked to people who I thought would be happy to come to mine if and when I had one, sadly to find out that they refuse to come because they are christians and its "against" their beliefs. It has nothing to do with their beliefs, and they are just being mean becuase they can/ Oh, well sorry you don't want to be incuded in a important day. Sadly this came from my Grandmother who I am very close with, and has since been a sore spot in our relationship.

Handfasting Pictures, Images and Photos

It’s true that a Pagan wedding will probably be very, very different than what you’re used to. The good news is that Pagans believe in inclusiveness, and the happy couple is almost certain to be almost hyperaware that some people may be anxious or uncomfortable. They’ll be very careful to let you know what’s coming, and will give you at least a brief overview of what it all means. If you want to know more, just ask – they’ll be as happy to explain the symbolism of their wedding as you would be to talk about yours.

What if your religion doesn’t match?
First off, let’s get a little terminology out of the way. Technically, any wedding that isn’t Christian or Jewish is Pagan, but your friends who call themselves Pagans are probably drawing from Celtic or Druidic traditions (or their best guesses at reconstructing them). Pagans and Wiccans have a lot in common, but they aren’t necessarily the same thing. If the wedding is a Wiccan wedding, they’ll call it that.

A few notes for the concerned:
Paganism is NOT the same as Satanism. Pagans are very into positive energy and tend to focus on the good in the world. Even Pagans who identify as witches tend to be goody-goodies. A common tenet is that any harm you wish someone else comes back to you threefold. So while Pagans have received some bad word-of-mouth in many parts of the country, you’re actually dealing with some very gentle souls. Believe me, if your loved ones are having a Satanic wedding (and there are at least two breeds of those, which we won’t get into), they will be very sure to let you know.
• Pagans don’t necessarily see Christianity or Judaism as incompatible with their religion. If you’re from a Judeo-Christian background, you may have been brought up to believe that your religion and Paganism are diametrically opposed, but that isn’t necessarily the case in the view of your hosts. They may see the Judeo-Christian deity as one legitimate choice in an array of deities, or they may see their pantheon as different aspects of essentially the same big God you’re used to. Or they may worship nature itself. That point of view still may not thrill you, but it’s important to note that a Pagan ceremony won’t involve any kind of a refutation of your personal beliefs.
• It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be asked to pray to any alternate deities. Again, Pagans are inclusive, and as members of a religious minority they will understand your potential discomfort. You may be asked to take a moment of silence to pray to whomever floats your boat, or there may be parts of the ceremony in which the four elements or the Masculine and Feminine energies are honored. Nothing will get too hardcore on you.
• If you feel the need to (gently) decline the invitation due to your own religious beliefs, the happy couple will understand. But they’ll miss you. They invited you because they love you and want you there. If you can possibly get past any theological qualms, do go. Pagan weddings tend to be harmless, very fun and – in my experience – very moving.

What to wear
Ideally, your invitation will give you a hint, but odds are your Pagan wedding won’t involve traditional suits and cocktail dresses for the guests. An outdoor wedding is a good bet. When in doubt, opt for natural fibers and earth tones with a splash of color. A spring wedding may involve lighter or brighter colors – just be careful, as always, not to outshine the bride.

The ceremony
Pagan ceremonies vary widely, both because there are many different kinds of Pagan and because couples tend to design their own ceremonies.

The ceremony will often start with casting a circle. (Though sometimes you’ll walk in and see a circle that has been cast and consecrated a few hours beforehand.) This involves the officiant turning to each point of the compass and honoring the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air.
You may see an altar in the circle, with traditional implements such as a cup, a knife, and a trowel. It’s possible that you’ll see objects that symbolize the elements, such as salt (earth), a candle (fire), a feather (air), and a bowl of – you guessed it – water.

It’s unlikely that you’ll see the bride given away because Pagans tend to be egalitarian, but you may see something that honors the families – and even the ancestors – of both the bride and groom. The couple will probably approach and enter the circle from the east to symbolize the growth of their relationship.

Like the weddings you’re used to, the officiant may ask if there are any objections to the union, and the couple will state their vows – almost always highly personalized – and the couple will usually exchange rings.

The officiant may have the bride and groom cut locks of each other’s hair and put them in a wooden or silver box to symbolize their union, or you may see them drink from the same cup.
HandfastingMany Pagan weddings involve handfasting – wrapping a cord or ribbon around the couple’s joined hands. This symbolizes different things to different people – a traditional handfasting was a trial marriage, in which the couple stayed together for a year and a day and then had the opportunity to make their marriage permanent. Nowadays a couple is likely to consider the marriage permanent immediately, but keep the handfasting ritual as a part of their ceremony. They may come together in a year and a day to repeat their vows. (If you’re an attendant at a Pagan wedding, be aware that they may exchange vows while their hands are tied, so part of your job may be to hold cards with the vows on them for the bride and groom.)
The officiant will probably give the couple some sage advice on treating each other well and tending their marriage, and then may ask the guests to affirm their approval of this union. You’ll probably be told what to say here, but if not, any positive sentiment delivered with enthusiasm will do.

Finishing the ceremony
The officiant will pronounce the couple married and the bride and groom will kiss, as brides and grooms do. They may also feed each other and use a trowel to bury their locks of hair or handfasting cord. The couple may also jump a broom, which depending on who you ask is either from the exact same or completely different origins as the African-American broom-jumping ritual. At any rate, this symbolizes the couple jumping into their lives together, and to their commitment to making the effort to make their marriage work.

The couple may walk around the circle and greet friends and family, and then the officiant may uncast (or banish or deconsecrate) the circle. This may be the time to break small seed cakes over the couple’s heads – with roughly the same symbolism as throwing rice or birdseed.

The party
Don’t let the earnestness of Pagan wedding celebrants fool you: These people know how to throw a party. Be prepared for some fun feasting and bring your dancing shoes (or dancing bare feet). Above all, cast your worries aside. Pagans tend to be people who have fought for the right to let their freak flags fly, so even if you’re out of your element, you’re not going to get judged. There’s no better time to toss self-consciousness lightly to the side and try a new dance or even take over the conga drum for a minute.

A Pagan wedding is definitely not everyone’s thing, but it sure can be a fun thing for a few hours.

Friday, November 7, 2008

God: Odin

Odin Pictures, Images and Photos
(also Woden or Wotan in Anglo-Saxon myth)

Odin is the chief god of Germanic mythology. Son of Bor and Bestla, Odin was risen to favor mostly by the Vikings, and became known as the supreme god in the eighth and ninth centuries. The Vikings admired Odin's love for the battle, as he was known as the "father of the slain". Odin's prominence demonstrates the importance of warfare to Germanic traditions.

Odin loved to cause conflicts and shifts of power. He once aided Harald, a Danish King, instructing him in tactics and granting him victories for years. In the king's final battle, however, Odin took the place of Harald's charioteer and drove the king to his demise.

Although Odin embodied deceit, violence and war, he also embodied many admirable qualities. He was the most knowledgeable god, with a great love for wisdom. He would willingly sacrifice himself for it.

With the threat of Ragnarok, the death of all gods, Odin built the Valhalla, a great hall of the "heroic dead". Odin would then gather heroes and warriors who were slain in battle, and bring them to Valhalla so they would fight alongside the gods on the Vigrid plain, in an attempt to strengthen and save the gods in the final battle against the frost giants at the time of Ragnarok.
Odin was killed by a wolf,
Fenrir, a monstrous offspring of the fire god Loki and the frost giantess Angrboda.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chilly Autumn Night Delights!

Ok, So I am a big fan of soups in the fall. They just hit the spot just right. I am here sitting at work at 9am! (Eeek, I should be sleeping) And since I am not doing a whole heck of a lot, I am gonna post three of my favorite recipes that I have used many times before! Yahoo, just happened to post part of the recipe which inspired me to post this blog to all of you.

Butternut Squash Soup with Star Anise and Ginger Shrimp! (yumm... I know what I am making this weekend!) Makes 8 servings.

Soup Ingredients:

2 large butternut squash - halved lengthwise, peeled and seeded
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 whole star anise
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 sprig thyme

Shrimp Ingredients:

24 large shrimp in shell (about 1 lb), peeled, leaving tail and first segment of shell intact, and deveined
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set the squash, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Fill each cavity with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter; season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until tender; cut into large pieces.

2. Toss shrimp with ginger in a bowl and marinate, chilled, 30 minutes (do not marinate any longer or enzymes from ginger will begin to cook shrimp).

3. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the olive oil. Add the onion, star anise, shallot, ginger and curry powder and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned. Add the wine and cook until evaporated.

4. Add the cooked squash, water, coconut milk and thyme sprig. Simmer over moderately low heat for 15 minutes.

5. Sprinkle marinated shrimp with salt. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shrimp in 2 batches, stirring, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per batch, transferring to paper towels.

6. Discard the thyme sprig. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth.

7. Bring soup to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Divide among 8 shallow soup bowls and mound 3 shrimp in each bowl.

Beet Soup in Roasted Acorn Squash (Makes 8 servings, about 10 cups)


~For Roasted Squash

8 (1- to 1 1/4-pound) acorn squash
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt

~For Beet Soup

1 large red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 medium beets (2 pounds without greens), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red apple such as Gala or Braeburn, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 to 5 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar


~Roast Squash
Preheat oven to 375°F.

1. Cut off "tops" of squash (about 1 inch from stem end) and reserve. Scoop out seeds and discard. Cut a very thin slice off bottoms of squash to create a stable base. Brush "bowls" and tops all over with oil and sprinkle salt inside. Arrange squash bowls, with tops alongside, stem ends up, in 2 large shallow baking pans.

Roast squash in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until flesh of squash is just tender, about 1 1/4hours total.

~Make Soup while Squah roasts

1. Cook onion in oil in a 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add beets and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.

2. Add broth and 4 cups water, then simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in vinegar and brown sugar.

3. Purée soup in 3 batches in a blender until very smooth, at least 1 minute per batch (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl. Return soup to pan, then season with salt and pepper and reheat. If soup is too thick, add enough water to thin to desired consistency.

Serve soup in squash bowls.

Blue Moon Soup- Cream of Carrot Soup with Ginger
Makes 4-6 Servings


1 small potato, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 small leek, chopped (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/8 teaspoon powdered; or 1/2 teaspoon curry
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
2 1/2 cups milk
Garnish: carrot curls and croutons


1. Boil the potato in 2 cups of water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, save the broth, and set the potato aside.

2. Melt the butter in a soup pot on medium heat.

3. Add the leek, half the carrots, the ginger, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.

4. Add the celery, the remaining carrots, the cooked potato, and the potato broth.

5. Add 1 cup water, and stir.

6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

7. In a blender or a bowl, blend or mash 2 cups of the soup with the milk until thick and silky smooth.

8. Return the blended soup to the soup pot, and stir while bringing to a simmer.

9. Ladle into bowls and garnish.