Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 iChallenge Wrap Up

I have been having an amazing time re-reading all the amazing books for this challenge that I have sitting on my shelves.  I have joined all the Challenges listed on the list, the iFae, iVamp and iWere, because sadly (or not so sadly) those are the only books I seem to read. While I wait for a new book from one author I have another author stacked in the background. When I have no other books sitting then and only then do I read some simple (no paranormal stuff) romances.

There are several authors I love so much that I re-read their books like they are sacred texts (sad I know): These are the books I have reviewed for the 2010 challenge, Goddess I know I read more than this but these are the ones that fit the challenge. Stay tuned for the 2011 list which is a whole lot bigger and more expansive. 

Books I will be reading in the 2011 book challenge:

Amanda Ashley
L.A. Banks
Laurell K Hamilton
Christine Feehan
Susan Krinard
Patricia Briggs
Tanya Huff
Madeline Baker
Lisa Cach
Kelley Armstrong
Vivian Vande Velde
Biana D'Arc
Melanie Jackson
Cheryl Sterling
Shana Abe'
Morgan Llywelyn
Lynn Kurland
Lynsay Sands
Linda Howard
Cheyenne McCray
Teresa Medeiros
Karyn Monk
Katie MacAlister
Keri Allridch
Gena Showalter
Elizabeth Vaughan
Sara Douglass

total books read: 90  woohoo that's pretty awesome for one year!! Next year will definitely be a 100 or more

There are many more and I'll be adding more to this list of course. And I will highlight the ones which connect to my reviews from this page.
I hope you enjoy the books as much as I have,

Bright Blessings
& Happy reading

12 days of Mithra-mas day 6


New Year’s Eve, Hogmanay

The term hogmanay is from Scotland, and has to do with the the new year. It is believed to derive from the word "hoguinane' " from Northern France which meant "lead to the mistletoe".  


The most known custom of hogmanay is called “first-footing” where a dark haired neighbor or friend entered your home after midnight to welcome in the new year. They generally brought a few gifts as well including: salt, coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun(very heavy fruit cake) all intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. The food and drinks were given to the guests, this may go on thought the early hours of the morning and well into the next day, with plenty of people stopping by.  The first footing helped to set the luck for the rest of the year.

The custom is pretty specific on who had to set foot through the door first. A tall dark haired man brought luck, a red haired person brought bad luck. The belief for the reason for tall dark men; was during the times when hogmanay came to be Scotland was under siege and the dislike for the red haired warriors coming to their homes, especially meant bad luck, and this belief has been carried on, although most probably don't know where the tradition comes from. 

For many parts of Scotland the celebration is a fire festival; much like the local customs of fireball swinging in north-east Scotland. There is also of course the song Auld Lang Syne which was re-interpreted by Rober Burns & later set to music.

This was the night that everything that needed to be cleaned was cleaned, tidied & washed up.In the book "The Silver Bough" by F. Marian McNiell, describes the customs of clearing as many of the person's debts, & clearing up as many of their issues as possible. 

"the house received a mini-spring cleaning,
 slops & ashes, which are usually removed
 in the morning are carried out.
Debts must be paid, borrowed articles returned, 
stockings darned, tears mended..."

After sunset on hogmanay, people went out looking for juniper branches, and buckets of fresh water from a stream or a well.  the branches were placed near the fire to dry out, the head of the household would wake up at first light, drink some of the water, and then went around and sprinkled everyone with a few drops. 
After that was done, the windows & doors were closed, and the juniper branch was set on fire & carried throughout the house until everything was well fumigated. this was done as a way to make sure the hogmanay gifts were well celebrated.  

How to Celebrate

  • light juniper incense and carry through the house
  • with a few minutes to midnight, turn off all the lights in the home, except for one candle, give this to a dark haired friend who then goes out the back door and makes his way to the front (keeping the candle lit the whole time).
  • At midnight have him knock, allow him to enter by greeting him with
Welcome to the light of the New Year
& Welcome he/she who brings it here"
  • Go around the house with the candle & relight all the lights you put out. If can be candles so much the better.  In parts of Scandinavia the god Yule is welcomed in much the same way, with a chair & table set up just inside the door of the house with gifts & food for Yule, the godlike representation of the Solstice. 
You can serve eggnog to your guests, here is a recipe from food network that i love to use:
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 large strip orange zest
  • 2 large strips lemon zest
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and vanilla seeds scraped loose
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup white rum
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bourbon, optional
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Finely grated orange and/or lemon zest
Directions
  • Put 2 cups of the milk, both citrus zests, and the vanilla bean and tar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and the 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl until lightened in color.
  • Gradually pour the hot milk into the eggs while whisking constantly. Return the egg mixture to the pan and set over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure 8 motion until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and immediately stir in the remaining cup milk to stop the cooking. Transfer custard to a large bowl; cool to room temperature. (To speed this up, set bowl in another bowl of ice.)
  • Put about 1 inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Put the egg whites and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a heatproof bowl large enough to rest in the saucepan without touching the water. 
  • Set the bowl over the simmering water and beat until the sugar dissolves and the egg whites feel warm to the touch, about 1 minute. 
  •  Remove from the heat and beat the whites with an electric mixer until they hold a soft peak, about 3 minutes. 
  • Fold the egg whites into custard mixture. Add the rum and bourbon, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Transfer eggnog to a punch bowl or pitcher. Pour into small cups and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and citrus zest. 
Drink. & enjoy. 
Bright blessings & Happy Hogmanay



Thursday, 30 December 2010

Sympathetic New Year Magick



When i lived in New York, I used to hang out with an eclectic group of people. One of the young women i created my first 'circle' with had a friend who was a witch; she taught us the following lore:
  • Don't do anything on New Year you don't want to be doing the rest of the year., so if you have unfinished projects attempt to get them done.
  • If you can't have then done by New Years, have a plan to have them done within the first 30 days of the year, otherwise you will find an excuse not to finish them and it will hang around all year.
  • Try not to carry old year baggage or drama into the New Year, so if you have the money, try to be current on as many bill as possible.  
  • Clean up before and attempt to make the home as homely as possible so that, it's a place you wish to return to all year.
  • try to have your laundry, and ironing current so that it's not something your carrying with you all year.
  • set your goals and plans BEFORE New years, that way when the "new year" starts you have an idea of what you wish to do. Also make them realistic, and have time lines so that each thing gets done in a practical timely manner, instead of waiting til the last minute.
  • focus on the habits you wish to keep and the things you wish to have, not what is lacking or what needs to be changed, when the clock hits midnight, that's a magical hour it's called the witching hour for a reason, send a wish out for others to have their basic needs met, and thank the Gods that your basic needs have been met this year.
  • Try to do something for someone else on New Years day, (after you wake up from the hang over), either give groceries to the local food bank ( which are desperate right now) or give some of your clothing that you have sorted to the Salvation Army. Can't do any of those, there are tons more ways to help, donate blood, give your time, or even just a few dollars to any charity you wish in the name of your Goddess or God.
I also like to use this prosperity charm from Silver Ravenwolf, as it reminds me that although I may not be Melanie Gates (bill gates' wife) I am in a pretty good place.

Supplies: YOU
to enhance: 
  • begin on a full moon and repeat until the next full moon; 
  • begin when the moon first enters Aries, 
  • begin on a Sunday in the hour of the sun,
  •  perform on Beltane at the rising of the sun
Start by taking three deep breaths:
"At this moment, there is no yesterday,
at this moment there is no tomorrow,
at this moment there is only today
Goddess of abundance come to me, come to me"
Repeat until you feel yourself start to relax.
" I have clothes on my back
Food to eat, & a place to stay
Goddess of abundance come to me, come to me"
Continue to repeat the last line until you feel more relaxed, even if all of it isn't true, your putting the gratitude out there for what is true and asking for the rest. 
"I am perfectly okay, Goddess of abundance
come to me come to me"
Repeat until you have completely relaxed. Now imagine yourself as a strong tree ( I always imagine the oak) your roots deep into Mother Earth, and your branches reaching high to Father Sun. Raise your hands if this will help the visualization. Relax and allow yourself to become one with God and Goddess, with the universe, now say:
" I am one with the universe, 
& the universe will provide for me 
in every way.
Goddess of abundance 
come to me come to me"
repeat until a feeling of inner calm washes over you. Then say everything without pause and end with:
" this is true as I say 
so mote it be"
Clap your hands together, hold them out before you and say "In peace". More your hands to the right and say " in harmony". move your hands to the left, and say " in truth". bring your hands back to your chest and say:
" In love, 
May the Lord and Lady shower
their blessings upon me
I am the source
of my abundance
So mote it be!"
This always works wonders for me
I wish you many blessings this New Year
Bright Blessings

Repurposing the Old into New

Just a quick post to share about the things you can do with those old yuletide cards that you won’t be hanging on to. The Michelle over at truebookaddict who has an amazing Christmas Spirit page has up a great post about way in which to repurpose the used yuletide cards here.

At my old job they collected the fronts of used cards for the Saint Jude’s Ranch which was big because the amount of cards that would show up was amazing.  there is a listing here of other organizations that collect the used cards.  The address is listed on this page.

And as always wiki has the answer too, as there are organizations in the Uk that also collect.

Serious side-eye to some of the old cards on the bottom, especially the 1920’s card ugh but I guess I can see as a “how far we have come moment”.

Whatever you choose to do. happy recycling & 
Blessed new year

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

12 days of Mithra-mas day 5:

December 30th Bringing in the Boar
wildboar

Then the grim boar's head
frowned on high
crested with bay & rosemary
Sir Walter Scott Marion

This has to be one of my favorite days of the Yule countdown. When I was younger my mother was big into making an amazing Boar head from pineapples, with cheese, cherries, & some of course ham. More on that later.
During Middle ages, where some of our traditions of Yule stem from, the hunting of the wild boar, was an event not to be missed. The boar plays a prominent part in many of the Yule traditions due to the wild boars territory; the boar (which is the ancestor of domesticated pigs) roamed most of Europe, some parts of the middle East & into parts of Africa. 

The Celts highly valued the boar in myths, as it was sacred to the Goddess Arduinna.  One of the more popular stories include the tale of Finn McCool (Finn mac Cumhaill) who lures his rival to his death of being gored by a boar. Within the Arthurian legend the great magician Merlin is said to have given one of his greatest compositions & addressed it to a pig.

In the Scandinavian tradition there are two great boars; one which Freyja rides called Hildesvini which means battle swine when she wasn't riding her chariot.  She even used the guise of a boar to hide one of her protege.  The second boar belongs to Freyr named Gullinbursti which meant Golden mane. This was due tot he fact that the boar was created for Freyr by a dwarf, the boar's mane or bristles would glow in the dark allowing his owner to see.

There is of course the two boars listed with the Greek mythology as well. One which Hercules had to kill as one of his 12 Labors and the other boar, called the Calydonian Boar which was hunted by many of the greats from Greek myths including the huntress Atalanta.  here also we find the shape of the boar being used to kill someone, as Ares the god of war takes this shape to kill his son, in a jealous rage.

The boar is much revered as a Christmas meal because it was one of the few animals that didn't hibernate over the winter which meant there was still meat to be had during the harsh months.  There are many tales of the roasting of boar meat for instance in the Welsh story of  Gofannon's Feast, there is the boar that is consumed but never finished and would replenish as long as the bones weren't eaten. There are even still traditions in Queen's College Oxford where the boar's head is ceremonially paraded around to the accompanied by the singing of a carol.  
There is of course that awesome first line from this carol:(which I remember attempting to sing but never getting the right words)
there was a pig, went out to dig
Christmas day, christmas day
There was a pig went out to dig
on Christmas day on christmas day

Honoring the Boar
One of the ways to honor the boar would be to have either an image or a symbol of the boar on your altar.
You can also leave out an apple or an orange at your back door for the great pig to feast on.

Making a Boar's Head
This is great for those that don't eat meat as well as those that do, simply modify the recipe, by changing the snacks you place on the sticks.
  • Cut in half a pineapple, remove the inner core then place back together.
  • My mother cuts criss-cross pattern (creates a grid pattern) then placed toothpicks filled with cheese, ham, olives, or cherries all over.
  • Cut off the top of the pineapple & create a snout with orange and cherries for eyes, for the tail you can use licorice, or use a twizzler which has been frozen into the curly shape.

You can then bring in the platter with much fanfare, of singing & dancing.

Information from Winter Solstice by John Matthews, and Wikipedia.com boar image courtesy of bing.com/images.
Celebrate with fanfare the bringing in of the boar
Be Blessed








KWW: Greening the Cleaning

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Over the Yuletide break I have been pumping out so many new crafts I am super proud of myself for. Two of these are just so awesome I had to share.

I use to use the swiffer mop system, then when I wished to go green I purchased the OMOP by method for cleaning.( I wrote about this in one of my other posts.)
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What does that have to do with KWW? Well with holidays some what over and many of your family member & friends having trooped through your home your going to want to do some cleaning. I know I do. There are two kinds of cleaning I will be doing here is some info about it.
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I have been seeing all over etsy cute little washable cloths to go on the swiffer and I thought “uhh I can make that”, I mean how much greener is -re-usable?? So i researched and found a pattern on Lily yarn whic was easy to whip up. It took a little over 2 hours and used less than one ball of Lily sugar'n cream yarn. Then I decided to make one for the omop because that's what I use the most, I made the blue one for all floors and the brown for the wood floors. 
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I had a chance to use this after christmas dinner and this baby works like a charm. there was no pattern for the omop so i created one. (side not i will sell the pattern on my etsy once i get it up, and the cloths themselves as well YAY)
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Now for the cleaning:
there are many ways in which to harmonize a home, you can ring a bell, clap, cast a circle, light an incense, or even say a blessing while throwing salt. Because I know I will have several family members & friends over for New Years I will wait until after to do the big cleansing.
however i will do a quick floor wash to help clear away some of the negative vibes, and then before New Year's day do one more big cleanse & clean so my home starts the new year on the right footing. 

for wood:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp castile soap
4 drops bergamont or sweet orange essential oil

Add ingredients to a small spray bottle apply to wood and clean up with a damp cloth, then go over it with a dry cloth to make them shine.

Pine fresh floor cleaner:
1 gallon hot water
2 tbsp liquid castile soap 10 drops pine essential oil
5 drops cypress e.o 

recipes from herbal home hints

There are many other ways to cleanse the home as well you can create a floor wash to cleanse the front of the home of event he kitchen. here are some recipes I am familiar with (i however eliminate the ammonia, as I can't stand the smell). these washes are bigger within the Candomble' traditions of Santeria, hoodoo, & voodoo, but they are slowly making their way into the craft. 

I hope you find a great way to cleanse your home and harmonize for the new year.
Be Blessed

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

12 days of Mithra-mas day 4

December 29th Feast of Fools
Feast of fools--
Feast of buffoons--
Feast of ass--
Feast of fools---
Feast of the sub-deacons
Feast of the Fool’s Bishop
Feast of the lower clergy
-- From: La Pete De L’Ane

In the ancient Roman tradition of Saturnalia, it was customary to choose a mock King who ruled over chaos instead of order. When the early church attempted to get a greater grasp on the ancients they banned the traditions of anything 'pagan', but many people simply adopted a more 'christian' like version called the Feast of Fools.

It became a modern adaption of the saturnalia custom which allowed for the crowning of King of Fools whose job was to act as foolish as possible. The custom of switching roles also took place during the feast, as kings served their servants and lords and ladies gave up their position for this one day of acting up. This day allowed many to relax from the strict rigors and rules applied to their roles while allowing those on the lower class to also relax and taste what it meant to be from the ruling class.

The king of fools was chosen by hiding a coin or symbol within a cake or meal, when everyone had their piece the person with the coin became the King of Fools. his job entailed insulting the guests, chasing women, wearing silly clothing and entertaining the members of the hall, much like the jester.  Generally flaunting the rules and roles of society.

The real origins of the feast of fools perhaps pertains to the tradition of Kingly sacrifice. Where a year king was chosen and allowed to rule, at the end of his year he was killed to ensure the return of the sun, the earth's fertility and the good fortune of the tribe. In Scotland, they would bake bannock cakes, and purposely burn one, then place all the cakes within a bag, the person to draw the burned cake became the king. 

How to Celebrate
Why not host your own feast of fools party? 
  • Invite your guest to come in their most unusual outfits as possible. 
  • Reverse the menu, eat dessert first, then dinner then appetizers
  • How about having the ladies act the role of men, and men the role of ladies? Holding doors, men seared first, anything you can think of.
  • food fight anyone??
  • everyone could wear makeup that doesn't match, as well as paint their nails garish colors (men and women)
  • relax, and enjoy the party.
Tired of parties this season? How about making this into a mediation? Sit back and think about what you consider foolish, what acts and things would make you feel silly.  Think on what prevents you from letting go and having fun. Does the idea of being perceived as foolish bother you? Why?

Consider that the fool in the tarot story is the only one who simply opened the door, while the others argued about how to open the door or argued on the merits of the door being opened. It is in the middle age stories it is the ultimate "fool" who finds the Holy Grail, Perceval, whose innocence and belief took him where others feared to travel, yet he received the greatest reward.

Why not meditate also on what the fool in the tarot deck means, of the many interpretations these seem to be universal:
  • beginning
  • spontaneity
  • apparent folly
  • Faith
If nothing else, indulge in a few games, and acting silly today even if it just means making faces in the mirror.


Information from Wikipedia "Feast of Fools", Tarot information from LearnTarot.com, mediation idea derived from Winter Solstice by John Matthews
Be Blessed and Silly





Book Review



As a follower of the Celtic tradition it is often times a trial to find good information and well researched books, as this is one of the most written about traditions in which many people have confused both the fairy-tales & their fantasy as a ‘true’ source of info. 


Each day we learn more about the Celts: about how they truly worshiped, what & who they were.


One of the best researched books, well written books about Yule I have found has to be Winter Solstice by John & Caitlyn Matthews. This writing duo does an amazing job researching and truly seeking to use historical accuracy (at the time of their writing for as we all know archaeology is a field that is very fluid as new information arises each day to change what we once believed to be true).  


It is my personal belief that as writers or purveyors of information that we should strive to share the accurate information, because if I change the meaning of a word here, and you change it when you have received it when it finally reaches twenty other people it's not the same and the true information or the true translation of something will be lost. This probably has to do with the fact that my mom is a professor and I heard a lot growing up that one must reference your information, and be accurate, not just make it up off the top of your head; particularity in the context of history.  There is room for interpretation, but one must strive to share what is considered to be the "truth" about events and people.


It's one of the reasons I either love books or hate them, there is almost no in between for me, because you have a responsibility (especially now  a days when people don't do their own research but simple take what they have been told to be true) to give the proper information.  As evidenced by the fact that I don't stop talking about them; they do a wonderful job. Not only do they share their research information if you wish to read it (some of which I did) they as well as give where you can learn more about something that might have intrigued you.  


This book gives a more in depth look at the traditions of christmas and where they stem from, while sharing traditions that can be added into your own celebrations which can help reconnect us to the season. Especially as many people are saying they no longer feel the magic of the season; this book would help to set your mind in a place of greater connection instead of focusing on the outer trapping so much it would help to make the season something to do consciously and with joy.


I love this book and truly believe it should belong on everyone's shelves. If you would love it too make sure to pick up a copy for yourself and maybe your family,


Bright Blessings



Monday, 27 December 2010

Snow Storm 2010

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These are the pictures from today, the day after the storm ended actually the storm ended at 9am. We went out and shoveled from 1030 to like 1230.
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Well we didn't really have to shovel as we have a snow-blower, but it can't go near the cars so we had to dig those out, and clean up what it left behind.
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It's funny to watch people as the wind lifts the snow from the shovels and blows it northward, how everyone stops and turns their back to the wind so the snow blows against their backs instead of into their eyes, earlier in the morning the wind wasn't as intense and the weather wasn't as cold, but as the two hours wore on it got frigid. And I was happy to turn the shovel over and head inside. 
I had the “fun” job of clearing the front porch, I can actually feel now the pain of doing it.
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Here are the chairs which looked so nice only last nite with the light dusting of snow.

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Even the potted plant and the water hose are covered, I can't make it to the front door period.
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A friend’s mother had the nerve to say today that snow isn't heavy O_o I didn’t mean to but I snapped back “how would you know you've never shovel, your back and knees won’t allow you”. Now that might sound mean, but this woman will use her back pain and knee pain to get out of doing anything remotely looking like work, O_o but she will quickly throw on heels and head to the club, after telling you she couldn't help you because her back was hurting. Le Sigh, i’m trying but sometimes people just say the dumbest stuff and think your supposed to take it because they are your elders. Ok sorry for the mini-rant, but it just bugs me that she was willing to write our pain off because it’s not on the same level as hers. Ugh MOVING ON!!
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it wasn't all work, later in the afternoon the mail truck got stuck in our drive0way because the snow plow came thru and pushed all the snow we had worked so hard to clear, right back into the end of the driveway O_o snowplow FAIL, 
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but this was fun to watch. (i know sounds mean, but hey I have to get my seven chuckles somewhere) 
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Give snow a minute and it will find it's way into anywhere. this is  near the garage door
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The potted arrangement my mother worked so hard on which sits int he front bay window.
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You can barely see the holly branches within it
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What the snow looked like before we cleared it away, it's about knee deep at the moment.
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looking out over the deck
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there is so much snow i can't open the screen door to go out on it.
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Some places lost power, but we were fine, tons of left-overs, lots of cookies, plus new movies to watch meant we were well entertained. And for those of us who simply were too tired, it was a great time to hibernate.

Although ti wasn't great snowball or snowman weather, this was great powder to go skiing and sledding on, especially since we live next to two huge hills and two parks known for their hills. several people snowshoed (is that the word? what the past tense of snowshoe??) it over to the country club and used the golf course hills as a sledding and tubing course, ahh to be young and reckless again. (shh!! I'm going later tonite)
I hope you were safe from the storm and made out ok
Be Blessed my loves

12 days of Mithra-mas day 3


December 28th Holy Innocent’s Day, Children-mass,

This is a day associated or dedicated to children.  For the christians today is the day to remember the children slaughtered on the orders of King Herod to preen the christ child from becoming king in his place.  During the middle ages this day was considered unlucky, with the belief that nothing started on this day would prosper. In Northamshire England it is known as Dyzymas Day, “ Nothing began on Dyzymas day will ever be finished”

There is also the tradition of beating children on this day, the belief being that if the children are mad to suffer today they will have no suffering the rest of the year, as well as to drive any ‘evil’ spirits out of the children.  These beating rarely involved real cruelty, the underlying theme seemed to be equality.  The beating implements are freshly gather evergreen and rosemary, a chant usually said when doing the beating is :
fresh green, long life
give me a coin”
More on the history of today is contained here on this video


How to honor the children:

We should reflect on the nature of children, think about your own childhood, and that of any offspring. consider the things you best love about children, and about the things you best loved about your childhood. Consider the good moments and the bad, think on how you have been influenced by both, consider how you have changed to keep the bad from your own children, or the children in your life.

Celebrate Childhood
  • make a list of the five qualities which best describe your childhood, and if you have children ask them what things are most important to them right now. Compare the two lists and be prepared for some surprises
  • Now compare your list to before children and after children
  • Most importantly praise your children on this day and honor the qualities of youth that never truly leave us—they are still buried somewhere inside even if you are a sage or a crone.
  • Today would be a good day to really reflect on your childhood and consider how it has impacted you as an adult, are there fears your still holding on to? beliefs that have never left, toys and treats you still remember and won’t let go of?
  • Consider donating to charity for children today or even dropping of some cloths to a local women’s shelter that takes in children as well, or even make ti a day to go and visit the children’s ward with some games and make a child’s day.
I hope these ideas inspire you and allow you to love the child within as well as those in your life. As always the information contained here was from the Winter Solstice by John Matthews.
Blessed Be

Book Review


Book Title: A greener Christmas 
Author: Sheherbazade Goldsmith
Publisher: DK Publishing
Year Pyblished: 2009  
Price: $16.95
My Rating:★★★★★
Synapsis:
The only guide to celebrating a greener Christmas shows you how to make your home merry, bright, and eco-friendly! Part craft, gardening, and cookbook, part home d├ęcor and entertaining guide, A Greener Christmas lets the whole family get in on projects that are simple, seasonal, and of-the-moment. Welcome guests with candlelit lanterns, hand-stitched stockings, and cozy homemade wreaths. Trim your homegrown tree with shiny recycled tinsel, spicy dried citrus fruits, and wood-scented pine cones. Give heartfelt, environmentally-friendly gifts like homemade herbal teas and mulled wine sachets, all wrapped up in gorgeous, reusable packaging. And set a mouthwatering holiday spread, with the freshest breads, cheeses, meats, and produce, all sourced from local farms. Edited by food and lifestyle maven Sheherazade Goldsmith, this book will help you plan the most beautiful, most festive, and most responsible Christmas yet.
My Review:
I could literally dive into this book and not come out until next Christmas. There are great green decorating ideas, which use a lot of natural ingredients, which means you will spend next to nothing to make them.  I love seeing some of the things we do regularly in our home, in there and knowing that we were being green without even knowing it. Like the cinnamon sticks used to help scent the tree is an awesome idea that my mom has used for years.

It is chuck full of green decorating tips, greenery ideas, table top settings, how to decorate the tree, recipes and ideas for great gifts, and even a green christmas recipe section. It's like Martha Stewart meets Sara Snow or even more like a Sara Snow christmas how to book.

I'm in love dear readers and can't wait until I can use this next christmas to do even more awesome decorating and dinner plans!!! I got so many ideas of what I wanted to do this year I made myself dizzy

It's a definite library addition for anyone who is looking to make christmas more about home and family, and save some dollars while saving the planet.

So put it on your list for next year or even sooner so you can plan a greener Yule and christmas time.
Happy Reading & Be Blessed


Book Review:


The Night Before Christmas  an anthology by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love,, Jill Shalvis, Kylie Adams and Katherine Garbera


Did i mention I love chick lit and erotica?? NO?? Well here is one of my favorite Christmas books to read. These little novellas are so erotic and sexy, makes me want to really be bad right before Christmas. 


The first story is by Lori Foster, and it finds Detective Parker Ross, doing his best to resist the charms of the local holiday fanatic Lily Donaldson.  He's literally the grinch that tries to resist the charm and lore to christmas.  But a decision to intervene and help Lily; puts the two together on christmas eve, and Lily does her best to change the grinch into a believer. This is a fun quick story that tries to get to the heart of what christmas should mean, and even though i have read it several times, I always tear up at the end.  


Snowed Under by Erin McCarthy is a pretty good story, about a childhood crush that blooms into a very adult love story, which Justin does his best to resist because the love interest is his best friends' kid sister. And leaves Claire with the daunting task of convincing this man that age is nothing but a slight number on a linear scale. I loved this one too, because Clair is bold and goes for what she wants, and generally gets her man.


Ms.Humbug by Jill Shalvis, Cami is in the bathroom when she notices a pair of shoes that belong to the man she is dating.A city counsel man who is moving at snail pace int he beginning relationship, but here on the christmas party is getting down with someone else, she is furious to say the least. But she gets her revenge by hooking up with an even sexier man, a man she used to butt heads with on the city counsel. He makes her see the advantage of deviating from a plan and he learns that sometimes passion comes in an unexpected neurotic woman who will turn out to be the right woman.  


I'll be home by Kathy Love is a story of ex-lovers and another chance at the life they may have had. Nothing like a snow storm, a canceled flight, and a car rental mix-up to stick you with someone you would rather not be with. and this time Rob and Erica have no other choice but to be together until they reach home, except Rob thinks Erica is getting married Christmas morning. Ohh boy!! Nothing like a silent car filled with all the words and memories of past floating around.


Seducing Scrooge by Katherine Garbera. Krista decides to take a gamble on Jackson her boss who is a workaholic. Krista, seizes the day and kidnaps her boss, in an attempt to make him realize the spirit of christmas.


The good girl's guide to a very bad christmas by Kylie Adams. Peri makes her bad girl list of things to do, it blows into the hands of walking sex on a stick , and he decides to help her make them come true. Bad girl list check, hot man check Enough said.


Enjoy these christmas treats
Blessed Be