Sunday, August 28, 2011

This Week I Am

Watching: the very first episode of Dr. Who ever! Wow, it was hokey.

Thinking: about the cats-- we had several very scary incidents involving feline redirected aggression between all 3 over the weekend... having to keep them isolated from each other...

Planning: for my brother and his girlfriend's upcoming visit next week-- where we'll go, what we'll see & do together

Reading: actually re-reading Sings the Nightbird by Robert McCammom, a really excellent book

Listening: to cats complaining because they are isolated from each other & their humans, for the most part

Realizing: its only 5 days until my L'il Bro is here for a visit-- much to do to get the house ready!

Trying: to remain optimistic that our kitty family will work though this difficulty and be able to remain together

Feeling: very worried & anxious about the cats & tired from 4 fairly sleepless nights

Friday, August 26, 2011

Feline Friday: Moose Belly Naps

Our Moose has the fuzziest, softest, fattest belly-- so snorgleable! But Moose doesn't voluntarily allow ANYONE to snorgle his belly...

... which of course doesn't stop Dot at all.

In the beginning, she *did* have to work her way up to it, by sleeping as near as possible to the object of her desire on many occasions...

... but nowadays she just snuggles right in, no pretenses about it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

This Week I Am

Watching: dark clouds rolling in... and away... leaving nary a drop of rain...

Thinking: there's no place like home

Creating: a pagan art journal page about the herb lavender

Planning: what I need & want to accomplish on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Reading: Shadow Valley, sequel to Great Sky Woman, which I just finished-- both by Steven Barnes

Listening: to my cats purr-- they're happy their humans are home again; and also listening to Journey (of course!) while I craft

Realizing: it's getting dark waaaaayyy too early in the evenings already

Trying: to get back on track with eating well after not eating so well while on vacay

Feeling: quite mellow... its quite lovely...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Inside Mother Earth

We're home from vacation in South Dakota! On our last day there, I braved my fears of heights and enclosed spaces and visited Sitting Bull Crystal Cave-- and it was amazing.

To get to the cave, we descended 187 steps that were so steep we had to go down them backwards, like a ladder.

The Chandelier Room ceiling

When we reached the bottom and went along a short passage that opened up into a huge underground room that looked as though we were standing inside a giant geode.

Close-up of a crystal cluster on the ceiling.

Calcite formations known as dog-tooth spars covered the ceiling, the walls and floor of the cave.

Some of the spars reached 16 inches in length. Those above were bigger than my hand.

Some of the calcite layers were different colors from iron and other minerals, which created formations like this "eye" shape in one wall...

... and stripes like in the Rainbow Arch.

My photos don't even begin to do justice to the underground beauty I saw. I could have stayed down there so much longer than we did (the tour was about 45 minutes). I was awe struck, it was so amazing.

And to me, it felt sacred as well. I was very aware that I was in the womb of Mother Earth, so to speak. I would have loved to have had a moment alone, to express my reverence to the Lady, to give thanks for the experience. I did so silently, and hoped the acknowledgment that I knew I was within sacred space was enough.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Feline Friday: Is it Friday Yet?

Moose says, "Dude, I am TELLING you..."

"I am NOT coming out 'til its Feline Friday... oh, wait... hehehehehe. Forgot to check my calendar."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Decorated Journals

Here is what's in the works on my craft table right now:

I am putting together some decorative tiles for a couple of journal covers. Below is one of the journals finished:

Not the best pics, but you get the idea. I may add a few beads on ribbons for bookmarks as well, have to see how it looks.

What's on your craft table this week?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kuan Yin Mantra Meditation

I have had an altar to Kuan Yin for many years now. I've felt drawn to her, but haven't really known what to do to develop that connection, until recently.

Last month I went to a pagan retreat in the mountains. One evening while I was there, a small group of about 8 or so gathered at my camp and my friend Amaset shared with us about the Kuan Yin mantra meditation she's been doing for some time now. After she explained some basics, she handed out malas for those who wanted to use one and we all chanted Kuan Yin's mantra, Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pusa, in the gathering darkness.

Something about that experience really touched me, meant something to me, felt powerful and magical. I felt a definite connection with Kuan Yin, with the peace and comfort she embodies. Since returning home I've practiced chanting her mantra quite a few times using a small sandalwood wrist mala I have. I can't put my finger on why exactly, but this practice is very appealing to me.

I also recently acquired the book that my friend recommended, Mantra Meditation: Change Your Karma with the Sacred Power of Sound by Thomas Ashley-Ferrand. If I'm going to continue this practice, I should know more about what I'm doing, right? Perhaps I've found the daily meditation practice that I've been looking for.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Two Months Growth

Wow, what a difference only 2 months has made with my herb garden--

It's actually beginning to look quite lush! I wasn't expecting that, considering I just replanted this year.

The sage, lemon balm and periwinkle are growing like a house afire and the apple blossom yarrow, thyme and lavender are doing quite nicely, too. Now it might look as though the chamomile (by the turtle) isn't doing so well, but actually about this time of year its done blooming. Sometimes in late September a new batch grows up again and blooms, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that its self-seeded and I'll see it again-- if not this season, then in the spring.

Everyone is doing nicely on this side of the garden, too. Sometime after my last garden update I planted foxglove, hyssop and comfrey on this side. If I'd known that comfrey (big and leafy in the right front corner) was going to get so big in diameter, I'd have planted it further back! I still have 2 more spaces to fill, I might do another foxglove along the back of the fence-- or move the comfrey; and as for the other space... hmmm...

At any rate, I am quite thrilled to have my herb garden back again, its nice to go out and spend time with my little green friends.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Feline Friday: Shoulder Cat

The mister has taught Sassafras a little trick-- shoulder riding!

She was quite nervous when first learning to ride, but now as soon as he heads for the coat rack in the morning before leaving for work, Sassy races over to the back of the couch, purring while he puts on his jacket. Once he has it on, he bends over and she climbs from the back of the couch onto his shoulders, purring all the while.

He gives her lots of lovin' and then, if I'm still in bed, she gets a ride into the bedroom. When he bends down to kiss me goodbye, she hops off onto the bed. They are sooooo cute together!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Yep, another unplanned hiatus from blogging. Sorry about that. Full time work hours, camping up in the mountains for a pagan festival and then a chaotic trip back to Iowa & Wisconsin for a funeral, now recuperating and trying to reorient myself.

I really like this weekly check-in that Faye does at Aradia's Cauldron, hope its okay to borrow it to do my own check-in:

Watching: Pan's Labyrinth arrived from Netflix the other day, looking forward to watching it again (I saw it in the theatre when it came out). I remember it being strange, thought-provoking, sad and visually stunning.

Thinking: About the next few weeks ahead of me, what needs done for my shops, what needs done before vacay, what needs done right now.

Creating: Polymer clay decorated journal covers, pagan art journal circle pages. I am behind with both, need to play catch-up. Hate that.

Planning: Gathering recipe and decorating ideas for a witches' tea party I have planned for next month's full moon.

Reading: A Cast-Off Coven: A witchcraft mystery by Juliet Blackwell and Learning the Tarot: A book for beginners by Joan Bunning. The first book is some fun, rather mindless fluff; the second has great info, especially on wording questions for tarot and on interpreting Celtic Cross spreads, with which I am becoming quite fond of using.

Listening: Lately, Queen's Greatest Hits has been on my iPod a lot. At this very moment, I'm listening to the pounding of hammers as the neighbors have a new roof put on their house.

Realizing: Already the days are getting shorter. Where did summer go?

Trying: To get myself organized. Strange how an unplanned week away can make everything feel so up in the air for so long. Now I have to remember-- what was I doing before we left? Where do I start from here?

Feeling: Lots of back pain these last couple of days, trying to take it easy and not let it depress me. Chiro app't next week, hope I can make it until then.