Friday, January 29, 2010

The Queen of Cups

(She is from the Druidcraft Tarot)

In the Celtic tradition, water symbolizes the subconscious, the eternal knowledge, the spirit that resides just underneath our daily doings...this is why the Salmon is sacred...it traverses this knowledge, it lives in this understanding and can tell us what we need to know...
The Queen of Cups tells of a woman who can see beneath the surface. A woman who rests in her knowledge of what she glimpses. She goes to the water and dips in her cup. She sips from it. She closes her eyes and understands.
There is no need to rush. What must happen comes as surely as the Moon cycles through her images.

What must be is reflected in that one single drop.
Being calm and assured of the right outcome, is the attitude it holds.
What clarity.

Spirit tells me that I am this Queen of Cups.
Why else am I drawn to the Springs? Why else do I dream of the sea? Why else do I love all things that hold?
Why else do I love to sit beside the water with my baskets and collect and dream and close my eyes? I listen to the calm that tells me, "All is right. All is as it should be."

How else can I manage to calm my dreamer's heart into assurance that all that I envision will iron out in just the way it should?
This Queen of Cups is taking deep breaths, pushing away the fear of what might "not" happen, girding her heart and saying, "I know this. I know what I want. I know how to make decisions to make this happen." She kisses the Salmon and lets him go.
She sits under a full moon and begins her weaving (of a sort), and sips from a moonlit cup.
She knows what the "or better" might mean...courage, my love, courage.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Openness


I dream of light and openness. I dream of muddy roads that run for miles and miles in the open air, with green growing fields on one side of me and freshly threshed wheat fields on the other. I dream of looking out my bedroom window and seeing the sunrise, every single morning. I dream of goats in my yard that run to see me and pull at my pants legs. I dream of a pig I could ride if I wanted to, but wouldn't. I dream of a garden full of healing herbs. I dream of a warm summer wind snapping the sheets on my laundry line.
I dream of a yellow house. I dream of chickens pecking around the front yard, under the laundry line. I dream of sprinklers chook-chook-chooking every night, all summer long.
I dream of light.
I dream of openness.
I pray for it. I ask for it...
or something better.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Be still my Celtic Heart

It's true...I didn't take these pictures. They come courtesy of wiki-pedia...
They are both from Scotland, in the Hebrides (pronounced HEB-ri-deez), which are the broken up little islands (an archipelago) along the west of Scotland.
The first is the Callanish Stone Circle, which, according to my latest issue of National Geographic, were created and in use before the Great Pyramid in Egypt was begun...can you imagine??!!
I certainly can see ancient Druids chanting and reveling here...


This is the entrance to a FABULOUS looking cave called Fingal's Cave...the "candle-stick" formations comprise the entire inside of the cave as well...I can't believe how much the geologist in me want to see and feel these rocks...
I wonder what the ancient peoples thought of this place. I'm sure it was one of wonder and mystery.
Maybe I haven't mentioned it before (yeah right) but I love Nature...I listen to it, I watch it,I study it, I learn her names and her moods and wait in wonder at the beauty of such simple things as wetting a dirty rock to see what color it really is...to see such things as these makes my heart go pitter-pat.

Scotland pulls me in, in it's untamed wildness, and open rolling green and water water water...
and of course, its standing stones and mysterious caves.




Saturday, January 23, 2010

That's My Girl!

My daughter, all dressed up to go to town, went outside to put the chickens away...

"Come here, Momma!"
"Oh, you're fast!!"
"I'm putting the chickens away, mommy. Is that okay?"
"Yup, sure thing...thanks honey."
"Ooooppsy...where are you going?"
I ain't goin....you're gonna hafta come get me.
"Now she knows what we're tryin' to do, ma! I'm just gonna put you in your house, okay...you'll be...oooooof (flap flap flap)...alright"
"Good chickens...see...it's okay."
"There...all in, mommy. I picked her up. I like picking her up."
"Yes, good job! I'm so proud of you! Not afraid of any old chickens, huh. Good job."

How'd I do it?


I've had a couple of questions about my banner, and I wondered if more of you wondered as well, so thought I'd post a quick one to let you in on a SECRET:
Google has a free (and REALLY GREAT) program called
Picasa 3
And one of the features is to make about 6 different kinds of collages with the pictures you are editing. It was so fun, I spent the better part of a Sunday playing with it when I first found out about it. When you save your project, save it this way: "Export Picture to Folder" and at that point you'll be able to make it whatever size you want...I think that most blog banners are around 800 pixels or 700 pixels wide...I don't remember exactly, but you can play with it and make it just the size you want.
We love google so much in our family (check this out...FREE!!! http://docs.google.com/?pli=1#)
that my husband says if there was a Google church, we'd probably go to it :) haha.
have fun, Dagmar and Sarah!



Monday, January 18, 2010

just under the surface

In one of the classes I help out in, the children are learning about the Renaissance.
What strikes me most is the explosion of learning and creating...
I think I am longing for a long stretch of time in which I am neither tired nor occupied so that I may have a Renaissance of my own.

I have some artwork and poems bubbling up...lying just under the surface like the skin on warm milk...

for now, I settle for these late night binges of watching The Tudors...
I'll let you know how it goes with letting the bubbles out soon...
I also settle for letting you in on THIS PAGE.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Our Favorite Read Alouds


I had it on my mind and want to set it down somewhere so we wouldn't forget...
I've read some wonderful books to my son and daughter over these last few years. Here are the best so far:
Above you'll see our latest...we are THOROUGHLY enjoying it, though only on chapter 9 (very short, manageable chapters). It begins with the promise of a wooden egg...later it hatches and out pops "Barkbelly." It is an interesting combination of "unsafe and fascinating" that we love. When bad things happen, they are bad things (i.e. someone gets bit "down to the bone" and has to have his leg amputated). It is utterly fascinating and keeps all four of us wondering what in the world will happen next. It made a permanent place in my heart for these lines:

"But those eyes...Beautiful though they were, they were full of sadness. And just for a moment Barkbelly had a vision of a forest. Of trees and snow. Secret, silent spaces. Wild freedom. And suddenly he knew what the urchin had last, because it was something he had lost too. But until that moment he hadn't known he had lost it."


This is amazing, heart-wrenching...my son even shed some tears over poor Edward Tulane's happy ending...Kate DiCamillo (Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Desperaux - we've read those, too!!) wrote this sweetest story. It was so touching, it made my FAVORITES list right away.

This is CLASSIC! My mama read it to my brother and I when we were little, and some scenes have stuck with me through my life (falling through the ice, getting his own little calves, wrecking the house while mom and dad were away, getting ice for the ice house...etc) My kids still remember these scenes, too! Gotta love Little House on the Prairie...right??!!



We own every single one of these. This has to be the cutest little kitty cat you ever saw. He pretends he is a chihuahua...and goes on adventures in his closet. We all have fallen in love with him and laugh at how cute he is until we have tears in our eyes. Skippy Jon Jones is a bedtime staple at our house...at least once a week we pull out Skippy Jon (I do ALL the voices, and my son says he prefers when I read it to him, as opposed to both the librarian and his school teacher...ooopsy for them, coooool for mom. :)
www.skippyjonjones.com - get ready for the cutest website you ever saw!


I found this book about 3 years ago for my kids. It is absolutely essential, to my way of thinking. It is from the perspective of a little boy talking to his grandpa.
Grandpa is very wise and tells his grandson about all the different belief systems that have a version of the Golden Rule and why that is really the only law that counts...it is beautifully illustrated as well. Like I said, ESSENTIAL!!


Old Turtle and the Broken Truth was given to me by a good friend. I was taken aback by the ending and broke out in tears. It is so beautiful. I had to read it three times to let it sink in and then we had such a good discussion with the kidlets that I would say it pretty much sums up my spiritual beliefs...BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE, timeless and again, ESSENTIAL!!!

WOW...can I just say...WOW. This book is like nothing you've ever seen. The illustrations are wordless pages in the story. You HAVE to interpret/look at the illustrations to go along in the story. They are not just illustrating what was already written. Fascinating, different, enchanting...absolutely fabulous. It can go as deep as you'd like. My 4 and 7 year old LOVED it. They demanded I read it to them on a long camping trip. We were sad when it was done. It's a MUST READ, for sure.
I read this to my son, and he really loved it, but I made the decision not to read anymore so he could read them when he had the skills. Harry Potter books are instant classics, fabulously imaginative, beautifully detailed...fascinating...they hit that secret part of me that wants to be looking for magical creatures and chanting spells and waving wands...reading this to him was really unforgettable. It was one of the best read aloud times we've ever had. :)

We've also read Hatchet, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ribsy, Winnie the Pooh (the classic - adorable!).
Any suggestions for other beautiful, thoughtful books with a fantastical twist? We love those sorts.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Winter Refresher

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I always feel like the middle of winter needs to be used for refreshing oneself.
Spring is about gathering for me...not cleaning.
Winter calls for sparseness, simplicity, bareness.

I created a new fresh look for my blog that is very wintery...some of my favorite places and colors...all misted and encased in ice, watery blues and greens and browns...

The Goddess in her winter attire strews Enchantments at each step.
I notice each one and set them down here to share with you.

Happy wintering.

ReadWritePoem - Wordle


You may remember how much I love these writing prompts, and you may have noticed I've not done one in MONTHS...that part of my brain that "poetizes" is feeling neglected/neglectful/neglectisized...so here goes...
This is the prompt - use all/most/some/at least ONE of these words in a poem of my own creation:


what drew you in?
stones thrown into the froth
just a question
what makes you such an enthusiast?
she shouldered the simple question
by
drawing squiggles in the sand with her toes
just a question
thunking her thighs with handfuls of broken shells
If Hercules himself couldn't bear the brunt, how...
she felt sundered and undone
the question now floating like salt ribbons out onto the horizon
she couldn't hope to understand herself
then a glinting glimmer of a sparkle of shine blinded her left eye from a drop of incoming sea-coils
and she straightened and remembered
the answer


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Read beautiful poems and join the writing at
www.readwritepoem.org

Friday, January 15, 2010

If I were to love it...


If I were to happen to love Alice in Wonderland, I would love it looking THIS way:
This is at the top of my reading list now... on looks alone...that is a true Bibliophile: I love the look of a book as much as I love the content of a book.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Being Well: inside and inside


First...a wonderful little box I found at the local Habitat for Humanity thrift store: 52 sturdy, beautiful cards that have one gatha (short verse to memorize for contemplation during the day) for each moment in your day (even tooth brushing and taking out the recycling). I read number one and had to put it up right away. It is a sweet little amazing thought that I already ascribe to, but needed to be reminded of. I have the idea to put up where I can read it when I am seated across from belligerent, willful, difficult children during the day...yes, that would be a good thing...

Also...
I have a wonderful secret...a little tidbit of some of the most wonderful information you could have when you are blessed with a little boy who can count on one hand the food he willingly and eagerly devours...this is revolutionary...life changing stuff...
GREEN SMOOTHIES
About a year ago, this wonderful boy's mama got herself very sick and read a book called Green For Life since then (and very quickly) my two littles have found that they not only LOVE Green Smoothies, but they ask for them ... literally hopping on one foot and then the other waiting for their to be blended.
Amazing stuff, that.
How do I do it?
Positive thinking, excitement from mommy, finding yummy flavors, it takes away their tummy aches, it makes them feel good...
all of the above I suppose.
What to do? Well, we own a Magic Bullet, which makes one mug at a time...perfect. This one I filled halfway with frozen mango and 2/3 full with Odwalla Super Food. After that is blended, I added a HUGE handful of spinach...as much as I could stuff down into the cup. That blended...

as you plainly see...

My picky son eagerly drinks.
I make it with any fruit imaginable, any 100% fruit juice with no sugar added (not diet...fake sugar isn't good for you), and loads of spinach...which are loaded with more nutrients than any other food...wowee...can it be THAT good for you??!!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sorcerer's Cookbook

It just tickles me down in the bottom of my heart that I would have someone in my life who knows me well enough to have bought me such a beautiful book.
This book has the look and feel of a very old, well-used book of spells...and yet is it brand new.
It is called The Sorcerer's Cookbook, and it is full of quirky, funny little ideas of dishes to "brew" up that may have a desired effect...
This is the sweetest little page called "Catsfoot Flower Tea: How to make him purr with contentment" It looks as though little photos, drawings, plants and scraps of paper were taped in on the pages...
The engravings and woodcut illustrations are wonderful and rich.
Here is a spell for "Strawberry Jam and Balsamic Vinegar: An anti-stress remedy for the evening" ...I love the paragraph which reads:
"The strawberry is a delicious, vitamin-rich fruit that also contains magnesium, which is highly recommended for combating stress - a relatively common state when you're in love and have yet to declare your feelings. Instructions for use: 3 teaspoons of strawberry jam with balsamic vinegar of Modena, at snack time...which should provide the necessary dose of audacity for the evening."

This is wonderful reading for a foggy, cold Sunday evening near the fire and my old fuzzy kitty...ahhhhh the sorceress in winter: though she looks idle, she is filling her mind with new ideas.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Gilded in Ice

This was my world this Saturday morning...isn't it just beautiful?!
Even the deer netting was bejeweled with crispness.

frozen drippings

Hugged and weighted

Another kind of fence...beautiful encapsulations...do you not think so?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Slow and Steady

I work with children whose hearts are stony. Part of my job is to warm them, bring them to life, help them to care about the little things...it is an incredibly long progress, but there is progress none-the-less.
These injured children are barely clinging to the ideas of guilt and consequence.
They rarely invite themselves into the everyday; they seem to cling to naked trees on the edge of a misty clearing. Success comes in throwing clumps of dirt from high up in their bare branches, rather than glint-edged axes.
I step toward the boundaries of their clearings and coax at them, encouraging them forward. I bless their "pleases" and "thank-yous" as treasured possessions...gilded in gold as presents to me, no-less.
When they smile, I see light through the branches.
I've taken their hands and headed off on icy trails...trying to be confident enough for the two of us.
It came to me today...this is the slowest work, but the sweetest.
I warm and mend broken spirits for a living.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Wish Anew

Every day is new.
Each morning is one you have never seen before.
Every single sunrise is perfectly unique.
No matter what has happened in the days previous, you can begin again.
There should be a walk down the lane of possibility in the moments before you swing your legs out of bed.
Open your window and breathe in the brand new air; take it down deep in your lungs before you let it back out. Breathe out your prayers with it. Send your wishes dancing out...every single day...every...single...day...

This morning I sent out wishes for all of you: that you would touch the sky like a wondering child and find that it ripples like the surface of a glassy lake, that you would find one perfect wild strawberry and never be hungry again, and that you would look at the stars and find them glittering wildly about your neck.

Wish Anew Each Day.