Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Finally, snow! Weather! Yay!

It's only a dusting, but there must have been ice, because vehicles are having trouble making it up and down my hilly street. We're near the bottom. I can see that cars are driving probably fine on the highway, but the 1/4 mile it would take for me to get to the highway would be an issue. It's slippery out there, seems like.

There's a AAA tow truck outside our driveway. I think it's for someone in the building, but not sure. The tow truck pulled backward into the driveway and had trouble getting back out, with his tires turning and not getting any traction.
It's finally seasonal! It's not inches and inches like NPR said it was going to be, but I'll take it.

I don't get people complaining about the weather. I have caught my ownself doing it, but I'm getting better.

Weather falls under Things We Cannot Change, and I'm a big fan of the Serenity Prayer. I'm working on getting better at following it. Super simple, but not easy! 

In case y'all are not familiar, here it is:

"God/dess, grant me the Serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference."

See? Hard as the Wiccan Rede-- which, for a religion having one "rule", is not easy. Try it.

Here is the Wiccan Rede, if you're unfamiliar with that, too:

"An' it harm none, do as ye will."

Remember, "none" includes yourself. See? Because if you are not saying a simple "thank-you" to a compliment, for instance, brushing it off and saying "but...", then you are dissing yourself and that's harming. I'm trying not to go "ugh" at every photograph taken of me. Because harm.

Right now I am white-lighting the tow truck and the AAA guy and my neighbor. 
I'm practicing gratitude for those folks who go out in weather to help people, even if they do get paid for it, because they signed up for the job to begin with, so they deserve my prayers and gratitude. 

It's a day for staying in and eating soup. Drinking tea, or coffee. Being homely-- as in, doing home things. Hibernating. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Blessed Yule!

The Winter Solstice has just passed, yesterday morn, and my boy and I are here in Virginia Beach to celebrate Christmas with my family of origin.

It's going to be eighty degrees tomorrow, Christmas Eve. EIGHTY. Eighty is not normal this time of year, even for Virginia.
I think it's to be near 70-something in Worcester, MA. 70-something for sure is not normal for this time of year in Massachusetts.
This frightens me. I know there are plenty of fluctuations in the weather over the years, but I just do not see how people can deny that humans and their machines have any influence on the planet. Any? None at all? How could that be?? We are making such a mess of our little blue world, and so many folks in charge seem to care so very little.

Anyway...in my own little world, I had so much joy and introspection and focus and BE HERE NOW with Joanna Powell Colbert's 30 Days of Hecate online course, that I decided to take the 30 Days of Yule, too. Here is a link to her page where her e-courses are, if I can do it right: http://www.gaiansoul.com/work-with-me/ecourses/

It's nice...well, more than nice, it's necessary... to take some intentional time, especially this time of year, to turn inward, to hibernate, to eat soup and bundle up on the couch, or in my bed under the covers, to watch movies or read books. We're not supposed to be doing all this glittery holiday stuff, with company and parties and buying and shopping and commercials and loudness. It's grating on the nerves, and it's no wonder people get SAD (seasonal affective disorder, not actually sad) this time of year, because I think we're going against our natural inclinations to hide. I think it very possibly has very little to do with the need for sunshine. Because there's often plenty sunshine when it's cold or snowy.

And actually, all this warmness, that's contrary too, to what this part of our world is supposed to be doing at this time of year.

I'm glad we're getting to see family, though. We're only getting to see them once a year, now, and so I make the journey South with intention, because I love them. Yay for family! Yay Yule! Yay Christmas!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wild Life

Someone posted in my online class about her Urban Wildwood backyard, and it made me think of mine. I have an Urban Wildwood, too.

I live in a city now, and there's not much green space in my section of it. I mean...there are trees, true, but not like....I mean, in Asheville, there's so much green there I don't know how they built a city in the midst of it and still retained the greenness of it.

But here, it's a city, a "real" one, an ugly mess of concrete and steel and sidewalks and trains and traffic and litter. Unless you choose to focus elsewhere, and that's doable, but hard.

My back "yard" is a tiny space held in by a concrete wall. In that space is one giant pine tree and a bunch of smaller trees. There's vines and pine straw and a little bit of grass here and there, and some bare spots.
There's a ton of wildlife for such a small space!

There's gray squirrels. LOTS of them. Some of them must be getting on in years, like me, because their tails are gray. My tail is not, thank all the gods, but my head hair is starting to grow glitter out of it.

There's cats. I think there's only one from last year that survived the winter, but we have named her Shmoo. She's a small black cat. She had 4 kittens that are now bigger than she is. I haven't seen all of them around in awhile, but there's one that has stuck around.

There's a TON of birds. I am on the first floor so I am lucky enough to live right under all that tree canopy, and I also have a bird feeder right at the edge of my porch, and our kitty likes to look out the window at all those potential kitty snacks on the bird feeder. We get chickadees, which is the MA state bird, and we get blue jays, which I heard are relatives of crows, and we get I think what are nut hatches, and I have seen a cardinal or two every now and again.

Last year we had a skunk-- silly thing, with short legs like a dachsund, long hair, and a waddle-- what a funny guy he was!

My neighbor said she saw raccoons, but I have not seen any.

I had a neighbor's girlfriend early this summer who said I reminded her of Snow White, with all the animals around me unafraid. What a compliment! I'll take it.

My little wild space in the backyard of my city. I don't think anyone else ever notices back there but me. I'm super, super grateful to have it.

Monday, October 26, 2015


I signed up for 30 Days Of Hecate with Joanna Powell Colbert. It was only $20 and I thought...why not? I really could stand to save the money, but heck, this is for ME, and it's a thoughtful way of connecting to the season.

Today's journal prompt, Day 1:
At what crossroads do you stand? How might you call on Hecate to be your guide?

I think...I had to think about this. I stand at several crossroads. I view crossroads as decision-making (Do I do this or that? What's next?) and every decision, every path has a parallel universe. A What-If path.

I have many (crossroads, decisions, pathways to choose from) at any given time, but right now I am thinking I am at a crossroads of my life. I am between Mother and Crone. On Saturday (Samhain/Halloween), if I don't spot, which I haven't yet, I am officially through menopause. Which, physically, means I'm Croned. Yet because I started so late with pregnancy (41yo), I am still very much in Mothering mode. Somehow, though, I am identifying more and more with Crone goddesses...Hecate. Baba Yaga. 

I am not afraid of death. I am not at all afraid of getting older. I look at my body with wonder and awe and abject fascination. It's wrinkly. The skin is thinner, and it hangs. I see a very different visage when I look in the mirror than when I am photographed. I'm appalled because I feel the same as my 40 year old self, yet I look (in my eyes) much, much older. My gray is starting to come in more. I have downy fuzz on my face. I have a mole that now grows four hairs out of it. It used to grow one, then two, now four. My Witch-mole. I'm getting older. It's so weird.

This is not a choice between this road or that. I can, however, choose my attitude with which to take the path. I choose acceptance, not resistance. I choose fascination. I hopefully choose wisdom. I can't wait for each day. It's an exciting journey!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I wanted to post a new picture, but I can't figure out how. Yet. I haven't changed all that much, being's I'm nearly 56 and when people are adults, I don't think they change all that much, generally. Unless they lose or gain a ton of weight (which I have-- I should figure out how to load up my fat picture) or when they grow, like....thirty years older than the last pic.
I digress. I look nearly the same. I think I'm more wrinkly, in photos, but perhaps I'm being picky about myself. As humans are wont to do.

So...Friday, two days ago, they cut down a tree across the way from me. And gave another one a massive haircut. I was very nearly sick to my stomach for the whole day. I had to shut the curtains in broad daylight so I couldn't see. I could still hear the chain saws, though. Now I have this ugly stump out there to look at-- the gaping wound of the corpse of my beautiful oakey friend. It's horrible, and devastating, and I can hardly talk about it or think about it, so mostly I don't, but I had to mention it because it just blows my mind how people-- most people-- think of trees as "just trees". Or animals, too, "It's just a dog", or "It's only a cat" or whatever.
To me, everything matters.
Trees matter.
Trees matter in a HUGE way. We breathe in, they breathe out. They breathe in, we breathe out. That is often a meditation of mine: We breathe in, they breathe out. They breathe in, we breathe out.

More later. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Good morning, choochoo train! I can see the trains right outside my window. I love trains. I have lived near trains all my life.

Out my window, you see: first the street, then the highway, then the train tracks, all parallel, one and then the next. Some folks would hate that. I feel like I have my eye on the world. Beyond all those, is the hill, behind which is Holy Cross college. I can't see the college in the green season, except for the very tippy-tops of the buildings, so sometimes I can pretend it's mountains. It's lovely that I get up mostly before sunrise, even on the weekends, because the Sun glints over the very tops of the trees as He rises.

It's a balmy 48*F this morning, here in Worcester, Massachusetts. I am loving it. I'm sitting here in the silence, with my fuzzy green dinosaur jammie pants on, and a flannel shirt, and big knee-high fuzzy socks. And a big mug of steaming coffee, with frothed milk, in a mug that depicts pumpkins and colored oak leaves. I'm so happy.

And, it's Caturday! Today I am going to replace the screens in some of the windows with the storm windows, maybe, and take out the air conditioners.
I have about a week left of dieting, and then....crock pot! Soups! Stews! Chilis!

Have I mentioned how much I love this season?

The world is going to hell in a handbasket...sigh. I'm doing my best to keep my little corner of it clean, and kind, and bless it-- happy.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Oh, my very favorite season. My friend Heather, as far as I know, coined the term Septober. I love it. Well...honestly I don't know if she made it up herself, but she passed it on to me.

Mostly it's still been H.O.T., but I have been feeling Fall in my bones for a week or two, now. Yesterday, I looked out my window, and watched the dead oak leaves whirl and dance in our little parking lot. The leaves have not yet started to turn. They must be from last year? But there they were, frolicking in the wind.

Today, I watched the itty bitty birds-- I think they are house sparrows-- pecking at tiny tidbits only they could see, out in the street.

I think my favorite part of being a Witch is intentional Paying Attention. My fancy gets caught by things most people don't seem to notice-- a change in the wind, birds, clouds, patterns. I'm learning, watching, all the time. Sometimes I get busy with the mundane, as we all do, but when I remember, all it takes is a shift of attention, and...bam! Magic happens.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

FLEAS. Oh, ugh.

August is only 2 days into being over. OVER. Yay! One (hopefully) more week of 90+ degrees. Summer's last blast. I am a little bit wistful, because we didn't do anything summery. No picnics, no beach. The Boy didn't want to, True Love is insanely sun-sensitive (as in he gets blisters from just 15 minutes! Ack!), and I really didn't much feel like doing things alone. Though I could. I should've.

Soon as I posted my last post, I picked up another client for 10 hours a week, and might get more with her, so yay hours! The downside: they have indoor/outdoor kitties, and I brought home an unwelcome hitchhiker: fleas. Oh, dear lords and ladies, no.
Years and years ago, my then-boyfriend and I had a HUGE, huge flea infestation. Our friend ended herself up homeless for a stretch, and we agreed to take care of her two cats, but no animals allowed in the off-season summer cottage we were renting, so they stayed out in the wooded area behind the house, and came back for food. In this itty bitty cottage with hardwood floors, we got a giant flea infestation.
I counted the bites on my one leg between the knee and foot, and there were over 100 bites. I had just as many on the other leg, bites on my thighs, booty, belly, boobages, arms, neck.
My boyfriend wore these giant motorcycle boots that came to his knees. After work, in order to get ready to go out clubbing, I had to put these boots on outside the door, jump on a chair indoors, change into my going-out clothes, jump back out the door, put my own boots on, in order to not get bit.
We tried everything. The fleas seemed to get immune to every remedy we tried.
I went to a vet, who said, "I don't know, but you better figure it out, or you are going to get hospitalized".
Needless to say, I'm just a bit idgity about fleas. Plus, we have Hobbes now, our giant lovely boy-kitty, who just turned 9, and he is itchy, too, poor boy. He's an indoor kitty only. I feel awful.
I guess this week is going to be Get Rid Of Fleas Week. Ugh.
This is worse than when we ended up with two months of passing lice back and forth, three years ago.

Gawd, I know we're sharing the planet with all sorts of critters, but I wish the itchy ones would LEAVE US ALONE. Shoo, critters. Go 'way.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

So now here it is just after Lammas, and once again I am a woeful slacker. I forgot I even had a blog, for a little while.

We just got back from Asheville for a summer vacation. Got to the top of NC, just below the TN border, and even The Boy yells out "We're home!"

Ahh....sigh. Yeah. I miss the mountains terribly. And Asheville is my heart home. I did not realize how acutely I miss those mountains. One day... one day I will be back.

It won't be for lots of years, probably. The Boy got into the most prestigious high school in the area, and I am so proud of him. SO proud! This, if you haven't noticed, is my giant PROUD MAMA MOMENT, so hush about, and let me enjoy it. President Obama himself ASKED...asked, I tell you, they didn't ask him, he asked them...to speak at the commencement of this high school last year. It has a 96% graduation rate. It's a technical high school with some twenty-six majors and they have hands-on and they have apprenticeships.

But I digress...my point being, we will be here for at least the next four years, if not beyond, because I am going to see my kid graduate from this high school, but also the political climate in NC is just in the dang toilet. Last year when we went back...even the kids don't have health insurance anymore. It's such a beautiful place, and it is so decrepit and corrupt now, which is beyond sad. My friends there are all so angry, and I do not blame them.
Having the steeply discounted grocery stores is fun, but it does not make up for no health insurance. And they are now a necessity for so many, because they allow people to free up just a little money (hopefully) in case someone gets sick.

Me, now, I bumped slightly (financially) out of the free version of MA health insurance, because of more hours at work, so I had to get another tier of insurance that I pay for....and then I lost all those hours. I mean all this in a month. I have to buy dental now, too. Which, I am not complaining because there isn't any insurance at all to be had in NC, without paying hundreds out the nose each month, and this is altogether less than $100/month....but I just lost all those hours, so dang.

I'll figure it out. I know it will all work out. I know it will. But I did not go into the lottery to chance being John Barleycorn at the Lammas ritual anyway, just in case.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I have put this blog on the back burner and I really have to not. I just wonder if people get bored hearing about the weather.

So, it's nearly the end of May, already! Wherever does the time go? I suspect it's that thing about getting older and time going faster...I had a theory about that when I was rip-roaring drunk, years ago, and what scared me is how it still held water after I sobered up. Yikes. It had to do with the theory of relativity...but it's too early to get my brain warping that much ;)

As a Pagan, my calendar is a bit skewed from the secular calendar. I believe Midsummer (around 23 June, Litha) is MID-summer, and that's why it is called MID-summer, because it's the middle, duh, not the beginning like our calendar says. That being said, then, Beltane is the beginning. Of summer. So it's been summer here in Massachusetts for twenty-six days, now.

And while the temperature still hasn't much hit 80* yet (yay me! I'm not dying of heat!), all the trees are in bloom, the daffodils and tulips have come and gone. Bad me, I planted my Easter gift daffodil bulbs in the back yard during the rising moon. I am no gardener, bad Pagan me, but I think if they are bulbs they should have been planted on the waning? But I just couldn't wait to get them in. And see if they come up next year.

Today it is supposed to get to 85*. Which is above my limit of tolerable. But I suspect that in Asheville it's been 85* for a month or more. I don't cotton well to hot, so it's all good, being hot for much less time up here, not to mention I don't have the air conditioner window units in, yet. It's nice to sit here at 6:30am and have the windows open, enjoying the 62* breeze.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I think this is the first time since, oh, forever? That I am just the teeniest bit anxious for warmer weather. Well, no....not warmer so much, but sunnier and greener. It was nearly 70* the other day, and that's very nearly my max outdoor temperature where I can still maybe wear long sleeves, and wear fuzzy dinosaur pants indoors. Okay, I admit I also have fuzzy Hello Kitty pants, but hush now-- I love Hello Kitty, and I'm sure lots of you do, too, and I promise I won't tell.

So here it is the 23rd of April and I still have not taken off the plastic that's on the three windows, and I still have my flannel sheets on, and I still have all four blankets including the wool one. It's very cozy at night....except that I am croning, actively, and a couple times in a night, I have to throw off all those blankets until the sweat dries and I'm freezing and I can snuggle down in again.

There's buds! There's buds! The trees have baby colors on the edges of them. I'm so excited. I saw a willow over at Elm Park today, near the pond, and I am SO going over there to see if she has dropped a stray branch for me.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I knew it, I knew it! It's SO Spring. It snowed today and I was like yeah, so what, it's not "real". Heehee! Now it's bright and sunny and very, very pretty out. I just went out barefoot to check my mailbox.

The other day? I put my bare tootsies on the Earth for the first time since Winter commenced! There's no grass yet, up here. No green. But I could tell. Things are stirring, deep in the Earth. I heard Asheville already has buds on the trees. I remember from living there, that they're about an hour behind here, for sunrises and sunsets, and about a month off for seasons. I'm so confused, still, by frost-free dates and such.

I am so glad I have been mostly keeping up my grounding and shielding every morning. I do mine in the shower. Where do you do yours? I honestly would love to have the patience to do altar time, and ground and shield there, but I don't, and plus, my altar is way on top of my upright dresser, so, until I get another surface where I can put an altar and not have to practically tiptoe to see it....this will have to suffice.

It's so funny to hear people talk about the Equinox as "The first day of Spring". Um, no. It's the MIDDLE of Spring. Which is why, for instance, Midsummer is called, duh, MID summer and not The First Day of Summer. Whose silly idea was it to arrange the secular calendar like that?

Anyway. I think this is the first time in years and years I have looked forward to the changing of the seasons to the warm seasons. You betcha I will complain about the superheat of Summer, but for now? I am reveling in the warming of the planet, here in my new little corner of the Northeast.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Spring is on its way, I am sure of it. I can smell it. I can feel it in my very fiber. And for the first time in years and years, I am looking forward to it.

Because of all the snow, I'm guessing. We didn't have that in Asheville. Much. I hear they got hit with a bit of storming, lately, though! I think it's fun when the whole city shuts down.

My family, and many people I know, would have it 80* and sunny all.the.time. If they could. Heck, not me. I love winter. Summer is my very least favorite season, but I am going to learn to appreciate summer this year if it kills me!

I saw a whole flock of crows today, cawing their little heads off. I love crows. LOVE them, and they make me so happy. I wonder what kind of omen it may have been to have a whole couple of dozen of them above my head as I came out of work? There is nothing so nifty looking as the silhouette of crows, sitting on the brances of a bare tree in the winter.

I have noticed that I notice things, such as sounds, of crows, of trains-- I stop and listen. They make me perk up my ears. I wonder do other people do that, but I think they probably go through life with blinders on, and earplugs. I would like to think they do not.

Ramble, ramble....I do apologize for my blathering, this time. I shall try to be more coherent in future!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

It is past the middle of February. Here in Worcester, MA, we are buried in snow, and I think I heard that more is on the way.

Coming out of our driveway, the snowbanks are so high on both sides, and across the street at the car wash entrance, that it feels like we live in an old fashioned icebox. Snow mountains as far as the eye can see. The roads have been reduced to one lane. It's crazy.

I am still in hibernate mode.

And yet, I can feel Spring. I detect the small stirrings and whisperings of life, far beneath the frozen ground. I know it's imminent.
People think I am nuts if I mention this-- I read one account that said this is the snowiest winter on record, for this area, since they've been keeping records. Some 120 years.

And I'm happy. Totally, completely happy. I think I chose my name (WinterHeart) rightly. I would not want too much of it, mind you-- but four seasons, weather-appropriate, I can deal with.
Plus, it's fun to be so mind-boggled with all this snow.

My tendencies run to gratitude. For living indoors, first and foremost, and for heat (however inadequate my apartment heat is), and for running water. Especially for water.

I tire of people grumbling about the weather. As if it's anything under our control! Me, I work on contentment for What Is. Spring will happen when it happens, and then I will be ready. But not before.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

And...here it is, 3 weeks after my last post. The hibernating time got crunched all of a sudden with Things To Get Done, such as Yule and Christmas, and all of a sudden HERE THEY WERE and I WAS NOT READY.

Actually, I was more ready than I've been in past years. I wanted to get all my gifting done before Thanksgiving so that I could Enjoy The Season, but honestly? I had much done by then, though disorganized, and I was Enjoying The Season the whole time. I didn't lay around watching movies, but I did relax a lot more in my head, which is where it counts, anyway.

I had a huge Hibernating Mentality. And I still do, though now that I am only working 10-1/2 hours a week for now, I will be hopefully able to get all my appointments out of the way, and Hibernate a lot more. I love this season. LOVE.IT. I'd give anything if the powers that be would put Daylight Savings Time back to where it used to be, instead of expanding it to nearly 9 months of the whole dang year, but that's another rant for another time...heavy sigh.
Y'know, I think Mom Nature does a fine job all by Herself, making it darker in Winter and lighter in Summer...but that's me. Being the humans that we are, it's just our nature to flub it up more, I guess.

So...in-between times...New Year's...I don't do parties, and I don't stay up late, and I don't do resolutions, but I do have traditions that carry me through this liminal time like I do for other In Between times.

What I did this year is to leave bright shiny pennies on my two doorsteps, for prosperity, and I let the old year out one door, and the new year in the other door, right at midnight.

On New Year's Day I cooked pork (for living high on the hog) and collards (for green money) and black eyed peas (for coin money), and cornbread (for gold), and I chose my Word For The Year, like my Pagan Mama group has been doing for ages.
My Word this year is Consider. As in, consider that others have opinions and ideas that are not mine. That I am not the boss of them. That they have their own higher power and it is not me. That much as I would like to think I do sometimes, I do not rule the world.

Happy New Year! What are your traditions?