Friday, October 08, 2010

I've fallen into Fall

phew! can it be October?! scary. I'm totally in denial about the whole thing. especially since it's been unseasonably warm in New England this year. well, most of the time.

I've been super busy at work for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (http://www.ncadv.org/). Lots of community presentations at nite and on weekends, etc. And I am going to the mothership of domestic violence prevention work, Minnesota, for a roundtable on service victims in extremely remote, rural areas. I'll be gone a week and then I'm looking forward to a quiet(er) Autumn if I dare to hope. At least I'll have a coupla weeks to savor the coming of Samhain (and even it's silly little sister, Halloween). Then here's to a quiet November!!!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Lammas!

This week finds us in Lammas, the ritual celebration of the harvest season. It is a time when our ancestors would be bringing in and saving the crops that would keep them alive for another winter and they were very happy about it! Hence Lammas is a time of joy and gratitude for what we have been given. This weekend I was enjoying fresh molasses bread and veggies from the farmer's market, which was a fairly literal way to commemorate the season!
Whether it makes sense to you to celebrate in a food/harvest centered way or not, Lammas is a good time for modern pagans to give thanks for what they have. Some suggestions for how to celebrate this season include:

harvesting and eating something from your garden

making or buying a fresh loaf of bread

tweaking your diet to focus on healthy choices that take good care of your body

donate time, money, goods, or etc. to a local food bank or co op

honor your own creativity (art, crafts, projects, etc. as well as food types of "harvest")


Check out listings on www.witchvox.com if you want to try and find Lammas events in your own area. Blessings and have fun!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Children's Chapel (more pics)




nice spirit orb to the left of the stairs on this one!

The Children's Chapel in Rockport


This area is not only gorgeous and magical but has great meaning for us because Mom helped build some of the features as a kid. Area children's groups like church groups and scouts, etc. traditionally do a lot of upkeep and new landscaping on the Children's Chapel grounds. Info on how to visit is here:





Camden

Calderwood Lane is named after our old family homestead, which the road passes by/through.
This was just a cool private residence where I turned the car around! I liked their gardens.
Public Lake access. Mom and Dubby had a cabin near here when Mom was a kid.
Public beach access in Camden where we used to swim when I was a kid (til a crab bit my toe!)
Mom made me take a lot of pics of the cows, which are Belted Galloways
Mt. Battie from afar

Memorial Pics: the Cemeteries

Mom's half brother, Glenwood (Dubby was his mom)
My great-grandparents. Francis was a Spriritualist Medium known for doing levitations at her seances!
I put an amethyst down for Francis
This is the cemetery Dubby is in
"Dubby"

Dubby's grave: we brought one set of flowers and our cousin Tricia obviously brought the other. Same color! I put a rose quartz under the forget-me-nots that stay planted there. The cemetery does not allow year round plants for mowing purposes so I like to leave things that way.

Memorial Pics: Our old House Lot

creepy coincidental street name
the actual lot
the tree Mom planted!

Memorial Weekend

Sigh. I have always enjoyed Memorial Weekend as a Maine holiday with lots of meaning: the small town parades (in which I used to ride my tissue paper decorated bike as a kid, or sometimes march as a girlscout), the picnics, the Spring flowers, and even the annual upkeep of the family graves. This is an emotionally loaded task for me but one I value. I don't have much of a relationship with my living relatives (except for my parents), but I do have an ongoing connection to many who have passed. And going to Mom's hometown of Camden (as well as the neighboring villages which also have meaning to us like Lincolnville and Rockport) with Mom is a hailstorm of family information. No matter how many times we do it I always learn something new.

This year we did one thing which is usually too emotionally difficult for both Mom and myself. We went by the site of our old house. Mom has lived in several parts of Camden and Lincolnville but in this case I mean the last house we owned as a family; the one my grandmother owned until her death. This was a raggedy little cottage on Limerock Street. My mom had planted a pine tree at the edge of the small lawn when they bought the property and I would hide in it's eventually-copious branches as a kid (somehow always believing my grandmother couldn't find me as she patiently stood underneath me an called my name until I got tired of the joke). My grandmother's name was Hester, by the way. I always called her Dubby because apparently that is what I called her when I first learned to talk and it took. My mom always referred to her as Dubby in my presence also, so I still think of it as her name even today.

There was a little brook behind the house which my grandmother and I used to walk on when it was frozen; winding a path through the woods to the corner grocery (named "Bilbo Baggins" Grocery by the Tolkien-crazed proprieter) for a pizza, pretzles, and a TV guide. I remember playing my Mom's old piano in this little house, scribbling with crayons in all my books, riding my hobby horse in front of the TV or dancing to Dubby's fave program (Lawrence Welk!).

Dubby died of a fairly rapid progression of cancer when I was eight years old. I was monumentously devastated. It still has ripple effects through my senses even today. For instance, any time I even drive by a funeral parlor or a hearse I smell that smell that I remember as I touched her embalmed hand in that casket. I was terrified to touch her and terrified because she could never wake up. I put a little, bejeweled cat pin in the casket with her. Dubby had 16 cats at one point and always had more than a few. Mom and I definitely inherited that quality from her.

Anyhow, we went back to the house lot this year. There is a new road from the corner of our old house lot and up to a series of modular homes. The new road is mysteriously dubbed "Linden Lane." We were braced to see a parking lot or house or some awful thing where ours used to stand but thank the goddess it was a vacant lot filled with lupin. The brook was still there, though dry right now (it had recently flowed so probably only dries seasonally). The pine tree and some remnants of our stone wall are still facing Limerock Street. I picked my way through the growth and had a moment under the tree. It was pretty intense for both Mom and me but I'm very glad we went.

So...that was the experience, and I also have a bunch of pictures. Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

catch up

gosh, it feels hard to blog these days! but things are fairly okay. one major issue lately has been the health of my familiar and furry soul-mate, Ophelia. I got Ophelia in Tennessee when I was in grad school at Vanderbilt. She and her sister, Sarah, are named after MinniePearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley-Cannon) who died the week I adopted them and whose name was prominent in the Nashville media at that time. That was summer of 1996 so, whether I want to admit it or not, my kitties are almost fourteen years old! in general they are very healthy but at her last exam the vet noticed that Ophelia had early stage thyroid tumors. they are benign in the cancer sense but they lead her thyroid to overproduce and that can cause heart problems as well as other systems to fail if it progresses too much. so the diagnosis was very scary but we are being proactive. I am taking O to the holistic vet in belfast and he has given her some supplements and diet changes that we hope will regulate her thyroid for a long time to come. anyone reading this send us good healing energy please! she's my girl.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

goin home

well, here it is Sunday morning and we are preparing for the journey home. it's been a great trip and its been fun to share it! see you soon. :0)


orbs

so here's how it works: I took multiple shots of all these angles so that largely eliminates the possibility that there was glare off a surface or dirt on my lens. I was really careful to note where street lights or windows or other stuff were and if I had any doubts I left the picture out. so as far as I'm concerned these are all good pics of spirit orbs. some are very bright and some are more translucent. the bigger the pic the more of them you can see so you may wanna click on the photos individually to get at least a slightly bigger frame. :0)