Monday, September 28, 2015

SACRED SPACE - New Indoor Space

As we approach the Turning of the Wheel, I am ready for the rebirth. I am almost completely moved into the new office/ studio. All of my witchy goodness has a permanent home. The new metal and glass altar sits beneath the East facing window. Below the table is a large steamer trunk to house my supplies. The steamer trunk belonged to my mom and has house various things over the years.

Next to my altar I have a new bookcase to house my massive book collection. I will be able to find things and have all my research books at my finger tips (rather than in a separate room of the house).

Finally, my antique wardrobe to house the most often used supplies. This was a treasure find at a consignment auction last year. Although everything else in the space is white, I chose to leave this in the original state though at some point I may recast and replace the decorative pieces that have broken or are gone all together.

I had hoped to have this all in place by Mabon but a fall the day before delayed my progress. But everything is here now, to stay.

How did you celebrate Mabon? Have you changed your altar to coincide with the season? I'd love to hear from you.


Friday, September 25, 2015


By now you know I love a Full Moon. I've always felt as if they recharge me, much like a good thunder storm with lots of wind but in a quieter form.

By Monday morning, the Super Moon will have passed through the lunar phase.  You can get complete information  HERE

If you're up for a cocktail or two, check out the Yahoo Page on creative drinks.  I'm not sure I will be awake to see the show but for the few hours prior when the moon seems close enough to touch I will relish being on a blanket in the back yard being drenched in the glow.


Monday, July 13, 2015

GARDENING - Looking Good!

I am really liking the Container Corn from Burpee. Although I did have a bit of a scare last week. Heavy winds and rain attempted to demolish my bales. Corn was laying over and I thought for sure I'd lost them. I gave everything a day to dry up a bit then I went out and stuffed them a bit farther down in the bale. As you can see, they are doing well. Here's a close up of Tassle and Silk:

Silk peeking out on that center stalk about 2/3rds of the way down.

Tomatoes are doing well:

If you look almost center of the picture, near the bottom you see an Amish Paste getting ripe. Now if they would just all do that at once so I can put up Spaghetti Sauce!

Plum Tomatoes finally setting fruit. They are also loaded with blooms. And when these fizzle out, I have a volunteer. This little guy came about when my MIL and I were tying up the vines, a couple broke off. I tossed them into the leaf compost in the center of the bales. 

Potatoes are going crazy. Even the Sweet Potatoe vines are spreading out.

Onions are starting to die back. They seem a bit small. Wondering if shoving them down in the bale a bit farther will help.

In spite of the heat and the tiny plants, I have green beans! LOL These will definitely be a fall replant in a couple of weeks:

Finally seeing Banana Peppers. I could use these to produce a bit heavier though as I only have 2 jars left in the stock-up.

2 yellow banana peppers peeking out at the bottom left.

My best producer this year has to be my cucumber plants. Both the Pickling and the Burpless are going gangbusters:

I am picking an average of 4 a day from each plant.

Last weekend I put up 11 pints of bread and butter pickles. I prefer them on a burger. In fact, The Rodeo Bar inside the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas TX serves B & B pickles on their burgers. Yum!

Since I'm the only one who eats pickles here, I'll probably gift a jar or three around the holidays.

How is your garden growing? Leave a comment and let us know how the Goddess is blessing you!

Monday, July 6, 2015

GARDENING - Strawbale Improvements

Merry Meet, everyone!

Things are looking a bit better in the garden. I thought we were having a lot of rain but according to the garden not so much. These were taken a couple of weeks ago between rainy days. The potato plants are improving. The reds are even beginning to flower. The sweet potatoes (bottom right corner) are coming along nicely.

I took this picture of the cucumber plants (picking cukes are taller than the salad cukes) right after my mother-in-law helped me tie them up. Then I turned on the soaker hose. As you'll see next week, they were very happy for the drink.

First sign of banana peppers. Still not so much as a blossom on the bell peppers though.

The cherry tomatoes are looking pretty pathetic. The plants look healthy, just not producing much. I'm thinking aside from water, I am going to have to break down and feed. I've never had to feed my plants before but strawbale gardening is a totally different way of doing things.

I have peas! While these are nothing to really crow about, and will make better bunny food, I am pleased to see them producing. I will plant a fall crop and they will be much happier.. as will the green beans:

Regular tomatoes, both the Amish Paste and the Big Boys are growing nicely. I am seeing fruit on the Amish Paste. I'm sure the Big Boys will produce when they are ready...

I'll have pictures of the cucumbers I've picked next week. Was all set to make bread and butter pickles this morning (Sunday) to find I didn't have any celery seed. So that's on my list for Monday.

How is your garden doing? Too much rain? Not enough? Too hot?
Share your ups and downs with us.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

GARDENING - Strawbale Progress

I had planned this post for yesterday but woke up to storms so I dove into cleaning the house and didn't stop. I didn't want the cleaning to be yet another 'partial' project. So I did not plug the internet in, even after the storms passed. 

While not planted in strawbales, I do have my potatoes planted in straw - in tires. As you can see, the two red potatoes in the background are ready for a third tier. I'll add another tire, more straw and continue to water. The reason for using the tires rather than the straw bales is that by using the bales, I would only get one year's use out of them. This way I can use the tires from year to year.

The red potatoes are Ruby Sensation. They are about the size of new red potatoes and are only 100 calories per 4 potatoes. The two tires in the middle are Yellow Golds. Similar to the red ones but yellow ;-) They are not doing as well as their red cousins. Then the tire in the foreground is one of 4 that have Sweet Potatoes. They got a later start.

At the opposite end of the bed from the potato tires is the base of the U-shaped bale bed. This is where I've planted the cherry tomatoes. Their trellis is the springs base from my granddaughter's old crib. (though you can see 2 cattle panel sections leaning behind it. Those will be moved for cucumbers)

This is to the right of the cherry tomatoes down the side. In the background you can just make out my pepper plants - 5 bell peppers and 3 banana peppers. Then in the foreground I have 28 sweet onions.

This is the left side... Four bales of Cucumbers. Then in the background there is a bale of carrots and one of beets.

Sad Peas

Sad Beans

Neither of these are doing well. I think probably because they were planted too late. I'll do better next spring. But at least I know these do work.

Amish Paste Tomatoes

Better Boy Tomatoes

There are 10 bales along this fence line. Prior to using the straw bales, this was my traditional tomato row.(though I did test-run 8 plants in bales on this fence last year).  Tomatoes are doing well, but then they are one of the easiest garden plants to grow with the brownist of thumb. 

You will notice some empty bales between the 2 varieties of tomatoes. Next week, I'll show you what I'm putting in there. 

While I'm trying to breathe life back into my blogs, posts will not be numerous for the month of June. We have family visiting nearly every day this month. So hang with me ;-)


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

FULL MOON - Strawberry Moon

Courtesy of Farmer's
Today's Full Moon is known as the Strawberry Moon. Although there are many opinons as to why, the name is said to have come from the Native Americans as this was the best time for picking the wild strawberries.

My acreage is dotted with wild strawberries and they will be devoured quickly by the light of their moon by the many critters who call our area of timber home.

Last fall I begn a project to incorporate 2 thirty-foot rows of strawberries into my garden. You can see my first 15' on the lower right of the pic. I have approx. 8 plants there. So I decided to continue the row the full length then run another row along side. As the plants send out runners, I'll have a place to move them to right away.

I started by using the mower to cut as close to the ground as I could go without tearing up the blades on the rocks. Then I mulched out with 3 layers of newspaper followed by a layer of cardboard.

With inspiration from the Strawbale Gardening book I first mentioned in THIS post, I brought in bales of straw and separated them into sheafs and lay them out 3-wide across the entire area.

I failed to account for the space between the rows not being wide enough for my riding mower and mowing between them requires the bagger so as not to blow grass seeds over into the rows. I'm hoping to get that cleared this week and mulched with cardboard and more straw or mulch so that mowing will no longer be a problem.

The Full Moon is also a great time to think about what we want to get rid of from our life. There are some things taht if we just send them off to the universe and forget about them, they will in time take care of themselves... or vanish completely.

After weeks of cloudy skies, rain we are to have a beautiful sky tonight to enjoy the moon in all its glory. I hope to have a new fire pit built. I like this one from my Pinterest board. While I don't have anything really to 'release', I will enjoy the peace that comes with just sitting by the fire and enjoying the moon above.

Many Blessings

Monday, June 1, 2015


Courtesy of Stockfree
::: unlocking door and brushing cobwebs aside :::

Wow! I've really let this place go! I didn't mean to. Honest. Life. 

I spent January getting the business stuff caught up and on track so I could begin integrating the 'me' stuff into the planner.  Then on February 13th (yep, a Friday), my hubby had carpal tunnel surgery and was home for 9 weeks. While he isn't one to encrouch on what I do, I did limit my time to immediate work and put everything aside to spend with him. You will always here me say, Bob comes first in my life. I am a strong believer that you never know what the next minute brings... and I don't want to miss a single one with him. 

So after he went back to work in late April, I sat about bringing my business up to speed as best I could, just in time for an 18-day trip through Texas. I returned home the night before he was to go back out on the boat... and I've been playing catch up ever since.
Okay, maybe not right away. I took the first week to veg, rest up from the trip and get some of my shows off the DVR. Then I spent last week getting the blog stuff in order so I could take the world by storm.... before my in-laws arrive on June 11th. Yep.. the world just keeps spinning LOL

One of the most important things I did prior to my Texas trip was get the garden up and running. I am in love with the Strawbale Gardening concept. Our ground here is just not condusive to planting in the ground unless you want to kneel on a rock every time you get down to weed/ pick. 

I've gotten my sister involved and we've joined a Facebook group

After the 4 test bales last year with the tomato plants, I have gone full force this year. 

I have a horseshow of 115 bales plus the tomato row from last year has grown to 8 bales. I have 6 bales flanking an old swing set frame covered in chicken wire for the peas and 2 other bales for container sweet corn and spaghetti squash. I have a bale with a trellis for snow peas.

The main bed

I broke the tomato bales from last year down and layered them around the base of two Garden trellis'.

I also have seven stacks of tires: 2 each Red and White and 3 for Sweet Potatoes. I've used the tire method the past two years with success.

These were all taken in the beginning stages. Next week I'll share an 'OOPS' with you courtesy of my loving husband and updated pics of how things are growing.