Here it comes

Last year had my favorite number 11 in it so I thought it would be really good. It wasn’t that great but not bad either. This year I actually think is going to be great though I don’t know why. I have one of my “feelings” so I think that is good enough for now. 🙂

I have an idea for a video art show but I can’t get it together quite yet and have to do it on the weekends for now.  I am fearful of cameras, well video cameras and avoid them at all cost so if I end up doing this it will be a huge step for me. I am in the planning stages.

I am still sort of working on my pagan book though most of it is in my head and needs to get out again soon. I am writing by the seasons and am getting behind again.

This year is the year of the farm for me as in I will be procuring 2-10 acres and starting my dream farm including a CSA. I will of course post on my other blog all about that. I am still waiting for my part-time job to fund the farm but even if I have to do it in baby steps that is what will happen.

I hope you have a safe and happy New Year’s weekend and no matter what your outlook on the coming year is, I know that there will be some good in it for you too.

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Bring back the light

Time for the light to return and we’re getting ready for a new year. I hate Winter but I am optimistic about 2012. Maybe it is sort of odd being so excited about this year but for some reason I am when other crazy people think the world is going to end right? 🙂

Yuletide celebrating

We celebrate the Winter Solstice or Yule every year. I have been for 20 years now and as a family for 9 years give or take. When it is cold and dark and you are getting together with others to celebrate the return of the light it can’t be bad. 🙂

This is the second ritual we have had at a local park in a huge sheltered area among the trees and mushrooms. There is a playground nearby too but this time we did two rituals which worked out very well. In reality we did one ritual with just adults and the evening was spent eating, drinking, playing and making gingerbread houses.

We celebrate the birth of the sun
from the womb of wintry night,
for he is the light.

If you want to know more about the solstice this year visit this site.

Chocolate rum cake you ignite

This is my recipe for a plum or Christmas pudding that was traditionally made with suet and soaked with brandy or other alcohol before the sauce was warmed by lighting it. It is served at Christmas after it has been soaking for a month or more.  I don’t like fruitcakes or brandy so I came up with this variation of a recipe from the bundt cake pan I purchased this year. Use caution while igniting the rum!

Amy’s Chocolate Rum Cake

1 (18.25-ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
1 (3.9-ounce) package chocolate instant pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
½ cup container sour cream
¼ cup rum

Heavily grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Set aside.

Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer just until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool on wire rack or plate.

Wrap the cake in foil for a day and then start adding a rum and sugar mixture to the cake every week for 3 weeks. I heated the sugar with the rum on the stovetop to dissolve the sugar first.

We-wrap the cake in the foil and put it in a large Ziploc bag as well or wrapped in plastic shopping bags.

A few days or the morning before serving melt ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup butter and ½ cup chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat. Pour on the top of the cake so the chocolate drizzels down the sides.

Before serving heat ½ cup rum in a microwave safe cup or a pyrex cup with a spout for 30 seconds.

Light the rum on fire using a long lighter and pour onto the cake!

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old rug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations-
through their melancholy
was terrible.
it was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the starts began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Henna and oak gall dye

I made a large batch of oak gall ink this summer and I had a jar of watered down henna from dying a friends’ hair. I wanted to experiment with making a scarf so I got white cotton and then I tied it up with rubber bands. I  added more coffee to the henna mixture and then soaked it overnight. I then got the oak gall ink out and added some to the dye mixture and soaked it another couple hours. The result was really cool looking and natural. I haven’t finished this into a scarf yet but will do so soon and wear my creation!

Tie Dye

I meant to do the tie dye project this summer but we didn’t get around to it. Instead I ordered a tie dye kit from Dharma Trading and we made holiday gifts by dying all kinds of white items I found at the craft stores and at Dollar Tree as well as scarves from Dharma Trading.

I didn’t take a photo of the first purse I did for the girls’ friend but I used a purse from Michael’s with the zipper on it and then I ironed on a cute moon patch that I have had for about 16 years! You can also find a lot of cool patches at Joann Fabrics too.

There is a reason that people do this in the Summer months because it is of course really messy indoors. I did this in the bathtub but it was still really bad. The kit came with one pair of gloves which I let Melody use and next time all of us will use gloves because my cuticles are still indigo. The dye has to sit for awhile on the fabric after you do this and you must put each item in a plastic bag and then let it sit for about 24 hours in colder weather (which we have).

Holiday Resolutions

Holiday Resolutions, 2011
Image

I will not make a holiday village out of gingerbread. We may make them out of a kit at a friend’s house…maybe.

I will only find some of the decorations and will not crawl in the dark looking for the star or other decorations since I found enough to fill out the tree already.

I will not make 99 percent of all my gifts.

I will have my sister take the girls’ annual photo and then send it to a few people tucked into a store bought card since I likely won’t get the cards with their photo on them made in time.

I will not take tins of homemade cookies and fudge to our friends and neighbors. I will take some beer and maybe a card with a photo instead.

I will not go to a different holiday event every single weekend.

I will stay home a lot and drink Snow Day Winter Ale and make my own hard cider and liquors.

I will be thankful I have only two children and they don’t want tons of presents just a box of cake, a tiny doll and some art supplies and books.

I will not buy someone a present because I think that I should or because I need to spend more money on them.

I will play a few holiday songs on the flute and guitar and not worry about trying to play the damn fiddle.