Friday, August 31, 2007

Full Moon photo

Due to the fact that a couple of days ago was the lunar eclipse, there have been a lot of photos of moons popping up on blogs lately. On one of the blogs, I mentioned a photo I took a few years ago of the moon at her fullest shining down on a frost covered ground. I said I'd post it when I found it, so, that's what I'm doing now. The date on the details of the photo is 31st December 2001. I said it was a few years ago. LOL!

Tori

Last night was 'family night'

I went up to my parents' place for dinner yesterday. It was really nice. We had Mam's home made lasagne with roast potatoes and peas. And an apple and pear turnover thingy with custard. I'm not a big fan of pears, but I quite enjoyed it.

Then Dad, Mam, Wayne, Carl and Rachel came down my place for the evening. We were going to play a game, but all the games we have are for six people or less, and there were seven of us, so that idea went out the window. Instead we watched 'The Aristocats' which is a cute little Disney movie about cats. Rachel hadn't seen it, but wanted to, so since I have it we thought it would be a good opportunity for her to see it.

I brought some wine and crisps when I was in Tesco on Tuesday, because we'd already arranged for them to be coming down by that point. Kelly and I don't drink, and Dad couldn't because of driving, so I also got a bottle of non-alcoholic grape wine. Dad's fussy about what he drinks, so he brought a bottle of something with him. I forget what it's called (it starts with an 'S') but it's a non-alcoholic grape and elderflower wine. They were only here for a few hours, but that was all the time it took for seven people to polish off four bottles of wine and three family sized bags of crisps. LOL!

Speaking of elderflower. I have found out that elderflower should be avoided tf pregnant or breast feeding. And, it's not a good idea to have any with my pills, which means I was right to look for an alternative to the tea I usually have when I'm sick. Chamomile is fine though. That's good to know, isn't it?

I don't have any wine glasses, and I forgot to remind Mam to bring hers down, so we had to use the kids' mugs I have. This meant that I spent the evening sipping non-alcoholic wine out of a 'Puppy In My Pocket' cup. Don't remember everyone's cups, but Carl and Rachel had 'Thomas The Tank Engine' and Dad had 'The Magic Roundabout.' LOL! They were cups that Wayne, Carl and I had with Easter eggs when we were little, and Mam gave to me a little while back.


We all had a really good evening, but I think Kero enjoyed yesterday the most. Kelly took him with him when he went to the post office in the morning, so he got a good hour walk there. Then Kelly took him for another walk after dinner, but before I got back with Mam and the others. There wasn't room for all of us in the car coming from my parents' place, so Carl and Rachel walked, and Wayne took Kero to meet them after we got here, while Mam and I were getting the bottles of wine opened and the crisps into bowls. And, at some point in the evening - don't know when it was, but it was dark - Mam, Carl and I took Kero for a walk along the river. And, if that wasn't enough, Kero got one of his balls out when we got back from the walk, and kept bringing it to people, so whoever he brought it to (mostly either me, Carl, Rachel or Mam) would throw it for him, and he'd chase it. He was so tired after all of that, that when everyone left, he took himself in to the bedroom and went to sleep, and he didn't get up again until around 11:00 am (ish) when the mailman came and he needed to get up to bark at him. And I couldn't get him to go for a walk today. Bless him!

By the way, the man in the photo in this post is my Dad (for those who don't know). I took a couple of photos of Carl, Rachel, Megan, Sakura and Kero too. They're in my photo albums if you want to take a look.


Tori

0.S. Happy birthday to our friend Emma's son, Jonathan, who is eight today.

Added - 9:41 pm: This is the bit of information I found while browsing the net to find out if elder was OK for people trying to get pregnant and pregnant people... "Elder flowers, mixed with mint and yarrow blossoms, are excellent internal cleansers when fighting flu and colds. Elder flower oil is a remedy for chapped skin. Elder berries are said to cure insomnia. Elder is used to cleanse the body, build the blood, treat inflammation, fever, and soothes the respiratory system. The leaves can be used as an an insect repellant. The Greeks used a tea from the root as a laxative. Elder can be toxic, especially if fresh, most notably the stems as they contain cyanide. This herb should NOT be used internally by pregnant or lactating women."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sakura's 3rd Birthday

Today is Sakura (our eldest cat)'s third birthday. I took a couple of photos, but Sakura's not the most cooperative cat when it comes to taking photos, so I'm afraid they aren't all that good. But, here's one of them anyway. You'll have to go look in her photo album if you want to see the others.

As you can see, we got her a yellow ball (it's a sort of rubbery ball with a bell in it) and, of course, her birthday card. Sakura's never been the most playful of cats, but on the odd occasion that she does play, it's usually with a ball that makes a noise. We've had countless plastic balls, but they've never lasted long, because they break easily. So, we're hoping that this rubbery one will last her longer.


I think I'll let her have some tuna for her dinner tonight. I'm sure she'll like that. I bet Megan and Chance will be happy to join her in polishing off a can of tuna. LOL!

Tori

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Tuesday

I'm finally feeling better. YAY! I hope any of you who haven't been feeling well lately are feeling better soon. That means you, Kaylee! :)

Anyway, Mam and I went to town today. I needed to get a gift for my Grandma's Yorkie, Jayde, because it's her birthday next week, plus I needed to do some food shopping.

When I was in town, I noticed that there are already Christmas cards in the shops. It's not even September yet! Sheesh! Mind you, I did pick up a couple of gifts for people while I was in town today. I saw them and knew of people who would like them, so figured I'd pick them up. After all, I might not be able to find them again if I was to wait until closer.

I had a baguette, but it wasn't my usual one, because the place where we usually go wasn't open today. They're never open the day after a bank holiday. So, instead I went to a bakery called 'Greg's' where I got a tuna, sweetcorn, mayo and lettuce baguette. It wasn't as nice as the baguette I usually have, but tt was still nice.

Then we went to the cafe in Tesco to have a drink before doing my food shopping. It's been a beautiful, sunny day here today, but Tesco do a lovely hot cocoa drink that you can enjoy even on a hot day, so we both had one of those.

After I got home, I put the shopping away, then I watched some T.V. while eating my dinner, which was a tuna salad. And that's pretty much my day, so I'll let this do for now.

Tori

P. S. Happy birthday to Sauder Scotty MacDuff Fyfe.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bored! Bored! Bored!

It's a bank holiday here (again) and I'm SO bored! I haven't done much, because there's not really anything to do on a bank holiday.

We wont be going to the museum after all. Nobody has the time. Everyone has planned to do something or other every day this week, and Carl and Rachel go home on Sunday. Oh well, never mind. Better luck next time, eh?

It was my step-brother Shane's birthday yesterday. I'm sure he doesn't read my blog, but I'll say a belated happy birthday to him anyway.


Yesterday was also LadyStyx's first wedding anniversary, so a belated happy anniversary to her and her hubby too!

I don't have anything else to say, because I haven't done anything worth talking about. So, I guess I'll just hit that 'publish post' button.

Tori

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Honey cake

The picture to the right is my honey cake. I came across the recipe not long ago and it sounded nice, so I wanted to try it. I was going to have my Mam bake it for me, but I felt like baking today, and it seemed like a good opportunity to try the honey cake. I'm very proud of my honey cake, because I've NEVER made a cake completely by myself before. Every other time I've had someone helping me (usually either my Mam or my Nan). So, I'm VERY proud of myself, because my honey cake turned out really well, if I do say so myself.

Tori

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Apology

Just wanted to apologise to those of you who's blogs I visit for not visiting them much lately. I've just been too tired!

Tori

Picnic in the park

It looks like Summer's back. I wonder how long it's staying this time. LOL!

I took this photo yesterday (Friday) morning not long after I got up. I think it was a little after 7:00 am. And the sky stayed pretty much exactly like that all day yesterday. It was just as lovely today (Saturday) so Mam, Rachel, Willow, Kero and I went to the park for a picnic.

Both Mam and I contributed to the food. Mam supplied the actual food part, and I supplied the drinks. We did it that way, because I live closer to the park than Mam does, so the drinks would have more chance of still being cold from my house than from Mam's house.

It was so hot even Willow spent a lot of time laying down, which is a rare thing, since Willow is one of those dogs that can't stay still for two seconds. LOL!

Kero spent most of the time laying down too. But, that's not really surprising. Kero and I had walked along by the river before walking to the park to meet Mam, Rachel and Willow, so we were both kind of tired by the time we met up with them. We enjoyed ourselves though!

As you can see, I took my camera with me. LOL! There are some other photos in my photo albums if you want to take a look at them.

Tori

Friday, August 24, 2007

Chance's 2nd Birthday

Today (Friday) is Chance's second birthday.

As you can see from this photo, we got him a toy mouse. The mouse has catnip in it, and when you tap it (or move it quickly) it makes a sort of squeaky sound. Sounds more like a bird chirping than a mouse squeaking to me though, but never mind. And, of course, he got a birthday card too. Can't forget that!

Tori

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some stuff

One of the things I hate most about getting sick, is the part when you're starting to get better, but you've still got a little way to go. There in lies the explanation to where I've been, and why I haven't been blogging. Even I don't blog in my sleep. I've been known to talk in my sleep, walk in my sleep, even do things like go for a pee, answer the phone, and get myself a drink in my sleep. But I've never done a blog in my sleep. Not yet anyway. LOL! So, that's why I haven't been around. I've spent the last couple of days doing the catching up on sleep thing, which tends to make blogging quite tricky. LOL!

I watched a couple of movies in between naps. LOL!

Sunday night, I watched 'Escape To Witch Mountain.' I've seen it at least a couple of times before, but I turned the TV on just as it was starting, so thought I'd watch it. It's a pretty good movie. I think it is anyway.

Monday afternoon, I watched 'Lady Death' with Kelly. Kelly brought the DVD and was watching it, so I watched it with him. Well, I say I watched it, but I was laying on the sofa while it was on, and I fell asleep about half way through it. What I saw of it was pretty good though. Maybe next time it's on I'll watch it all? LOL!

And I watched bits and pieces of other movies, but I can't remember what they were.

My Mam usually comes down to my place on a Monday, but with me still getting over my cold and cough, and Mam having loads to do this week because of Carl and Rachel being at her place, she didn't come. Kelly still went up there though, because he had a battle of some kind (I think it was Warhammer 40K) with Carl, Dad and Ian. For those who don't know, Ian is a family friend. Anyway, this meant it was just me and Kero Monday evening. Didn't really do anything though. Just alternated between sleeping, watching TV, trying to stay awake long enough to check blogs, and trying to work on a shopping list for Tuesday.

It's normally Mam and I who do my shopping. But, Mam had to be someplace else, and even though Kelly is sick himself, he kept insisting that I rest until I'm better (which I am now, for the most part). So, Kelly went to town to do our shopping by himself on Tuesday instead. Leaving me at home to catch up on the sleep I obviously needed.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Kelly went in to Swansea, and he got me some Simpsons comics, a set of Harry Potter playing cards, and some Lego.

My Mam and Dad have a HUGE collection of Lego at their house. It belonged to all of us when we were little. Some of it was even Dad's when he was little. I asked if I could have it at my place, but they want to keep it at their house "for the grand kids, when they arrive." I was a bit disappointed, because I love to play with Lego, so Kelly got me my own. It's nowhere near as impressive as the collection at my parents' place. But, it's all MINE so in some ways it's better! LOL!

I've felt really sorry for Kero over the past few days. With Kelly being out, and me having trouble staying awake, Kero hasn't been out for even a half decent walk. In fact, for the most part, he's just had to go in the yard. I don't think he's minded too much, because of all the rain, but I still feel bad for him. Today though, I've been able to stay awake all day (so far) and it's quite a nice day, so I took Kero for a nice, long walk. You should have seen his tail wagging! Bless him!

I think Kero's entering into a second puppy hood. He's still quite young (he's only three) but he's been doing some things lately that he hadn't done for some time. I think it could be to get our attention, because of us being sick. Whatever the reason for it though, it's cute! It's nice to see him play like a little puppy.

I've started the second lot of my pills. I'm meant to be going to see my gynaecologist some time next month. Not entirely sure when yet. I should get an appointment in the mail soon. I hope.

I haven't finished the Harry Potter book yet. Funnily enough, reading is one of the things I can't do while sleeping. LOL!

I missed a couple of birthdays... August 20th was my friend Tracy's son Domonick's birthday, and today is Kelly's cousin Holly's birthday. So, happy birthday to both of them!

Well, I think that's just about everything I can update you on. Sorry today's post isn't very interesting.

Hope everyone is well. Have a good day!

Tori

Monday, August 20, 2007

"The Wise Goodwife" by Leigh Ann Hussey

I came across this story, and since many of us seem to be sick lately (or, have family or friends who are sick), and I thought it was a nice little story, I thought I'd share it. Enjoy!

The Wise Goodwife
by Leigh Ann Hussey

"Gramma, I feel hot."
"Lands, child, on a cool fall day like this? Come here and let me feel of your forehead. Tsk! Feels like fever. Off to bed with you!"
"Gramma, I don't feel good."
"I know, child, I know. I reckon it's time to ask Goody Hawkins to help us."
"Who's Goody Hawkins?"
"Hush, now, try to sleep. I'll come back soon."

"Gramma, where did you go?"
"Out into the woods back of the farm, child."
"Why, Gramma?"
"To get Goody Hawkins' help."
"Who's Goody Hawkins?"
"Well, that's a long story."
"Tell me a story, Gramma."

Well, you know 'bout the pilgrim days, Thanksgiving and all. Those people way back then, that first time, were giving thanks that they'd lived a whole year in a whole new country, without too many of 'em dyin'. Lotta times you see pictures, drawings, with lots of Indians standin' there to welcome them folks. Well, 'taint so. Weren't nobody there when they got off that boat, not but one Indian, all alone.
Hist'ry books say it was him, Squanto, as taught them first folks how to live through one of our winters - ice 'n sleet 'n snow 'n all, not like they had back in England, where they come from. But that ain't rightly so, neither. Squanto, and a few other friendly Indians as wandered in later, they taught the menfolk. But the women, those days, well, they weren't s'posed to be important, even though they did most o' the work, so we don't hear 'bout them much.
Well, a woman come off'n that boat, not quite yet old as your mamma, and her name was Grace Hawkins, but ever' one called her Goody Hawkins. "Goody" is short for "good wife", and it's like callin' a lady "Missus" today.
Goody Hawkins was young and pretty, though you couldn't tell that very well, 'cause in those days the womenfolk wore long skirts and long sleeves and bonnets to tuck in and hide their hair. So Goody Hawkins had beautiful long brown hair, though you couldn't see it, and skin soft as the skin of a peach. But she had a nice young husband who loved her very much, and he knew how pretty she was.
And Goody Hawkins was one more thing that made her very special: she was a wise woman, who knew plants and herbs and roots and barks to make sick people feel better. They didn't have doctors like we do now, just a lot of men who figured if you were sick your blood was bad and so they'd make you bleed. That got people sicker, more often than not. They thought they were real smart, them old doctors, and maybe they were smart about gettin' money from folks. But they weren't smart 'bout the folks themselves, mostly 'cause they were too busy listening to each other talking 'bout high-falutin' doctor things in big words than listening to the sick bodies of the sick people.
But Goody Hawkins was different. She listened to the people talking 'bout what hurt them, and she felt of their heads and wrists and looked into their eyes and ears and mouths. And sometimes she didn't seem to look at them at all. She just closed her eyes and looked at them with her heart. And then she'd go into big clay pots and little wooden boxes in her house, and pick out just the thing a sick person needed. And do you know how she knew just the right thing, how Goody Hawkins could see with her heart and not just her eyes?
Goody Hawkins was a witch. No, not like you dress up at Halloween. A real witch, a real wise woman. No warts, no wire hair, remember I told you she was pretty. And no flying broom, neither. She didn't need to fly, 'cause she could see ev'rything. Well, no, she didn't have a crystal ball. But they way my granny told me, and her granny told her, was that she had a big silver bowl, a real treasure. And she'd pour clear rainwater in that bowl, and look into it in the nighttime, with just a candle for light. And they say she could see miles away, and even years away. Into yesterday, say, or last year, or ten years ago. And sometimes, she could see tomorrow. A cauldron? Why of course she had a cauldron. Ever'one did, those days, just like we have pots and pans today. But she only had a little one at first - remember, they were poor in them first few years in America, and iron costed a lot of money. Goody Hawkins had just the little cauldron she brought with her from home, only as big as my big soup pot. What did she boil up in her cauldron? Well, not babies, I can tell you that! It was herbs, mostly, tree bark and roots and such. Anise and coltsfoot, simmered with a little sugar or honey, as good a cough syrup as you can find nowadays, and even better than some. That's a recipe my granny's granny knew, and likely Goody Hawkins as well. Goody Hawkins made ointments from herbs and grease, she made soaps for fleas and lice, she brewed teas, she made mashes for cuts and bad hurts to make them heal clean and fast.
But I haven't told you the best part: Goody Hawkins could do magic. Not like making scarves disappear in her fist or pulling quarters out of your ear. I mean spells, oh yes, and special little bundles of things in little bags to keep in your pocket or put under your pillow. These had herbs in 'em, yes, and besides that she could put in a special rock, maybe, or a little short twig from a certain tree, or a piece of paper with secrets written on it, or any such small thing. You could wear one for good luck, sleep on one to have good dreams.
In the nighttime, often, you could see a light shining in Goody Hawkins' cottage, warm and bright, and if you listened real hard, you might hear words, strong and beautiful, or singing so soft and sweet it might have come out of a fairy hill. And in the daytime, oh, the smells that came out of that cottage! You could tell what was brewing by the smells of the herbs in the breeze. Rosemary, mint, clove and cinnamon, lemon-leaf, basil, horehound and lavender. And hanging from the ceiling in one corner of the cottage were always bunches of drying herbs, filling the whole room with spicyness and sweetness. She brought the little boxes special from her home in England, but the rest she got right here, from the meadows and forests.
One day she was in the forest, gathering plants for medicines. Some of the plants were just like at home, she knew them right away. Others she didn't know, and them she would look at, and smell, and taste of--it was right dangerous, that, but weren't no other way to find out about 'em. This spring day, after their first long hard, winter had passed, Goody Hawkins went to pluck a leaf off'n a plant, to taste it.
Suddenly, she heard a crashing in the bushes and a woman's voice crying out to her. She turned around and who should she see but an Indian woman, near her own age, come runnin' toward her, talkin' words she couldn't understand. This Indian woman, she snatched that leaf from Goody Hawkins and shooed her away from that plant quick as she could. The Indian woman pulled out a thin stick, rounded at one end, and waved it so that Goody Hawkins thought the other woman might hit her with it, so she backed up, afraid. But the Indian woman turned to the plant and commenced to digging it out of the ground with her stick, digging up the roots. The Indian woman pulled off the roots and pushed them into Goody Hawkins' hands, keeping some for herself. She put the roots into a deerskin bag, and 'twas then that Goody Hawkins saw other herbs and things in that bag, and figured out that t'other woman was in the woods for just the same job as herself, namely, getting herbs.
Even though they didn't speak each other's language, by pantomiming and pointing they could understand each other, and Goody Hawkins learned that the leaf she'd been about to eat was deadly poison. But the roots were good eating, roasted or boiled just like a potato. How 'bout that! Plants are funny that way.
Goody Hawkins realized she owed her life to the Indian woman, for warnin' her off'n them leaves. But she didn't know just how to thank her new friend. Still, they spent the rest of the day walkin' in the woods, an' Goody Hawkins learned more about the new world's plants in one day than she could've in weeks if she'd had to figure things out for herself. And by the end of the day, Goody Hawkins knew some Algonquin, and the Indian woman, Namequa, knew some words in English.
Namequa saw Goody Hawkins back to the little town and then faded into the trees almost like magic.
Well, the seasons came and went, and Goody Hawkins had her hands full trying to keep people well, what with the snakes and unfriendly Indians and poisonous plants all around. The folks couldn't get none of the plants they brought with 'em to grow very well, 'cause the weather was so different from England's. That mean that folks weren't eatin' right, and 'specially with the children that was bad. But Namequa showed Goody Hawkins plants that were good eating, and Goody Hawkins showed the other womenfolk, and for a time the folks there lived like Indians, what with the menfolk learnin' to hunt and fish from Squanto and the women learnin' to gather wild plants to eat from Goody Hawkins and Namequa.
That first thanksgiving feast, they didn't eat just the corn and squash and beans that Squanto showed the men how to grow, they also had roasted-seed mush and lamb's-quarters gathered by the women. All those, and the deer the neighboring Indians brought, well, that was some dinner!
Well, little by little, them folks got settled. Other ships came, with more people, and, later, with cows and other stock. And then Goody Hawkins was busier than ever, 'cause she was s'posed to take care of sick animals, too. Back then, if a cow didn't give milk, folks were apt to think the fairies had stolen the milk in the night, so 'twas only natural they should ask their wise woman for help.
Before long, there were babies, too, human and animal, and mothers needed Goody Hawkins' help to bring 'em into the world. Somehow, though, through all of this, Goody Hawkins kept time to visit with her good friend, and to keep learning, and to look into her silver bowl every now and again.
Well, the years went on, and ever'body got older, and some folks just died from getting old. Goody Hawkins' husband died too, and they hadn't any children, so Goody Hawkins should have been alone in the world. But she had her friend Namequa, and every little child in the town called her "Aunt Grace" - she wasn't their real aunt, you know, but they loved her like she was, 'cause she made them things, like sweet-scented pillows, and spicy cookies, and she always listened to them when they told her things.
Goody Hawkins had learned a lot from Namequa's tribe, and now that she had no husband to take care of, she spent more time visiting with her Indian friends, and they learned from her too.
Indian magic is full of drums and dreaming. Goody Hawkins' magic was full of words and wishing. But she was careful not to let the rest of the folks know she was learnin' and teachin' magic. Why not? Well, folks don't like what they don't understand, is all. People were afraid of lots of things in them days, 'specially in a strange new place.
And as more o' them Puritan preachers come over from England, the folks would be more secret 'bout visiting Goody Hawkins, not wanting the preachers to know they was holding to the old ways. And the preachers, 'specially one Pastor Langford, looked sidewise and never straight on at Goody Hawkins, bein' afraid she might hex 'em or some such nonsense.
Well, Pastor Langford thought she was workin' for the devil, but he didn't want to say it outright, 'cause folks liked her. But even that was changing as Goody Hawkins spent more time with Namequa's tribe, and folk got to whispering about it.
There was a number of men interested in marryin' to her, after her husband died, saying it wasn't right for a woman to live alone, but she didn't care 'bout any of 'em. She said no to all of 'em, and some of 'em went away mad. And folk got to saying things outright.
One lady said she seen Goody Hawkins dancing naked with all them Indians. Another said there was a demon keeping Goody Hawkins company, which was why she wasn't wanting to marry again. Somebody else said that it was that demon that killed Goody Hawkins' husband. All round town words buzzed like stinging wasps. Now, when a cow wasn't giving milk, it was Goody Hawkins, not the fairies, who they thought had stolen it. Folks began to keep their children away from her. And Pastor Langford came right out and made fiery sermons about witches and the devil and sin and punishment.
Goody Hawkins saw and heard all of this, but what could she do? It was her word against the words of respectable folk, and nobody was going to believe her. So she kept silent, kept to herself, and waited.
She didn't have to wait long. One evening, she came home from a visit to her Indian friends and found her cottage in ruins. Jars were smashed, boxes thrown all over. The herb-bunches had been torn down from the ceiling, her cauldron overturned, Bible verses scrawled all over the walls with charcoal from her fireplace. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", they said, and Goody Hawkins felt cold in her heart because she knew that the people wanted to kill her. And worst of all, her beautiful silver bowl was all bent and crushed, like someone had hit it with a hammer.
Goody Hawkins sat down at the table in the midst of the mess, and cried.
She felt helpless and angry. She wished she really could turn people into toads. She made half-hearted tries at cleaning up, but gave it up. Her heart burned with wanting to hurt the people who'd done it, and froze with knowing her life wasn't worth a straw to 'em.
My granny said, that in that hour the devil did come to her, offerin' to kill the townsfolk for her, if she'd give up her soul to him, but Goody Hawkins chased him out with her broom. I think it more likely, she thought about putting poison in the well-water, but knew that not only would that poison the townsfolk, it'd poison the water and the earth, and the water and earth hadn't hurt her. And she knew that killing all those folks would poison her soul, too, forever, make her sour and angry as a real wicked witch.
So instead, she gathered all her power to her, all her love and strength; she threw down her hiding bonnet, and shook out her hair, which was getting grey by now, and walked proud and tall out into the town square.
The folks began to gather round, saying hateful things. But Goody Hawkins lifted up her arms and began to sing, strong and sweet, in the old tongue that nobody but wise folk could speak anymore. And when the folks saw that their words couldn't hurt her, they commenced to pick up stones to throw at her.
But before they could throw their stones, the preachers came and said she'd have to have a proper trial. So soldiers took Goody Hawkins away with them, away from the shouting people, and she was still singing as they locked her up.
They tried to get her to tell them things, like was she partners with the devil, and had she hexed people and animals, and did she have a demon helper, and did she change into a cat to steal milk, but she never did nothing but close her eyes and sing softly, smiling like she saw something beautiful. So finally they gave up and took her to the courthouse.
There all kinds of people told stories about Goody Hawkins and things she'd never really done. And all through it, Goody Hawkins stood tall, and looked straight in the faces of the folks as was doing the telling.
When ever'one was through with their lyin', the judge asked Goody Hawkins had she anything to say. Goody Hawkins looked round at the folks, looking like your momma when she's gonna scold you, and began tellin' each one what she'd done for them. This one wouldn't be alive if Goody Hawkins hadn't helped his mother with the birthing. That one's daughter was deathly sick with fever, and Goody Hawkins cured her. The other one's cows were dropping down dead before Goody Hawkins found out they were eating poisonous leaves. There wasn't one person in that courtroom Goody Hawkins hadn't helped somehow over the years. And folks were looking like you do when you're getting a scolding and you know you've been wrong.
But Pastor Langford butted in and said that Goody Hawkins must have led the cows to the poison leaves, she must have made the little girl sick, she must have put a hex on the mother so her baby had trouble being born. And even though some folks still looked uncertain, the rest of 'em started howling for Goody Hawkins to die, and that was that.
They took her out to the town square where there was a big oak tree, to hang her onto it. Some soldiers held the crowd back, while two of the others tied Goody Hawkins up, tied a rope around her neck, and threw the other end over one of the branches of the tree.
Goody Hawkins wasn't scared to die, but she was scared of the pain, though she didn't let the people see that. She looked out at them and smiled, and was glad to see some people quit their shouting and look worried.
Pastor Langford come up, looking nervous, and said, "Do you wish to confess your sins? You may yet be forgiven and reach Heaven."
Goody Hawkins just smiled and said, "I have nothing to confess or be forgiven for, nothing I am ashamed of. I want no part of your heaven."
The preacher fairly threw a fit right there, choking and stuttering, he wanted so bad to cuss and swear at her but couldn't in front of the townsfolk. So he just pointed to the soldier holding the end of the rope, and he commenced to hauling on it.
Goody Hawkins felt the rope tighten and her ears started to ring, and she took what she was sure was her last breath. But suddenly there was a scream, and the rope went loose. Her head cleared, she looked around, and saw the soldier who'd been pulling her up holding onto his arm, where there was an arrow sticking out of it.
Folks was shouting and running all over the place, and Goody Hawkins saw that a whole tribe of Indians had come out of the woods like magic with bows and arrows and spears and all.
The soldiers couldn't get a clear shot at none of the Indians, what with folks running round like ants when their hill gets kicked over. And in the middle of all that hollerin' and confusion, Goody Hawkins felt a sharp blade between her wrists, cutting the ropes that tied her. There was two Indians there, a big young man and Goody Hawkins' friend Namequa who held a finger to her lips to shush her.
The young man scooped Goody Hawkins up in his arms, and ran into the woods carrying her.
All of a sudden, the Indians disappeared like morning mist, and when the folks looked round, Goody Hawkins was gone too. The folks never saw her again, and Namequa's tribe were never as friendly to them. Goody Hawkins' cottage was just left to fall down and rot, and nothing in it was ever touched.
But some folks was sorry Goody Hawkins was gone, 'specially when they got sick, or their children or animals. And one day a mother whose little baby was sick as could be and nobody could help her, she went into the woods by herself, carrying an iron pot. She walked into a clearing, and waited, listening. The woods got quiet, like they were listening too, and the lady commenced to talking about the baby's problem and asking for help of whoever was listening.
She put the pot down, turned around, and walked out of the woods without looking back.
The next day, she came back, and where she'd left the pot, there was a little bundle of herbs, wrapped up in a soft deerskin. She ran home with it, and made it into tea for her baby, and the baby got better.
Well, word of the cure got round among the womenfolk. Real quiet like, it got round, not like the lies 'bout Goody Hawkins had gotten round before. They kept it a secret from the preachers, and after a while the preachers forgot about Goody Hawkins.
And ever' once in a while, a woman would slip away from the town, out into the woods, carrying some small thing, that she thought Goody Hawkins might be able to use, knowing that Goody Hawkins was out there somewhere, and would hear them. And always there would be an herb packet there the next day, or a little charm, or some such.
As the years went by, the herb packets stopped appearing, but the woman who turned back would see a shaft of light fall on some plant, and would take of that back home with her. And finally, even that stopped, but somehow the help always came, somebody got better.
There was a song, too. My granny's granny taught her this song, and my granny taught it to me, to sing to Goody Hawkins when we needed help:

With heavy heart I come and stand
The oak and bonny ivy,
A gift to offer in my hand.
The hazel, ash and bay tree.

How can I hope for any good
The oak and bonny ivy,
By standing in the empty wood?
The hazel, ash and bay tree.

But I will trust and dry my tears,
The oak and bonny ivy,
And know that the Wise Goodwife hears.
The hazel, ash, and bay tree.

"Tsk! Asleep already. Good..."

"Child, what are you doing out of bed?"
"I feel better, gramma!"
"Let me feel of your forehead. Well, that's fine."
"Gramma, can I have my coat?"
"Where are you going, child?"
"Out to the woods, gramma."
"What's that you have there?"
"It's a picture, gramma, look."
"Well, that's right nice. I think I can guess who that is. And I see you've given her back her silver bowl! She'll be happy. Off you go, then."
"Bye, gramma. I'll come back soon."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More random things

'Spirited Away' arrived in the mail yesterday. I haven't watched it yet though.

My Nan did manage to get my apple cider vinegar. Kelly brought it home with him yesterday (Saturday) evening. When I made my drink, I thought to myself, "I hope this tastes better than it smells, because it smells disgusting!" I got lucky. It may have smelled disgusting, but it tastes wonderful! And, I'm not just saying it either. While I was drinking it, I found myself thinking how, with the right incense and background noise (quiet, relaxing nature sounds, etc) it could be a good drink to induce meditation, or inspirational thinking. It might need to be stronger than I've been making it to achieve that effect though.

Kelly remembered to bring my piece of cake home too. It was a little dry (probably from the fact it's been waiting for me for a week, lol) but it was still nice. It was a fruit cake with marzipan and icing on the top of it. It's just a shame it was such a tiny piece.

I'm annoyed with the neighbours who live above me. Last night, they came home with a bunch of mates (at least most of whom were drunk) and put that rubbish they call music on at full blast. I was just thinking I'd had enough, and was contemplating going up to have a word about the noise (I was reluctant because of the fact I could tell they were quite full of alcohol) but the guy who lives next to them got in there first. Thankfully! They did turn the music down, but they were in and out a lot, so they kept setting Kero off barking. I don't know how I got to sleep, but I somehow got to sleep quite quickly. I wonder if the cider vinegar stuff had anything to do with it?

This has taken a lot longer to write than it should have, because I stopped to have some food.

I've just been watching 'Nanny McPhee' on Sky Movies Family. I've seen it tons of times before, but it's a good movie, so when I saw it was on I decided to watch it. Since it's just finished, maybe I'll put 'Spirited Away' on now? Yeah, I think I will. The TV's not far from where my PC is, so I'll be able to watch it while I finish my post. *wanders off to fetch the movie and put it on*

YAY! I finally got to see the start of the movie! LOL! I already know I'm going to enjoy watching the rest of it! :)

It's really cold and windy today. It's been quite wet this morning too.

I think Dad, Rachel, and Carl might be going to visit the museum some time during Carl and Rachel's visit. If they do, I'm going to go with them. Dad, Rachel, Carl and I are practically the only ones in the family that really appreciate a museum. Kelly enjoys bits and pieces (like the Ancient Egyptian exhibit) but he's not as enthusiastic about museums as Dad, Rachel, Carl and I are. Mam is even less enthusiastic. Her idea of visiting a museum involves just staying in each room as long as it takes to register what's in it, then moving on. I think she could probably get through the entire museum in less than half an hour. LOL! And Wayne... well... Wayne tries to act interested in whatever we're doing, but we all know that he couldn't care less about what happened to people he didn't know, and things he didn't know existed in the past. Nan would probably enjoy the outing, but she's got a habit of insisting we just enjoy ourselves, and to not worry about her. So, it's just the four of us. I hope we do go.

OK, I'm out of things to say (for now) so I'll let this do, and concentrate properly on watching my movie.

Tori

Note - added 12:37 pm: It ended up taking over two hours to do this post. LOL!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Random things

"Friday's night dream
On the Saturday told,
Is sure to come true,
Be it never so old."

That's what they say anyway! :)

Sh, if you have a dream tonight that you hope will come true, tell someone about it, and maybe it really will come true. Who knows?

I'm not sure what made me decide to post that. I was looking at some cute little poems, rhymes and songs on a Pagan Parenting web site, and decided I wanted to put that one in my post. Maybe because it's Friday night tonight?

Besides, not much is going on.

The sun is 'trying' to shine, but not having much luck. The rain is definitely winning the battle.

My next door neighbour came home today. Her parcel arrived on Wednesday, so when we realised she was home, Kelly took it around to her.

Carl and Rachel should be at my parents' place by now. Carl was working until lunch time, then they had to get the train from Norwich (where they live) to Neath (where Mam and Dad met them). I don't remember how long they will be staying for. I think it's two weeks, but don't quote me on that. I don't know how much I'll get to see of them though, because it sounds like they have their whole time booked up.

I was invited to go to Cardiff with Mam and Rachel, but I said, "No thanks." The idea of going all the way to Cardiff just to look at outfits for Rachel's wedding next year, really doesn't appeal to me.


My nose is being less like a combination of a leaky tap and a clogged drain, and more like a normal nose now. I'm still sneezing and coughing a fair bit though. The cough is mostly at night, the sneezing is mostly in the day. At least they're taking it in turns, I guess. It's less stress on the body if you're only doing one or the other. LOL!

I don't know if my Nan got my apple cider vinegar, because I haven't spoken to her since she went to town. I hope she did. I'll find out tomorrow. Kelly's going up there for the gaming club, so if she got it, he'll bring it home with him.

He should also be bringing me some fruit cake from Wayne and Kirstee's wedding, which went well by the way. Mam says that Kirstee looked beautiful. And, when they get their photos sorted, they'll bring them over to Mam's place for her to copy the disk they're on, and she'll let me see them. So, at least I'll get to see photos of the wedding. I'm more interested in the bit of cake at the moment though. LOL!

I've been doing some more online shopping. Not books this time though, lol! This time it was a new controller for my GameCube. My old one is perfectly fine, but I wanted a purple one. Every time I've gone to order one it's been out of stock (guess a lot of people like purple ones, lol) so, when I saw it was in stock, I grabbed the chance and ordered one. I should have it some time next week.

I also ordered the anime movie 'Spirited Away.' I've wanted it for some time, but never got around to buying it. I've seen it a couple of times, though I've somehow always managed to miss the very beginning. So, when the DVD arrives, which also should be some time next week, I'll finally get to see how the movie starts. LOL!

Not done any reading for a couple of days (unless you count reading blog posts, and stuff on web sites, LOL!) Not sure why. Just haven't felt like it. Maybe the fact I'm spending so much time either coughing or sneezing might be behind it?

And, Kelly's getting a cold now too.

Can't think of anything else to say, so I think I'll call it a day.

Tori

Choosing my path

ChicagoLady said...
One more question I have not been able to find the answer to by reading your posts or profile...when and how did you decide to be Wiccan/Pagan?

The main reason I have never mentioned this before, is that nobody asked me. So, since I am, once again, having trouble sleeping, I thought I would answer ChicagoLady's question.

It was, I suppose, a slow process. Unofficially, my journey on to my current path began when I was about seven. But, at that point I didn't know where my path would take me, nor did I fully understand why I chose to follow it. Because of this, I was not entirely sure where I should begin. But, after some consideration, I have decided to begin with the events that happened when I was about seven. The same events that, I believe, were responsible for my first tentative steps along the path to the Pagan religion of Wicca.

And so, my story begins when I was, as I have already mentioned, about seven years old. I had, since I was about five years old, been in a Sunday School, along with my brothers, Carl and Wayne, and a few family friends. One of which was my best friend (at the time) Pia. Another of which was one of my Mam's Goddaughters, Leighann. At this point, it is important that I tell you that Pia is a year younger than I am, Carl is a year older than I am, and Wayne is about four and a half years older than I am. And, Leighann is about two or three years younger than I am. You will see why this is important very soon. It is also important to make sure that you are aware that my brothers and I have disabilities. They are only mild disabilities. Wayne is almost completely deaf (and has been since birth), Carl is completely blind (and has been since the age of two), and I myself do not have particularly good eyesight. Again, you will soon see why it is important for me to point this out.

The Sunday School was divided in to classes. One for children under five, and two or three others dividing up the older children (I'm not sure how they worked, but that doesn't matter).


I had never given the fact that my siblings and I were never moved into the higher classes a single though. When Pia was moved up in to a higher class, I guess I probably assumed that the Sunday School teachers were fed up of us messing about and not listening to them (which was what we usually did when we were together) and wanted us separated. But then, Leighann was moved up too, and we still were not. Of course, this prompted me to question their actions. As many seven year olds will do. The response to my question was that my siblings and I were an exception because of our disabilities. Now, this, of course, was not an acceptable answer. Especially to a seven year old who had been taught that not only should disabilities make no difference, but that 'God' treats everyone as equals. I voiced my objection and was told that sometimes even God will make exceptions. My reaction to this prompted them to suspend me from Sunday School for several weeks (oops!)

Upon my return, they had obviously been told to not treat us differently, because Wayne and Carl had already been placed in the classes they should have been in, and I was to be placed in the correct one for my age. I ended up still with Leighann, Pia and Carl, but was no longer with Wayne and all the very young children.

But I still wouldn't go back, because when they began reading to us from the bible, and didn't take too kindly to my constant doubts and questions, well, I decided Sunday School wasn't for me, and refused to return. It had been fun while all I did was play with toy arks and hear about the man who is said to have built an ark to save animals from a flood. But, once the true religious education began, I knew it wasn't for me. I don't know how. It just felt wrong.

I have been to a church only three times since. Once was when my parents married. The second time was when I was part of a show we were doing when I was in Girl Guides. And the third time was when I carried the 'colours' (which, for those who don't know, is the name given to the flag) for my Girl Guides troup on Remembrance Sunday, the last year I was in Guides (I was the oldest guide, so it was my duty to carry the colours).

Anyway, I have always loved to read, and so, after my refusal to return to Sunday School, I began to read. I'm not sure exactly what I was looking for, but I was sure that somewhere among one of the books that would one day come my way would be the answers to all the questions that the bible had failed to answer. And, I was right.

Just after I turned twelve, my R.E. (Religious Education) teacher at school set us an assignment that ended up leading me to the answers I needed. Of course, as she was a devout Catholic, I don't think she would have set such an assignment if she had known I was searching for such answers. LOL! The assignment was entitled "The Origin Of Christmas" and the topic was, as you can probably guess, the origin of Christmas and the symbols we associate with it.

Everyone else began to write about the story of 'baby Jesus' and how he had been born on Christmas day, etc, etc. I'm sure you all know the story. But, I refused. I couldn't accept that this was truly the origin of Christmas. Besides, if it was, there were some symbols that weren't explained (like the trees, the mistletoe, the holly... etc). So, since I was one of those children who was more than happy to miss breaks in order to study in the library, I decided to do a little research.

At first, I found nothing. And, I was becoming frustrated. I knew the answers were out there. Somewhere. And, it just happened that I mentioned the assignment in front of my Dad, and also mentioned my doubts in the whole 'baby Jesus' story to him. He told me that most of the stuff was taken from "some Pagan festival" but that's about all he seemed to know on the matter. So, realising the school's library wouldn't hold the answers, I went to the local library to search. This time with at least some idea of what I was looking for. Sure enough, I found the answers I had been looking for.

I did my assignment and presented it to my teacher. She wasn't impressed. She gave me an F and called my Mam to the school informing her that I wasn't doing well in her class, and that I was "interrupting the education of the other students" with all my questions. In other words, she didn't agree with my beliefs and wanted my Mam to make them go away. Even if she'd wanted to though, Mam couldn't, because she knew nothing of them at the time. Even I didn't really know at this point what I believed in.

Anyway, the information I found while doing my assignment was the beginning of many other pieces of information that I gathered over the next couple of years. Some of it I still have, but with moving around a lot, a lot of it has been misplaced. But, that doesn't matter. What matters is that the stuff I read while researching the Pagan religions - and, for those who don't know, I say 'religions' for the simple fact that Paganism contains many paths - seemed to make sense to me. It answered my questions, and made me feel like there were others out there who felt the way I did about the world. If that makes sense.

I'm not entirely sure what made me choose to be an Eclectic Wiccan though. There are many Pagan paths that I could have chosen (as I've already mentioned) but something made me choose this one. I don't even remember when I decided it was the right one for me. I was just talking to some people on a web site I used to visit, and when asked found myself saying that my chosen path was that of an Eclectic Wiccan.

So, that's the story as I remember it.

I was just about to turn seventeen when I admitted my beliefs to my parents. I remember when it happened, because it was because of the name I chose to give the pitch black, Lop-Mix rabbit that they'd got me about a week before Samhain (Halloween) that triggered the discussion. I called him 'Samhain Magik.' You may have seen his photos in my photo albums, and/or read about him on our pets' page. I think, to some degree, I did it on purpose so that the discussion would have to happen. But, the name also just seemed right for him.

It was about six months later (maybe a little less) that I first found myself admitting my beliefs to people outside of the family (apart from online, where people had known for about two years by the time I told my parents). And, I did it via a project I did in a computer class. A project containing the main points of the information I had gathered over the past five years. I'm sure I have it somewhere. If not the printed out version, then I'm sure the files from it are saved on one of my backup disks.

I hope I've answered your question, ChicagoLady. But, if you - or anyone else for that matter - have any more questions, feel free to ask, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Tori

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Healthy, happy, content cat"

The weather wasn't too bad this morning, so Kelly was able to take Megan (see photo to the left of this text) to the vet for her shots. I think she knew she was going, because she vanished just before I was going to put her in her cat carrier. But, I know Megan thinks with her stomach, so I opened a can of cat food. Within a few seconds, Megan was at my feet. We have no idea where she came from, but with Megan we rarely do. That's why Wayne (my brother) calls her Mystic Meg. Because she just appears out of nowhere. Anyway, the vet gives the animals a thorough check-up when they go in for their shots, and pronounced Megan a "healthy, happy, content cat." So, that's good!

Anyway...

My Grandma sent me a DVD called 'Born On The Straw' a couple of weeks ago. It actually arrived before I went to visit Jackie, Shireen and Elizabeth, but I hadn't had a chance to watch it. Until yesterday. It's a sort of documentary type thing following up on 'Ainlee' and her family. There was a book written something like 40 years ago about Ainlee and her family, but Ainlee was just a little girl then. She's all grown up now and has children (and grandchildren) of her own now. It was a really good DVD. If everyone lived as simply as they do, and were as willing to help each other as they are, the world would be a much better place to live in. That's my opinion anyway. And Ainlee's little grandson 'Levi George' (who, at the time this was made, had not long turned three) is SO CUTE! And such a willing little helper. Bless him!

Haven't really done much else. I've mostly just been messing about on the PC, playing on my GameCube, and listening to the Lemony Snicket story on audio CD (Kelly got them for me last week). I should be reading the Harry Potter book, but I wanted a bit of a rest from reading.

Kelly's been walking Kero for me, in order to stop me going out in the cold and wet. I'm kind of glad in a way, because I'm coughing and sneezing so much that it would be hard work walking Kero at the moment. Still, I am missing being outside. Oh well, hopefully I'll be better soon, then I can go with Kero on his walks again.

I've added a few new books to my book pile. They are: "Charlotte's Web" by E. B. White, and "Ugly" by Constance Briscoe.

I don't know what order I'll end up reading all these books, because I've just been adding them to the piles of books I have. So, I guess it will just be as I get to them. I'm still slowly making my way through 'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows' though, so there could be more on the pile by the time I'm done. LOL!

OK, I think that's about it from me for today. I'll post a reply to ChicagoLady's most recent question tomorrow.

Hope you're all having a good day, and that those of you who, like myself, haven't been feeling too good lately, are feeling at least a little better.

Tori

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wet Wednesday

When I woke up yesterday, I could barely breathe. So, Megan never went to the vet. Kelly says he'll take her in on Thursday or Friday, if the rain calms down. It's been POURING with rain for about the last 24 hours, and since there are holes in the carrier (obviously, or she wouldn't be able to breathe in there) and our bus stop is open, it would be next to impossible to avoid her getting soaked while waiting for the bus. If the rain hasn't calmed down by Friday, he'll try again Monday (it's emergency only on weekends). But, if we still have no luck on Monday, I'll ask my Mam and Dad if they'll take her in. She needs to be done by the end of the month or I'll have to pay twice as much and start all her shots over again (plus, take her twice this year instead of once). As it is we got the reminder from the vet in the mail yesterday. I usually get them in before the reminder is sent out, but for some reason I've failed to do so for both girls this year (I got the reminder for Sakura when she was due to be done back in February too).

Anyway, I'm not feeling quite as bad this morning as I was yesterday morning. I can, at least, breathe this morning. I would normally be drinking plenty of herbal tea to shift it, but I don't know enough about the herbs and my pills to know if any of the things in the tea I usually drink when I'm sick would affect the work the pills are doing. We do have some paracetamol in the cupboard, but, again, I don't know how it would affect my pills. I'm even more reluctant to take that because my system isn't used to it. I have to be REALLY bad to take anything like that usually, so I don't want to shock my system and have it mess up the hard work we're putting in with those other pills. The doctor did tell me not to take anything (pain-killer wise) that's too strong, and I'm worried that with my system not being used it, even something as simple as a couple of paracetamol would be considered too strong. And, like I said, I don't know enough about the herbs in my 'special tea' to know that they wouldn't effect the pills. Ah well, I guess I'll just have to suffer. On a brighter note though, I'm getting really good at throwing dirty tissues in to the bin from my chair without missing. Yeah, I know... "Eww!" LOL!

We had a little 'visitor' yesterday. Megan brought a frog home, and Kelly thought he was dead. So, we put him in the bin. Kelly opened the bin to put something in there afterwards, and... Up jumps the frog, who turned out not to be dead after all. I'm glad he was the one who opened the bin and not me. I've got no problem with frogs, and was more than happy to keep Kero and the cats back while Kelly caught the frog and took him outside to safety (we hope). But, I prefer not to have things jump out of bins at me. Especially when I have no idea they're in there in the first place. LOL! Megan didn't bring him back, so we know she hasn't got hold of him, because she ALWAYS brings the things she kills home. We usually get at least one 'gift' a day from Megan. And I don't think Chance caught him, because he's never been very good at catching live prey. He's more of a dustbin raider. His 'gifts' to us usually consist of mouldy meats and stuff like that. As for Sakura... Well, all we can do is hope she hasn't gotten hold of him. She doesn't usually go after frogs and toads (prefers rodents) but, he was in her yard, and she's an EXCELLENT hunter. Unfortunately. Poor little frog. I hope he's OK. I know the cats are only following their natural instincts, but I really wish they'd stop killing all these poor little animals. Even more so, I wish they'd stop bringing them home for me.

So... Today is shopping day. Kelly offered to go for me, because of me being sick. Originally I said "no" and was going to go anyway, but my Mam agreed with Kelly, so I gave in and just asked them to bring me home a baguette. I suppose I could have argued the point, but... Why waste energy I don't have fighting a battle I don't care about winning? LOL!

Tori

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why I celebrate both Yule and Christmas

ChicagoLady said...
Just curious. Since you yourself state you're a pagan, why do you celebrate Christmas? I understand celebrating Yule, because you've explained the meaning behind that. But Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. If you're a pagan, then wouldn't you NOT believe in God and the fact that he sent his son to earth as a man to die for us?

I decided to answer the comment in an actual post rather than it would be a bit long for a comment, so made more sense to start up a post for it.

You're right, ChicagoLady. I don't believe in God, and I don't agree with the celebration of the birth of 'Jesus Christ' whom I also do not believe existed. Therefore, your question not only failed to take me by surprise, but I have been waiting for someone to ask it since last December when I first mentioned that I celebrate both Yule and Christmas.

So, why then do I celebrate both Yule and Christmas? Well, I'll tell you.

Until I was sixteen, my beliefs were kept quiet from the rest of the family. The family celebrated Christmas, so I did. Simple as that. Then I began to let my family know of my beliefs. But, my parents, my siblings, and basically the rest of the family (excluding my hubby, my uncle Phillip and my Auntie Bev) have different beliefs, so they celebrate Christmas. Most of them don't even know what Yule is.

At first, before I met Kelly and got married, I would celebrate Yule by myself. I 'd open gifts from friends on Yule, but left those from family until Christmas. My parents would have noticed if I'd opened the stuff from them, and I didn't want to cause arguments. Then, after Kelly and I got married, we started celebrating Yule together. We'd open the gifts from our friends and most of the stuff from each other at Yule, then celebrating Christmas with the rest of the family, keeping a gift or two for each other to exchange while the family is around. It just seemed easier.

I would prefer to just celebrate Yule. To forget about the holidays that have nothing to do with what I believe. To let Yule and Ostara become more of a priority and ignore Christmas and Easter... The holidays that symbolise all those things I don't believe happened. But I don't want to cause arguments. As it is, it was only last year that I was able to persuade my Mam that in celebrating Yule I wouldn't be taking away the whole gift giving holiday from my kids if I were to celebrate just Yule.

That's as best as I can explain my reasons. Hope that answers your question.

Tori

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday's musings

We had close to a week of beautiful, sunny, warm weather. Today, however, it was cold and wet. Unfortunately, the sudden change in weather means I now have a cold. I've been sneezing all day, and my nose is dripping like a leaky tap, while the other side is stuffed up like a clogged up drain. Yuck! Um... Sorry if you were eating and I grossed you out! LOL!

Today being Monday, Mam should have been here this evening, but since we were both so tired from not sleeping too well again last night, we decided it would be better if she didn't come down. We both get a bit snippy when we're tired, so we both agreed it would be better if we didn't spend the evening together, otherwise we'd have just been at each other's throats. And, before anyone says anything, I didn't watch any kind of movie last night, so there's no way you can blame it on watching horror movies.

Normally I'd be going shopping tomorrow (Tuesday). But, Mam asked if we could go on Wednesday instead this week, and I agreed. Megan's supposed to have her shots this month, so I might see about taking her for the shot tomorrow.

My next door neighbour (Margret) is going away for a few days (I think she's going to visit her family in New Port) so she's asked us to keep an eye on her place. Also, she was expecting a parcel, which was meant to arrive today but didn't, so she's asked us if she can leave a note on her door to tell the delivery person to leave it with us. Usually at least one of us is home, so that's not a problem.

I think the people who live above us might be a bit quieter for a while. It's the guy who makes most of the noise. He has his mates over until who knows when, playing what passes for music in his deluded mind. Even his parner gets annoyed. A couple of days ago, it was still going on at 3:00 am, and I was just thinking about going up there and asking him to at least lower the volume, when I heard his pardner yelling at him. They had a huge argument, and then she either threw his mates out or him and his mates. Not sure exactly. Anyway, it's been a lot quieter since, so whatever happened, I think it was for the best. I do know that if she did throw him out, then he's back now, because I heard his voice earlier when I was taking Kero out for a pee, and they had their window open. Yeah, I know, I'm a nosy cow, aren't I? LOL!

Is it just me, or are people starting to think about Christmas earlier every year? People already seem to be discussing what they want for Christmas, what they will be doing around Christmas, etc. It's a shame people have lost sight of the ture meaning of the season. Were it not for that fact, it would be nice that people are thinking about it so soon. I don't usually start thinking about it until like the end of September or the start of October. Basically, some time between Mabon (the Autumn/Fall Equinox) and Samhain (Halloween). And we do both Yule and Christmas. Yet, I still manage to get all the presents brought for everyone for both holidays before everyone else gets everything they need for just Christmas. LOL!

OK, I'm out of things to say now, so I think it's time to publish the post.

Tori

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mostly movie related

'Failure To Launch' turned out to be a really great movie. There were some funny bits in it, and it had a great story line. It was definitely worth watching!

After 'Failure To Launch' was over, the new version of 'The Omen' was on. Well, I say "new" but I believe it was actually released some time last year. Anyway, being a fan of 'The Omen Trilogy' I decided to watch it. It was OK. Just 'OK' though. The old version was better, in my opinion. I felt like they were rushing through the plot, and I hate that. I felt they were more interested in keeping the movie from being too long than in giving us time to get to know the characters and their story. So, I wasn't nearly as impressed with it as I had been with the original version.

I have to admit, that's all I've really done since I last blogged.

I had a bad night last night. Kept waking up every few minutes thinking I was late for some non-existent event. So, I ended up not getting up until quite late. Not that it really matters, because I don't really do much on a Sunday usually. But that doesn't make it any less frustrating.

Anyway, since I don't have anything else to say, I guess I'll call it a day, pick out a colour for today's font, and hit that 'publish post' button.

Tori

P.S. Kaylee, I'm glad your surgery went well, and that you're recovering quickly. Please don't forget to rest though!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A wedding, a birthday and the rest of my Saturday

Shireen and Elizabeth's brother, Wayne is marrying his partner, Kirstee, today. I think the ceremony started about 3:00 pm, so it should be over by now, meaning that they should be husband and wife by now. I hope it went well for them. I wasn't invited. Well, I was invited to the evening party thing, which should be in full swing by now, but that's it. I didn't go to the party though. because I wouldn't have been able to get home once it was over, so I told them I couldn't make it.

Today is also my friend Jean's birthday. So, happy birthday Jean!

It's been a beautiful day today. Sunny and dry, but not too hot. Perfect for a nice, peaceful walk by the river. So, Kelly, Kero and I all decided to make the most of it, and took a walk together. It was lovely!

I haven't really done much else today. Although, I did have a nice, long chat on the phone with my friend Louise this evening.

I'm not getting through the Harry Potter book as quickly as I'd have liked to, because the chapters are quite long, and I've been so tired lately that most nights I'm lucky if I can even read a whole chapter. So, those of you who are still trying to finish the book, you have plenty of time to finish it before I put up my review... LOL!

Right now, I'm watching 'Failure To Launch' on Sky Movies Premier. It seems pretty good so far. But, I'm going to end this so I can concentrate on watching it.

Tori

Friday, August 10, 2007

Shireen's visit

I got the nice, dry day I'd been hoping for yesterday (Thursday). It was a bit warmer than I'd hoped it would be though. Today (Friday) there was a bit of a breeze, but not yesterday. There were clouds in the sky yesterday, but cloud cover with no breeze doesn't do much to cool you down, does it?

Shireena and Kero spent the morning playing football in the garden, while I was working on getting some dishes washed, and folding some laundry that had been washed the day before. I did peek out on them every few minutes just to make sure both of them were OK, but since they seemed to be having so much fun, I mostly just left them to it. I snapped a couple of sneaky photos while they were playing. This is one of them.

After lunch, Kero, Shireen and I went to the park. First, we walked around the big park where we walk Kero and Willow, and where we have our picnics. I let Shireen bring her scooter, and she was zooming back and forth along the path on it, while Kero sniffed what must have been every blade of grass (it seemed like it to me anyway, lol) and I slowly walked along behind them, keeping an eye on where both of them were and what they were doing. Then Shireen played in the kiddy play park for a while, while Kero and I sat and watched her. And, before we went back to my place, we took a little walk along the path by the river, where I most enjoy walking. We ended up spending the entire afternoon either walking or, in Shireen's case, playing at the park, so by the time we got back to my place, it was time for me to start making dinner.

Once dinner was over with, I helped Shireen make the card for her brother and his soon-to-be wife. And, while we had the stuff out, I made one for them too. I was going to take photos of the cards, but I forgot, and now Shireen's taken them with her to give to her brother Wayne (not to be confused with my brother Wayne, lol) and Kirstee.

Before bed, we watched the fourth Harry Potter movie 'Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire' while we had our supper and a warm drink. I'd have probably been in bed by 9:00 pm, but it was about 9:45 pm the movie ended, and then I had to get Shireen in to bed before I could get myself sorted for bed. It was about 10:15 pm I got to bed, and it didn't take me long to fall asleep.

Got up about 7:30 am. Five minutes later (if that) Shireen got up. So, I was bearly awake sorting her out ready for my Mam to pick her up. Managed to get her sorted quickly though, so she had been ready for quite a while when my Mam arrived to pick her up.

Haven't done much much today, because I've been too tired. It's amazing how much it can take out of you spending a day with a kid when you're not used to it.

I did watch the movie 'Yours, Mine And Ours' today though. It was on one of the movie channels on Sky, so I thought I'd watch it. It turned out to be a pretty good movie.

Tori

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lazy Wednesday

It's been a lovely day today. I hope it will be just as nice tomorrow. I've got Shireen for the day (and over night) tomorrow, and I'm hoping I can take her and Kero to the park, and if it rains I wont be able to. Well, we can still go for a walk, but both Kero and Shireen will enjoy it more if we can spend the afternoon outside.

I pulled out all my craft stuff today, ready to help Shireen make the card for her brother tomorrow. I was just going to put the new stuff among it and put it back away, but decided it would probably be easier to just leave it all stacked on one end of the table. Our table seats six, and even with Shireen there are only three of us, so it's not like the stuff will be in the way.

I haven't really done anything else today, so I guess I'll let this do. After all, this is my third post today, and I'm posting this more because I'm bored than because I've got something to say... LOL!

Tori

You Are Blessed

To all my friends...

You Are Blessed

The night is here
Darkness is near
Now it is time to rest
Close your eyes, and know
No matter where you go
That you are truly blessed

Reach for all those far off stars
That in your dreams don't seem so far
And know that I'll be there for you
No matter where you are

For you are blessed eternally
Because you mean the world to me

© 2007 ~ Tori Zigler

Blogs and beliefs

For the first few months that I had this blog, I didn't know what to write about, and I only visited about three blogs. That seems a lifetime ago now though. Most days I could do two or three posts (sometimes I do just that in fact) and you should see the list of blogs I check! There's more than a dozen, and I check them all every day. Unless I can't get online for some reason. Some days I even check them quite a few times, especially if I can't sleep, which is the case tonight. There are some interesting blogs out there! Some of them are just plain stupid and seem to be more full of links than blog posts, but I've found a fair few interesting blogs. Hence the long list of blogs I check each day.

Different things keep me going back to different blogs. With some it's the photos, with others the book reviews, and with others it's simply the fact I'm a nosy cow who likes to read about other people's lives, and find the life of the blogger in question very interesting. What can I say? I know what I like! LOL!

I hope I do a good job of keeping my blog interesting. I try not to bore people with too much whining, or too much boring information, but at the end of the day, this is my blog, and I can post whatever I want! If people don't like what I post, they don't have to read it, do they?

My personal opinion is that, I am who I am, I'm proud of who I am, and I don't intend to change who I am for love nor money. I've chosen my path, and I intend to follow it. Some of the things I believe in may draw a few raised eyebrows, and others may cause a few arguments. But they are my beliefs and that's that!

As you will know if you have read my profile lately, or if you have been a visitor to my blog for a while, I'm a Pagan. An Eclectic Wiccan to be exact. I don't believe in the existence of a God. I believe in the wonders of nature, the beauty of the world around us, in spirit guides, and the magic that can be found within yourself if you look hard enough. And I believe that the closest thing there are to a God or Goddess (or whatever it is you believe in) are the 'spirits' (for lack of a better word) that can be heard or seen in the magic and beauty of the world around us. But, most of all, I believe that the only one who can answer your prayers is yourself.

Feel free to think I'm talking a load of rubbish. Feel free to believe that I've lost the plot and should be locked away. And, feel free to tell me what you believe in. In fact, I'd be very interested in hearing what you believe in. Just remember that, as I have already said at least once, those are my beliefs and I don't intend to change them, and that's that!

I'm not entirely sure what the point of this post was. I just decided I wanted to post it, so I did! Don't know why, so don't ask! LOL!

Tori

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bit of a whiny post

Guess what? While I was posting on here that I wanted to go see 'The Simpson's Movie' but nobody wanted to go with me, Mam was taking Shireen and Elizabeth to see it. She didn't offer me, because she didn't think I'd want to go. Hm... OK. I guess she forgot about our conversation on Thursday evening at Jackie's place, when Shireen said she wanted to see the movie, I said I did too, and Mam said she didn't want to go. Either that, or she assumed I just didn't want to walk the 2.5 miles from my place to hers, then the 2.5 miles from her place to the local cinema, and then walk the 5 miles back home again. In Mam's defence, I do usually avoid going to that cinema. It's only a small place, and mostly it's teenagers and little kids who go there. The people who can't drive yet, and who's parents can't be bothered to take them to the better cinema. But that's not the point! I should have been asked and given the opportunity to say "yes" or "no" for myself. Anyway, Shireen and Elizabeth enjoyed the movie, but Mam didn't. I wouldn't have minded that they went without me so much, but they all started telling me bits that happened in the movie. I have to admit, I got a bit snappy at that point and pointed out that just because they'd seen it and I hadn't, that was no reason to spoil it for me for when I do get to see it. I'd seen most of the bits they mentioned when I'd been watching the various trailers, but that's so not the point!

Anyway...

Today was shopping day. I didn't get much, because I figured it would be better not to do anything I didn't 'need' to do with Shireen with us. So, I just did my food shopping, and got a few bits I needed for helping Shireen make a card for her brother (he's getting married on Saturday). We did have some lunch though. Elizabeth and I had baguettes. Mine was my usual tuna, sweetcorn, cheese and onion one, and Elizabeth had just cheese and onion in hers. And, Shireen had a corned beef pasty. Then Mam decided she fancied a friut scone, and offered the rest of us a cake each too. Elizabeth didn't want one, but Shireen and I did. Shireen had a donut with chocolate icing on it, and I had a scone like Mam. I have trouble saying no to those scones. They're fruit scones with jam and cream in them, and vanilla icing on top. Absolutely delicious!

It wasn't too bad of a day (weather wise). For the most part, it was dry, and quite warm. But, it rained a bit when we were in town. It didn't rain for long though, and it was one of those sun showers where it's so warm you don't really care that it's raining, because the rain cools you down a bit.

That's basically been my day, so I'll end this for today.

Tori

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunny Monday

Today has been a beautiful, sunny day, and I've not really done much. My ankle's not hurting today, so my lazy weekend obviously did it some good.

My pills had to be taken for five days, so I took them from Monday to Friday of last week. I have to get some more in about three weeks, and then I have to take them for another five days. I probably wont know if they're working properly until I see my gynaecologist again in September. Although, I may be able to guess that they're working right if I start having a normal cycle, or something.

This has taken longer to write than it should have, because I had to stop part way through to take Kero out in the yard. I can't let him out on his own, because he likes to run back and forth in front of the fence barking at anyone who passes, and the neighbours don't really appreciate when he does that. Especially the ones who are, at this time of the evening, trying to get young children to settle for sleep. Can't say I blame them, I wouldn't like it if someone else's dog was doing it. So, I go with him, so I can grab him and get him in quick if he goes to start doing it.

I want to go see 'The Simpson's Movie' at the cinema, but nobody else wants to go with me to see it, and I don't want to go by myself. Wayne would probably go with me, but he's away with the cadets, and by the time he gets back, Carl and Rachel will be here for their Summer visit (though, it's actually Autumn/Fall now, not Summer any more) and Wayne's not going to want to go with me to see a movie when Carl's here. He's going to be much more interested in spending time with Carl. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait for it to come out on Sky movies. At least I got to see 'Shrek The Third' while I was away.

OK, I think that's enough of my nonsense for one day. LOL!

Tori


By the way, I added some of my old stories to my short story spot last night.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It's Sunday today

Here's Kero with one of the treats I brought home from Stevenage with me. It's a rawhide dummy (or, 'soother' as some of you may know it better). I also got him a rawhide hot dog but you can't see it because of the blanket, and Kero was much more interested in giving me kisses and eating his treats than having me take photos of him. LOL!

It was beautiful and sunny in Stevenage while we were there. It did get a little drizzly Thursday afternoon, but it was so hot we hardly noticed (even though we were out in it). Kelly and Dad said it was beautiful here in Wales too, but by the time we got home on Friday it was raining, and it rained all yesterday (Saturday) too. It's nice today though. Kinda cloudy and miserable looking, but dry and warm.

I've not really done much since I've been home, because I've been resting my leg. I have a problem with my right ankle, and it was a bit sore from all the walking I'd been doing. Plus, I landed wrong when I got off one of the trains, and made it worse.

By the way, did any of you remember to check the post with the eggs in it to see what hatched? If you did forget, click here to take a look.

Tori

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Haircuts, food, shopping, movies and fountains

Scroll down to read the previous post before you read this one.

On Wednesday morning, we went in to the town to look around the shops. We went in quite a few shops, and we looked around both an indoor and outdoor market.

Right in the middle of the town there's a fountain, which we sat near to eat our lunch. It was very pretty, and birds kept coming to drink from it and take a bath in it. Most of the birds were Pigeons, but we saw the odd Starling. I hadn't taken my camera with me though, so we didn't get photos of the birds. This photo of me by the fountain wasn't taken until Friday morning. We stopped to take it before we went to the train station to get the train home.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mam, Elizabeth and I had our hairs cut (I just had a trim, but Mam and Elizabeth had quite a bit cut off of theirs). Then, we went out to dinner. I don't remember what Jackie had, but Mam had fish, chips and peas. I had burger, chips and peas. Shireen had chicken nuggets, chips and beans. And Elizabeth had this HUGE bacon burger with chips and onion rings. That was a burger and a bit! She still managed a desert though. Jackie didn't have a desert, but the rest of us did. I had apple and caramel crumble with ice-cream, Mam and Elizabeth both had chocolate fudge cake with ice-cream, and Shireen had a chocolate sundae. We were all very full when we were done.

Thursday morning, Mam, Shireen and I went into town again. Mam and I each got a new set of clothes for the journey home (I'm wearing mine in the photo of me in front of the fountain) and then we went for a milkshake before going to the pet store to buy a present each for Kero and Willow.

On Thursday afternoon, Mam, Shireen and I went to the movies to watch 'Shrek The Third.' Shireen and I had kiddy snack meals that have popcorn, a carton of juice, and some sweets in them. They forgot to put the sweets in Shireen's box though, so I gave her mine. And, Mam and I shared some nachos with cheese sauce on them. Mam and I also had extra drinks.

The movie was great! In fact, I think it was even better than the first two movies! There were loads of funny bits too.

That's about all we did. By the time we'd done all those things, it was time to start packing ready for coming home Friday.

Tori