as the crone flies

Welcome September

It’s September I can hardly believe it, this is the first time in a very long time I couldn’t wait for August to end. It’s been so hot and humid, not unusual for Florida but this year I am really feeling it.

September usually brings quite a bit of rain and hurricane warnings not to mention hurricanes but the temps do start to drop a bit and Autumn is just 3 weeks away.

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Stitching update and a few new books for Fall

I just pre-ordered 3 new craft books set to release in the Autumn 2 in October and 1 in November. The Crocheting Witch and Fiber Magick are fiber/needle arts. The Witchcrafting Handbook includes crafts, recipes, and creative projects for you and your home.

Coming in October 2021
Coming in November 2021
Coming in October 2021

As a practitioner of Stitch Craft I am looking forward to these 3 books. The first book The Crocheting Witch by RJ Montgomery is described as A quick reference for people specifically looking to incorporate crochet into their craft, The Crocheting Witch is a guide to using different types of stitch pattern, materials, herbal and essential-oil infusions, beads, and charms to create a variety of crocheted crafts.

The Fiber Magick book by Opal Luna is described as it provides many ways to enhance your magick through fiber arts. Discover the tools of the trade, the power of color, and a variety of weaving, braiding, and knotting methods. Learn how to use sigils, deities, and correspondences in your practice. I believe this is similar to how I incorporate magical intentions to the things I create by adding a bit of spell work or chanting my intention for the person I am making the item for.

The Witchcrafting Handbook by Helena Garcia is described as a new book to help you witch-craft your way to a more magical life, with creative projects for you and your home. Over 70 projects for stylish witches to make at home.

The last crafts book for Witches I purchased was Sew Witchy by Raechel Henderson, I bought it in March 2020 right before I became ill. Other crafting books for witches I have on my shelf are:

Witchy Crafts by Lexa Olick

Witch Crafts by Willow Polson

The Crafty Witch by Willow Polson

Magical Needlework by Dorothy Morrison

Recently I added 2 embroidery books to my witch crafty shelves:

Magical Stitches by Christi Johnson

Embroidery Now by Jennifer Cardenas Riggs (not necessarily pagan centered)

My progress on the July goddess of the Month embroidery was stalled for a few weeks so once again I am playing catch up. The July goddess is Isis and I am currently working on the wings.

I would like to have the stitching completed soon but illness and heart surgery, cardiac rehab has pretty much taken up most of my energy so I don’t stitch daily and when I do stitch it isn’t for very long.

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Wellness Update.

Work outs at the Wellness Center for my cardiac rehab is going alone nicely, I am still working on the recumbent cross trainer machine, and yesterday I tried a few other moves. One that won’t work is a machine you use your arms like you were pedaling a bike. It was okay for the first 5 minutes and then I could feel the carpal tunnel pain rearing it’s ugly head. So that is a machine I won’t use again.

I also did several minutes stepping on and off a step platform, not too difficult but afterward on the way home and all evening my bad knee was aching, so that may be a move I can’t do. I don’t intend to aggravate other conditions when there are other alternatives to try.

I’m dealing with enough pain without added discomfort of pain from old injuries. Well that’s about it for the wellness update which I missed posting yesterday, I go back tomorrow and hopefully I can try a new machine along with the cross trainer.

I saw my regular GP on Tuesday and we went over all the stuff that has been going on since the last time I saw her in April. I brought copies of the stent surgery because I knew the hospital would neglect to send them even though they said they did. She was as stumped as I was when I told her the two carotid arteries couldn’t be stented until I saw a neurosurgeon. My blood work was all good except my cholesterol which I am now taking medication for. It was high but not too high, but since I now have coronary artery disease it’s too high.

We have finally had a few days without rain and oh my goddess it’s so hot, I forget how hot August in Florida gets. The cicada’s are singing loud, first thing in the morning when I step outside the concert of cicadas is earsplitting to say the least. They aren’t as loud in the evening as they are in the morning or maybe it just seems they are quieter. I am looking forward to the arrival of autumn.

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Today was my first day of Cardiac Rehab at the Advent Health Wellness Center here in Ocala.  You can read about why I am in Cardiac rehab on my July 4th post, but basically I have had two stents put into my heart artery to clear a blockage, there are two blockages in my carotid arteries but before they can put in stents a neurosurgeon has to sign off on the procedure so for now I will see how the blood thinners work.

Last week I went for the initial evaluation where height and weight Blood Pressure and a few simple exercises were used for evaluation so a plan can be made and the doctor could sign off on it before I got started.  The exercise was simple do as many dumbbell curls as I could in 30 seconds-15, get up and sit down in a chair for 30 seconds-11 and walk 8 feet back to the starting point. All the while wearing a heart monitor, which I wear during my sessions.  

Today I arrived at Noon and before I knew it I was hooked up to a little heart monitor that I wore in a pouch around my neck.  Blood pressure was checked and then it was onto this beast of a machine.

Which wasn’t a beast at all, it is a recumbent cross trainer and for thirty odd minutes I did a mix of legs/arms, just arms and then just legs.  I forgot to bring my little notebook to log what I am doing but I do remember.  I managed 15 minutes arms and legs moving together, than 9 minutes just moving the arms back and forth, and then 11 minutes just legs,  I was just starting to sweat when it was time to stop.   I am sure I am going to feel it later today and tomorrow but that’s fine with me just moving more in a monitored environment has given me a confidence boost, I realize last week when I did a 30 minute walk at the park how nervous I was walking.  I go back on Friday for session number 2.

Tomorrow I will take a walk in one of the local parks to keep the momentum of movement so that once I am working out on a regular schedule again I will have worked through those beginning aches and pains.

On the nutrition note, for dinner last night and last Sunday I made baked salmon, a mix of broccoli and asparagus and half of steamed sweet potato.

Now this may look like a lot of food however it is 3 oz. of salmon baked with a little salt and pepper and olive oil.  1/2 of a small sweet potato (hard to find small) 1 cup of steamed broccoli/asparagus. It was so good. This season I have pushed aside brussel sprouts for asparagus which I can’t seem to get enough of.  I still eat brussel sprouts just not as often.  Maybe next time I am going to try roasting the asparagus. 

I found a new to me magazine Saturday when I was checking out at the local Earth Fare store. I came home and read it cover to cover. I liked it so much I subscribed to it along with a sister magazine, titled Mantra Wellness which a friend passed me her old issue and an issue of Thrive magazine.

This year I let several magazine subscriptions run out several of which I didn’t order and received as gifts. Woman’s Day, Martha, Better Homes, Country Living, Real Simple which ends next month along with Good Housekeeping. I have been reading these for ages and every few years I switch up the magazines I subscribe to. I like magazines to carry along to appointments, the beach and to use in collage projects I do from time to time.

Okay so that’s my workout post, I am planning to post weekly workout post on Wednesdays to keep track of my cardiac rehab progress.

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Lughnasadh/Lammas Blessings to All!

Lughnasadh Poem

Between the peaks of the sun’s golden height

To the browning leaves and fading light

Lies the threshhold between the summer and autumn

A day to harvest the fruits from Nature’s bosom

A day to reap what you’ve sewn

A day to eat what you’ve grown

The taste of our labors sweet on our lips

And heavy baskets on our hips

Lugh the shining one stands bright and tall

His long arm extended, his hand grasps all

But now he sits in the shade of his mother

Ending one season, bringing in another

I give thanks for the fruits of light and reason

And hope for yet another successful season

Burying my dreams within the fertile earth

And awaiting our Mother’s next healthy birth.

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On the way to Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh

Summer has passed its zenith and although temperatures are still quite warm (in the Northern Hemisphere), the sun sets a bit earlier each day.  Some crops are ready to harvest and preserve for the coming months.  Lughnasadh, named for the Irish Sun God Lugh, is celebrated on the first or second day of August.  It is the first of three harvest festivals.  This festival celebrates the grain harvest as well as fruits and vegetables that ripen in late Summer.  A perfect time to try a new bread recipe!

Besides giving thanks for the abundance of the first harvest, this is a good time to reflect on the goals and projects you began earlier in the year.  Have they come to fruition as you planned?  Or do they still need more work to develop into what you envisioned?  There is still time to edit and revise before the next harvest!

Here is a recipe for Honey cakes please note you do not have to use organic ingredients.

honey cake recipe

INGREDIENTS

3 oz soft organic butter 

2 oz caster sugar 

½ teaspoon vanilla 

2 eggs 

4 oz organic self-raising flour 

3 oz sultanas or other dried fruit 

1 oz honey 

1 tablespoon hot water 

BAKING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 400℉. 

2. Using a spoon and bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stirring clockwise, repeat at least 3 times: “Golden honey from the hive, bring abundance, make us thrive.” As you stir, visualize yourself and your loved ones enjoying all of the good and sweet things of life. 

3. Add the vanilla, beat in the eggs and honey, fold in sieved flour, followed with the dried fruit and hot water. 

4. Fill greased tins ⅔ full. 

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400℉ or until golden.

Enjoy your honey cakes with extra honey drizzled on top or as is! 

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Lughnasadh is fast approaching

Time is moving so quickly it seems only yesterday we were all celebrating the Summer Solstice and poof! the first harvest festival of Lughnasadh is only a few days away.

Lughnasadh goes by many names including Lammas, Lunasa, Lughnasa, and many more! The August festival is traditionally celebrated on August 1st. It is a time when we began to observe that the days are lengthening and we can begin to anticipate Autumn. The Lughnasadh festival is named after Lugh, the Celtic god of craftmanship, grain, the Sun, and late summer storms.

Lughnasadh is a pagan holiday to celebrate the first harvest of grain. Historically, a critical staple in our diet and a means of survival. During this time the farmers would begin to harvest on this day and by the evening fresh bread would be served with the First Grains of the season.

One of my favorite Bonny Hut Images

August 1st marks the midpoint between Summer and Fall. This is the time of the year we begin to observe the nights lengthening, and we anticipate the return of Fall. Autumn begins the shadow season where we take time to reflect, channel intuitive creative expression, and to rest.

Lughnasadh Affirmation:

“I am welcoming the shadow season, a time of inner reflection, rest, and to channel creative inspiration.”

Here is a link to some wonderful Calendula Corn Muffins

https://theherbalbakeshoppe.com/recipe/calendula-corn-muffins/?fbclid=IwAR38VnKdHRCHaMk3g5ZuN_N8VL9Ik2OyOc3S6k_zz4pRQ5XFGq8NkcOON4w

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A new month, a year older, and summer rains

July began with me turning 66 on the 1st and a tropical storm brewing in the air. The Florida hurricane season began June 1st with the usual afternoon rain showers then turned heavier as tropical storms brewed in the Gulf and Atlantic. We have had rain every day this month and one day out of the last 10 was rain free. Such is the weather in semi tropical climate.

On the health front my appointment with the cardiologist was on the morning of my birthday and the news wasn’t too great. I have obstructions in both the left and right carotid arteries which will need stents most likely, also in an artery to my heart. I am currently waiting for the surgeon’s office to call with appointment details which I should hear from them by the end of this week. The other concern is raising my heart rate which has been in the upper 40’s for nearly a year, to start one of my blood pressure medications has been reduced again this time from 50 mg once a day to 25 mg daily. I really dislike when they mess around with my BP medications because of the past problems with spiking blood pressure. I do monitor my blood pressure at home daily so I can be on top of it.

Next up this week is the mammogram and bone density test on Tuesday, and blood work a two days later for my general doctor. Then I’m really hoping all the testing is done for a while.

For my birthday my son and daughter in law took me out to lunch to celebrate, lunch was at a favorite Italian restaurant, the food was very good and the company lovely. On Saturday my sister and great niece Tessa took me out to lunch and brought along a birthday cake along with a chocolate edible candle.

I just love the sunflowers on this cake, I sent the remainder of the cake home with my sister, her husband has a sweet tooth so I know it would be appreciated and so much better then sending home a slice. I don’t eat cake very often so the slice I had was enough. It was funny to have the cake after I told my son NO cake this year, if anything just a few cupcakes, my son loves cake, so after lunch we each chose a piece of cake for dessert and brought it home, we had such a variety we cut a small piece of each and enjoy carrot cake, orange creamcicle cake and my choice NY Cheesecake plain. Believe me when I say those cakes tasted great and it was so much better to have a bite of each then an entire slice. My great niece Tessa is 8 years old and picked out the perfect gifts for me, a lovely straw hat, blue beach towel and a tote bag with art work from one of my favorites Leoma Lemongrove

The 7 Moons red blend wine was purchased by me for the bottle I want to find the dark red blends as well, I don’t usually drink but lately I have been wanting to try wine again.

A few new oracle decks have been added to my growing collection, these are Goddess centered decks. This first deck The Earth Craft Oracle with art by Danielle Boodoo-Fortune is a lovely woman of color deck, and the cards are so colorful. I love her artwork, the deck is written by Juliet Diaz and Lorriane Anderson

This African Goddess Affirmations deck by Abiola Abrams was a gift to me by a friend it’s another wonderful woman of color decks. Each card has the name of the goddess and a brief affirmation.

The third deck is an older deck given to my by a friend recently the Goddess Inspiration Oracle is by Kris Waldherr who also created the Goddess Tarot.

On the Goddess a Month hand embroidery project, the June piece: Yemaya is stitched I need to remove the hoop and wash off the stitch and wash product before I take a finished photo. I’m happy to say I finished stitching her on June 30th. Below is the start of the Goddess Isis for July began stitching on the evening of July 2nd so I am back on track with my months.

The inspiration for this goddess are the figurine and the altar image by Katherine Skaggs, I like the texture of the clothing when stitched. So far I chose DMC 820 royal blue very dark. I am going to use a variegated floss for the wings in shades of oranges and yellows, I had thought to use metallic thread in gold but I just think it would be too much for the piece.

In closing I wish you all a safe and Happy 4th of July

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Litha Blessing and a Happy Summer Solstice!

The Wheel of the Year keeps turning and here we are at Mid Summer, I want to say so soon, but in truth it has been a very long year. I have finally had all the test done requested by my cardiologist and hopefully some answers to my health concerns over the past 18 months, I see him on my birthday next month for the results.

It has been a long and painful year for my physically and I truly hope I get some solid answers and relief to the nearly daily pain. I want my life back.

On a brighter note with the Covid vaccination things are beginning to open up and I had the pleasure of attending a Pendulum workshop at a local shop All About Art https://www.facebook.com/AllAboutArtBelleview

Before I left the shop I purchased this lovely Greenman piece I spied the moment I stepped into the shop, I’m sure it’s no secret I have a lifelong love of the greenman.

Greenman piece from All About Art
He is joined by a Tree of Life and another greenman.

I was planning to attend the Stones and Crystal workshop but it was cancelled, so once it’s rescheduled I will try to attend. Even though I have been a life long practicing pagan I still enjoy taking workshops and classes to stay fresh.

The hand embroidery has been started for my personal Goddess of the Month challenge. The June goddess is Yemaya.

Yemaya underway

Yemaya is also the focal point of my summer altar, I have a mini figurine and surrounded her with a charm bracelet I made a few years ago. I love this bracelet it includes, a opal ring, a rhinestone button and watch which is to the left of the starfish, the watch is closed. Lots of charms and beads were added and is one of my favorite summer pieces to wear.

Yemaya figurine and charm bracelet
Building the summer altar

Recently I joined a box of the month called Goddess Provisions and the June box was a pleasant surprise one of the items was a singing bowl with moon phases on the inside bottom and a pad to set it on with ‘harmonize with the moon’. It includes a link to learn how to use it. My daughter in law showed me the basic and gosh I love the sound it makes.

Another piece in the June goddess provisions box was the amethyst crystals mini light set which I have added to the summer altar.

Summer Soltice altar

I wish you all a warm and wonderful Mid Summer

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May Goddess is Completed and A look back.

The hand embroidery on my May goddess is completed, the design is a simple drawing of the Venus of Willendorf on a labyrinth, this is my design for my personal Goddess of the Month challenge.

I chose to do a simple line drawing design for May as a way to catch up after falling behind from illness and lack of desire to complete the March goddess which I wasn’t too fond of, though after completing it I was quite happy with the result. The March goddess was a purchased pattern from Urban Threads, ironically I purchased it because I didn’t like the Hecate piece I designed.

Here are a few of the progress photos I took after I completed a stitching session.

Starting the Labyrinth
Completing the Labyrinth
Ready to stitch the Willendorf
Completed piece with stitch and wash product still attached
Close up of Willendorf after stitch and wash product removed.

I am using the same spiral tone on tone cotton fabric for all of the goddesses in my 2021 Goddess of the Month challenge, except for January. To date here are the finished pieces.

January Basic Goddess with Celtic Knot design.
February The Cailleach
March Hecate (pattern Urban Threads)
April Minoan Snake Goddess
May Goddess of Willendorf

I am currently trying to decide which goddess to stitch for June, I have several designs ready and two in the final stages, I have a few designs friends have made for me to use, it’s all a matter of which colors I want to stitch with. I also have other projects I am working on. I am relieved I have most of June to work on the June goddess and hopefully I will stay on track, not that it’s a race or anything. A few things I have thought about as I have been working on these pieces is I should have invited others to join in to make goddesses of their own using the medium of their choice. And I should have encouraged others to post their own goddesses in comments on my Facebook post, which I did today. So now I have a start of a plan if I do this again next year. I can also design the patterns and provide if anyone wants to stitch along, though stitching is only one option. Anyway that’s on my mind today.

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