Nov 25, 2010

A pondering of Thanksgiving

The table was loaded, and with money being so tight, that was a blessing in itself. -In appreciation, I want to give my time to shelters and donate to food banks.

We talked about Ash, and when she might get to come home again. We really miss her everyday, but especially so on holidays. Things do not feel complete without her. Go Navy. -I want to cherish our time together and to cherish her, when she does get to come home.

The earlier part of the day I spent cooking and preparing our meal. While going back and forth from my kitchen, I was writing, visiting online friends and reading their works. -I am filled with much more than what food will give to me today.

I am simply thankful. I have many blessings and yet, my life is so mundane and plain. -I am grateful for my simple life and that I have what I need and I do not yearn for what I do not have.

I am especially thankful today. My life just got easier.  My husband finished up some plumbing for us. It is not completely through out the house yet, but now I can get my water without going outside.  -Every drop of water is precious to me.

The inspiration of this post is from Pagan Blog Prompts 
 
Today's Pagan Prompt is to
For those of us in the USA, today is Thanksgiving day. Sounds like a perfect time to consider what we are thankful for, what we have been blessed with, and how to show our gratitude.

Take a few minutes today to ponder this. Make a list, and watch how it grows. The more you realize that you are blessed with, the greater your blessings will become. 


I decided to combine this with another challenge I have been doing for this month and that better explains my blessings. I have been keeping a list for this month, and below is that growing list.

Daily Giving Thanks Challenge
30 Days of Giving Thanks

  • Day 30 - This Past Year
  • Day 29 - My Books
  • Day 28 - Satellite Radio
  • Day 27 - The Birds/Cardinals
  • Day 26 - Aunt Hattie's Bowl
  • Day 25 - Our Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Day 24 - Animal Shelters
  • Day 23 - My Kitchen
  • Day 22 - Rain
  • Day 21 - My PSP 6
  • Day 20 - Digital Camera
  • Day 19 - Memories
  • Day 18 - My Parents
  • Day 17 - Mother-in-law
  • Day 16 - Wood
  • Day 15 - Water
  • Day 14 - My Eyes
  • Day 13 - Cooking Skills
  • Day 12 - Our Food
  • Day 11 - Our Military
  • Day 10 - Our Pets
  • Day 09 - Ruthi
  • Day 08 - Land Line
  • Day 07 - The Computer
  • Day 06 - My Health
  • Day 05 - Our Home
  • Day 04 - The Truck
  • Day 03 - Employment
  • Day 02 - My Husband
  • Day 01 - My Daughter


    Nov 23, 2010

    Exploding Into Night

    Title:              Exploding into Night
    Publisher:     Guernica Editions
    Pub Date:      12/15/2009
    ISBN:             9781550713077
    Pages:            55


    Buy Now
    Exploding into Night (from NetGalley) by Sandy Pool
    Dark, richly written, and elegantly charted.


    The story is told with raw description. Sexy. At times raunchy, always vivid, a great suspense, and mysterious. I felt as though I was being pulled into a slide show projector. A clicking was heard in my head, and I knew simultaneously a page would be turned. The words written, expressed every action with such intensity, the reader has no choice but to feel it. I caught myself sucking in my breath at certain points. When the author writes about pleasure, my skin tingled.

    'My heart is racing at page thirty and I too fall to pieces.'

    The story is set up like a wall of Polaroids. I imagined looking at black and white photos of each scene as I read what is written. Every page, a poem equal to a snap shot. Quick, to the point and poignant. Each page holds a poem, a story in itself. Like a scrap book of photographs, this is a scrap book of poetry, and the poems weaving the plot one into the other.

    -Poetry has never jolted me the way this has.-

    Nov 22, 2010

    Spiritual Reads...

    Yes, Spiritual...Mystical...and Magical reads from Silver Ravenwolf


    Nov 20, 2010

    Brenda Youngerman

    The Author - Brenda Youngerman 

    Brenda lives in Southern California and enjoys spending time with her family.
    She is an avid proponent for domestic violence legislation. Brenda Youngerman
    is the author of five novels, Restored Hope, Sorrowed Souls, Hidden Truths, Public Lies,
    Private Scars, and she is at work on her new novel, Disrupted Lives.

    ..................

    I have five novels on my reading list by Brenda Youngerman.
    Here they are, all of her titles so that you can get started on reading this author too!
    Hurry and gets your copies, she has another one the way very soon!

    Watch for Disrupted Lives by Brenda Youngerman!

    ......................

    Hidden Truths by Brenda Youngerman


    Brenda Youngerman weaves a moving tale of siblings torn apart family.
    Billy, Wayne, Gwen and Grace each face unique different situations from sad
    and unhappy to loving and nurturing. Follow these young lives through the author's
    insightful and thoughtful eyes.

    ..........................................


    Sorrowed Souls by Brenda Youngerman


    The eyes are said to be the window to the soul. Have you ever looked at someone whose eyes have no light? Follow the journey out of the darkness. In the space of a moment, Bryan Tines thought he had lost everything that was important to him. Waking up in a strange place with no recollection of where he came from, or who he was; lost, hungry and dirty, his life would have been over if not for the kindness of the invisible layer of society. Gus Hill was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and alcohol coursing through his veins. Living on the outside looking in, Gus goes down a path of self-destruction and finds that the harsh words of a true friend enable him to help himself and others who feel their lives have no meaning. Through this path, Gus finds what is really important. Amy Pickens was born into a working class family-a planned and difficult birth-her mother never let her forget how much of a burden Amy's life was to her. She became the unwanted child. Struggling with confidence issues, she accidentally finds happiness, which in one fleeting moment, appears to go awry. Brenda Youngerman writes a tale of stunning clarity and insight into the lives of average people. Beautifully written, her novel explores the human condition, the ways in which our past torture and free us, and the risks we're willing to take to realize the illusive dream of happiness.


    ...............................................

    Private Scars by Brenda Youngerman


    Everyone thinks Nancy Lewiston Cooper has it all: beauty, intelligence, a loving family, a great husband, and gorgeous children. But her life is not as it appears.In the days before she met her future husband, Nancy finished her college degree and appeared to have a bright future. But when she met and fell in love with Vince, her plans changed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until her honeymoon that Nancy discovered Vince’s dual personality—cruel and abusive one minute, sweet-as-can-be the next.

    In the months that follow, Nancy falls into a vicious cycle. To avoid the horrible, abusive confrontations with her husband, she agrees to his lifestyle—drugs, sex, alcohol, and her complete submissiveness. Nancy believes that if she has a baby, her husband’s disposition will improve. But things do not change, even when Nancy becomes pregnant with their second child. Feeling isolated, depressed, and fragile, Nancy struggles to hang onto her sanity.

    Poignant and inspirational, Private Scars tells the story of one woman’s battle to overcome the emotional and physical trauma of spousal abuse and regain control of her life.

    ....................................... 

    Public Lies by Brenda Youngerman

    She was running from an unimaginable horror...but will it catch up with her?

    "I'm being followed. I know I am, she thought. "He's watching every move I make. There is no way I'm going to escape without his knowing. He'll find me." With every sound, her body jerked. Her tension exaggerated each bump in the road. Every car that passed was an enemy to be dealt with. The two children, fast asleep in the backseat, were unaware of their mother's apprehension. They didn't know their futures were about to be irreversibly altered...Nancy thought she had married her Prince Charming. But six years later, she was on the run with her two young children, trying to escape her abusive, drug-addicted husband. In a new town, living under new names, the Cooper family begins life anew.

    But as the years pass, Nancy's children begin to question their mother's motives for leaving. Her son's constant recriminations fill her with guilt and give way to the thought that if they return home, maybe she can put things right. Returning to the place where her nightmare of a marriage began, she must now face a man whose days have been filled with twisted thoughts of revenge. As the court turns its back on her, her husband takes steps to punish her...as he always vowed he would.

    Public Lies takes a chilling look at the reality of domestic violence, shedding light and understanding on a problem in American society that is all-too-often swept under the carpet.

    ...................................

    Restored Hope by Brenda Youngerman


    Peter and Tara Miller are the image of perfection. They have three beautiful children, live in a wonderful neighborhood, and are still each other's best friend. When their world completely disintegrates within a short period of time, their daughter must survive the aftermath. Creating a new persona, Samantha finally breaks free and discovers that the real world is not much kinder than her dysfunctional family.

    Emotionally shattered, the solace of the ocean, and a loving dog, carry her on her way. Samantha meets Timothy Bleak, who was raised in a seemingly kind, loving family, but is virtually invisible to them. His voice goes unheard, his needs are unmet, and his emotions are squashed. Timothy summons the strength to leave his family, and discovers Samantha in his journey. Restored Hope follows these two bereft young people as their lives intertwine and they face the challenges of life, love and happiness together.

    Nov 19, 2010

    Book Blogger Hop: Thanksgiving


    Hey! If you are interested in this Book Blogger Hop go to Crazy For Books.
    Jennifer has all of the details there so you can get in on the fun too!
    ...............

    Book Blogger HopThis is my very first one! I am brand new to the Book Blogger Hop and this is a brand new book blog! Reading books is something that I have always enjoyed immensely. Lately...well for the past several years, my eyes have been deteriorating terribly. Reading anything... books, the newspaper, TV, and the computer screen, is a very difficult thing for me to do. As much as it pains me to do it, it pains me more to not do it, so I read. This book blog is a personal challenge for me and I am thrilled to have this project.



    Prompt: Clothing Optional?


    Prompt: Clothing Optional?

    How is your ritual clothing different from your daily wardrobe, if at all? Are you one to attend ritual skyclad (naked)? Why or why not?

    Are there certain items you wear on a regular basis that are always present in your rituals (a necklace or ring, perhaps)? Does the energy of that item change for you?

    ............................................................................................

    Starting this blog was meant to be my motivation, and possibly an inspirational. When I found the Pagan Prompts, it seemed like a fun thing to try. So, above is the question, and below is my answer :)

    When I was newly married and pregnant with our daughter, it was mid summer and hot, very hot. So to remedy my very uncomfortable situation, I would get naked. I was naked a lot. My mother in law caught me vacuuming naked. It was the beginning of the end for me. Anyway, I always dress now. It is difficult enough admitting to anyone that I am a pagan, let alone revealing that I do rituals or possibly do those rituals in the nude. It would absolutely be my luck that just as soon as I got started, someone would be at the door or worse, my neighbor would be looking in the window as she just loves to do. When we first moved out here in the sticks, I had thoughts of how cool it was going to be to have bonfires and to do my thing outdoors so close to nature. Ha, yeah right. People love to watch people way too much. Personally I would be very happy to be naked all the time, ritual or not. In reality, being a solitary and really feeling like you are in it alone keeps things very limited. I do not have any special pieces that I wear all the time, but I do have an altar in my kitchen. I change it with the seasons and Sabbaths. Since the kitchen is the heart of our home, my altar fills my life with what I need in that aspect of things, daily. I do have my eye on a pretty robe and some sweet jewelry pieces, but in all honesty, I am just a plain woman very happy to do my thing in whatever I am comfortable in at that moment. And, happy to get that kind of moment at all :) no matter what I am wearing or not wearing.

    Nov 18, 2010

    Thanksgiving

    http://southbreezefarm.blogspot.com/2010/10/2010-giving-thanks-challenge.html  

    I first saw this Giving Thanks Challenge at Ruthi's. My article was already written but I had not posted it here yet. Now, my Thanksgiving article along with my Giving Thanks List, up to date and I will be back to it daily.

    A time for harvesting more than wheat…
    harvest your blessings and thanksgivings my friend,
    may they be there for you tomorrow and thereafter
    and celebrate! Celebrate what the Earth has given….

    It is impossible for me to approach November and to write a single word without mention of Thanksgiving. A time for family, memories and stating our appreciation for the people and things we are most grateful. A time for harvest and celebrating what the earth has given us. It is a time that we remember to thank God for so many blessings, of the past year, while we prepare for the winter and the New Year ahead.


    Every year it feels a bit more difficult to celebrate. It feels like trials and tribulations have been a fact of every day life now for four and a half years or better. Struggle is coming second nature and maybe I am learning how to deal with it. To have a reason for celebration is something I surely seek and will not pass up a chance to be on my bended knee in both a pleading for mercy and a gracious thank you for all that I know my life is fully and richly blessed with.

    My celebrations come with hope that our Country will be wise. Our nation is filled with people who are diverse, some accepting and some not very understanding at all. My prayer would be for more of a compromise of everyone with one another. My family and I will celebrate Thanksgiving by sitting around a table that is filled with our favorite dishes and maybe a football game with some sangria and desert. The holiday traditions and dinners have become smaller over the years. This will be another year I will not see my daughter as she serves her Country. My husband and I usually do our celebrating alone, just us two. It has been that way especially so since our daughter left home.

    We will be thankful to have our table though, even with all the marks of moving and other scratches from things forgotten about. My table shakes a little sometimes. It is not, nor ever has it been a magnificent piece of furniture. I do love to spread out dough on it when making a pie or cookies. We have often talked about replacing it or building a snack bar and getting rid of the table completely. At first, the thought might seem reasonable and I might flirt with the notion. Then, I think of how I would miss my not so perfect, but every bit charming little table. And it does have a leaf I can stick in the middle if we would ever need too. Right now, with its four chairs covered in the olive green material that I did myself this past summer, it is just right for us.

    The food that we will set on that table will be prepared with every bit of love that was ever felt in this family. Our thoughts will be of loved ones passed on. (I will almost swear that my dear great aunt will be right behind me with her hand on my shoulder as I prepare the dishes that she also prepared so many years ago. My pie dough has improved greatly with her spirit’s direction, I can assure you.) We will probably discuss the ones that we no longer see and wonder why life has turned as it has. We will praise God for our daughter who is always on our minds and in our hearts. She has been our greatest blessing, our greatest joy.

    We will say an extra thank you this year for the place we lay our heads. Our home may not be finished just as we would like it to be, but it is a fine home built with my husband’s two strong hands. I am personally very thankful for him, and to him.  He has accomplished so much that so many told him was simply impossible, including myself. His strengths, determination and abilities have shown another side to him that makes me cherish him even more.

    We will be thankful to have one another. We will break bread together, a meal prepared with heart, and our prayers sent to heaven for God’s ears. Our grace will include our thanks for our Freedom and the prices that have been paid by all. We will pray for those less fortunate and ask that my husband and I will be blessed to have another sweet year together. We know that the coming year ahead may bring to us turmoil, debt, goodbyes, illness, worry, fear, needless arguments and what ever else this crazy life has to offer. However, when Thanksgiving rolls around next year, we will do the same…. We will always continue to search our hearts and souls, finding all the good in life to praise God for the blessings that have been poured over us.

    ...........My Giving Thanks List for The Giving Thanks Challenge...........

    Day  1 - I am giving thanks for my daughter. She is an amazing woman and I am so proud of her. She is my greatest success.

    Day  2 - I am giving thanks for my husband. He is the love of my life.

    Day  3 - I am giving thanks for my husband's job. He was out of work for over a year due to his company's down sizing.

    Day  4 - I am giving thanks for our '92 Chevy truck. It is a 5 speed with 3 working gears but it gets my husband to work and he hauls our water with it.

    Day  5 - I am giving thanks for our home. It is not finished yet. We have so much to do. We have a roof over our heads, it's cozy, warm and feels like home.

    Day  6 - I am giving thanks for my health.

    Day  7 - I am giving thanks for my computer.

    Day  8 - I am giving thanks for the telephone service. We lived here for over 7 months without a phone. Since this was a new residence, it was very difficult getting our services started. Dial up is slow, but it is all I have and I am so thankful to have this phone line and it provides my internet.

    Day  9 - I am giving thanks for Ruthi :) she is great and she is how I found this challenge.

    Day 10 - I am giving thanks for the beloved pets in my life now and the ones that have passed on. Each of them have given so much to me.

    Day 11 - I am giving thanks for our military members and their families. Past and present, dead and alive, active and non-active, and to those MIA.

    Day 12 - I am giving thanks for the food in my kitchen.

    Day 13 - I am giving thanks for my cooking skills and my ability to prepare meals that we love to eat.

    Day 14 - I am giving thanks for my eyes and my sight that I can see the world, the beauty, the colors.

    Day 15 - I am giving thanks for the water we have. We have to haul it here to our home and it is very precious to us. When you start from scratch, and there are no city hook ups, every little thing becomes such an important achievement.

    Day 16 - I am giving thanks for the dead wood we have at our disposal. We are burning it for our source of heat.

    Day 17 - I am giving thanks for my mother in law. She gave birth to my husband.

    Day 18 - I am giving thanks for my parents.

    Day 19 - I am giving thanks for my memories and that I am able to remember the good times of my life.

    Day 20 - I am giving thanks for my digital camera. It was bought years ago as a present for our daughter and she has moved on replacing her technology. It has served me very well. I have captured so many wonderful pictures with it.

    Day 21 - I am giving thanks for my PSP (Paint Shop Pro) It is an older version psp 6 to be exact and I have had it for years, but I do not know what in the world I would do without it. And, with the economy as it is, if I did not already have it, I would not be able to get it right now.

    Day 22 - I am giving thanks for Rain. And, today I am giving even more thanks that it is only rain and not snow.

    Day 23 - I am giving thanks for my Kitchen. It was not very long ago that all we had was four walls, roof and a floor. We lived here for sometime without any dividing walls what so ever. So every little nook and corner is cherished and adored. I still need more storage and counter space, but I just love my kitchen.

    Day 24 - I am giving thanks for the animal shelters. We have rescued several fur babies over the years. Today I have two beautiful cats that are so good to me and I am grateful for the opportunity to give them a home.

    Day 25 - I am giving thanks for our Thanksgiving dinner. Money is tight and having all our favorite dishes seems like a miracle.

    Day 26 - I am giving thanks for my big mixing bowl. It belonged to my great-aunt and she used it constantly to prepare everything she made from scratch. It is the biggest bowl I have ever seen and I am certain it would be difficult to replace and not even mentioning the sentimental value

    Day 27 - I am giving thanks for the birds that visit us regularly and sing their beautiful songs. Last year we would get every bit of 20 cardinals in our small woods, hanging in the trees. It was the most impressive thing and just wonderful. I think it is very unusual because normally cardinals are very territorial and maybe only a male and female will claim an area. This was really awesome to see. I hope they come back like that this December too.

    Day 28 - I am giving thanks for the radio. Music gets me motivated and keeps my spirits up. And right now especially I am thankful that Sirius Radio is free for us from November 18 - December 1 it is free. We can hardly pick up anything here, but maybe one station that comes and goes. Thanks to the satellite radio , we can listen to absolutely anything that we want.

    Day 29 - I am giving thanks for my books. It is not a good time for me to be purchasing a lot of new titles but I am fortunate to already have a large collection. Some I still have to read and that is exciting! There are many  that I enjoy reading again and again, and I think that is exciting too!

    Day 30 - I am giving thanks for this past year. A lot has changed and for the better. Good or bad, every day is a gift and in this past year I think I have learned that more than ever. So now I look forward and hope that I continue to apply what lessons I have learned.

    Nov 16, 2010

    One Hundred Seventy One Pages

    Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

    Within this small number of pages, contains a story with a large impact. As I hold the hardcover book, I feel the binding crease and trace over the lettering on the edge. Title reads 'The Bridges of Madison County' by Robert James Waller.

    The author begins in 1989 by introducing us to the main characters and how his story finds him. Right away he introduces us to Carolyn and Michael, the children of Francesca and Richard Johnson. After their Mother's death, Carolyn and Michael reunite at the old farm house where they grew up to sort through the family's belongings and to put the past to rest. Little did they know just how much of the past would need to be laid down. They find their Mother's journals along with other evidence of her time spent with another man, someone other than their father. The picture that they have painted of their Mother in their minds, will be faded and distorted.

    We are then taken back to August 8, 1965. There, an old green Chevrolet pickup truck containing knapsacks, rolls of film, some fresh fruit and clothing, awaits its driver. Photographer Robert Kincaid plans a trip for Madison County, Iowa from Bellingham, Washington. It would be his job for the following days to photograph the covered bridges of Madison County. While simply working his craft fate will bring him and Francesca together.

    The author speaks of how writing this book altered his perspective to world views and what is possible of human relationships. It had the exact same impression on me. What could be a travesty is set to such gentle explanation. Francesca is quickly described with dedication to her family life, how she may want more, yet she is satisfied and content with how things are. What could be written with more complication is left simply done, giving the reader credit to know how life feels, and how life changes us, no matter our situation, no matter what we have, or what we do not have. No real evidence is found to express this man's art with exception of Francesca's keep sakes. Even so, the author continually flirts with the suggestion of this being a true story.

    What's so significant to me is that no one was actually telling this story to Carolyn and Michael. They will find the photographs, journal entries, magazines where Robert Kincaid had been published. Some of the things found were things sent to their Mother by Robert over the years. The point is, no one is physically there to share their side of things or to influence their decision. Of course they are angry when they first realize what their Mother had done. Here are two grown adults that have complicated lives of their own now. Both are suffering for different reasons in their marriages and with their own children. As the past unfolds for them, they are able to draw their own conclusions of truly what took place all those years ago, and how it lingered for a life time, and even after death.

    Nov 14, 2010

    Welcome to The Wytch's Mirror

    I am so excited to be writing this blog. Books have always been a huge part of my life. They have fueled my imagination, gave to me heart, hope, and inspiration to be more, to read more, and even to try my own hand at writing.  A friend suggested this project to me and I am grateful to her. Thank you Ruthi :)

    Now that I have actually started this project, it will drive me to continue to read. I am so looking forward to the books that I have not read yet, and I am thrilled to have a place to share how they will surely touch my life.

    Nov 10, 2010

    Soldier's Dance

    Soldier's Dance  
     
    The sky is full of promise
    as the night kisses the dawn
    a new day is upon us, as we
    stand ready, to carry on.



    My body aches with misery, and
    my mind with memory, of days
    spent in your arms and your
    lips softly kissing me.

    Where did our days go dear?
    Where are you this morn? I
    stand here ready, bruised,
    dirty, tired and torn.

    Bring me back to you dear,
    even if only in a dream, keep
    me forever close to you, and
    take away this ugly scene.

    Here I am, I stand ready, for
    my country 'tis of thee. I will
    stand ready, for the twelve or
    the twelve times the three.

    Or, until my body simply breaks
    and begs me to lay it down, I
    won't do it easily, but downward
    I may be bound...

    My hands hold the forsaken earth
    gripping into my nails, reminds
    me of lies, dirty and hidden well.
    Will they ever find me?

    My truth is a million yesterdays
    where I stood next to you. Today,
    I stand here and I stand ready,
    what more can I do.

    The sweat drips away from my brow
    and my hand lets it fall, the taste
    reminds me I'm not dead, but maybe
    just in hell, for a while

    and then I will be home again, by
    your side. You, my angel my love.
    Your memory keeps me alive. Wait
    for me, until I come home.


    Soldier's Dance by Cynthia E. Jones 2006 and previously listed at
    http://www.usa-patriotism.com/poems/ff/soldier_dance.htm  


    For Veterans Day November 11, 2010
    -dedication for Veterans Day, to all that serve and have served, and to their families. A big Thank You to all Veterans everywhere, past and present! Is thank you really enough when one gives their life in a war? Hardly. It is all I have to give them... that, and my continued comprehension of -how- I am able to be living free in my beautiful America! Thank you!

    The military are too often forgotten about. If you get a chance, say thank you to a Veteran. We all know the price of our freedom, right? Yet, we have our fine young men and women always standing ready, doing their duties for the good of their Country, for the good of all of us.


    A special -thank you- from me goes to my daughter and to my husband. I am so proud of them both for their service to our Country.

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    Blessed Be!