Monthly Archives: January 2014
As many of you have probably heard already, the deep south was hit with a winter storm yesterday that paralyzed several states as it made its way across the south. Draco and I live in one of those states that are unaccustomed to seeing much winter weather.
Yesterday evening, I made the (normally) half hour trip to take him to work. It took me almost an hour to get him there and more than that to get back home, amid ice, snow and sliding cars. Making the trip back to pick him up at 4:30 am was even more treacherous. There wasn’t as much traffic, but there were cars off the side of the road everywhere and black ice covered almost the entire stretch from our house to his work.
This morning, the sun is shining and the world is beginning the process of melting off the winter cloak that we see so rarely in the south.
If I had a decent camera on my phone, I’d have taken some pictures, but a good phone is one of the many things awaiting the tax return check.
It’s hard to believe that Imbolc is right around the corner. I’ve been trying to pin myself down to write a post about the upcoming holiday, but it’s been so cold that it’s hard to think about warmth right now and the post has sat undone so far. I’m hoping to get it up before the holiday since I know we will be celebrating it in our own way, cold or not.
For today though, I believe it will sit yet again as I watch my world thaw and recover and hopefully I’ll be able to “get in the zone” to write it before the weekend.
I hope you are all safe, warm and happy.
There are two times of day when I usually sit down to blog. Early day before Draco gets up or late at night while he’s at work. I usually don’t write much on his days off because that is the time I devote what I am most passionate about in life, my family and good food. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t blog while he’s at work and schedule it for the weekend, right?
Half the house, is day shift, the other half is night shift. Of course, Draco and I (along with Chicklet) fall on the night shift side. That means that I’m often the only person awake, especially late at night.
So, what is a lonely housewife to do in the middle of the night when her man is working and the rest of the house is sleeping? Apparently, she watches a horror movie and scares herself silly, then sits down to blog to try to take her mind off of it and ends up blogging about it instead.
The movie in question is Mirrors, starring Kieffer Sutherland. It’s an older movie (2008 according to the DVD case), but one I’d never seen all the way
through. I had no idea that B owned it until I saw her and BF watching it earlier this evening. (I really must raid her movie collection and see what other jems she might be hiding in there.) Now, when I pass a reflective surface in the house, I’m refusing to look at it and every creak and crack is making me jumpy.
I actually had my own experience with a reflective surface some years ago, and it’s a story I would normally blog about around Samhain (Halloween for you non-pagans out there), but watching this movie got me thinking about it tonight, so I figured since I’m already creeped out with time on my hands, why not finish off the job?
Witchlet was 13 when I had my experience, I remember that clearly because it was the same house we lived in when we celebrated her 13th birthday (a big deal in our house), so it was around 2006, I suppose. The house we lived in at the time was pretty old. Our landlady had grown up in the house and she was in her 70’s back then, so I know it was at least that old.
We noticed not long after we moved in that the house just felt down-right creepy at times. We all noticed it. Our family and friends commented on it occasionally when they came to visit and for us, it quickly became almost daily. Especially for me, because I was home alone a lot because Draco worked out of town during the week at the time.
Even with him out of town, and the house feeling creepier by the day, we tried to have some normalcy in our lives. Dinner time was one of those times. Even though he was hours away, we sat down to eat at the same time every night and talked on the phone through dinner and sometimes on into the evening.
This particular night, we had just finished dinner and I was sitting alone at the kitchen table still talking to him on the phone. I had nothing to do other than sit there, so I was idly looking at the reflection of the kitchen in the kitchen window, which didn’t have blinds or anything on it. You know how when it gets dark outside and you have a light on, the widow becomes like a mirror, and you can actually see pretty clearly in them. I had a clear view of myself at the table and the room I was sitting in.
While we’re talking, I guess I was just kind of looking around the kitchen, at nothing in particular, but movement in the window caught my eye and I looked up. Very clearly, right behind me, was a man looking back at me. According to the reflection, he would have been standing pretty much right at my back behind my chair. I saw him so clearly that I believed there was in intruder in the house.
I jumped up from the table and spun around to confront…nothing. Absolutely thin air. There was no man there. I frantically searched the house, checking all the windows and doors (which were all closed and locked from the inside, by the way) and I was just as alone in the house as I should have been. Only I still believe I was really alone in that house. I don’t think I ever was from the day we moved in until the day we moved out.
That is just one story from that house. There are more, including another sighting of the same man in another window in broad daylight while I was outside hanging laundry on the line. He was standing in the window, inside the house, looking out at me.
Of course, with everything that happened in that house, I approached my landlady and asked her if she’d ever seen or heard anything when she lived there, or since then. She got quiet fast and never really gave me a straight answer on the subject, which makes me think she did have something (or maybe quite a few somethings) happen when she was in that house, and she didn’t want to tell me.
We lived in that house less than a year. When another rental of hers came open close by, we moved out of a nine room, 3 bedroom house and into a run-down 2 bedroom trailer just to be out of it, if that tells you anything about how we felt about the place.
So yeah, my movie choice tonight was probably a pretty dumb one considering all that, but I have to admit, I’m a horror movie buff for a reason. Part of me likes to be scared. Kind of like an adrenaline junkie, I guess.
What are YOU afraid of?
Draco and I have been together for nearly 18 years. One day soon, I intend to start working on the series included under the About Us page called Our Story, but for now, let me explain why we are choosing to move into such a small space.
Over the years, I think Draco and I have lived in just about every living situation you can imagine. The only thing we haven’t done, is bought something of our own. We’ve rented, lived with roommates, lived with family, and at one time, we even shared a home with 2 other families.
For some, sharing space is a wonderful and economic idea. Shared housing expenses (if everyone pays like they’re supposed to) means more money in your pocket, but, sharing space with other people, no matter how much you may like or love them, is never easy. There will often be conflict or drama of some sort, no matter how hard you try not to get on each others nerves.
Draco and I both have very dominant personalities. We’re used to ruling our own roost (although we have lived with others over the years, more often than not, we’ve rented a place just for our little family). We’re both 40-ish and becoming set in our ways. It’s not as hard to get under our skin as it once was.
We’ve been living with a girl who we’ve known since she was 16. She’s now in her 20’s, and a mother, with a live-in boyfriend. Our niece, Chicklet, also lives here and currently, her wife, Miss Nasty (a running family joke said lovingly), live here too. That’s a lot of people, and a lot of personalities in one space.
We decided when B’s boyfriend moved in that we needed to get our own place, our own space, once again. The shiny of living with others has worn off and we’re ready, but let’s face it, Draco just changed jobs (and took a $2/hr pay cut ~ even though we consider it worth the cut), and renting a place is expensive these days.
Chicklet happens to have some friends that were living in a camper out of necessity a few years ago. Since then, their situation has changed and now the camper sits defunct in their front yard gathering dirt and dead leaves. I approached them a few months ago about their willingness to sell. They quickly agreed, quoting a price that Draco and I felt was worth it and the deal was made.
Now, as tax season quickly approaches, we’ll be paying off the camper and begin the process of remodeling it (most of which will occur while we live in it). We will be moving into it as soon as we’re certain that things are “fixed-enough” for it to be livable. We will be moving it about 20 minutes down the road to an RV park in the town where we lived with my parents when my mother was dying.
In all honesty, living with my parents while my mother was passing was one of the hardest living situations we’ve ever experienced, but, we actually liked the town we lived in at the time and the thought of moving back there stirs something akin to a feeling of “going home” in both of us.
The camper will be ours, free and clear after we get our tax money, so we will have a home that no one can take away from us. It will be ours. No payments, no debt. Every penny we put into it will be an investment in ourselves and not someone else. The expenses of living in a camper are going to run us about what we pay here, sharing space with two other families, except we’ll have our own space and we’ll be about 10 minutes from Draco’s new job.
I know that we will face challenges as we adjust to living in a small space, which is partly why I decided to make this blog. Now, I have somewhere to talk about the challenges, and how we over-come them, or somewhere to vent if I get frustrated.
Over-all, Draco and I are both very excited about moving into our small space and we will most likely call it the same thing we call the blog. Our “Tiny Hearth”.
Have you ever lived in a home with multiple families or in a “tiny hearth” of your own?
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do take the time to think about the types of energies I want to try to focus on most in the coming year. This year, one of the main things I wanted to work with was gratitude, or “an attitude of gratitude”. I wanted to try to focus on finding at least one thing in each day to feel grateful for, no matter how small or insignificant.
These posts won’t be scheduled for a particular day. I’ll post them when I have free moments and an “attitude of gratitude” or maybe just a stray thought hits me.
Today, I’m sharing one of those “little thing” gratitude moments.
I spent what felt like most of the day in the car. Up at 5 am picking up Draco from work, out at dinner-time picking up Witchlet and taking her to her doctor’s appointment. Back to pick them up and run Draco to work, them home, then back home myself.
On the ride home, I was exhausted. My brain has been in overdrive it seems like for months now and I just wanted a few moments out of my day when I didn’t really have to think, talk to anyone, or do anything except drive the car and maybe listen to the radio.
It doesn’t happen often, at least not for me, that I turn on the radio and immediately hear the first strands of a really good song. Usually, as luck would have it, the song is almost over and the rest of what you hear for the next 15 minutes (at least) is either crappy, or stuff you’ve never heard before. Today, it happened for me.
As I turn up the volume on the radio, I hear the first strands of a song from my teenage years (I’m telling my age a little here, lol). Metallica ~ Unforgiven 2
The very next song is Puddle of Mudd ~ She Hates Me, which was popular when Draco and I were dating.
Those two were great, but just as I was getting close to home, I hear Stone Temple Pilots ~ Plush, also popular when we were dating.
I was in music heaven! Granted, I know to some of you, you’ll probably think they’re a little less than hearts and unicorn farts, but it’s music that I love just the same, and hearing 3 songs I really liked at the end of a long day, was a moment worth a little gratitude because of it’s singular rarity!
Hope you enjoyed my Random Gratitude for today.
What are YOU grateful for?
I knew as soon as I decided to add a category page called “Domestic Paganism” to the blog, that I would feel the need to offer some kind of explanation of what it is ~ and what it’s not.
Probably one of my favorite descriptions of what a Domestic Pagan (Kitchen Witch/Hearth Witch/Domestic Witch) is comes from a post on The Modern Pagan called What is a Domestic Witch? It gives a good general definition, but to that, I’d like to add my own.
For me, the short answer to “what is a domestic pagan?” is that I focus on home and family and add touches of “magick” throughout my home and my interactions with my family.
The long answer can be a little more complicated, mainly because it’s something that I have finally accepted about myself and am in the process of delving deeper into myself. As I learn more about this aspect of myself, I know that my definition of it will change and grow with me, but I’ll give you a few ideas of what it is I do that makes me consider myself a “Domestic Pagan”.
For starters, my home and my family are my life. At the end of the day, they top the list of what is important to me. It’s one of the few areas of my life where I have to admit, I do care what other people think. When people come to my home, or meet my family, I want their impression to be a positive one, and I feel like whatever their impressions are, are a direct reflection of me.
I most strongly identify myself with my home and my family. I feel that they define who I am, what I am, and what my purpose in this lifetime is.
One of my favorite things in the world to do is cook and I can sit and look back to the early years of my life, before I ever knew their was such a thing as Paganism (Domestic or otherwise) and see where, even though I didn’t know what I was really doing other than caring for my home and family, that I unconsciously was practicing Domestic Paganism by adding certain herbs or ingredients to a meal when there were things going on in our lives.
Knowing some of the magickal associations of herbs and foods now, I realize that I was cooking with magick, even then.
Paganism for me, is very basic and simple. I have tried doing things what I consider “the hard way”, and even spent some time last year going to school working on getting my “Priestess” title, but after some long and serious thought, I realized that it was just more than I really wanted from my spirituality. I don’t feel that it has to be complicated to be meaningful, and serving the larger community just really isn’t what I want to do. I want to serve myself, my home and my family.
When I cook, I stir clockwise to bring the energies of the ingredients to us, or counter-clockwise to banish something. If someone is under the weather, I cook dishes that include foods and herbs with healing properties. When someone is depressed, I use things that draw happiness or banish negativity. I chant while I sweep, banishing negative energy from the house.
To some, these things may seem small, but to me, they help make up and define who and what I am, as well as defining a very fulfilling (at least for me) spiritual practice.
As I learn and grow, I will add posts to this topic covering things more in depth, but I hope this at least gives you an idea of what being a Domestic Pagan, or Kitchen Witch, is about.
For this recipe, I use the Red Klondike potatoes. I don’t really measure much around here (the bane of the Kitchen Witch), but it’s easy enough to figure out how much you want or like of the ingredients.
Red Klondike Potatoes (I start chopping until I have as many as I feel I want)
Cheese of your choice (Gouda is one of our favorites)
Butter (enough so that the potatoes have something to cook in and not stick)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut up the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place aluminum foil over the pan and put in the preheated oven. I cook mine around 15 minutes or so, but time will vary depending on the size you cut the potatoes.
- Once the potatoes are fork-tender, grate cheese over the top, sprinkle with bacon bits and put them under the broiler just long enough for the cheese to get melted well.
Once out of the oven, you could add sour cream over the top if you wanted to, and I want to try that variation myself, but when I made these the last time, I didn’t have any. I also forgot to take any pictures, so the next time I make them, I will make sure to add them!
My name is Fae Moon and I am the resident blogger here at The Tiny Hearth. Let me start off by telling you a little bit about who I am and what you’ll find here at TTH.
I am a wife, mother, and soon-to-be grandmother (our little bundle of Wee Witchy joy is due on March 2, 2014 ~ which happens to be the day after my birthday, too).
I have been blogging off and on, it seems, since blogging began, but didn’t begin to take it seriously until about 3 years ago when I found myself caring for my dying mother and her husband that was slowly going insane. That blog, unfortunately, disappeared in a maintenance mishap and even the techy guys where I was hosting at the time couldn’t make it come back. Since then, I have floated around from place to place, never quite feeling at home anywhere else and too disheartened to try to revamp my lost blog (let me tell you, that was over a year of hard work, writing, socializing and making a name for myself).
Now, after nearly 20 years together, Draco (my husband and the love of my life) and I, find ourselves on the brink of a completely different life.
Witchlet is our only child and she has been gone from home for years now, and suddenly we find ourselves about to be grandparents! That means that the pitter-patter of Wee Witchy Feet will once again return to our hearth.
Draco has frequently worked jobs with unpredictable hours, and for the last 2 years, it seems he has spent more time out of town than at home and he has just changed jobs to one with a set schedule and days that is local.
In addition to all of that, for the last 4 years, we have mostly lived with other people. We gave up our place nearly 4 years ago to care for my parents and then we moved in with a friend of ours and our lives have been reduced to a bedroom for those 4 years.
Within the next month or so, we will find ourselves moving into a camper and putting it on a semi-permanent site about 15 minutes from Draco’s new job.
I have to admit, I have teetered between excited and nervous, but I have found a number of sites recently about living in small spaces and making it work, so now I am filled with confidence and excitement over this next phase of our lives.
In The Tiny Hearth, you will find stories about our lives and our family, recipes, tips for living and growing plants in small spaces, and frugal living. You will also hear a lot about my favorite little 4-legged baby, my Pug, who is also my familiar.
It also just so happens that Draco and I consider ourselves Pagans. Now don’t get all nervous. It’s most likely not what you think (it’s not what most non-pagans think it is). Our practice is really very different from what I think most Pagans do. I am what I consider a Hearth Witch, or Kitchen Witch, when means that my focus is on my home, my family, cooking and cleaning.
I also do a handful of crafts and I intend to start doing a few more that I may share from time to time.
I’m very excited to have this chance to spend some time with all of you and I look forward to growing a community of people around this blog! I hope you come to enjoy your time here as much as I do!
Don’t forget to check out the links on the side-bar to find me on places like Facebook and Twitter!