Thoughtful Thursday: Happy 4th of July

I had a fantastic 4th of July up in New Hampshire with my family. I swam in a lake, chased around little kids and babies, kayaked, ate good food, talked, made a friend, and luckily for you took many pictures. Now I am listening to the distant boom of fireworks from the neighborhood.

As I close up the day, I am starting to think about happiness. What does it mean to be happy? Is there are recipe for happiness? Does it come from external sources or can it only come from within yourself and how you approach the world? Happiness as  a philosophical idea is something I haven’t looked into that deeply. Sure you have your instant gratification; eating food, kissing, buying that brand new hat, and other such physical things. Was I happy today because I was wearing my new bikini? Yes. Was I happy because the cool water felt good and the steak I ate was flavorful and juicy? Yes. But you know.. Long term happiness is difficult to put my finger on. But I can say one thing, I know I will be generally happy for the long term because I was happy today. I was happy not just because of all the instantly gratifying things I experienced but because of the family which was around me. The little ones, my cousin who’s like a sister to me, my aunts, my parents, and a new friend my age were all reason to be happy. It was an exceptionally excellent day.

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Yoga, Meditation, Sleep, & Energy

This post may be a little short today and for that I am sorry. I woke up earlier than I normally do and am pretty tired. I woke up and did my yoga routine. I first got introduced to yoga in a class I took in high school but now I  have started to watch a yoga program called Yoga Sutra Now on the channel Veria. The channel is all about natural health and wellness. What I like about the show is that it is the traditional poses I remember doing and that at the end the host talks with someone from the yoga world so they can share their knowledge. The routines are also based around some theme which goes throughout the show. I am hoping to start doing yoga everyday after I wake up and meditation before I go to sleep. I am hoping this exercise will help me sleep better since I often find that I have trouble getting to sleep. I also have found that when I do yoga I have a lot more energy during the day which is amazing because usually I’m a bit tired. I hope the yoga might help with my back pain due to my scoliosis and help build my core muscles. I’m very excited to have gotten my new yoga mat, straps, and blocks which are standard supplies. Anyhow..This whole thing has left me wondering what other people do for exercise or what health problems ail other people. Do you have an exercise routine? What do you do to be healthier? Are you into herbal healing and other holistic choices? I know I am!

Click Here to be taken to Veria’s website if you are interested.

Also..Happy Summer Solstice!! I didn’t celebrate as much as I would have liked but I might like the candles on my altar and say I short chant or prayer to the sun. It might go like the following. I probably should have laid outside in the sun like a cat.

Summer Solstice

The sun blazes its brightest

spinning through the sky

showing all it glory before it descends

and says goodbye

I just love this cute kitty greeting the sunrise!

I just love this cute kitty greeting the sunrise!

Wheel of the Year Magnet

Here’s a fun craft to try. It’s called a Wheel of the Year and shows all the holidays wiccans celebrate called Sabbats.

Here’s a list of the holidays, their dates, and what is celebrated during them. I hope this helps someone who wants to know.

Samhain (Halloween)(October 31st): This is the witches new year. It is a time to honor those loved ones who have died and crossed over. Spirits fill the air during the night and our power in at its height. The veils between worlds are thin and therefore we have a better connection with different realms of existence.

Yule (December 21-23): This is the Winter Solstice. Being the longest night of the year, it is when the moon is in full power. We come together to celebrate the sun awakening and being reborn.

Imbolc or Candlemas (February 2nd): Life is just starting to wake up again. Seeds and newborn animals are blessed in preparation for spring.

Ostara (March 19-22): This is the Spring Equinox. We celebrate the earth awakening and seeds being planted. It is a celebration of the balance between the moon and the sun. Eggs are often used represent fertility.

Beltane (May 1st): This is a day celebrating fertility and abundance within life. It is usually celebrated with the maypole dancing and leaping over a ritual fire. Life in growing and in full force.

Litha (June 19-23): This is Midsummer. It is the longest day and shortest night of the year and therefore the time when the sun in the strongest. The “death” of the sun is celebrated at sunset with a fire because the rest of the year is mainly composed of nights being longer than days. This time is often connected with seeing faeries.

Lammas (August 2nd): This is the time of the first harvest of the season. It is the time for gathering food for winter. Bread is the main part of the meal to celebrate a healthy harvest of wheat.

Mabon (September 21-23): Day and night are again in balance and the final harvest is celebrated. Resting, feasting, and general making merry is all part of the fun. We again prepare for winter.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Paper Plate
Paper (colored or not)
Scissors
Two Magnets
Glue
Something to write with
Anything you want to decorate with

Take your paper plate and cut out the inside circle so there isn’t a wavy part. Then take your writing instrument of choice and write the names of the Sabbats in order all around the outside. Decorate your plate with anything you feel fits with each season and holiday. Take your glue and glue one magnet to the center of the back of the plate. Cut out an arrow using the separate sheet of paper and attach this to the other magnet using glue. Let everything dry overnight and you have your own personal wheel of the year! You can use the arrow to point to the next holiday coming up or the holiday which you are currently celebrating.

Wheel of Year

Seaport and Sunshine

Spent Father’s Day on my uncle’s boat with my dad, two uncles, and cousin.  It was nice just sitting in the sunshine and taking in the salty fresh air with slow deep breaths. The poem says the rest.

By the Sea

I have secret dreams

of living by the sea

of opening a shop

filled with things which make me me

If I could just feel that breeze

and smell that air

my eternal sunshine

could spill over

sparkling

like the water

everywhere

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Maine Trip: All Checked In

Memorial Day weekend here I come! I have to say that this resort and spa is pretty nice. They have two pools and the rooms are nice and big. The bathrooms are very clean and they have a large shower and big bathtub. Which is a big deal for me since I haven’t been able to take a bath in ages. It might be nice to do that. There are even little porches which have a view of the water. Unfortunately mother nature is planning a lot rain. It is rainy and foggy currently. You can’t even tell the difference between the sky and the water.

Fun Fact: Maine has the cleanest water of all the U.S. states because of how it filters through the sand and it is home to a lot of springs including the famous Poland Spring. Also the glaciers are responsible for Maine’s jagged coast with all its inlets and harbors.

Anyway.. I am pretty tired from the drive up and plan on giving myself a manicure and just relaxing. I might have some decaf coffee as well since they have one of those Keurig coffee makers in here. I love those! It’s just nice to be away from home sometimes.

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They have some really lovely gardens around the resort. They have a lot of Hostas and it is pretty wooded as well. It also seems as if they have beds of some other plants. I’ll make sure to check them out later! The hanging petunias are also rather colorful and lovely.

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All Planted and Done with Kindle Cover

I finished planting all the flowers and the cucumber and tomato plants. I also managed to finish with my Kindle cover. Everything is looking really good and I am quite content with having finish a few projects. My next project will probably be crocheting a make-up bag for myself. But before that I want to make some decorations for my Kindle cover. I’m thinking of starting with some flowers for the spring and summer but then also making some for the holidays (Pagan and Not-Pagan).

Kindle Cover Pattern

Chain 25 sts. across

DC across until long enough to cover width of Kindle while open and make a flap for both sides. Tie off.

Sow up flap on left side (top and bottom). Tie off.

Then chain 22 sts.

DC two rows across. Tie off leaving a long enough string to sew this piece onto the bottom and/or top of the right. If you want to put a piece on both the top and bottom make sure you make two.

Turn entire piece inside out and place Kindle inside cover.

I found that when I was closing the kindle with the flap on the left (as shown), it was not allowing the Kindle to lock and sleep as it usually does. I decided to take the flap off and close the kindle without the flap on and then cover the entire kindle with the flap. This also meant I didn’t need to put a button and string as a closure for the cover like I was planning to.

If any of you have a question about this pattern then comment and I will answer the best I can. I might even make a video if needed since it is easier to show then tell.

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My Fashion and Colors

I know it might seem silly paying so much attention to clothing but sometimes it’s nice to dress up a little now and then. I honestly am not huge into fashion or beauty but I have my own personal style which I would like share now and then.

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The rainbow colored tank I recently got at Delia’s. I love that store because everything there is so soft and this tank top is no exception. I am the type of person who can’t resist if something feels nice on my skin but also I will be completely annoyed if something is itchy or scratchy. I like being comfortable.  I also like colorful stuff like this but also like dressing in more black and white basics as well. I forget where I got the other top. It is a nice red and black checkered-type of pattern though. I often try to dress with colors which match the season or how I am feeling. Am I feeling like and carefree? Then I would probably wear something like the rainbow tank. Am I feeling more passionate and darker? Then I will probably wear my red short-sleeved shirt.

Colors definitely have feelings of their own to them and so do seasons. In fact a lot of seasons have colors which match up to them. This is often used in Wicca and Paganism to help the practitioner do magic. Here is my own personal list of correspondences of colors and seasons.

Seasons:

Spring

Having a light energy, this season is one of cleansing and renewing. Everyone is clearing out their houses and yards of the old and making way for new energies and new life. It is the season of the element  air which means it is the best time for mentally faculties to be active in creative endeavors. This season is when the sun is becoming stronger and the moon is starting to fade from power. Colors of this season can be any pastels colors like that of Easter or May Day (Actually these are more commonly known names of Pagan holidays but I’ll save that for another post.). Colors include: Pink, Yellow, White, Lavender, Light Green.

Summer

This is the season of heat and activity. Your energetic and ready to socialize more during these summer days. It is the season of the element fire which means it is the best time for social endeavors and freedom to travel and grasp life with two hands. This season is ruled by the Sun. It is the best time to live life in the now. Color of this season are the warmer colors . Colors include: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Navy Blue.

Autumn

This is the season of decay and remembrance. It is also the season of prosperity and feasting because of the harvest. The holidays during this time are often food based. The leaves are falling and the earth is preparing to sleep. The days are becoming darker and the moon is gaining back her strength. This season is ruled by the element Water. The colors of this season are both cool and warm just like how water can be cool or warm. I often think of the Halloween colors as well and the color of the leaves and food being harvested. Color include: Red, Orange, Yellow, Gold, Black, Purple, Dark Green, Brown.

Winter

This is the season of darkness and slumber. It is a season ruled by the moon and the element Earth. It is a time of rest and reflection. The earth is still and waiting for the sun to return and awaken it again. This season is mainly ruled by cool colors. Although, I sometimes also think of a warm hearth and warm kitchen during this time and also warm spices as food. Colors include: Red, Forest Green, Blue, White, Silver, Gold, Black, Purple.

Colors:

Red

Passion, Courage, Love, Activity, Warmth, Honor, War, Endurance, Independence, Strength.

Orange

Luck, Creativity, Charm, Kindness, Success, Optimism.

Yellow

Happiness, Travel, Change, Progress, Mental and Visual, Confidence.

Green

Nature, Fertility, Growth, Prosperity, Healing, Harmony, Hope.

Blue

Wisdom, Truth, Peace, Calm, Healing, Guidance, Loyalty , Cleansing, Dreams.

Purple

Healing, Clearing Negativity, Divination, Spirituality.

White

Healing, Purification, Cleansing,  Divination, Spiritual Contact, Clearing Negativity. (Can Replace Any Color!)

Black

Protection, Healing, Cleansing, Purifying, Repel Negativity.

Silver

Goddess Energy

Gold

God Energy, Wealth.

Brown

Grounding, Stability, Protection, Concentration.