Tuesday marked the autumn equinox and the official start of my favorite time of year! It was a perfect fall day: cool, dry, and sunny. On the way home from work I stopped at our local cider mill and picked up a gallon of cider; then, I took a walk in the woods and gathered some things to make this simple Mabon mobile. I’m very much looking forward to the cooler days ahead!
Well, we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus! Though we officially started back with schoolwork this week, I haven’t quite put everything together to do a weekly report. Instead I wanted to check in and post a few pictures from our 2010 Yule celebration. This year we made cranberry, popcorn, and peanut garlands to hang on the bird feeders in addition to preparing a solstice cave and enjoying our delicious Midwinter Bread. Here are some highlights:
Hard to believe we had absolutely NO snow on the ground on the solstice! This was our solstice cave last year:
But we’ve more than made up for it since; there is at least a foot on the ground at the moment. Anyway, that’s it for now; I’ve also updated the Needles page with current projects and pictures of some of my Yule gifts. Hope everyone’s Holidays were merry and bright!
Though we all love the hoopla surrounding Halloween, we also look forward to and enjoy our quiet Samhain (pronounced SOW-en for those who don’t know) rituals. In the morning we took our yearly spin to the cemetery to visit the graves of loved ones who have passed on. We always bring hand picked flowers, pine cones, acorns or special stones to lay on the headstones (we take a walk beforehand and gather what calls to us). Our family also has a mausoleum and ever since the Peeps were little they’ve each claimed a lion to care for. Some of the stones from past years are still laying there around them!
At home we lay flowers on the graves of our beloved family pets that are no longer with us. For us that means a cat, a dog, a turtle, and two chickens reside in our “pet cemetery”. 🙂
After that, a little pumpkin carving with friends…
My favorite part of Samhain is setting up the Ancestor Table. Pictures of family pets are also allowed, though strictly speaking they’re not our ancestors, we do miss them an awful lot. 😉 The candle is lit and stays burning until bedtime. (We do extinguish it before trick or treating, then relight when we get back home.)
And speaking of trick or treat…at a friend’s house, ready to hit the trail:
We usually go to a friends’ house for trick or treating (they have a “real” neighbor to go in) and then enjoy lots of good food afterward– including some cider and apple donuts from a local cider press. Parents are hopeful some real food will be consumed before the process of candy trading begins! We don’t usually do candy, so this is a special treat for my two. (Sorry for the blurry photo; sugared up kids+low light=blur)
And finally, back at Casa de los Peeps…
I look forward to the trick or treat festivities as much as the Peeps, but I also enjoy that quiet time when we get back home, p.j.’s are donned, and I can sit and knit in peace while the really intense candy trading negotiations begin!
We had a really nice Winter Solstice. My brother and nephew are visiting from Virginia, and my Mom, Dad and sister came down for the day as well. We had a mellow time hanging out and visiting, while I made chili and corn bread for dinner. I also made our traditional Midwinter Gingerbread for dessert which was a big hit. YUM.
The Peeps and I did our usual thing as well… brought it bunches of greens and holly to decorate and built a solstice cave. This year because of the two feet of snow that got dumped on us, we built it out of snow instead of a cairn of rocks. It looked sooooo pretty glistening in the snow all night! The picture I took of it is from our video camera so I’ll add that later. In the meantime, here’s a picture of what’s left of the Midwinter Gingerbread… I should have snapped a shot BEFORE everyone got to it. It looked so purty! LOL
The house has been spook-ified for Halloween since the beginning of the month. I didn’t go as crazy as in past years; I just love decorating for Halloween! On the actually day we will do our annual visit to the cemetery to lay special stones and fall flowers on the graves of loved ones who have passed on, set up our ancestor table (one of my favorite things!), light candles in the windows, and put out the jack-o-lanterns. Anyway, just wanted to share a few pics of some of the spooky/fallish embellishments I managed to get around to this year:
This guy DH bought last year and it freaks me out! I don’t like it one bit. I’m convinced one night I’m going to wake up to find those eyes peering at me from the side of the bed. **shiver**