Thursday, June 30, 2011

Homemade Cleaning Products

Okay as we all know as Pagans, one of the best things we can do is be kind to Mother Earth and her furry critters. Well, while I'm lying around in a hospital my mother was reading the newspaper and found something very Earth friendly. She, of course, shared the article with her little Pagan Squirrel. I then decided to share it with my readers.

Wood Cleaner

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix ingredients. Using a soft cloth, rub into the wood, in the direction of the grain.

Furniture Polish

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp water

This polish should be made fresh each time you use it. Extract the juice from the lemon. Mix with oil and water. Apply a thin coat on your wood surface and let sit for 5 minutes. Use a soft cloth to buff to deep shine.

Laminate Floor Cleaner (for engineered wood and no-wax floors)

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 gallon warm water

Mix ingredients. Avoid over wetting the floor by using a spray bottle to apply the mixture to the floor. Mop as usual (microfiber mops work best.)

Garbage Disposal Cleaner

  • 1 cup ice
  • Lemon or orange rind

To eliminate garbage disposal odors and clean and sharpen blades, grind ice and rinds until pulverized.

Refrigerator Cleaner

  • 2 Tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 quart warm water

Dissolve baking soda in water. Use to wipe all surfaces inside and out. For stubborn sports, rub with baking soda paste. Be sure to rinse with a clean, wet cloth.

No-Streak Glass Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 quart warm water

Mix the ingredients and apply with a clean sponge or pour into a spray bottle and spray on. For lint free results, wipe dry with crumpled newspaper, buff to a shine.

From an article in the Tyler newspaper by Patrice Dunagin, Smith County FCS Agent.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Into the Unknown

Tomorrow I go yet again into the unknown. Surgery. Okay, okay, so it isn't all that unknown to me. In fact this squirrel has been cut open more times than the number of years she has been alive. So that would be over 24 times. Ouch. Suddenly I'm glad they can knock me out before all that. Can you image what it must have been like in the old days of medicine? I think I'd rather have been shot and put out of my misery back in those days. Its making my tail twitch just thinking about it!

And while I am going through yet another surgery, I can't help but feel calm. I'm not sure why or how. Maybe I've finally gotten over my fears of hospitals and surgeries? Or maybe I've finally just accepted that I can't change what the Universe places on my life path?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life and Death

There are lots of nutty things in this world, but nothing more confusing then life and death. While, I believe in things like reincarnation and that I shall be well taken care of in the still scares me. It scares most people. I accept it as a fact of life and as a new beginning, but I can't imagine what will cause my death and exactly what happens when I've passed. The unknown is a very frightening thing for many people after all.

So why am I wondering about life and death? It might be due to my upcoming surgery on June 29th even though it is a minor surgery and I should be just fine. Or it might be due to relearning the basics of Wicca so that I can better help my students with their studies, and this is causing me to think more about the basic subjects than from when I first learned them. I'm not really sure which it is. Not really sure it matters either. Maybe it's both?

Either way, it makes my mind start heading in many directions, much like a squirrel looking at a garden full of bird-feeders and not knowing which to raid first. This is one of the days I really wish the Divine would just tell us what lies beyond. Maybe with a picture pop-up book? That would be nice. Of course then where would living in faith be if the Divine gave us a pop-up book of all the answers?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting Ready for Litha

It seems I've let my life get a little too busy as of late. It is not that I want to me if this squirrel could just spend her days reading on the porch sofa, she would! However, my health has gotten the best of me. I guess that is what car accidents do to poor squirrels like me even if its been over 3 years. Anyways, the doctors are handling the situation. So now I'm trying to get ready for the upcoming Sabbat: Litha.

I run a small local Wicca coven. We've only been doing any serious work since last year. Before that we were just some laid back friends who got together from time to time. Therefore we have a lot to do. We've been working on the book of shadows, group bonding, deciding on a coven symbol/logo, coming up with Sabbat craft projects, re-writing the degree requirements, and all that other not so fun stuff. It is all worth it in the end too. Since last year, we have come a long way.

I'm very proud of each member in my coven. Most of them have learned to trust each other and how to work with each other now. However, it does seem we all function on Pagan Standard Time. lol Many of the members are excited about Litha. It's nothing big. Just a small BBQ potluck with a few activities. I've printed out some summer themed mandalas for meditational coloring....yes, you can color and meditate at the same time! lol We also have plans to go swimming after the ritual. Sounds like the perfect summer day to me. I just hope everyone else enjoys it too!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Squirrel Who Can Catch A Fish

The idea of squirrels fishing is a very cute idea. Not realistic, but very cute. However, this little pagan squirrel can fish! Okay, so most of what I caught yesterday wasn't big enough to keep, but I did catch seven fish! Of my coven only one other caught a fish. So it easy to see who is the winner at this sport. lol

In Texas the first Saturday of June is known as Free Fishing Day. This means that no fishing license is required of adults. I am yet to get my fishing license because I've yet to go fishing at the lake. I've never really tried to fish anywhere other than private ponds, and I also have no idea what I'm doing! We choose to go to see if it was worth getting our fishing licenses and to connect back to nature. And anyone who could fish back in the day and get enough for dinner, I have much respect for now!

Fishing is defiantly a good way to realize how life was for those of the old days. I can't image having to always find or hunt my own food. Out of five people I was the only one who caught anything large enough to eat and I only caught two that were like that. I wonder how long we would have been out there if we were really having to catch our dinner? I think I'd rather go collect nuts for dinner instead!

This experience was a great eye opener for me. It has made me to appreciate what I have and how easy it is for me to go to a store and just buy fish or whatever else I want for dinner. It has given me a stronger sense of thankfulness. I'm glad I went on this fishing trip as I won't ever forget it or the lessons it has taught me.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Distractions of Luna Lovegood

No, I do not mean Luna Lovegood from the famous Harry Potter series. I'm talking about Luna Lovegood the cat! Who is this cat? Well, she is my beautiful and very odd cat. Luna is a very unique cat who's name fits her more than perfectly. She is a polydactyl, more commonly called a hemingway, and in English translates to a cat with extra toes. She has 23 toes total to be exact. (Which come with 23 claws, too!) She also possesses the cutest little bob tail. All in all she is one adorable strange cat.

Anyways, Luna decided this morning at around 6:00am to chase something. Unfortunately for me she did this in my bed. So I was awaken from a pouncing cat trying to attack something unseen at the end of the bed. After ensuring it wasn't the boogie monster she was fighting off, I check to see what it was she was in pursuit of.

She began to bat at a pillow at the edge of the bed. I moved it only to see a grayish blur move as I was not wearing my glasses and still rather tired. I quickly moved the surrounding items in hopes to see what this thing was. Sadly, I failed and was left worrying that I had a giant bug in my bed that would crawl on me while I slept. Luna, on the other hand, began her search again for the creature that got away. I went back to sleep with Luna on the prowl.

I dreamt of cock roaches sleeping in my bed and spiders the size of my hand. It is safe to say that I did not sleep well. So when I woke up at 9:00am from mewing kittens waiting to be bottle fed, I was surprised to see Luna still looking for her....whatever it was. This made me a little uneasy. I started wondering if I had mice in the apartment, even though we have no holes from any that I'm aware of.

Finally after I fed the kittens and had them back in their bed for a nap, I noticed Luna make a huge pounce off the end of the bed. I thought to myself "Oh no, it really must be a mouse!" When out popped Luna with a medium sized moth in her mouth. It twitched its wings, but there was no use. It was her prey and she had won....and I had worried over nothing. Luna made a happy and prideful cat noise then causally made her way to the living room with her prize.

I just sat there in disbelief that my sleeping fears were caused by a moth. Who knew?

Home Is Where You Hang Your Broom

Photo from Photobucket

I've been thinking a lot about what I consider home to be. For me it is a quad apartment building off a side street that connects to one of the two major roads in my little town. My apartment has a rustic brick wall on one side while all the rest inside are done with light colored paneling. It has a fake wooden floor that gets too cold in the winter for my taste. It is a small one bedroom apartment, yet is decent in size. When I first saw it, it reminded me a little of a cottage - not the building, but the inside of the apartment. The paneling reminded me of my parent's home, so after all my stuff had been moved in, the place felt like home. Well, if you could minus all the boxes and clutter of items.

But for many people even a place like this doesn't feel like home. So what does make a place feel like home?

For me it is making the place personalized. It took a long while to succeed in this after we moved to this apartment due to having surgery done on my ankle last year, but I finally did it. I sewed my own curtains, hung up a few decorations, unpacked lots of boxes, got the kitchen area...well someone clean, and started a potted garden outside. We even decorated the mini backyard that we share with the neighbors. Oh, and my next door neighbors are old friends of ours that we convinced to move in. So I'm never far from someone to keep me company.

Also being able to come home to someone who is happy to see me everyday, along with my furry pets, is a great feeling. I honestly can say that if it wasn't for my pets, I'd be one bored squirrelly person. I might have even started to actually collect nuts! Well, maybe not. Anyway, I swear my pets are one of the few things that allow me to stay sane....or insane. I'm really not sure which I am. All in all, though having something to come home to, whether it is a person, a cat, or a ferret, is a very great feeling. I don't think there is anything that can replace that.

After all this, a complete year after moving in, this place actually feels like home. Its messy and cluttered, but it is home all the same. I call it my nest in the tree because it is one of four apartments in a brown building that, for reasons unknown, reminds me of a tree. Of course that could just be from the squirrel in me trying to relate everything to....well, a squirrel.

So the question remains as to why do I say "Home is Where You Hang Your Broom"? Well, simply put it is a very true statement for us Witches. However, it is mostly due to a sign I purchased and placed in my kitchen that started this whole post. Funny how a simple thing can cause one to wander in thought.