Sunday, November 27, 2011

Decking the Halls...

You know for the past several years I had not worked outside the home. This fall I picked up a job as a floral designer for a local Craft store and well... now its floral design all the time. And Gods help me I am seriously thinking about overhauling my Yuletide decorations.

We hung up the outdoor lights on Friday night. Yeah, yeah, working on Black Friday was not enough insanity for me... I talked the Hubs into hanging up the icicle lights on the outside of the house. He swore that he had plugged them in before we hung them up and tested them and wouldn't you know it? We no sooner got them all in place. Flipped the switch and ta-da! one of our strands of lights was halfway blown out. 

Back up on the ladder he went. Much grumbling and swearing commenced and finally I offered to take him to dinner and we could go to the store and grab another box of lights. So being fashionable, glam, and sophisticated folks- we went to Taco Bell.

After dinner, we went back into the store where I worked. (Wanted my employee discount.) Took a lot of "What... you didn't get enough today?" comments from my co-workers and we picked up a new box of icicle lights and some garland for the front porch post. Home again, plugged in the new strand of lights, did some adjustments and now the lights are up on the house!

The lit and decorated garland in the kitchen went up on Thanksgiving day... and at the moment I am eyeballing my living room mantle decor. It is usually some of my Santas and simple stems of greenery. But I have been seriously considering doing an elaborately lit garland with flowers and lots of ornaments... in a red and gold Solstice theme.

And probably my insanity for floral design and decorating should be treated.
Maybe Martha Stewart or David Tutera has a program.

For years I have been collecting sun, moon and star ornaments. I have dozens of golden suns that go on our tree every year. For a while the Yule tree was gold and blue. Now it's gold, red, soft green and white. I am not looking to change the tree, but the mantle... well all bets are off this year.

To make matters worse, my son Kyle showed up at my work yesterday and announced he'd really like me to put together a small white and red tree for his apartment. (As in St. Louis Cardinal Baseball theme.) You know World series Champs and all that...
Ah, a challenge! And how well he knows me. I'm already hatching ideas.
About a year ago, he moved into a spacious 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment with his older brother... and it never occurred to me that all of my oldest sons decorations are his, and not theirs.

Sure when they moved in and I took one look at their mantle and promised to put something together for their fireplace for the holidays. I decorated that mantle as a holiday housewarming gift. Its a very manly outdoor winter looking. It is rustic twiggy/pine cone/ evergreen and it goes with their hunting and fishing theme tree.

So I imagine today Kyle and I will get that red and white mini-tree started. I'm thinking white tree/ red lights with white cords, cardinal birds and white and frosted red glass ornaments... and you see? It is a sickness.
Stop me before I stop myself... LOL!

While we are out there shopping and looking for items for his tree, I will also be on the lookout for something celestial or magickal that will inspire my own mantle redo this holiday season. I'll keep you posted and let you know what I find.

Ah yes, I am spending my day off doing more floral design... it is nice to let this other side of my creative self out to play.
Blessed be, Ellen

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Yuletide...

Good Morning!
I imagine it's probably becuase I have been cranking out holiday floral arrangements for weeks at work... and of course listening to Holiday music, that I just changed the blog over to a vintage Yuletide theme. But if I may, "It's beginning to look a lot like Yuletide, Everywhere I go..."

Yup, tis the season. And I don't want to hear anybody whine, bitch or complain that the Pagan elements of the Winter Solstice holiday are lost.. No they are not! They are everywhere! Blissfully getting the last laugh on the unsuspecting decorator who wants to add something, "old fashioned to their holiday decor."

Seriously you just have to stop moping and look. Holly, ivy and mistletoe anyone? Boughs of pine and variegated white and green holly, sparkling lights, and those decorated pine trees- that were banned from most churches up until the 1950's because they were considered to be ... wait for it... too Pagan!

First off there is the Holly King/ Santa Claus or Father X-mas- call him whatever you want... Have you ever taken a really hard look at old Victorian holiday cards? Those are some pretty Pagan-friendly Santas. Like this fellow on the left. Crown of holly and a Yule log. Hello, Holly King. Check out what folks are calling a "Woodland Santa" these days. Looks like a cross between Odin and Santa to me, all rustic and dressed in fur and carrying a tiny pine tree...

Oh, and guess what my fellow Witches and Pagans? We are not the only ones wondering where to find a little something meaningful for our holiday homes. I spent the past week taking a fiendish delight in cranking out blue and white and silver table top arrangements. Why? because a little girl and her brothers walked up to me at the floral counter and asked why the store did not have any Hanukkah crafts or decorations.

Out of the mouths of babes... There is another winter celebration/festival in December this year too. And I was so busy adding ivy, mistletoe and fairies and Pagan looking woodsy Santas to my designs, that I sort of missed the forest for the trees.

I promised the kids I would start making some blue, white and silver arrangements. So I cranked out a bunch of arrangements in the past few days. Now the next time those kids and their mother's come in they will have plenty to choose from. Happy festival of light.

The darkest days of the year are upon us now... the leaves are all falling and frost and snow are on their way. But the light will return and the sun will be reborn. The symbols and signs of our winter solstice celebration are everywhere in nature. Sometimes you have to look again, and remember.
Blessed be, Ellen

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Taking a page out of one of my own books!

It has been a while since I posted any new blogs. Samhain came and went and my part time job became a full time job about 3 weeks ahead of schedule.  Then I got cut at work, I got stitched back up and kept working but it did slow me down. The stitches came out yesterday and my thumb is healing nicely.

Lately, I have been looking around for a class to take this winter so I can keep working on loosing more weight and toning up and I may have found one. I'll go tonight and check it out. I have been invited to sit in on a class and see what I think.

In the past I have done boot camps, a couple different belly dance classes... this time I thought I'd try something new and a little- okay a LOT- outside of my comfort zone.

The reason for this possible new class is two-fold. One, my friend and fellow author Jeanne Adams recommended it...
And the second, is that I am damn sick and tired of being grabbed and or pounced on when I am in public.

Recently I was physically accosted after a public event by a "fan" and this person would not let go. They were too busy telling me loudly what they thought of me. Because and I quote "Their high priestess told them to." While a crowd of onlookers gleefully watched- and did nothing.
I had a choice of yanking away and having them toss red wine all over me, or speaking to them quietly and calming them down. I chose the 2nd option. 

Sure, I could have made a scene and started shouting myself, but I chose to act like a lady. No point in giving them more attention- it was what they wanted. So I was classy, quiet, but firm and eventually I was able to remove myself from the situation. 

My husband, friends and I had gotten separated as we left the event- and by the time my husband figured out something was amiss, I was walking away from the person, and back towards him, rubbing my arm, and muttering under my breath about seriously hiring a freaking bodyguard.

Then just a few days ago while attending a class, as I went to leave, I got grabbed by the arm again.
I hate to admit it. I froze.
I could not believe this was happening again. Once again someone was up in my face and had their hands on me without my permission. This time they were not being spiteful but it was still too close and they did not let go.

I spoke to this individual as politely as possible- as I was once again surrounded by many people who were watching me interact with this "fan"... and who were all doing nothing. Just enjoying the show.

Eventually the person let go of my arm and I was able to walk quietly away. What the hell? Just because I am an author does not mean people should feel free to grab a hold of me, yank me by the arm, and tell me all of their problems.

So, I think it's time to take my own damn advice. A page out of one of my own books, if you will,  and do something a bit more pro-active.
I start tonight.
Blessed be, Ellen