Merry meet!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Plans, plans, and more plans..


Oh, this weekeend has been just wonderful. I spent all yesterday afternoon planting bulbs and just enjoying being out and sticking my hands in the soil again. I took a look at the damage all the snow caused. I hope the snow hasn't taken a definite toll on some of my plants (bummer).
I was out and about today as well. I assessed some more damage, stacked some firewood and started planning again. And had to go chase after my dogs after they managed to get through a hole in the fence (I've gotta get a new fence!!!) and run off on the mountain (gosh, I'm really out of shape..).
Anyways, it's amazing how much being out and close to nature again recharges you. Maybe for witches even more so. We seem to indulge in it all. Spring is the perfect time, well, guess its the whole rebirth process and all. Not to mention that the days are definitely longer (a whole hour!).
Had so much energy that I even started baking, a pound cake for my aunt and one for my mom.

Whew! Thing is I'm just plain happy. I've started buying the tiles (had no idea small tiles cost so much!) I need for my new bathroom renovation project and ordered some more for my new country kitchen.                                           
 These two projects alone will (if I have enough funds) be finished by Yule. I also want to finish my upper garden project (the firepit and pond one). Geesh, I have so much to do. Thank the Goddess my energy is back!

Enjoy the rest of your merry weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Before moving to Italy the only inkling I had about Carnevale was Mardi Gras celebrated in New Orleans, Louisiana. I had no clue that it all started in Italy centuries before and that it gradually spread to other European countries and then overseas.              

Carnival is a big deal for Italians. Carnevale in Italy is a huge winter festival celebrated with parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and parties. Children throw confetti at each other, as do adults. Mischief and pranks are also common during Carnevale, hence the saying A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale, anything goes at carnival. I think it's also a mysterious time.

Carnevale has roots in pagan festivals and traditions, more specifically the ancient Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Bacchanalia and as is often the case with traditional festivals was adapted to fit into the Catholic rituals. Saturnalia was in honour of the god Saturn and was characterized by role reversing and behavioural license. Everyone, including slaves who were freed for the occasion,would wear masks so that they could be free to be and do what they wanted.  

Although carnival is actually one date, in Venice and some other places in Italy the carnival celebrations and parties may begin a couple weeks before.

Venice, Viareggio, and Ivrea carnevale festivals are the biggest carnival celebrations in Italy, even though all towns and villages have their own personal  and particular type of celebration. However, I think that as orginal as they all are, the most fascinating and magical (and sometimes spinetingling and a bit eerie and sinister too) is the Carnival of Venice.

The Venetian Carnival starts 58 days before Easter and ends on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday, which opens the period of Lent. Martedi Grasso, or Fat Tuesday as it is also known, is the last day in which you can eat richer foods before the fasting period. Most Italian families gather together to devour lasagna, cannelloni or other dishes of baked pasta and of meat dishes consisting of pork or roast. There are also a whole array of traditional sweets associated to Carnevale such as chiacchiere, frappe, crespelle and castagnole with each region having their own distinctive version.

The allure of the city and its masks is what makes Venice, the Serenissima, the Floating City, the City of Masks so enticing (at least for me). Once a powerful and dominant maritime republic, today it is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world. No wonder Casanova lived here.

I've been to Venice twice, but never at Carnevale. The grand palazzi, the lagoon, the gondolas, the canals, the bridges and all the shops full of masks and blown-glass art. It's an incredible place to visit. The Doge's Palace is quite imposing but richly adorned. Saint Marco's Basilica is breathtaking. The golden mosaic inside is unbelievable as is the solemnity of the place. You wonder while walking through the streets what goes on in the sumptuous buildings afterhours. What intrigues are being carried out, what plots are being planned, what mysteries are hidden from the common citizen ( ok, maybe my imagination is running amuk and I've read too many novels, Cry to Heaven, The Rossetti Letter, for example, that are set in Venice when it was a mighty republic... sorry).
I hope to eventually take part in the celebrations and get a taste of the old, intriguing atmosphere that reigned here once and that in part still does.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Carnival Masks


Venice robes her for the ball;
Decked with spangles bright,
Multi-coloured Carnival
Teems with laughter light.
Harlequin with negro mask,
Tights of serpent hue,
Beateth with a note fantasque
His Cassander true.
Flapping loose his long, white sleeve,
Like a penguin spread,
Through a subtle semibreve
Pierrot thrusts his head.
Sleek Bologna's doctor goes
Maundering on a bass.
Punchinello finds for nose
Quaver on his face.
Hurtling Trivellino fine,
On a trill intent,
Scaramouch to Columbine
Gives the fan she lent.
Gliding to the tune, I mark
One veiled figure rise,
While through satin lashes dark
Luring gleam her eyes.
Tender little edge of lace,
Heaving with her breath!
"Under is her own dear face!"
An arpeggio saith.
And beneath the mask I know
Bloom of rosy lips,
And the patch on chin of snow,
As she by me trips!     

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Best Valentine's Day Surprise

After exactly fourteen days of worrying and waiting, my kitty finally was able to find his way home. He appeared magically out of nowhere shortly after I got home in the evening yesterday.
He rushed over to the food bowls and pushed the other two cats out of the way. I guess he was starving. Needless to say that we were both  happy to see each other and were both relieved. He's currently sleeping all his past troubles away.

Thanks to all of you that helped out. I'm sure your contribution helped him find his way home.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!"

The Wizard of Oz is the first film I remember watching as a child. I was visiting my aunt's and uncle's along with my family and I went looking for one of my older "grown-up" cousins leaving my folks in the kitchen with the other adults. She was in her room upstairs. I remember her bed, her guitar, and her TV switched on broadcasting the film. I sat down on her bed Indian style and watched the whole film. It was unbelievable. I think my attachment to Tv began right then and there.

Pretty soon after this episode my cousin's younger sister, whom we all endearingly call "Nannina", started baby-sitting me and another younger cousin (we were 4 girl cousins. The female streak was interrupted when my baby brother was born). She taught me how to read and write, she indroduced us to  pumpkin seeds, bit'o honey, and bubble gum. She taught us how to blow bubbles, dye Easter eggs, dance to disco music and to John Denver. She taught us about Halloween and took us Trick or Treating. And she would have us re-enact The Wizard of Oz. Of course, she was the Wicked Witch of the West, the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz and Glinda, the Witch of the North, whom she liked best. She was reaallllly good as the wicked witch. I was usually Dorothy and our other cousin would take turns being the other characters, but then we would exchange roles just to be fair.

My childhood was just so much richer thanks to Nannina. She was only a young teen herself, but to us she knew everything. We loved her company and were often enthralled when she was baby-sitting (oh, which I learnt later she didn't particularly like doing!!!! And all this time I thought I had been an angel!! go figure...). She had a significant impact on my following childhood years because I was constantly curious about everything. I was naturally inclined to learning and it was quite easy.

When she went away off to college, TV took her place. However, during one of her visits back home she lent me a book. It awakened something inside me. It was a book on witchcraft. I was still too young to really understand much about it, but it had left its mark and I believe that since then I have been searching for the right moment to regain that knowledge and get my life back. Funny that almost 20 years later, she had given up on Catholicism and had preferred Wicca and had once again been the one to start me off on the right path.

Thanks Nannina.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Friday, February 3, 2012

In need of a little witchy help!!!

Fellow witches, I am in need of your help. It's been almost three days since my oldest cat Jinx hasn't come home.
The weather conditions are quite harsh and it hasn't stopped snowing for two days now. Jinx always comes home to eat, but no sign of him. I've asked Bast to keep him safe, but frankly I'm worried.
Could you please, please, please, please visualize that he's alright and will come home.
Thank you for your help in this kitty emergency!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My snow-covered town.


More snow? Let's ask Phil.

Groundhog Day is awaited by many to find out if winter will leave early or late. By the looks of things if winter leaves early it's giving us it's best shot right now!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blasted with snow...what a way to start Spring!

However, a snow covered landscape is sooooo magical. So maybe it was the right thing...