Thursday, December 29, 2011

What Happened to Winter?

The tree in my studio, which I leave up year round, is always decorated in a winter theme and, right now, it's about the only thing around here that does look like winter. We haven't had any snow, or even rain, since about December 15.
The temperatures are abnormally high; today it was 65 F (18 C) degrees! It has been really cold at night; our low temps have been in the teens and high twenties Fahrenheit.
If you have any rain or snow to spare, please send it out to Southern California? I promise you, we'll really, REALLY appreciate it!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

That Annual Post-Christmas...

Exhaustion! Anthony and George look like I feel. As lovely as the Christmas season is, it is also a very hectic, busy season.  I usually feel like I've run some sort of marathon by the time it's over, even as I'm grumbling about it going by too fast and being over too soon.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas...I'm going to go take a nap!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wishing Everyone...

A very merry Christmas! I'll be back sometime next week...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice



"So the shortest day came, and the year died,

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing,

To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;

They hung their homes with evergreen;

They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive,

And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, reveling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us - Listen!!

All the long echoes sing the same delight,

This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, fest, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

And so do we, here, now,

This year and every year. Welcome Yule!!"

Susan Cooper, The Shortest Day

Friday, December 16, 2011

Faeries Friday - The Yule Faerie

This is The Yule Faerie. She hasn't told me her other name yet. She's also probably a bit upset with me for some reason; she hasn't flown into the house yet but is still in her usual place in my studio. Hmmm...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winter's Arrival

December 12, 2011. The clouds have been gathering all day. As each one arrived it brought a bit more of the scent that Winter wears, that cold, clean, silvery perfume that is Her’s alone. As the afternoon approached evening, the silence of the forest deepened with each passing moment, as if it and all its inhabitants were holding their breath as they awaited Winter’s arrival.

Just as twilight was upon us, She danced down from the sky, countless sparkles of snow drifting from her twirling skirts and frost bejeweled hands, her breath gently caressing the trees as she passed by, singing her song of rest and sleep.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Sunlight

Bunches of mistletoe on bare oak trees against sunset clouds.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dreamland

Georgie finally found a place he could take a nap and be undisturbed...under the second tree.  He dragged the snowman pillow off of the couch and, when it was arranged to his satisfaction, put his head on it and took off for dreamland. I was going to finish decorating this tree today (it only has about 1/4 of the ornaments on it) but I didn't have the heart to disturb the little guy. He'd get mad at me for calling him little since he weighs 18 pounds, but you know what I mean.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Faeries Friday - Celyn, The Queen of Christmas and Yule

This is Queen Celyn (Celyn is Welsh for 'holly) which seems fitting, since she is wearing a crown of holly. She wouldn't tell me her name for the longest time; she just said, "You may address me as 'Your Highness.' " Well, I thought this was a tiny bit rude but, of course, I didn't tell her that! You know how ... ummm ... sensitive faeries can be. After gracing our cottage with her presence every Christmas/Yule season for many years, I'm happy I finally know her name.

She usually hangs out around the wreath that hangs over the living room fireplace during the day pretending to be just an innocent figurine. During the night, she apparently likes to tease the cats by flitting around just out of their reach. Anyway, I'm guessing this is what is happening because the cats are much more active at night during the Christmas/Yule season. The whole herd thunders up and down the stairs, through the halls and, unfortunately for their mom and dad, across the bed.

Last year, I almost caught a glimpse of her when I was awakened by the cats leaping across the bed. I saw a twinkle of sparkling faerie dust disappearing around the corner of the hall where it meets up with the stairs, but that's as close as I've come to seeing her at night. I think Shadow, our big long-haired black cat, might have gotten a bit closer on that night because, the next morning, I noticed the imprint of a tiny candy cane on his forehead! I gave all the cats a stern lecture about respecting Faeries but, judging by the amount of night time activity around here this season, I don't think they listened to me. Or maybe they did; I haven't seen any indications that any of them have been whacked on the head by a tiny candy cane...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Hard-Working Cat

Georgie says, "It's too scary. All last night and today the wind monster was howling and roaring! It would creep around our house and sound really sad, like a little kitten lost out in the cold. Then, just when I'd jumped up onto a windowsill to see if I could find the kitten so I could tell Mom and she could save it, the wind monster would roar and SLAM its huge, invisible body right into our little cottage! The whole house would shake and tremble, and I could hear the wind monster trying to get its claws under the windows and doors. I think it wanted to get in so it could eat us! And right before everybody went to bed all the lights went out. Of course, being a cat, I could see perfectly well, but Dad bumped into something when he was looking for the flashlight and said some really, really bad words.

The wind monster roared and howled even louder after the lights went out. It cried like a kitten some more, too, but I wasn't fooled again. I didn't sleep at ALL because I was guarding Mom, Dad and my brothers and sisters in case the wind monster managed to get in our house.

After everyone got up this morning the lights came back on, and I decided to get under the tree and have a nap in my favorite spot. After all, I had been on guard duty all night! I was sleeping really well, too, until Mom woke me up with her darn camera. Sheesh, can't a hard-working cat get a little rest?"

Monday, November 28, 2011

Listen

"Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you
And, if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say."

John O'Donohue, from 'To Bless the Space Between Us'

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I know I won't have the time tomorrow to be on the computer, so I thought I'd wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving today. I hope it's a wonderful one for you!

Love to all, Victoria

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cattitude From Max

Oh, HI Dad. What am I doing?

What are YOU doing?

Dad, I don't want to get down. As you can see, I'm being perfectly good. With the emphasis on 'perfect' as that applies to me and everything I...what?

Oh, all right, you don't have to be rude! I'll get down.

OK everybody, look out below! I'm coming down!

Dad can be such a grump. Sheesh.

There, Dad...happy now? I'm going to take a nap with Stella. Yeah, whatever. Now get that camera out of my face. What? Oh, right. Please.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Sunlight

I took this July 27, 2010, down at Lake Gregory in Crestline. It's one of the smallest lakes up here but it's my favorite because it isn't lined with boat docks.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Faeries Friday - Neve

This is Neve, which means 'snow' in Italian. She lives on the tree in my studio, which I leave up all year. It has a winter theme and there are several other winter and snow faeries that like to perch on its branches. It is supposed to snow tonight and they're happily anticipating me leaving the studio and going back to the house so they can fly out and have fun. Maybe I'd better do that right now...I think I'm starting to hear Faeries grumbling over by the tree!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Clearest Way

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness ~ John Muir

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Strange Behavior

Autumn is behaving very strangely up here. Some trees have turned, like the one in the photo above, some have turned and dropped their leaves. Some didn't turn colors, their leaves just turned brown and they dropped them, while others are hanging on to their brown, dry leaves. Then there are the Dogwoods; some of their leaves turned colors about a month ago, while the rest of the leaves remained green. Most of them are still green today. I can't remember an Autumn as strange as this one...I hope this isn't the way Autumn is going to behave from now on. I find it very disconcerting!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Too True, Emily...

" Every leaf speaks bliss to me...fluttering from the Autumn tree." Emily Bronte

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Wish...

I hope everyone has an 'all treats, no tricks' Halloween!

May the ones you loved who have passed beyond be near you tonight and may you be able to feel the warmth and comfort of their love.

Blessings to all,

Victoria

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Witches Tea Party Under a Halloween Moon 2011




Welcome!  It's just a bit of a walk to the party...but, be mindful of things along the side of the path, ok? They get sort of restless this time of year in the mountain forest where I live.

Take your time...

We're here!  Oh, I see some of the Halloween decorations have gotten out onto the window sill. I didn't set them there...I wonder who was so helpful? And the Dogwood trees have put out their pumpkin fruit. I just love magic trees!

The dancing witches say it wasn't them.

I guess whoever it was wanted me to know that I'm at home! Hmmm

Miss Tabitha Twitchitt says she's the one who set up the decorations on the window sill. I should have known, she's such a thoughtful witch kitty!

Well, that's odd! I had everything set up out on the table but now everything has disappeared! Let me snap my fingers three times and see if I can undo this trick that a naughty someone has played.

I think I see something... 

That's better! I just wonder who made everything disappear? Wait a minute...I bet I know who it was!

Luna Moon Faerie, you tricksy little faerie, you!

It's all right, I know you can't help yourself when it comes to playing little jokes. Of course you're still invited to the party!

Oh dear. Look at the green and purple little light flashes. Luna Moon Faerie has invited some of her friends.

I hope her friends behave themselves...Faeries are so unpredictable!

Well, there's plenty for all. I have more tables just like this one set up all over the terrace.

Oh, look! The moon has put on her witch hat and is honoring us with her presence. (She shrinks, you know, when she does things like this, so she won't squash us!)

There's a special brand of tea...

and some Champagne in magic goblets that...

were made especially for witches!

There is chocolate fudge cake...

and even special 'witchy' forks with which to eat it.

I hope the special forks will make the cake taste magical!

And there are caramel apples and cookies, too. Of course, since this is a witch's tea party, we'll never run out of anything!  And, all the calories have been removed...

This shy little witch will join us soon, I'm sure. In the meantime...

Enjoy yourselves, and thank you so much for coming to my Witches Tea Party Under a Halloween Moon! Also, many thanks to Anna of Frosted Petunias who is hosting this blog party. To get to the other parties, just click on the badge at the top right hand corner of this page.
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