We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The day after ...

Happy Tuesday all, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday celebration! Welcome to my "day after" post. You know, tons of  delicious leftover ham, filling/mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, homemade cookies and all sorts of yummy deserts!

Along with the leftover goodies, I also took a few little pics from yesterday's festivities ...
How blessed are my kitties to have so many friends and family to remember them at Christmas time? 

Looks like Leo liked his new pillow, although he may have been a bit confused and thought he was looking into a mirror.

My mom's dog, Brandi also enjoyed the day opening her gifts ...

And my MIL's King Charles Cavalier, Tulip, also had a good day ...
Looks like someone borrowed Tulip's comfy  new gift blanket to take an after dinner nap.  :)

Mom 'n' me

With all of the extra food from yesterday, I think we will all be eating ham in some form or another for the next two weeks! LOL!

~Brightest Blessings ~

Monday, December 25, 2017

Heading out for Christmas Day ...

Good morning, my "deer" friends! Well, they were calling for up to two inches of snow overnight here in Reading, PA, but it looks as though we only got a dusting (FINE with me - lol). It is very cold and windy and I am getting ready to venture out to spend the day with relatives. 

When I get home, I will be able to spend my quiet time with my fur babies and snuggle up and stay warm with them for the remainder of the evening. Until then, I gave them their kitty presents - a few yummy Greenie cat treats. They love these things ...

The morning dusting ...

I wish you all a happy, blessed day enjoying holiday time with family and friends! :)

Praying for better days ...

While I seldom talk about certain aspects of my private life on my blogs or any other internet forum for that matter, (and trust me, this is a very rare post for me), I feel the need to share this here with you all today. I know that everyone has their own version of "family problems" - after all, that is part of life whether we like it or not. I learned a long time ago that there is no such thing as a perfect family and whether or not they choose to speak about it, be they little or big, I have no doubt that they have their own personal situations in which they must deal with on some level or other. My family is no different than any other in that way.

Sadly, there was one person missing from our family holidays this year for the first time ever. That person was my only sibling, my only brother who, in spite of numerous failed attempts by both our family and the authorities to get him the psychiatric help he so desperately needs, he has recently gotten arrested for his defiance of the law, refused to accept help from any type of local social service resources which were offered to him, and then decided to  pick up and move to Memphis, TN to live with a completely strange woman whom he met online and has six kids and is apparently, according to my brother, also going through a divorce. Now, add to this the fact that my brother has not had a job since he quit his right after my fathers' passing four years go and does not even own a car because he totaled the one he had.

The problem is the mental illness factor which runs in our family history. My grandmother (my mother's mother) was diagnosed with schizophrenia just after my mother was born. She was institutionalized until the day she died at aged 83 and neither my brother or I had ever even met her nor even saw her until the day of her funeral. My dad always said that he believed my brother was afflicted with this same mental disease because of his very strange and extreme behavior which became visibly noticeable in his mid to late twenties. He will be 49 years old at the end of this month. The past two years he insisted on living in his broken down car which was parked in my parents driveway, he chose to literally walk the streets all day and all hours of the night, he refused to bathe, brush his teeth or do any of the normal things which any sane person would do if they had a choice (which he indeed did as he "lived" with my mom and always had access to my mom's house any time he wished it). I could say more, but I am sure by now that you all get the idea. 

Without getting into any further details, I have my own reasons for believing that my father was right. In addition to the family history of mental illness, it is worth noting that my brother is not and has never been on drugs, nor does he like to drink alcohol! Anyone who has ever had to deal with any type of mental illness in their family, knows what a completely helpless feeling it is to have to stand by and watch your loved one changing drastically before your very own eyes - to know that there is little you can do to help them because: a) you can not force anyone to get help unless they actually want it, and b) in most cases it is usually part of the mental illness that they can not or do not even realize that they have a problem.
My brother and I on Christmas Day - 1981.

 Loving on my beloved Midnight

A pic taken of him playing in the orchestra for a local musical production of "Evita" in 1998. He is shown on the far right.

A pic taken the day I moved into my house in 2000. He is reading one of my astrology books. 

Joining my friends and I at a local bar and grill for karaoke night circa 1996 (my brother is the one in the middle).

Chilling with my cats Haley and Kiki

With my brother at Christmas Village in Bernville, PA

The very last pic I was able to find on his FB page which he recently took of himself at our local mall, shortly before he blocked me from his FB page (and his life). 

I love my brother and always will, I just miss the person we used to know. Here is some information which I found on the Mayo Clinic's website about schizophrenia. I do not pretend to know exactly what my brother's exact mental diagnosis is, but I DO know he is very ill and in need of some medical and/or psychological help! The following describes many of the behavioral symptoms someone with schizophrenia exhibits:

Requires a medical diagnosis
Schizophrenia is characterized by thoughts or experiences that seem out of touch with reality, disorganized speech or behavior, and decreased participation in daily activities.
People may experience:
Behavioral: social isolation, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, compulsive behavior, excitability, hostility, repetitive movements, self-harm, or lack of restraint
Cognitive: thought disorder, delusion, amnesia, belief that an ordinary event has special and personal meaning, belief that thoughts aren't one's own, disorientation, memory loss, mental confusion, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority
Mood: anger, anxiety, apathy, feeling detached from self, general discontent, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, elevated mood, or inappropriate emotional response
Psychological: hallucination, paranoia, hearing voices, depression, fear, persecutory delusion, or religious delusion
Speech: circumstantial speech, incoherent speech, rapid and frenzied speaking, or speech disorder
Also common: fatigue, impaired motor coordination, or lack of emotional response

The most common early warning signs include:

  • Depression, social withdrawal.
  • Hostility or suspiciousness, extreme reaction to criticism.
  • Deterioration of personal hygiene.
  • Flat, expressionless gaze.
  • Inability to cry or express joy or inappropriate laughter or crying.
  • Oversleeping or insomnia; forgetful, unable to concentrate.

The disease can also affect families. Individuals with schizophrenia usually have difficulty keeping a job and caring for themselves. They must rely on family and friends for help. The disease is often misunderstood, but it is treatable, and in many cases, the individual can go on to lead a productive and normal life.
."Genetic inheritance is only one of the many factors (both biological and environmental) that contribute to the cause of schizophrenia. Moreover, research indicates that the inheritance of such a complex disorder likely involves a number of genes, some of which we may not know about yet."

(Schizophrenia.com - schizophrenia and children and offspring


As difficult as it has been for us, I know that my mom and I will get through this because we still have each other - and we still have the hope that he will eventually get the help he needs and we will be able to see him again someday soon. We have to hold on to our faith - sometimes it is all we have to give us strength in this world. 

Thank you all for listening!

Friday, December 22, 2017

The next holiday gathering ...

As I have said many times before, I am Wiccan and therefore celebrate Yule and the Winter Solstice; however, my Christian family celebrates Christmas. Even though, I, personally do not recognize this particular holiday, I respect the fact that my family does and so, short of attending any Christian church services, I join my family for the day in enjoying their company and sharing our blessings. Every year, our family seems to get smaller and smaller and so we no longer cook the huge, extravagant holiday dinners we used to in years past. Instead, we usually choose to bring the dinner to us and purchase prepared food to put together at home ...

All kinds of sweets which include homemade cookies, chocolate-covered pretzels and various chocolates ...

I am bringing the veggies and mashed potatoes. My mom is making the ham for our holiday dinner. 

Also, my friends and extended family and I still enjoy exchanging nice little gifts every year at this time ...

Gifts from my long-time friend, Judy. She (or should I say "Santa Paws") also showers my cats with treats and toys each and every year as I do for her fur babies as well. The pic at the top is a personalized card she made of all of her doggies - Sadie, Punkin, Cooper, and Bubba Joe.  :)

The lovely glass Black Cat necklace my friend Judy gave me in honor of my beloved cat Midnight whom I had lost earlier this year.

My Yule gifts from my sister Aurora Skye - a pair of beautiful Pisces earrings and a large Holiday Sage scented Yankee candle ...
A closer look at the Pisces earrings

I am scheduled off on vacation all next week. I have lots I plan to do around the house and so I will be pretty busy and not sure how much I will have time to post, but I will try to post if possible.

For all of my Christian friends, I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas filled with nothing but love and joy!!  

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Yule celebration ~ 2017

"Blessed be the Maiden - innocent and fresh,
Blessed be the Mother - fertile and loving,
Blessed be the Crone - powerful and wise!"

)o(   )o(   )o(   )o(   )o(   )o(   )o(   )o(

"O Gracious Mother and Merciful Father,
We pray that you help the leaders of this world to have compassion in their hearts,
That you give them the wisdom to end the suffering caused by wars,
And the understanding that only through peace will we truly be happy;
We humbly ask you to guard and protect all of our brothers and sisters in the military,
And give comfort to their loved ones,
May you lead us from death to life,
From falsehood to truth,
Lead us from despair to hope,
From fear to trust,
Lead us from hate to love,
From war to peace,
Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our Universe;
Let our words be spoken in truth,
And our hearts show only love."

Blessed Yule to all! Tonight, my sister Aurora Skye and I had our Yule celebration and held our yearly ritual. Here are a few pics ...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Yule and Litha as Midsummer are mentioned in the Lord of the Rings as the only celebrations of the Hobbits in the Shire. There was also a personal celebration of birthday. Nothing else. Tolkien must have thought that these two celebrations are the most ancient and most important. He knew best because he was a university professor who studied mythologies comprehensively.

Yule marks the begining of the year. It is the darkest day and the sun starts to rise back again renewing its cycle. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, the sun's "rebirth" was celebrated with much joy. On this night, our ancestors celebrated the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth. From this day forward, the days would become longer.

Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.  Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun.  The boughs were symbolic of immortality (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not "die" thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine). The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes, in hopes Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to visit tthe residents. Mistletoe was also hung as decoration.  It represented the seed of the
Divine, and at Midwinter, the Druids would travel deep into the forest to harvest it.

Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.

Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb's wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).

Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.

Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.

Stones of Yule:
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.

Spellworkings of Yule:
Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.

Deities of Yule:
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother.
Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man.

Sources: J.R.R. Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring and The Celtic Connection