Welcoming Winter

Welcoming Winter

Author:   The Redneck Pagan   

Well, it is very much official that winter is here in Alberta! The season has been making itself known for a while here. We were blessed with a long and lazy summer. Even by mid September, we had bright sunny days, and the leaves had barely shifted colour. Some had started the process by early October, when over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend we had some snow flurries and a few chilly days. Things warmed up again for a while, then the week before Samhain we got hit with snow, freezing rains here and there, a full week of ice fog and freezing cold nights. Then on Samhain itself it snowed, and it really snowed, at my house. I had at least two inches to shovel through. My newly purchased winter tires (with many thanks and love to my husband who made sure I had them) got a real workout the same day they were put on my car!

It felt like we did not have a fall at all. The leaves on my Rowan and apple trees have now turned brown and are being blown off when the wind decides to give us a good blast, but they never really turned. I had not the chance to get the fallen crabapples up off the ground from where they fell. my garden was nowhere near ready for this sudden dump of snow, and I have to be honest, neither was I! Being sick with a nasty cold this past week, I have been keeping myself thoroughly buried under the blankets and trying my best to do that “lalalala, if I can’t see you, then you don’t exist” routine. I also was rather miserable at having only a week or two of my favorite season (Autumn) to enjoy. However, no matter how hard I tried, winter is not going to go away for a while (especially here in Central Alberta) .

A few days ago, we were blessed with a bright day where the temperature made it as high as 5 degrees Celsius! (Some people from warmer climates are probably going to think I am crazy for calling that a high temperature!) I had the day off work and decided not to waste it. I opened all our windows to air out the house before we had to “batten down the hatches” again. I did some housework (actually a lot of housework, after being sick for a week it really piled up!) sweeping, vacuuming and mopping the floors. My husband and I used a gift card to buy a steam mop. What a blessed invention that is! Two cups of water within it and the floors are beautifully clean and sanitized without any heavy chemicals. For protection and purification I used peppermint oil in my oil lamp and moved it into each room as I cleaned! Between that and the sunshine beaming into the house, I could feel the entire energy of the house, and my own, lift.

When the sun had softened up the snow, I tackled our driveway with a shovel. While taking one of my many breathers (snow is heavy and I really need to get in shape!) , I looked across into the fields near my house and watched two foxes playing a game of chase and evade in the field. They ran after one another, jumping onto each other, rolling in the snow and bounding around! It was an absolute delight to see. I then moved to our uncovered deck. As I shoveled and rested, I looked into the yard and saw our puppy engaging in a new game. Our puppy (well, she is now a year old, but it takes almost two years for dogs to grow out of the puppy brain) was having a treasure hunt in the snow, digging down and finding the crabapples that I had not been able to gather under the snow. She pulled them up, throwing them in the air and chasing to where they landed. She then raced around the yard with it; diving headfirst into larger snow drifts every chance she got! She rolled in the snow and when she got tired she would gobble a mouthful of snow and eat her apple.

As the sun began to slip out of the sky the temperature dropped, reminding me that even though it was a warm sunny day, we are in the dark half of the year. Taking a reluctant puppy inside with me, I tackled making some supper and placed it in the oven to finish cooking. I went to the fireplace and lit a fire with some nice cedar firewood my husband’s mom had let us take from her backyard. I threw in a pinch of salt and a few sage leaves and then sat, enjoying the warmth of the fire while waiting for my husband to come home. As I sat, I reflected how nice it was to have a day at home to get caught up.

I then began to think of the past few weeks, of the cold and the snow, and the nasty roads we had to endure. I then thought of the foxes playing in the snow, and the puppy’s madcap sport through the yard. I let my tired muscles relax as I rested and thought of all the farmland around my house, resting like I was after all the activity of the summer. The fields that had been tilled, seeded, supported the growth of their crops and then harvested are now silent and still. The earth, the creatures in the earth such as the earthworms, soil nutrients and bacteria’s, all granted a respite brought on by the snow.

I thought of my garden, all the great things that came out of it… and the long hours of backbreaking work I put into it! Since harvesting (thank Goddess I got that done before the snow flew) , I have not done any gardening asides from keeping my poor houseplants alive. I thought about how it was nice to not have to weed, or mow the lawn anymore. I thought of long nights cuddling by the fire with the pets and my husband, about all the reading I want to get done over the winter, the big Yule dinner I am planning on hosting (our first Yule in the new house and first time hosting!) . I also planned a few changes in my pagan room, and the sorting and organizing and clearing out of clutter I plan on undertaking while the snow flies.

I noticed how much my thoughts have been turning within, examining myself, my motivations, and actions. Not always a pretty sight when one reflects on the times one has lost her temper, or not been as kind as she could have been. I looked a bit at some of my reactions to things, at some of the anger I have been holding onto that has not made me the most pleasant person to be around (and how lucky I am that my husband puts up with the moodiness I sometimes toss out) . I planned out the basic bones of some cleansing and releasing rituals I want to work on over the next few weeks and some changes I want to make within.

Sitting there, beside the glow of the fire, with content puppies snoozing at my feet and my cat purring in my lap, I began to understand the need for winter, the need for the cold. I understood the blessings that the winter has bestowed upon me and the opportunities that the dark time of year has granted me. I am still not thrilled at the shoveling, or having to scrape the windshield every day. And I am not enjoying the extra time to drive home or having to bundle up just to look out the door. But I welcome the winter… begrudgingly.

Yours Humbly

The Redneck Pagan

Your Animal Spirit for December 2nd is the Cougar

Your Animal Spirit for Today
December 2, 2013


Cougar has long been associated with leadership. Cougars are powerful, agile, and unhesitating. When Cougar attacks, he throws one hundred percent of himself into the pursuit. Although cougar is strong, he is also elusive —hard to spot in the wild—until he decides to pounce. His lesson to you today is one of being a balanced leader—not rushing into the attack, not always lurking in the brush.

A Little Humor for Your Day – ‘An Email From Beyond”

An Email From Beyond

An Illinois man who left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail.

Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. Hearing the scream, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

“Dearest Wife,

Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!”



In Brythonic mythology, an Asrai is a type of aquatic faerie similar in some ways to mermaids, nixies, selkies, sirens, or morgens. Some sources describe them as timid and shy, standing only between 2 and 4 feet tall, while others depict them as tall and lithe. They are said to look like beautiful young maidens, sometimes as young as children, while actually being hundreds of years old. They may have webbed hands and feet, resembling some descriptions of selkies

If an Asrai is seen by a man, her beauty is so great that, according to folklore, the man will instantly wish to capture her. The Asrai are as deathly afraid of capture as they are of the sun, for if captured or if even a single ray of sunlight touches them, it is said that they die and turn into a pool of water.

The tale told of one fisherman who caught an Asrai claims that the touch of her skin was so cold, that where the Asrai touched his arm while pleading for her freedom — and her life — the flesh has never been warm since.

Their inability to survive daylight is similar to that of the Scottish Fuath.

Good Tuesday Morning/Afternoon To All My Super Fantastic Friends!

Well Good Morning or Afternoon depending on where you are.  I apologize for not being here yesterday. But I read were Anastasia told you what came up. I had just sit down to do the postings and the phone rang. I figured it was hubby calling to tell me to come and get Kiki. I generally bring her with me but it was foggy and misting, so I left her home. Good thing I did too! I can see her going on a call to pick up a wild critter. She is super protective of me and would want to be eating up the critter. She doesn’t know it, she wouldn’t even make a good appetizer for them, lol!

I thought I would give you a report on the coyote in case you were curious. When I got there the poor thing was crazed. She was in so much pain and too boot she was pregnant. I told the hunter to leave the coyote and myself alone for a bit. He didn’t think that was wise but I told him if he heard me scream, coming running. So he backed off. I sit down a few feet away from the coyote. Started talking to it, very calmly and in a low soft tone. I gradually started edging my way up as the coyote started to settle down. As I got closer I saw her paw, it was never completely chewed off. No wonder the poor animal was in such pain. I got close enough to stick my hand out. I thought, “yeah, here you go, dumbass, your going to lose a finger or two!” But instead she looked at me rather baffled and stopped to sniff me. I probably really screwed her up. She didn’t know what to think I was. I still had on the clothes I had on earlier out feeding and playing with the animals at the refuge. So I smelt a little like deer, skunk, cat, raccoon and coyote. But she didn’t take any fingers off. I continued to talk to her and I motioned for the hunter to come in. I needed him to pull the trap’s jaws open. I worked my way behind her and he started to bend down and she lunged at him. I told her it was ok, to calm down. I surprised the heck out of her because she didn’t see my final move was right behind her. I figured she would eat me up when he freed her. When an animal is in extreme pain like that, you can never tell what they are going to do. So just to be on the safe side, I drug out the old sedative shot and gave her a dose. I told him to wait a minute till she got sleepy. It didn’t take long. When she was out, he pried the jaw’s open and I gently removed her paw. Removing an animal’s paw from one of those traps is horrible. Ever who invented those things ought to be shot. They have metal teeth and the animal’s paw, leg, whatever will get stuck to those teeth. In her case, if she had been awake, she would have lost her foot. But it is horrible, hearing the skin pull away from the trap, feeling the bones shatter, horrible, just horrible. Anyway, I took her to the truck and put her in one of our carriers. Took her to the vet. The vet didn’t know if he could save her foot or not. But I got the news yesterday late, that he had and the little tiny pups were still ok. So in a few day (two to be exact), we will have a new visitor at the refuge.

So that was my day yesterday. How was yours?



More Flowers Greetings Comments

Prosecution: Death of Drew Peterson’s wife ‘staged to look like an accident’

Prosecution: Death of Drew Peterson’s wife ‘staged to look like an accident’

By NBC News wire services

JOLIET, Ill. – Nearly a decade after his third wife was found dead in a bathtub, the murder trial of former police officer Drew Peterson began Tuesday, with the prosecution insisting that the crime scene in which Kathleen Savio was discovered was “staged.”

“Kathleen Savio’s cold, lifeless body was found in her bathtub … and it was staged to look like an accident,” state attorney James Glasgow told the court, reported The Chicago Sun-Times.

Savio, 40, was found dead in a dry bathtub in 2004 by Peterson and some neighbors. Peterson’s fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, vanished without a trace in 2007.  The defense has described Savio’s death as a tragic accident, and they have said Stacy Peterson, whose body has never been found, may have run off with another man.

Savio’s neighbors are expected to testify Tuesday for the prosecution. The prosecution also plans to call to the stand a locksmith who went to Savio’s home the night her body was found, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Prosecutors say Peterson killed Savio because he feared their pending divorce settlement would wipe him out financially. And they believe he killed Stacy, in part, because she knew about Savio’s death.

Peterson started dating Stacy Coles in 2001 — two years before his marriage with Savio dissolved.

After learning that Peterson took Stacy on a vacation to Mexico in January 2001, Savio had requested an order of protection.

“She files (the petition) with lies, stupid, ridiculous statements,” defense attorney Joe Brodsky told jurors on Tuesday in his opening statement, reported The Tribune.

Glasgow painted Peterson as growing increasingly violent, upping his threats as Savio told him she would take his pension and other assets after their divorce, reported The Tribune.

When a judge ordered him to pay Savio’s divorce attorney $15,000 in 2003, Peterson “snuck into the victim’s home, grabbed Kathy Savio by the throat and said, ‘Why don’t you just die? I could kill you and no one would know,'” Glasgow said.

The two filed for divorce in 2003. Peterson had moved out of the home he shared with Savio, and Savio by that point had dropped the order of protection, which Brodsky told jurors suggested she was lying about Peterson being violent.

“Never again do you hear of Kathy getting an order of protection,” Brodsky said, according to The Tribune. “She knew how to get one – but all this stuff about (Peterson’s) threats, breaking into her house, Kathy never got another order of protection. You have to ask yourself why.”

The real-life drama inspired a TV movie and a national spotlight was put on the case, with speculation about whether Peterson used his law-enforcement expertise in a bid to get away with the murder of Savio and to make Stacy Peterson disappear.

Peterson, a former police sergeant in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, was charged with first-degree murder in Savio’s death only after Stacy Peterson went missing. He is a suspect in her disappearance but hasn’t been charged.

Jurors in the case include a part-time poet, a letter carrier and a research technician whose favorite TV show is “Criminal Minds.”

Little to no physical evidence for prosecutors A botched initial investigation into Savio’s death left prosecutors with scant-to-no physical evidence, forcing them to rely heavily on hearsay evidence — statements not heard directly by a witness — which is normally barred at trials.

Glasgow has said previously that Savio and Stacy Peterson will effectively speak to jurors through witnesses who can describe how Drew Peterson allegedly told his wives he could murder them and make it look like an accident.

But Judge Edward Burmila has said he would decide which hearsay statements to admit only as testimony proceeds, so Glasgow will have to decide whether to risk mentioning statements to jurors that the judge might later prohibit.

“The last thing you want to do is make an opening about what jurors will hear, telling them the case hinges on what they’ll hear — and then they don’t hear it,” Chicago-based attorney Michael Helfand said.

By presenting what they regard as overwhelming hearsay and circumstantial evidence, Zellner said prosecutors will want to show jurors the only possible explanation for Savio’s death is that Peterson killed her.

In the case of Stacy Peterson, Burmila has warned prosecutors they can’t tell jurors Drew Peterson is responsible for her disappearance or refer to authorities’ belief that she is dead.

Attorneys on both sides will have to find the right terminology in talking about the missing fourth wife, said Brodsky, who added that the sides might be able to use the awkward phrase “she is no longer available.”The strange circumstances surrounding Peterson’s last two wives have drawn national attention to the case. In January, Lifetime television aired a movie about the case called “Untouchable,” starring Rob Lowe as Drew Peterson. The movie garnered record ratings of nearly 6 million viewers for the network.

Daily Motivator for March 9th – Amazingly able

Amazingly able

Progress is made by those who do what they are afraid to do. Progress is made by those who do what they did not previously know they could do.

You cannot push the world forward by staying safe and comfortable. You cannot make great advances by holding tightly to the tired excuses and outdated assumptions.

It is energizing and liberating to turn down a road you have not traveled before. To reach toward what you cannot yet touch brings new passion and strength to your life.

You are amazingly able to do not only what you have already done, but also what you cannot yet do. Your capacity for learning and improvement has no limit.

Beyond where you are comfortable is where you will grow and improve and achieve. Nudge yourself away from what you already know, and discover how very much more you can be.

Give yourself the priceless gifts of new experiences, new skills, new knowledge and the confidence of knowing how quickly you can grow. Expand your horizons, again and again, and discover that every limit is there to be transcended.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator