Spell a Day – Jan 22nd 2016

Good evening Gentle Readers. Well, it isn’t quite February 14th, but today’s topic is love. Specifically about drawing in the kind of love you want and your ideal partner. I guess this is so you are ready on Valentine’s day. I’ve never presumed to know if Aphrodite wants to hear our pleas for love or not, but it appears today is a day to reach out to her. Have you ever made a physical list of the qualities and traits your want your ideal partner to possess? I never was so formal about it but I knew some things I did not want.

If you make a list of what you want and what you don’t want, then you have a road map to go out and find your ideal partner that will enrich your life forever. According to the Huffington Post and New York Times, divorce rates are going down and we could soon see 2/3rds of marriages lasting the long haul, instead of the scary 50% I learned about growing up in the 90’s. This trend seems to be because of people marrying later in life (mid twenties) and that we are past the rough start to the evolution of Marriage being the Male Breadwinner and Female housewife into the more equal partnership it is for many of us, including myself.

I have a beautiful and amazing wife who is truly my best friend. Probably the best possible outcome for a complete geek like me.  I wanted to share a little poem I wrote about her on this day of trying to draw in your ideal partner.

My Wife
The love of my life
My rock, my soft place to land
My beautiful wife

Of all the cliches
I could rattle off them all
There’s one simple truth

Without her I would be lost
My world revolves around her
Her voice, her laugh, her wonderful smile
Without them I’m a ship tossed
Upon the waves of a storm’s anger
No hope, No joy, crushed on a rocky isle

Somehow she manages with my OCD
She even tolerates my oddities
She finds humor in my eccentricities
Though the how is a mystery to me

The love of my life
So smart and beautiful
My lifelong partner

Together we are
Stronger than we are apart
I know that I am

 

So how about it Gentle Readers? Do you have your ideal partner or are you still looking? Feel free to share your stories or hopes in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

Spell a Day – Jan 21st 2016

So Gentle Readers, we are three weeks into the new year and it is time to take stock of our progress. How are things going on your front? For me, I am still holding steady at about 335lbs, so not much movement there. I blame the winter weather, it’s hard to go outside and be active this time of year. At least for me. I have managed to go through two more books and post their reviews. You can check them out in my archives. I picked up several free ebooks from a mailing list I joined so I think I am set for the next week. I haven’t managed to finish the revised and extended ending of my first novel yet. Hopefully by next week.

How are you doing on your new year’s resolution? Spend some time today reflecting on your progress, or lack thereof, and decide where you want to be in six months.

Spell a Day – Jan 20th 2016

Count-Your-May-Blessings.jpg
Image from Lil’Lunas.

It is a good lesson to learn to always be mindful of the blessings in your life. Sometimes we get so hung up on the negative we forget about the good things we have. Today’s spell is about making a blessing jar. Even if you don’t believe in magick and spellcraft, this is a good idea to do.

Take a jar of any reasonable size. A quart mason jar should be sufficient. Near your jar you need to keep a pen and some sort of paper. An assortment of little colored Post-it notes would work wonderfully according to Natalie Zaman (the contributor of this spell). I have to agree, the different colors would look pretty in the jar. So, each day you need to write down something you are thankful for on the little notes. Roll or fold it up and place it in the jar. When the jar is overflowing, take them out and read them one by one to remind yourself of the blessings in your life.

Now, you can do a lot of things from here with your blessings. Recommendations include writing them all down somewhere like a journal. You can also release it into the world through a cleansing fire. I would probably end up blogging my list for all of you first, which I am sure would be terribly boring to read through.

I have a little poem to share with you all on the topic.

Blessings
My blessings abound
A wonderful home, good job
Loving family

My cup overflows with joy
Laughing with my young boy
Over the antics of his friends
I hope this never ends

I adore my beautiful wife
She truly is the love of my life
I cannot begin to count the ways
She brightens each of my days

I’m thankful each day
For the blessings in my life
Son and loving wife

Spell a Day – Jan 19th 2016

iceberg

Just read on Gentle Readers,the iceberg’s existence will become clearer.

Today’s spell a day is all about releasing some sort of problem or negative influence from your life, in a spectacularly violent way. First you should write whatever it is you want to remove from your life on a piece of paper with a blue ink pen. Place the piece of paper in a freezer bag and fill with enough water to cover the paper. Freeze the bag.

This is where the fun begins. You are supposed to smash the frozen bag with a rolling pin or a hammer to break up the ice. Then you let it melt. Then you are supposed to pour the water/paper mixture out onto the ground or a compost pile. You can bury the paper if you wish. As you walk away from it, picture your problem going away.

I have to thank James Kambos for this one. Here is a link to his Author Page on Llewellyn.

This sounds like a great way to get rid of some frustrations doesn’t it? Anyone care to share what they would put on their piece of paper?

Spell a Day – Jan 18th 2016

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Today is all about hearth and home. In the not too distant past, this would have been the combination fireplace and cookstove for the household. A place where a family would gather for light and warmth, and to share their evening meal. In modern times there is such fast food and vegging in front of the television that we may have forgotten the importance of a strong hearth. The hearth, or kitchen in modern homes, provides nourishment not only for the body, but for the soul. It is a place where parents make cookies with little children any time of the year. Memories are made accented by good food and good conversation. As we move along this fast paced technological ride of modern life, we mustn’t forget the past and what the hearth meant to our ancestors.

Some of my fondest memories in the kitchen are with my grandmother growing up. She showed me how to make cookies from scratch at Christmas time. I learned to take a base tomato spaghetti sauce and turn it into something much more delicious by adding a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that from the spice rack. The conversations about life, teaching me what I needed to know for when I grew up and moved out on my own. I will always be thankful for the kitchen for these lessons.

The kitchen is a place of bringing together in the home. Don’t forget to bake those treats and let your kids lick the spoon or beaters when you are done. They will thank you for it later. Make good memories Gentle Readers. Feel free to share any memories or stories in the comments as I would love to hear from you. Until next time.

Spell a Day – Jan 17th 2016

Snow Queens and Ice Magic. What am I supposed to do with this topic Spell a Day? You are really testing me this time. Perhaps a quick reference to Hans Christian Anderson is in order here? His tale of the Snow Queen should be enough to satisfy today’s post yes? No. That’s not good enough. We need something more.  I got it. A poetic rendition based on the Snow Queen.

Hope you enjoy this little poem.

Snow Queen
Come along and play
She called to the little boy
I am the Snow Queen

In my castle of ice
A game we shall play
A kiss to freeze
A kiss to forget
But death if kissed thrice
My magic will make you stay
Trapped by the snow bees
Who shall never let
You escape

Now be a good boy and spell out a word
Using the ice around my throne
It will be the longest ever heard
Or you will remain here alone

The ice is tricky
It knows what it shouldn’t spell
For Eternity

 

 

Book Review – Vegas Fever by Bill Collins

VegasFever

Vegas Fever
by Bill Collins
5 Stars

Today Gentle Readers I have the pleasure of reviewing the debut fiction novel of Bill Collins, already the author of three non fiction works about his career as a wedding photographer.

Vegas Fever is the tale of small town Iowa farm boy Ray Hitchcock and his latest obsession. When Ray latches onto an idea, he is a bear trap that is for sure. His latest quest is to master the art of “dice setting” on a craps table. To accomplish his goal he creates a replica in a stall of his family’s old barn and goes to work mastering his toss. He has plenty of time to get better as he cannot set foot in a casino for about 18 months.

Quickly on the heels of his 21st birthday, Ray and his older brother Joe set out for Las Vegas to try out his hard won skills. The results are a week of excitement and adventure in the City of Lights. But not all is money and glamour in Sin City.

Bill does a good job making this book conversational, like Ray is telling his tale over a couple of beers. There are parts where I felt like I had just witnessed one of Ray’s progression bets and maybe should have thrown some place bets of my own. Bill does well with integrating the basic rules of craps into the book without bogging the reader down. He leaves the lengthy explanations for the handy guides in the back of the book.

Overall I liked the story, being a craps player myself. I even enjoyed the explanations of the concepts for “dice setting” that Bill included at the end. I recommend you pick this one up if you are looking for a little romance and adventure cast against the backdrop of Las Vegas gambling. Available on Feb 1st, pre-orders are now available.

Vegas Fever

Spell a Day – Jan 16th 2016

Today’s spell a day talks about something near and dear to my psyche living in northeastern Wisconsin. That is seasonal depression. Now, some of you may be thinking, “What is he babbling about this time? Seasonal depression? That is some new age hippie hogwash right?” Not so my friends and doubters. Even the Mayo Clinic has a page about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which is exactly what the cold winter months can bring on. I am not a very outdoorsy person and the sometimes bitter cold wind chills we experience here in Wisconsin are enough to make anyone gloomy and moody.

There are things you can do though short of pharmaceutical intervention. Spell a Day suggests you bundle up and go outside during the peak of the sun. Gaze into the sky where the sun should be (if it is covered in clouds) and imagine the warmth and light wrapping itself around your body. It might help to visualize what this feels like in the summer time when it isn’t so chilly. Hold yourself tight to trap all this positive warming energy inside of you. I add that when you come inside you have some hot chocolate ready. The best kind has the baby marshmallows in it. I never let them melt all the way though. It’s more fun to slurp those up with the chocolate goodness.

Find what warms your soul and gets you out of those “winter blues” Gentle Readers. Spring is coming, even if we cannot feel it quite yet.

Spell a Day – Jan 15th 2016

Today I am going to run straight to the point. My spell a day is about forgetting a bad memory. We all have regrets or experienced things we want to forget. Sometimes the mind is a blessedly intuitive device and we will have selective amnesia regarding these events. The truth is however that these events and memories shape who we are and how we see the world. One’s upbringing and experiences are who we are. While we would like to forget some things, we need to recognize the value of these mistakes and bad memories bring to our life. Now, I am not saying I hope that victims of horrible abuse or crimes should be force to relive those traumatic events. I wish with all my heart Gentle Readers that those people could find peace and solace from their mental, and sometimes physical, scars.

A memory that I wish I could forget, only if it would change the outcome, is the night I lost my grandmother. As my family prepares to welcome a new addition to our household in a few months, I cannot help but wish she was here to see the birth of her great grandchild. Her birthday is next month, she would have been 86 this year. Even though she has been gone several years now, I still shed a tear when I think about the woman that taught me so much growing up. I am ever thankful that I got to spend those last years with her, though I had to be the caregiver this time instead of her.

Somewhat related to the topic of bad memories, here is a poem.

Tears
Tormented nightly
Reliving the day again
When she was taken

So strong an sure all my life
The pain overwhelming my senses
To see her frail and weakCutting deeper than any knife
Into my soul, through my defenses
Even now my eyes leak

Tears of loss
Sadness at her passing
Tears of joy
For the years of laughing
Tears of peace
Now her pain is lacking

Wiping away tears
Shed for all the stolen years
Now just memories

 

Until next time Gentle Readers, I need to find a tissue.

Spell a Day – Jan 14th 2016

Today’s spell is about bringing prosperity into your home, and is something that we have unknowingly been doing every winter in my household. It involves taking some great smelling herbs/spices and boiling them in a pot of water on your stove. It makes your house smell great.

We have radiator heat in our older home so in the winter, it gets very dry. Because of this we often take cinnamon and apples, or orange peels, and boil them on the stove as a make shift humidifier. Unknowingly this is exactly the same thing recommended to bring some prosperity into your home. I suppose our lack of using the incantation or pouring the remnants outside instead of down the garbage disposal might account for not seeing the influx we were supposed to. I wonder if I can convince my wife that she needs to give it a little rhyme when she starts the water to simmer. Maybe it would work.

I penned a little poem about success and prosperity. Hope you enjoy.

Success
Success is the prize
Awarded for much hard work
A prosperous life

Working to perfect your craft
Whether or not it is in the arts
Even when others start to laugh
One step and your journey starts

You will stumble and fall
It’s only natural you see
But answer your heart’s call
To be who you’re meant to be

Study and work hard
To gain that which you desire
Personal success

 

Until next time Gentle Readers.