30 March 2011

Wish Bottle

Since I had a bit of interest in the wish bottle I made I thought I would write up a post giving a few more details about how I did it. (Either follow my example or make it up yourself)

The idea of the wish bottle comes from several different sources.

First, the idea of wishes. Everyone knows that if you blow on a dandelion puff while making a wish, it will come true if all the seeds are blown off. (Or, it will come true in as many days/weeks/months/years as there are seeds left on the stem.)

In Cecelia Ahern's book If You Could See Me Now (fiction), there is a part where the three main characters are catching (if I remember correctly) some sort of floating seed, telling it their wish, then sending it off where the Imaginary Friend Community (or whatever, it's been a few years since I read it) receives the wish and grants it or not. Since then, Camden and I have been wishing upon floating seeds of one sort or another and sending them to the fairies.

Also, the idea of the bottle came from some (non-magical, but very lovely) jewelry I saw on Etsy. I saw it and thought the idea of bottling a wish was clever. And I have a thing for glass bottles. They're just so pretty! Also, bottle spells in general aren't unheard of (a witch's bottle, anyone?), and they're fairly common in hoodoo. So, yay.

Anyway, on to the actual creation of my bottle.

Stuff needed:
Bottle of any size (I used a small glass vial, about 3 inches tall).
A small feather
A floating seed

Clean and purify your bottle. If it's actually dirty and you have to wash it, you might want to do this a day or two before working the spell to give it time to dry.

If you cast circles to work your magic, go ahead and do that.

Keeping your wish (for a specific thing, or a general idea like happiness, health, etc) in mind, put the feather into the bottle and say "Give my wish wings that it may soar to where wishes come true."

With your wish still in mind, put the seed into the bottle and say "Help my wish take root and grow so that this may be where wishes come true."

Speak your wish to the bottle. "I wish for a job/happiness/health/cool funky socks/what-have-you." Quickly cap or cork the bottle.

You can keep the bottle on your altar or display it elsewhere (mine is in a shadow box in the bedroom).

Or, for a simpler version (or if you just can't find the right bottle), pluck a dandelion seed whisper your wish to it, and let it go on a breeze.

28 March 2011

Speech stuff

Next week I'm taking Camden to COMO for a dr's appointment with a developmental pediatrician, where he'll be screened by a number of therapists/specialists (speech, occupational, physical, and so on). He's been diagnosed with apraxia, which is a neurological expressive speech disorder. With this appointment, I was really hoping to get him tested for food intolerances/sensitivities so we could determine whether or not a change of diet could be useful. Unfortunately, when I called today to see if I could set that up, they said that they would have to refer us to an allergist. Which is just as well, since I wouldn't be able to try a GF/CF diet until May, when I'm out of school and have time to prepare all his meals (including those he eats at school, since his school meals are almost entirely based off of grains and dairy). Anyway, despite the fact that they won't be able to test him for that, I will hopefully be getting more strategies and ideas to work with/pass along to his speech therapists here in KV.

I didn't know that living with his apraxia would be such hard work. I didn't realise that it would involve a lot of translation (I feel bad leaving him with people who don't know him, because he's just so hard to understand, and he gets frustrated and the person he's with gets frustrated). I didn't think he would have to fight so hard to make a sound that is easy for most people (thinking /k/ and /g/ here). I didn't think that I would be driven to tears multiple times a week, simply because I can't understand something that he's wanting to tell me. I didn't know that I would want to punch people (okay, certain person--unnamed) for telling me that he's not doing it because he's lazy (the apraxia dx was a huge in your face). I didn't realise how frustrating it would be to have to drill the same idea over and over and over every day, several times a day.

Of course, I also didn't know how my heart would soar with happiness and pride when he automatically uses the right word (saying I want instead of me want for example) or puts the right sounds together for the word that he wants. Or when his speech therapists tell me that he's their favourite patient. I didn't know that he would work so hard to be understood, by repeating what he says, trying to enunciate, saying it a different way, gesturing, etc.

We are far from the end of our journey with apraxia, but every day Camden makes improvement. He says I with increasing frequency, though not nearly as often as we would like. A year ago, he couldn't tell a story. He can now tell a short story about his day. A year ago, he used 1, 2 and 3 word sentences almost exclusively. Now his sentences can reach up to 6 or 7 or 8 words long, though he still uses a lot of shorter sentences. He does a lot more creative and imagination play now than he used to (though that might just be part of growing up/normal development?).

He makes my heart sing every day that I know him, and every day that I know him I love him more.

A story (not mine, obviously):


I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability
- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand
it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip -
to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The
Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some
handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags
and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in
and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm
supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and
there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting,
filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new
language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than
Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you
look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and
Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all
bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your
life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of
that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy,
you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ...
about Holland.

Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

23 March 2011

My week is AWESOME

This week has been surprisingly good. I think I owe it to the wish bottle I made on Tuesday. In it is a little feather and a flying seed. (Ever since it got warm, Cam and I have been picking up these seeds, telling them our wishes, then sending them off.) I didn't make any specific wish, just made this be a focal point for growing happiness, love, etc. So maybe it isn't a wish bottle, per se, but, eh, whatever.

And the same night I made the wish bottle, Camden decided it would be fun to help me with dishes. So I let him rinse. I tried letting him actually washing stuff (he wanted to), but he wasn't doing so well with that.

And today, I passed my prelim! My senior percussion recital is this semester (in three weeks, actually) and I had to play through everything today for three faculty, who then told me that I was free to continue on to my recital! I have no idea what would have happened if I hadn't passed, but it doesn't really matter now! This has been a big cause of stress for me this week, and I'm just happy that I did well and passed. I still have some stuff to work on before my recital, so I'm not quite out of the woods yet, but I'm closer.

(I also had a good week at the thrift store... Finding two tee-shirts, a dress shirt, dress slacks, skirt, ACORN earrings (these are just amazing!), and a dainty little bird necklace. Usually my finds are not this great, or as plentiful.)

Of course, the week hasn't been all great. On Ostara, it was close to 80 degrees outside. It was beautiful. Last night, it snowed. And the snow stuck! Well, it stuck to trees and grass and bushes and cars. Okay, it was actually kinda pretty and I wish I'd gotten a picture of it. Hopefully this taste of winter won't last too long and we'll be back to the beautiful spring weather.

21 March 2011

My Books

Okay, so I stole this idea from Nellie over at A Bit of Gardening Spirit... Posting (most/some of) the books on my bookshelf.

Actually, to pare it down a bit, I'm going to stick to my fiction books and save my reference/music/new agey books for another day. And I'm also posting series by their series titles and the book numbers that I have.

Books 2-13 and prequel of the Wheel of Time Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson (I lost my book 1, sooo mad!)

Mistborn Trilogy (complete) Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker Brandon Sanderson

Way of Kings Brandon Sanderson (First of a series)

Books 1-4 of Runelords David Farland (I think there are more in this series)

Onion Girl Charles de Lint

Life of Pi Yann Martel

The Kin of Ata are Waiting for You Dorothy Bryant

Freak the Mighty Rodman Philbrik

About a Boy Nick Hornby

True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Avi

Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster

1984 George Orwell

Walk Two Moons Sharon Creech

Maniac Magee Jerry Spinelli

The Birth House Amy McKay

She's Come Undone Wally Lamb

I Know This Much is True Wally Lamb

Enchanted Forest Chronicles (complete) Patricia C. Wrede

Earth's Children, Books 1 & 2 Jean Auel (I've been trying to find the other three used, and the sixth one is supposed to come out this year!!!)

Dies the Fire S.M. Stirling (This is the first of a series)

Alas, Babylon Pat Frank (One of my top two favorite books)

Watership Down Richard Adams (The other half of my top two favorite books)

Brave New World Aldous Huxley

Garden Spells Sarah Addison Ellen

Among these are some others that I haven't gotten around to reading yet. As you can tell (if you're up to date on children's literature) I have a fondness for books that I read and loved as a kid. (Which reminds me, The Giver should be on my bookshelf, but it's at my parents' house right now, bah!) The ones that I still have are also ones that I've read and loved as an adult. I also have a soft spot for epic fantasy (14 books of Wheel of Time? Yes, please!) and survival books.

What are you reading?

15 March 2011


It's really no surprise that bedtime stretches out to two hours when getting Cam to bed goes something like this:

(Guess who was going through old pictures tonight... These are from sometime in 07)

13 March 2011


Not of the "I'm going to steal your valuables" sort, though. I woke up this morning, walked into the living room, and found my witchy cabinet with one of its doors standing wide open. (My witchy cabinet contains all my herbs and magical items, and it also serves as my altar.) Needless to say, my teeth have been edge since I saw that, and thinking about it, I was feeling odd when I woke up, too. It was one of those times when something is just off.

I didn't really think about it too much, though. But when I snapped at Camden for the fourth or fifth time in less than two hours, well, I knew I had to do something about it. Something was in my home and was upsetting the balance that we have.

So I decided to smudge the apartment (with my homemade smudge sticks nonetheless). I finished that up by sprinkling salt at all the openings: windows, front door, and pipes leading out (sinks and the like). And finally, I sprinkled a solid line of salt just outside my front door, to protect not only from little nasties like got in last night, but from unwanted visitors in general. And I topped it all off by recharging my home protection charm that sits near the front door: ideally it would catch these things, but since I can't remember the last time I recharged it (oops!), it's not so surprising that it didn't.

And it goes without saying that I feel much more comfortable now (even if the smoke from the smudge is somewhat irritating!)

10 March 2011

Spring Break

We went to visit my parents over my Spring Break. And while it was raining and/or FREEZING COLD most of the time we were there, on Saturday, it was quite warm, so we got in some kite flying and wandering about.

Flying a kite

Getting said kite out of a tree. Oops!


Just a swingin'!

Just a swing... wait, what's that?

It's behind you!

Oh, it's just Hannibal, the neighborhood mule.

Even mules are deserving of love.

A mysterious fort! (Actually a blind set up by hunters.)

I have a feeling this will be home to at least a few picnics over the summer

Don't buy gas today!

Apparently, the (Facebook) world is trying to take out the oil industry... by setting aside one day of the year to not buy gas (and obviously, you shouldn't buy gas the days before or after, either, so I guess it's three days. Whatever). The only thing more ridiculous than this is that I have friends who are "attending." Really? I thought my friends were smarter than that!

Admittedly, I drive my car often. But in the NEMO winters, it's hard to get out on a bike or walk, especially with a little one. Soon, though, it will be warm enough to leave the car at home once in a while. (I can't wait!!)

So instead of pretending to do something, either hurt the oil companies or save the environment, how about actually doing something?

Ride a bike



Public transportation

Making good use of your car (IE Not making 7+ visits to the store in a week)

08 March 2011

Simple Living

For the last several years, I've been interested in the "Green Revolution," the idea of homesteading (and more recently, urban homesteading), and leading a simple life. I always assumed that the "simple life" required living the way my grandparents did: hard work, little money, and few possessions.

To an extent, I suppose, I was right, but living simply isn't necessarily reverting back to the stone age (haha). I picked up a book at the library last week called The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs. This book told me very little that I didn't already know, but it was good because it put many of my thoughts and philosophies into words. Living simply is less about going back to the good ol' days and more about living deliberately and fully. The movement... well, I don't know that it is a movement, per se. The idea behind simple living stems from Transcendentalist thought. And I am a huge fan of the Transcendentalists (Whitman, Thoreau, Emerson, usw).

It's about living life one day at a time, one moment at a time. It's about being fully present and focused (ie, limited multitasking). It's about knowing the consequences of actions (if I buy this car, I'm going to have to work X number of years to be able to pay it off and spend that much less time with my family, etc). And while it's not about living an austere lifestyle (unless that's your thing, of course) it is about paring down to mostly just essentials. It's peaceful living, realised both within and outside of oneself.

Anyway, if a "simple life" is something that is attractive to you, I definitely suggest this book. It's filled with wisdom, excellent quotes, and nifty stories about real people who live within their philosophies. Also, it gives some good ideas on how to get started backing away from the hectic life of the typical American and into a simpler life.
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