Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 31: The Final Siren Song

It is finally here. What a whirlwind this month has been! Then again, it always goes too fast, no?

No time to lament it's passing, we have preparations to make. For many, we have to get our little trick-or-treaters ready for the Halloween fun. For some, it's about celebrating Samhain. Regardless, there's still a lot to do.

On behalf of our Sirens, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loving support over the past 4 years. It has been so much fun to serve the community with this offering of blogs, recipes, crafts, prizes and homage to those who have gone before us. As we prepare to head back to our lair in the sea, we want you to know you are cherished by us all.

This will be the last year of The Samhain's Sirens project. Everything has a life cycle, and this one has completed. It has been our honor and pleasure to serve you, our Pagan community, in this way. While we'll be moving on to other things, you are always in our hearts.

May the blessings of your ancestors shower you this season, and may you always be remembered.

Thank you!
Kallan Kennedy 


Siren Altar Photos:


Renee Sosanna Olson





Sandi Crawford


Angie Crawford



Danette Wilson:





More Forget-Me-Nots


From Angie C:



Mary Jerlene Montona “Jerri”  
b. April 20, 1943 d. August 7, 2004

My beautiful mother Jerri crossed beyond the veil unexpectedly from a ruptured brain aneurysm. My world took a turn I wasn't planning to take that day and I'm still traveling that road learning to adjust without her.  Today I'd like to say to her ….

Mom, know that I was listening even when you didn't think I was.
I was listening when you taught me not to lie, not to steal and that I was only as good as my word.
I was listening when you taught me to be true to myself, that I was no better than anyone else so don't get above my raisin'
I was listening when you told me when I meet someone to ALWAYS remember everyone loves, everyone cries, everyone has feelings and we ALL put our drawers on the same way.
I was listening when you taught me when I see someone not to see skin color, religion, ethnicity or sexual preference and when it comes to race, the only race is the human race. No more, no less.
I was listening Mama, I was listening.


------








The winner of the LaPulia Studio Grand Prize Book of Shadows is:
Tara Mals!



Friday, October 30, 2015

October 30: Forget-Me-Not Friday

As we close out our Samhain celebration season, we want to turn our thoughts to a more serious note.


Today, we honor our ancestors, friends, family and heroes who have passed through the veil.


May they always be remembered.






The winner of the giveaway is...
Engie Willow!




Final Forget-Me-Nots

From Melissa Cassick:



Doris Flading gave me the best advice I ever received in my life.

Once upon a time, on a beautiful summer day, she wanted to take her daughter - my best friend - Catherine and me somewhere. Maybe to a musical, maybe to a flea market, maybe to a relative’s house for a visit. It didn’t matter to us -- we had no intention of going. We objected to this outing: we would rather play dress-up, or Fisher-Price, or read Peanuts comic books in the attic room. No, no, NO … we did not wish to go.

Doris leaned in close to my face. “Melissa, have you ever seen an old lady who looks mean, and her eyes are small, and her mouth turns down at the sides? That’s because she spent her life saying, ‘No. I don’t want to. No. No.’ But have you ever seen a lovely old lady who always looks happy, and her eyes sparkle, and her wrinkles are all pulled up into smile lines? It’s because she spent her life saying, ‘Why, yes! I’d love to! That would be delightful!’ Now … you need to ask yourself: which face do *you* want?”

Thus Doris became the first person to ever show me that happiness is a choice.

She was equally in her element digging in a garden, singing a cantata, and painting at the top of a ladder, her hair pulled back with a crocheted band. She related funny stories she heard on NPR, bellowed up the stairs to get down here and bring in some firewood, and sang the tenor line of “Messiah” (while Catherine took alto and I faked my way through the soprano line.) She was a warm, night-gowned presence in the darkness, leading us down to the bathroom, and then guiding us carefully back up the stairs to bed. She could speak a few words and leave you wondering for the rest of the afternoon whether you had just been praised or rebuked, until you realized it was both -- and it was apt and deserved. She looked elegant in hat and gloves and red lipstick, and she could make a housecoat look like a royal robe. She could tell you which page of the book contained what you were looking for, recall what movie that actress had been in, name any piece of music if you could warble a bar or two. She could wield a power saw and drill, she could knock down a wall and build a new one, she could strip decades of paint off an antique to bring it back to life. Her hands scrubbed floors, wrote letters, did crosswords, held a cigarette, turned a page of music, and flipped a piece of china over for inspection. She collected costume jewelry, she collected dishes and cookie jars, and she collected friends.

She was intelligent, blunt, canny, determined, gracious, well-read, hilarious, classy.

She is unforgettable.

Doris June (Frey) Flading was born in Akron, N.Y., on June 22, 1931. She passed away on Dec. 9, 2014, at the Niagara County hospice.
------

From Renee "Sosanna" Olson


Julia Eva Loftin Smith 1915-2013

Honoring the memory of my grandmother, Julia Eva Loftin Smith.  She passed away July 1, 2013.  I have started baking more over the last few years.  I make biscuits and cakes sometimes weekly now.  While mixing my flour I can hear her say, “don’t over work the dough” “add a little more milk” As long as I listen everything I make turns out amazing.  She lived a long 98 years.  I miss her terribly.



Robert Lee Smith 1960-2015
Honoring the memory of my cousin who passed away suddenly while I was at an event.  He had a very tough life but in the end found someone who made him happy.  He was diagnosed with liver cancer and passed away shortly thereafter.  

----

From Sandi Crawford



Captain Jack Bigglesworth was 9 years old when he passed earlier this year. He was our biggest baby and my familiar. Jack loved having his chin scratched, laser pointers, flies, and never met a tarot spread he could resist laying on. He loved having people around. We laid him to rest in a spot he would have loved in life in the woods near a creek and we will miss him forever.


----

From Kallan Kennedy


John and Millie Kennedy were my grandparents, but for all intents and purposes, they were my parents. They were a strong presence in my life and shaped so much of the loving memories of my childhood. They passed many decades ago, but I still miss them every day. May they never be forgotten, and may their genetic memory be passed throughout the generations.







The Siren Song with Jennifer Rasmussen


For today’s Forget-Me-Not-Friday, we have another one from Loreena McKennitt. This one is a bit of a tear-jerker, so have tissues ready. 




Today's Recipe with Autumn Earthsong


Harvest Apple Cheesecake

Happy Samhain to you all!  I decided to end my recipes today with a delicious one.  I hope that you all have enjoyed my recipes and give them a try.  Many are good for all winter long and I’m sure if you’re like me, you can eat anything apple or pumpkin any time of the year too!  I’ve enjoyed sharing with you.  Thank you for being a Siren’s reader!

Harvest Apple Cheesecake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, melted and divided
1 Tb ground cinnamon
3 apples, cored, peeled and sliced into 12 rings
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8 oz) container ricotta cheese
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 (8 oz) container whipping cream

Combine cracker crumbs, brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter and cinnamon.  Press into bottom and partway up sides of an ungreased 9” springform pan.  Saute’ apple slices on both sides in remaining butter in skillet.  Arrange 6 apple slices on prepared crust. Beat eggs, sugar, ricotta cheese, cream cheese and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Add whipping cream and blend well. Pour cheese mixture into pan.  Arrange remaining apple slices on top and press apples slightly under the mixture.


Sprinkle top with cinnamon.  Bake at 450* for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300* and bake for 50 to 55 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate overnight.
Enjoy!!  Blessed Samhain!

Blessings and Love,
Autumn

Autumn Earthsong is back for the 3rd year as our resident Kitchen Witch. You may have seen her recipes in Imramma Magazine and The Sunday Stew as well.  Autumn has been a practicing Witch for 17 years and hails from Ohio. She is a wife, mother of two, and Nana to three busy little grandchildren.  Samhain is a favorite time of year for her….with her name indicating what Season she loves!  Cooking for family and friends this time of year is also a joy…..Especially this time of year!   Hearth, Fire, love of family and good food is how she brings Magick to her home.   You can also find her blogging at www.autumnearthsong.com.   She looks forward to sharing her recipes with you all and hopes that you have a very Blessed Samhain Season!



Cocktails with CL

Vampire's Kiss

1/2 Red Wine (or Port wine if you prefer it sweeter)
1/2 Passoa (Passion fruit liqueur)

Directions: Stir the ingredients together and pour into a small wine glass.
That was the original recipe. But, once again, I didn’t feel that Passionfruit Liquor was appropriate to the Autumn/Samhain theme and went on the hunt for an alternative. What I ended up with was Red Wine (I chose Red Moscato but it is a matter of preference depending on how sweet or dry you like it), Pama Pomegranate Liquor, and a drink I call Persephone’s Descent!

This is the simplest of the cocktails I made this season and is, actually, my favorite of them all. The flavor is amazing, I’ve made it several times for myself now because it is just tasty, but the Pomegranate Liquor gives it that….certain something. This drink tastes like All Hallows, to me, and is why I saved it for last. I have even used it as offerings for my Gods and Ancestors.

Do not let its simplicity fool you. This drink is potent and after a couple of glasses you will strength of this blood red brew right down to your bones. It’s fabulous.



If preparing for a party you can always amp up the dramatic aesthetic by tying a black ribbon around the stem or rimming the glass with black sugar (black food coloring, sugar, zip lock baggie, bam!) though I personally found the ruby red color to be sufficiently dramatic on its own.



Paula's Paleo Recipes with Paula Lupi


My husband is a big fan of sweet potatoes and when I make it for him he savors each bite (he doesn’t get them too often).  This recipe comes from a cookbook called Well Fed Paleo Recipes.  

Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon

6 slices sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon
1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 tsp Ras el Hanout (recipe included)
½ TBS salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water

Garnish: chopped chives

Cut the bacon crosswise into ¼ inch pieces. Place the chopped bacon in a large, cold soup pot, turn the heat to medium-high, and fry the bacon until it’s crisp, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the pot and drain on a paper towel. Keep 1 TBS of the fat in the pot and discard the rest.
Reheat the fat over medium-high heat, then add the onions, Ras el Hanout, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in the garlic and stir, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Working in batches and being careful, puree the soup in a food processor or blender until it’s smooth. Fill the canister only halfway, holding a towel over the lid while you puree. Hot soup expands in the canister and can spurt out if you’re not vigilant. Return to the pot, taste, and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls, then sprinkle with a little bacon and chives. Both the bacon and soup hold up well in the fridge for a few days.



Grand Prize Giveaway from LaPulia Studio!



Book: Triquetra Book of Shadows with blank parchment pages
Cover Size: 9”X12” (fits paper of 8.5”x11” – A4)
Binding: post-bound (pages can be rearranged, add or removed)
Color: Green
Price: $389

If you've been entering our giveaways all season, each one of your entries is counted toward this prize. However, this is your last chance to get one more entry in.. so, go to the LaPulia Studio Facebook page, like the page, comment on the page and say hi to Rita from the Sirens!

Come back here, and comment to let us know you did. We'll draw the winner tonight at 9pm, and will announce tomorrow morning at 9am EDT!

Canadians: Here is your final question-

What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

See you tomorrow morning for our final farewell!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October 29: Throw-it-to-the-zombies Thursday

The apocalypse is nigh! Throw whatever you can to get away!

Our very last Thursday brings you all kinds of fun.. let's do this!










The winner of the giveaway is ......

 

Melissa "ChickynJane" Cassick!!






Today's Blogger: Tiffanie Dovich


Out of touch

Sometimes in our busy bee modern lives it becomes very easy to become disillusioned with things and be disconnected from the earth and even yourself.  This recently happened to me.  I have two children and my youngest was born with a condition called torticollis. It’s not life threatening or anything like that but it’s time consuming.  We have weekly therapy appointments for her. Daily stretches we have do to multiple times a day. Having a high need little one is very draining sometimes. You end up putting things on hold for yourself. Couple that with having other children and a house and business to take care of? Burnout happens really fast. You find yourself trying to find time to take a shower much less time to observe the Sabbaths or even to cast a circle.

Doing ” witchy” things gets shoved to the backburner, As well as doing anything just for yourself.   The household and kids needs become all consuming. What’s even sadder is that when this starts to happen you don’t even realize it.  I didn’t.  It took a good friend of mine asking me what I wanted for my birthday for me to realize that I didn’t even know! I had tons of things I wanted to get for the kids but I could not for the life of me remember or recall something that I saw and said I want that or I want to do that. Hellsfire I couldn’t even a name the last book I had read that was a chapter book! (for those that know me know just how out of character that is).

I wasn’t happy at all and it was crossing over into the way I handled personal relationships. I was grumpy and irritable and taking it out on everyone. I was so far from balanced I couldn’t even remember what that felt like. Which we all know is NOT COOL!............ So once I realized the problem I had no idea how to get my groove back. How do I go about reclaiming me? Who was I now anyways?   This idea of getting things settled stressed me out more than I was to begin with!

Then, at one of my witchlet’s therapy sessions, the therapist said something to me that really struck a cord with me. I was upset because my little was tilting more after a growth spurt  when we worked so hard for months to get rid of it and She said “ Any time you grow things change, and sometimes you might think the growing is bad. But really it’s not,  because babies have to grow and that them actually growing is something to be happy about.”

I mulled over that for a while.  I’ve come to the conclusion that change doesn’t happen overnight and little victories are still worth celebrating.  I’m not saying that everything is peachy keen and fully I’m okay with where I’m at in life but I am starting one little baby step at a time.  Yesterday I reset up my altar and enjoyed the light of the full moon.  I also sang silly songs with the girls and taught my 4 year old how to dance in the rain. I cuddled my other half just because I felt like it and took my dog for a walk under the stars.  The universe loves balance and I had forgotten that for a while.


The Siren's Song with Jennifer Rasmussen


We couldn't let the season go by without paying homage to Salem's official witch, Laurie Cabot, who is featured in this video!






Today's Recipe from Autumn Earthsong


In autumn, I just crave soups!  Chili, chicken noodle, creamy potato, vegetable, bean…so many good ones to choose from.  But my ultimate comfort food has got to be tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  I know that many of you feel the same!  Now don’t get me wrong, tomato soup out of a can works for me too, but a really good homemade soup is so much better!  Try this recipe next time you crave the comfort….

Comforting Tomato Soup

1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tb butter
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper *I use more pepper than this!
2 Tbs minced fresh basil
Shredded parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Saute garlic.  Add tomatoes and all the other ingredients except parmesan cheese.  Simmer 15-20 mins.  Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled over soup.
*Add toppers like sour cream, croutons, or goldfish crackers.


Be sure when you make a grilled cheese sandwich to have the skillet hot before you put the buttered bread down on it…it keeps your sandwich from getting soggy.  I like to use a good white bread and various cheeses like smoked gouda, Colby or baby swiss.  Try pumpernickel bread too..it’s sooo good!

Find comfort in foods that take you back to a peaceful time in your life.  Enjoy!

Blessings and Love,
Autumn

Autumn Earthsong is back for the 3rd year as our resident Kitchen Witch. You may have seen her recipes in Imramma Magazine and The Sunday Stew as well.  Autumn has been a practicing Witch for 17 years and hails from Ohio. She is a wife, mother of two, and Nana to three busy little grandchildren.  Samhain is a favorite time of year for her….with her name indicating what Season she loves!   Hearth, Fire, love of family and good food is how she brings Magick to her home.   You can also find her blogging at www.autumnearthsong.com.   She looks forward to sharing her recipes with you all and hopes that you have a very Blessed Samhain Season!


Stones and Crystals with Jennifer Hodgson


Periodot

Peridot is a protective aura stone and a powerful cleanser.

If you have old negative patterns that need to be released this is the crystal to use.

Peridot is also great if you are unsure of your spiritual purpose and is very helpful to healers.

This stone will help to get rid of jealousy, resentment and anger and will help with reducing stress.

Peridot can help you in many areas of your life. This crystal will help to sharpen your mind, boost your confidence, help you to admit mistakes and move on from them.

Peridot comes in the following colors:  Olive green, yellowish-green, honey, red, brownish.




Today's Giveaway from Sandi's Enchanted Garden


Sandi’s Enchanted Garden is giving away items to help you reach through that thinning veil and communicate with those you have lost. One lucky winner will receive a Spirit Communication Crystal Kit as well as 1 tin of Witch’s Power Magick Ointment (The tin with the Pentacle) made to help boost your power during medtation and spell work!



The Spirit Communication Crystal Kit (worth $10) is made with stones that open your spiritual connection to the other side. Use the power of this set to help you communicate with spirits, receive messages, enhance spiritual openness that facilitates the reception of psychic energy. This listing comes with 4 stones and information sheet about the stones.

Quartz: is very useful on the either the crown for clarity of psychic vision, and can be used to communicate with spirits and other worlds.
Selenite: is amazing for connecting to spirit and the other side. Opens the crown chakra and helps messages come through more clearly.
Amethyst: is a stone of pure emotional love. It is great for finding love and can be exchanged between lovers to strengthen their commitment.
Blue Kyanite: is an extraordinary crystal of connection, opening the mind centers, enhancing telepathic and psychic abilities, bridging gaps in all communication efforts, and providing a link for transmitting or receiving healing energy.


Witch’s Power Magickal Salve (worth $15) is made with Amber, Myrrh, and Sandalwood essential oils, amethyst & Kyanite crystal chips, and sprinkled with Sandalwood chips to help you connect with your power and boost it higher than ever before. This salve can be placed on your third eye and at the base of the back of your skull during meditation or energy work. You can also place a small dab on petition papers, mojo bags, poppets, spell envelopes, petition papers, etc. to boost the power of your spells.
Both items are carried in my shop Sandi’s Enchanted Garden on Etsy (link below). Please stop by the Facebook page and give a like! Happy Samhain and Good Luck!


Here's how to enter: (Canadians, skip this part and go to your section)

Like/Get Notifications on the Sandi's Enchanted Gardens Facebook page . Come back, comment on this blog post and tell us that you did. 

Remember to add your email address to the page (if you don't want to post it publicly, simply send it via the contact form at the top of the page).

Want extra entries??

1. Visit Sandi's Enchanted Garden etsy shop. Come back and tell us in the comments about your favorite item there.

2. Tweet about this giveaway. Comment with the link to your tweet.

3. Blog about this giveaway. Comment with the link to your blog post.

4. Follow Samhain's Sirens on Facebook. Comment, and let us know you did (if you're already following, just comment and say so!)

5. Follow this blog so you'll be in on all of the fabulous fun throughout October! Comment here that you did.

That gives you 6 chances to win this fabulous prize!

CANADIANS: LOOK HERE!
Canadians, your country requires that you answer questions instead of participating the American way ;) So, we're bringing you some good old-fashioned trivia about your country this year. Answer the question correctly in comments (don't forget to put your email address in the comment!) and you'll be given 6 entries in the giveaway!

Here's your question: 

Which province's entry into Confederation had to be moved up a day due to concerns that the original date, April 1, 1949, was April Fool's Day?

This giveaway is open until 9pm PDT tonight. Winner will be announced tomorrow  at 9am EDT. Remember, we have to notify the winner in email first, so those email addresses are critical for you to qualify for the giveaway!

Good luck everyone!