REMINDER: If you are entering our giveaways, we must have an email address for you at least once per giveaway entered. The law states we must notify you via email. If you do not provide an email address, we will have to disqualify you from that day's giveaway, and we don't want to do that. So please, one email address per giveaway entered. Thank you!
We know you are totally psyched to find out who won that amazing one-of-a-kind Sirens Spirit Board (worth $298!!) giveaway from Hemlock and Garnet so let's not keep you waiting.
Ze 246 !!!
Remember, if you entered the contest yesterday, all of your entries count toward the grand prize at the end of the month, so keep playing along!
Loss and Laughterby Melissa "Chicky" Cassick
We gathered around her on the bed. We held her tightly. We whispered in her ear that we loved her. We let our tears drip on the blankets. We hugged one another. And because it is what we do, what we have always done, we laughed. Great Spirits of Wit and Whimsy, we laughed.
When I was about four, my mother decided my father had gone too far. Dad usually had facial hair of some sort; he styled himself a “mountain man” and was happiest with a full beard. Mom did not care for beards, and thus my father’s follicular fancies underwent constant modification. This time, though, his experimentation had resulted in a Fu Manchu, a configuration of facial hairiness that suits few men other than… Fu Manchu, I suppose. My mother begged him to shave off the two strands of hair dripping from his upper lip, but he refused. Dad was a truck driver, and one afternoon we waited in the kitchen for him to return from a trip. When he came in, my mother, two older sisters, and I were at the counter with our backs to him. He greeted us, and we turned -- our mother had drawn Fu Manchu moustaches on all of us. He froze for a few seconds, his gaze moving from my mother -- to my teenage sisters -- to my small self, all standing, smiling, with our ridiculous moustaches. Then without a word, he went straight to the bathroom and shaved.
The coroner came, as coroners do. We milled around the living room, discussing semi-made funeral plans, making lists. My eldest sister came to me and whispered, “I know you are the only one who would understand. I can’t get this out of my head…” and she began to sing the Munchkin coroner’s lines from “The Wizard of Oz.” And we laughed.
When I was about 8, my mother began referring to my elder sister Susan, 16 at the time, as “The Invisible Child.” Well, she did spend a lot of time in her room. My other sister and her boyfriend went along with it. We often pretended we could not see Susan when she was in the room with us, walking by her and feigning surprise when she spoke. When Mom finally decided the joke had gone far enough, she lectured us. “It just isn’t funny any more. It’s clear that it’s bugging Susan, and you guys need to stop.” With Susan nodding her head in agreement beside her, Mom added, “...and I really felt I needed to talk to you about this while she wasn’t here.”
Funeral lunch, prepared by the kindly and capable members of our congregation. The food was very good. My sisters and I sat together, along with my childhood best friend, Catherine. We ate Church Lady Casserole, and told our favorite mom stories, and laughed.
When I was 16, my mother taught me how to drive -- I mean really drive. I took Driver’s Education, at my parents’ insistence, for the insurance discount. But both of them were professional drivers, and gave me insight I could never have gained in class. We lived about six miles outside of town, and the last section of the drive was through a swampy area: a narrow road, with several S-curves. Driving home with Mom, I slowed down, and carefully navigated each turn with a precision what would have made my driving instructor proud. Mom turned to me with an incredulous look. “What are you doing? You’ve been on this road every day of your life! You could drive this with your eyes closed.” She began singing one of Dad’s favorite trucking songs, “...jamming gears has got to be a fever ‘cause men become addicted to the grind!” I sped up and whipped around the next curve, laughing out loud. “That’s more like it!” Mom said, “Put that pedal to the metal -- you’re a bus driver’s daughter!”
Every night for weeks, we sat around the kitchen table. Sometimes we had guests. Sometimes we sorted odd and ends to get rid of. Sometimes we would play rummy. Sometimes we would make brownies -- I lie: we would make brownie batter, and eat it. And every night, we told stories about her, and we laughed and we laughed...
She painted a ceramic skating scene, with beautiful figurines, an elaborate sleigh, and carolers. She added a sign which read “Crystal Lake.” Yeah... That’s the camp from the Friday the 13th movies.
She proudly wore a t-shirt my sister had printed for her that read, “The Bionic Bus Driver.”
She stuck scrambled eggs up her nose just to prove it could be done. Then she trekked all over the house, trying show Susan, who had -- once again -- wisely hidden.
She yelled at a kid playing Pink Floyd on her school bus. When the kid apologized and turned it down, she shouted back, “No! I said turn it UP! Tear down the Wall!”
She helped my sisters terrorize me by finding new and unique places to hang my beloved Baby Beans doll. Yes: hang. With a noose. All over the house.
She got up at 2 a.m. to make poached eggs and toast, because the detective in the book she was reading was eating some. She had to wake me up to tell me, and make me share it with her.
She bought me a monkey puppet, which we named “Pizza.” Any time I was being a grump, she got Pizza out and made him talk to me, “Whassa matter, Melissa Jane? Your mom being a meany? You want me to bite her?”
To spite Dad, she brought the “outside” dog into the living room. While Winnie wagged, and peeked out from behind her legs, she responded innocently, “What dog?”
She sang Cat Stevens to my lovely, accident prone sister: “Morning has bro-o-o-oken! Susan did it.”
She made an adorable red-haired garden gnome for my sister’s boyfriend. Who had red hair. And was very short. And just in case it wasn’t obvious enough, she painted him in his work coveralls, and put his name on the pocket.
It has been 25 years. Samhain, every year, I put her picture on my altar. I place a bowl of cheese crackers next to it. I close my eyes, and I can see her, on the sofa with her snack; reading a book, working on a crossword puzzle, watching “Jeopardy,” or playing Scrabble with me. And through the veil, I can hear her laughing. Always, always laughing.
I’m so happy I could dance! You know something? I think I WILL. Won’t you join me?
The Witches’ Kitchen by Autumn Earthsong
1/4 lb sweet butter
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced
4 white potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup all- purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1 can of beer or ale
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 lb white cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy stock pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add all of the vegetables and flour and cook, stirring every so often, for 5 minutes. Add the broth and the beer and simmer, continuing to stir. With a wire whisk, blend in all three cheeses and the seasonings. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes but do NOT boil. Serve in a tureen, individual bowls or even a hollowed out pumpkin! Garnish with red and yellow peppers and a little dill. Top with croutons!
To read my blog go to www.autumnearthsong.com
To check out my herbal products visit www.etsy.com/shop/verbenalaneshoppe
Samhain Ritual Spell Kit and Drip Candle Give Away from Sandi's Enchanted Garden
Samhain is the last of the harvest festivals. It is a time when the boundaries between the world of the living and the dead become thinner, allowing spirits and other supernatural entities to socialize with humans. It is the time of the year when ancestors and other departed souls are honored. This kit is made with scents and herbs that celebrate this aspect of Samhain.
2” x 4” Samhain drip style spell candle
The Samhain Ritual Kit contains:
1- 2 oz. Hallow’s Eve Spray
1 – ½ oz. Hallow’s Eve Ritual Oil
1- 2 oz. Hallow’s Eve Spell Mix
1- ½ oz. Hallow’s Eve Powder Incense
6- 4” Chime Candles
You can find many more kits, spells, crystals, herbs, oils, etc. at Sandi's Enchanted Garden ( as well as keep up with the latest products and information on my Facebook page! I wish you all the best of luck and a wonderful Samhain/Halloween!!
Rules: (READ CAREFULLY)
YOU MUST PROVIDE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS. If you choose not to share it in the comments, please use the contact form at the top of the page to provide your email address. You must provide your email address once per giveaway.
Drawing is held by random number generation and winner will be notified in email (that's why you have to have an email address listed). Announcement will be made in tomorrow's post.
Note: These giveaways are open to the U.S., Canada and where allowable. Void where prohibited.
Canadian residents, please pay close attention as by law, you have to use a different set of rules. Not to worry, we have you covered :)
CANADIANS READ HERE: You will be given X number of entries for answering the following (remember, we STILL NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS):
Who is the Canadian Prime Minister?
ALL OTHERS, READ HERE:
1. Go to Sandi's Enchanted Garden. Choose your favorite item, come back here and tell us what you liked best.
EXTRA ENTRIES: (USE SEPARATE COMMENTS. If you throw them all into one comment, it counts as one entry only)
2. Be a follower of this blog. Comment that you are following us.
3. Like the Sirens FB page (come let us know you did in comments)
4. Like/Get Notifications for Sandi's Enchanted Garden FB Page. Let us know you did.
5. Blog about this giveaway (comment with the url for your blog entry)
6. Tweet about this giveaway (come back and give us the url for your tweet)
So, all in all, you get 6 entries for this giveaway! The deadline for entries is midnight eastern time (11 Central, 10 Mountain, 9 Pacific) tonight. Announcement tomorrow, same time, same bat channel ;)
Questions? Email Serena.
See you tomorrow for more of our October fun!