Best of 2013


2013 was not the best year for me by many accounts. I struggled for half the year with health issues, romantically overwrought situations and a roller-coaster of an economy. It’s no lie that I am more than happy to bid farewell to 2013, sad that such a great year (the 13th of 2000) produced a string of calamities.

All was not lost this year however and Id like to share some positive and happy things from the past 12 months:

1. OBAMACARE – it may have its detractors but not for this witch. This is the first time that I have health insurance in 14 years. When I was able to sign-up and pay my first months premium it was one of the best days ever. Hopefully with my health insurance I can now look into all of the things I had put off because the cost of healthcare was so monstrous. Thank Goddess for the Affordable Care Act.

2. MY MOTHER – always a remarkable woman and friend, she really rose to the occasion as a caregiver when I needed her most. She changed everything in her life to care for me at the age of 69 and she took over all household duties as I have convalesced. She really rallied and has not only kept my spirits up and kept me laughing, shes also made some pretty yummy salads and helped me stick to my low-carb and sugar-free eating plan. Yay Mom!

3. MY BROTHER – he really helped around the house when I was first in the hospital and that got things going for us in very positive organizational ways. He also helped when things were at their most dire and showed a great deal of care and concern. My sister-in-law helped out too when we got in a fender-bender in a doctors parking lot and it was much appreciated.

4. MY WONDERFUL FRIENDS – they kept me laughing and feeling good through some dark times this year.Thank Goddess for Vanessa, Suzanne & Kelly, Ditas, Christine, Eddie Foo, Coral, Jon, Angela & Terry B. I am so lucky to have many clients who became friends and now are like family to me.

5. BIG BANG THEORY & MODERN FAMILY – being able to watch the entire catalogs of these two TV shows kept me amused and happy. I thank the Goddess for the brilliant writers out there who made me care about geeks and disparate dysfunctional family members with equal fervor.

6. JANE AUSTEN –  in the hospital and afterwards I watched every version of Pride & Prejudice there was (several times) and re-read the book on my kindle. It helped me to see such a beautiful time and place and know that love still wins the day.

7. MY KITTY – she is my faithful kuddle kitty. She is beside me as I write this. (and Timmon is here in spirit too.)

8. DON CHEPE’S – the best Latin American food I have ever had. We get it all the time and though it is somewhat carb heavy (and I have to be careful) it is beyond the beyond. The arepas are my favorite and the El Salvadoran tamales. Oh and everything else. Dear Lord.

9. COOKBOOKS – even though my eating plan has changed  I still love to read cookbooks (and as soon as I am able to get back to the kitchen I plan on cooking up a storm) and they keep me very entertained. I have read and re-read CANAL HOUSE COOKS EVERYDAY and just got their newest Italian cookbook called PRONTO. I have hundreds of cookbooks in my library but I constantly re-read my favorites. Check out my list at Good Reads.

10. PINTEREST – I have 24 boards and almost 12,000 pins. Because I cannot stop pinning things. My favorite boards are the food ones (I now have a diabetic food board) and the witchy ones of course. Join me there and keep up with the madness. I love to follow my friends and clients.

11. SMASH BOOKS – I took a wee break from smash-booking but I am ready to get back in the groove again. This is the journalling form of scrapbooking and a perfect way to creatively log your memories and everyday thoughts. They go nicely with all my books of shadows.

12. SUGAR-FREE OREO’S – all sugar-free cookies (and candy and other desserts too) rock my world but to be able to enjoy oreo’s without affecting my blood-sugar is almost holy to me. Since I am limited to keeping a sugar-free lifestyle any triumph like oreo’s and really good sugar-free candy makes it worthwhile.

13. DREAMFIELD’S PASTA – this is true low-card pasta at only 190 calories and 5 carbs per serving. It tastes just like regular white flour pasta but about 35 fewer carbs per serving. So all my Italian faves are back on the menu! Woo-hoo!


The Night Before Yule


Poem by Richard De Angelis to Mirror the classic Christmas tale of ” ‘Twas the Night before Christmas”.

‘Twas the night before Yule, when all ‘cross the heath,
not a being was stirring; Pagan, faerie, or beast.
Wassail was left out & the alter adorned,
to rejoice that the Sun King would soon be reborn.

The children lay sleeping by the warmth of the hearth,
their dreams filled with visions of belov’d Mother Earth.
M’lady & I beneath blankets piled deep,
had just settled down to our own Solstice sleep.

Then a noise in the night that would leave us no peace,
Awakened us both to the honking of geese.
Eager to see such a boisterous flock,
When we raced to the window, our mouths dropped in shock!

On the west wind flew a gaggle of geese white & gray,
With Frau Holda behind them in her giftladen dray.
The figure on her broomstick in the north sky made it clear,
La Befana was approaching to bestow Yuletide cheer.

From the south came a comet more bright than the moon,
And we knew that Lucia would be with us soon.
As these spirits sailed earthward o’er hilltops & trees,
Frau Holda serenaded her feathery steeds:

“Fly Isolde! Fly Tristan! Fly Odin & Freya!
Fly Morgaine! Fly Merlin! Fly Uranus & Gaea!
“May the God & the Goddess inside you soar,
From the clouds in the heavens to yon cottage door.”

As soft & silent as snowflakes they fell:
Their arrival announced by a faint chiming bell.
They landed like angels, their bodies aglow.
Their feet left no marks in the new fallen snow.

Before we could ponder what next lay in store,
There came a slow creaking from our threshold door.
We crept from our bedroom & were spellbound to see
…There in our parlor stood the Yule Trinity!

Lucia, the Maiden, with her head wreathed in flame,
Shown with the radiance for which she was named.
The Lightbringer’ s eyes held the joy of a child,
And she spoke with a voice that was gentle, yet wild:

“May the warmth of this household ne’er fade away.”
Then she lit our Yule log which still burns to this day.
Frau Holda in her down cloak stood regal & tall;
The Matron of Solstice, the Mother of all.

Under her gaze we felt safe & secure.
Her voice was commanding, yet almost demure:
“May the love of this family enrich young & old.”
And from the folds of her cloak showered coins of pure gold.

Le Befana wore a kerchief on her silvery hair;
The veil of the Crone who has secrets to share.
In her eyes gleamed a wisdom only gained by spent youth.
Her voice was a whisper but her words rung with truth:

“May health, glad tidings, and peace fill these rooms.”
And she banished misfortune with a sweep of her broom.
They then left a gift by each sleeping child’s head,
Took a drink of our wassail, and away they sped.

While we watched them fly off through the night sky we laughed,
At the wondrous magick we had found in the Craft
As they departed, the spirits decreed

Merry Yule To You All & May All Blessed Be!