I gotta say, this is an awesome way to start the day…any day. It began when I loaded the coffee pot and pushed the button. I wouldn’t say that our water is hard, but it sounds like marbles dropping when it fills the glass and I’ll need to cut the stream of coffee with a scissors. I guess it’s time to decalcify the coffee maker again so that it takes less than a half hour to make 5 cups. We do have a water softener, but of course, it’s only for the hot water and using bottled water gets to be a drag, so…I run this ‘stuff’ through the pot every other week or so…but I’m out of the ‘stuff’.

I decide to go down to the great room and amuse myself until I can hack off a chunk of the potent brew and peer out the window as all women in their ‘crone’ years do. You never know what neighbor might be doing something interesting…like standing there watching his Dog take a dump as he patiently waits with a plastic bag. Did I mention that I’m a Cat person? I’d have to devise some kind of apparatus that would attach to the Dog…like duct tape the bag to the business end to avoid this situation.

Any way, I begin the wait as the coffee pot goes through its medley of hit songs that all sound like some old whino gargling until it comes to a stop and a pshhht of steam signals that the end has finally arrived. In the mean time, what to do? It’s too dark yet to watch the Dog lover and  we, …ok yes, I, made the executive decision to take the TV out of the room as our daughter, the interior designer, suggested when we put in the wood flooring.  This means that I can’t watch some infomercial featuring a woman shoving her ample ass into a groaning pair of spandex underpants, and for this, I am grateful.  I could go down to the Green Man pub in the lower level and watch the big screen, but it’s so realistic down there that the idea of sitting in a pub at this hour, 5:30 AM, seems a bit seamy.

Our teen aged ‘Cattin’, Hmandu, is sitting on the floor looking for amusement as well so I decide to combine our efforts. He has yet to be introduced to the laser pointer. I dig it out and discover that the battery is low, but it emits enough light to produce a little red dot if I don’t go too far out into the room. I move it around the floor and find that he is watching the thing in my hand because he has already discovered that the ‘dot’ has its origins there. Smart little bastard. Finally, I get him to look at the dot…yes, it’s like going to a contrived haunted house on Samhain. You know none of the stuff in there is real, but you scream anyway because it’s more fun that way. Ok, Einstein, chase the friggin’ dot!!!

Finally, he takes part in this ruse and begins to hunt the dot. Yea. This is fun and he’s being extra cute so I start to chuckle. All of a sudden, Rhiannon, our 16 year old senior citizen who usually joins me in ‘window peering,’ jumps on the dot and starts to chase it. Hmandu stops mid chase because he can’t believe it either. Any time he initiates play with her, it consists of a swat to the head, a sneer and a haughty retreat.

Rhiannon is my ‘familiar’ because she was the understudy and took on the role when Isis crossed over at the age of 21. For those of you who are not familiar with ‘familiars’, this is usually an animal companion that assists a Witch when doing Magickal work and forms a deep bond. They know there is something different about you, they figure it out, and form a special alliance. For this reason, they feel superior and if there are other animal companions in the house, makes sure they know it.

I begin to rock with laughter because this is so uncharacteristic of ‘the Queen’, but she’s apparently discovered the joys of undoing her tightly wound bun and romping barefoot through the meadow and at this point, doesn’t care who’s watching. Hmandu looks down right confused as he sits at the edge of the rug and watches cautiously, expecting this spontaneous outburst of merriment will come to a screeching halt and a paw will thunk the side of his face.

The game ends when Rhiannon decides she’s had enough of this ridiculous display, satisfied that she has managed to show the boy how it’s played and that she is still the reigning champion. I simmer down and the laughter subsides, but not until I take a moment to realize what a glorious experience this has been. Silly? Yes, but then most joy is conceived in the silliest of times. Monty Python’s ‘Confuse A Cat’ skit played out before me and made me laugh just as much.

I decide that I will attempt to start every day with a burst of laughter. If I can’t orchestrate a scene such as this, I have plenty of memories that will get me going. This one will join the ranks, for sure. How very grateful I am.

Ah, I managed to finish this just as the coffee pot emits the shot of steam that signals the Grande Finale.  Now, where did I put that scissors…

40 Shades of Greenman

Greenman Pub Entrance

Greenman Pub Entrance

The Greenman or Jack O’ The Green pops up a lot around here, so long before the lower level’s construction in my home began, the idea of having The Greenman Pub as the focal point of the area was a certainty. I like the idea of having a room evoke a feeling as soon as it is entered and hold it. The Pub has an old world gentlemen’s domain aura about it, which sets it apart from the eclectic-rustic feel of the rest of the house. The theme is Irish/Scottish to honor the ancestry of my husband and I, so in addition to the Guinness and Scotch touches, there are black and white photographs of generations past lifting a pint, sporting kilts, and posed before castles, hanging on the walls.

This is where friends and family gather when we entertain. Whether at the pub table or at the bar or seated comfortably on the sofa or lounge chair, the atmosphere soon takes on the appearance and feel of being in another time and place. Yes, there is a large screen TV, but it is frequently tuned to a Celtic music channel so, drink in hand, a wee bit o’ dancin’ or a rowdy sing-a-long may occur.

Fists dive into bowls of snacks and the jars of candy scattered about, a book might be selected from the library area or one may sit near the tank of Koi, who lazily watch through the glass. The food table offers the whim of the cooks of the house and is served buffet style. In the Summer, the action spills over onto the patio outside via an open window that allows the conversation to flow back and forth.

The photo above is at the entrance to the pub as you leave the second level of the house where the foyer and great room are located, and go to the lower level. Yes, the tall need to duck a bit due to the stairs, but I pass under with ease. In case you are wondering, all the canopy is, is a domed plastic window well covering that can be purchased from any hardware store for about 6 bucks. I roughed it up a bit and applied a copper finish paint and patina from a kit. Then I added the Greenman face, constructed from a plastic mask overlayed with a print. Moss and other finds from the craft store were applied with a hot glue gun and a string of green battery operated lights was added to make the Lord of the Forest feel at home.

This canopy can be done in any theme and hung over a doorway by just screwing the lip of the cover to the wall. Turn the entrance of a child’s room into something special or your closet into a trendy boutique by adding paint and a few touches of glitz. Fringe can be applied to the edge for added glamour. Don’t forget the guys. This can also be used over the door to the ‘man cave’.

Have fun and get creative with your Magickal space. Your home is a reflection of you. Make it personal.