Friday, January 3, 2014


You know, it occurs to me that there is a reason the "stereotypical" fairy-tale Witch is always depicted as living in a small, hard-to-find cottage way off in the middle of the dark black forest somewhere...
and, as a hint, it's not because we're known as social butterflies.

In fact, I might go as far as to say that part of my definition of what makes a person a Witch is that solitary nature, that desire and longing to go off somewhere private and do our own thing, separate from the group.  If one can find, as I have, that special person who can share in that life without compromise, that can be great, but otherwise, we would be content to live out our lives in solitude (though we would probably refer to it as 'peace and quiet').
It appeals to me to have "my own" holidays (or to omit the contraction, holy days) that I can honor the way I want, rather than having society (and rank commercialism) dictate the way I am supposed to mark the occasion, usually as part of some sort of perilously-stitched familial granfalloon.*
It similarly appeals to me to spend my time off from work in my home, rather than out and about at theaters, restaurants, or other such public places, much as the archetypal Witch might travel into town to trade her potions and produce for needed items but quickly returns to her cottage once her business is done.
Notice, in the stories, the Witch never does business out of her home, but rather travels into the public arena when interaction with people is required.  There are no signposts to a Witch's Cottage and no public address, and a private invitation is spectacularly rare.  The witch's Cottage is her safe place, and she takes pains to keep it that way.

So, if you stumble upon my Cottage-on-the-internet, I hope you will find me a gracious hostess, but please remember you have come into a private space of a private person, and be properly respectful.

*I admit this word borders precariously on actually being a real one, but given it's definition, in this case I think that's part of its charm.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bright and Festive (belated) New Year

Carrying on from the last entry, the New Year's holiday was similarly pre-empted.  I am really starting to wonder why the World doesn't want us to be able to celebrate any holidays this year!  This time was a little different in that it wasn't my job that interfered... Despite our best efforts to clear the schedule and have the two days off, my sweetie got a rush project that she didn't feel like she could say no to, so the both of us were working on a huge and difficult medical transcription while the rest of the planet was having a party.

(Note:  Despite making for a lovely picture,
a box of chocolate-covered things and a
lamp that thinks it's a space heater aren't
actually compatible at all.  We didn't
leave them together for very long.)
It is done now, though, and we have our eyes on this weekend as a time to belatedly celebrate the New Year.  Tonight, we are enjoying our gifts to ourselves:  We lighted the Aladdin anniversary parlor lamp that was our major gift to ourselves and it is looking pretty on the bar at the moment.  Also, even though we had originally decided we weren't going to spend the money this year, after Christmas we found a clearance sale on the annual Lebkuchen-Schmidt Fettstags-Truhe {Holiday Chest} so I expect we will also be celebrating with either some cocoa or coffee and some delicious German lebkuchen, very soon.

I don't think I'll partake much in the "looking back at the past year" thing this time; there have obviously been many changes since this time last year, many of which we had no real control over.  I do have a few things I'd like to look forward to in the coming year--we could even call them resolutions, I suppose.

The first thing I will mention is to improve health, including losing weight.  As much as I hate to be 'on the bandwagon' with the masses, and as much as it is the most cliché resolution I could possibly make, it is something that I would like for us in the coming year.
After that, I want to try to work on having better focus.  My 'hobby-du-jour' was even more all-over-the-place than usual in the past year, which (now that I am being introspective) probably is an outward sign of being a bit unsettled internally.  I'm very much enjoying the Aladdin lamps right now, and given the fact that they are both beautiful and practical, and that my lovely wife can enjoy them with me, I think I'd like to stick with that for a while.
There are a few things that ended up going by the wayside as I adjusted to being back in the workforce; there is one of them in particular that I want to return to.  I think it's about time to get the wax off the back burner and get back to making candles, even if I never do end up selling any through the website and they are just for gifts and for us.  It occurs to me that the lamps and the candles tie together nicely into a larger "non-electric light" hobby, which feels nice to me.
I have a few other goals in mind to get our 'cottage' in order; there are some rooms that deserve to have their potential realized, and a few other things I'd like to get in better order to improve the flow of the house.  For the most part, though, I just want to keep our lives simple, elegant, and positive.  Here's looking forward to a blessed year!