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It’s the little things in life.  Seriously!

A trip to Midleton was planned for the day;  Himself needed to collect some files and I, dear readers, was in need of a treat.  I try to hold out for Saturday when we shop at the Midleton Farmers Market.  There, I queue up with everyone else in town and wait my turn for a mocha from O’ Conaill’s Chocolates.  But it’s been cloudy, rainy, and I’ve had a three day bout of S.A.D. so I tagged along for the trek to Midleton and a visit to Farmgate, for my treat!

You can grab a Mocha for take-away for only one euro fifty! Seriously!! And they are DE-licious!

And of course, while you’re waiting for the other half to finish business, it is necessary to check-out any sales.  Wouldn’t you know it?  O’dwyer Shoes has a 50% off sale!! The absolutely cutest pair of Portuguese boots were calling to me!  I think they would make a super birthday or early valentine gift.  ::hint, hint::

A delightful Wednesday was had by all…. I got my treat (He got one, too) and I found something for Him to spend his money on!  🙂


I bought some seeds today!! Beautiful flower seeds, and tomorrow I will fill my little pots and set them out to sprout in a warm window. I couldn’t help myself. Geranium, Lupin, Lobelia, Salvia…. yum.

Also today was my Imbolc milk bath. I had a lovely flower petal and milk Bath Bomb ready for the occasion. The candles lit, the Bulmers cold, the water hot and as long as I wanted to soak in peace and tranquility.

Ah….. I’m now officially ready for spring!

hearth and home

I am so ready for spring!  In fact, I’m downright impatient! I want to plant flowers, herbs and veggies.  I want to rake gravel and make twisting paths, stick colorful little bundles into rock crevices.

Sadly, it’s not time yet.  At least I don’t think it is.  Gardening here is still very far out of my experience or knowledge.  If I had the money I would take some course or workshop.  Maybe there is a group I could join to talk about these topics.

Anyway…. my gloves are calling to me and my fingers long to wriggle in the soil.

The weather was fantastic this morning! Sunny, clear, and mild (gale force winds having finally abated)! I discovered little shoots making their green appearance in the gardens, and since we weren’t here in spring last year their genus remains a delightful mystery. The earth is truly ripe with expectancy! Even the air smells new.

I feel the approach of Imbolc, and with it, the beginnings of spring!

(for the nerds in the house)
The etymology of Imbolc has fairly conclusively been tied to the word for milk (Hamp,106). The etymology in Sanas Cormaic (ca. 900) made this out to be oímelc, “sheep’s milk”, butEric Hamp has argued – successfully I think – that the (complicated) etymology should be *uts-molgo- < *ommolg so that oimelc is a misunderstood spelling for *ommolg. *Molgo- in turn likely comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *Hmelǵ- which meant “to cleanse”, and which is very close to *melg-the root for “milk.” Ultimately, Hamp derives Imbolc from a root meaning both “milk” and “purification” (111). Hamp mentions instances in Irish literature where milk is a cure for poison darts(2) ,where it is poured into the battlefield furrows of Eremon(3), and the odd detail from the story of Suibhne, where he drinks milk from a hole made in manure—the original implication being that milk would purify even dung!

I am definitely feeling the season of purification and renewal approach.  In fact, during the winter I’ve been incubating beautiful ideas and dreams…. about my relationship, my life, my academic and professional goals, and my family.  Last year I felt adrift.  I had forgotten myself, or at least was incredibly unsure of who my Self was here in Ireland.  That’s getting better, and you know why?  Because I remember that I have to just be mySelf.

It sounds so simple, and silly even.  How could I, someone who has dedicated so many years to self-discovery and exploration, forget such an elemental concept?  That there is no Self like mySelf, and that my only task and highest aim is to fully be that unique, quirky, silly, strange Self.  It’s easy.  Any type of change can knock us off course and upset our balance.  The important thing isn’t to be perfect but to keep going.  To be gentle with ourselves when we fall and offer ourselves the gift of grace.  At least….that’s what I’m doing.

So, a milk bath may be in my near future.  I need to purify this holy vessel.  I *am* the Beloved, and this year is gonna ROCK!

And many early Irish magical charms use butter as a curative agent; cf. Carney, “A Collection of Irish Charms”.
Eremon is the mythical first Milesian—i.e. human—king of Ireland; his name is thought to derive from the sameorigin as Aryaman/Airyaman, the Indo-Iranian embodiment of “Aryan-ness”, i.e. nobility and the ruling class.

*Hamp, Eric. “Imbolc, Óimelc”. Studia Celtica. 14/15 (1979-80), 106-113

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