Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pansies with a Purpose!

Merry Meet and Blessed Spring, Family and Friends!

So, today I spent the afternoon planting Pansies. For me, this is nothing new. I plant them every Spring, waiting patiently until they arrive at the garden center. I confess, I am...a Pansiefile. Aside from being cheerful, they are also very economical. Here in New Jersey, the Pansies that I've planted today will continue to bloom until the end of June.

That being said, these are not just your typical Pansies, these are Pansies with a purpose!

Each planting season, I will plant hundreds of flowers until my home is completely surrounded by them, creating a floral sanctuary. What I like to refer to as "My Secret Garden". Every year, after I've worked from sun up until well after sun down, I realize that I should have charged all these flowers with magickal intent so they will manifest in blessings as they grow. Ya know, as any accomplished Witch might consider doing! Every Spring, after the last plant is in the ground and I'm covered head to toe with dirt, I think, "why didn't I cast the spell on the Pansies! Dammit!!

Last night, we celebrated the Spring Equinox with a lovely ritual in which we planted seeds that will manifest our intentions as the Wheel of the Year turns. Perhaps, it was a cosmic bitch slap, but this time, as I planted my own Pansies, I remembered to charge them with magickal purpose and intent!

It was a lovely day. The sun was warm, with a cool Spring breeze. On most occasions, I would toss on my IPod and dance around the yard as I'm working, perhaps sipping a little wine. Not today. Today, I listened quietly to the songs of the Mother (thank you, Arie!).

As I began turning the Earth and pulling last season's decaying roots from the planters, I looked at my freshly manicured fingernails and considered finding my gardening gloves. Then, I thought better of it. I welcomed the sensation of the soft, moist soil in my hands, smelling it's richness. I quieted my mind and listened to the melody of the song birds and watched the sparrows and chickadees flying in and out of the feeder.

As I gently coaxed each plant from their flats, I held them between my palms, close to my heart and filled them with intent. Health, prosperity, protection, stability, happiness, contentment, love, wisdom, knowledge, well-being, for my family, for my friends, for myself and anyone else who might need it. For those that I knew had specific needs, I selected plants that I named solely for them and charged those with blessings of healing, both physical and spiritual.

After a long day of planting, I usually look over what I've accomplished and see beauty. Today, after a long day of planting, I looked over what I'd accomplished and saw love.

In Darkness, Light!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blessings of Spring!

May your blessings grow with the returning light!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Toro Sushi Bar II returns to Ridgewood!

Merry Meet Family and Friends!

Yes, I am giving a shameless plug to our friends Amy and Andy, former owners of Sakae Japanese Restaurant. Amy and Andy have returned to their home town of Ridgewood, New Jersey and opened Toro Sushi Bar II at 24 Chestnut Street, Ridgewood, N.J. (201) 445-0011.

If you were a fan of the former Sakae Japanese Restaurant and/or like my husband and myself, are confirmed sushi snobs, you will find that Toro Sushi Bar II offers the same exquisite authentic Japanese cuisine as they had in the past!

The food is consistently amazing! We would highly recommended it!

Tracy Frasche
The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What the Fox!

Merry Meet Family and Friends!

So, lately, every time we let our dogs out, they bark their friggin' heads off. Oh, I know what you're thinking, "Trace, they're dogs. It's what dogs do!" Yeah, I know, but this isn't just dogs being dogs, it's really annoying, and I'm sure my neighbors would agree!

Our property backs up to a wooded area called the "right of way". It's actually an access road for our utility company, but for all intents and purposes, it's a place where people walk their dogs. My husband and I assumed that with the leaves having fallen off the trees, our dogs just had a better view of passing canines and they're just defending their territory.

I would often notice our Daphne, kneeling forward on her elbows, tail wagging furiously, seemingly playing with something that isn't there. I was beginning to wonder if she'd lost her mind!

Then, my husband spotted a red fox run through our neighbor's yard and disappear into the "right of way". Ah, it was all beginning to make sense. We've heard their haunting cries on summer nights. I gotta tell ya, it's really creepy! Daphne has a very red coat, so I can see how a fox might mistake her for one of their entourage.

A few nights ago, I'd let the dogs out (you're singing Snoop Dog in your head, aren't you?) and sat down to read. They immediately began their infernal barking! I was livid pissed! It was then Ray told me a strange little "tail" that he'd heard in the supermarket.

He had run into a neighbor who said that there was a "family" of fox living in the right of way. Seriously? With all the foot, not to mention paw traffic, can they really have found a place to have sex and actually raise an entire family? And more importantly, are they paying taxes?

But wait, it gets worse. The woman said that a neighbor a few doors down was actually feeding them! She said if she didn't, they "trashed" her yard.

OK, you guys know me. If anyone were to do something like this, it would most likely be me, but not even I'm this..ummmm, brave. Call me crazy, but doesn't it stand to reason that the fox will eventually become more dependent on their feedings and the kindness of humans? If the feedings were to stop, wouldn't it make sense that they would look for other people willing to feed them? And aren't fox known to carry, Oh, I don't know, RABIES!!!! Just askin'

Since the fox sighting, I've been especially careful with Ginger a.k.a. Tootie (our Yorkie/Chihuahua). I can see how a fox might mistake her for a rabbit! I have been known to coax her inside by yelling in a weird falsetto voice, "Oh My God, Tootie! The fox is going to get you!!" I'm sure my neighbors think it's hysterical! Ray just cringes in embarassment!

A few nights ago, when Ginger wanted to go outside, so I decided to go with her...pajamas and all. I kept watch as she roamed the yard, not really expecting anything, but just in case.

I was enjoying the cool night air, gazing at the stars, when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something red creeping slowly out from the shadows and it was heading right for...OH MY GOD! Tootie!!! I swear, my heart stopped! I hauled ass down the steps, my feet never touching the ground! Poor Daphne spun around looking dumbfounded! Ginger had a look of anticipation, as if she was thinking, "Mom's going to kill Daphne? Cool!" I'm sure they both thought that I'd lost MY mind!

Wow! Way to harsh my mellow!

Somewhere, I'm sure there are a family of fox laughing their tails off!

In Darkness, Light!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tranquil Endings...

Merry Meet and Happy Sunday, Family and Friends,

So, this past Friday brought us some comforting news. My husband met with his surgeon for his 6 month follow up and CAT scan. And while the tumor he had was benign with rare chance of recurrence(knocking on wood, throwing salt over left shoulder, rubbing lucky rabbit's foot on my ass), the same can be said for lottery wins and lightning strikes. Still, the surgeon was happy with the results and so were we! I love you, Dr. Korst!

The surgeon's office is housed in an outpatient cancer center. Perhaps it's my Reiki training, but I tend to be more sensitive to other people's energies when I'm there. At times walking through the corridors of the building is quite uncomfortable. The energy is heavy, oppressive and yet, there is a quiet tranquility.

And despite my obvious joy that my husband is doing well, my happiness was tempered as I looked into the faces of the people who aren't. A young girl, pale, thin and frail, somewhat jaundiced with a knit cap pulled down covering her bald head. An older woman, some one's grandma perhaps? Her husband clutching her arm, steadying her as they slowly walked the hallway looking for their doctor's office. Her look was the same, sad, confused, frightened. I wanted to offer them Reiki or perhaps just a hug. It makes me so angry! Stupid Cancer.

I find myself doing this a lot. Looking into some one's face, sensing their pain and wanting to offer healing of some kind. I realize this is not always appropriate. Some might welcome it, others I'm certain, might find it strange and intrusive. Reiki is not Witchcraft. There is no religious affiliation attached to it. Still, when one hears "energy work", unless they are familiar with the practice, they immediately seem skeptical or worse..frightened.

Reiki can ease one's anxiety, depression and pain, but it's not going to make a terminally ill patient or their family deal better with the prospect of dying. It's not meant to be spiritual, although some find the contrary to be true. I find it to be a little of both.

I've always felt that everyone should have the kind of experience with the dying that I shared my Dad. We were able to talk openly about his illness and the fact that he was terminal. We were able to laugh and share things that perhaps we waited far too long to say. There were no awkward silences or avoidance of discussion about death. No regrets. It was peaceful acceptance for both of us.

My family has experienced several losses in the past 10 years. My Dad, my sister, my mother and Ray's Mom. Was there something I was meant to learn from it, I often wondered? I gotta tell ya, for a really long time, what I learned was that shit happens and not all of it was good! That said, I've suspected there was something I was meant to share from my experience, in some way, with those who needed to hear it.

This April, on my birthday, I will embark on new and yet familiar journey. I will be taking a workshop to be certified as an "End of Life" Doula. Perhaps you've heard the term "doula" used to describe someone who assists in physical and emotional support during birth. In this workshop, I will learn to provide terminally ill patent's and families with spiritual and emotional comfort during the transition of dying.

Yeah, I's a really weird way to spend my birthday! But, it feels right.

In Darkness, Light!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Until They Remove All Uncertainty!

Merry Meet Family, Friends and Fellow Ridgewoodians!

Well, if you've read my last post, and some of you obviously have, you know that Kyla was on the receiving end of inappropriate commentary by someone who is employed by the Ridgewood School System. This morning, I received the following Youtube video emailed to my blog with the following comments:

here is the beloved angel at 10
very nice

I'm sure whomever sent it expected that this was something I would be too embarrassed to share. It obviously shows Kyla being well...a 10 year old child, as the poster acknowledges, and behaving with all the maturity of the same. Am I happy to see Kyla flipping off the camera? Of course not, she should know better! Does that give this person, an adult, the right to insult my 13 year old daughter for no apparent reason? I'll let you be the judge.

It really takes a special kind of person to attempt to redirect the attention away from their own innappropriate behavior, onto a child. There are obviously people working with our children that feel they are entitled to treat them however they see fit and guess what? This is what your astronomical tax dollars are paying for!

Here is the status update that was posted on Kyla's Facebook that same evening.

Kyla: Ouch...just got dissed by someones mother
-_- not to happy..

Kyla is feeling angry
via BuddyPoke
Thu at 5:18pm via BuddyPoke

Nice? Nice is ruining a child's self-esteem with mean-spirited insults.

I never claimed that my child was an angel. She was however, a child that called a friend looking for homework help and was subjected to insulting, libelous and demeaning comments made by that child's employee of the Ridgewood School System.

Again, I always give people the benefit of the doubt, unless they make complete and utter asses of themselves and remove all uncertainty.

In Darkness, Light!


"Woe betide the creature that fucks up in my garden".

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Who Is "Aiding" Ridgewood's Children?

Merry Meet Family, Friends and Fellow Ridgewoodians!

Tonight, I received a very disturbing phone call from my daughter, Kyla. She had been chatting via web cam with friend in order to get some help doing math homework. During the conversation, the friend's mother, who is a Teacher's Aide at our local grammar school, came into the room and asked who her daughter was talking to. Her daughter responded that she was talking to Kyla, who needed help with her Math homework. The Teacher's Aide responded, "She's too lazy to do homework. She hasn't done homework since the 4th Grade".

Oh really? Is this really the kind of person that we want "aiding' our children in the Ridgewood School Systems? Are these people actually qualified to work with children or do they just know the right people? Aren't they supposed to be trained to encourage our children to do their best?

Kyla was been receiving in support in Math since she was in 4th grade. This was an extremely hurtful comment to make to a child who was asking for help. It is especially inappropriate, as well as insensitive, coming from someone who is employed as an assistant to our Ridgewood teachers.

Now, I'm sure this "Aide" will "deny, deny, deny", but this was a comment made via web cam conversation. Kyla both heard and saw who was making the comment. That said, it wouldn't be the first time this person lied to protect their own ass by claiming that the child had "mistaken" what was said.

When Kyla was in 4th grade, she had a teacher that was new to the Ridgewood School system. On the first day of school, we asked Kyla how she liked her new 4th grade teacher. She said she liked her, but that many of the children were crying. Crying? Why would children be crying on the first day of school? This wasn't Kindergarten! These children were 8 or 9 years old! Kyla told us that many of the children didn't understand the math and that the teacher was becoming impatient with them. My husband, who has been a teacher for 25 years, and I found this somewhat disconcerting, but decided to take a "wait and see" approach given that it was the first day of school. We felt that a period of adjustment for both teacher and students would be appropriate. In the months to follow however, there were an increasing number of similar incidents in which this teacher's behavior was upsetting Kyla. We hadn't had any incidents with any of Kyla's teachers before or since. They all described her as a "pleasure to have in class". We thought it was best to address this issue as it was beginning to significantly impact Kyla's learning experience. We expected that, following our initial meeting, there would be no further incidents. Instead, we ended up meeting on two more occasions as a result of this teacher's behavior.

The "finale" came when Kyla was asked to make a correction on some work she had handed in. Kyla made the corrections, but when she handed them to the teacher, the teacher turned to her "Aide", and in the front of the entire class commented. "Look, Mrs. C, second and third graders know how to punctuate, but this 4th Grader doesn't". Kyla came out of school crying. She was upset and embarrassed. My husband and I called the Principal and made another appointment to meet with the teacher and her Aide. Prior to our meeting however, I spoke to several of Kyla's classmates, just to make sure that there wasn't a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of what was said. All the students confirmed Kyla's version of the events and told us how "sorry they felt for Kyla" and how badly they would feel if they had been on the receiving end of this kind of treatment.

Upon meeting with the teacher and her Aide, Mrs. C, we were told by both, "that's not exactly what was said". I made it clear that several children corroborated Kyla's story. My husband asked, "Well, if that wasn't "exactly" what was said, what was?". Neither the teacher, nor her Aide, could recall. How convenient!

I really think that with the taxes we are paying to live in Ridgewood we deserve better than someone who demeans our children. I certainly hope this isn't what Ridgewood considers the "Gold Standard" in Ridgewood Public School Education.

In any case, not only have I emailed this "Teacher's Aide", thanking her to keep her derogatory and libelous commentary about my child to herself, but I copied the same to the Principal of Travell School as well as the Superintendent. I feel it is imperative that they be aware of the integrity and character of the people we have "aiding" Ridgewood's teachers.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Life Begins Anew!

Merry Meet and Happy March Family and Friends!

This evening as I was leaving work, I was struck by how chilly it was. I know that shouldn't come as any great surprise with February just coming to a close, but stepping out into the bright sunlight and seeing the snow melting all around me...I expected something more. I expected warmth! I expected...Spring!

I snuggled into my car seat and cranked the heat up to 80 degrees! At least, it would be Summer in my Volvo!

I arrived at my doorstep a few minutes later and as I shivered, fumbling with my key in the lock, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. I thought that surely it was my imagination playing tricks on me. I walked back down the steps and there, to my absolute amazement, I found crocus pushing their way up through the melting snow!

::::Doing Lil' Pagan Dance O' Joy::::::

Happy New Beginnings!

In Darkness, Light!