A Midsummer Afternoon Tea!

The summer solstice is nearing for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and our little part of the world will be filled with light. This day is celebrated by many cultures, tribes and aboriginal peoples around the world. It marks the longest day of the year, but also the beginning of the journey towards winter. For this reason, the Summer Solstice actually marks the ‘end’ of the solar summer for me, not the beginning of summer, as it is noted on many a calendar. It also marks the beginning of Grandmother Bear’s journey, as the carries the sun to the norther caves to rest, till the Winter Solstice awakens her once again. Last year on YouTube, I shared this more deep and meaning full journey with you as we constructed Honey Cakes. The honey was made in advance, infused with specially (intentionally) selected herbs to add healing medicine, and energy.

This year, I wanted to observe the more fun and joyful aspect of summer, by hosting a Midsummer Afternoon Tea! Midsummer, always makes me think of Shakespeare and one of my favourite of his plays. Which in turn, makes me think of the Fae, the true Ancestors of Lands all around the world, for they do come in many shapes, colours and stories of myths, legends and lore. We even have our version from my home lands in the Caribbean! To honour the Fae, I decided to create an Edible Fairy Ring! It was a definite labour of love and I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks with you here, so you can create one of your own!

When I personally image a fairy ring, It’s tucked in a deep enchanted forest, with a moss covered floor, speckled with stones. Some of these stones found there way from streams and rivers, deposited by wayward hikers. They have little holes formed from the waters edge and hold a secret. They are called hagstones and rumour has it, if you look through them, you can see the Fae! So it’s not surprising so many have been left scattered, deep in the forest, around a Fairy Ring!

Moss covered dirt mounds! The construction of the moss was actually pretty easy! Make your favourite cake pop base (I did use a box mix, and most appropriately selected devil’s food cake, because the Fae of fairytales are known to be little tricksters!). You can select any base, but I do recommend a dark one as it helps give the illusion of ‘dirt’ mounds. When forming the ‘balls’, instead of making them perfectly round, and mounted on a stick, I went for natural, misshaped ‘clumps’ in different sizes. I refrigerated them overnight to firm up. That same night, I made the ‘moss’, which is simply graham cracker crumbs coloured with food dye! I used a gel based dye and diluted it in a little water. As you will see in the video, it is best to get your hands in there and work it through. Add a little at a time as you want it crumbly and dry! Spread it on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 200F at 15 minute intervals for 1 hour. At each interval, turn the crumbs for even baking. Essentially, you are ‘drying’ them out. It was then recommended that you turn off the oven, but leave them in overnight, and so I did! In the morning I took the Moss out and transferred it to a bowl, melted some chocolate chips (I did 15 second intervals in the microwave, till just melted, and then stirred to allow the rest to melt down and incorporate). I removed the ‘mounds’ from the fridge, dipped, sprinkled and done! Edible Moss Mounds for my forest floor!

Stones & Hag Stones! Probably the quickest aspect of the ring, but admittedly the most expense! I used premium white chocolate, and cut the recipe in half and still only used 1/2 of what I made! The stones are essentially Cookies and Cream Fudge! I take no credit for this amazingly clever creation! You can find it, as I did, at: “My Dad Rocks” – Cookies and Cream Fudge Rocks for Father’s Day. (hungryhappenings.com). The one addition I made, was to use one of my reusable straws to ‘drill’ peep holes into a few of the larger stones to form ‘hagstones’!

The Mushroom Ring! The mushrooms seemed to have gotten the best feedback from my YouTube online family, and I was really grateful for that! I have actually never made any of the items that comprised the Fairy Ring so I too, was very pleased with how it turned out. Despite all the challenges in the three days of baking! For that entire week, here in Toronto we were under an extreme heat advisory, with temperatures in the high 30’s – low 40’s, with humidex warnings. Not idea for making meringues, which is what these delectable mushrooms were made from! I am testing out this new template on WordPress, so fingers crossed you can save/copy/download the instructions I typed up for the Meringue Mushrooms!

To round out the afternoon tea, I made a no bake cheesecake, however I did make it in a beautiful baked pecan crust! And for a little healthy to offset all the yummy sweets, I made a simple butter lettuce wrap filled with julienne cucumbers, mangos and chicken! It was really refreshing and I highly recommend it!

I hope you enjoyed the video I shared on YouTube providing a little history lesson on the Myths, Mystery, Legends and Lore… as well as the actual science (such a spoiled sport, aren’t I? :P) surrounding Fairy Rings! If you haven’t seen the video, here’s a link! I hope you have as much fun watching it, as I did crafting it!

I hope that the Midsummer Fae grant all your wishes, and you embrace the work to make them manifest. Many blessings!

Kayla

Forget You Not… A Hallmark message from a Plant Spirit Ally

Dear Wayward Ones,

Part of the reason for this blog is to share a diary of my life, a record of what was, for when I am but a memory myself. That all of you, my chosen family, can stand in witness, or in some cases, witchness ;P of my life.   And so it begins…

Like way too many, I too lost my job at the start of the Pandemic in 2020, and as I write this, have been without work since then.  I don’t think any of us expected the situation to last as long as it has, or the emotional, mental and physical stress we would each go through to be as constant and intense.  But somehow, the Spirits of Land seemed to know.

When I was working, the commute from mom’s was intense.  It required a bus, a commuter train and a subway/bus or street car once I got downtown to get to my destination.  Morning commute time was a minimum two hours. Coming home was worse. If you missed the commuter train you had to wait another hour for the next.  Which generally meant you missed your bus on the other end to get home, so that would be another 15-20 minutes on top.   Because of this, my hours when I was working, had me up at 5:30 in the morning and not returning home till anywhere from 7:45-9:30 at night.  The weekends were occupied with taking care of mom’s house, laundry, shoveling snow or mowing the grass – though mom did enjoy doing that herself during the week. And of course running around doing errands. 

As a result, I never actually ‘saw’ what was growing in the backyard.  I knew the Irises mom had planted just beside the back door, so she could enjoy them from her favourite chair in the kitchen. The wild mint that had spread along that same patch beside the house that I grew from seed so many years ago. The hostas that I love so much that thrive in the shade of the old maple. And I always anticipated the first scent of the lilacs as they emerge from their winter slumber. But that was all I saw…  Until the world stood still, and forced us to do the same. 

In the spring of 2020, since I was home, after much disagreements, I finally convinced my mom to let the grass grow and seed, as it wasn’t doing well the year before and was getting a few patches that needed reseeding.  So I convinced mom to let the grass grow, and let the dandelions bloom so the bees could eat and the rabbits could nibble.  In doing this, the spirits of land shared a gift with me. 

I began to see sweet little flowers emerge like stars at night, across the back garden.  First one twinkled into existance, then another, and soon the garden was filled with these gentle old souls.  The spirits of land had introduced me to someone very special.  A sweet little bit of a thing.  Her gentle nature, made me take my time, walk in grace and sit in quite surrender as I listened to her stories, and the wisdom she had to share.  And her message brought me to tears.

She told me that many call her Forget Me Not, and they tell her that she helps them sit in remembrance of others.  But, if you let HER tell you her messages you learn so much more.  The lessons she shared with me was simple, but changed everything.  As the simple things sometimes can.  She said that the message comes from the souls.  Souls of the living and the dead.  So most embrace her energy and message of forget me not in remembrance of others. But she reminded me, that I have a soul as well, and my soul has been reaching out to me, for my own soul feels forgotten.  The medicine this sweet plant spirit offered me was a simple message that she spoke in a hushed, but powerful voice: Kayla, Forget YOU not.

She helped me see that there were two ways that I have forgotten myself, lost myself, since moving back home, and I know that many of you fall into this first category. 

Caregivers.  When we are in a place of caring for another, we prioritize them, not ourselves.  And in these simple acts begin to neglect what we need, and make decisions based on other’s best interest, not our own. 

The second thing that can start to happen, is you forget yourself, the journey and recovery you made to overcome your past, and embrace the person you were meant to be.  Especially if you are returning to a toxic environment where the individual you are caring for is narcissistic, loves being in a victim state, and triggers all the negative emotions and memories from childhood that you worked so hard to move on from. 

You begin to remember those energies and find yourself retreating back into that mindset and space.  Being tense, and defensive and angry all the time, just as you were as a child.  But, she reminded me, you aren’t a child anymore, you moved on from those times, and found freedom on your own.

She encouraged me to remember those moments, remember the person I grew into when I was free to be me.  How ready I was to smile, dance and sing. To try new things and explore myself and the world.  During those 30 odd years that I was on my own, I had found my true self and the power and strength that exists within me.  I found my voice, and began to speak my truths and share my stories.  To see there was more ways of being, than the way harmful way I was raised had allowed me to be, or told me I could be. 

Remember You, Forget YOU not.  When things become tense and my own pitta fires begin to rise both mentally, emotionally and physically with my health issues triggered, I now have this beautiful, powerful plant spirit ally to make me take a moment to exhale and remember how far I’ve come, and not to let my spirit be taken back to a time and energy that did not serve me.

After spending a year with her energy and healing, I was ready to present the message to you all and created a video that spoke to her lessons.  It’s a different type of video for me, bit of a walk down memory lane, montage, but it’s such an important share, with the few treasured photos that still remain from the good moments in my life.  You see, a few years ago the storage unit in the basement of the apartment I was renting flooded. The pipes that burst were above my unit, and I lost all my Highschool yearbooks, my poetry/ritual books from high school and almost all my photos. This is all that remains, and I am sharing them with all of you.

I had hoped to borrow some more from my childhood in mom’s albums, but true to form, it turns out my sister wanted the albums and mom gave them all to her. There was nothing left for me. Which is unfortunate. But, if you are new here, you will quickly learn, is very much the norm with my family. But I’ll save those stories for another time.

I hope that the message of Grandmother Forget Me Not reaches you.

Forget YOU Not my beautiful wayward ones.

I know all of you that I have had the pleasure to speak with, have become unforgettable to me.

Namaste, and blessed be, till we meet again in sacred space.

Kayla

What is a Wayward Life…

Last year I turned 50, and like most, did a lot of soul searching, and life evaluation … and re-evaluation. You know, the usual things one does when those decade mile stones are met.

I realized that my entire life, I have always been the misfit, the lone-wolf, the wild child who walked her own path, had friends from a wide range of cultures, ages and lifestyles, and enjoyed my own company. I liked being alone and having the freedom to explore the things that interested me, which were definitely not what the other girls my age were exploring. 

Although I did dream of having a family, when I thought about it, what I really dreamt about was having children.  Little ones to share my own brand of wisdom and lifestyle with.  Someone to leave my legacy to.  But, over the last few years, I realized that can be done with a global family, it doesn’t have to be one of blood and birth.

Needless to say, I did never marry, hell, I never actually dated… which I guess is a key factor in still being single. The two incomes in my household were me holding down two jobs, and the tools that were used for repairs and furniture creations were owned and operated by yours truly.  We will discuss this in another post, because it lead to some interesting feedback from friends and family that always left me scratching me head in disbelief.

I didn’t live the typical life expected of someone from my generation.  I realized that this was because I lived a wayward life. And you know what, I’m okay with that.  In fact, I realized in creating this ‘brand’ of lifestyle, that there are more of us than not.  Women who went it alone, and that there are others, like me, who now find themselves the spinster daughters moving home to take care of aging parents.

So what is a Wayward Life? It’s not a life less imaged.  it’s a life MORE imaged.  Something beyond what society and the rules of conduct lay out as suitable, appropriate or normal for you based on your ‘gender’, race, social status etc. 

So, my friends, if you have read this through, and find yourself feeling a kinship to this little ole island girl in Canada, all I can say is… WELCOME, to My Wayward Life.  I’ve been expecting you!

Kayla

XOX