art, folklore, metaphysical art

Happy Mabon to Everyone! Autumn Equinox

Mabon, Autumnal Equinox

The Second Harvest

Magickal-Oak-Tree-Autumn-Art-Print

The days are noticeably shorter and there is a chill in the night air in the Northern hemisphere. Some of the trees are beginning to don their Autumn colours as we approach the dark season of the year.

Mabon is the second harvest festival of the year, occurring on the 21st or 22nd of September. The apple and grape harvests are celebrated. Vegetables, fruits and herbs are ready to be picked and preserved for the coming Winter.

A time for giving thanks! And also a time to evaluate the progress made on goals set earlier in the year. Did everything work out as planned?

Wishing everyone a fruitful harvest!

 

Magickal-Oak-Tree-Four-Seasons-Green-Border-Art-Print

All prints available in two sizes https://magickmermaid.com

 

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cartoon art, gnomes, humour, short story

Eek! A Mouse! The Final Chapter

To catch up on the story:  Part 1 and Part 2  and Part 3

Eek!  A mouse!  The final chapter

I consulted with friends. The always-imaginative Sir Doubtpuppet came up with a rather creative solution. He suggested that I make a lady mouse decoy with blonde hair, lipstick, stilettos and mousecara-ed eyelashes to be placed next to a trap with a neon sign stating “Free Kisses for Handsome Mice Here”.

Another (more practical) friend said I must set conventional traps immediately or the mice would multiply in no time.  Visions of The Great Plague had me racing to the supermarket for mousetraps.  (I know the plague was caused by fleas on rats.  But the mere thought of rodent infestation had my imagination going wild!)plague doctor

Porthos remained at his post. Henri  frequently surveyed the house and checked the truffle tin muttering, “Méfiez-vous des souris voleuse! ”
(Beware of thieving mice.)

I preferred to use a catch and release trap.  But now that the mouse had become a gourmet-organic-tomato-eating connoisseur, it would be back.  So I was forced into buying the capture trap or be overrun.  I had experienced a serious six-week mouse invasion in the city due to the landlord’s mistake and it wasn’t pretty.

I baited the trap with Swiss cheese.  And nothing happened the first night.  What? Aldi’s Swiss cheese wasn’t gourmet enough?!

The next night as I’m watching TV,  I see something moving on the rug.  A mouse!  Then another one!  Cue the Benny Hill theme song!

The mice are running all over the parlour as I shout at them to leave and try to chase them into the kitchen to the trap. Then they begin chasing me around the house!

One hid momentarily in the shadow between the piano and the TV armoire; its eyes closed.  (“Ha! She can’t see me!”, it thought.)  (“So cute!”, I thought.)  I put more peppermint cottons around hoping they would go back outside.  This “Eek, a mouse!”/“Oh, they are so cute!” circus went on for 2 hours before I finally gave up and went to bed.

The next morning when I went into the kitchen nothing appeared disturbed but I noticed the trap indicated “mouse caught”.  I felt terrible and shed tears for the poor little thing.  Henri, Porthos and I said a few solemn  words before relegating the trap to the bin.  I truly hoped that the other mouse took the hint and left. I felt such remorse that one had gone to its demise.  But obviously I can’t have mice running amok through the house!

Later that day I go into the kitchen and there sits the other mouse in the middle of the floor!  Not the least bit afraid of me or Porthos. It runs all over the kitchen, under the oven, then into the front room.  Hides by the radiator and then it starts coming towards me at full speed!  Cue the Benny Hill theme song again!  I’m stamping my feet trying to scare it into leaving as I open the front door.  No, it does not go out. It disappears.

Only to reappear 10 minutes later when I’m sitting at the computer.  It runs over my foot!  And then under the computer armoire.  What’s really perplexing is that the mouse has no fear of careening through the house during the day!

So I dash into the kitchen to get the other trap and place it behind the armoire where I see the mouse is hiding.  Now one would think it would want the cheese.  No, it climbs over the trap!  And runs towards the kitchen with me in hot pursuit.  It disappears and then 5 minutes later it runs over my foot again as I’m sitting at the computer. Then it disappears under the fridge.  By this time I am completely distraught and leave the baited trap near the oven hoping that the mouse will vacate the premises of its own accord.

As it happens, the lure of cheese (albeit inexpensive cheese) was finally too great.  A few days later the mouse had its last supper.  Henri, Porthos and I bade it farewell.


Just to be clear, I’m still feeling a lot of remorse about the mice.  I hope this never happens again.

See The Gnome and I for more stories about Henri.  🙂

cartoon art, gnomes, humour, short story

Eek! A Mouse! Part 3

To catch up on the story:  Part 1 and Part 2

Eek! A mouse!  Part 3

The next day I confronted Henri about the truffles.

“C’était censé être une surprise.”  (They were to be a surprise.)
I glared at him with raised eyebrow.

“Have you tried them?” I asked.

Henri looked down at his boots and then gave me a sheepish smile.
“Je devais être sûr qu’ils étaient assez bons pour une reine”, he replied.
(I had to be sure they were good enough for a queen, Madame.)

At least he still remembered who was in charge here!  I couldn’t argue with that logic and we put the truffles in a mouse-proof tin.

Now what to do about the mouse?  For the record, living in the country I have had to morph into Spider-Annihilator, Gnat-Masher and Fly–Destroyer on several occasions. These invaders are sent on a one-way ocean cruise via the toilet without a moment’s hesitation.  (Ladybugs and moths are caught and released in the garden.)

The main problem is that I think of mice as the adorable creatures from the Beatrix Potter tales.
beatrix potter mice

I did not want to set a deadly mouse-trap.  I merely wanted the mouse to leave the premises.  I had read that cotton soaked in peppermint oil and cayenne pepper sprinkled on the floor were natural mouse repellents.  So I strategically placed cotton balls around the kitchen, bathroom and other parts of the house.  And I formulated the plan of storing the new basket of tomatoes in the oven at night; hoping this was a clever way to foil the mouse.  This plan worked beautifully for a few nights.

The fourth morning I discovered a big mess in the oven; half-eaten tomatoes strewn about and mouse poop on the sink!  The cute little mouse had turned into a voracious, pillaging, rampaging beast!  A veritable velociraptor in mouse clothing!
velociraptor

Now I was truly annoyed.  Henri saw my frustration and enlisted a friend to stand guard.

“Madame, Permettez-moi de presenter Porthos.  Il agira comme sentinelle.”
(Allow me to present Porthos.   He will act as sentry.)
Porthos

“Ah, Porthos; as in the Les Trois Mouse-quetaires?”,  I enquired.
Much eye-rolling from Henri and Porthos.

Needless to say, Porthos gave me a fright in the middle of the night when I went into the kitchen for drink of water.  Which, of course, made Henri laugh and did nothing to scare the mouse.

A difficult decision needed to be made……………….

cartoon art, gnomes, humour, short story

Eek! A Mouse! Part Deux

A Mouse in the House

Some of my dear readers may remember my first encounter with a mouse in the house. (The Gnome and I-Episode 10)

Last Thursday night when I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth I had a visitor.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a rather large mouse scurrying on top of the radiator.  After emitting a loud involuntary scream (which was undoubtedly heard all over the neighbourhood), I leaped on top of the toilet.  No, not because I was afraid.  I wanted a birds-eye view of the bathroom in case the mouse had jumped into the bathtub.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Henri raced into the bathroom.  I caught a barely perceptible eye-roll and a suppressed smile as he observed me atop the toilet.
Mouse in the bathroom

“Que s’est-il passé?”  (“What happened?”)

“A mouse!” I exclaimed.

A very noticeable eye-roll from Henri.  Then a shrug as he exited the bathroom muttering, “Beaucoup de bruit pour rien.”  (“Much ado about nothing.”)  I checked around the house for evidence (mouse droppings) and didn’t find anything.

I forgot about the incident until I was in the kitchen making breakfast on Saturday morning.  It appeared that several of the grape tomatoes were missing from the basket.  Odd, I thought.  I had just purchased the basket of tomatoes on Friday; surely I hadn’t eaten that many yesterday.   In a hurry to do the house-cleaning I forgot about the missing tomatoes until Sunday morning.  Now the basket was almost empty!  For moment I thought I was going mad.  Had I even purchased tomatoes?  I quickly looked at the supermarket bill and saw I had, indeed, bought a basket of grape tomatoes.  Again, I searched the house for evidence of a mouse and found nothing.  I counted eight tomatoes in the basket and did not eat any.  I said nothing to Henri….

Until Monday morning when I discovered the empty basket overturned on the counter!  I checked all over the kitchen and found nothing to indicate the mouse had returned. I even looked in the rubbish bin to see if the mouse had been in there.  No, this stealthy mouse had class.  Only the best organic grape tomatoes for him!

“Que’est-ce que tu fais?”, (“What are you doing?”) Henri asked as he observed me looking under the sink, behind the stove and in the cupboards.

“The mouse has returned!”, I answered; pointing to the empty basket.

A look of alarm flashed on Henri’s face.  “Mes truffes!” (“My truffles!”), he exclaimed and dashed to the cupboard.   Thankfully, the mouse hadn’t discovered the truffles.
Mes Truffes
“Wait, what? Truffles?!!”, I cried; the thieving mouse momentarily forgotten.  “You have truffles and you haven’t been sharing?!  We will talk about this later!”

Cut to scene of a mouse clutching a bag of truffles being chased by Henri who is being chased by me as the theme song from Benny Hill plays in the background.

See The Gnome and I for more stories about Henri.  🙂

folklore, pagan

A Happy Lughnasadh to Everyone!

Lughnasadh

Summer has passed its zenith and although temperatures are still quite warm (in the Northern Hemisphere), the sun sets a bit earlier each day.  Some crops are ready to harvest and preserve for the coming cold months.

Lughnasadh, named for the Irish Sun God Lugh, is celebrated on the first or second day of August.  It is the first of three harvest festivals.  This festival celebrates the grain harvest as well as fruits and vegetables that ripen in late Summer.  A perfect time to try a new bread recipe, dry herbs, preserve fruits and veggies!

Besides giving thanks for the abundance of the first harvest, this is a good time to reflect on the goals and projects you began earlier in the year. Have they come to fruition as you planned? Or do they still need more work to develop into what you envisioned? There is still time to edit and revise before the next harvest!

Wheat Harvest

 

art, folklore, metaphysical art, pagan

Happy Summer Solstice!

Summer Solstice

Magickal-Oak-Tree-Summer-Art-Print

The Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer and Litha, has been celebrated by various cultures all around the world for millennia. The longest day and the shortest night of the year is a celebration of the sun. In the Northern hemisphere everything is green and growing as we await a fruitful harvest.

Wishing everyone a joyful and magickal Summer Solstice!

Magickal Oak Series

magickal-oak-tree-autumn-art-print_smallMagickal Oak Winter Fine Art Print

Magickal Oak Tree Spring Fine Art Print

Magickal-Oak-Tree-Four-Seasons-Green-Border-Art-Print

All prints available in two sizes https://magickmermaid.com

news

Happy Earth Day!

Plastic Ain’t so Fantastic

It is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. (1)

Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.

This translates to about a million bags every minute across the globe, or 150 bags a year for every person on earth.  And the number is rising.

  • If you joined them end on end they would circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times.
  • 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found.
  • Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic.
  • A plastic bag can kill numerous animals because they take so long to disintegrate. An animal that dies from the bag will decompose and the bag will be released, another animal could harmlessly fall victim and once again eat the same bag.
  • The floods in Bangladesh in 1988 & 1998 were made more severe because plastic bags clogged drains. The government has now banned plastic bags.
  • In Ireland they introduced a 15c plastic bag tax and reduced their usage by 90% in one year. It is now 22 cents.
  • The #1 man made thing that sailors see in our ocean are plastic bags.
  • There are believed to be 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean.
  • There are 5 ocean gyres in the world where plastic gathers due to current circulation. These gyres contain millions of pieces of plastic and our wildlife feed in these grounds.
  • It can take anything between 20-1000 years for a plastic bag to break up. I mean break up as they break up into smaller pieces. They don’t break down and those that do, break down into polymers and toxic chemicals.
  • It costs US$4,000 to recycle 1 tonne of plastic bags and you get a product that can be sold on the commodities market for US$32. We must stop them because recycling is not viable.
  • It takes just 4 family shopping trips to accumulate 60 shopping bags.
  • World wide, 13,000-15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean every day.
  • Every year, 6.4 million tonnes are dumped into the ocean. This is the same as 3,200 kilometres of trucks each loaded with garbage.
  • At least two thirds of the world’s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion.
  • Ocean acidification is a growing problem
  • Scientists have identified 200 areas declared as ‘dead zones’ where no life organisms can now grow.
  • Read more at http://oceancrusaders.org/plastic-crusades/plastic-statistics

RENEW RESUSE RECYCLE