Have you fed your household spirits? Word of warning…you might want to think about that!

For more than a week I have certainly been preoccupied. It’s been almost impossible to find even small snippets of available time to post personal updates or spend any significant time visiting others.

Looking back, I think my troubles started while we were still at the beach. I just didn’t acknowledge him.

Broken Chair

I’ll explain.

Last week Kate Shrewsday introduced me to the Domovoi.  This little house spirit, according to Slavic folklore, serves, among his many roles, as the keeper of peace and order in a home. He typically lives under the threshold, or maybe under the stove, but we didn’t know. Apparently he’s sensitive, and sadly we’ve been ignoring him.

Had we been more aware, we might have benefitted from his potential good will. He rewards a well-maintained household. He likes peace and order, you see.  Lately I’ve felt we could work a little harder at that.

Some families who appreciate their domovoi feed him! We often have crumbs on the floor, but looking back I’m thinking crumbs didn’t qualify as an intentional feeding. The domovoi wasn’t appreciative of leftovers.

Stories abound of a domovoi playing some rather nasty tricks. He can have a malicious side to his nature.

My first warning? Walking out the door of the beach house, irritated at some teens yelling outside our door when the rest of the household was sleeping…Kaboom! I missed the step and awkwardly careened right into the plastic patio chair. Crash! Bang! Boom!

Take it from me. You lose a lot of your authoritative momentum when you’re on the pavement looking up at the noisy teen.

I heard my domovoi laughing.

But it’s just as possible he was trying to warn me. “Slow down.” Slavik folklore includes the possibility that the domovoi may serve his household from a more benevolent nature, acting as household guardian.

The bruises HAVE served as a reminder to perhaps consider retiring my sense of uber-responsibility. No one else in the sleeping household heard a thing–apparently they didn’t need my protection.

We came home from the beach to car trouble, a small entanglement with a road cone on the freeway (in a brand new rental car), a dishwasher spewing water all over the floor, power outages on three separate occasions, and a car radio that mysteriously just turned itself off in a borrowed car…the domovoi?

Before our daughter dropped the girls off to spend three days with us she very sweetly implored, “Please don’t break one of them.”

I fed my domovoi!

As the girls arrived on Friday they tumbled out of the car and immediately noticed a hole in the front grass. Right where they like to play, a little stump that serves as their personal perch had simply vanished!

Gone!  Why? It’s been in that spot since before they were born.

Stump Removal

Oh my goodness! It could have been our gardener, but why would he remove it now? After decades? And not ask us?

Was this some kind of warning?

I think my domovoi was appeased this week. I fed him, we heeded his warnings, and I think all is well.

We did find the stump in another part of the yard.

Burled stump

I have only one remaining consideration. I’m not ruling out aliens!

Our household aliens!
Our household aliens!

We have seen a couple of them this past weekend. Fortunately, our aliens are very good-humored!

We have decided to start over again this week with all house spirits appeased!

Here’s to a careful, quiet, peaceful week! But one word of warning–Feed your domovoi!

65 thoughts on “Have you fed your household spirits? Word of warning…you might want to think about that!

  1. Oh, Debra, you have amused and elighted me today. To see the Domovoi given proper consideration is a real treat! I feel sure yours is settling back into routine and will be ever so supportive. And I feel sure he has a soft spot for the aliens 😀

  2. OMG! What a fun post brilliantly written…once again! Domovoi did leave Darwin alone, yes…hopefully??? LOL

    So who are those little Minion imitators?! And while we are unaware of your st(age) in life, all tumbles need to be carefully monitored!

    1. Yes, Koji, I’m old enough to fear that broken bone…I felt fortunate to only break a chair, even though that was a bit humiliating. 🙂 My granddaughters were our resident aliens this weekend, and we managed to keep them safe, even though it felt like everything I touched last week broke or had some kind of mechanical malfunction! I’m sure this week will be better…and even Darwin seems to be taking fewer risks. LOL!

  3. What a fascinating little story! I’m glad things seem to have settled down for you and the Domovoi appears contented again. I hope you have a fabulous visit with the aliens! They look like they are quite fun loving. 😉

  4. Oh I have alien craft landing on my allotment – admittedly in the shape of pattypan squash – but definitely aliens – so far they are the good kind. I hope your week improves my friend!

    1. I think we’re back on an even keel, Claire. The coffee maker, which didn’t work for a week, mysteriously began working again this weekend. The spell must be broken. LOL! I’m envious of all that patty pan squash, though. 🙂

  5. Sorry but I joined your domovoi laughing, I can picture the teens wondering what is on the go when you come crashing out the house… Love this post… “Please don’t break one of them.” your Daughter has a good sense of humour… enjoyed this post… take it easy this week and enjoy…

    1. I am glad to have created a moment of laughter, Rob. I know I had to look utterly ridiculous! I was less concerned with how I looked at the time, and more concerned that I may have broken my wrist. I sure did destroy that chair, didn’t I? LOL! I returned the girls to their mom and dad this afternoon and no one even needed a bandaid. The spell is broken! ha!

    1. Thank you, Nancy. When I read Kate’s post about the domovoi I chuckled and chuckled with all that was going on in my household. Such an odd little creature, huh? My little aliens went home. It’s very quiet tonight. I have mixed feelings about that. LOL!

    1. Thank you, Deb. My little story made me chuckle, too. So many little coincidences all added up to being quite a puzzling, but humorous week. Reading your post certainly put my little troubles in perspective. In this very difficult time I hope you’re getting some rest. ox

    1. I do have some really impressive bruises, Andra, but the fact that I didn’t break a bone was a reason for real celebration! At first I wasn’t sure! My domovoi has been very clearly giving me some opportunities to pay a little more attention to what I’m doing. I am listening! 🙂

  6. You made a good job of that chair, didn’t you? Initially I mistook it for the Domovoi. (oops- will that require a humble apology 🙂 ) Mum always used to say bad luck comes in 3’s, so I think that’s what happened. But sometimes those 3’s multiply in a scarey way.
    I did enjoy your misfortunes, Debra.

    1. Your comment is perfect, Jo! I’m so glad you enjoyed my misfortunes! When I think back to some of them, including the fall, I laugh, too! Of course, the fall had nothing to do with my being a little bit clumsy…it HAD to be the domovoi! 🙂

  7. Oh, I loved this post of yours, Debra. I loved it so much that I would like to reblog it onto my site so that more people can have fun reading it. Is it all right if I reblog it?

  8. Okay, someone has a sense of humor. I did not laugh at your falling. But I did laugh about the stump. I don’t know why. But, come on, domovoi! I did chuckle at your daughter’s request. 🙂

    1. After I realized I wasn’t really hurt my fall made me laugh, too! The teen looked both shocked and clearly didn’t know what to do! I must have looked like an unbalanced old lady! And the stump really was the oddest thing. I still can’t figure out precisely what happened! I only hit the highlights, Colleen. There were other things! I’m quite pleased to make you laugh, my friend. 🙂

    1. Hahaha! I’m not sure I’ve figured out what our domovoi eats, but he may be using our African Spurred Tortoise to help provide food…and the tortoise keeps eating our succulents and leaving some behind. I thought he was just reckless, but my new theory is that he is sharing with an unseen friend. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a benevolent domovoi! 🙂

    1. I’m fine, Marie, but I’m really lucky.I fell very hard, and it’s entirely possible I could have broken something–other than a chair! I loved the little story of the domovoi. You’d enjoy reading Kate’s posts. She frequently tells ghost stories and unusual fairy tales! 🙂

  9. What a fun post, Debra! Your title had me completely fooled. I thought you were talking of the Thai customs of leaving food at little shrines at home and in front of public buildings. I’ve never heard of donovi. Does this mean we should leave out double portions, for both ancestors and donovi? Either way, the spirits had better be quick. Max has eaten my dinner more than once and he shows no signs of remorse. BTW, those are 2 of the cutest aliens ever to visit our planet. 🙂

    1. Neighbors on both sides of our house have ancestral shrines in their foyers and I don’t know the particular differences between their traditions, but I love symbolism and ritual. Maybe I’ve been a little swayed by their influence and want to have my own little spirit! When Kate posted a series of Slavik folk tales I just jumped to the domovoi, because how else could I explain all the current mishaps! 🙂 My little aliens went home a few hours…I’m both exhausted and missing them already!

      I need to tell you , too, John, that I made your peach ice cream today! Wow! That is an incredible ice cream. I had to taste test it for a special occasion coming up…I couldn’t leave it up to chance! 🙂

      1. If you like those traditions, Debra, you should travel to Bangkok. Every building — hotels, shops, homes, you name it — has a well-tended shrine in front or in the lobby. The people respect the monarchy both past and current. It”s fascinating to see.
        I am so glad you tried and liked the ice cream. I hope it is an equal success for your occasion. Sadly, the Bartolini Ice Cream Dept is not in operation. My freezer is too full for me to chill the canisters for my ice cream machine. I bought too many tart cherries on my return home from Michigan. 🙂

  10. Well now, I guess I can’t use the “I didn’t know” excuse any more. Hmmmm … now about those aliens! Here’s a Cincinnati tip for controlling them …. and it starts with a G.

    1. I haven’t given up on finding Graeter’s in my local grocery, Frank. My single attempt didn’t pan out, but I need to go on a better hunt! I am very curious! 🙂 My little aliens went home this afternoon…the house if very quiet. Not sure how I’m feeling about that quite yet! 🙂

  11. I’m sure you’re excellent at looking after your grandchildren. That is a lot of disasters to come home to after some time away. And yes, teenagers can be so very noisy and I’m not surprised you rushed at them only to fall into a chair – teenagers will do that to you xx

    1. I’m chuckling at your comment about teenagers, Charlie. If anyone has a good sense of what teens can get into, it’s you! LOL! I think I scared the young girl I was intending to speak to. The funny thing is I wasn’t angry at all…I was just going to ask her politely to remember it was getting late. Of course, when I fell with such a rush and so much noise, it made me appear like I had been in a rage. The whole thing was quite ridiculous! I still laugh when I think of it, though. As long as I wasn’t really hurt, it will remain one of our family stories! ox

  12. Oh dear Debra! I do hope your domovoi has been appeased now he’s been fed…. what are they partial to? Sweets or savouries? Loved this post! (Especially the aliens! 😉 )

  13. Thought~provoking, as well as humorous, Debra! I often feel as though there’s someone else in the house with me, even when I’m completely alone. And shortly after we came to live here, during a full moon, I heard and half saw the shadow of some being hurrying past my open bedroom door and down the stairs. When we got up the following morning a ‘sun and moon’ plaque had been taken off the wall and placed in the middle of the floor. It couldn’t have fallen ~ it would have brought down a shelf of ornaments with it. When I looked out into my courtyard a little statue of garden elf was missing….Domovoi? Alien? Gust of wind blowing down the chimney? Who knows, but I’ll be more aware in future! Thanks for the heads~up on this mischievous household creature! 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness, Jacqueline! I’m not sure how I’d respond if I felt a presence in the house. I think I might be more comfortable with broken appliances! LOL! You have really caught my attention, though. I wonder if you know anything about who previously lived in your home? I’m sure you’ve asked lots of questions. I do believe there are things we just can’t explain. And I’m sure you have no patience for anyone who says “its all in your imagination.” I don’t like to hear that either! I do believe there are mysteries we just can’t explain! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. They are really fascinating!

  14. I am sure if I start to feed the Domovoi my husband will start to wander what is going on. Plus leaving any crumbs under the stove might encourage the return of those pesky mice that we work hard to keep out of the house. Thank you for sharing this lovely folklore tale. I had not heard of it before! I remember years ago the ‘Kitchen witch’ was hung in kitchens for what I believe is a similar reason. ~Thea

    1. I have had fun thinking about the little Domovoi, Thea. Thank you for recalling the Kitchen Witch! I had forgotten all about that little household accessory! I’m sure I had one at some point. When I read about the Domovoi on Kate’s blog I just fell in love with it! 🙂

  15. The Domovoi have needed some TLC here as well, Debra. The refrigerator suddenly started leaking, when the tribe was here, of course, and the oven decides, at will, when to work and when not to. I broke one of my favorite teacups, accidently slamming it into a cupboard. Ah, yes – the domovoi.
    I’m glad it was only that chair that was injured. From the looks of it you must have careened with some force, Debra, though those errant teens are probably still giggling. I’m glad you are okay.
    Here’s to the proper care and feeding of domovoi – and a better week for you.

    1. We have both had our domovoi moments, haven’t we, Penny! I can complete be there with you in the leaky refrigerator and the on again, off again oven. We have a nice Keurig coffeemaker that didn’t work for an entire week. Then for some reason we tried it again and it works fine now. How do you explain that? LOL! Domovoi, of course! And about that fall…I am SO lucky I didn’t hurt myself.I really landed hard, and my left arm went out to try to break the fall. That I didn’t break my wrist still amazes me. I’m most thankful. I actually think I scared the teen! I remember you’ve mentioned some falls…I’m going to blame it on my glasses. LOL! ox

  16. I’m familiar with house spirits — in Sweden we call them tomtar. It was fun to read your wonderful take on them and what may happen if you somehow annoy them. The great Swedish book, The Adventures of Nils, by Selma Lagerlof, tells the story of what happened to a small boy who was mean to the house tomte.

    1. I find it just delightful that these little stories come from all the corners of the earth! We all love our little trolls, fairies, witches–the little spirits that creep into our imagination and explain the little mysteries in our daily lives. I would love to learn a little more about tomtar. I wonder if there is an English translation of The Adventure of Nils. I will have to find out. 🙂 Thank you for sharing from Sweden, Inger!

  17. Dear Debra, I never knew about domovoi, but I’m wondering if this Slavic Benevolent isn’t like the poltergeist that lives here with the cats and me. Mr. Poly makes noises when the three cats and I are in my bedroom, ready for sleep. I get up and investigate and find the house peaceful and quiet. I think He simply wants to know that I’m aware of his presence. And if I leave a glass of water out for him by the sink with a few ice cubes in it, he knows that I appreciate his taking care of the cats and me!

    I’m back in the blogging world having missed your postings and many others by bloggers whose wit and wisdom bemuse me. Yesterday I started the first in a series of posts on my three scholasticate years in the convent. I’m eager to write about them, but oh, I have enjoyed being away from blogging for several weeks. Now I’m re-energized and ready to respond again to postings on domovoi or aliens or turtles! Peace.

    1. I just love that your poltergeist has a name, Dee! When I did a little extra reading on the domovoi there were suggestions that some consider the presence very similar to a poltergeist. So you leave him water with ice cubes? How wonderful!

      I’m so glad you’re back in the blogging world. I have thought of you so often, missing what you have to offer, Dee. You have such an incredibly strong and compassionate voice that adds a great deal to the blogging community. Of course, I can completely understand the need to break away from time to time. We do need to remember that this pastime isn’t another job! Sometimes it’s too much to keep the pace going.

      I’ll just say for now, “welcome back,” and I’m so eager to hear what you’ve been up to. oxo

  18. Oh gosh! I wonder how long I’ve been neglecting my domovoi, Debra. It could explain a lot…… 🙂 Sorry to hear about your chapter of accidents and trust that life is now back on an even keel.

    1. All is just fine at the moment, Perpetua. I know it COULD be a coincidence, but I’m thinking it’s because my domovoi was happy that I gave him his due of attention. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I know you’re having a wonderful time in your French hideaway! 🙂

  19. As Kate’s Dad, I read many of her posts, and caught the Domovoi one. Nicely posted, Debra, and I ought to visit your site more often. Very entertaining. Thank you

    1. Thank you, John. I’m always pleased to have you stop by. And I never miss one of Kate’s posts. I love her creative, intelligent writing. I think her talented father may have passed on some wonderful attributes. 🙂

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