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Checking in! I’ve been absent of late, but I’m still here…just less here!  I started a new job (a full time job) last month, and its been (actually, it still is) a huge learning curve (and will be for quite some time).  I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and blog, only because today is my furlough day (thanks a lot sequester).  I’ve had time to start several posts, but not the time to research details and finish them up, so we’ve had a bit of a dry spell here (at least of original posts, I’ve reblogged some here and there).  I had planned to spend some time blogging on Monday of last week, but I ended up with strep and a upper respiratory infection….I spend the entire day in bed, not doing anything instead!  I hope to be rectifying that soon.

Chickadee had Little Miss over to play today, they’ve missed each other since we moved, so Little Miss’s mom and I have tried to keep regular play dates and sleepovers for the girls….today they played here, and tonight she’s spending the night over there.  Sharkbait has started going to preschool full time, which has been a bit of a learning experience for him as well.  We’ve had a couple of behavioral problems, but he seems to be adjusting fairly well.  The biggest challenge in all of this has been that we only have one vehicle…as a result, we leave our house at 5:30 in the morning, and (traffic gods willing) finally make it back into the house 5:30 in the evening.  I think (as much as I hate to say it) a second car is on the agenda sooner, rather than later.  First world problems, yeah?

The status of the Pagan Blog Project and other blogging events… I’m a wee bit behind schedule, but I plan to try to catch up.  Try, of course, being the operative word.

Science Lesson of the Day:  How your microwave really works.
I read a blog post the other day about The Evil Microwave…I’m not going to link it, because I’m not trying to single anyone out directly.  Instead, I’m mentioning it because its not the first The Evil Microwave post I’ve seen on the internet, and like all of them, it was riddled with some bad information.  And, lest anyone think I have a horse in this game, I don’t own a microwave. (We also don’t own a coffee maker, a toaster, or an electric can opener.  Really, the only small kitchen appliances we own are a mixer (though I usually use my 1950’s era hand-crank mixer) and a blender.)  I think there are perfectly valid reasons for this choice…but, not a single of our reasons have to do with how the microwave works or how it heats food. Because, quite honestly, those “reasons” are bad (often really bad) science–one of my favorite “reasons”, that I see on FB from time to time.

Its Ramadan! So don’t be an insensitive jerk and stuff your face with chocolate cake in front of your Muslim friends (unless its after sunset, and then make sure you share)!!  I like to use the Ramadan season as a chance to learn more about Islam.  Since I’m a bit short on time to do anything that involves a lot of effort this year, I’ve been following along with the thread one of our moderator’s at Pagan Forum started, instead.  Next year, I would like to try reading the Koran (again).  I always plan to, but somehow, its one of the things I’ve never followed through on to completion.

Herb of the Day: Lemon Verbena is a plant native to the New World (Argentina and Chile), that was brought to Europe by the Spanish.  Lemon verbena has a lovely scent and flavor that makes for an awesome addition to cosmetics, veggie, fish and poultry dishes (and more), and it makes a wonderful tea (medicinally, it is said to be a digestive aid and has lots of anti-oxidants).  Magically, it can be used for purification and love spells.  Also, it can be used in potion form to prevent dreaming.

A nifty info graphic I found, for those of us interested in living self sufficiently.

I’ve been thinking a lot about canoeing lately… Perhaps because my BFF, is coming out to visit and I haven’t seen her IRL in over a year.  We met when she was my counselor on an annual canoeing trip I used to go on in high school, to one of the most beautiful places in the world…a place where you can still dip your cup into the water and drink directly from it, without filtering it or treating it.

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Picture of the Day: An oldie, but a goodie–this was taken about 10 years ago, on a canoe trip in Quetico Provincial Park

Parting thought:

If we can move into an open horizon where we can live in our modern world with ancient dreams that have always stirred us, then our work will have been done.

Sigurd Olson, Open Horizons

…I think perhaps, that might be a thought for a post all on its own.