First tea of the day:  Arpiqutik (Cloudberry) by Délice boréal (Northern Delights). I was sent a most wonderful package from my friend V, in Yellowknife…I’d asked her for some labrador to make labrador tea (since labrador isn’t something that grows around here) and she sent me a whole package of goodies!

The tea is (and I quote from the website) a mix of “Sarsaparilla root, fenugreek seeds, cloudberry leaves (Arpiqutik), cinnamon, carob, roasted maté leaves, natural flavours, roasted barley, roasted dandelion root”.  It tastes like maple syrup, and it smells divine. So of course, the very first thing I did was try to find a US retailer. I’ve found one (and I’m hoarding the knowlege), but the tea isn’t in stock (its that good!). I found two other online retailers, but the one doesn’t ship US (I might call and try over the phone) and the other one is in France without an English translation.  The company makes a few other blends as well, and all the profits go to the

Maybe I should open a tea shop when we move…I could sell tea and sustainable household products and random gift stuff. I’d probably go out of business, the entire county is a population of 50,000 in the last census.

Which brings me to a brief life update… Sometimes in the near future, exact date still up in the air (probably October sometime) we are moving a few states to the south. Hubby has been on trips for work to a different base, and really likes the people and the area. Also, real estate is such that we can get twice the house for half the money that we ever could here. The schools are better, and Georgia offers (as of now) free tuition at state schools for B average or better students. Basically, our income will stretch a whole lot further down there.

But I still need to find a job down there. I recently applied to do what I already do for an opening working for the same people I already work for, its just a matter of waiting to see if anyone more qualified than I or with better preference applied for it. Hopefully I got the job, otherwise we might we in worse financial straits than we’ve been in for a while until I find something else (I’ve been applying for a number of jobs in the mean time). There’s part of me that is scared to death that I will have to quit a job where I am paid more than my husband and work at Wal-mart (there is nothing wrong with working at Wal-mart, but my job pays well, is intellectually stimulating, and has awesome benefits, even if its not precicely what I ever wanted or planned to do with my life). I’m really excited too though, the area is beautiful, the ecosystem is very different from what I’m used to, and there’s a lot of history to be reconciled there. Spiritually it should be quite interesting.

Most of the summer I’ve been single momming it, Hubby’s been home the past two weeks, but he leaves again on tomorrow. The kids start school in 2 1/2 weeks, and I’m not quite sure how many school supplies I really need to send them with… I have to get the kids physicals here (they expire in September), but I’ll have to have them redone within 30 days of registering them in school (state requirements)…so I have to find a doctor right away (which I need to do anyway because of Sharkbait’s ADHD meds). Also a dentist, a doctor for us, getting gymnastics lessons set up, and the biggie–figuring out where we are going to live and getting the kids enrolled in school, especially with Sharkbait’s IEP. Theres more on my list, but I’m trying not to think about it right now!

Pagan Pet Peeves #47:
You know you’ve got’em… And so do I.  This time, its the use of “matron” as in the often heard “matron and patron” deities. Seriously, it annoys me so bad. Its not a matron deity–its still a patron no matter what the gender is, or if you insist on gendering the word, patroness. Really. The feminine of patron is patroness, not matron. Patroness, as the dictionary will tell you, means a female patron or the wife of a male patron. Matron on the other hand simply means “married woman” and originates from the Latin matrona (same meaning), though in Old French matrone could take the meaning of patroness. Its 2015, not even the French speak Old French (though they may still use the word matrone). Either way, if you are an English speaker, you have a patron and a patroness.

In the Latin (where the word patron comes from) patron comes from the word patronus which means defender, protector, advocate, and former master of a freed slave. During the Middle Ages, this word shifted meaning a bit to someone that besows gift and/or favors and to include the idea of patron saints. During the 14th century the meaning shifted yet again to a person with wealth or power that supports institutions or individuals in the arts, etc. And in the 1600s it took on the additional meaning of “regular customer” (paraphrased from the Online Etymology Dictionary’s entry on patron). Although, since a female patroness can just be a patron (why do females need special words to denote that they are female?), patron goddess sounds much better than patroness deity. Certainly, there may be some goddesses that don’t mind being identified as a married woman, but there are so many more that would. Please, stop calling your patron goddess Athena or Artemis a wife.

Or you could borrow a Heathen term and go with fulltrui/a, which means “completely trusted” (although that is sure to offend some people too).

Two blog posts I think you should read:
“When Someone Leaves Paganism” by Jason Mankey @ Raise the Horns(Patheos)
“Faith and Belief” by Yvonne Aburrow @ Sermons from the Mound (Patheos)

Currently reading: Right now I’m reading Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans by Ceisiwr Serith on my brand new pretty pink Kindle. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately of on human migration, cultural evolution, and the origins of religion (Supernatural Selection: How Religion Evolved by Matt Russo, The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World by David Anthony, Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade). Next on my list is First Migrants: Ancient Migration in Global Perspective by Peter Bellwood and Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings by Jean Manco…with some fluff reading thrown in for good measure!

Herb of the Day:
So, I had totally planned to talk about labrador, which is totally one of my favorite northern herbs, but when I came back from a break to work on this “cowslip” totally neon flashed in my brain. So cowslip it is! I know very little about cowslip, and have never seen it in real life…I’ve never lived anywhere that it did, so we’ll see what we can dig up!


Cowslip, or Primula veris, is a perennial flowering plant native to much of Europe and Asia (and introduced to eastern Canada and the northeaster US, not sure if its a problem invasive though) that is carachterized by a flat rosette of bright green leaves (I’d need a closer look, but I think I’d call them spatulate or obovate…its hard to tell from the pictures I’ve seen) with a single flower stalk and bunch of yellow flowers. There are other species with similar common names, for example (here in the US), members of the family Dodecatheon are sometimes called “American cowslip”, as is our marsh marigold, so don’t get them confused! They prefer boggy or moist places to grow.

Historically, the flowers have been used for their nervine properties (and in wine) and the leaves as a culinary herb. I’ve also read that the dried root has been used for respirtory ailments. According to my favorite forager (Deane @ Eat the Weeds), the flowers can be used in wine, jam, pickles, or fresh as garnish, and the leaves make great fresh greens or to make tea. Magically, cowslip is said to help one retain (or rediscover) their youth (in a potion or salve the flowers are said to get rid of wrinkles, acne, sunburn, and freckles), for healing (the leaves are said to make a good poultice), and for protection.

Navy Fact of the Day, International Edition:
Three ships have been named for the cowslip: The USCGC Cowslip, USS Cowslip, and HMS Cowslip–one for the US coast guard (decommed in 1973), another for the US Navy (in the 1863), and a third for a WW II British ship used to chase submarines (the entire class of these anti-sub ships were named for flowers)!

A random conversation in our family:
(In the car with Sharkbait and Chickadee)
Sharkbait: Mom, do you have your speeding ticket* yet?
Me: Ummmm…what? I don’t have a speeding ticket.
Sharkbait: Uh-HUH! I was there. The po-lice man gave you a ticket. Did you buy it yet?
Chickadee: Mom, I think he wants to know if you paid for it yet.
Sharkbait: Yeah, did you buy it yet?!?
Me: Yeah, guys. I paid for it a couple of weeks ago.
Sharkbait: Thats great momma!
Me: Great? Why is that great? It was expensive!
Sharkbait: Well now you can speed! You got a ticket that says so!!

*When we went to visit Hubby the last time, over the 4th of July weekend, I was driving his car (because the AC works) which doesn’t have cruise control, instead of mine (which has cruise, but no AC) and I got a speeding ticket when I looked down to change the radio station and missed a speeding limit sign (for a speed trap that I totally knew about but forgot was there).

Quote of the day (+2): You are what you read (a parting thought)

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

~Albert Einstein

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

~Dr. Seuss

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”

~William Styron