My new favorite tumblr: Bookfessions
And another site I found: Makes Me Think
First spot ‘o’ tea today: Lemon Balm
Too much to do and not enough time, money and energy to want to do it! I’m feeling frazzled and I’m in need of mental soothing…
Last night, Sharkbait took one of the tube-like extender attachments off the vacuum cleaner and the foam from one of the foam curlers I had gotten for Chickadee (she wants curlers for one of her dress-up outfits) and turned it into a “dart gun”. Miss February thinks he might have gotten the idea from watching Night at the Museum. It sort of makes me wonder…this difference in raising girls and boys. Chickadee took my belly-dancing jingle belt and a sarong and has declared herself Sacajawea; but Sharkbait has improvised weapons MacGuyver style.
Political Shit that Pisses Me Off: Todd Aiken
This idiot seems to think that women can’t get pregnant if they are *really* raped. I’m not sure what makes Todd Aiken think that he is a qualified medical expert on the physiological workings of a woman’s reproductive system who knows better than actual medical experts and scientific studies, and (quite honestly) I’d be afraid to find out. Thinking like is dangerous for all women, because it reinforces the false idea that women that get pregnant from rape somehow “wanted it”. By denying that women can become pregnant from rape, anti-abortion advocates seek to eliminate one of the exemptions that most reasonable people (even if they disapprove of abortion) are in favor of. It seems a lamentable Freudian slip of the tongue, to claim that only “forcible” rape is “legitimate” (because we all know that is what he really meant)…not to mention such an ignorance of basic biology (ironic considering the House committee he sits on) to be used as an misogynistic continuance of anti-woman propaganda.
Moment of Zen: Silence
We live in an increasingly noisy society in which most people seem to be afraid of silence. We fill our space up with noise–radio, television, the hum of electronics and automobiles, and we forget how to listen to ourselves and to silence. We cover up our inner thoughts and our dreams and sometimes even our conscience with the sound of what so-and-so wore to an awards ceremony and what such-and-such did (or didn’t do) to deserve to be elected. We cover ourselves in clinging words and sounds that express somebody else’s reality and allow them to simply reshape our image of ourselves, instead of creating ourselves from the inside out.
Silence can be scary (particularly when we are with other people). Once we remove the artifice of other people’s opinions tunneling into our psyche, once we remove the distraction of humming lights and blaring horns, what do we have left of ourselves? Try sitting in silence, without any particular focus or goal or meditation. Just sit (or lay down, stand-up, whatever) and listen to yourself—feel your body, exist in your own thoughts, and inhabit your space…without distraction for just a few minutes. Be comfortable in silence.
Recipe of the Week: Sweet and Spicy Cabbage
1 mediumish head of cabbage, very thinly sliced into pieces about 2 inches long
thinly sliced yellow onion (optional)
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c sugar
Drizzle olive oil (butter is yummy too) in the bottom of a skillet on high and add in the cabbage (if you are using onion as well, put it in first and let it get a head start) and sprinkle with a bit of salt (some minced garlic is also good here). After a minute or two, turn down the heat and add in the apple cider vinegar, water and vinegar (it should be at a simmer). Add cayenne pepper to taste (sometimes we also add chili powder, and we’ve even done habeneros). Also, you may need to add a bit more sugar, apple cider vinegar, or water, depending on your flavor preferences and the amount of cabbage you actually have cooking.
Tarot Card of the Week: Queen of Cups, reversed
The Queen of Cups is the Queen of emotions–emotional security, intuition, emotional independence and control. At her best, she is nurturing, loving, compassionate and capable. Reversed, she is petty, emotionally immature, selfish, jealous, and needy. In a spread, the Queen of Cups can represent an inner tendency of moodiness, or a person that is well-meaning but ultimately unreliable. The Queen of Cups can also act as a warning against action with a person that is emotionally manipulative or prone to co-dependency.
Parting thought: on Compassion…
“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Random thought: Now that I am done with the Pagan Values Event blogs, I think I’m going to get back to blogging some of the Delphic Maxims…I think I might do a “Maxims Mondays” for a while, and maybe even move on to different sort of maxims once I’m done with the Delphic ones.
Another random thought: The hubby let me know that there is a possibility of his being sent to Georgia for three months for a job. I’m not entirely sure how thrilled about this I am (or am not), right after I started a new job. If my babysitter gets the job she just interviewed for, its likely that I might have some daycare issues to deal with a couple days of the week.
Love Where You Live Moment of the Week: So…if you are regular reader, you know that I feel strongly about the idea of loving where you live as an active devotion. In that spirit, I’m going to try to feature either something that I love about where I live or something about someone else loving where they live as part of my weekly Musings post.
This video was done by some friends with another friend of theirs that recently got out of the Navy as his farewell to Norfolk. Norfolk’s official mascot/icon/avatar/symbol is the mermaid…and I love mermaids. I also love community based artwork…and Norfolk’s mermaids are the perfect example of both.
Oh yeah, and something that makes my day: The Affordable Care Act stands!!! Or, as I like to call it, RomneyCare.
Quote of the Day (literally, a statement made today regarding the above):
“Unitarian Universalists hold among our principles the affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. As people of faith, our principles call us to speak up for those who have been silenced, forgotten, or pushed aside in our society. Today, I am proud to say that we and our allies in social justice have been heard. Health care is not a luxury; it is a fundamental human right. And while we celebrate today’s decision, we also will continue to advocate for this fundamental human right until it is available to all who seek it.”
And something that bums me out: The Supreme Court decision I’m upset about…
Poem of the Week:
Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblin’s gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I’ve had to make myself.
(“Magic” by Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends )
Deity of the Week:Psamathe (Ψάμαθη)
Psamathe is a Nereid, one of the sea nymphs of Greek mythology that were the daughters of Nereus (the oft named “Old Man of the Sea”) and Doris (an Oceanid), and allies of Poseidon. Psamathe, whose name means “sand goddess” is a deity of the beach. Psamathe is the mother of three children, a mortal son by the name of Phokos with the mortal Aiakos, and the sea nymph Eidothea as well as a son by the name of Theoclymenus with the Titan Proteus (a servant of Poseidon). One of the moons of Neptune is named for her.
Crafty Coolness: Check out this cross-stitch of Lord Frederick Leighton’s Psamathe painting! I would love to have the patience to cross-stitch something like that! I might add that Lord Frederick Leighton is quite the painter, and should be better known!
Tarot Card of the Week:
“In meaning, this card is about a pinnacle in prosperity: a family home bought and paid for, a business that can be passed onto one’s children. It can indicate someone’s retirement, dealings with elderly relatives, genealogy, or inheritances-large or small. It can be about antiques and other old, valued things passed down through the generations.
On a simpler level, the card can indicate passing things on, like removing all those old clothes cluttering up the closet and giving them to the homeless, surrendering that collection of stuffed animals to a children’s hospital or clearing out books from the overflowing bookshelves and handing them over to a local library. Though similar to the Six of Pentacles, this is not so much about generosity as it is about using your abundance (wealth) to leave a legacy.” (from the Aeclectic Tarot)
(the card is from Vision Quest Tarot deck)
Parting thought: I am NOT looking forward to work tomorrow–its supposed to be a scorcher–at least 100 degrees…and I’m mostly outside (and when I’m inside, there’s no AC). So I’m headed for bed and as much sleep as possible!
First Tea for the Day: Chamomile and Lemon Balm with a dollop of honey
Quote of the Day: And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. (Khalil Gibran)
Plug of the Week: So, my very very very awesome friend Kim just had her first art exhibit in Scotland (YAY KIM!!) and has opened up an etsy shop. She also has prints as well as skins of her artwork available for ipods and the such. Be sure to “like” her on Facebook, where she’s going to be doing a drawing/giveaway deal.
Herb of the Week: Milkweed (Asclepias sp.)
There are around 140 species in the genus Asclepias, which is listed as part of a subfamily of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). Milkweeds were named for the Greek god Ascelpius, for their role in folk remedies such as wart removal and blood clotting (external use of the juice of the plant, which contains a sort of latex). Many milkweeds, though a favorite food of Monarch caterpillars (and essential to the Monarch lifecycle), can be toxic if ingested improperly by most animals and humans (some tribes use these species to poison their arrow tips). Additionally, some people have a reaction to the sap of milkweed, even the relatively mild common milkweed.
Common milkweed (Ascelpias syriaca), according to Steve Brill, can be a “delicious wild vegetable” for the experienced forager. It looks quite similar to a dogbane, a toxic relative. Common milkweed grows in the eastern US–western species are toxic. The edible parts of the common milkweed include are the shoots in mid-spring, the flower buds and flowers in early summer and the immature pods in mid-summer. It should be boiled in two changes of water before preparation.
Paul Beyerl recomends milkweed as a garden plant to encourage nature spirits, and as a magical plant to enhance creativity and imagination, and assigns it the planetary correspondence of Jupiter. He also comments that milkweed can be used in child blessings, which (in my parental opinion) is a bad idea, due to its toxicity and risk of causing dermatitis.
Tarot Card of the Day: Two of Wands
The Twos not only speak of duality, but also of instinctual knowledge. You have accomplished much, now a choice is required. Will you continue on the same path, or veer off in another direction and enter into an unknown field.
A change in lifestyle or perhaps a change in a relationship is imminent. Perhaps something unexpected is about to occur. Using your intuition is important in how you handle an unforeseen situation.
Twos speak also of originality, boldness, personal power, commanding attention and respect from others. Wands meaning energy and creativity and passion, could also point to creativity of nature. Focused energy is needed to progress in a forward motion, to not be distracted.
from Aeclectic Tarot
This Morning’s Wildlife Spotting: Whelks
The beach has been a bit windy for the past few days, and we found a number of pretty sizable whelk shells. We can find a number of whelk shells on our beach including the knobbed whelk, the lightening whelk and the channeled whelk. A number of sea snail families are referred to as whelks (and whelks are often mixed up with conchs), but the family of so-called “true whelks” are in the family Buccinidae, of some 1,500 species world-wide. Many whelk species are edible and they even have a history of economic importance as currency.
Random thought before tea: Its interesting what money can buy…cars, boats, mansions, designer clothes, justice, elections. (written at 7:27 am)
What’s for breakfast: Summer porrige! (AKA Overnight oats, yogurt oatmeal, refrigerator oatmeal, etc)
I will be perfectly honest, they do take a bit of getting used to, texture-wise. But, they are tasty and nutritious and best of all (since its summer), NOT HOT and DON’T REQUIRE HEATING UP THE KITCHEN!!! Check out the recipes here, here and here. (written at 8:05 am, after feeding the kids breakfast, doing dishes and picking up a jar of marbles)
Deity for the Day: Sedna–Inuit goddess of the Sea and Mother of marine mammals.
There are several variations of her myth, but her basic story is that she was a beautiful (and either vain or independent) young woman who was taken (often kidnapped or in an arranged marriage) to be a wife by a hunter who ended up being a rather cruel spirit (often depicted as a raven or birdman).
Depending on the retelling, she either tries to run away before the marriage, or she tried to run away afterwards and at some point encounters her father whom either offers assistance or answers her plea for aid. Either way, they attempt escape by kayak and her husband gives chase and causes a storm to threaten them. In fear or desperation, the father throws her overboard and cuts off her fingers and then her hands when she tries to hold on, which become seals and whales and other sea creatures. Sedna sinks to the bottom of the sea and becomes the mother of all of the sea creatures.
Because part of her myth is that one of her favorite activities was to brush her hair (and having no hands, she cannot do so) that the way to gain her favor for the hunt was to travel to her with a comb and brush and braid her hair for her. (copied and pasted at 10:05 but actually written yesterday, in a comment on another blog post, I just edited it a bit…I’ve had Sedna on the brain again)
Tarot Card of the Day: Temperance from The Mythic Tarot
From the book: “Iris, guardian of the rainbow, suggests the potential for harmony and cooperation resulting in a good relationship or a happy marriage. We are challenged with the issue of learning to develop a balanced heart, while also being gently reminded that the Fool cannot remain forever even with the beautiful Iris, and must pass on to the next Moral Lesson.” (for more about the card) (written at 8:42 after phonics lessons and wrangling the witchlets into picking up their toys)
Herb of the Day: Bergamont
Bergamont can be grown from seed or from cuttings and prefers well-drained garden soil and full sun (but will tolerate a bit of shade). Its oils make it resistant to insect damage and its fresh leaves are lovely in an infusion or as a seasoning with pork and poultry, while the flower petals make a nice addition to salads. Bergamont is a masculine herb of Mercury and air; it corresponds with wealth and success. (written at 8:57 after refereeing a disagreement over monster trucks…and finally pouring my cup of tea)
The Big Picture: A while back I read a blog post (don’t remember where, though I think it was linked from Emily Matchar’s New Domesticity blog), which talked about how easy it is for bloggers to make their lives look domestically blissful. Their illustration was the difference between the close up and the big picture (see below). Emily’s blog often brings up the topic, sometimes likening it to a sort of housekeeping/crafty porn and often discussing how these sorts of blogs give us a warped sense of what life should be, versus what it really is (sometimes I wonder about this in homeschooling blogs).
I’ve occasionally mentioned how I try to resist this urge (sort of like cleaning the house frantically when someone calls and says they are stopping by) here, or trying not to be guilty of making this blog some sort of Pagan Good Housekeeping. The problem is that I think sometimes the blogging process itself facilitates this image, whether or not the blogger wants it to. You might notice that I’ve included a sort of “time stamp” below each section. Without it, this post would probably look like I just whipped it out of my arse with sparkles and roses…but in reality, it will likely take me about three hours or four hours to write this. (written at 9:32 after math lessons, vacuuming–again, and wrangling Sharkbait into underwear and out of his bike helmet for the seventh time today)
Random thought after tea: Its interesting what money can buy…cars, boats, mansions, designer clothes, justice, elections. (written at 10:30, after doing another round of dishes, finally finishing my cold cup of tea, watching Chickadee paint Sharkbait’s finger nails and writing the grocery list)
And finally…at 10:51, after starting a load of laundry and making a batch of play dough, I’m haphazardly proofreading before posting.
And finally (again)…at 10:57, after posting this, editing to add tags and all that stuff. And because I found a big boo-boo.