Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blue Moon Celebrations ... and time-out

Blue Moon Altar, Friday, August 31, 2012

The Blue Moon this past Friday marked the end of summer busy-ness for me. I was able to celebrate it with several of my very best friends, and we had such a wonderful time. The Blue Moon is a magickal bonus every three or so years, which we decided to use its power to bring something good to ourselves, to our friends and to the world at large. Our altar is full of gifts we made for each other, offerings to the Goddess, and symbols we each find meaningful. We each added Blue Moon water from a Blue Moon ritual we attended six years ago to fresh water (in that giant martini glass), and let it soak up the special Once In a Blue Moon power. We toasted with Blue Martinis in singing chalices (they're like singing bowls, but more chimey), wrote our wishes for ourselves, friends & family, and the world on bay leaves, and offered them up in Mystic Fire. We painted a canvas with a picture of the six of us from a gathering last spring (one my friend Esther is enshrining in homemade quilts for each of us ... you can bet I will be posting pictures when she's finished with them!). It was a beautiful, amazing night full of sisterhood.

And with the passing of the Blue Moon, I am ready for fall, and for a self-imposed time-out from social activity. It's just been non-stop this summer, and I am ready to withdraw a bit, to ground and center, to clean out both the proverbial and literal clutter. I've got one more very important event, my son's wedding, which falls on Mabon. I made the invitations, and am responsible for the bridal party flowers as well as the table dressings, which I am looking forward to making. Then I can focus on my time-out, and of course spend as much time as possible with my precious grandbaby girl, Serenity.

Serenity Lee Marie on the Blue Moon, August 31, 2012, age 4 mos
I just LOVE this baby! Isn't she munchilicious?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Currently today ...

Listening to:
 As soon as I can get iTunes to open, I will be listening to Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong ... again. I've come to the conclusion that I especially love smooth jazz, and need to expand my collection.
Eating: As soon as High Nooner gets here, I'll be eating a Reuben with a chicken bow tie noodle salad and some carrot cake.

Drinking: Water.
Reading: The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living, by Martin Clark. This is one of several books I've been reading, but put down for various reasons. I'm about a quarter of the way through it, and it's got some weird stuff in it, but it moves a little slow. I keep waiting for it to pick up and get going, as the weird stuff totally intrigues me, but thus far it hasn't.

Watching: Mad Men. Totally addicted. At first it was almost offensive, because it is chalk full of misogyny, bigotry, and a metric s**t-ton of double standards, but considering it's set in an ad agency on Madison Avenue in New York in the 60s, not having those aspects would be unrealistic. The show is really a study of the human condition. I love that there are no real villains, only people being people, and sometimes good people do bad things. Each character is multi-dimensional, and not a single one is perfect.
Wearing: Red tshirt and gray chinos.

Thinking: There are a lot of judgmental people who would rather shoot first and ask questions later. These same people often use the Bible to support their actions ... which just sounds ludicrous to me. It's a total pet peeve of mine ... I just can't stand this kind of thinking.

Feeling: Glad that I am alone in the office today, or at least our little part of the office. I enjoy that.

Wanting: A Mystical Martini.
Needing: My lunch to arrive! Well I was gonna say that, but they just got here. Now I need to eat it.
Enjoying: The Housewives Tarot. It may seem like novelty, but I've been giving some amazingly insightful readings with it.

and, the Weather: 51 (high of 53), raining. Yes, it's June in the Inland Northwest. Our weather gets nice after the 4th of July, usually mid-80s to upper 90s.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Magickal DNA

My son came across this picture several years ago when we were going through my Grampa Hank's stuff in preparation for moving him to an Alzheimer's facility in Spokane. I'd never been close to my grandfather, and I knew very little about his family other than that he'd had a sister who was 15 years older than him. It was a bit shocking to see this for the first time ...

Me on left (May 2012, age 38), Great Aunt Evelyn on right (circa 1934, age 18)
 It still gives me a bit of a start every time I look at it, and it's fun to watch other people's reactions when they see it. Change my 'doo and that's me! DNA is a magickal, funny thing ...

Monday, June 18, 2012

10 Things I love, Monday edition

Starting the week off with 10 Things I Love:
1. Amazon. I really try to purchase things locally, but when it's something that can only be purchased at a giant corporate owned store, I'll save money, time and gas buying it online. I also love the availability to buy used merchandise here as well.

2. Mondays alone in the office. Some people don't understand this, but I love being able to work alone, no boss or co-workers. Mondays I am generally alone in the office, and it's great.

3. Thunderstorms. Because they are AWESOME.

4. Prairie skirts. Casual enough for home, dressy enough for work (in a business casual environment).

5. Baby smell ... my grandbaby girl smells so good!

6. BeeCount app on Android. I use this for nearly all my knitting projects. It's especially handy when working from a chart and when several repeats of the chart are required. It keeps track of rows, and the rows can be set to automatically increment the chart repeats when a specific number of rows are completed.

7. Ravelry. The best place ever to store and find knitting and/or crochet projects. People post their projects, project pictures, as well as notes on level of difficulty, yarns used, any corrections they may have made in the pattern, etc. I have found all my knitting projects by utilizing this site.

8. Fark. It's my go-to place for a giggle. People send in links to news articles, but make up their own headlines. Farkers are hilarious, and I love the comments on the Politics tab. Some are pretty insightful.

9. The versatility of spinach. It can be put in eggs, soups, casseroles, tacos, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, etc., etc. I love putting it in smoothies for an added serving of veggies. My smoothie recipe:

In a blender, add the following in order given, cover, puree until smooth:
3/4 Cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 Cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 Cup frozen blueberries or mixed berries
1-2 big handfuls of spinach
Honey to taste (I personally don't think it needs sweetening, but add some if you need to!)

10. Apartment Therapy. They update a LOT, but I just love it for ideas and inspiration on all things decor.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I want to paint my house purple

I need to paint my house in a bad way. My house has steel siding, which was originally this lime green color that I painted over with beige. Eleven years later the beige is looking like I only gave it one coat, all nasty and ghosty.

Since then, my neighbors have resided their house in beige siding. My neighbors on the other side painted their house yellow. I am so tired of boring old house colors: white, beige, yellow and blue, with the occasional red or green. Ugh. I am a witch. I want something witchy, but at the same time I don't want my neighbors to hate me ... we get along, I'd like to not have them thinking "What the hell were you thinking?!" I mean, if they do, oh well, but I'd really like them not to. And also I have to match that ugly ass green aluminum tile roof. This is the kind of roof that lasts FOREVER, but the color is probably the last thing I personally would have chosen. I hear you can paint aluminum tile rooves, but there is not a chance in Hades that I'm getting up there to paint it, and I'm sure Rick feels the same way (affording someone else to do it is not an option at this time).

So what goes with green? Pink, purple, various shades of red (not that I want my house to look like Santa's), and I need to paint it something that can fade a bit and not look awful. I am not a pink kind of girl, so that is not an option. I could see how it would look sorta cool in a retro way, but it's really not my thing. So purple. Again, I need to keep the color in line with that ugly roof, so I'm thinking a dusty more plum shade of purple might be the ticket.
So I start browsing paint companies online, and Sherwin Williams has a great site where you can upload a photo and play around with colors. Here is my house in what I think is a really nice, unoffensive purply plum color, "Quixotic Plum". What do you think? I think it's a nice subtle change.

I think if I was someone who put lots of decor and stuff like that outside, I'd probably say 'screw it' and just paint it any old wild color I feel like, because it would just work. But I'm not really that way ... though I'd like to be. Who knows what the next 10 years will bring?

Attitude of Gratitude

Had a few boomers yesterday, but Thor is underperforming. I imagine I would feel differently if I lived in the South or the Mid-West, but I don't, so Thor, I am disappointed in you.

Something I have been doing on Facebook is a list of 5 things I am thankful for each day. It's really sort of my way of actively pursuing "The Secret", and taking to heart Neale Donald Walsch's teachings in Conversations with God. My goal is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I think attitude is one of our biggest magickal tools, it affects our motivation, our intent, our ability to give and receive, everything. If we are constantly complaining about our lives, focusing on what is missing, well ... that's all we'll ever see. But if we focus on all that we do have, and are aware of and thankful for all of the blessings already present in our lives, then we'll be much more aware of new blessings as we receive them. Even those blessings in disguise, you know what I'm talking about ... those things that seem awful at first that turn out to be the best thing ever. Like when your teenage son says "Mom, my girlfriend is pregnant," and you think, "Oh shit." But then they both stop being teenage boneheads, they get their butts in gear, and they grow up and take responsibility. It's pretty cool stuff (and their baby girl is AMAZING!). It's also a form of passive magick, or as I like to call it, Magick, Laxy Lazy style.

A few friends have followed my lead and are posting their own lists, which I think are really fun to read. I like to think I started something beneficial. So here's my list for today:

5 Things I am thankful for today:
1. I'm hostessing an unofficial Stitch & Bitch tonight, and I get to see my friend Denise, whom I haven't spent any time with in forever. Looking forward to seeing her and meeting the other ladies in her knitting/crocheting circle.
2. Today is my Friday. I love working 4 tens and always having 3 day weekends.
3. My sister is feeling better.
4. Rick and I get to visit our grandbaby girl, our sweet little Pinky Marie (her nickname, because that delicate little pinky is always out. It's the cutest thing!), on Saturday at my son's and her mom's graduation party.
5. My co-worker is going to lunch at Bangkok Thai, and she's bringing me Tom Kha Kai (Chicken Coconut Soup) and Neur Pad Num Mun Hoi (Beef in Oyster Sauce). That Chicken Coconut Soup is freaking YUMMM-OH!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday ... Turmeric, Kindle, Monster Feet

Got somewhat of a decent thunderstorm last night... well, it was just barely polite. If it had any manners at all it would have rattled the windows and made the lights flicker. Thor is not living up to my expectations. You'd think his mamma didn't raise him right.

Listening to:
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong ... this kind of music makes me a little nostalgiac for "the gold old days". Not that I would want to transport back to a time when women "shouldn't worry their pretty little heads" over "men's business", when domestic violence was completely ignored, when people of color didn't have civil rights (including Ella!), nor did LGBT folks. No, I mean it makes me nostalgiac for the glam, because everything had style then. The cars, airplanes, trains, ovens, alarm clocks, just everything. I love style of that era. But hell no, I'll keep my rights and my smart phone, thank you very much.

Eating: Nothing at the moment, had oatmeal with blueberries, ginger, cinnamon, coconut milk and turmeric, and a boiled egg with salt & pepper. Turmeric? On oatmeal? Well, I tweeked my neck on Sunday, and rather than taking ibuprofen by the handful, I'm taking turmeric. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory (which is 2000 times more effective when combined with black pepper). A medicinal dose is about a teaspoon a day, so I've been putting it on everything. And it works! I took some ibuprofen for a headache on Sunday (the self induced kind you get from too much wine), but haven't needed to take any since. Turmeric is working it's magick.

Here is the entry for turmeric in my grimoire:
Protective herb that promotes healing in general. Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, blood thinning, prevents and fights cancer (blocks formation of cancer causing enzymes), prevents plaques forming in the brain which cause Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases, helps to prevent spider veins and regrowth of varicose veins, treats all types of arthritis, improves metabolism, weight maintenance, lowers insulin resistance, promotes healthy liver, helps to balance hormones, treats skin sores.

Protective, warming herb, Mars and fire energy. Use for healing, protection, passion, confidence, commanding, courage, exorcism (this herb purifies the body), sensuality, spell-breaking, and strength.

Traditionally believed to contain the energy of the Divine Mother, cleanses the chakras, and used as a sacred herb in ceremonies to anoint the forehead (weddings, devotionals).

It's some all around good stuff! For more information, here is a pretty informative article (not the be all end all of research, but the author puts it together well: Turmeric: “The Golden Goddess” (by Lisa Gallant C.A.S)

Drinking: Morning nectar of the gods, ie coffee.

Reading: Saw a recommendation on a blog yesterday for The Flower Bowl Spell by Olivia Boler, and at $2.99 for a Kindle download I thought, why not? It's about a Chinese American witch, Memphis Zhang, who has the ability to see fairies, read auras, intuitively find people, etc. She's just a bit more magickal than the magickal norm. She denounces magick after a protection spell fails to protect her best friend, but the appearance of her dead best friend's brother suggests magick is not done with her. It's a light read with a little bit of a mystery, and I love Memphis down to earth attitude and sense of humor. I'm about a 1/3 of the way through.

Watching: Introduced my boyfriend to the movie Sling Blade last night ... it's a sad movie, but very, very, very good. Rick loved it, like I knew he would.

Wearing: Red tshirt and black linen skirt, super comfy.

Writing: This.

Thinking: I need to make the bed in the Magick Room, and bring up an end table from the basement on which to put an altar in my Craft Room.

Feeling: A little tired, would be a great day to sit on the couch watching a movie, reading and/or knitting.

Wanting: To knit these fun Monster Feet I saw on Yarnbombing.com. I have a chair in my living room that could use these! How fun!

Needing: To get my August renewals out the door at work.

Enjoying: My growing vegetable garden. This is the first year I've grown a vegetable garden since I was a kid. I'm growing pumpkins, acorn squash, bush beans, heirloom Italian tomatoes, basil, oregano, shallots, garlic, red bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, rainbow chard, celery, and spinach.

and, the Weather: 59 (high of 67), cloudy, rainy, isolated thunderstorms.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Busy life ... drama and blessings

It's been forever since I've posted anything ... the last few months have been busy, and my attention has been focused on other things, like trying to figure out how to get the facility paid where my grandfather lives because there is a month gap from when he ran out of money to when Medicaid kicked in. So far I've got nothing. I'm buying lottery tickets.

Had to lay down a boundary with a friend, and I think I didn't do the best job of it. I'm not sure I could have done a better job though. I felt like I was being collared and put on a leash, so I had to put my foot down, and this person is really, really, really not happy with me. I've struggled to explain my feelings, but they are unacceptable to that person. I don't know that the friendship will survive, I do know that I am not willing to sign the contract by which this person expects friends to abide. I'm still quite angry with this person, it's been in my dreams almost every night, so I think a ritual is going to be needed to really let it go. I need to be able to bless it and send it away.

The GOOD news is that my grandbaby girl entered the world on May 7th at 7am. Serenity Lee Marie, our pretty little Taurus, Sagittarian moon, Gemini Rising baby girl. She is beautiful! We are all so incredibly in love with her. Her mommy and daddy are in awe of their creation. We are looking forward to watching her grow and witnessing the person who is Serenity. I am a very happy and proud Nonna, and Rick is a very proud Papa!

Came across a fun blogging tool for when you don't know what to post (thank you Dianne Sylvan). It keeps you writing ... so here it goes:

Listening to:
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Eating: Just finished a pack of Trader Joe's Omega Trek Mix.

Drinking: Water.

Reading: I have so many books going right now, latest Kindle download is Drift, by Rachel Maddow. I just love her. I admire her intelligence, strength and her diplomacy, as well as her ability to call bullshit when she sees it.

Watching: Nothing at the moment, saw Season 5 Episode 1 of True Blood last night, and watched The Avengers, which had some pretty funny moments.

Wearing: A white prairie dress with extremely delicate fabric that is trying to disintegrate. I'm refusing to let it.

Writing: This.

Thinking: I wish I was independently wealthy.

Feeling: My neck is hurting, tweeked it the other day. Discovered the wonder of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory, and it's feeling soooo much better than it would if I was just taking ibuprofen, and without the added strain to my kidneys!

Wanting: $6,500 to pay the facility where my grandfather lives.

Needing: To mop the floors in my house. It is far, far, far overdue.

Enjoying: I never thought I'd say it, but this being a grandmother stuff is pretty cool. I love being Nonna!

and, the Weather: 68, mostly cloudy, possible thunderstorm this evening. They keep saying that, and we get nothing but some little rumbles that can barely be heard. I want a big boomer! The kind that rattles the windows! (And for everyone to be safe and enjoy the storm!)

*Photo taken by my 5 of Clubs sister, Alison, when Serenity was 2 weeks old. Alison offers professional senior, family, and baby portraits in the Spokane area.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Knitting ... Laxy Lazy Style

I was mostly housebound for the month following my Bella Bug getting totalled, and had to find something to do to keep my busy. I had been trying to crochet something, and was at the craft store looking at yarn when my honey, who was quite impatient for me to hurry the hell up so he could get the hell out of there, looked down and saw the book Stitch N'Bitch by Debbie Stoller. He thought I'd dig the name, so he showed me the book. I had been wanting to learn how to knit, and so I bought the book ... and that's what I've been doing since.

You see, the truly wonderful thing about knitting is that I can create something while being super lazy. I LOVE this! I can sit on my couch, knitting away, and watch movies, talk on the phone, etc. What I can't do while knitting are things I don't want to be doing too much of anyway, namely eating and drinking, so this is a win win for me.

One of the things I was directed to right away was Ravelry. I love this site, and it's fun to post about my projects and my progress, plus it's nice to keep track of things there. It's sort of like keeping a portfolio or a journal of what you've done. I haven't had to ask for help yet, as I've found everything I need thus far either in Stitch 'N Bitch or I've been able to google it, but I've seen others post in the forums there and get plenty of help. Here are a few of my projects:

Knitting can be a bargain for something that is better quality than much of what you can buy, like a hat or gloves or a scarf, but it can also get spendy for projects needing multiple skeins of yarn, like a sweater calling for 15 skeins. A skein of yarn can cost anywhere from around $2.50 on up to over $20. The key for me is finding projects, putting them in my queue (on Ravelry), and budgeting for them. For example, I want to knit a sweater for my honey, which calls for 15 skeins of yarn. I've got to save up the cash to buy that many all at once (need to be the same dye lot), because spending $75 - $100 on one thing is difficult for my budget. Fortunately there are a lot of discounts available on the web, and I receive some great coupons via email from Joann's. On the other hand, I can knit a hat out of one skein - that's about $5 for a hat. My next project is a pair of gloves for my honey, which cost $8 for the yarn, pretty decent price for handmade wool gloves. The time? I enjoy it, so am happy to do it!

I've only made one thing for myself thus far, and honestly, I really like making stuff for other people (my yet-to-be-born granddaughter is the recipient of the 3 other things I've made), so I'm hoping I can start getting commissions to support my habit. I just love it!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Ends with a crash & a bang

Well, I ended 2011 with a crash and a bang, literally. A deer decided to jump out at the side of my car, and my instant reflex was to swerve away from it. Big mistake. The next 3 seconds I remember in slow motion: the deer, the road, the feel of my car as it fishtailed, the wheel when it caught the side of the road, the flip, and then it was like in Willie Wonka when the boat is going and going and going, and then it stops, that fast. Bam, done, stop. And I'm hanging upside down, the windshield, which used to be about 2 feet from me (you sit smack in the middle of a VW New Beetle), is now about 6 inches from my face.

Thanks to my seat belt, German engineering, and luck, I walked away from it with just a few bumps and bruises. My Bella Bug was not so lucky ... may she rest in peace. I miss her. She was my favorite car EVER.

So, I'm carless for the time being. I thought about buying a bus pass, but they're $45! I can pretty much walk just about everywhere I need to go, but not necessarily to all of the places I want to go. I live 23 blocks from work, all uphill. Takes me 30 minutes to walk to work, and 40 minutes to walk home. I figure I'll split the difference - walk to work and take the bus home. It's light in the morning, and I'd rather not walk that far when it's dark. Fortunately we've had quite a mild winter thus far. If the weather changes, I may end up buying that bus pass.

My enforced exercise regimen for 2012, at least until I find another vehicle. But on the bright side, until I get a new car, I get to see this every morning on my walk to work: