New Year New You 2016 (and 17…): Week 21 – Dressing For Your Future

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!

Instructions: “What do you see yourself doing in your picture of success? What are you wearing? What are you eating? What are you drinking? Where are you going for fun and for business? What do you smell like?Start doing those things!”
 
Tarot Card: The Magician, for sure, given all the associations with being able to call things into being (and also, a little bit, the stage-magic version where you can weave illusions as needed), but maybe also The Mirror (the “reflection” aspect of the Hanged Man).
Drawing on the work of a few Little Red Tarot contributors, Cassandra Snow says, of the Magician:

“The Magician represents being able to use the skills and resources at your disposal to create change in your life and the world at large. Delving a little deeper, this card also indicates creating through the law of attraction the life you desire.”

Likewise, Beth says of The Mirror:

“The Mirror asks us to surrender our will and be led by our deeper, more mysterious urges. This is a journey of self-discovery, with the mirror reflecting our inner selves.”

I think the High Priestess (this version touches so hard on my own understanding of my Whale Heart, you guys…) bridges the two quite nicely – being as she’s the one capable of traveling between those “deeper, more mysterious” parts of ourselves and the part of us that can interact with, and thus effect change in, the wider world – so maybe I’ll throw her in here as well.
 
ANYWAY. This prompt is… a weird one, given my Queen of Cups goals.
How does one dress to be more receptive? How does one dress to be vulnerable (open, willing, curious) but well-boundaried (protected, not being stupid about this).
I mean, my personal style has been pretty dialed in for years now (strictly speaking, it’s been dialed in since the 9th grade, it was just a matter of figuring out how to do it and pull it off), so I’m not going to kid myself about doing a complete overhaul now that I’m way closer to forty than twenty. As such, my approach to this is going to be more about tweaking things than about radically changing things up.
 
When I think about “dressing receptively”, what comes to mind are:
Negligees and possibly other soft, touchable things (diaphanous stuff, velvet stuff, stuff that invites touch, stuff that – important! – feels good against my skin, stuff that’s easy to undo)
AND
Hand-me-downs (e.g.: I’m wearing a skirt that I think used to be my mother’s, and a grey-and-black striped cowl-neck tunic that used to belong to a friend, and me being able to wear these items and make them mine involved an act of receiving, but also a willingness to be curious and opening to seeing what was in this or that bag of cast-off clothes, so)
 
But when I think about how I dress, and how I dress-in-my-day-dreams (see “personal style” link, above), my clothes fall into one of two camps:
EITHER
Yummy Mommy – full (circle/A-line) skirts, cropped cardigans, cleavage, hair flowers, up-dos, lipstick, and the strong potential for aprons if I’m at home
AKA
Earth Mama – cotton maxi skirts/dresses, messy braids, sandals, crystals, halter/cowl-neck tops, shawls, and probably an arm-load of fresh produce
OR ELSE
Office Domme – leather pencil skirts, ankle boots (with heels), pinstripes, intense accent colours (and lipstick), leopard print, fitted tops (not corsetry at all, but stuff with really good shaping), partial up-dos, and cropped jackets
AKA
Grown-Up Goth – leather jackets, black and grey palate, stripes and solids, loose hair, various boots, thigh-high socks (with visible skin), short skirts (or, sometimes, very long skirts), unfinished hems and other “ratty” details, eye-liner crayon, dangly metal earrings often featuring chains, spikes, or other hardware
 
And the thing about these is that… none of them are particularly “receptive”.
 
The first two are very approachable, very giving, they both hint at endless wells of abundance and available care. Which is great. I like projecting that image. It lets me come across as a Queer Auntie rather than Gay Mrs Robinson. It lets me be non-threatening in my hugeness. But they also carry with them (I think) a significant amount of “I got this, I will take care of you”.
 
The second two are… not very approachable at all. Like, they might send the message of “do what I say” and so, maybe, by extension, “give me what I want”… But they’re both kind of aggressive and a little bit (maybe more than a little bit) armored. The image (I like to think) they project is one of competence, hard edges, and “don’t mess with me”. They don’t exactly say “offer me consensual affection and/or gifts” (although they might, just occasionally, say “offer me tribute”).
 
So… Dressing receptively is… not something I’m actually doing. Nor is it something I know how to do.
I’m open to suggestions here, folks. O.O
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

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New Year New You 2016 (…and 17): Week 20 – Hearth Appreciation

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
 
Instructions: Do something nice for your home.
 
Tarot Card: The ten of earth, obviously. (This is one of my favourite cards in the Wildwood deck. It’s one of the ones that made me decided to get it, and it bears a certain resemblance to the “home base” of my psychic hearth, which doesn’t hurt).
 
So. This prompt. What Miss Sugar says about how it’s hard to keep all the chainsaws in the air? She’s right. And I can SO relate to the feelings of frustration, overwhelm, and unraveling that come with having a home whose mess has gone beyond my capacity to know where to even start.
I’ve spent a lot of the last year-and-a-bit doing the money-hustle (which has been going better over the past four months than most of the time previous there-to – so yay) BUT, no surprise, it’s meant that I’ve had a lot less time available to do hearth-tending than I typically like.
This past week, though, and the one coming have been blessed (uh… ish…) with less paid work than usual, meaning: yeah, less money, which is a problem, but also: MOAR TIME! I’ve been able to get out and work on my freaking poetry manuscript (thank you, gods!) AND I’ve been able to do some cleaning (beyond dishes) and canning (at all), which has me feeling a whole lot better. I’ve even managed to light my altars for the first time in MONTHS (bad pagan…) which, I gotta say, is SUCH a relief.
 
Tonight I’m cleaning my counter (dishes + a solid wipe-down of surfaces), prepping the first bunch of tomatoes for canning, lighting my altars again, and putting a bouquet of flowering apple mint out for the Ladies, because… I owe them some attention, frankly.
 
Anyway. Time to get on that. ❤
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Year New You 2016 (…and 17): Week 19 – Concrete Things

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
 
It’s been a little over eight months. I never, strictly speaking, finished my 2016 New Year New You practice, my Queen of Cups Project remains on-going. None the less, and even though a project like this is more likely to last years than to be easily wrapped up in one turn of the seasons, I still feel a bit like I’ve left a loose end flapping.
So here we are.
It’s been a whirl-wind of an almost-year. Body Time, to link back to the last post I made about this project, remains a work-in-progress BUT I keep getting better at it. I’ve pushed through tears and overwhelm and… actually been able to engage my body and FEEL THINGS, physically speaking, that I’ve been having trouble with for years. So that’s a big plus. 😀 Got a better handle (ish) on where my boundaries are and what I can do to feel like I’m taking care of myself, staying in control of a situation (not “driving off a cliff”, so to speak), and not just willfully setting myself up to get hurt.
Go me. 🙂
 
Instructions: This week’s prompt, over-due as it is, asks what (concrete) thing I can do to make my life better.
 
Tarot Card: I’m inclined to lean towards the six of fire, partly for its success connotations, for the boost of a (relatively) easy win, but mostly for its sense of abundance.
 
See, what I’m doing this week – this weekend, as it happens – is putting up 40 lbs of tomatoes for the winter. I’m just doing crushed tomatoes this year, nothing fancy, though I miiiiiight throw in some winter savoury from the garden (passion, sensuality, and sex, if you were wondering) and minced garlic (hella protection + more passionate, sexual stuff… I’m noticing a theme here). Assuming I boil off 10lbs worth of water, this should net me a little over 18 pints of crushed tomatoes, though it might be more than that. I admit, I hope so. The closer I can get this to $1/pint, the better. 😉
Canning tomatoes won’t change my life. I’ve done it too many years in a row for this to be earth-shaking. But it will make my life easier and happier in concrete ways – both right now (I like canning – shocking, I know), and over the next 12 months or so when a couple of days worth of effort (thank the gods for my food processor…) back in September will make the vegetables portion of our meals that much easier.
So that’s what I’m doing.
Wish me luck!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Full Moon – Zucchini Moon Crests (Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius) and Wanes

So, as will surprise nobody, I wrote this up about two weeks ago, when the moon was actually full, but am only getting around to posting it now – practically on the eve of both a new moon AND a solar eclipse.
Bear with me, folks.
 
~*~
 
Hey there!
So my own zucchini are doing NOTHING and my cucumber vine shrived and died. Meaning (again) I’m getting all my cukes and zukes from the grocery store and/or the farmer’s market this year.
NBD, but I’m looking forward to a time when I’m inundated with squash-type garden-fresh produce to the point where I’m calling my friends, friends-of-friends, and local soup-kitchens going “Can I offer you these grocery bags of home-grown zucchini? I have plenty to share!” ‘Cause that would be AWESOME.
My pumpkins seem to be doing nicely though, so there’s that. And my beans are just about ready to harvest! 😀
 
A friend of mine says that everyone she knows is a mess right now, so maybe my heightened anxiety stuff is just… Something’s in retrograde or something? I don’t even know.
 
Hoodwitch says “Eclipse season is about the powerful flow of feels”, so maybe that’s it. She also says “Be prepared to confront your ugly bits with compassion and strength.” And “strive to act in ways that reflect your integrity”, and advises (me, as a Scorpio, at least) to “Get grounded into the here and now so that you can notice if you’re reacting to something presently happening versus something tugging at your heart.”
 
Relevant.
 
Chani Says:
“Monday’s lunar eclipse will help you heal.
Whatever issues are in need of it. Whatever dynamics need dealing with. When you find that you need help letting something from your past go, ask for guidance. Ask for help. Ask for what you need to move forward in peace.
Mercury’s retrograde will be asking you to review your social roles, commitments and communications.”
 
So… That’s a thing. Not the Mercury Retrograde thing – that happens, what, four times a year? Easily?
No, I mean the OTHER thing.
 
You know how The Moon handles intuitive stuff, but it also handles repeating patterns?
 
Well, I’ve been having Feels (and Thoughts) about repeating patterns in relationships. How a shitty thing my brother said to me, about 20 years ago, is still rebounding around my psyche setting off tremors.
 
They only like you ‘cause you give them things.
 
This stuff came up during my life-coaching, last year. Stuff about feeling like I’m starting out all relationships (romances, friendships, you name it) “in the hole” or “owing” the other person just because they deigned to hang out with me. But I’ve also noticed a pattern (how 17 years later…) wherein all but one Person I’ve Dated has been relying on me for financial support and… I’m starting to wonder how to stop that from happening in future. Like, it’s one thing to be on Team Us and do what needs doing, but it’s another thing to notice that “team us” as actually been “us” not “team other person”… once? And that, given my history, that was probably by luck not by design. More second chakra crap, I suspect. :-/
 
On a (marginally? sort of?) related note: The Queens!
 
What really struck me about the descriptions in that link was the part wherein the Queen of Earth knows how to do SELF-care, and specifically because of that is ALSO able to do community care like a boss. I’ve always read it the other way around. Like, I start out learning how to take care of other people and… eventually this turns into me being able to take care of myself? Something?
 
Little Red Tarot has this to say about Aquarius Full Moon, btw: “During this Full Moon, we can’t not think about the collective, for one of the archetypes of Aquarius, the water bearer, is one that serves the collective. The Sun is in the sign of Leo, which is ruled by the Sun, the sign of the self. Here we are, trying to rise up into our best selves that can weave the most dangerously compassionate, enduring, uniquely creative webs into the world.”
 
Balancing what I need with what other people need.
 
This shouldn’t be so hard. :-\
 
~*~
 
Movement: Not nearly enough! BUT I did get to throw knives with a neighbourhood femme friend last weekend, which involved lots of throwing (which – unexpectedly – was good for my messed up back) and also lots of squatting (not so much – ow, my knees and hips), so I’ll definitely call that a work-out. 😀
 
Attention: As I said in my Lammas post, I’m trying to get my glam game back on track. Can I just say how utterly frustrating/irritating it is to be fighting up hill against a whole wodge of conditioning that says “keep yourself small (Ha! At 6’4” – that’s gonna work) and unnoticeable, and you won’t get hurt”. Holy crap, is that ever hard! But that’s the current project, so…
 
Gratitude: Having a spare room to offer a friend who needs some short-term crash space AND having on-hand the kind of food that it’s safe for her to eat. Getting to go for a motorbike ride with my wife, enjoying the breeze and stopping to look at the river for a bit. Such a lovely evening out! Having friends I can count on when I need to get things off my chest. Having friends who are game to sit down and do Writing Date stuff with me (and also give me feedback on my work!!!). Graeful for other witchy femmes (and non-femmes, tbh, but in particular the femmes) for just being visible and present and being My People. Grateful for a pumpkin vine with what looks like a solid two pumpkins developing rapidly! Grateful for being able to put chard up in the freezer, and for the week of work that’s let me restock on a LOT of kitchen staples (flour, tinned tuna, baking powder, and lots of other stuff) after running on empty for too long! Grateful for Pride Season arriving in Ottawa, for all the nifty things there are to do, and the way everyone’s turning their queer-viz up just a notch. It’s so great to see. ❤
 
Inspiration: Other witchy femmes, zomygoats! Whether it’s poetry, or seeing them get published, or running into them and chatting with each other, or even just SEEING US AROUND, it never fails to lift up my day and remind me (a) who My People are, and (b) give me a reason to keep being visible (keep working on my poetry and prose, keep blogging, keeping dressing to be spotted, keep being brave and putting my social self out there)! ❤
 
Creation: Have been pushing at The Novel again – sorting out some of the skeletal issues and plotting out the last quarter of the story. It’s, uh… I’m going to have to cut out a solid one, probably two, sub-plots (which will help drop the first third of the book down to manageable work-count size), but… I seem to be hitting my beats somewhat correctly in spite of that? Which is nice to see? Also, I have a knitting date semi-arranged, so maybe I’ll get some more work done on those stocking extensions. 😀

Lammas 2017 – Gonna Get My Girl Body Back (This is a Work in Progress)

You know what I’m doing for Lammas this year? I’m shaving my goddamn legs. That’s what.
My morning wasn’t great. Like: French Toast for breakfast is pretty swell, but doing it because you are SICK-SICK-SICK of fried eggs and toast, but that’s all you have? Less great. CREATIVE, maybe, but not great. Adding lemon curd definitely helped, mind you. 😉
 
Still.
 
Ms Sugar has a new post up about Lammas and creating rituals/rites/ceremonies that don’t focus on (a) adding extra heat to the kitchen, or (b) sacrificial dudes of the sun and grain. She’s using Juliet Capulet as a template here and… okay, this is a baby-girl who offed herself OVER A BOY inside of a week of turning 14. So the call be selective about Teenager Experiences is probably a wise one. >.> None the less, I get (I think) where she’s going with this.
 
So I shaved my legs. I put Wild Heart oil blend (made by a bath-stuff-supplies crafty vendor years ago, I don’t even remember who… sorry) because of the name, and because the licorice scent (anise essential oil, along with perum balsam and I don’t remember what the third bit is) of it makes me think of the anise hyssop I’ve been rubbing my fingers against, every chance I get, around town.
 
Last night, my wife, her girlfriend, and I went to Kontinuum – a sound-and-lights show set in an incomplete subway tunnel, down town. It reminded me a lot of the Rave Stuff that the CU architecture students used to do, back when that was still legal. The scafolding was for artistic purposes only (as in: will support light fixtures and speakers and screens NOT human bodies), but… Let’s just say I would LOVE the opportunity to go dancing in a club with support structures – gogo cages, fixed (pin in, so no rotation) stripper poles, barres, that kind of thing – so that me and my fucked back and knees could really get wild.
Ideally a Tea Dance (Like 2pm to 7pm) in the kind of place where the windows are all super blacked-out, so that the day-light can’t get in, possibly with a tunnel to make your way through – perhaps with beaded curtains or tactile not-exactly-obstacles – to help get people into the “we’re in a different world now” head space. Like: First we brunch then we dance (and possibly fuck-in-the-bathroom) then we sushi and cocktails, and then we fuck some more.
 
That would be great (good thing it’s Pride Month around here…)
 
So. For those of you who don’t know, the title of this post (other than the Lammas 2017 part) is also the title of an essay by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha (one of my favourite poets, and femme auntie extraordinaire). What does this have to do with Lammas?
Fuck all (well… wait for it…), except that I’ve been feeling gross and awful for ages, and I want to feel better!
So.
I’ve been glamour-boarding, in the name of reminding myself what I like and what I want to look like (and also to generate Ideas for this autumn’s Harvest) and it’s equal parts burlesque/pin-up, tribal fusion, JuneCleaver/JoanHolloway, leather/fetish/gothic stuff, pics of Lagertha/Valkyrie, and women with horns/feathers/claws. So… I haven’t changed.
Which is good to know.
But also: I miss having red hair.
I stopped dying it over a year ago. For… Reasons… >.>
Basically, I thought “Why am I dumping chemicals on my head if it’s not making me beautiful?” (yes, you read that right…)
And then I thought “If Laura Jane can be this beautiful, without dying her hair, and we have the same colouring… Maybe?”
…So I stopped dying it.
And now I miss it. I imagine ME, glamourous (you can define that as fascinating or powerful or sensual, because they all apply), and my hair’s the colour of old claret.
 
Ms Sugar talks about the Red Ladies. The goddess who handle sex, money, power, whoring, and sensuality. At least, my sunshine Lady certainly covers all those bases and her colour is RED (even if mine isn’t – in spite of the above “I miss having red hair” situation). And today is one of her feast days. So why the hell not, right?
Right.

Mid-July: In Which Everything Goes To Hell – A “Productive Home” Post

So! Erica, over at NWedible, is doing a Productive Home Weekly Report thing, and has invited people to chime in with their own productivity reports.
I’m… not totally fussed about tracking productivity. It feels a bit like giving myself a performance review. BUT, if I think of it as an opportunity to brag about the awesome-fun-cool stuff I’ve been doing/planting/harvesting/cooking/baking/canning/fermenting/etc chez moi that I’m really excited about… it gets a whole lot easier.
So here we go.
 
IN THE GARDEN there has been some planting, a tiny bit of harvesting, and a little bit of… building?
 
I rescued three cucumber plants and a zucchini from Certain Death in a neglected loblaws garden center… about a week ago. I transplanted them, plus one of my pre-existing but too-heavily-shaded-by-beans-and-radishes cucumbers and a couple of my probably-pumpkin plants to:
A new in-ground bed that I put together by piling up bolted mustard stems, overlaying them with some newspaper, and then emptying a bag of soil on top of everything.
They seem to be… mostly not dying? Which is sort of what I was going for. One of the (very small…) cucumbers is flowering, as is the probably-a-pumpkin (you can see both below). The zucchini occasionally tosses out a male blossom as well. I’m hoping that, by August, they will be blooming with the lady-flowers and starting to hint at bearing fruit.
 

Cucumber plants plus something that is probably a pumpkin, but might be a zucchini.  You can also see the bottom of the trellis I put up over the weekend.  We'll see if it holds and/or if anything manages to climb it.

Cucumber plants plus something that is probably a pumpkin, but might be a zucchini. You can also see the bottom of the trellis I put up over the weekend. We’ll see if it holds and/or if anything manages to climb it.


 
So there’s that.
 
I’ve given my daikon-radish “fence” a major haircut, so that the beans and eggplants and everyone else in that bed can actually get some light. This is less of thing for the Ground Cherries, which can handle a bit of shade (though my particular plant is probably getting too much from the tomatoes to produce much fruit. We’ll figure it out).
My jalapeno has three little peppers starting on it.
My eggplants have, between the two of them, three fruits developing.
My yellow bell pepper is… Let’s say I’m not holding my breath on that one…
But my tomatoes!
It’s been magnificently rainy this summer, and kind of on the cool side, so pretty much everything is moving slowly. I’m used to getting my first ripe cherry tomatoes, oh, about two weeks ago, and as of now, they’re all still green.
Which is fine. They’ll get there. Even if I’m bringing them indoors in October and letting them ripen next to an apple in the kitchen.
And look! This is my first year growing beefsteak tomatoes! I have… ANY! 😀
 
Beefsteak tomatoes, at the slightly-yellowish-green phase of edging towards ripening.

Beefsteak tomatoes, at the slightly-yellowish-green phase of edging towards ripening.


 
I’m pretty sure I’ve got at least one roma tomato, too, and the Big Tomatoes are in the ground, rather than the raised beds, so they’ve actually got enough root depth and aren’t getting themselves sick with blossom-end-rot and what-not. Hurrah! 😀 (Not that I’m counting my tomatoes before they’re ripe, or anything, but I’m hopeful, y’know?)
 
In further squash news: Danger Squirrel and company have eaten most, possibly all, of the waldham butternut and golden-zucchini seeds I planted, many months ago. But this bruiser that came up in the compost heap is, I’m fairly confident, a Fairy Tale Pumpkin:
 
Fairly confident that this is a Fairy Tale Pumpkin growing out of my compost heap, as squash are wont to do.

Fairly confident that this is a Fairy Tale Pumpkin growing out of my compost heap, as squash are wont to do.


 
Fairy Tale pumpkins are great, in that they are HUGE, and they finish ripening off the vine (like: harvest it when it’s dark green, streaked faintly with orange, at Samhain, but don’t cut it open until the rind is a milk-chocolate brown, around Imbolg). BUT they are not so great on flavour. Like ponca butternut (an ancestor of waldham butternut) and any zucchini you’ve ever left too long on the vine, a lot of their size is water. So they’re not great for things like pie or baked veggie side dishes where the squash flavour is something you care about. But they’re excellent for adding to braises and stews where the extra liquid will be soaked up by barley (for example) and the otherwise mild pumpkin flavour will be augmented by whatever else you’re cooking with it.
 
In other news!
My raspberry bush is FRUITING!!!
My raspberry bush is fruiting!

My raspberry bush is fruiting!


 
The friends who gave it to me warned me that it hadn’t fruited in all the years it had been in their yard. I said I was willing to give it a shot, as they wondered if being near other raspberries – like the ones in the alley behind my house – might encourage it to fruit.
That wasn’t what did it.
What did it was a big heap of bone meal dumped around the roots of the plant. Turns out, there was fruit (ish… proto-fruit) all along, it just needed some phosphorus and calcium to help the fruit develop into something that could actually ripen. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
😀
 
So I harvested a couple of raspberries from my own canes today. Hopefully more will follow.
Beyond that, I haven’t been harvesting a whole lot. There have been garlic scapes, the occasional bit of chard, a heap of snow peas(!!!) and the last of the radishes. Oh. And a sprig of mint for hibiscus iced tea. But that’s been it. I think there will need to be a kale salad in my near-future, though, as the Cavalo Nero is getting bigger, and could do with a trim.
 
IN THE KITCHEN there has been… not a huge amount of activity, honestly. And a bunch of stuff that didn’t work.
I tried to make a sour dough starter. Which started beautifully, but died very quickly, in spite of regular feeding. I think I must have been doing it wrong. (That said, if I can make a chef from scratch every time…? That wouldn’t be the end of the world…)
 
I wound up making “by any means neccessary” bread, using 1 tsp dry yeast + a cup of kefir and… you guys, it’s not good. Like, “it makes great toast” levels of not good. It looks beautiful, and smells awesome, but it tastes like, well, like a fermented milk product (which is not what I look for in a sandwich-canvas) and tends to get soggy REALLY easily.
 
Speaking of fermented milk products… my kefir got fruit flies. In the worst way. I had to toss the entire batch, plus about 1/4 of the actual grains, because I wasn’t able to separate them from the corpses of fruit flies gone to their fermented-dairy graves.
On the plus side, the grains I was able to save are still alive and kicking and making kefir, so I can keep churning out coffee cake and scones until the heat turns up in these parts. So there’s that.
 
The Ex is coming by in two weeks to collect all the stuff they’ve been storing in our basement (among other places), so my wife and I have been moving some things around. Our antique kitchen table is now The Bird Stand (it looks good there, and it means it’s not blocking the washer and dryer… not that the washer and dryer are hooked up or anything… >.>) and we are sorting out where to store all the bird food and bird toys and such-like. It’s a work in progress.
 
Which… So is the rest of the main floor. I know this section is about what’s going on “in the kitchen”, but our front room (when we moved in, it was – briefly – my wife’s workshop, and it’s been a never-quite-defined half-storage room ever since she got her own shop) is currently the staging area for both The Ex’s stuff and a bunch of items we’re holding for a friend who’s getting divorced and will need help with furniture and other stuff when the time comes. When that’s all been taken care of, we’re going to turn everything around in there, so that my desk is facing the window and the bistro set I’ve been referring to, somewhat hopefully, as “the dining room set”, will be moved into a more accessible area, so that we can actually, y’know, dine at it.
The living room is looking better than it has in a while (hurrah!) though there are still things that need touching up. The birds are fed and watered and have had their cages cleaned (and, in Fiona’s case, some of her stuff has been moved around… though not by very much. I don’t want her to get bored…), and the vacuuming actually got done, albeit not by me.
 
The kitchen, to drag this back onto the topic at hand, is still a mess. Moving the table into the living room means I’m out about six square feet of “shelf” space, and the counter is feeling the pinch (and, consequently, I am feeling the “Augh, I don’t know where to staaaaart!” that I feel whenever there’s no clear space to put something down).
I’m continuing to use up my crushed tomatoes and my salsa (I made SO MUCH last summer), but I have a LOT of preserves still to go through. Crab apple jam, pear and pumpkin butters, chokecherry-plum relish, jalapeno jelly, a jar or two of pickled beans (they’re lovely on sandwiches, but see above re: soggy bread), and a LOT of gifted preserves (delicious gifts, mind you) from other folks. I need to do an inventory, and I need to put up shelves. This might or might not be the summer that happens, but it needs to happen. I have too many empty canning jars and nowhere for them to live. Too many (Ha! Meaning two, at the moment!) fermentation projects on the go. It’s time to add more storage to the kitchen.
 
 
Anyway, so yeah. Not a whole hell of a lot going on in terms of house-hold productivity this week, but that’s where things are at. Did I mention I had a grease fire (small, put out quickly and easily with baking soda) AND boiled a pot dry today? I did. “Productive Home”, indeed. :-\
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Full Moon – Berry/Rose Moon Crests

Hey kittens,
 
So it’s been a while.
Can I tell you I’ve been feeling “distracted” for years? Like, very briefly, before we moved into our lovely new house (back in September 2014), I felt like I kind of had a handle on things, and I’ve been feeling like I’m playing Catch-Up ever since? I don’t know where this feeling is coming from. I mean, probably? Probably it’s a mix of scrabbling for money and the decrease in “free” time (and brain space) that comes with that.
Or maybe it’s something else.
I don’t know.
 
What I DO know is that my wife and I went on a Laundry Date today (yes, we have a washer and dryer, courtesy of a generous couple of friends; no, we haven’t re-arranged our own – somewhat-mousey, ugh – basement so that we can carry them downstairs and hook them up) chez the Laundromat.
We went for a motorcycle ride the other day. Can I tell you how amazing it is to have a vehicle again? Evne one that won’t keep you warm and dry, it still gets us to work in 15 minutes and lets us go away for the odd weekend, which is AMAZING.
 
I put in another in-ground garden bed yesterday. Planted rescue-cucumbers (discounted to $0.54 at the Loblaws, and probably not getting watered anymore) and a rescue zucchini, plus transplanted a few cucuberits (one cucumber, two… probably pumpkins? Not sure…) into the same bed and sprinkled bone meal around all of them.
I can’t say I’m super-hopeful about any of them taking off. That family doesn’t like having its roots disturbed, plus the super-market starts had been neglected for a while and it’s not like my yard is super-amazing in terms of soil nutrients. Mostly what grows in the ground is (a) self-seeded mustard greens, (b) dandelions, (c) cats’ ears, (d) yarrow, and (e) creeping charlie. Stuff that feeds lightly and/or has hella tap-roots. But, frankly, I have fertilizer (well, bone and blood meal) and I’m not afraid to use it.
 
On the more more hopeful end of things, I’ve pulled out most of the bolted mustard and radishes (few of which ever developed big, juicy roots, ’cause apparently they don’t like being transplanted either) and my chard now has a LOT more space. I’m hoping that between the additional breathing room and the on-going heavy rains (and sunshine, every now and then!), I will get myself some very healthy chard and kale… right up until November. Fingers crossed!
Likewise:
I seem to have one jalapeno pepper (so far), one eggplant (so far), three beefsteak tomatoes, one roma tomato, and a TONNE of cherry tomatoes slowly developing as actual fruit. I am hopeful that things will continue in this vein! 😀
We are continuing to get LOTS of herbs (sage, cilantro, apple mint, winter savoury, and garlic scapes, all of which I’m harvesting. The lemon balm and the peppermint seem to be doing nicely as well, but I won’t be harvesting them (much) this year, so that they can get well-established). The French Sorrel seems to be doing nicely, too, though I would still like to get some Leaf Sorrel (MUCH bigger leaves) added to the mix.
 
I harvested raspberries from the alley this morning! I still haven’t gone out to pick service berries. I honestly don’t know if I will. Part of me wants to, and part of me is all “Meh. I haven’t actually used up the ones from last year yet…” so… not sure. But if I do, I need to do it THIS WEEK or I’m out of luck.
The cherries look like lipstick trees! (This is such a great time of year).
 
 
My tracking of Full Moon Energy Weird is… not currently registering a whole lot? So we’ll see what this looks like when mapped over multiple months.
 
So, here’s a thing I’ve started to notice. I do a “spare cards” pull at the end of every tarot spread. Doesn’t matter what lay-out I’m doing, I pull an “Advisor” card (top of deck), plus an “over-arching influences” (top of deck), and an “under-lying influences” (bottom of deck) card to go with it.
What I’m noticing is that these cards tend to provide the jist of the answer I’m asking for. Like, the entire rest of the reading boils down to detail-work, but the answer is in those three cards.
Like, last months (just barely posted) Full Moon post included a very short tarot reading, and the “context cards” made more sense than the actual (two cards only) spread.
Likewise, I recently did a (much larger, grand cross) reading about Dealing With Money Feels, and the answer was so clearly written in those last three cards. Sure, the Queen of Earth fell out of the deck (relevant…), but here was the last little bit:
 
Advisor: The Emperor
Overarching/Underlying: The Guardian (15 MA) / 10 of Earth (“Home”)

 
Sure, the Emperor CAN mean “dealing with The Man”, it can mean Patriarchy. It can mean pre-established and disempowering rules and laws (which always have to do with power structures, not with What Is Right).
But the Emperor (the Green Man, The Code), is also: Structure, getting organized, bringing order our of chaos, recognizing one’s own authority. Taking control of your own life, getting your ducks in a row. Being in a position of strength. Being your own boss. Breaking the chains that held you and going in a way that is good for YOU to go. Setting a direction. Bringing security and comfort. Sticking to a plan. It can mean “skills, confidence, competence. Al the stuff that the Three of Stones asks you to recognize in yourself and expect to be valued. Being able to talk the talk of the walk you’re already walking. It can mean self-discipline. It can mean leadership and taking the initiative.
The Emperor has good boundaries, and a willingness to act, to dare, but also the pacing to get stuff done in an orderly and sustainable fashion.
(Seriously. I was going to search “Emperor” on Little Red Tarot, and Beth had JUST posted a new post on exactly what I needed!)
 
My overarching and underlying cards?
Home – the ten of earth – all that material abundance, solid foundations, financial stability, all that stuff in “Made It Home”, in “We Are The World”, a house where all the windows open, with fruit trees, berry bushes, greens and nightshades and cucuburits, growing lavish in the yard, a kitchen overflowing with good food for everyone who comes and out of my always-open door, no fear of the rent not being payable, a home-base to come back to, to anchor me (us), no matter where we go on our adventures. An absolute certainty that we have, and will always have, enough to share on top of having enough “just in case” and enough for ourselves.
Crossed with? The Devil. With bindweed, with conditioning, with the boogy-man that stands in the way of really examining all the Stuff that lurks in my personal underworld. Call to katabasis, to the digging deep (and surfacing) in all my dirty secrets about wealth, worth, value, and morality.
 
 
Well. Okay, then. O.O
 
Anyway, onwards.
 
 
~*~
 
Motion: Lots of walking, this past week, as I was temping close to home. Also lots of bending and digging in the garden.
 
Attention: Watching the clouds, waiting for (and receiving) rain, rain, and more rain. Over-thinking everything (alas, but there it is), and trying to figure out how to stop.
 
Gratitude: Long rides in the country under clear skies. Working farms. My wife loving me. The friend who gave me a lift home on Friday, when it was pouring rain. Greens (and snow peas! and more on the way!) from the garden.
 
Inspiration: Big, beautiful moon last night. All the flowers blooming like crazy.
 
Creation: Chasing the first threads of a new (ish) story. No idea if it will go anywhere, but trying to catch hold anyway. Wrote a poem (about Scorpios and Feelings and the High Priestess tarot card) the other day. Message is “finish your damn book”, and no clue how to get there, but: scribble, scribble, ugh, scribble, scribble. So here we go…