Thursday, April 27, 2017

a daisy and other kinds of flowers

I'm sewing flowers onto a torn and tattered earth flag as part of my mending the earth project. Since there is a lot of ground to cover here, anything goes.

That led to flower fairies. Pipe cleaners shaped into a basic body form are threaded with cloth flower petals and a wooden bead for a head. 

A waffle generously drizzled with elderberry syrup might be considered a medicinal food by some. Recipe here.

On the afternoon of the Dark Moon on Tuesday we said good-bye for now to our Daisy. Above was one of her favorite places in the garden...and she positioned herself on nearly this same spot to take her last breaths. Over about a month's time, she slowly made the transition from old age into the Great Beyond unassisted except for food and water and then just water and then nothing. Jan and I got to be with her. It was sad, it was holy, it was magic.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

a good drum

It's not an expensive drum but it is a good drum. Bought at the Spring Equinox Pow Wow a number of years ago, I believe it to be made by skilled and honest hard-working hands. If you think of the underside of a drum where you hold it as a glove, then this drum fits me like a glove. It has played a part in some powerful energy-raising circles and continues to hold up in a way that only a well-made drum can. I am now making a bag for it out of the big scrap of natural linen that it rests on and those narrow strips of cotton are also in the plan.

I simmered three ounces of fresh nettle leaves in six cups of water for one hour. Then I took the pot off the heat and let it sit for four hours. And ended the process by simmering it again for another hour. I stored the cooked greens and liquid in the refrigerator. This is a method learned from Herbalist Susun Weed -- I have never cooked greens so long before but she says this technique enables us to absorb more of the nutrients provided we drink the cooking liquid as well.

The nettle greens do not turn to mush in the pot as you might expect although they do melt in your mouth. Serve with salt and pepper, butter, Parmesan cheese, etc. I had a bowl of reheated nettles for breakfast three days in a row. So good.

I'm getting to know the Roman Goddess Juno through the book Moonology by Yasmin Boland. I'd always thought of Juno as a patron of the marriage commitment, the month of June being a traditional time to get married and all. But now I am expanding that notion into all types of commitments -- I hope to draw on Juno energy to help me honor the commitments I make with no whining, complaining, dread or escape routes in mind.

One grandmother hoya plant is in bloom right over the kitchen sink. She makes me so happy, sometimes it doesn't take much, does it?

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending to you. xx

Friday, March 24, 2017

stitching a good heart of green

Stitching and mending the earth flag continues with a good heart of green. And every now and then I get the urge to work in my art journal. 

Elderberry syrup was made using homegrown elderberries from the freezer. Here is how...simmer one cup fresh or frozen berries (or 1/2 cup dried) in two cups water until reduced by half; strain and cool; stir in three quarters cup of raw honey, store in refrigerator. You can add a cinnamon stick and a few whole cloves to the simmering process, if desired. I use a big spoonful of the syrup in my hot water and lemon in the morning. It seems to help with my coffee withdrawal symptoms as well as my cold and cough symptoms. Since I was already miserable, I just went all in and quit the coffee too. 

The nettle patch is beginning to fill in. For this year's spring clean-up, I'm incorporating the permaculture method of chop & drop as much as possible to recycle nutrients and build better soil. A form of as-you-go sheet composting, you just chop up dried stems and stalks into small pieces, leave the dried leaves right where they are, and then cover it all with a generous layer of soil, compost or other mulch. 

Many times throughout the day, I go outside and stand as close to the beehive as I can to watch the bees just to make sure they're going to make it. Then I visit each little tree and shrub I planted last year just to make sure it'll make it. Saying grow, baby, grow. I will take care of you. 

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending to you. xx

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

stitching peace on earth

We recently hung a new Earth flag on our front porch but this web log is about the old one...the old flag went up a long time ago during one of the Iraq wars, I've actually forgotten if it was the first or the second. Since then it has weathered through I don't know how many wars, bombings, natural disasters, protests, and human-caused atrocities. I took it down a few times but sure as the sun rose each morning, along would come another event to make me feel helpless, and so back up it went. As you can imagine, the flag is faded and torn and I am mending it. 

First I created peace on Earth. Yes. Actually, I can. We all can. They say it begins with me though.

I am currently mending a long tear and next will be redoing the bottom hem so the sides don't hang wonky. I'm thinking about what other changes I'd like to see on Earth and might add them in the form of words or symbols. While chaos continues to stir up our planet, we each do what we can.

I am flower-gazing -- this orchid speaks of well-being in the face of imperfect conditions. This is her second stalk of blossoms in less than two years. I am drinking more decaffeinated Mexican coffee over ice and reading A Man Called Ove.

I am knitting myself into an alpha state. The sampler shawl grows line by line...those dropped yarn overs will lay nicely when blocked. The dogs love to sleep while I knit and I love to listen to their sleeping sounds while I knit so it all works out. 

I am hanging several strings of prayer flags. I am lighting candles as a reminder that we are all wondrous and amazing light beings here on Earth at this time for a reason. 

I am walking around our gardens over and over, dreaming and planning, making lists. I am visiting and feeding our bees who appear to be thriving. Buddha is a presence in the garden but there is also the Earth Goddess, St. Francis, White Tara and Mother Mary. And I love them all. 

In a state of openness, let's meet each other where we're at. And let's make us some peace on Earth. xx

Thursday, February 23, 2017

a simple sewing project

A new member of our plant family is the lovely maidenhair fern. For some reason these ferns take a magic act to keep them alive for any length of time...they are ultra-sensitive to drying out and once that happens, it's over. I have been unsuccessful many times but hope springs eternal.

The simplest of sewing projects was to stitch layers of frayed cloth strips over the printing on a drawstring bag. The bag is generously-sized and nicely made, plus I have a weakness for cream and red together -- so definitely worth it.

The pattern for the knitted Sampler Shawl is here. It is a project where each row has its own directions. One row will have lots of yarn overs that are wound 'round the needle three times each and the next line will direct you to drop all the yarn overs. It's pretty wild.

Today's moon is a waning crescent, a dark moon. Now until the new moon on Sunday is when to clear things out, to breathe it out, wash it out, dry it out or sweat it out. I'm doing some clearing in the area of electronics -- to be on the inner-net rather than the internet. The last two nights I've gone to bed with a book instead of YouTube on my phone. Tiny house tours, vegan weight loss while living in a tiny house, weather phenomena, vision boarding, homesteading in Sweden...there is a YouTube video for everything and one leads to another and then another. I watched someone clean their house and then fold their laundry in fast motion while my own house and laundry and more lay in wait. I believe I have reached the saturation point.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending to you. xx

Often the path that will bring us the most joy will need some clearing (source unknown).

Monday, February 13, 2017

knew it all along

The heart cloth is long and skinny with a 10" section of blank space left on the bottom (the photo is sideways so you can't see it). I wonder what will happen there. As I work on this piece, I keep thinking hearts of space like the NPR music program that used to be on Sunday nights that I loved so much. I always tried to get the kids in bed before 9 so I could listen to it.

Our family had a little birthday party here yesterday for Jan. We gathered at our house for drinks/visiting/playing in the late afternoon -- then all 14 of us piled into three cars to drive to a favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. Afterwards we came back here again for Mexican coffee, hot cocoa and his favorite pistachio dessert that I make every single year for his birthday. We almost made caffeinated coffee instead of decaf, I pulled out the wrong package. One daughter's boyfriend caught it, otherwise it would have been disastrous. I guess you could say the boyfriend saved the night. Mine, anyway.

Wings. Another page in my art journal. 

Moon water infused by the full moon.

The heart cloth photo with a black/white filter.

I'm exercising my intuition lately. Recalling things I knew all intuited from and by my heart before they became reality. How often was I right about something. And what might lie ahead, what do I know deep down right now that I should trust.

Here is the Mexican coffee recipe link, it was good. xx

Friday, February 3, 2017

enchanting yourself

Brigid's Day 2017 is much different from other years. But then many things are different from other years.

I started my Brigid's Day devotion this morning, two days late, by taking a morning bath with strained oatstraw infusion added to the water. It felt silky, so nice -- I reminded myself to do this more often. One little candle burned down completely.

After getting dressed I collected three cauldrons filled with objects and symbols of the past, the completed, the unnecessary.

The fire took off quickly and burned well, these things needed to go. I chanted "light of Brigid, shine on me, growing brighter, now I see". After you chant something for a while, you find yourself going into a state -- you start making up music to sing the chant to or you'll pick out a word or two to repeat over and over, and you will almost always catch yourself getting softer, then louder, then softer again. Chanting is a way of enchanting yourself.

The candle on the left was lit from the fire in the cauldron and it will burn until the end. A friend and I had made Brigid's crosses earlier in the week -- we used straw that had been soaked in warm water for a few hours. The beauty and simplicity of these sacred Nature items comfort and encourage. More chanting.

This is a tarot spread for guidance to connect with the Goddess Brigid or St. Brigid (or God or Source or whoever/whatever you want to invoke). I spent a few hours reflecting on these cards and then writing about them in my journal -- and that completed this year's very simple Brigid's Day.

Our new Earth flag is freshly hung. The old one is quite torn from getting whipped around by the wind/catching on the house gutters, but I have some mending ideas in mind. Mending the Earth, that's it.

The ashes of transformation will go back to the Earth to continue the cycle of death and rebirth. I hope we can all return to the garden soon and start planting. All of us together. Maybe even chanting.

Friday, January 27, 2017

the way is clear

Yesterday of this current dark/new moon phase, I burned away some false beliefs. There were and still are many of these programmed beliefs, I've only just questioned the ones on the surface. It might seem like I'm going through some sort of crisis but it's not so much to do with everyday life, it's more about my relationship with the world around me -- what is real and who is real. So much of what I've thought and believed and participated in is illusion. The frequency I was once in tune with has gotten fuzzy and distorted and it's time to find a clear connection again. Like a radio. A place to be, which I sort of don't have right now, I'm in between.

And lest this sound political, I'm not on either side.

Then I went and finished the Hitchhiker scarf. I didn't quite make the 42 points the pattern is named after (the book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"), I think there are 39. The scarf is over 60" long and made from sock yarn -- it took a very long time, nearly two years with my highly irregular knitting sessions.

This morning of the new moon, I put fresh cloths on the little table that is my altar. The cloth on the left was made by my Grandmother Lucia and I stitched 16 blue moons onto it recently. The cloth on the right was made by me for St. Lucia's Day a few years ago and always reminds me of my grandmother. A few nights ago I stitched the words "the way is clear" -- a message I've apparently sent to myself because everywhere I've turned the last few weeks I've seen or heard the words "the way is clear".

Then I drew a card for guidance and wouldn't you know....The Moon.

I'm gathering items to burn on Brigid's Day, there may be a new batch of false beliefs to throw in as well. If you'd like to bless your own home and hearth, my last year's Brigid's Day Household Ritual is here.

To clear connections. xx