I’m watching a towhee on the feeder. He reaches into the feeder and grabs a mouthful and then, “nibble, nibble, nibble”, then goes back for another. He mumbled and mouthed a sunflower seed (in shell) for a bit, then flew off, but he’s back again. His colors are getting brighter, must be coming up on courting time!
Before Tempus headed to the shop, yesterday I crawled back into bed. I haven’t been sleeping well and it’s been getting to my temper, honestly, just ask him. Once I got back up, I spent awhile on some costume research, trying to figure out someone else’s idea of how a houpellande was constructed. Either she’s not explaining herself well, or I’m just *not* getting it. …. Yeah, I’ve been crazy for historical costume from an early age. I made myself a “Tudor” gown with Babicka’s help when I was in 4th grade and I’ve never stopped playing with the styles. Just a hobby, but an absorbing one. …and if you don’t know what a houpellande is think, “fairy-tale princess dress”, only on steroids. <grin> …and come into the shop and ask, ‘coz that’s where the one I’m using now resides…. too big for a closet….The picture here is from the Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Barry.
So then I started on the Imbolc Dessert. First off, the recipe does not fit my 13×9 glass pan! The crust wouldn’t spread to a thin layer and not pull away from the glass into clumps. I had to make a 2nd recipe which then left some left over, so I put some on a couple of pyrex cups….and then had to figure out whether the rest of the recipe was going to be doubled or not! I also used a mix of pecans and hazelnuts and added some nutmeg. …it also didn’t say what the crust was supposed to look like, but I figured it needed to at least cook…and 15 minutes didn’t even cook the pyrex cups. …30 minutes finally did and then I discovered that despite past experience with Cool Whip the small container of the generic whipped topping only contained 8 oz and that did not even come close to 2 cups, which wouldn’t have been enough anyway. … and that middle layer became a creepily slimy goo with lumps of powdered sugar, so I set it aside for awhile as the crust was still cooling, thinking that the lumps might dissolve. I’m still not sure why the whipped topping was necessary since you had to add both cream cheese and powdered sugar…. I’d have used whipping cream or milk in the first place if it’d been me writing the recipe, especially since the “puff” whipped right out of it. If I’d been thinkingm I would have changed it and left the topping for garnish….
At that point I was making some pear jam in the nuker. We had one pear that was just perfectly ripe, but I didn’t want to get too much fruit into my system so I decided to make jam flavored with a bit of rum and a lot of nutmeg. I didn’t add any sugar, but an 1/2 tbsp of pearl tapioca and heated things only enough to get the pear to really soften down and the tapioca to melt. I had put it into a screw top, so I shook it really well at the point and stuck it into the fridge.
Well, there was enough of the middle layer of the Imbolc dessert once I added another 4 oz of cream cheese and the rest of the topping. … and I was smart enough to use only 2 cups of milk in the lemon pudding. It made a thin layer, but enough. I think I would have used the 8 oz size that matched their milk amount if I’d had any. There wasn’t enough for the two small pyrex bowls, though.
So, I was left with those… Thinking quickly I pulled out a chocolate pudding mix …and only after I had managed to slop milk and chocolate pudding mix all over the floor, did I realize that the chocolate pudding that I had already put into the beater bowl with the milk, was cook pudding and not instant. <sigh> So that went into the nuker. That was enough to fill the two pyrex bowls and a small custard cup and I took the rest and the spatula into the study with me to finish off in comfort… I figure I deserved it after all that. 🙂
Next step was to make real whipped cream, but I gave everything about an hour to really cool down and went and took a bath.
When I got out I finished up. Whipped cream is easy if things are cold and you have a stand mixer. I used about a cup of whipped cream and about 4 tbsp of powdered sugar. I forgot the vanilla, so the 4th of sugar wasn’t necessary. All you have to do is put the cream in, turn it on, and as it starts to whip add the sugar and other ingredients one spoonful at a time.
All during this I was working on Cafe Press buttons, but spent most of the time finding out that the finished designs don’t quite work for the buttons. I have to go back in, make a specific template and add it.
…and then we had an almighty mix-up because I was at the house and Tempus was at the shop with the car. It would have been a problem even if my bike were up here, ‘coz there was no way to take the food with me. Finally as people started arriving at the shop, Tempus went to get the Job Corps bunch, Darwinia came to get me and things started happening at the shop.
The ritual got started a bit late, but it went well and the food was yummy, although mostly sweets, seemingly. Cat brought some little smokies in a sauce and there was a plate of cheeses and crackers, but to look at the table it seemed all sweets. There was our platter of kolache, a box of big cookies, and the Imbolc sweet….which was disappointing. It tasted all right, but… after all that? <sigh>
We re-set the shop before we headed home, but my reward for a weird day was to look up at the stars! We Tempus and I got out of the car, no one on the street had much on in the way of lights, so the sky was a velvety black, with little holes poked through so that the “Cosmic Fire was shining through” as Tempus said. Orion and Sirius were brilliant and the Pleiades right overhead. There’s a “cloudy” patch of stars off to the east, though, that I don’t recognize. I’m not as familiar with the stars this time of year. Big surprise…. we hardly even see ’em!
Today we have workshops: Herbs at 11 and Crystals at noon will depend on who shows up, although the re-potting of some of the window plants is a big one on my list. Sewing is a bring-your-own-project, although I may be cutting out a jumper.
Today is Groundhog’s Day, which is a descendant of the old Imbolc Celebrations where weather divinations for the year were a big chunk of the festivities. From the look of our weather here we’re *not* done with winter, which doesn’t bother me. We haven’t had nearly enough storms this year… It’s lovely and sunshiney and 45F! More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punxsutawney_Phil
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday. If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light or call the shop at 541-563-7154.
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon is in Gibbous phase. Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Phase ends at the tide change on 2/9 at 11:20pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. Phase ends at the Quarter on 2/3 at 5:56am
Goddess Month of of Bridhe, runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis, Rowan, Jan 21 – Feb 17
Runic half-month of Elhaz, from 1/28-2/11. This half month: optimistic power, protection and sanctuary.
©2013 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Luis Rowan Jan 21 – Feb 17 – Luis – (LWEESH), rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to serviceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Luis – Rowan Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grey and Red
Meaning: Controlling your life; Protection against control by others.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible Sa 2 High 4:20 AM 8.1 7:33 AM Set 10:29 AM 68 2 Low 11:06 AM 1.3 5:27 PM 2 High 5:00 PM 5.9 2 Low 10:40 PM 2.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – What do you do when the only person who can make you stop crying is the person who made you cry?
Journal Prompt – Why… – Why would a President have a sign on his desk which read, “The buck stops here”? After you’ve written your journal entry check this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_passing and for more on that President check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_S._Truman
~ Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. – Nietzsche
~ It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was. – Anne Sexton
~ It’s never so bad that it can’t get good. – Alan Cohen
~ Keep the faith, don’t lose your perseverance and always trust your gut extinct. – Paula Abdul
A Glimpse (by Walt Whitman)
A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late
of a winter night, and
I unremark’d seated in a corner,
Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and
seating himself near, that
he may hold me by the hand,
A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath
and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together,
speaking little, perhaps not a word.
‘The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. ”