Wow, it’s *cold*! 32F and it’s already 10:30 (and at noon only 34F!). They’re saying it might get up to 40F….maybe. <shiver> I’m glad we’re home today although I’m figuring out ways to dress for the weather as I’m finding some of my clothes. I’ve had a heavy, long, velvet patchwork skirt on for the last few days, with leggings underneath, turtleneck tops and my usual caftan. I have fuzzy boots to wear with that and when I’m outside, my llama wool poncho, gloves and hat. I’m still glad that I can stay home today!
Yesterday it was starting to get this cold, but not until later in the day. When we got to the shop I turned the heat on and we didn’t shut it off for almost 1 1/2 hours. That held for the rest of the day, though. I’m not sure I even want to think about how cold it’s going to be on Thursday…..
We were actually pretty busy with customers. There are a lot of people in town over the holiday. In the middle of the afternoon Robyne had to head back to Portland, so Tempus took him up to Newport to the bus station and then went shopping and then stopped at a friend’s to get her cardboard recycling done.
Class went well last night. We’re 1/2-way through Lesson 3, past all the vocabulary and “isms” that we need to describe what the theology/thealogy is about in Wicca and modern Paganism. We’ll have class this coming Monday, but I may beg off the 12th, since I’d bet I’m still going to be recovering.
As we got home I was marveling at the brightness of the moonlight, but also at Orion striding up into the sky, Sirius at his heels and Jupiter just above the eastern trees.
Today I have a lot of Mab’s Creations stuff to work on. I’m not sure what everyone else is going to be up to today. Travis worked on blackberries for awhile yesterday and I’m hoping Hatch and I are going to be doing some work on recipes. Tempus has laundry to finish, but he may need to go take our elderly friend on his errands. Well, it’s one of those days, lots to do!
Look up! http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/12/141229-starstruck-sky-events-meteors-planets-science/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fb20141229news-skyevents&utm_campaign=Content&sf6625154=1
This is pretty darned cool, a shark in Franz Josef land, but the guys reaction is *funny*! http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/141216-greenland-shark-discovery-vin?source=searchvideo
This is a Ken Gagne pic from this morning, taken on Cape Perpetua looking north and east across the frosted Yachats Valley. We’ve still got frost in the yard and the roof next door has only just melted off.
Today’s Plant is Rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum. Best known as “pie plant” or in strawberry and rhubarb jam this is a wonderful and nutritious stalk vegetable, that has been legally counted as a fruit, because of its uses. The roots have been used as a laxative for thousands of years, and the stalks, while strong-tasting when uncooked and with no sugar, are delicious in sauces, pies, jellies, juice and so on, but the leaves are poisonous. It is very easy to grow since the roots will over-winter,
even if the stalks die back and it’s one of the earliest vegetables to be harvestable. – Feminine, Venus Earth. – Wear a dried piece to help with stomach or gut pain and general protection. The pie served to a mate helps to maintain fidelity and is an aphrodisiac, especially when combined with strawberries.
Feast day of St Egwin of Worcester – Egwin was a bishop who died at Evesham, England, in about 717; the story of his life bears some resemblance to that of St Adhelm. He was possibly a member of Mercian royal house, and thus a relative of King Ethelred. Appointed Bishop of Worcester in about 692, he founded a monastery at Evesham. This came about when the Virgin Mary was seen first by a herdsman, Eof, or Eoves (who was shown where to site a monastery), and then by Egwin himself in a meadow by the Avon River. The place name Evesham derives from the herdsman’s name. (It has been suggested by Peter Eaves that it might be that the name Eoves actually was a signifier of the man’s occupation as a swineherd – in Old English, eofor meant ‘boar’.)
Before setting out for Rome to defend himself again false accusations of strictness, he locked his feet in chains and threw the key into the River Avon. In Rome he went straight to the market and bought a salmon caught in the River Tiber. Miraculously, the key was in the belly of the fish. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egwin_of_Evesham and here: http://saints.sqpn.com/sainte94.htm
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday! We’ll also not open on Thursday until 3pm.Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. In case of rotten weather, check our Facebook Page as Ancient Light for announcements! Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Love & Light,
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Full on 1/4 at 8:53pm. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 1/3 at 8:53am.
As Gemini rises into nice evening view, keep watch on its red variable star R Geminorum: an unusual type-S star with a weird mix of rare elements. It should be about 9th magnitude now, on its way to a roughly 7th-magnitude maximum in February. See the article and finder chart in the January Sky & Telescope, page 51.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.4, in western Leo) rises in the east-northeast around 8 p.m. About 45 minutes later, fainter Regulus (magnitude +1.4) rises below it. By dawn they shine in the west-southwest — with Regulus now to Jupiter’s upper left.
Comet Lovejoy is spottable (use binoculars) as a hazy blob near Regulus in Orion.
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20
Runic half-month of Eihwaz/Eoh 12/28-1/11 Represents the dead, and the yew tree, sacred to Winter shamanism. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books,
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20, Beith – (BEH), birch – The silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is the most common tree birch in much of Europe. It grows up to 30 m (100 feet) high, but is more often found in spreading clumps on sandy soils. It is one of the first trees to colonize an area after a mature forest is cut; this is probably a large part of its symbolic connection with new beginnings. It is cultivated in North America, often under the name of weeping birch. The three trees in my front yard form root sprouts that would take over the bed where they are planted if I didn’t cut them back. The common birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) is almost as widespread as the silver birch, but grows primarily on acid or peaty soils. It can reach 20 m (65 feet) in height. Birches are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae). Curtis Clark
Beth – Birch – Ogam letter correspondences –
Meaning: New Beginnings; Changes; Purification.
Phagos – Beech Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Letter: PH, IO
Meaning: New experiences and information coming
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 29 High 6:20 AM 8.3 7:52 AM Set 1:05 AM 50
~ 29 Low 1:08 PM 1.4 4:45 PM Rise 12:34 PM
~ 29 High 6:58 PM 5.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – May the Earth keep you safe The Sun keep you warm And the Moon help you to see any harm. Till we meet again!
~ A wise parent humors the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and advisor when his absolute rule shall cease. – Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) English writer
~ Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky, We fell them down and turn them into paper, That we may record our emptiness. – Kahlil Gibran
~ You are the shining blade that both harms and heals. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. – Arnold H. Glasow
The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death. – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, born on October 27, 1914; from ‘The Hand That Signed the Paper’, 1936
The Bues Party Dip, instructions and variations
Party Recipe or Appetizer – Dip – This takes a food processor or stand mixer
- 1 block of cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 block Neufchatel cheese (this is on the same shelf with the cream cheese and usually packaged just like it! It’s a low-fat version of cream cheese.)
- ½ to 1 cup of skim milk (this varies, sometimes more, sometimes less)
You may need:
Chopping knife and board, measuring spoons or cups, various garnish and serving dishes as below.
- Take cream cheeses, peel off the foil and put in the food processor or mixer.
- Pulse several times (mixer – start on low) until spread around a little.
- Add milk ¼ cup at a time, running processor for at least 30 seconds between additions.
- You can tell when there’s enough milk because the machine begins to speed up, and the cheese starts to blend and have a smooth, instead of lumpy, look.
- Add flavor ingredients. (see below) Run food processor until smooth. Add more milk, if necessary.
- Spoon into serving or keeping bowls and refrigerate.
- Decorate as below. Serve with crackers, chips, vegetables or fruit pieces as noted.
Notes – If you overdo it on the milk, you can usually rescue the dip by getting it really cold in the fridge. Dips are ok a little sloppy!
Grandma’s trick for keeping the dips fresh is to use small bowls set in a tray of crushed ice and refill the bowls as necessary from boxes in the fridge.
All dips can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge.
Grandma’s Avocado dip – 1 packet 4 Seasons Italian Salad dressing mix, 2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and cut into strips. Decorate with a slice of avocado. Great with Ritz Crackers. This will turn brown on top if it sits out or gets warm, but it’s still ok to eat.
Grandma’s blue cheese dip – 8 oz of blue cheese crumbles or cut an 8 oz block into ½ inch cubes. Add SLOWLY or the dip will be lumpy. If it isn’t “blue” enough, you can add a couple of drops of blue food coloring. Grandma always had a blue foil starburst pick that she stuck in this one. I usually use slices of radish. This is good with vegetables or saltines.
Cheddar Dip – Add 1 cup of sharp cheddar, shredded. Use a few curls on top for garnish or a radish flower. This is good with party pumpernickel bread.
Mama’s Tuna Dip – 1 large can of tuna packed in water, drained well, 1 tbsp dill, 1 tsp fresh minced garlic, 1 tbsp onion flakes. Garnish with a “fish pick”, a skewer with the tuna picture cut from the label on the can and stuck to the skewer. This is good on rye party bread, or with saltines. It also makes good sandwiches, with a sprinkle of cheddar or parmesan on top. It needs to sit overnight in the fridge before serving.
Mama’s Onion Dip – 1 package Lipton’s Onion soup mix, 2 pkg., if you like it strong. Garnish with a spring onion flower. Good with finger-size vegetables.
Tigger’s Vegetable Dip – ¼ cup dried vegetable flakes, 1 can of sliced water chestnuts, drained, 1 can black olives, drained. It stays a little lumpy. Garnish with a slice of zucchini or cucumber. This is good with water crackers or bread and is another that needs to sit overnight in the fridge.
Sasha’s Too Cheesy Dip – Add one cup of sharp cheddar, shredded and 1 cup of fresh Italian cheese blend or ½ cup of dried Italian cheese or ½ cup dry Parmesan. Garnish with a frog. Great with vegetables or chips.
Hot Stuff Dip – ¼ cup Mongolian fire oil, 4 dashes of Tabasco, ½ cup red pepper flakes, 2 tbsp chili powder. Garnish with a chili pepper. Caution – this dip’s other name is “3-alarm fire”! Best with bread.
Ricky’s Olive & Pepper dip (not spicy) – 1 large can of drained black olives, 1 4-oz. jar of green olives stuffed with pimentos, drained, 1 each, red, green and yellow bell pepper, chopped. This dip doesn’t get smooth. Use pepper strips for garnish. Good with Water Crackers, cheese “fingers” or sesame sticks.
Arthur’s Reese’s Dip – 1 cup peanut butter, 1 small can of salted peanuts, 1 cup of dark chocolate chips. This dip is supposed to be lumpy. Serve with fruit or bread. Also good on croissants. It’s even good with celery sticks. Garnish with chocolate chips.
Amor’s Chocolate Fruit Dip – 1 ½ cups of hot chocolate mix, with or without marshmallows, two healthy squirts of chocolate syrup. Garnish with holiday sprinkles.
Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Party Recipe or Appetizer – Hot
Side dish – hot
16 – 20 large fresh mushrooms
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup green onion
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Measuring cups and spoons, baking dish, spray oil, cutting board and knife, mixing bowl, stand mixer or fork, teaspoon
- Let cheese sit out for an hour before you start.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Remove stems from mushrooms and wash caps. (save stems for gravy or soup)
- Spray a baking dish with spray oil.
- Put mushroom caps in the baking dish so they are just touching.
- Cut garlic up very small (mince)
- Chop green onion and parsley.
- Combine cream cheese, garlic, green onion, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and mix on medium low until combined. (or beat hard with a fork)
- Using a teaspoon, fill each mushroom cap.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Make it “Skinny” – use Neufchatel or low fat cream cheese.
Aunt Loise’s Deviled Ham Appetizer
Party Recipe or Appetizer – Cold
Old Maryland Recipe
1 small can (6-oz.) deviled ham (usually found near the sardines, Vienna sausages and tuna)
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
2 Tbsp. minced onion, dried or fresh
Green olives stuffed with pimentos (buy small bottle, measure amount in ham can)
2 green onions
Measuring tablespoon, mixing bowl and mixer, cutting board and knife, serving bowl
- Let the cream cheese and deviled ham sit out for an hour.
- Put in a mixing bowl with onion.
- Refill ham can with drained olives, dump onto cutting board, chop coarsely, then add to cheese and ham.
- Run mixer on med-low until blended.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Garnish with green onion flowers and rings.
Serve with unsalted crackers.
Make it Skinny – Use light cream cheese or Neufchatel.
Caution – this is not for people on salt restricted diets!
+60 – Californians put on sweaters.
+50 – Miami residents turn on the heat.
+45 – Vermont residents go to outdoor concert.
+40 – You can see your breath.
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
Minnesotans go swimming.
+35 Italian cars don’t start.
+32 Water freezes.
+30 You plan your vacation in Australia.
+25 Ohio water freezes.
Californians weep pitiably.
Minnesotans eat ice cream.
Canadians go swimming.
+20 Politicians begin to talk about the homeless.
New York City water freezes.
Miami residents plan vacation further south.
+15 French cars don’t start.
Cat insists on sleeping with you.
+10 You need jumper cables to get the car going.
+5 American cars don’t start.
0 Alaskans put on T-shirts.
-10 German cars don’t start.
Eyes freeze shut when you blink.
-15 You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo.
Arkansans stick tongues on metal objects.
Miami residents cease to exist.
-20 Cat insists on sleeping in pajamas with you.
Politicians actually do something about the homeless.
Minnesotans shovel snow off roof.
Japanese cars don’t start.
-25 Too cold to think.
You need jumper cables to get the driver going.
-30 You plan a two week hot bath.
Swedish cars don’t start.
-40 Californians disappear.
Minnesotans button top button.
Canadians put on sweater.
Your cat helps you plan your trip south.
-50 Congressional hot air freezes.
Alaskans close the bathroom window.
-80 Hell freezes over.
Polar bears move south.
Green Bay Packer fans order hot cocoa at the game.
-90 Lawyers put their hands in their own pockets.
-100 Canadian buildings turn off air conditioning.