It looks like the overcast might be breaking up. It’s 64F with the wind at 6mph. It’s warmer inland (mostly) but where the sun comes out the temp goes up! Did it turn to summer already? The forecast is dry 10 days out!
Once I was at the shop yesterday, I hurried to get the newsletter out. Amy was in and I’m afraid I may have gotten a little short with her, as I tried to finish getting it written and out. <sigh> Well…. it takes some concentrating and when you’ve *told* someone what you’re doing… anyway, after that was out I filled in the astronomy files for the week (the 2nd half of the info) and then had a lovely chat with a lady from Florence (didn’t ask permission to use her name, so…..) who reads this newsletter who had some nice things to say about it. It’s nice to hear from someone who makes use of it!
Tempus had a funny with yesterday’s bread… it never did get served yesterday and I wondered why… well, he forgot it in the oven as it was rising and only remembered at around 1am! So when he got in Sunday morning he looked in the oven and went, “Where’s the other pan?” (He puts a 2nd bread pan over the loaf, both to shape it and to keep it from burning.) It had over-risen to the point of dumping the 2nd pan off the top and half the dough was flopped over into it! So, he pulled it out and had the breadmaker turn it back into a ball, put it back into the pans and turned on the little oven, knowing that it would shut itself off and start beeping in about 3 minutes… except than some customers came in and it didn’t! Of all the times for it to work *properly*… so the bread is a little weird, not up to his usual standard, but tasty, anyway. 🙂
Next up was getting photos done while he was working in back and then sorting herbs to get some pictures of those. Tempus went to get me a twisty-fried potato from Gluttony by Gregg as a Mom’s Day goodie. 🙂
Late in the day I made the 2nd batch of utopenci and then did some ham prep. I’m going to do potted ham again, now that we’ve horseradish. Tempus helped with the putting away. We have one crock of ham broth going, bits for a 2nd, one mostly-full gallon bag for potted ham (!!!!) and a whole flat of slices. It took well over an hour to do. I had forgotten that the ham needed to be done before the next cheese.
…and just after we finished supper we heard from our landlady that her fridge seems to have quit, so we got some ice and grabbed the coolers and headed upstairs, first. It took a couple of hours to get things sorted out. I was embroidering downstairs, since I wouldn’t be much help.
Today Tempus left me home. I haven’t been doing so well over the weekend, sleeping badly, and hurting a lot, so he went in early and just left me here. I’m going to stay splat for a bit, yet, maybe embroidery, probably embroidery…. 🙂 and then he’ll come for me later, since we’re supposed to have class tonight.
The local larkspurs, delphinium trollifolium, and delphinium pavonaceum (which the Wiki article says is confined to the Valley, but I’ve collected out here….) are pretty flowers in shade of white, blue and purple. They’re called delphiniums after the shape of the nectary. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_trolliifolium and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_pavonaceum Other names are Larksheal and Staggerweed – Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers frighten away venomous creatures and ghosts. Sprinkle between your eyes and a Litha fire to keep your sight clear. Use in rituals to call upon Dolphin energy.
Today is the anniversary of the founding of Fort James, which became Jamestowne, capitol of the Colony of Virginia until 1699. Briefly abandoned due to lack of supplies, the resupply brought women and more colonists which made the place a going concern for a long while. Initially, relations with the locals were good, but a bad diplomat as head of the colony caused the “starving time” when the colony was vacant and then later strong-arm tactics, trying to bully supplies out of the locals, set off one of the first wars with the Native Americans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown,_Virginia
The shop is open 11-6pm Thursday through Monday, although we’re there a lot later most nights. (Going to summer hours soon.) Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at email@example.com 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,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
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. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 5/15 at 4:48am. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances. God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Outer Dark, psychopomps – Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris. Phase ends at 4:48am on 5/15.
Can you see the big Coma Berenices star cluster? Does your light pollution really hide it, or do you just not know exactly where to look? It’s high overhead after dark, 2/5 of the way from Denebola (Leo’s tail) to the end of the Big Dipper’s handle. Its brightest members form an inverted Y. The entire cluster is about 5° wide — a big, dim glow in a dark sky. It’s sparse and nearly fills the view in binoculars.
Not far away, explore the leading galaxies of the Virgo Cluster with Sue French’s Deep-Sky Wonders article, photos, sketches, and chart in the May Sky & Telescope, page 54.
Mars rises around 1 a.m. local daylight time and climbs nearly 25° high in the south-southeast by the time twilight commences. The magnitude –0.7 Red Planet stands out against the backdrop of far eastern Sagittarius. If you point binoculars or a telescope toward the ruddy world this morning, you’ll see the magnitude 8.5 globular star cluster M75 just 0.3° to its north. A telescope also allows you to see some subtle surface features on the planet’s 13″-diameter disk.
Venus (magnitude –3.9) shines brightly in the west-northwest during evening twilight and just after. It’s as high now as it will get in twilight all spring and summer for mid-northern skywatchers. In a telescope (look early!) Venus is a little disk 12 arcseconds wide and slightly gibbous: 86% sunlit.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for May 2018 https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-star-chart-may-2018
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Goddess Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9
Runic half-month of Inguz/Ing, 5/14-5/28 – Male consort of Nerthus, the Earth Mother, Ing is god of the hearth. This time of year expresses potential for abundant growth. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 70.
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9 – I am fair among flowers – Color: Purple – Class: Peasant – Letter: H – Meaning: Being held back for a period of time – Hawthorn – Like willows, hawthorns have many species in Europe, and they are not always easy to tell apart. All are thorny shrubs in the Rose family (Rosaceae), and most have whitish or pinkish flowers. The common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.) and midland hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata (Poiret) DC.) are both widespread. They are common in abandoned fields and along the edges of forests. Both are cultivated in North America, as are several native and Asiatic hawthorns. Curtis Clark
to study this month – Ur – Heather and Mistletoe Ogam letter correspondences
Class: Heather is Peasant; Mistletoe is Chieftain
Meaning: Healing and development on the spiritual level.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 14 Low 6:42 AM -0.7 5:50 AM Rise 5:47 AM 3
~ 14 High 12:54 PM 6.7 8:36 PM Set 7:49 PM
~ 14 Low 6:35 PM 1.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – People who make the worst use of time may be the same ones who complain that there is never enough time.
~ Only idlers wait till evening. – Laxdaela Saga, c.35
~ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – Jesus (John 14:27 NIV)
~ Some people think they are worth a lot of money just because they have it. – Fannie Hurst (1889-1968) US writer
~ Speaking of sand: “You don’t get to hang on to one shore as you grab onto the next, you have to swim across.” – Megan Matthieson
Perhaps it’s just as well that you won’t be here … to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations. – Lord Summerisle to Sgt Howie, from The Wicker Man Anthony Shaffer, 1973 [Anja’s comment – aieeeeeeeeep!]
Magic – Craft – Making Brooms the Old-Fashioned Way – http://www.offthegridnews.com/how-to-2/making-brooms-the-old-fashioned-way/
Written by: Esther
A cottage in the woods or a farmhouse kitchen wouldn’t really be complete without a broom in the closet to clear away dust, with another near the hearth for sweeping up ashes from the previous night’s blazing fire. And imagine how satisfying it would be using materials from your own garden to create those brooms? Certainly, these would be brooms that would be pretty enough to display on a wall or tucked into a corner so they will always be close at hand.
And although the term “flying off the handle” was born from the use of handmade brooms, which had – and still do have – a tendency to lose their heads when they’re used too forcefully, it doesn’t mean you yourself will fly off the handle when you attempt to make your own broom.
You’ll just need a little bit of patience, along with the necessary materials, and you’ll soon have your own straw broom, birch-branch broom, or broom-corn broom, the last being the sturdiest of these rustic, hand-crafted tools.
Straw should be easy to find if you live on or near a farm, and you can easily gather twigs and branches from the woods to tackle a birch broom. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can grow your own broom corn, paying tribute as you do to early broom designer Levi Dickenson, a Massachusetts farmer who crafted a broom for his wife using tassels from a variety of sorghum. Dickenson’s resulting broom was so successful (his wife told all her friends, and word around town quickly spread) that the sorghum variety he used is now called broom corn. The stalks grow like sweet corn and look the same, although it has no cobs, just the tassels on top, and that is the material you’ll use to make your broom. (And remember, if you master the art of broom making and grow enough broom corn, you will have gifts friends and family will love or that you can sell at craft shows, farmer’s markets, or fairs, where people are sure to fall for a hand-crafted broom’s old-time appeal.)
You can also order broom corn online from broom-making suppliers, where other supplies for crafting your own brooms can also be found, along with plans for more challenging broom designs.
The following projects, though, will get you started and can take on even pioneer-level quantities of dirt and debris.
Making a Straw Broom
A straw broom is easy to make, and the project is one that would be fun to do with the kids or a as a great back-to-nature project that would be ideal for a group activity at a craft fair or other special event.
Things you will need:
- A stick to be used as a broom handle
- Twine or wire for binding
- A knife and scissors for finishing touches
- Handles can be ordered from a supplies store for a more commercial look, but if you are going for rustic or are taking advantage of the items you have available to you, you can make your own using branches that you have collected. It is a good idea to strip the branches of their bark and allow them to dry for a few months before using them to ensure that no cracking or splitting will occur when you put them to use.
- Clean your straw so it is free from dust and debris, shaking bits loose without using water, which can cause your broom to mold.
- Divide straw into ten separate, equal bunches.
- Gather one bundle of straw together, making sure that ends on one side are even. Hold the bundle together tightly and wrap it securely with twine. The tighter the bundle, the stronger your broom will be, so squeeze it tightly. Repeat the steps with the remaining nine bunches of straw.
- Tie together the gathered bundles one at a time using wire or twine, ensuring that the bundles are secured as tightly as possible. If you want a flat broom for use on floors or hearths, place straw bundles side by side. If you want to use your broom as a whisk broom, connect the bundles in a circular design, still making sure bunches are as tightly linked as possible.
- Sharpen the end of your handle so it can be pushed into the center of your bundle of straw, and secure it tightly to prevent your broom head from “flying off the handle.”
- Cut the ends of straw so they’re even, and your broom is ready to use.
Making a Birch Broom
Birch brooms have a more botanical-inspired look than the farm-infused straw or broom-corn brooms.
Things you will need:
- Birch branches
- A stick
- Twine or willow branches
- Sharp knives
- Soak birch branches and willow overnight so they’re more pliable and flexible, a must for the final steps of this project.
- Place your stick or broom handle on your work surface and surround it with branches on both sides, making sure that the bottoms of the branches are pointed toward the top of your handle.
- Tie the branches securely in place around your broom handle using twine or soaked willow branches.
- After branches are secured, fold them down over the twine so tips are pointed downward. Secure them with additional lengths of twine, wrapping the branches either once or twice near the top of the handle.
- Let your broom dry a few days before using it.
Making a Broom-Corn Broom
Things you will need:
- Broom corn tassels
- Twine or wire
- A wooden handle or stick
- Shake any dust and debris from your broom corn, then divide it into ten separate, even bunches, layering stalks until they are about one inch thick in each bundle. Use longer stalks for a large, full-length broom; reserve smaller ones for use as a whisk broom or small hearth broom.
- Secure bundles together tightly with twine, remembering that the tighter the bundle, the stronger and more secure your broom will be. Repeat the steps with the remaining nine bunches of broom corn.
- Tie together two gathered bunches of broom corn using wire or twine, ensuring that the bundles are as tight as possible for a sturdy, durable broom. Add the next bundle of broom corn, placing it flat against the first two bundles for a broom you’ll use on floors or hearths or in a circular design for a smaller whisk broom. Continue the process, attaching new bundles one by one, until all of the broom corn is attached securely.
- Sharpen the end of your handle so it can be pushed into the center of your bundle of broom corn, and secure it tightly at the base.
- Cut the ends of your broom corn so the base is even and as smooth as possible to capture debris, and trim the top if desired.
For an added decorative element with any of the brooms you make, drill a hole at the top of the handle and knot a loop of twine through it. Your broom can then be hung on a hook near your fireplace hearth or on the wall in your kitchen. Cast iron hooks crafted by a blacksmith would also be a nice, rustic touch.
Good luck and enjoy!
©2012 Off the Grid News