Bright sunshine, even if there’s a thin veiling of cloud most of the time! 41F, wind at 1mph, AQI 36, UV1, no rain. There’s a Special Weather Statement on the computer this morning for “SIGNIFICANT LOW ELEVATION SNOW” through the weekend and cold enough temps to freeze the streets at night. <sigh> Not done with winter, yet.
I didn’t really get up until 3pm and it was almost 6pm by the time we were having breakfast. After that I started cooking and didn’t quit until 1am. I made dilly beans, black bean pickle, started a tvarog, did another trial run on the Applade Ryall, (apple soup) and made some flavored butters.
I got a few licks in on the embroidery that I’ve been working on and did some photos. That’s pretty much it for the day, but that was plenty! Tempus spent a lot of the time catching up on dishes. We had the test run on the apple soup for supper.
I was hoping to do another cheese, but ran out of time if I was going to be able to wake up this morning, so I zested some of the limes and the juiced a bunch of them so that we’ll have lime water for the feast. There are more to do. The shop smells amazing, at the moment.
Today, we’ll have the shop open on time. My computer keyboard seems to have fried for some reason, so I’m on the laptop, finishing this. Might just be a driver. It’s not the batteries. <sigh> One more thing.
Today’s plant is Partridge Berry, (Mitchella repens) – Caution: There are similar-looking berries that are deadly. Don’t wildcraft unless you’re certain. Common Names: Squaw Vine. Description: Evergreen. Woodland Creeper. This vine flowers in Spring with fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers. The vine grows about 6 to 12″ high, creeping through moss around old tree stumps. The leaves are thick, very shiny, and heart-shaped. In the Fall, bright scarlet berries form that last all winter, unless they are eaten by birds and deer. They are tasteless, but can serve as a survival food. Partridge berries grow wild in bogs and barrens. They store, cook, and freeze perfectly and they have a beautiful, deep red colour. Used as a women’s medicine to promote easy childbirth (don’t use until the last minute as another use is an abortifacient!) sometimes in tea or a jelly form and also for urinary disorders. – Feminine, Earth, Saturn, – Carry leaves in a sachet of green cloth to help with “female trouble” of all sorts, except during pregnancy. Add a piece of red jasper, if possible. In the last week of pregnancy carry dried flowers or berries in a red cloth sachet to ease childbirth. Carry dried berries in orange cloth to ease mucous discharges and to help with nervous irritability.
The Sapporo Snow Festival is neither ancient, nor religious, but it’s *fun*! It started in 1950 and has grown to a big event that brings sculptors from all over to participate. This pictures is some of the ice sculptures. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapporo_Snow_Festival Pictures here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sapporo_Snow_Festival
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. 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,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
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 Tide Change on 2/19 at 6:47am. New Moon – The beginning of a new cycle. Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting. God/dess aspect: Infancy, the Cosmic Egg, Eyes-Wide-Open – Associated God/dess: Inanna who was Ereshkigal. Phase ends at 1:04am on 2/6. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence – Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 2/9 at 1:04am.
After dinnertime look due east, not very high, for twinkly Regulus. Extending upper left from it is the Sickle of Leo, a backward question mark. “Leo announces spring,” goes an old saying. Actually, Leo showing up in the evening announces the cold, messy back half of winter. Come spring, Leo will already be high.
Jupiter continues to grow more prominent in the southeastern sky before dawn. The giant planet rises nearly four hours before our star and climbs 20° high by the first hint of twilight. Jupiter gleams at magnitude –1.9, though it still pales in comparison to Venus, which rises an hour after the giant world. A telescope reveals Jupiter’s 34″-diameter disk and at least two conspicuous cloud belts.
Uranus (magnitude 5.8, at the Aries-Pisces border) is well up in the southwest right after dark, near Mars. It’s visible in binoculars if you have a good finder chart (and know the constellations well enough to see where to start with the chart). Uranus will pass less than 1° from Mars on February 11th through 13th. Stay tuned!
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for February
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/Algiz, from 1/28-2/11. This half month: optimistic power, protection and sanctuary. Runic half-month of Sowulo/ Sigel, 2/12-26 It represents the power of the force of good throughout the world and is the harbinger of victory and ascendancy over darkness.
©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to servceberries. 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.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 7 High 2:17 AM 7.1 7:27 AM Rise 9:06 AM 3
~ 7 Low 7:59 AM 2.5 5:34 PM Set 8:28 PM
~ 7 High 1:41 PM 7.6
~ 7 Low 8:22 PM 0.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Treat Your Self to Romance and Love.
~ The moon likes secrets,” Meran said. “And secret things. She lets mysteries bleed into her shadows and leaves us to ask whether they originated from otherworlds, or from our own imaginations.” – Charles de Lint (Dreams Underfoot)
~ Many of our fears are tissue-paper thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. – Brendan Francis
~ Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true. – Leon J.Suenes
~ ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. – Alfred Lord Tennyson
Maru Mori brought me
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft
as rabbits. – Pablo Neruda, Ode to My Socks(1904–73)
Magick – The Spoon Theory – by Christine Miserandino www.butyoudontlooksick.com
My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.
As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?
I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.
As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.
At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.
I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.
Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.
She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?
I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.
I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said, “No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make yourself something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.
I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.
We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.
When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.
I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this every day?” I explained that some days were worse than others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”
It’s hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.
After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste every day? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”
Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my “spoons”.
© Christine Miserandino – See more at: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/#sthash.dP0cRarN.dpuf
Silliness – Car Full of Penguins
A man was driving down the highway with a car full of penguins. Penguins sticking out the windows, penguins coming out the sunroof, penguin everywhere. A cop pulled him over and told him if he didn’t want a ticket he’d better take those penguins straight to the zoo. The man promised he would and drove off.
The next day, the same highway, the same car, the same guy, the same cop and the same penguins – only this time the penguins were all wearing sunglasses! The cop pulled the guy over and said, “I thought I told you to take these penguins to the zoo!”
“I did” said the guy, “Today I’m taking them to the beach!”