The weather has been changeable all day, one of those “if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes” days. 52F, no wind, AQI8, UV2 and we’ve gotten 1/10 of an inch of rain. There could be more showers tomorrow and there’s a solid chance of rain on Monday.
He has the paper route tonight. …and I’m heading back to bed. <gah>
Today’s Plant is Gillyflower, Clove Pink, Carnation, all names that are used for, Dianthus caryophyllus. This plant has been hybridized to the point where the basic flower and the florist’s varieties (which are all that show up in the article….) don’t look a bit alike, although they keep the scent. These also make a yummy tea. Even a single flower in a cup of green tea is enough! There is a lot of symbolism to the flower, depending on which culture you’re in, although they generally are thought to mean love, fascination, and distinction. They were used particularly in crowns of victory in ancient Europe. – Masculine, Sun, Fire, Jupiter – All-purpose protection, in healing for strength and energy (so perfect for hospital bouquets!) and for healing of broken hearts, add red, rather than pink blossoms. White are occasionally used for the protection of children or those who travel. Dried petals make a great addition to sachets, potpourris or incense since they strengthen the properties of other plants and herbs.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dianthus_caryophyllus
Zlaty Amos, the Czech Teachers Day, is held annually on the birthday of John Amos Comenius, a famous educator of the middle ages. Czech students nominate the teachers whose approach most motivates and inspires them to the competition Zlatý Ámos (Golden Amos). The coronation of “Golden Amos” (or the “teachers of the year” as we would say in the US) take place yearly on March 28, and yes, they really wear crowns! See more here (website in Czech, but there are pictures) :http://www.zlatyamos.cz/ and on Comenius here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Amos_Comenius
The shop opens at 11am. Spring hours are 11am-6pm 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
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 4/6 at 1:58am. 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. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 3/27 at 9:10pm. Waning Crescent Moon – Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term (full year cycle) A good time for beginning knot magicks to “bind up” addictions and illness (finish just before the Tide Change of Dark to New) and “tying up loose ends” God/dess aspects – Demeter weeping for her Daughter, Mabon, Arachne Tyr. Phase ends on 3/31 at 1:58pm.
The signature fall-and-winter constellation Cassiopeia retreats down after dark. Look for it fairly low in the north-northwest. It’s standing roughly on end. But for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes Cassiopeia is circumpolar, never going away completely. By midnight or 1 a.m. it’s at its lowest due north, lying not quite horizontally.
Last Quarter Moon arrives at 12:10 a.m. EDT (9:10 p.m. PDT yesterday evening). It rises around 2:30 a.m. local daylight time and climbs higher in the southeast as dawn approaches. During this period, our half-lit satellite lies among the background stars of Sagittarius the Archer, north of the conspicuous Teapot asterism.
Saturn (magnitude +0.6, in Sagittarius) glows in early dawn, to the lower right of Jupiter by 25°.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for March
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fearn (FAIR-n)
Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings. Runic half-month of Ehwaz, 3/30-4/13 – Ehwaz, the horse; time of partnership between humans and Nature, as between rider and horse. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 55
©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month – Ailim – Silver Fir
Color: Light Blue
Meaning: Learning from past mistakes; Take care in choices.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 28 Low 12:44 AM 3.5 7:05 AM Rise 3:11 AM 53
~ 28 High 6:38 AM 6.8 7:38 PM Set 12:23 PM
~ 28 Low 1:58 PM 1.0
~ 28 High 8:48 PM 5.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts…
~ Old age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your views become more extensive. – Ingrid Bergman
~ It remains the funniest show I’ve ever seen in my life. – John Cleese, of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s Beyond the Fringe, which began on August 23, 1960
~ Are you Dorothy Parker?” a guest at a party inquired. – “Yes, do you mind?
~ You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think. – Dorothy Parker
The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one’s designs to one’s means. – Napoleon Bonaparte
The animal … reached out his long trunk, wrapped it around the trainer and then drew him down to where that majestic head lay blood stained in the cinders. Scotty cried like a baby. Five minutes later, they lifted him from the lifeless body … That night Scotty laid down beside the body of his friend. At last exhausted from the strain, he fell asleep. – Edgar H Flach, a prominent jeweller from Ontario, and eyewitness to the accident that killed Jumbo
Buttermilk Bacon Blue Smashed Potatoes
- YIELD: SERVES 4, IS EASILY MULTIPLIED
- PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
- COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES
- TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES
2.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
4 ounces blue cheese
2 green onions, sliced
- Wash potatoes and peel or cut off any dark spots or imperfections, leaving as much skin on as possible.
- Cut into cubes and place in a large stock pot, covering with cold water.
- Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Drain potatoes and place back in the pot over low heat.
- Add butter and buttermilk, then use a potato masher and mash until your desired texture has been reached.
- Mash in salt and pepper, then mash in the cheese and crumbled bacon, saving a bit for the top if desired.
- Taste and season additionally if desired.
- Top with sliced green onions.
Hasselback sweet potatoes
you will need:
2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons of butter (or butter substitute)
2 tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce
2 tablespoons of real maple syrup
1/4 cup of chopped pecans
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of peeled, finely diced apple
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Splash of olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash and peel the sweet potatoes 3/4 of the way, leaving some peel on the bottom of the potato.
- Lay wooden chop sticks on each side of the potato and slice as thinly as you can.
- Rub them with a little olive oil.
- Oil a baking dish or line it with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients.
- Carefully try to push some of the stuffing mixture between the slices.
- Pile the remaining stuffing on top of each potato.
- Drizzle any remaining liquid over the potatoes.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes, being careful not to burn the topping.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Crispy Polenta Fries – Courtesy of chef Michael Schwartz
Yield – 2 dozen
- 1 quart whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal (not quick cooking), medium grind
- 1 cup grated grana padano or Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil, for frying
- Spicy Ketchup
- Line a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with plastic wrap, letting the excess hang over the sides.
- Set aside.
- Bring the milk, 1 cup water, and the butter to a simmer over medium heat in a large pot.
- Gradually whisk in the cornmeal in a slow steady stream.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and switch to a wooden spoon.
- Cook, stirring often, until the polenta is very thick and pulls away from the sides of the pot, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the cheese until incorporated; season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
- Pour the polenta into the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula; it should be about 1/2 inch thick.
- Refrigerate until completely cool and firm, at least 1 hour or, even better, overnight.
- It’s important that the polenta sets up completely and gets quite dense, so it’s easy to cut into strips, that won’t fall apart in the hot oil when you fry them.
- Heat 3 inches of oil to 350°F in a countertop electric fryer or deep pot.
- If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, a good way to test if the oil is hot enough is to stick the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick in it.
- If bubbles circle around the end, then you’re good to go.
- Grab the ends of the plastic wrap and lift the polenta out of the baking dish and onto a cutting board.
- Flip the polenta over to remove the plastic.
- Cut the polenta into thirds lengthwise and then crosswise into sticks. 18) You should wind up with 24 large Lincoln Log–like pieces, approximately 3/4 inch wide by 4 inches long . . . yes, they’re huge.
- Put the polenta sticks in a fryer basket or spider strainer and carefully lower into the hot oil. Do this in batches to avoid overcrowding and to keep the oil temperature constant.
- Fry the polenta sticks for 3 to 5 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined platter to drain.
- Season lightly with salt while the fries are still hot.
- Stack the polenta fries like Lincoln Logs on a large platter.
Silliness – Signs and Notices – Sign in King’s Canyon in California. ‘Slow Parking Ahead’