AIR QUALITY ALERT through noon Monday. DENSE SMOKE ADVISORY until 8am Sunday. Right now it’s really foggy and with the smoke mixed in visibility is awful. 49F, winds are calm, AQI233, UV. 10% chance of rain today and tonight. Part of the smoke problem is that the wind’s been from the north, then tonight it switched around to the east again. By noon tomorrow it’s supposed to start staying more to the west and south, then switch back to east overnight…. then back to the west on Sunday… More than 1/2 of the 10-day forecast has a good chance of rain in it, but there’s some chance even it’s not much. Push for more humidity and mist tonight and Sunday night. Monday should get us there, at least us coasties….
Yesterday was a strange day. The AQI was under 200 Thursday evening, but by this midnight it was pushing 300 and the fog was thick enough to chew. Tempus went out to the spring not long before dark and said that not only could he not see the bridge from the shop parking lot, he was having trouble seeing the *stoplights*!
We were at the shop all day despite being closed, working on stock, placing orders, filing extras and getting things ready so I can package herbs today. I was going to try to start last night, but both of us ran out of steam.
I found an interesting twist on mimosas, the orange juice and champagne drink that is a staple of fancy breakfast buffets. The suggestion was to replace the orange juice with orange sherbet, which really cuts down on the acid bite. Tempus got the stuff to make them and we tried it. Fantastic! The only problem is how the champagne/sherbet mix foams. It makes it hard to get much in a glass.
I got a nap, did my rain magics and then worked on catching up with mail. Tempus did paperwork, then fell asleep on the sofa, got up and went to the spring, re-set the big jug and then curled up on the nap bed until time to head out on the paper route. …and he headed out at 2:30 or so. Papers were running a tad late and his phone was acting up.
Today we’re probably not going to open. I don’t have any place to escape the smoke and at AQI of 200 I’m coughing and wheezing badly. Unless the AQI numbers go down, I can’t handle the door opening and shutting, much less propping it open, the way we usually do. I hate to be closed, but I don’t have a better idea.
Today is the feast of Meng Jiangnu (Pumpkin Girl), China. It is a tragic story of a loving couple whose lives were destroyed by war and the torture that war brings on the common people. There is more information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meng_Jiangnu More information can be found here about the Great Wall of China: http://www.warriortours.com/cityguides/beijing/great_wall/ and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China
This is also the anniversary of the greatest cavalry charge in western history. The winged polish hussars charged down the hill above Vienna, breaking the invading Ottoman forces. There’s some history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vienna
The metal band Sabaton did an amazing song about the charge. THis is their lyric video.
…and a reenactment video set to their music. This is rather bloody… well, it’s a battle.
Today’s plant is Western Red Cedar, Thuja plicata, which is not a cedar at all, but an Arborvitae. Arborvitae comes from the Latin for “tree of life” and coincidentally, native Americans of the West coast also address the species as “long life maker”. “Western Redcedar has an extensive history of use by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, from Oregon to southeast Alaska. Some northwest coast tribes refer to themselves as “people of the redcedar” because of their extensive dependence on the tree for basic materials. The wood has been used for constructing housing, totem poles, and crafted into many objects, including masks, utensils, boxes, boards, instruments, canoes, vessels, and ceremonial objects. Roots and bark were used for baskets, ropes, clothing, blankets and rings.” Wiki article –Masculine, Sun, Fire, – to enhance banishing of ill health and bad dreams. Burn for this purpose and purification and psychic power. Make a sachet for love or courage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuja_plicata
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 9/17 at 4am. 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 9/12 at 4pm. Hecate’s Brooch – 3-5 days before New Moon – Best time for Releasing Rituals. It’s the last few days before the new moon, the time of Hecate’s Brooch. This is the time that if you’re going to throw something out, or sweep the floors, or take stuff to Good Will, do it! Rid yourself of negativity and work on the letting go process. Release the old, removing unwanted negative energies, addictions, or illness. Do physical and psychic cleansings. Good for wisdom & psychic ability. Goddess Aspect: Crone – Associated God/desses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Ereshkigal, Thoth. Phase ends at the Dark on 9/12 at 4pm.
By 9 or 10 p.m. two of the best-known deep-sky objects, the Double Cluster in Perseus and the Great Andromeda Galaxy M31, are in high view in the east. They’re only 22° apart. They’re both cataloged as 4th magnitude but to the naked eye they look rather different, the more clearly so the darker your sky. See for yourself. They’re plotted on the all-sky constellation map in the center of the September Sky & Telescope, which should be all the map you need to identify their locations. They’re below Cassiopeia and farther to Cassiopeia’s right, respectively. Sky too bright? Use binoculars! The two clusters of the Double Cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884) are both about 7,600 light-years away. M31, at 2.5 million light-years, is about 330 times farther.Jupiter’s Great Red Spot should transit Jupiter’s central meridian around 11:05 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time; 8:05 Pacific. Jupiter will finally complete its retrograde (westward) motion against the background stars tonight, coming to a standstill at 8 P.M. EDT. After that, it will begin moving east, closing the gap between itself and nearby Saturn. Jupiter is currently 8.1° west of Saturn; it will track nearly 1° east to end the month 7.4° from the ringed planet.
The best time to view Jupiter and Saturn is in the evening after sunset, when they’re already relatively high in the south. Both are located in Sagittarius, northeast of the famous Teapot asterism. Jupiter appears 44″ across and glows at magnitude –2.5. Saturn’s disk is 18″ across, but its rings span 40″ — nearly as wide as Jupiter — and it’s magnitude 0.4. Both are visible with binoculars or a telescope; you may even spot some of the planets’ largest moons.
Venus (magnitude –4.2, in dim Cancer) rises in deep darkness two hours before dawn begins, in the east-northeast about 20° below Pollux and Castor. By the time dawn gets under way, Venus shines fairly high in the east. To Venus’s upper right is Procyon. Venus and Procyon form a nearly equilateral triangle with Pollux above. Right or lower right of Procyon shines brighter Sirius. It’s the brightest star but nowhere near a match for Venus. In a telescope, Venus continues to shrink slowly into the distance; it’s now about 18 arcseconds in diameter. And as it rounds toward pass behind the Sun it’s becoming more gibbous; it’s now 65% sunlit.
Old Farmer’s Almanac September Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-september-pegasus-measuring-sky
Goddess Month of Mala runs from 9/6 – 10/2
Celtic Tree Month of Muin/Vine Sep 2 – 29
Runic half-month of Raidho/Rad 8/29-9/12 – Denotes the channeling of energies in the correct manner to produce the desired results. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 102/ Runic half-month of Kenaz/Ken/Kebo – September 13-27 – Ken represents a flaming torch within the royal hall, so it’s the time of the creative fire – the forge where natural materials are transmuted by the force of the human will into a mystical third, an artifact that could not otherwise come into being. The positive aspects of sexuality that are immanent in Freya and Frey come into play at this time. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 102
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Muin/Vine Sep 2 – 29 – Muin – (MUHN, like “foot”), vine – The grape (Vitis vinifera L.) is a vine growing as long as 35 m (115 feet), in open woodlands and along the edges of forests, but most commonly seen today in cultivation, as the source of wine, grape juice, and the grape juice concentrate that is so widely used as a sweetener. European grapes are extensively cultivated in North America, especially in the southwest, and an industry and an agricultural discipline are devoted to their care and the production of wine. Grapes are in the Grape family (Vitaceae).
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 12 Low 3:10 AM 0.7 6:53 AM Rise 1:00 AM 36
~ 12 High 10:00 AM 5.4 7:31 PM Set 5:03 PM
~ 12 Low 2:59 PM 3.6
~ 12 High 8:49 PM 6.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Well, you and I only have one life apiece. Gonna live it?
~ God does not repay evil for evil, and thus the righteous should not do so either. No judgment, no abuse, but blessing…Blessing means laying one’s hand on something and saying, Despite everything, you belong to God. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
~ Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and approximate to the characters we most admire. A generous habit of thought and action carries with it an incalculable influence. – Christian Bovee
~ When you row another person across the river, you get there yourself. – Dominique Brown
~ Arguments are like fire-arms which a man may keep at home but should not carry about with him. – Samuel Butler
Take the fruit I give you, says the bending tree;
Nothing but a burden is it all to me.
Lighten ye my branches, let them toss in air.
Only leave me freedom, next year’s load to bear. – Lucy Larcom (1824–93)
Harvest Salad Spell – by Anja
Go through your garden, (or go to the farmer’s market!) and harvest various greens: lettuce, cabbage, beet leaves, basil, parsley, green beans, spinach, turnip, carrot and parsnip tops, any green herbs that are growing, then go check your yard for dandelion leaves, and plantain. When you have ½ a bowl full, nab things like one ripe tomato, an ear of corn, one pepper, one squash, a cucumber or any other fresh vegetables you might have. Thank the garden spirits for giving you these lovely things!
When you have a little bit of everything, take things in and wash them, roll up leaves and chop them fine. Scrub peel and dice the vegetables and toss it all together in a bowl. Take ½ a cup of yogurt and some shredded cheese and mix it up then toss that on top, followed by some chopped bacon or ham or chicken and mix well.
Eat with good bread and butter, a glass of good wine and a joyful heart.
Make sure you take a little bowlful and a piece of bread and a little glass of wine out for the spirits and thank them again for your harvest.
BAKED STUFFED SQUASH – MAIN DISH – SERVES 4
1 recipe Stovetop Stuffing Mix
? Water (check box)
? Butter (check box)
1 small onion
1 Large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked
½ Cup sunflower seeds or crushed hazelnuts (opt.)
2 acorn squash
1. In a large microwavable pot or bowl put spice mix (may be included with crumbs in some mixes), water and butter from stuffing.
2. Chop onion and add to mixture.
3. Chop chicken and add
4. Zap in nuker for 5 minutes. Stir.
5. Keep zapping, for two minutes at a time, stirring between.
6. Add seeds or nuts. Stir. Add breadcrumbs from stuffing mix. Stir well and fluff with a fork.
7. Chop squash in ½ longways. Scoop out seeds and discard.
8. Pile stuffing mix into the centers of the squash. There will be leftovers.
9. Put the 4 squash into an oven-safe dish, drizzle with melted butter and top with chopped fresh chives.
10. Cover and bake at 350 for about an hour. Squash is done when a sharp knife or skewer goes down through the center to the pan with no resistance (feels like a done baked potato!)
11. Serve hot. Store leftovers, covered. Can be reheated in the microwave if each serving is cut into ¼’s.
Tips This makes a good 8-serving side dish or 16-serving nosh.
EASY BAKED SQUASH – This works for any kind of “keeper” squash, the kind with a hard rind: butternut, acorn, even mini-pumpkins!
Squash – It takes an amount about the size of a fist per serving. 1 mini-pumpkin is one serving.
Sugar (optional) I use raw sugar because it’s pretty and adds a light molasses flavor
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
2. Wrap squash in aluminum foil.
3. Put on a pie pan or cookie sheet in case of leaks.
4. Bake for at least 1 hour, or until package feels soft, when pushed on. Some large butternuts will take up to 2 ½ hours!
5. Let sit on counter or other heat-proof surface until you can touch it. (10-15 minutes)
6. Peel back foil, and use fork to punch a circle around it about ¼ of the way down the sides.
7. Pull off the skin at that point. Discard seeds and strings. Scoop out the flesh.
Put a pat of butter on each serving and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Tip: Mini-pumpkins can usually be served still in their skin with the top pulled off, the seeds and strings discarded, butter/sugar put inside and the top, with the stem, put back.
CUCUMBER TOMATO ONION SALAD – Arcamax 4-6 servings
2-3 large cucumbers
1 Small onion
¼ Cup fresh cilantro
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
¼ Tsp ground cumin
¼ Tsp coriander
½ tsp salt
1. Peel, ¼ and slice cukes.
2. Chop tomatoes, cilantro & onion.
3. Grate ginger
4. Put in a bowl and toss.
5. Combine remaining ingredients in a cruet and shake well.
6. Pour over salad and toss.
7. Chill for about 1 hour before serving.
The Skinny: Not much room for improvement here.