It’s pouring right now, but we should see it slacking off soon. The local weather map is solid green, but when you back up, we’re not far from the edge of it. 47F, wind at mph and gusting, AQI 8-52, UV4. Chance of rain 42% today and 14% tonight. We’re under a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until noon. The rest of the day should begin to dry out and tomorrow is likely to be at least partly sunny. The chance of rain spikes midday on Wednesday, tapering off to showers on Thursday and then a couple of dry days, then a couple of maybe-showery.
Tempus did most of the work for the shop yesterday. We had a few people in, early on, but when the rain started that was it. Nobody else. It’s still coming down fishhooks and hammer handles…
Yesterday was lots of fun, although kinda frustrating with my physical limitations. I spent most of the day cooking and eating. 🙂 I started with crockpotting that filled pear recipe, which turned out to pretty much be the same as doing ’em in the oven. It’s the foil, I think. I hardboiled 1/2 a dozen eggs for one of the dishes, but ate one and only used two, so I have breakfast. I discovered that we were out of chicken broth, so that was next on the list, made with carrots, onions and celery along with the chicken. I have about a quart left for other purposes. The solids from that got smushed in my birthday food processor and topped with the chicken, ground mushrooms and a little salt. They’ll get cream of mushroom added for lunches this week. I shredded most of 5 pounds of carrots, plus a lone parsnip and about 3 onions for packet meal, that I didn’t have enough energy to set up. That’s going to be today’s task. I realized almost at the last second that I had planned to cook some of the carrots whole, so I stopped with about 6 carrots left, coined those and then cooked them with an equal amount of shredded carrot, craisins, ginger and honey. Eventually I got to the two variations on Mortar Chickens, one called Mortreas, which cooked the meat in wine, and another called “Zerfahrens of chickens”, which is a shredded chicken and hardboiled egg dish. When that was all done, the pears were at 195F, so we ate. I was stuffed, but in a good way. That was all very tasty food. We had marzipan, maple candy, pecans and dried figs for later.
Home and sleep were next, but I’m up for a bit, getting this out and getting photos ready for the House Capuchin newsletter that goes out tomorrow. Tempus ought to be heading out for the paper run in a few minutes.
Today if the rain lets us there are vegetable ends to plant and some other work on the outside plants, some of which is going to be getting a number of them ready for transport. Tempus has to go to the park to look at the space they have for us, then to talk to the guy we got our tiny home from to see when he can get it down there. I’m going to make a list of some things and start pulling more stuff, assuming that we can start moving in the next few days.
Yes, we’ll have the shop open at 1pm. Tempus also needs to go to the PO and bank and a bunch of that kind of errand.
Today’s plant is the Rhododendron genus, specifically the wild rhodys that we have out here, that should be blooming in about 5 weeks, (and some are starting up, nursery varieties) the Pacific rhododendron, Rhododendron macrophyllum. Rhodys have native forms in much of the world (not South America or Africa) They are one of the showiest of the flowers with hybrids and cultivars all over the place, including the azaleas which fall into this genus, but there are some that you wouldn’t recognize, having almost no flowers at all! The plant is toxic to many animals and honey made from the plants will make you ill. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron Our rhodys out here are lovely during their bloom time, when you see a hit of pink here and there along highways and trails and in the woods and then within days drifts and swathes and whole hillsides are pink! It’s a hardy plant, which grows well in disturbed places, particularly areas that were burned over. It will re-grow from the scorched roots! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_macrophyllum – There aren’t any magickal references to rhododendrons that I’ve found, which doesn’t make any sense, since at least the cultivated ones are all over! Azaleas stand for Temperance in the language of flowers. Yellow rhododendron, native to Sibera, is used for rheumatism, gout and syphilis. My personal uses for them are for glamourie, beauty and outward show, but also for the learning to make these unnecessary by creating inward beauty and serenity. When these flowers are in season I use the fresh ones as a “notice me!” spell.
Attis is one of the odder of the gods that come out of the Mediterranean area. He is the consort of the mother goddess Cybele, whose worship was orgiastic and whose priests castrated themselves. This is the day that his image was hung from a tree and paraded into Rome. He pre-figures some of the more unusual stories about Jesus with his death and resurrection, birth from a virgin at the Winter Solstice, crucifixion, etc. Easter baskets with grass may have some odd connection with his rites. More on Attis here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attis and on the feast here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybele#.27Holy_week.27_in_March
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 3/28 at 11:48am. 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 3/26 at 11:48.
Mars passes 7° north of Aldebaran at 8 P.M. EDT. Don’t confuse the magnitude 1 planet for the red giant star, which is slightly fainter at magnitude 0.8 and much closer to the Hyades open star cluster sprinkled across the Bull’s nose. To their west is the Pleiades (M45) open cluster, which can look a little like a tiny dipper on the sky — in this case, not to be confused with the Little Dipper asterism, which is much larger and circles the North Celestial Pole, with the North Star Polaris at the end of its handle. The Pleiades is a gorgeous naked-eye sight, with at least six or seven bright stars visible to most observers; eagle-eyed individuals may count a few more. This famous cluster is also emblazoned on the back of every Subaru vehicle, as the brand name is also the cluster’s Japanese name.
Now the Moon, just past first quarter, shines high under Pollux and Castor in early evening. Far below the Moon is the huge Winter Triangle: Procyon on the left, orange Betelgeuse on the right in Orion’s shoulder, and brilliant Sirius below them.
Uranus (magnitude 5.8, in western Aries) is sinking away low in the west right after the end of evening twilight.
NIGHT SKY MAP FOR MARCH 2021: THE BIG DIPPER – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-march-big-dipper
Goddess Month of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn Alder Mar 18 – Apr 14
Color – Turquoise
Planting – 3/16-18
©2021 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).
Fearn – Alder Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: F, V
Meaning: Help in making choices; spiritual guidance and protection.
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
M 22 Low 1:05 AM 4.0 7:15 AM Set 3:56 AM 51
~ 22 High 7:04 AM 6.6 7:32 PM Rise 12:36 PM
~ 22 Low 2:46 PM 1.1
~ 22 High 9:46 PM 5.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this an amiable day!
~ A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. – Irish Proverb
~ Half our time is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. – Will Rogers
~ Nothing is more powerful for your future than being a gatherer of good ideas and information. That’s called doing your homework. – Jim Rohn
~ I can resist anything except temptation. – Oscar Wilde
Look all around thee! How the Spring advances!
New life is playing through the gay, green trees
See how in yonder bower the light leaf dances
To the birds tread and the quivering breeze. – –Ludwig Tieck (1773–1853)
Magick – Craft
· Sculpty or Fimo (found at most craft stores or Wal-Mart)
· leaf of desired shape and size
· oven proof bowl approximately the size of the leaf
· acrylic pain (optional)
· acrylic sealer (if you’re going to paint it)
1. On a cookie sheet or tin foil, oll out the Sculpty or Fimo with a rolling pin or flatten with your hand until it is approximately 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.Smooth.
2. Press leaf on top of fimo so that impression is made.
3. Trim off the excess fimo from around the leaf.
4. Remove the leaf.
5. Carefully remove the fimo leaf from the cookie sheet and place in the bowl so that the edges curve upwards.
6. Bake in the oven according to the direction on the package – usually 200 or 250 degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
7. Paint and seal with acrylic, if desired.
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.
Making your own broom is a fairly easy craft, and one that will leave family and friends in awe at your survivalist skills.
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
[If folks want to make some for the shop, I’ll gladly pay you!]