Saturday, August 27, 2011

Virgo New Moon TUSAL

I am so annoyed with myself for not writing at all this month. I'm really glad for the TUSAL project, because it forces me to come out and play at least once a month!  New commitment time (committing to myself, that is) to record my days, or they slip away from me.

It's been a very full month, too - Mercury Rx totally kicked my behind non-stop in the form of bureaucratic glitches and hang ups that had me spending more time - mostly unsuccessfully - sitting in various government agency waiting rooms being told I couldn't get there from here (it had to do with an ID issue, and I very nearly fell entirely off the grid for lack of a way back in).  Mostly solved now, but wow, annoying!

Rheumatoid arthritis flares have been making the month challenging too, but that's not anything new, just what colors the overall picture.

I got a bit of stitching done - including finishing and passing on the UU Spirit of Life blackwork sampler I designed for a church friend's kids.  I could not get the picture to really show what it looks like - the coloring is not quite as intense as this seems.. pale pink fabric, and variegated floss in purple and pink.  The small marks down the stem of the chalice are Ogham tree symbols - each of her three children are named for Ogham trees.  This was a lot of fun, but I think I'm done with this pattern now.... it's similar to the black and white design I made for the church auction, only this time I changed up the blackwork patterns to give a vaguely Land and Sky and Sea effect - I may be the only one who really sees it that way, but the top two, to me, look like mist or smoke, and feathers for Sky, the middle looks like flowers and a woven mat for Land, and the bottom like waves and of course fish, for Sea.

This past week has all been about the weather!  First, that earthquake - and no, I do not want to hear from west coasters saying how it was 'nothing'... while I don't think we should cower before natural events like this, I don't think we need to be all jaded and blase about it either!  It was really, really unexpected and strange - I was washing dishes when it started, and had time to process (holy moly, did a bomb go off... wow, still going on, wow...earthquake?! hmm... maybe time to get away from the cabinet full of glass..), crab walk hanging onto the sink over to the door frame - notice the china cabinet rocking side to side and decide to stay away from that, and scoot away from the dining room into the living room to grab my cane in case I was needing to try to crawl over stuff in a few seconds.  It was a big slow roll and I think the only reason that china cabinet didn't come down is that the rolls were coming from the side of the cabinet rather than front to back.  I hear it went on a good 90 seconds.

As soon as it stopped, I was outside checking on Sadie Beagle (who was happy to see me but didn't seem bothered at all about what had just happened), checked for downed trees - none - exchanged exclamations with neighbors, and walked the yard until my heart stopped trying to punch its way out of my chest.

No damage - a few things fell over, but none breakable, so alrighty then!

And now, we're buttoned down waiting for Hurricane Irene - we've got lots of water stowed in containers, filled the freezer with more containers of water to maximize the time things will stay frozen, have food that doesn't need cooking, and a good supply of liquor and board games. hee..  We're inland enough that flooding isn't an issue but power outages are likely.

Now, this Virgo New Moon - which doesn't start until tonight, but I may not have power by then - seems to be all about analyzing and perfecting our lives.  It's a good time to make a recommitment to whatever our path is - to make sure our walk is matching our talk.  My intentions this month is to continue our recent path of shopping and eating local, seasonal foods as an ethical and spiritual practice, to be involved with our UU Church (I just 'signed the book' and it is a short step from that to being approached by various action committees), and also to beginning a Druid study for the next couple years.

So - goodbye Mercury retrograde (ended yesterday), hello Virgo New Moon!  If you're in the path of Irene - stay safe!

Monday, August 1, 2011

What's Cookin' This Week: Aug 1-7

It's a new month and today is Lughnasadh - the first harvest, focused on grains... barley, corn, etc, as well as all these lovely summer vegetables and fruits we've been enjoying.  I tend to treat this as a day to acknowledge some of our indigenous foods - squash, turtle beans, tomatoes, corn.  I don't remember how or why I came to that association, but it works for me well.

Michael and I were able to share in a small public ritual in Alexandria yesterday and brought home some sweetgrass braids that will find their way onto the year 'round tree for a season.

This morning, we got our first milk delivery from a local creamery - they arrived just about a half hour before we'd normally wake up, so that's absolutely perfect..well before the day gets hot enough to need to rush out to the cooler to claim the goodies.

Meanwhile, it's time for some menu planning, and to work out my kitchen tasks for the week.  I'm putting dates to these but they might get shuffled around a bit:

Monday, Aug 1
Summer Vegetable Chowder
Corn Bread
Beer (Hello, John Barleycorn!)
Peach Crisp

Food preservation:
- Prepare water kefir.
- make yogurt

Take out chicken for Wednesday.
 Take down ground beef for tomorrow.
Prepare dough for breadsticks tomorrow.

 Tuesday, Aug 2
Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce

start some pickles

Make cucumber salad for tomorrow.

Wednesday, Aug 3
Roast Chicken
Brown Rice Pilaf
Green Beans
Cucumber Salad

Begin sourdough starter.

Take out ham for tomorrow.

Thursday, Aug 4
Ham and Potatoes au Gratin
Mixed Fruit Salad

Pick off remaining chicken from carcass.
Take pork roast out of freezer.

Friday, Aug 5

Make chicken stock from carcass.

Saturday, Aug 6
Chicken Pot Pies
(leftover chicken, fresh veggies)
Brown Rice

Make enough chicken pot pies to have some for the freezer.

Sunday, Aug 7
Chopped Veggie Salad

Shared with Menu Plan Monday.