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Archive for August, 2012

I have to be honest, I’m not the best at remembering to harvest my herbs. I tend to look at the flowers and enjoy them way too much in the garden. I love watching the bees and the butterflies feeding on them. By the time I think about harvesting them, I’ve missed their peak.

I came across Blog @ Food Garden’s herb drying post and just had to share! They have it explained nice and easy.

By the way, when you hang your herbs to dry, you can use just about anything to do it. I’ve seen clothes hangers, coat racks, those hanging pot racks. If you can hang something from it, you can probably use it!

 

Ok, quick edit: Under The Maple Canopy liked this post, so I headed over to check out their blog. I saw this and just had to share it. Brilliant! I would never have thought of such a unique herb drying rack!

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The whole situation with that moron Republican representative from Missouri has me thinking about women’s rights this morning. Women will never really have rights until we have the right to decide what to do with our own bodies. NO ONE OWNS MY BODY BUT ME. Look how long it took for women to not only have birth control pills, but also to have the right to take them! It was still ILLEGAL in Massachusetts in 1971!

In 1959, President Eisenhower declared that birth control was not the government’s business…in 2012 women are being told they have no right to an abortion and in some cases (Catholics come to mind) told they have no right to birth control pills or any type of birth control surgery/implantation. (If the Vatican has changed its stance on birth control, please link it in the comments, as I was unable to find anything)

(Add to this the constant bombardment from the media of the perfect body that all women should strive for and you’ve got yourself a world where women have no rights over their own bodies. We’re not even allowed to be happy with who we are, but instead are constantly told by people who want to sell us stuff that we’re not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not white enough, not tan enough, our breasts aren’t perky enough, or large enough, etc., etc.)

President Obama responded eloquently to the aforementioned moron: “The views expressed were offensive,” said Obama. “Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me. So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”

I think his last sentence states the core of the problem.

And since we’re speaking of women’s rights, please don’t be fooled by the recent acceptance of women at Augusta National. This acceptance is all about the money. Ten years ago, Martha Burk fought for women to be able to play at Augusta and their denial cost them sponsors. Four years after that they got a new chairman and four years after he took charge, they’re now accepting women. Darla Moore (along with Condoleeza Rice) has been accepted at Augusta National as a member. Darla Moore was the highest paid woman in banking in the 1980’s and “In 1998, Moore made an initial $25 million contribution to her alma mater, the University of South Carolina, which renamed its business school after her. She pledged an additional $45 million to the school in 2004. And last year, she pledged $5 million to the college for a new aerospace center. She also pledged $10 million to Clemson University in her father’s name.” Gee, think she might donate to Augusta, too? Come on, this has nothing to do with rights and everything to do with money.

You want to really make a change for women’s rights? GO OUT AND VOTE! These women fought and won the right for women to vote so that we can protect ourselves and make sure our voices are heard. VOTE! Show the government in overwhelming numbers that we will not be controlled, we will not be silenced, and we will have our rights!

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Saw this on Facebook and had to share it. Have a blessed day and remember, we share the world with all sorts of amazing beings.

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A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs twined together with string. It’s usually sage, but there are other herbs like lavender or cedar that can be used, too. The stick of herbs is then burnt to release the magical properties of the dried herbs.

Smudging was first used by Native Americans and was used for shamanistic rites as well as for purification rites. Smudging can be used to purify people, places, and items.

I’ve never been a big fan of the smell of burning sage, but I will use sage smudge sticks for purification. I harvested some lavender from my garden and thought, hey, why not try making a lavender smudge stick to use instead of sage? The following pictures are my process for making a smudge stick. You can do this with any herbs you like.

First, you’ll want to gather your herbs into a small bundle. Tie them together at the base of the bundle. You’ll want to use string that is all natural so that it burns with the bundle and doesn’t melt. Synthetic string will melt due to the plastic in them.

 

 

Next, you’ll start wrapping the string around the bundle, making your way slowly up the bundle. The number of times you wrap the string at each point is up to you. I did it until it felt secure and then I moved on to the next spot.

 

 

You’ll continue wrapping until the bundle is secure.

 

 

Once secure, I just wrapped once around to get the strings back to the bottom where I could tie them off.

 

 

After that, hang them up to dry. I forget how long it took for my lavender bundles. Depending on what type of herb you use, you may need to put something underneath to catch anything that falls out.

 

 

They’re not the neatest smudge sticks in the world, but I thought it was pretty cool to make my own. Using an herb whose leaves or stems are what you want would be much neater and probably require less string, too.

Happy crafting! 🙂

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According to Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History,

“August 11-13, 2012: Each day, Earth, in its orbit around the Sun, plows through about a hundred tons of space debris – meteors – typically seen as shooting stars the world over. Comets that cross Earth’s orbit lay down a debris trail that significantly increases this rate over the short time Earth crosses the trail. We call these occasions meteor shows. August 11-13 are such nights, over which Earth crosses the debris trail of Comet Tempel-Tuttle. This shower, the Perseids, is named for the constellation Perseus, the location on the sky from where the meteors appear to emanate. After midnight each night, look to the northeast. Assuming clear skies, expect to see about a meteor per minute. As always, keep looking up. -NDTyson”

I’ll be looking up into the skies in about an hour. Good luck and cloudless skies to you!

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Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh, was August 1st and it’s basically a first harvest celebration. We reap what we’ve sown during the growing season, we look ahead to upcoming harvests yet to come, and we’re grateful for the many blessings we’ve received.

This is a time to savor the summer because we know the days grow shorter and summer will soon turn to autumn. Take a walk through fields or orchards or enjoy a day on (or near) a river, creek, spring, pond, or lake and reflect on all the good things in your life.

This is traditionally a grain festival, so bread and other grain-y goodies are usually the foods of choice. Apples are coming to fruition (pun intended 😉 ) and so they are also usually part of the food and decorations. Beer, wine, juice, or mead are excellent beverage choices for this sabbat.

I usually don’t ‘officially’ celebrate this sabbat. I prefer Mabon for my harvest celebration because things feel more ‘harvesty’ to me in late September.

This year I planned to do some quiet contemplation and tidying up of my gardens to celebrate Lammas, but that is definitely not what happened. At 3:30 am, my mother was taken by ambulance to the emergency room because she was having a stroke. I found out at about 5am. Now, my mother lives across the country from me, so my husband and I spent the day figuring out how the heck we were going to get to her. Just like everyone else, money is too damn tight right now.

I spent the day bouncing back and forth between sobbing and single minded determination. I knew I needed to let people know what was going on, but I couldn’t bring myself to call anyone but my dad. (My parents are divorced). So, in a daze, I posted something to facebook. Boy, did my Lammas blessings pour in.

My friends all rallied around and posted wonderful messages and sent out their own energies in the form of prayers, well wishes, and healing in mine and my mother’s directions. Family members offered and friends offered money so I could go down to see her. The support was much needed and very, very much appreciated.

My husband and I were able to go and see her. She’s doing better than I feared. Her left side is paralyzed, but she’s doing physical therapy and seems to be making leaps and bounds every day. She has never had a stroke before, so this was quite a shock. Overnight she went from being completely self sufficient to not being able to walk, talk without slurring, or move her left arm. She has to eat her food minced up because the left side of her throat doesn’t work well for swallowing.

This Lammas, my blessings showed themselves to me in the form of my friends and family and in my ability to do the things we take for granted every day: go to the bathroom myself, bathe myself, speak clearly, and simply walk.

I encourage you to celebrate all of the many blessings in your life, big and small, and to tell your friends and family how much you love and appreciate them.

Blessed be.

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