Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Blessings, Darlings!

No, I'm not going off on the Banksters and Quantative Easing ... I've been trying to iron out issues in our Online Banking and on our credit cards (from a different bank!

I love the people who work in the local branches of the bank we use for business and personal checking/savings accounts.  They are professional, personable, and work hard to make my life easier.  But our account is an OLD OLD OLD one - we started at Mellon bank, it got bought by yet another bank, and that got bought by the bank we are now with.  As a result, suddenly the software or something realized that they don't have signature cards for us - they were with the original bank, and no one knows where that paperwork is now.  So, when I went to link our personal account with our business account for online banking ... things blew up. 

But I went in and filled out the paperwork, took it home, had the Chubby Hubby sign, brought it all back, the person helping me faxed it all to the main office, called the main office, and was assured that I'd have everything online the next day.  I went home, relieved, but didn't need to do anything online right away - I had done it at the bank at the same time.

Fast forward one month .... to yesterday. 

Knowing that I'd be going to the bank (some 30 miles away), I checked the online banking.  STILL no access to the personal accounts.  Went to the bank.  Spent an hour with the branch manager HERSELF calling and being transferred around Main Corporate Office as she tried to figure out what had gone wrong.  We ended up having me do all the paperwork over, now for both business accounts and both personal accounts.   I'll take the paperwork back on Friday, after the CH again signs it, and see if we can get it done then.


While I was at the bank I deposited a check from a client into the business account, which we still can't do from home but the bank has explained to us how to set up.  I get home, ready to pay bills, but cooked dinner instead.  This morning the CH tells me that one of our monthly bills didn't get auto-paid due to a credit card problem, I need to look into it.  I call THIS bank.  The robotic voice tells me what our balances are, and that there is about $2K in headroom.  But I added the balances on that account (both of us have cards that contribute to the total) and in fact we were within a few dollars of our credit limit, so of course the charge wouldn't go thru'.  I made a payment so we SHOULD be able to clear this up tomorrow .... but I do NOT  understand why the robot info says we have lot of headroom on the card!

Just one of those frustrating financial times, with the bank central offices NOT helping.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Exercising Sucks

Do I really need to say more?

Blessings, Darlings!

Today I re-started exercising, for about the 20th time.  As a result, I'm in full whine mode.  My feet hurt, my knee hurts (okay, it has been pissy for the past few days), my arms hurt, my back is getting ready to hurt..... I've taken an ibuprofen so I will be better able to sleep without pain tonight.

I do NOT enjoy exercising.  I like being able to say that I exercised any given day, but that's not been enough to sustain the habit of actually doing it.

Incidentally, by training/degree I'm a Health Educator.  Never mind my overweight, out of shape, high cholesterol/triglycerides/blood pressure self.  I know WHY I should exercise and be fit and eat right.  I just don't do it.

But, again, I'm going to try. I'm also, again, giving up procrastination - yes, starting immediately.

My plan is to get my pasty white ass up every day at 7, brush teeth/wash face/feed cats.  Meditate. Do some warm-up exercises, then get on the exercise bike for 20 - 45 minutes (right now 20, will work up to the 45), then jump in shower, then healthy high protein breakfast, then on with my productive day.  Add another round of exercise in later most days (weights, stuff to increase core body strength, etc) and a walk.

Doing this, I should be in great shape in about 30 years.

Stay tuned.

Frondly, Fern

Monday, March 28, 2011


Blessings, Darlings!

As a consumer, I love Groupon. When I lived in DC I got several wonderful deals using it.  Now that I'm rural, it's not as useful to me.

However, I  have subscribed to it in my Mother In Law's city, South Bend, Indiana so I can follow deals there and maybe pick up coupons for her.  Over the weekend they had one for the Studebaker Museum, for example, and that was a good option for her.

And then there was today's offer.

Tandem skydiving.  For $70 off.

I pointed it out to the Chubby Hubby, who laughed.  "And everyone thinks that the Eskimos are tough, 'sticking old folks on ice floes' and all.  But even THEY don't throw them out of air planes!"

Frondly Fern

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's Spring

Except it's not, because we're getting more snow.

Blessings, Darlings!

I've been starting seeds, and getting house plumbing issues fixed, and all that neat stuff lately. OTOH, I'm going to have to turn lawn into a garden, AND fence it (groundhogs and deer), using practically no money. I'm afraid to borrow a tiller from a friend because I fear that I'll hit a huge rock while using it and break it. 

The spring wild veggies, dandelions and wild onions, are growing in the yard, and I'll be added them to omelettes and such.  But due to the cold weather we're going to have this week, on the stove as I type this is veggie barley with beef soup.  We finished the miso soup today, but will be having that again soon - it's easy to make and I'm pushing sea veggies on the family just now.

I'll probably post the soup recipes in a few days.

Blessings, Fern

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Blessings, Darlings!

The Chubby Hubby had quite the tantrum last night.

After months of job and financial stress, and a long-ass day, he was putting a cup of coffee into the microwave oven in order to heat it.  But he fumbled.  Coffee spilled.

And he lost it.  Totally.

Grabbing the lid of a Glad Ware casserole (which the Spawn was making Rice Krispy Treats in), he yelled, swore, beat the counter with the lid sending shards of cheap plastic all around the kitchen.  Spawn and I rolled our eyes.

Once the CH stopped, I ordered him to NOT return to work that evening and sent him to his room with a bottle ... of George Killians Irish Red beer.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Blessings, Darlings!

Most of us Pagans have been bombarded by 'supermoon' info - that the full moon yesterday/today is the closest to earth (by 10% or so) and brightest (by 30%) in 19 years.

Many Pagans on Facebook and Twitter are reporting feeling the energy quite clearly.

Which all makes me wonder - what of the Super DARK Moon?  Was the last dark moon, or will the next dark moon, or some other moon, be the closest DARK moon to Earth in ?  And what would the energy of THAT be? Chaos?  

It sure wouldn't be peaceful!  But, oddly, at least one person has noted that the energy of THIS is peaceful.

Huh? If full moon is about fertility, especially when combined with Eostre and spring equiniox ... fertility is total chaos, when looked at in sexual reproduction.  Scores of sperms (or the equivalent from pollen) putting forth all sorts of energy towards hitting that ovum.  Or all those ova, if we have spawning in water.  Mate or die.  Well, mate AND die, but your genes go on, even tho' you may die just from the exertion involved in being successfully fertile.

I'd say that if this moon doesn't go all the way to chaos, it certainly is about Madness.  Isn't the worship of Dionysis around now?  Bacchanalia, baby! Maenads tearing up animals alive and eating their still quivering flesh.

Peaceful super moon, my pasty white ass.

Frondly, Fern


Blessings, Darlings!

Weekends are when we get to work ON our business, not FOR or IN our business, focusing on the internet marketing aspect.  We catch up on marketing and sales webinars and reading, we work on the website, we work on e-mail follow-up sequences, etc.

We are an affiliate of Infusionsoft (links and more promo of that coming soon!  Whoo hoo!).  For now, just a link to the book by one of the founders, which is a good (and cheap) buy:  Conquer The Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy.  We are also members of (but not affiliates of) Stompernet.

Someday I'll do a blog full of all my favorite people/resources here.  But not today.

Back to sharpening my saw!

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Blessings, Darlings!

I'm going to assume that y'all, like me, have prayers and money support going to Japan already, and won't be nagging about that.

But, holy shit, the situation there keeps going and going and going.  Earthquake, tsunami, reactor problem, more earthquakes, more reactor problems, more reactor problems, more earthquakes, more reactor problems.  And I do NOT think that the reactor folks are telling anyone the whole truth, and I do NOT think that the Japanese Govt is telling us all the partial truths that the reactor folks are telling them. 

That point in the news conference from the Japanese govt a few days ago, when, after the Prime Minister did his dance and some other govt minister (energy or nuclear) was being questioned ... he was asked if the Japanese Govt had called in IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) experts for help.  His reply - he didn't know!  WTF? The Japanese press being well-behaved lap-dogs, they didn't press on the issue.  Holy MFing Shit!

Even the usually very diplomatic IAEA is saying that the Japanese are holding back info .

Yes, 'it's not Chernobyl' in that the core is not flamable, no graphite involved.  HOWEVER - the containment buildings are breached at the #2 and #3 reactors, the stored used rods are exposed (and not at ALL contained) at the #4 reactor, #1 has known issues but not known breaches, #5 & #6 have temperatures rising.  They had to pull the poor schmucks still there trying to get the place under control for a while due to the radiation leaks.  They couldn't bring in helicopters to drop water or sandbags because of the excessive radiation leaks. 

Oh, but with prevailing western winds (as if the wind is ALWAYS from the west?), 'most' of the radiation will 'harmlessly' go out into the Pacific.  Where the cesium will be taken up by the algae and seaweed, and from there into the oceanic food chain.  Will it reach the US, contaminating US crops?  The same experts who said that this wouldn't happen at all say no.  Remember, if it DOES get here, it's going to include not just cesium (nasty nasty nasty stuff), but radioactive iodine and strontium as well. 

Do I have a horse in this race?  Of course.  My husband is older than I am.  He was part of the generation where doctors 'treated' enlarged tonsils by irradiating.  Yes, it shrank the tonsils.  His generation also has an incredibly high thyroid cancer rate in those who have had this treatment.  The Chubby Hubby had this done, and has had most of his thyroid removed due to pre-cancerous nodules already. 

It's too late for anyone to order potassium iodide pills - they got snapped up fast this last weekend, and resellers are charging a HUGH amount now.  There are rumors, with no sources cited, that the US govt has bought up all that manufactures had in reserve and all currently being produced.  Skin application of liquid iodine, like my mom used to use for splinters, would still top off the iodine supply of the thyroid, preventing accumulation of radioactive isotopes.

It's not clear that there is anything that can be done to prevent problems from cesium and strontium in the food chain, other than not eating exposed foods.  How would we keep them out of the food chain?  Dunno.  Strontium will mostly accumulate in milk products if it makes it here (?and maybe in bones of small fish then larger fish? like sardines, then canned small salmon and mackerel? all in the Pacific ocean?) because it's in the same family as calcium. Cesium will be in plants, it being in the potassium elemental family, but is usually a bigger problem from skin exposure - that part will probably only be an issue in Japan.

This all sucks, mostly for Japan, but for the world in general.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Food Storage Approach

Blessings, Darlings!

With the latest natural disaster - today's massive earthquake in Japan, and the resultant Pacific Rim tsunamis - it seems a good time to answer a question I got.

The question, obviously, was what is my approach to food storage?

Well, it's multifaceted.

For short-term disruptions, like our recent hit to income or anything under a month, I'd rely more on canned goods and emptying the freezer, as well as home-baked breads/etc, sprouts, garden in season, and the 'usual' rotation of the long-term storage.

For long-term food storage, I have a tiered approach.

First tier - calories and vitamins/minerals.  That mostly means grains, and my obsession with 50 pound bags of wheat, along with rice, corn, and quinoa.  Add to that vitamin and calcium supplements.  Vitamins for everyone, calcium for me, as I am a woman and need to keep the bones strong.  With 400 or so pounds of grain per person plus vitamin and mineral supplements, we would make it thru' a year.  We'd be undernourished, but alive.  Actually, I have oils in this level, too, since we humans need some essential oils in our diet.  Here I have olive oil, sesame oil, canola oil, peanut oil.  Alas, oils have a fairly limited shelf life, so I don't store as much of them as I'd like, and the extra olive oil is in the freezer.

Second tier - protein.  Beans, mostly, which also help with calories.  I'm still WAY light on them.  Ideally, I'd have 200 pounds per person of beans stored, or 600 pounds total.  Instead, I have 66 pounds (plus the 'in use' supply in the kitchen, about 10 more pounds).  However, beans don't store as well as grains do.  After a few years, they become too stale to cook.

'Tis a dilemma.

I also have a lot of nuts stored, to help with the protein levels, (and they also help with essential oils and calories) and a nice supply of canned fish along with a little canned chicken and beef. 

Third Tier - Everything else.  With an emphasis on dried fruit, dried veggies, sweeteners (sugar, maple syrup, honey), seasonings.  A little dry milk, a very few cans of freeze-dried meals, cocoa powder, etc. 

Water gets its own category.  One 55 gallon water barrel, one 80 gallon water heater, 13 gallons in bottles that I rotate regularly.  We are on well water, so if power goes even short term, we have no water except what is stored .... or that I carry from a nearby stream and run thru' a water purifier.  And I'm not talking a Brita filter setup, I'm talking Katydin filter or, someday, a Berkley set up.

Clearly, I also have a hand crank grain mill, and general cooking supplies.  Cooking fuel I'll cover later.

Frondly, Fern

Supply Cabinet

Blessings, Darlings!

My Menfolk FINALLY put the doors on my Occult Supply Cabinet.  And I've found almost all the boxes of stuff that go in it.  And I unloaded those boxes and loaded the Cabinet.

I'm still missing the incenses, oils, charcoal, most of my candles, and sewing supplies (the patterns and material for robes, altar cloths, etc).  But I'm still a much happier camper!

And Suz, if you're reading this - I found that Domination candle I bought for you some time back.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cultus Interruptis

Blessings, Darlings!

Well, Pagani, it's Lent for our Roman Catholic friends.  And I'm sure it's one fast or another (or a fast is coming up soon) for our Greek Orthodox friends.  And my Jewish family is gearing up for Passover.

There is Cultus around us, but not Amongstus - not much cultus in the general neopagan community.

I'm not saying that there is NONE.  Suz does her monthly fast and offerings, my buddy Poison Spoon did a year of fasting a while back, not just her 'regular' periodic fasts (obviously not a 'no food at all' fast) .... but they are Reconstructionists, specifically Greek and Roman ones, respectively.  I really haven't seen Celtic or Heathen Reconstructionists do that level of cultus.

I'm just sort of  puzzling over the idea of this level of cultus, not yet sure if it's a good model for everyone, if it's got something to do with the lands of origin (the middle east, the Mediterranean), or what.

Anyone with hints?

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Penises are Weird and Scary

Blessings, Darlings!

I assume that most of my Pagan readership has read about the woman (separatist Dianic Witch) vs woman (trans woman, intersex women, gender queer women) issue at Pantheacon: that some trans women were not allow to attend a woman's ritual (apparently including one woman who had already had bottom surgery).  If you missed it - check out the threads at The Wild Hunt, at Patheos, and  most of all at  Oh, it's covered other places as well, trust me.

While I've posted a reply or two on all those sites, it's time for me to 'officially' address it here on my very own blog.

I'm going to focus on just a few things, and not some other things:

1 - I'm not speaking as a diplomat, so assume that if I screw up on some language/reference it's not to be offensive.  I promise to let you know when I'm trying to be offensive.  I'm trying to be 'good' here - I even left out the words 'just fucking' before the word "assume" in the previous sentence.

2 - Transexual women ARE 'born women'.  I'm not speaking FOR the transexual community here, I'm quoting the transexual community and my friends within it.  I cannot and will not deny their experiences and lives.

3 - The US constitution gives everyone freedom of association and assembly.  For the purposes of THIS blog post, however, I'm not going to address private groups and criteria for membership, or private (not mixed group) venues.  Instead....

4 - I'm going to focus on rituals/workshops/etc held at Pagan conferences/festivals, where the space is paid for by EVERY paid attendee (and where presenters may have rooms/meals/transportation/etc comped by those in charge of the event.  AND where everyone separates and goes home away from almost all of the presenters afterwords.

A) What are the PURPOSES of Pagan Conferences?

A conference is NOT a meeting of a tradition

I totally admit I have a set of biases here. 

A Pagan conference is not the same as a gathering of a particular pagan tradition

For me, a Pagan Conference is all about introducing people in the pagan community to others in the community, to find out about and experience open rituals for different traditions, to attend workshops, lectures, etc to find out about new things.

It's about open rituals, darlings, open lectures, open workshops.

In my view, at no conference would it be appropriate for, say, one tradition to be given a conference room by the conference management to do, say, their private initiations, leaving out non-tradition members at the conference.  I would see that as inappropriate.

Now, as Pantheacon's web site points out, many traditions there had their own hospitality suites (presumably paid for by the traditions themselves).   For a trad to say "hey, lots of us will be at this conference, how about we do some long-awaited working there privately, in our own suite" - cool.  A tradition-specific, and tradition-paid-for, hospitality suite is private tradition space in such a context.

But for a tradition to use conference paid for space for a tradition-only ritual - no.  Conferences should not be subsidizing specific traditions private events.

I'm going to copy and paste a statement from Sacred Space Conference, held last month in Maryland, because I love how they word this:

The Sacred Space Conference is a place and time of respectful sharing and thoughtful learning among the many rich and varied traditions, beliefs, paths and organizations found in the DC/Baltimore metropolitan region, the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area, and the world.  It is our hope that through this conference we will increase understanding and religious tolerance between the many traditions within the esoteric community, as well as within the public at large.

Sharing and learning among.

B) Conferences and festivals are NOT good places to do deep transformative work.  

I suppose that to some folks, I just typed heresy. 

But I stand by the statement.  

Truly deep transformative rituals should be done in a group close to home, a group that the individuals are already intimate with, groups that can and WILL do intimate follow up with the people afterwords.  You don't do life changing rituals - and that INCLUDES deep healings, not that anyone has said what the ritual in question aimed to to at Pantheacon - and then let the participants loose in the world.  At BEST, some level of personal chaos is going to be kicked up by such rituals.  At worst, psychotic breaks.

In either case, or anywhere in between, you don't abandon the participants to float off on their own after such a ritual.  

I'm going to end this here, tho' I believe that entire books could be written on this.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Instant Rice

Blessings, Darlings!

I've discovered that I'm making instant rice today.  That wasn't really my plan, just a happy coincidence.

Original plan: Pie crust

My plan was to create a nightshade and gluten free recipe1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes for baked pie crust.  From there, I decided to go for a crispy crust and to go for a creamy filling.  First thought - get a box of crispy rice breakfast cereal, mix it with beaten egg white, form the crust and bake it. 

But the name brand product, and the generic spin offs, aren't actually gluten free.  I could go to supermarket and see if the gluten-free shelves have something appropriate, but I already have one day of car use scheduled this week.

Modification of Plan:

So, I figured I'd make Chinese Crispy Rice, such as is used in Crispy Rice (or Singing Rice) soup.  To do this, you make rice (kind of overcooking it - a full 30 minutes on the stove), then spread it no more than 1/4 inch thick on a baking pan.  Leave it in a 300 degree oven until dry.

Once dry, you deep fry it.  It puffs!  If you put it in hot soup, right after it's been fried and is still hot, it 'sings' and crackles.

My plan was to fry it, crumble it, THEN glue it together with egg white and bake it.  And I'm still doing that, but came to another realization....

Prepper Realization

So the first tray full of rice is drying in the oven.  I'm waiting for it to finish.  But, since I look at everything thru' Prepper eyes, it dawns on me....

If I take the dry cooked rice, I have instant rice.  Just add water.  Duh.  It could be mixed with dry veggies and a bouillion cube.  Add water, and it's a really nice side dish, not even the 15 minutes of white rice cooking involved, let alone the 45 minutes of brown rice cooking.

Double Duh.


Instead of just doing one tray of this, I'll be doing several.  I'll still hold enough 'fresh cooked' rice around for tonight's stir fry dinner, but there won't be leftover rice in my fridge tomorrow.  It will all be dried and in well-sealed jars.

Frondly, Fern 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beyond Polarity

I just read a glorious essay on the current limits on God/dess images in the Pagan community.  Here's the link:

Go forth and be wonderful.
(Oh - I clicked on 'all results' to be shown for the Amazon link - some of the offers Amazon will show will be vile, I'm sure.  Just thought I'd warn y'all.)

Frondly, Fern