Tuesday, November 12, 2019

New Schedule, New Challenges.

Blessings Darlings!

Things have changed a lot at work recently.  I had been in charge of a lunch contract - but the govt group this was for has been re-located onto a military base in another state.  Since I have always been rather a 'utility outfielder' at work, doing a lot of different things when I wasn't doing the lunches, I'm now varying between dishtank and 'pantry' (that's desserts/salads/prep). 

With this group, which had also been staying in the hotel, gone, we're not seeing much restaurant action.  Almost everyone's hours have been cut.  A few folks had their positions eliminated.  HR and Chef are trying to keep my hours just high enough that I can keep my insurance, but keep me below full time and take away paid days off and such.  The thing is - they have to spread my hours across more days.  I'm working less hours, and more days a week.  And what days I'm working has been varying, because they mostly need me when folks hold Events in our banquet rooms and conference center. 

Add to that the recent End of Daylight Savings Time and Oncoming Winter difference in hours when the sun is up when I'm awake (I'm still working evenings/nights) ... it's all complicated.  I'm tryig to prep the garden for spring, but that has to be done in daylight (and is best done if there isn't much wind).  I'm hanging our clothes to dry, but the sun goes down so very much earlier now, that if I don't jump up and start laundry VERY soon after I get up (BEFORE COFFEE!) it doesn't finished drying by dark.  And all those other things that have to fit in - meditation, exercise, offerings, eating right/planning menus, grocery shopping, etc ... 

Yeah.  Complicated.  And I've NEVER been one of those 'type A' 'always have to be working on something' people.  Instead, I'm the type that needs a fairly large amount of time between tasks.  All of which ties into last week's post about having to find tools to help me get organized.  I don't expect that any tool is going to help me segue more quickly from task to task, tho.

I'm quite cross about it all.  But it is what it is.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

My 2020 Organizer/Calendar

Blessings Darlings!

It's that season again, time to buy next year's calendars and organizers and all that.  I've not yet found one that will do the work of organizing my life for me, and as I've noted before - I'm where organization goes to die.  Nevertheless, I keep trying to become more organized.

Therefore, today was the day I went out looking for a calendar to use to try to organize myself for this coming year.  And I found the perfect one for me.  It might not do the work, it might not be perfect, but it's ... me.

It helps handle the daily swearing for me.

It's the Carpe Fucking Diem 2020 planner.  You can look at your whole month, you can organize your weeks, it has room for monthly goals, each month has a different color, and it shares my bad attitude.

Maybe this will the The One.  Maybe not.  It's a fucking journey of discovery.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Re-taking The Hill. Again.

Blessings Darlings!

Dreams last night were frustrating but immensely informative. In them I took on every single task other folks gave me. Every . Single . One . Of . Them . I also had my repetitive dream of 'driving a vehicle so big that I can't see the street to steer and drive over other vehicles'.

Time to re-assert sovereignity over my life and time. I've been slipping on that again.  
Yeah, I slip on this with GREAT regularity.  Okay - it's not 'great' for me.  It sucks for me, and is a habit ingrained from childhood.  I'm not going to bore myself by citing some of the examples.

So today I'm back to setting time limits on housework, on cruising the internet for other folks, etc.  Freed time is for MY goals - food gardening (yes, even in winter), writing, study, exercise, planning healthier meals for myself, etc.

Gotta run - it's going to start raining again soon, and I need to get stuff done in the garden before it does.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mercury Retrograde is Coming, and I Feel Fine.

Blessings Darlings!

People in the Pagan/Witch groups I'm in have started their regular freaking out over the upcoming Mercury Retrograde. They have started praying that it's smooth. Have I mentioned that 'hopes and prayers' put my teeth on edge? 
So here's a reminder that the Merc Retro is a needed and useful thing, where you unwind stuff that no longer serves you. And that there are things you can do to prepare for it, so it goes more smoothly. Do what you can to make sure (and double check that) all your bills are paid, especially insurance. If you look at things and note that you won't be able to make a payment - contact that creditor in advance and see what you can work out. Back up your computer in advance. Maybe get your car checked out/change your oil, etc in advance if you can. Make sure you have a patch kit for the tires on your bicycle. 
Get your self-care in place. Taking care of yourself will make things smoother, and help make sure you have more energy and are more centered to face anything that comes up. 
Finally - start facing things you don't want to face NOW. Make it a habit. This will help build your ability/ease of handling crap as it comes up. 
Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Weight. Fiber. Healthy Stuff.

Blessings Darlings!

Book reviews are coming - but life's been busy lately.  Very busy.  My husband has a new contract that's a bit of a death march on timing (so much to do, so little time to get it done) - so I'm doing all the housework except the bathrooms (our spawn does those.)  I'm also doing a lot of support work on the project, since, after all, I am the co-owner of the business even if I don't do the programming.  And then there's the keeping him fed/coffee'd, etc...

Meanwhile, I've got a butt-ton of my own goals that I'm working on.  Not just the reading, but increases in magical practice and ... there are a lot of health goals in play.  So the rest of this post is going to be whining about problems manifesting the sometimes contradictory actions to reach an assortment of health goals.  Just ONE part of ONE thing I'm doing - getting at least 10,000 steps a day - takes me a lot of time.

Still with me?


I'm old, chubby, and out of shape.  Actions are underway to work on those things.  Part of the problem is insulin resistance due to metabolic syndrome.  For that - increase exercise, reduce weight, reduce carbs in my diet (especially highly refined ones.)  Being a woman over 60, I'm also supposed to get 21 grams of fiber a day.   That's the fiber in about 4 cups of cooked broccoli - one of the BETTER vegetable sources of fiber.  A cup and a half of salad mix has only 1 gram of fiber.  The double serving of spaghetti squash I had for breakfast had only 2.2 grams of fiber!

The only good food sources for fiber are ... starches.  Sweet potatoes. Cooked dry beans.  Cooked barley.  Exactly the types of food I'm trying to reduce in my diet.  The foods I was heavily relying on (and getting heavy from!) during the last decade of Broke Ass Eating.

I feel personally betrayed by this, even as it makes clear what I'm going to have to top my salad with.  And I might end up buying some fiber supplement to add to water/coffee/whatever. Because I'd really like to have fruit as my carbs - I really like fruit.  I don't mind beans, but fruit is, well, sweet.

Yeah.  First world problems - losing weight and making sure I poop regularly as I age.

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

More Book Review Criteria!

Blessings Darlings!

Having consulted with others, and thought about it myself - there are more things I'd like to see in Wicca/Pagan 101 books.

Let's start with ... footnotes for history claims, and suggested reading lists!  And the authors need to have their facts right.  "Truthiness" is not an option tho' LABELED UPG (unverified Personal Gnosis) is fine.

That you should pay attention of all sorts of spirits, not just the Gods.


Witch books better include the concept of raising, shaping, and sending energy - not just 'put up mirrors to block negative energy.'

Rede Thumping along with the Rede. 

That Karma isn't what most Westerners think it is, and that Dharma matters.

How well the book is edited, spell checked, etc.  No book is perfect, and I know that it's HARD to get Kindle editing to do what you want, but a good-faith effort should have been made.

I fear that expecting them to NOT go on about Christianity is too much to ask ... but I'm asking it anyway.

More criteria might be listed later, as things bug the shit out of me.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Wiccan Book Reviews Coming!

Blessings Darlings!

I'm going to be doing a bunch of reviews of 'free for kindle' Wicca 101 books (When I told a friend this, she asked me why I was going to torture myself.)

So now, before I start doing the book reviews, I'm going to be up front about what I want to see in any Wicca 101 books.  So here's the list:


Now you know what I'll be looking for when I do book reviews.  Gods help us all.

Frondly, Fern

Monday, February 18, 2019

Cause? Effect? Random?

Blessings Darlings!

I've had more energy and less executive dysfunction lately than I've had in ... ages.  This is WONDERFUL when you've had various types of depression, well, pretty much all my life.  Therefore, I'm trying to figure out 'what I did' that caused the change.

I'm doing this even tho' I fully realize that I'm not actually in full control of my brain chemistry.  But I REALLY WANT TO BE fully in charge of my brain chemistry.  I like feeling good.  I want to stay feeling good.

So, I'm reviewing what I've been eating, drinking, exposure to sunlight, the changes I've made in the offerings I'm giving to all sorts of Spirits, the bed board I've added to the bed so the mattress is firmer, improved sleep, reduced caffeine, exercising, etc.

But ... I can't tell what might have helped CAUSE the improvement from what was CAUSED BY the improvement.  I've no idea what came first amongst the variables.  And there are SO MANY variables. 

I want to be in control,  while realizing that I'm never going to be in full control.  I'm doing factor analysis, laughing at myself for doing it, but continuing to contemplate it.

That said - I'm happy with what's going on.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Pinterest Pagans

Blessings Darlings!

This is a continuation of last Wednesday's blog "Consider the Source!"

There are some Pagans/Witches/Magic Users who violate my "Sources  Matter" rede all the fucking time.  They see something that tickles their Elmo in some way, and NEVER checking to see what the source is or even checking to see if it's total nonsense.  They just add it to their Pinterest/Tumblr/spam it in FB groups immediately.  They don't care if it's true or false, or if it's plagiarized, or if actually followed it can be dangerous.  The best that I can say is that they have their feelz going, but not their brains (or ethics in the case of plagiarism.)

I'm calling them Pinterest Pagans because I really like alliteration.  In my never humble opinion, they are the Becky and Chads of the Pagan/etc community. 

I've posted before about folks who try to 'buy' paganism/witchcraft by buying craploads of tools and oils and other 'stuff'.  This is another form of that - collecting random stuff from the Internet most of which they don't use.   Judging from what I've seen - 90% of the witch/pagan stuff they share is shit.  Just ... shit.  Shit with no sources cited.  Because apparently they think that everything on the Internet is true.

If they share spells and are asked details about them, it's usually clear that they never did the spell.  They can't tell you what exactly occurred when they did it.  They can't give you success/failure rates, they can't tell you why any specific item is called for.  They can't discuss the magical theory behind the spell.  They can't tell you a specific statement of intent that they used. 

IMO, Pinterest Pagan are, for the most part, uneducated and not willing to do REAL work to educate themselves.  Not willing to even investigate what they read for veracity or intelligence or reality.  They clearly don't believe that the sources matter.  To quote Isaac Asimov, they believe that "[their] ignorance is just as good as your knowledge," or equal to the knowledge of folks who have made deep study for years into what they are posting memes about. I'm not saying that *I* am an expert that they shouldn't be comparing themselves to - I'm saying that the sources I quote are the experts, in case anyone was wondering about that.

I weep for the human race. 

Frothing Fern

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Consider the source!

Blessings Darlings!

As all y'all know - my blog isn't scholarly.  It is full of my opinions, UPG, and a lot of rants.  That said - if I cite hard numbers, info on Paleo Pagan stuff, etc - while I often give the references, if I don't I'm still able to cite my sources if asked.  As often as possible (paywalls get in the way) what I have are PRIMARY sources (or translations of them) for all of them.

In other words - the material I comment/rant about/share is from a primary source.  My commentary is a secondary source of information.  And I TOTALLY encourage all y'all to ask me for sources if you want to check things out/look further into the issue/etc.  I don't bogart my sources.

Online, if I share things from sources other than 'me' - like art work, quotes, etc - I will ALWAYS give credit to the person who created them.  If I think that art is good enough that others should enjoy it, too, then it would be a shitty thing to do to NOT give credit to the artist, and not let folks look at more of the artists work, and make it harder for folks to actually BUY things from the artist so the artist can keep creating. 

If I share stuff from a Blog, there will be a link back to the blog. 

Okay - if I use a commonly quoted line from a movie, I don't usually use citations.  "Bye Felicia" doesn't get a (from the movie "Friday", <year of movie> written by <etc>) citation.

Citing sources matters.  Because as all y'all say you know already - not everything posted online is true, or comes from a source other than UPG.  And some folks' UPG is stupid.  By the way - you can quote me on that.  And I can provide examples.  The examples will be Primary Sources.

Knowing the source of any material - whether it is a primary source of ancient lore, a primary source of scientific research (hard to get - often behind pay walls, best accessed at college libraries, and may have the holy grail - the raw data! - included), a secondary source like something written by someone who read the article, a tertiary source like someone who read a press release about the scientific research then wrote a newspaper article about it, etc lets you know how many times the information could have been misinterpreted and how many times there could have been important things left out. 

More on this - the really RANTY part - next blog!

Frondly, Fern

Monday, February 4, 2019

My Body is Wiser Than I am.

Blessings Darlings!

So, yeah, as previously blogged, I had a cold. Of course, the symptoms sucked - my throat was sore, I was tired, I had serious nasal congestion, my sinus' threatened to close, I was blowing my nose ALL THE DAMN TIME, etc.  I REALLY wanted to get rid of all the symptoms.

HOWEVER - most of the symptoms (not all of them) were caused not by the virus, but were part of my body's strategy and tactics for fighting off the virus.  I was tired because my body was putting energy into cranking out white blood cells/antibodies specifically targeting the virus.  The congestion, and the mucus, was because my body made the mucus membranes 'leaky' so it could get the antibodies to the virus infested areas easily.  If I had had a fever - that would have been because antibodies aimed at some virus'/bacteria raise the body temperature, too, because those 'bugs' are temperature sensitive.  The sneezing ... okay, that was probably the virus taking advantage of nasal structure to send itself out to infect others.

It was hard for me to not take OTC meds aimed at quelling the symptoms and let my body do its thing.  Taking decongestants and/or antihistamines would have let me breath thru' my nose, etc.  However the impact on actually getting over the cold would mean that I'd actually HAVE the virus longer.

Instead, I relied on hot herbal teas to help flush debris from the war into my kidneys, napped, ate well (tho' I could not taste ANY damn thing), used saline nasal spray to help keep my sinus' open, etc.  My husband couldn't eat the canned chicken soup that I added garlic and hot sauce to - it was way too spicy for him.  I couldn't taste any spices in it.  Once I was less sick I used my returned energy to make a batch of home made chicken soup and he carefully and Virgo-ly supervised the seasoning of it.

It was HARD to honor my body over my hatred of the symptoms.  I had to - gasp - ADULT.  I had to differentiate between 'getting better' and 'feeling better'.  I had to very narrowly focus parts of my healing work - that herbal tea was given specific target of 'keeping the sinus' open' not 'reduce all inflammation'.

I'm back to my usual level of health now.  I had to miss the local Woman's March huddle so I couldn't infect anyone, but I won't infect anyone at work tonight.  Tomorrow I get back to full exercising (which I should have stopped doing earlier in the cold - I did NOT honor my body that way at first.)

Frondly, Fern

Friday, February 1, 2019

Cold season when it's frigid outside.

Blessings Darlings!

Remember this post I made two months ago - https://fernsfronds.blogspot.com/2018/11/cold-season-is-coming.html?  Sigh - it's here, and I'm the family member who has the cold.  And in my part of the country, the temperature has been in the single digits and teens - BEFORE subtracting wind chill.

I'm happy I didn't have to go out to get anything for the cold.  And you know if I had tried sending other family members that it would take longer to explain what I wanted than it would have taken going myself.

I'm having my soups and stews and juices. I added a lot of garlic and hot sauce to my soup, and still couldn't taste anything.  I had the Chubby Hubby taste the soup to see if it was 'just me' - yes, it IS 'just me'.  I've had my elderberry syrup.  I've had my nap.  I'm shocked at how quickly I'm going thru' my Puffs-with-lotion tissues.

I'm glad I have the stuff and time and cosy home to handle this ... but dammit I had PLANS for today.  It's my day off!  I am not amused.

Whining Fern

Monday, January 7, 2019

Clothes Repairs

Blessing Darlings!

As I mentioned in the last blog post - while our income is finally up and stabilized, we still need to be frugal/cheap.  One way we're doing this is to keep our clothes wearable as long as possible.  This means, amongst other things, that we .... okay, *I* need to do clothes repairs.

Therefore one of the purchases I've already made this year was material to use to patch clothes with.  The least expensive way I've found to be sure that I have a variety of colors of material for this is to buy pre-packaged 1/2 yard swatches of material at Walmart.  The brand is Waverly.  Solid colors are 97 cents before tax.  Since most repairs don't take a lot of material, one package per color lasts me at least a year, except for the black one.  I use a LOT of that to repair my work clothes.

So for $2 of material, and maybe $1 of thread, and I can save at least $10 that I'd have spent on new work clothes every year.  I probably save even more than that - repair one pair of pants and I save $15.  The shirts are 'only' $3 each, but if I only have to replace two instead of 5 a year, I save another $9.  By repairing 3 shirts the other night at work, I more than paid back the investment I made in material.

Yes, I repaired my work shirts at work.  It very was a slow night.  It was, arguably, work related.  My boss and the supervisor on duty were aware of what I was doing.  They may or may not be as hands-off if I repair other clothes at work.

By doing these repairs, I also reduce the amount of garbage I create, and, since most of my clothes are cheap cotton - reducing buying more of them reduces the amount of pesticides used and saves a lot of water use (growing cotton uses a HUGE amount of pesticides and a large amount of water.)

Oh - I don't buy the material in either white or tan.  THOSE colors of cotton I have plenty of, from saving salvageable parts of my husbands tan/khaki pants, and use them to repair his NEWER pants that need patches.  And those pants are way more $$$ than my cheap pants.

Reduce, repair, re-use, recycle!

Frondly, Fern

Friday, January 4, 2019

It's a New Year!

Blessings Darlings!

Yup, a new year.  New chances.  Mostly the same old bills.

Here there has been a change - after months of complications, the Chubby Hubby is now getting Social Security benefits.  He's in his 70's - so since starting it after turning 70 he's getting a monthly deposit that looks HUGE in our eyes.  Between that and my job all of our 'normal' monthly bills will be able to be paid without panic ... for the first time since 1991 (when he left his job with regular paychecks to start his own business.) 

How do I know that we'll be able to pay all regular bills?  Because I made a budget, of course.  We all know that we should know what our monthly regular bills are, but making budgets out of those figures can be scary.  It can show what we're doing wrong (we, for example, are spending WAY too much of our income on rent so CH has space for his business.) 

So, yeah, go forth and see what you spend on stuff last year, so you know at least what minimums you'll be spending this year.

I'm sure that we'll be tweaking this budget.  It doesn't have 'correct' amounts for things like health insurance/meds in it since Bob will be switching to Medicare and paying for that and some of the additional plans for that, and our higher income has me no longer eligible for Medicaid so I'll be paying health insurance and higher medicine and doctor visit copays.

Still, it's a start.

The current budget doesn't have room for savings, tho', and we need to get that in order.  At one point last month our savings account had only $38 in it!  Remember - that's the account that would also be  bail money for some of you who read this regularly, so some of y'all have a vested interest in us having cash in that account!

So our cheapness .... uh ... frugality is going to continue, along with refining what we really spend. 

And, seriously - why is propane still so expensive now that oil prices have dropped?  We finally we able to get the propane tank filled today, and it's going to cost around $950!  What's up with that?

At any rate, this is what we're starting our year with.

Frondly, Fern.