Thursday, November 2, 2023

Same Shit, Different Pagan Year.

 Blessings, Darlings!

There might be lots of typos tonight - new computer, not yet the best ergonomic set up, new keyboard.  Anyway - 

I'm in the midst of a very busy week of Samhain work here.  Starting with ritual Samhain Eve, starting daily work with the Planetary Powers on their appropriate days and during the appropriate Planetary Hours, done one major Tarot reading for the coming year and have 4 more to do, doing Jason Miller's Hallows of Hekate ritual (got that done today), etc, all leading to the closing on November 7.

Busy, busy witch.

Oh, the tarot readings?  One card pulled for every month.  The first round was for 'general'.
Next round will be 'personal'.  Then "Local'.  Then a round for National.  Then a round for World.  

I'd also like to re-start doing daily offerings a la Jason Miller but I put that down somewhere and can't find it, and my husband and I need to go over our living wills/end of life directives at this very appropriate time, but he's sick so isn't really available . . . he's also been supposed to decide on a date for us to go over and re-assign the household chores, but he's been ducking out on that over and over and over and over and over and over again - rather like he does on actually DOING the chores, eh?

He has a pass while he's sick.  And while he was tested for Covid earlier, I'm making him test again tomorrow.  Because I'm tired of this shit.

How are things with all y'all?

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Disorderly Conduct

 Blessings Darlings!

As I've mentioned before - I am where organization goes to die.  For example - today my NEW journal disappeared.   Can't find the damn thing anywhere.  It's amazing how fast this happened.

So when I tell you that the goal I set for this month (which I set late, on the 16th or so and is detailed in my journal), is to deep clean the kitchen and dining room - just think of all the disorder in those rooms that I'm trying to tame.  And I'm doing this in the midst of harvest season, when I'm using the dining room for dehydrating (because the big dehydrator is on that table, and I can hang bundles of herbs on the chandelier.)  

But I AM making progress.  In the past week or so I've gotten a bunch done and the areas aren't intimidating me as much.  Am I getting any help?  No, of course not.  Well, for once the cat hasn't barfed on any newly cleaned area, so maybe the counts.

How's your life going?

Frondly, Fern

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Is there an echo in here?

 Blessings, Darlings!

I don't usually invest my blogging time on religions other than my own, but I DO often invest it in rants, so I guess what follows is going to still be on-brand.  

This is inspired by a Facebook post by an ex coworker and now Facebook ex-friend.  He  posted that humans are not animals.  As one would expect, I took issue with this idea.  Since he's one of those people who didn't take well to me disagreeing with other things he posted on his timeline, I disagreed with it on MY timeline, and tagged him in the discussion.  

I posted the OED (Oxford English Dictionary, my main religious text!) definition of 'animal' into the discussion, "a living organism that feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli", and didn't include other details like embryology, oxygen breathing, etc.  This left room for him to bring up and defend the concept that 'humans are more than 'just' animals' - which is a different concept than the one I was objecting to, but would be interesting to discuss.

I asked him for his definition of animals and to state what he meant when he said that humans are not animals.  He repeatedly refused to define animals, but said that humans aren't animals because we can't breed with any other primates, and that 'all other animals can interbreed with others in their family'.  While that seems to be true about humans (I am assuming that some scientists got funding to see if human sperm and eggs could fertilize/be fertilized by all other primates), that even among primates only like 30% can interbreed to begin with.  And in the Canine family alone (don't ask why I have this factoid in my brain) foxes can't breed with any other species, and most coyotes can't breed with most wolves.  

Interestingly enough, while he didn't bring this up in the discussion OFF of his timeline, ON his timeline he brought up the idea that 'all other animals just go by instinct' and humans don't.  Since I was choosing to nor harsh him mellow on HIS time line I didn't point out that this idea was blown away by the fact that animals can be trained, they can LEARN to do things that increase their survival chances.  My cats, even the barn cats, know what noises I make to tell them I'm giving them food right now for example.  This is different than a cat's instinctive knowledge of 'cat sounds'.  I've never known a cat that had to be taught how to hiss, or what it means - THAT is instinct.  

At this point, he said that MY timeline is an echo chamber, because I had previously posted a meme saying "Not everybody has to like me.  I can't force you to have good taste."  I disagree with lots of my friends on a LOT of different topics, and they are all welcome to air these differences on my timeline.  In fact, I celebrate some of my friends exactly FOR calling me out when we disagree and pushing me for more information and my logic behind my opinions.  As it happens one of them, Tony Brown, was reading the thread and spoke up pointing this out.  He is probably the #1 person I invest time disagreeing with - because disagreeing with people and citing sources and logic IS A GOOD THING for me.  Wrestling vigorously with topics of all sorts is valuable in my life, for many reasons, the biggest of which is that you learn when you are hiding from looking deeply into your reasoning.  You recognize your 'hiding' behaviors and emotional reactions.  Now, those hiding behaviors and emotional reactions might be instinctive reactions.

Now, it turns out that he has a big investment in this 'interbreeding' issue.  I saw him post elsewhere that 'what people mistake for evolution is animals interbreeding and spreading genes to new species within a family'.  It's really a shame we didn't get to that - I could have gone on about Covid.  And, of course, I'm going to go on about it HERE, because, well, it's my blog.  

SARS-CoV-2 has been mutating since damn near day 1.  It doesn't matter if you think it escaped from a lab, or was released from a lab, or come directly from animals.  From the original strain, mutations have occurred - mutations, not 'they merged genes with other microbes' - to form new variants.  Different symptoms, different proteins in the spike, etc.  Not enough to be SARS-CoV-3 yet, but constant mutations never the less.  But he feels that 'all mutations are deadly'.  None can make something better at what it does.  And yet - here we are, with constant mutations  going on and we are finding out that some of them make the virus 'better' at spreading.  Are most of the mutations leading to variations that can't reproduce at all, or can't infect humans at all?  Probably.  But that is exactly the way Nature works.  Nature over produces and lets the variations fight it out.  Winner keeps reproducing.

For that matter, there are the 
Suffolk Pink and Winter Wonder apples.  Both are 'sports' - apples that came from mutations on existing trees of different varieties of apples.  Chance mutations that turned out to be darn fine apples, even if the Winter Wonder will never be available here in the US.

To get back to the original disagreement:  Are humans animals, or did he really mean that 'humans are more than 'just' animals?  For us pantheists/panentheists - animals (and plants and rocks and planets and etc.) are all infused with God-stuff, so even animals are 'more than just animals'.  I'm guessing that my ex-FB friend would say that either animals don't have souls or spirits OR that the souls/spirits they have aren't eternal, and only humans have eternal souls or spirits.  I also suspect that he thinks that there are no other sentient tool using species like humans anywhere in the universe, because that would be problematic for him - maybe Jesus would have to visit every planet and repeatedly die (and yes, I just got an image of Jesus as the Highlander)?  But since he didn't just unfriend me - he blocked me - I can't continue the conversation with him.

Yes.  They guy who I had said weeks ago was only interested in an echo chamber, and then accused me of only being interested in an echo chamber . . . blocked me for disagreeing with him and asking him for definitions and to cite his sources.  Welp, you KNOW I feel that proves my point.  

Frondly, Fern

Cats and Disorganization and Life, Oh My!

Blesssings Darlings!

My goodness, it's been over a week since I last blogged.  Time sure flies in harvest season.  And I'm havin a really hard time keeping up with all the tomatoes and Swiss Chard.  Which are the only things my garden is giving me tons of right now.  The avalanche of cucumbers is over (I'm still getting occasional ones), and the green beans are in nice steady production.  

We have just trapped the mothers of the 7 kittens we are fostering, and they will be spayed next week.  Which will slow the production of kittens - there is one more breeder out there, but she has very young kittens (like 2 weeks old) and they are hidden.  So while she keeps going into the traps to eat, we keep releasing her.  In another couple of months we'll work on trapping her and her latest kittens.

In my constant attempts to organize my life (ADHD?  Probably) I'm . . . well, I'm trying an approach that failed me before, but I'm SURE that it's going to be different this time.  The difference is that I'm powering it with spite this time.  That's also powering my latest diet - well, that and all the damn Swiss Chard from the garden.  

This new start stuff has been brought on by two different things.  One the purchase of my latest planner.  I buy one every year, of course, and lose track of it.  This year it just came out and the brand has a journal with it, too.  Maybe that will change things!  For those of you who don't know WHICH daily planner I get each year - it's the "Carpe Fucking Diem" one.  

Also - last night was the first cool night in rather a while.  Down in the mid 50's, with low humidity.  AUTUMN IS COMING!!!!!  I'm not a heat and humidity lover.  So I slept really well, and I have lots of cool weather energy today.  And maybe I've got a touch of blessed hypomania, which is always a good thing in my life.

Alas, the 90's will be back tomorrow.  I don't know what the humidity will be like.

That's that for now.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

A little this and that.

 Blessings Darlings!

We got heavy rain yesterday!  I fear that most of it ran off the lawn, but I will go out soon and start digging the hole for the elderberry.  At least the ground shouldn't be rock hard, right? 

I'm still being buried in tomatoes and Swiss Chard.  Drying the tomatoes is well underway.  Zucchini should start over producing soon.  Peppers are about perfect right now.

No homes yet for the 7 kittens we are currently fostering.  And the damn barn cat just had more kittens two days ago.  MY spawn has finally heard back and has plans for getting the fuzzy assholes spayed at reasonable cost. 

Music for the start of the day:  Flogging Molly, as backdrop for Sinead O'Connor's funeral.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Still too dry. Soon to be hot.

 Blessings Darlings!

We're heading into a little heat wave here - 4 days in the 90's, at least one currently forecast to be 98. And the rain forecast for today didn't arrive, of course.  The somewhat underwatered basil really really wants to go to seed.  I really, really want it to keep going so I can make lots of pesto.  OTOH, the Chubby Hubby HATES pesto.  OTOOH, the Spawn LOVES it.

I've watered the potted plants on the patio, but not the ones in the actual veggie garden and certainly not the herb garden. That's hose work, and the hoses are already tucked away because the mowers the management hired come tomorrow morning. So I'll water after they mow, I guess, tho' the day will already be getting hot by then.  

If I was in charge of mowing the lawn - I'd certainly not be mowing this dry grass that hasn't grown at all since we're in the middle of a drought.  But I'm not.

I've made more progress in my lazy way to expand the garden (I cover the grass with cardboard, the flattened boxes we use to carry our groceries home from Aldi's). I've covered about another 100 square feet - like a 4 foot by 25 foot swath. I don't know if I'll expand plants into it this fall or wait until spring.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Weed whacking.

 Blessings Darlings!

Holy Moly, it's amazing what I can get done around here when I actually have time!  The feral garden has been weeded and mulched, except for the area by the big Swiss Chard patch.  And THOSE darlings are feral and able to fight back/block the sun from any weeds that dare try to invade.

Today I started work on enlarging the garden area.  Being lazy . . . err, efficient I went down into the basement, started taking all the damn empty cardboard boxes that the Chubby Hubby has down there and never gotten rid of, flattened them, and am using them to smother lawn.  They are currently being held down by bricks I have that I'd INTENDED to use to make a really great Rocket Stove out of. 

See, witches?  INTENT isn't really worth as much as actually TAKING F'ING ACTION does.  Let this be a lesson to us all.  

Later today I'll be running a hose (well, two or three hoses in series) to the faucet by the barn shed and watering everything well.  Then I'll move the hose away from the gate by the faucet, and away from the gate by the garden, and leave it in place by the fence where it won't get mowed or driven over for all future use. 

Tomorrow . . . sigh . . . the Chubby Hubby wants me to start looking for work, because HE couldn't find work easily.  Mind you, HE was looking for a job in his little high-tech niche.  Once he decided to just get a 'job', it took him little time.   

Oh, yeah - I forgot to mention this.  Over the past week we've taken in 7 feral kittens, from two of the three barn cats.  The barn cats that are nieces of our cat.  They aren't feral any more - it's amazing how much they like getting fed and are willing to cuddle and purr in exchange.  They are of course inbred - I'm sure that their daddy was their moms' brother (he was killed by a car since then.)  

Summer feral fertility, going strong.  

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Cheap Pagan Bitching

Blessings Darlings!

So far with this unemployment I've been doing the usual stuff.  Looking at the finances to see how long before we have to start taking money from the emergency fund, moving money from the places I've already been taking surveys for cash, finally being able to weed the garden and get a big planting of green beans in.  

Today I move into 'Cheap Pagan Bitch' phase, and see how to live on less cash.  Obviously this is going to require plenty of garden work to get us fed.  And I suppose we might qualify for about $20 a month of food stamps until my social security retirement actually starts arriving.  (I didn't realize that their info 'you can apply up to 3 months before you want to start it' meant 'it takes at least 3 months to get you into the system.  Apply REALLY EARLY".)  

 So no one's getting more clothes for a while.  No paid entertainment - free concerts at the Amp, bringing picnic dinner is still a go. No buying more music, it's free radio apps.  And I quit smoking, which will save us about $30 a month.

Used books are allowed.  New books . . . so tempting!  So many of my friends are authors and I'm already behind on buying ALL THE BOOKS.  But I'll live without them.  OTOH, I'm NOT stopping the money for Patreon's I'm in.  

And, clearly, I won't be harassing Byron Ballard and Amy Blackthorn and all the others at Free Spirit Gathering. 

I can't change what we pay for rent (which is pretty low for the space we have) or health insurance.  We need the medications we're on (well, I might be able to reduce blood pressure meds soon, but we'll see.) 

 We have to eat, and we will reduce our spending on that with the help of the garden and cooking from scratch - but we were already spending relatively little on that.  I certainly will be making more food from scratch - all the loaf bread, egg roll and dumpling wrappers, all egg rolls and dumplings, maybe even all corn and wheat tortillas.  But not the English Muffins and biscuits - only the Chubby Hubby eats those and there aren't small recipes for biscuits.  I'm going to continue to buy those because I don't want to stand over a hot pan cooking English Muffins at this time of year (and I don't think we have the round things to pour the batter in.  I've done this enough to know that the thinner poured batter ones are better than the bread/muffin like cut-and-cook ones.)  Bread will be baked outside in bread maker.  Much baking will be done outside in toaster oven.  Air frying will be done outside in . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . air fryer. 

My husband will pitch a fit if I switch from good Chinese thin and thick soy sauces and go to big bottles of Kikkoman JAPANESE soy sauce.  He might just have to live with that.  You know how some folks have lots of different types of vinegars?  He's like that with soy sauce.  And a little bit with vinegar, too, really.  But I digress . . .

Cars - I could take my car off the road, rather than get new tags and pay personal property tax on it.  I probably won't, and just get 1 year tags instead of two year.  

Electric bill - Might go up a bit, with more home cooking.  AC is set at 80 days, 77 nights.  If the heat dome hits here the bill will go up.

Hell if I know what I'm going to do about propane for winter heating.  The tank is at 20% now, fine for the water heater.  The 'poor tax' for partial fills (the delivery charges, same if you get 100 gallons or 500 gallons or 50 gallons) is at least $35 per delivery.  I don't know if the cost per gallon is going to go up or down from where it is now.  And the company hides the cost it is per gallon now until you put in an order.  Snort.

We'll get by well enough.  I have assets I could sell.  I have a little money left in my IRA.  I'd rather not tap them at age 66, of course.   And I'll probably start very actively (vs the low-key stuff I've got going on now) look for a job in a few weeks, after I decompress.  Anywhere in Maryland (and I'm 2 miles from the border) pays more an hour than I've been making, which should offset increased gas cost in driving there.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Fire Away!

 Blessings Darlings!

Ever have a time/times in your life when you have . . . not visions, but recurring thoughts about things happening?  I've had one of those times lately.

The last time this happened was just pre-covid, when the thoughts were of lockdowns, closings, and the need to build community.

This time, it was about being shot, coding out, being shocked back to life, and re-building my life to focus on different things.

Welp.  To get shot, a gun gets fired.

Today I got fired.  The job was giving me panic attacks, so I'm really good with this.  As is the Chubby Hubby, who realized the level of stress I've been under.  And since I'd already been spending lots of time considering how I'd like to change my life (including some Quality Time with An Mórrigan) I know that it's time for me to do more writing and educating (myself and others).  I've got a lot of reading to do.  I've got a few books to write.  I've got this blog, to post on more often.  I've got a boatload of letters to the editor to get out on a regular basis.  And I should learn to play an instrument. 

I had already bought a guitar and subscribed to to more newspapers to try to read daily.  Now I'm going to actually have the time to read them.  The garden will be more important too, of course, since there will be some need to re-do finances and producing more of my own food will be part of that.  And I've already started going to go out to hear live music, a pleasure that Covid had stopped.

Alas, so will be quitting my beloved Marlboro Gold cigarettes.  Unlike tea, that's an unnecessary expense.  Oddly enough, I have been drying a lot of flowers and herbs for tea this year.  This is unusual for me.

I guess the 'action items' part of the message HAD gotten thru' in advance, even if the exact circumstances hadn't.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, June 30, 2023

Tikkun Olam

 Blessings Darlings!

As I'm sure all y'all have noticed - I have a big focus on my garden this summer. 
There's a reason for that.  One that was strongly reinforced today.

Our finances are finally stable, now that the Chubby Hubby has a job that can pay the bills for his business.  Go Chubby Hubby!  BUT - 

Exceptionally destructive Capitalism continues unabated.  The Oligarchy continues unabated.  Climate change continues unabated. 

Us having disposable income that we can use TO HELP THE OPPRESSED - and increasing our disposable income by things like growing our own food, buying everything used that we can buy used, buying less in general, etc - means that while we work to change the system, we can better help mitigate the effects it has on others. 

We can contribute more money to the local food bank.  We can contribute more money to environmental groups.  We can patronize local small businesses where the money stays in West Virginia.  We can keep our money in the LGBTx community.  Our contributions can help smooth the path for climate change refugees.  

This is the goal we are working on.  One step at a time.  The best we can. Tikkun Olam - rebuilding the world.  The Kabbalists who read this know the Qliphoth we all have the job of dealing with.

It sort of feels as if we're finally getting some traction in getting past the Vice of Malkut (yeah, I was taught ancient, not Modern, Hebrew back in Hebrew school.)  Maybe even getting close to the Virtue of Malkut - discernment.  Maybe.

It's the Good Stuff.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, June 29, 2023

How about this weather? Or - smoke gets in my eyes. And sinus's. And Lungs.

 Blessings Darlings!

Those of you in the US, since we now have the 'usual' west coast fires going as well as the smoke from the Canadian fires, how are you coping with the air?  And for those of you in the southern heat dome - how are you coping with the heat?

I was going to do a lot in the garden today.  But the air quality is so bad - in the Red Warning zone, halfway to the Purple Warning.  So I masked up to put laundry on the clothes line and water the potted plants, then retired to the indoors.  The 'haze' is visible everywhere - making the landscape hard to see.  The Blue Ridge Mountains are totally obscured, and they should be visible.  The weather service does not figure particulates (I don't know about Ozone) into their 'visibility' figure.  I'd say it's under a mile here.  Weather service says it's 5.5 miles.

Mind you, I was out in this muck all yesterday, because my job requires it.  So I spent all yesterday breathing it.  That was not fun. At least today my eyes aren't burning.

I don't know what the air quality is here in the house.  The windows were open late yesterday afternoon 'to let the cool air in', so I'm sure it got bad.  

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out what 'minimal use of air conditioning' is.  It's only 87 out side, and the dew point is low.  The AC was at 80F until 5 pm, then I turned it down to 79 because it felt stuffy even with ceiling fans.  We don't have an air purifier, alas, the only air filter here is the AC (or running the HVAC on 'fan only'.) 

Now, intellectually I know that the setting on my AC isn't a big impact on the environment.  Manufacture of all the 'stuff' is, so buying less stuff is a more effective action.  But we're living in the third stage of collapse, and, fundamentally, I'm going to have to learn to live without AC in the future.  Working outside in summer heat (and smoke) will help my body adjust to dealing with temperatures (even as it damages my lungs, right.)  

And even tho' I'm FAR from the highest consumer of ice in my household, I'm still using it while feeling that it is a First World Indulgence.  And keeping my ice water in an insulated cup (bought used.  Just like almost all my clothes other than my undies, shoes, and socks.)

But I'd still wish I could sleep in mid 70 temperatures, with a dew point of under 60.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, June 9, 2023

Home made olla options

 Blessings Darlings!

Since at THIS moment, Wunderground says that we will get nice rain next week, I'm considering putting in some 'home made ollas' if the ground gets less hard.  Ollas are an unfired clay based watering system - I'm going to let you google it yourself.  I'm going with re-using stuff that others throw out.

I've got empty 16 oz water bottles that folks throw out at work.  If I can dig holes, bury one next to every plant that needs water (with the top sticking out for easy refill, and poke some holes in the bottom, I can get water to the actual roots of the plants.  Less evaporation = less water used.  

I suppose I could use any 15 - 28 oz cans, or the 24 oz plastic bottles from spaghetti sauce that we slowly accumulate, too, in the same way.

I also suppose that after I put this in, rainfall will stop being rain fail, and I won't need them any more.  Because life be like that.  And that's okay.  Better I put it in place (if I can) and not need it than not put it in place and need it.

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Lost Plants

 Blessings Darlings!

I just added up what my garden has lost to the drought so far............

One blueberry bush.
4 out of 6 transplanted Swiss Chard (I was just trying to add to the one's that survived the winter.)
Two out of 10 sweet peppers.
All but 4 of the carrots seeded (probably around 45 lost)
All but 30 of the turnips seeded) probably around 20 lost.
All but 1 of the beets seeded (around 50 lost).
All the radishes seeded.

I'm currently harvesting lamb's quarters from where the carrots, neeps,beets, and radishes were seeded.

This is on top of all the early things I started as seeds that didn't get moved in during a bad frost - a LOT of tomatoes, peppers, Swiss Chard, etc.  Those were just due to lack of communication that I needed help from the family.

Yes, I keep records about what works and what doesn't work in the garden.  Memory fades.  The internet (or well kept notebooks) last forever.

Frondly Fern

Monday, June 5, 2023

Drought. And a damned Plantar Wart.

 Blessings darlings!

I have a little time to blog today, since I'm off my feet - well, off one of my feet - due to a plantar wart that is making it very painful to walk.   It's a shock how it went from Nothing to Can't Walk without PAIN in under 7 days!  Urgent Care couldn't treat it (no liquid nitrogen), and getting an appointment with either my doctor or my husband's dermatologist (where I'd be a low-priority 'new patient') can take forEVER.  So I'm doing the OTC treatment the Doc in the Box and I discussed and am off work (where I'm on my feet getting 12000+ steps in a day) today but can't be very useful at home.  Doc in the Box gave me a note for 3 days off of work, but I'm hoping to be able to work tomorrow.  The first three hours back at work will pay for the OTC stuff.  Then I'll need to cover whatever the copay turns out to be - and there WILL be one, tho' I went to the Urgent Care that is part of my plan. 

So I shouldn't go out and water the garden, since doing that hurts.  BUT - we have drought conditions.  So the garden, especially the stuff in pots on the patio, need water.  OTOH, I don't have very much water available for the plants, since the plumbers who replaced the water pump took the hose spigot off the pump head.  All the rest of the water around the house goes thru' the water softener.  I've been going to a friend's house and filling 2.5 gallon jugs every few days and bringing them home to water with.

I could walk over to the cattle barn since that water isn't softened and Chris has okayed it to fill jugs (I sure don't have hoses that are that long, even if they were all attached into one MegaHose) but that, too, is more steps.

It's 'only' a moderate drought here at this time.  My lawn is a mid-August dead brown in color.  The clay soil is dry for inches down, and unwilling to give any of that moisture to plants.  The blueberry bush I planted two years ago seems to have died from it.  IF we get the rain forecast for Sunday and Monday (and we have less than a 50% chance of rain those days) they predict a total of maybe 0.1 inches.  What we need is an average of 0.5 inches a week.

The landlord is going to talk to his plumber next week about connecting the outdoor taps ON the house in a way that routes around the water softener.  He didn't mention anything about my request to add a rain barrel splitter to one of the downspouts, so I can save water when ever it DOES rain.    

This being Monday, I suppose I should do some offerings to the watery Moon for some rain, but weather patterns and global warming are a bit much for a simple one-off working as I know you know.

If you're in the US and want to see if your area is doing okay on rain, check out the Drought Monitor site  It will also give you info on row crops being affected, and grazing/haying area effects.

Frondly,  Fern

Friday, April 21, 2023

Planting by days off, not by the moon

 Blessings Darlings!

It was a day off of my 'paying' job today, so it was all about resting and garden work.  By 'garden work' I mean I planted more sprouting seeds in real soil and started hardening the plants off.  I can't work in the actual garden because we have a drought going on here at this time, and if I want to do anything with the garden I'll have to water it before I can work the earth.

While I never like to pump up groundwater for the garden, right now all the water I have is softened water.  When our pump died a couple of months ago, the plumbers removed the tap on the well head that was our only non-softened access to water.  Any water from the house taps has tons of softener salt in it, and kills plants.

Yes, there is a way to route water around the softener - but only for the entire house.  Tomorrow I am likely to do that.  Then I'll still have to first dump lots of softened water from the pipes on to the gravel driveway to the house/barn before I can get water that is free from the salt/etc.  It will waste a crap load of water plus electricity to pump it.  So I'll only water the parts of the garden that I'm likely to actually work on tomorrow.  And I'll have to do it after I wash and hang clothes so I have softened water for that (Local water is HARD HARD HARD in this schist rock area.) 

But I'll have to do it so I can prepare beds to plant.  And planting and eating what we grow is important to me.

Here's hoping that the rain that forecasters promise for this weekend actually arrives.  Forecasts have been wrong about that for the past 6 weeks.  This time they are promising a full inch of rain on Saturday afternoon.

That said, almost all my seeds are sprouting well, other than the usual lazy pepper seeds.  I lost the first round of Cherokee Purple tomatoes and shishito peppers when I went to the Sacred Space/Between the Worlds conference (I hadn't explicitly told the family about water and 'take them in if there is a freeze') so I'm trying to make up for lost time.  I found 11 shishito seeds I hadn't planted, so I'm hoping to get at least 3 producing plants from them.  I bought more Purple Cherokee seeds, and found I had some old Roma and Rutgers seeds, too.  Alas, no Brandywine seeds around the house. 

If I can work the ground tomorrow, planting (late, as always) beets, radishes, neeps, and swedes will commence.

And just maybe, the Chubby Hubby will get the rain barrel ready for Saturday's rain.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, April 14, 2023

Easter! Time for Necromancy!

 Blessings Darlings!

Five days ago was western Easter Sunday.  On that day, I attended a class (at Between the Worlds/Sacred Space) by Christopher Orapello on Necromancy.  Yes, the folks running that conference UNDOUBTEDLY chose that scheduling.  Yes, I'm sure that they laughed and laughed and laughed.  Yes, Gwendolyn/Ivo/etc, you know I adore you all.

This coming Sunday is Eastern Orthodox Easter. 

And I've been reading BJ Swain's book on Familiars, which includes 'networking with the fairies via the dead to ask for a familiar'.  His writing style also inspired the parallelism in the first paragraph.

So while many have resurrection and new beginnings on their mind - I have a 'new beginning' in necromancy on my mind, thus combining all themes.

It being a beginning, I don't have any 'dedicated tools' for this type of work.  And it occurred to me that since I work at a thrift store chain that gets lots of stuff from people cleaning out homes after the death  of family members that a lot of what passes before me has strong links to the dead.

Of course this is not the FIRST time this thought occurred to me - it's why I do a quick cleanse on all things I buy from work.  The difference is that now I am considering SEEKING things that have links to the dead.  Many donors tell me when they are clearing out stuff after a person dies, so I can look stuff over, note what is there, and look for it after it's been on the shelves a day or two (I am required to wait at least 2 hours after things are on the shelves before I can buy them so we employees don't bogart all the good stuff.  I choose to give things extra time.)  

Mind you, I'm still not sure I will do any necromancy.  But then my Prepper side speaks up and reminds me that it's good to be prepared for anything, and an offering plate, a box or bowl for requests, and a candle holder or two won't take up much room . . . and you never know when necromancy will be the right tool for what you need to get done.

Frondly, Fern