Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bat Cookies 2

Yes, it is the time of the bat cookies!

(I am really ready for life to slow down, in fact, if my life would slow down to the speed that this computer has been hitting lately, I'd be pretty happy. But then everyone around me would be as frustrated with me as I am with this computer.)

But the traditional bat cookies have been baked. Some will go to school with my daughter. Some will go to the after trick or treating block party. Some might even get eaten here.

Tomorrow, if the Gods are kind, and it actually isn't raining, I will decorate the outside of the house for Halloween. Which pretty much means that I will take the skeleton arms decorations my brother in law bought for me and use them to block off the walk to the front door, so that the trick or treaters will know to come to the kitchen door. Any other decorating will want until sundown on the 31st and will consist of lighting candles.

That's it. Just candles on the porch. Some in glass pillars, and some in the Jack O'Lanterns. In a world of plastic gravestones and blow-up pumpkins and animatronic witches and strings of orange lights, it is amazing just how frightened some children can get of a house with a few candles. But then, as one mother said last year, we are the witch house.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In and Out of Dreams

I know the Mac Nac Feegles can do it. Can others?

I had a dream last night about my camera. It was trapped in the computer and crying.

Friday, October 16, 2009

You will just have to take my word for it, but I've been busy.

About a year ago, maybe a little longer, my pizza cutter went missing. We had pizza for dinner, and I went to the drawer where I keep my cutting tools, and the pizza wheel wasn't there. Over the next week, I searched for it everywhere, figuring that it had just gotten put away in the wrong place. Finally, I decided that it must have gotten left in a pizza delivery box and had gotten thrown away by accident. I never got around to buying another pizza cutter.

Three weeks ago was the start of the season for the variety of apples that I like best for making pies (Greenings, for those who are curious). I went to our local apple farm (the one that grows the heirloom varieties) and brought home a 1/2 bushel of fruit to make into pies. Getting ready to bake, I reached into the drawer where I keep my cutting tools for my "approved by the Amish" apple peeler/corer device. Which was not in the drawer. This is a huge and bulky rotary tool, with a handle that gets stuck every time you open and close the drawer. It was there every time I looked for the pizza cutter, or reached for a knife. It wasn't there now. The pizza cutter was.

I came to the conclusion that we have pictses, or faeries, or borrowers. I haven't actually seen them, so I don't know which. But I guessed they were tired of pizza and wanted some fresh fruit. I used a knife to prepare the apples for the pies. Since I have some truly lovely knives, it wasn't that great a hardship.

But now, they've taken my camera! This is simply not acceptable. And this is why I have no pictures of my projects to accompany this post. Any suggestions on how to ransom my camera back would be appreciated.

I've actually gotten a lot done in the last few days. The most recent batch of incense is finished and packed. I love the scent of saffron. It is rich and heady and intoxicating. I don't use the last word lightly. According to Christian Ratsch in the Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants;

in low dosages, it excites, cheers, and produces laughter ... The psychoactive effects of saffron have been occasionally described as "spasms of laughter" and "delirium" (Vonarburg 1995, 76); "in its effects, saffron comes close to opium."

Culpeper extols saffron for use in "hysteric depressions" but warns;

However, the use of it ought to be moderate and reasonable; for when the dose is too large, it produces a heaviness of the head and sleepiness; some have fallen into an immoderate convulsive laughter, which ended in death.

I cannot imagine how much saffron one must ingest or inhale for such an effect!

Tonight, I also started work on the last tincture of my planetary tincture project. Rose, for Venus in Libra. The roses were homegrown and dried. Since I used no fixative while drying them, they lost nearly all of their color. But when I started crushing the petals, the scent was true and strong, sweet and amazing. When I added the Everclear to the jar, there was almost no color transfer to the liquid. Almost. The liquid did take on the barest tinge of gold and seemed to magnify the rose petals beyond what I would have expected from the refraction of glass and liquid. I am thinking that this is going to be a wonderful finish to the project. I will know in a month or two.

What else, what else?

Baked bread (challah) and started some rye bread (that is a two day project all by itself). Read a novel (Terry Pratchetts "Unseen Academicals"), made a skirt. All in the last two days, all in addition to all the other stuff that somehow gets done.

I may borrow a camera to take pictures of the skirt.

(If you are interested in the saffron incense, and you didn't arrive here via Mrs. B.'s blog, click on the 31 Days of Halloween button. On Saturday October 17, a tube of my incense will be among the giveaways you can try to win. If you did arrive via Mrs. B., Welcome!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

So This Is How Sleeping Beauty Felt

This weekend I woke up. I mean, I really woke up. It wasn't until I realized just how awake I was that I realized how "unawake" I had been for the previous 3 months. Everything had felt very airy and diffuse, and in conversation with another blogger we both agreed that it had been a bad summer for concentrating.

Summer has never really been my favorite season, but without a "true" summer this year, here in NW New Jersey, something in my interior didn't get what it needed. Call it basking like a lizard. Or dozing in the sun. There were none of those afternoons of feeling my edges and perimeters melt into the surrounding atmosphere as I lay still in the grass, eyes closed, breathing slowed, while absorbing and being absorbed by the greater existence.

And then, there was the moon tincture. Certainly a sense of sleepwalking and dream state could have come from that project. And that would also explain why those times that I did feel fully awake and participating in my existence happened while at the Renaissance Faire, in garb and in my "rennfaire" persona. Dream world, dream persona, dream existence, a total Luna experience.

As I mentioned in a previous blogpost, I got the day of this Full Moon wrong. I went out the next night, that of the actual Full Moon. Rain or shine, I go out for a moon ritual ever Full and every Dark/New Moon, no excuses. All though 2009, the weather has been variable for the Dark/New Moons. Some months the sky is clear and the stars dizzying in their plenitude. And sometimes the weather has been overcast, or rainy, or snowy. But dark is dark.

Since January, the Full Moon has been dark, too (DH, when telling you about this, I mentioned March, I went back over my notes tonight). The weather has been cloudy or rainy every single month on the night of the Full Moon this year-until this one. Not only did I know She was there, I was able to bathe in her visible light, and I came inside, afterwards, floating, totally conscious and feeling recovered from the cold that I had been suffering from. (10 minutes after I came inside, there was a clap of thunder and the rains came pouring down, but that was afterwards).
This is where the awakening started.

It is autumn, the start of the year. We have had Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. We have had the Autumnal Equinox, that moment of balance, before the spiraling inward, before the thinning of the Vail. I have finally danced in the moonlight. We went "college shopping" with our daughter, so that the next period of her life can start. Next week, we have the unveiling of my grandmothers tombstone, marking the official end of the mourning period.

The funny thing about sleepwalking is that the sleepwalker isn't aware that that is what she is doing. And now that I am awake, I look around my house and marvel at how much it resembles a home abandoned, and how much my yard looks like it has been covered with 100 years of protective brambles. There are several overdue projects that I must finish. But now I feel as if I can deal with the house, deal with the gardens, finish my projects. Even more importantly, start new projects. There is a line in "Wee Free Men" about opening your eyes, and then opening them again. You can't live like that all the time, but you can try to remember what it feels like. Awakeness happens, life commences.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Things that make you go "Duh"

I am sick. It is just "one of those things going around." My daughter has been home from school for two days, with it, and I starting feeling the symptoms mid morning, today. Manageable symptoms, mind you-headache, tiredness, the slightest of fevers and a propensity toward dizziness when turning my head and changing its altitude at the same time.

My internal clock/calendar must be off, too. I've been convinced all day that tonight is the Full Moon and the start of Sukkot. I have my lulav and my esrog, the four species (all female!) that I use for this moons ritual. All day I wondered; Will I go out into the circle? Should I go out into the Circle? The weather isn't good (more like the end of November than the beginning of October) and I am really not feeling well, and there is the lightning fast trip to Boston this weekend (to look at colleges with our daughter) to think about.

Shall I go out to dance and celebrate and worship? How could I not? OK, I will, but just for a few minutes, I will fulfill my vow. I will explain. Well, maybe I'll go out for more than just a few minutes, otherwise, why go out, and I can't not go out...

Ever have a big build up to a sneeze, but then not sneeze? Or experience the build up to an orgasm that doesn't quite happen?

I came back in the house wondering why the ritual felt like a dress rehearsal-an almost, but not quite...and then I looked at the calendar (conveniently posted on the refrigerator-opposite the door). Full Moon and Sukkot are tomorrow night.

I am left with a lesson and a question to ponder. The lesson-always look at the calendar, especially if your head doesn't feel right. That's why I write everything down, anyway. And the question-was the "almost, but not quite/dress rehearsal" sensation because somewhere inside of me I knew that I was a day off? Or because I was a day off?