Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Importance of Proper Titles

It seems to me that much of the advice given until the heading of "Life Hacking" was formerly available to readers of Redbook, or Woman's Day, or to the students of home economics classes, back in the days of strict gender separation. It may be that much of the remaining information was available in men's magazines of the 1940's and 1950's, or shop class. I don't really know. But here is a little "life hack" or household helpful hint, now available to all generations and genders.
One of the lovely things about summer is the easy availability of local, in season fruit. One of the less lovely results is that often, the fruit attracts fruit flies into your kitchen. Rather than buying traps that will need replacing, here is an easy (and nice smelling) fruit fly trap.
1 small shallow bowl
a small amount of a fruit based vinegar. (cider vinegar works well, I use raspberry vinegar)
a drop of dishwashing liquid to break the surface tension of the

Pour the vinegar into the bowl, you don't need very
much. Add the drop of dishwashing liquid. Leave near the fresh
fruit, or where you are finding the fruit flies.
*I'll bet with this blogpost title, you thought I was going to be writing about covens or magical orders or such. The point was that something titled "life hack" was far more likely to be read by an audience of the male gender than something titled "household helpful hints." And much more likely to be publicly crowed over as something new and remarkable.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Proof positive

So, how often have you done a spell or a working or a ritual and wondered if it had done anything more that make you feel really cool? Concrete (as it were) proof in the real world, that's what you want, right?

Some years ago, there were some problems with a person we had come across on yahoo discussion board. Coincidentally (or not) around that time we had a few problems in and around our home and family life. While DH's response was targeted and outward, mine was protective. I placed wards and walls, warnings and alarms around our property. All has been quiet since.

I keep up with the protections. I propitiate the local spirits. It is basic maintenance, and I've hoped that it has been effective. Last night, I got confirmation that it is.

We have a public path that runs along one edge of our property. It is very close to our neighbors house, but they have no windows on that side of the house. Directly across the street from the end of the path is a wooded lot. Our side of the path is edged with hedges and trees. The path appears to be a completely secluded place, especially at night.

For several nights, I've had nagging sensations and dreams to check on the perimeter protections. Each time I did, they seemed fine, but I would add a little oomph, just because. And then, I would wonder if it was doing any good-otherwise, why would I be concerned? I mentioned none of this to DH, it's my part of the housekeeping. Last night, when DH came home from work (he does not work a 9-5 job, so it was very dark when he got home) he parked his car, but rather than come in the house, something told him to take a walk around the yard.

Right away. In the dark, with no flashlight.

He heard footsteps on the path, but no one came out onto the street, so he went to investigate (we actually own the land the path is on, but it is a community right of way). Just as he came upon 2 teenaged boys, they, completely intent on what they were doing, lit some of the bracken on the ground on fire with a lighter. At the very moment the bracken and pine needles lit up, DH roared "What the fuck are you doing???" And those two boys, who had no idea he had come up behind them, levitated. And with great energy and inarticulateness started stamping out the surprisingly robust flames. As was described to me, it was far larger than should be explained by a lighter touching the bracken (it has drizzled earlier in the day). With the flames stamped out, the boys took off, and DH came in the house. We called the police, to give them a heads up. Then, with flashlight and a large bucket of water, DH and I went out to make sure that the fire really was completely out.

It was. The burn line followed the property line, exactly outside the borders I set for the protections. We used the light to make sure that no fires had been started anywhere else on the path. No other fires. But, in their haste to run from DH (who, admittedly can be scary sometimes), they left behind a large bottle lighter fluid. No wonder the bracken lit so well. And we wonder, what else and how much else would have been doused in lighter fluid if something hadn't told DH to take that walk without so much as stowing his work bag?

So. It all works. We are glad. But, as the policeman who came to take a look said, "Summer and teenagers, gotta love it."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Am One

The ancient Hebrews had a seven day week, with the seventh day, as the day of rest, the Shabbat; just as the modern, current calendar is formatted. (although, if we are lucky, we may get two days of rest.) Less well known was the cycle of seven years, with the seventh year the "Shabbat" year. And, after seven of those cycles (49 years) came the Jubilee Year, essentially a cosmic "reset" button. Then, everything was to start all over again, fresh.

I have reached my 50th birthday. I have gone through those 7 cycles of 7 years. I have gone through the "reset" year. I get to start over, fresh, now. Except, of course, that I have maintained my memory of experiences of the previous years. (well, mostly. There are a few years toward the end of the 1970's that are a bit hazy, and 1961 and 1962 are a bit hard to retrieve...)

If you go into an party supply store in this county and look for party ephemera for a 50th birthday, you will see that they feature tombstones or sayings such as "Over the hill." I am going to stick with "Happy Birthday, Baby."

It would all be a very neat package if I were starting a new career, or my children were suddenly completely out of the house, independent and successful and that BIG CHANGES were happening. But that isn't how we grow up. Not the first time, not the second time. Sometimes there are growth spurts, with lots of stuff visibly happening (and the occasional growing pain) and sometimes the growing isn't noticeable.

So, I am One. Happy Birth Day, me.

(and this time, I intend to enjoy my terrible twos and a non-angsty adolescence.)