Wednesday, June 29, 2011
did I say I was tired?
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tomorrow, June 24, Midsummer Day, occurs near the summer solstice, or what we think of as the beginning of summer, to the farmer it is the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvesting, and an occasion for celebration.
After Midsummer Day, the days shorten. The English church considered it a “Quarter Day,” one of the four major divisions of the liturgical year. The days that marked the four major divisions of the year were called Quarter Days; they originally marked the four seasons, fitting readily into the rhythm of the ways people farmed. As the 12-month Roman calendar was adopted for both civil and religious purposes, all of the Celtic days began to conform more closely with the liturgical year of the Christian church and became identified with major religious festivals.
Since ancient times, Midsummer Day has been the occasion for weddings, feasts, and revelry. Also celebrated on June 24 is Discovery Day (Newfoundland-Labrador, Canada), St. John the Baptist Feast Day, and Fête Nationale (Québec, Canada).
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Litha, the summer solstice, or midsummer is a pagan holiday celebrated between June 19-22nd. It is the day when the sun is at its greatest height which consequently leads to it being the longest day of the year. From this point on, the sun will start its descent and the nights will slowly start to draw in.
It is also know as a cross quarter day, making it a minor holiday for pagans, Wiccans and witches and is situated between its neighbouring fetes of Beltane (May Day) and Lughnassadh (Celtic harvest festival on August 1st takes its name from the Irish god Lugh). But with such potential for glorious weather and a balmy, warm evening who can resist the charms of a Litha celebration!
Traditionally, Litha was the time of year to harvest your crops as they were believed to be particularly blessed with magical qualities and powers on the actual evening, or on Litha/Midsummer night's eve. However, to preserve the power of your yield and as an offering to the Gods and Goddesses it was considered necessary to leave the roots or stems of the plant intact.
At Litha, also being a fire festival, it was believed you could attract prosperity by jumping over a bonfire (much like Beltane celebrations) which were lit to ward off the evil spirits that were thought to roam freely on this evening. In fact the veil between the natural and supernatural worlds were considered to be at their thinnest and so for extra protection, torches were carried after dark and at the end of the celebrations.
Such wicked associations were unfortunately passed on to witches at this time also, as it became the time of year when they were to be seen on their way to meetings with other evil beings!
But due to the heady and beguiling draw of the hot nights, Litha is of course a time for fertility rites. This is influenced by the festival's role in the cycle of the God and Goddess. At this time the Goddess is newly with child, having united and become married to the Sun God at Beltane. So Litha, along with Beltane, became a very popular occasion for weddings (known as hand fasting) and for celebrating new life.
So what shape did celebrations take and how can you represent this yourself? It is traditional for girls and women to wear garlands of flowers with St John's Wort being the most popular. Customary colours include yellows and gold and bronze to reflect the sun.
The herbs of Litha are mugwort, chamomile, lavender, fennel, St. John's Wort, vervain and wormwood which can be cast and sprinkled onto your bonfire if you are doing dancing or rituals around the flames, or for if you simply wish to have a quiet moment of contemplation and to make a wish.
It is also a time of year to present gifts to the God and Goddess to both honour and thank them for the bounty you have received in the summer months. It would have been for a successful harvest in ancient days of old but there is still much to be thankful for in our modern times - even if it is just for the simple joy of being able to sit outside and feel the sun on your face! You may leave gifts of food such as honey, tokens of a more precious nature in ribbons or coins, or many leave gemstones such as lapis lazuli, tiger's eye or jade which all have associations with the spirit of Litha. Leave your offerings in a place that is special to you and particularly in a place of natural beauty such as a pond or wild area of your garden, burning some cinnamon or sandalwood incense as you leave it.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2432767Will you celebrate Litha? I will.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
When I came to check this morning to find out if the post had gone up as usual, instead I found it gone.
The video that is.
It was a video with Samuel L. Jackson's voice reading, "Go the f**k to sleep".
You saw the book's pages on the video.
Due to copyright infringements it had been pulled by the company who published the book.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
As I was sitting looking out at the morning unfolding from inside the enclosed porch, I happened to spy this little beauty.
Quick as I could and, as silently as I could, I ran for the camera.
Thank goodness the square foot boxes are all raised and our in-ground gardens are fenced. (Fenced initially to protect the new plants from being run over by Gracie, our dog.)
Or, this little guy (gal) would have been munching on our growing crops.
And, I wouldn't have gone running for the camera....
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Things are growing so fast it's hard to keep up. The peas are reaching the top of the trellis and there are pods everywhere. The spinach and radishes are done, well the spring crops are. Fall ones are planned. Lettuces are still coming along. The rest of the garden... it's hard to keep up it's doing so well.
More stories to come.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Antibacterial: Apply honey to cuts, scrapes or burns and cover with a clean bandage. Change dressings one to three times daily, as needed. Note: Excessive heat or prolonged exposure to light can rob honey of its antibacterial properties. Always store in a dark, cool place.
Disinfectant: Take several tablespoons of honey daily for internal disinfection.
Nursing salve: Nursing mothers, try covering cracked, sore nipples with honey-soaked gauze to prevent infection.
Sore throats: Many opera singers add honey to a glass of warm milk and sip slowly. This helps soothe the throat.
Insomnia: Mix a half glass of warm water with 2 tablespoons of honey and the juice of a lemon and an orange. The darker the honey, the better this works.
Honey pick-me-up: Combine 2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons pollen, a teaspoon of ginseng, and dried orange peel. Take with a spoon. Asian healers believe that this creates a feeling of total rejuvenation.
Diarrhea: In 8 ounces of water, mix 4 large tablespoons of honey. This works well for bacterial diarrhea. Those with diabetes should be cautious about taking so much honey at one time.
Dieting: Honey’s double action (providing instant energy boost, while maintaining sugar levels for along time) satisfies the hunger for sweets and may keep you feeling fuller longer. For some dieters, this may be good news.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
We had one garden plot left to plant two days ago. I still had pepper seedlings under the lights waiting their turn to come out into the great wide world. They got planted along with a couple of rows of corn and unbelievable as it might seem, more tomatoes in that last garden plot. (For a total of 69 different varieties of tomatoes all told!)
All the gardens (in-ground and SF boxes) seem to be doing well today. Spent early afternoon mulching most all of the plants. Everything that has come up has gotten a good 3 inch layer applied. Because it's good for the plants in a couple of different ways. The mulch will keep the plants moist, keep the weeds down and help us conserve water. (We have approx. ~ 1000 gallons stored in rain barrels.) Plus, as the mulch degrades it will put needed nutrients back into the soil. A win-win situation all the way around.
Now here's hoping for no more catastrophic weather and a great harvest. Then soon I will be blogging about all the canning I am doing. Yippee!
Monday, June 6, 2011
Sunday, June 5, 2011
How could I think such a thought, let alone do such a thing? By looking around the house and realizing how dirty, cluttered, messy and unkempt it looked. There was lots to be done. From pruning the houseplants to cleaning dog smudges off the front window where Gracie sits looking out at the world.
For most all of yesterday it was a house cleaning type of day. Laundry, dusting, hoovering, cobweb removal, window cleaning (those smudges), bathroom scrubbing, wall wiping, sweeping and mopping. And, pruning of the houseplants.
I did get a few minutes in to do something with all the rhubarb I have been harvesting as you can see below.
Rhubarb and strawberry pudding cake.
Gourmet April 2007
1/4 cup of water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup plus
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb stalks (10 ounces) (doubled amount)
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (5 ounces) (doubled amount)
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 2/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup cornmeal)
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Butter an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish.
Stir together water, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan, then stir in rhubarb. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, then simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in strawberries. (NOTE: Because I doubled the amount of fruit I used, I doubled this part of the recipe ie water, cornstarch and sugar mixture.)
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl.
Whisk together egg, milk, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.
Reserve 1/2 cup fruit mixture, then add remainder to baking dish and pour batter over it, spreading evenly. Drizzle reserved 1/2 cup fruit mixture over batter. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of cake portion comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes before serving.
It's a hit in our household.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
You can see the peas are climbing the trellis.
Lettuce, carrots and beets are all doing well.
Those mounds are 3 different varieties of squashes.
Tomatoes are in ground and staked already.
I am proud for what we have gotten accomplished thus far, especially with the crappy weather we have had this year. Two really wet months, April and May. Then the first two days of June we had gale force winds. I spent most all of yesterday repairing the damage from the winds. Speaking of damages, I am not sure what damage our little orchard sustained. It had flowered but, then with the winds.... will have to wait and see on the trees later.
Thank you Mother Earth.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Since ancient times, cultures have adopted June as the perfect time for revelry, weddings, and feasts. On the eve of Midsummer Day, June 24, people from Scandinavia to North Africa celebrate the summer solstice with parties and bonfires.
June offers the most hours of daylight of any month of the year.
For farmers and gardeners, this is a great boon, allowing them to concentrate on their fields and flowers. One old proverb says, “Calm weather in June sets corn in tune.”
Folk wisdom tells us that all of the plants will catch up by the end of the month regardless of how early we got them in the ground!
I know in my heart it is June.
–Abba Goold Woolson (1838–1921)
Thursday, June 2, 2011
When cats sneeze, it is a sign of rain.
Bats flying late in the evening indicates fair weather.
When horses and cattle stretch out their necks and sniff the air, it will rain.
When pigs gather leaves and straw in all, expect a cold winter.
If sheep ascend hills and scatter, expect clear weather.
If you see tarantulas in the middle of the road they are seeking high ground and you can expect 1/2 inch of rain or more.
If foxes bark after midnight, expect rain.
When hornets build their nests near the ground, expect a cold and early winter.
Little old me...
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