Google+ What I Made Today: January 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Request


Early this morning I learned that a very dear friend - a spirit syster - was in an auto accident yesterday. I spoke briefly with her son, also a dear friend, and gathered that she is damaged, yet OK, and being cared for inpatient. I wait now for an update and am simply anxious to get the "Go" to call and visit her. Funny how this news unraveled me.

I enjoyed a lovely breakfast with a lovely friend, another spirit-syster. We - the three of us - met in an Energy Healing class ten years ago. I tended to errands, returned home, put the groceries away, took the dog out and - finally - was able to sit, light a candle, burn a pinch of sage, and quiet myself. I surprised myself with tears as I asked all my guides and guardians to be with my friend, to assist her in her healing and to carry all the love, light and holy medicine that I could channel to her to do with as she will.

As it is, so shall it be. Ashe. Peace.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yogurt


Today, like many other days, I made yogurt. We consume it pretty much daily in one form or another. Even though it's an everyday occurrence there's something about the coming off February that makes it extra special. Not only that, but making it is so simple and so economical that it's actually kind of silly to buy the stuff made, unless you're using it for a starter. It's especially foolish to buy given that the plastic it's packaged in is not accepted by many recycling facilities (though mine does). Besides, to my way of thinking, recycling plastic (among other things) is a pretty inefficient and wasteful practice.

There's many recipes out there for yogurt and you can try those if you like. Many involve the use of thermometers and strict timing dictates. But if you've been following this blog for a while you're already aware that I rarely use recipes, and strict dictates in any form just irritate me. In any event, here's what I do ...

I measure out a quart of milk into a small pot and heat it just to the boil. I remove it from the heat and let it sit until it comes to just above body temp, you know - when it feels mildly warm to the touch, but not at all hot. In the meantime I take about a tablespoon of yogurt from my last batch put it into the bottom of a clean quart jar and give it a loving stir, just to wake it up a little. When the milk is cooled to that perfect warm place I pour a little into the jar and stir it to blend with the yogurt. Then I pour it all in and give it another gentle stir and offer a prayer of gratitude to the magic yogurt faeries (or bacteria if you prefer).

At this point I place it someplace where it will keep warm (around 100-120 F) for several hours. I have a dehydrator that works perfectly for this. I set it to 120F and set the timer for about 4 hours and just leave it overnight. Next day I place it in the refrigerator and once it's cool I enjoy it. Yum!

Not everyone is blessed with a suitable dehydrator, I know. So without one you can wrap your jar in some towels and place it in any warm spot in your home. Or you can place it in a cooler with another jar of very warm water, and close it tight. The rest is the same ... just leave it overnight and chill the next day.

I'll add, too, that you can gently simmer your milk for several minutes over very low heat for a yogurt that tends to be a bit more rich and sweet in flavor. That's my experience anyway, but I prefer a light, more tart yogurt. Actually, I love it anyway it comes out.

You can use raw milk, organic milk, conventional milk, whole, skim or anything in between. You can even add a bit of cream if you like (I do sometimes).

So anyway, that's what I made today and it really is that simple. I hope you'll try it. It's a perfect food to ring in the final full-month of winter. Peace.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good Medicine


This afternoon I spun some new Spirit Cords for assorted requests, to replenish my stock, and simply for the meditative joy of it. The experience was made all the sweeter by the sounds that came from a CD ordered a few days ago. It arrived in today's mail ... Medicine Walk, the debut album of my dear friend C.W.Wolf. It was an afternoon of good medicine.

Peace.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Start


Today, among other things, I made another start to a journal page. My kitchen is tiny and I invest a lot of time and energy there. In turn, that little room offers a great deal to me and my home. It is a room in which something is always brewing, simmering, roasting, baking, fermenting ... it is a room that fills the rest of my little hut with aromas, warmth, nourishment, memories, love ...

Tomorrow I'll add more. To the kitchen and to the page.

Peace.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Myself Comfy at Home


Some days are just ripe for digging in at home, ya know? That may sound odd coming from someone who rarely ventures away from her little acre. Even so, The Boy had a rare Sunday off and we did our best to enjoy a day at home together. We shared in some exciting laundry and cooking and we sat together at the dining table, sipping hot tea and doing some drawing. He did pencil sketches on newsprint. I captured a little piece of my interior in one of my journals.

That's what I made today.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ReDiscoveries

After I made headway on my chores and commitments today I did something I've not done in a long while. Recently I had noted in my journal to use pages for collage art from some of the old journals I still have hanging around (I don't keep them all). I was surprised to discover one journal from 2000, a pivotal year for me. It's a common lined-notebook and I wasn't sure how that might translate into collage. In any event, I began to read. It was 10-years ago in April that I completed two-thirds of my formal herbal studies and began my Transformational Energy Healing class. There are some remarkable insights noted in that book and I quickly realized why I had held onto this one.

I think the best line I've rediscovered thus far, with respect to healing realizations of the time, is: "Now there's a big ass plate of rancid raw meat to chew on, huh?" Funny stuff, that. Cracked me up!

I then made time to complete at least one page in my journal ...

... a page that sums up many of the sparkling facets past week quite nicely. That's what I made today.

Peace.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Space for New Blossoms

Every three-to-five years I have what I can only call a business gather, and so it was this past Monday. I was blessed to share several hours with some wonderful friends who have played various roles within my “professional” life over the years, each one of them a healing peer. The time that we shared yielded over three pages of brainstorming ideas that may be applied to my business strategies and plans over the coming years. I’m still mulling over the list to sort, prioritize and add definition.

This is one of those activities that reminds me of the gratitude I still hold for the fifteen years suffered in the corporate world.

Three-plus pages of ideas can be daunting. Yet one thing I’ve learned about such an overwhelming result is …

To choose one thing and act on it. Best that it be something small, a well-defined baby step, something to execute quickly.

This creates momentum.

Momentum for the next baby step. And before you know it you’re acting on a good idea each and every day. And before you know it life's new little blossoms are blooming in ways you never imagined.

Peace.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More than I Can Express


More tomorrow. Maybe.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fresh Starts

The winter robins were hanging around today. I noticed them enjoying the holly berries when I opened the bedroom windows for a mid-winter air-out. Late morning called me out into the mild thaw and I sat on the deck with a hot cup of roasted dandelion root infusion and again witnessed the robins, this time enjoying the cedar berries. The robins are an ally of mine. They come close and offer nods and stares and other gestures that offer answers to my questions. Today was no exception. The robin is a universal symbol of New Beginnings and Fresh Starts, so I sat in the cool sunshine and focused on those things as I formed my query for ol' robin redbreast. No sooner did my question come clear that a robin flew from cedar to cherry, right in front of me. A brief conversation, complete with fitting nods and head-twists finished with flight into the east. And several other robins joined the flight into the direction of morning's promise.

Given plans I have in place for the coming week this experience felt fitting and validating.

I started a new page in my journal today and I have a new mattress to rest my ol' bones on this evening. Garden seeds are almost ready to be ordered and some vital aspects of my life are falling into place. As a couple friends of mine conveyed earlier today, Life is Good.

Count your blessings. Peace.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An Unlikely Dividend

Hard work pays off in unlikely ways. I started early today, giving my bedroom a well deserved (and overdue) housecleaning - from ceiling to floor. I figured the new mattress arriving tomorrow was a worthy incentive. Aside from spilling a bucket of (thankfully clean) water on the wool rug while moving furniture around, the efforts went well and the room felt so good when I was done. That, and a couple loads of laundry and some homemade rolls culminated into a sweet, restful afternoon.

While sipping tea my mail lady came to the door with a package for me to sign. I thought it might have been another package from my aunt, but a quick glance revealed "Great Britain" and I knew it was the hand-felted bead necklace that I had won from Jasmine in her recent blog give-way at Natures Whispers.
I was delighted when I opened the package. Not only did it reveal the expected necklace, but also a lovely Stonehenge photo with a nice note on the back and a few botanical surprises that now sit in a place of honor at one of my altars.

Jasmine does lovely work, doesn't she? I love the look and feel and verve of these beads! It was through Jasmine that I learned about Made for Aid, a new non-profit project that raises money for charity through online auction of good quality, handcrafted items. Check out their website and blog to learn more. Whether you're a crafter or someone who loves - and purchases handcrafts, you can add value to the effort! I hope you'll check out Made for Aid today.

Peace.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Things


Bless me readers for I have slacked. It has been five days since my last blog post. :)

I have been enjoying hibernation - in my own way - and taking a break from daily posts have been a part of that. After all, I've been blogging pretty darn steady since December 29, 2004. So I deserve a break from time to time, don't you think?

Nevertheless, I've been busy making things. In these past five days have:
  • Taught myself Tunisian crochet
  • Cooked, served and ate a beef heart (local and pasture-fed) for a first time experience
  • Played with inks and some very vibrant colors, another new experience
  • Completed several journal pages
  • Started painting some of the summer-made jewelry
  • Put some plans into action
  • Updated some stuff for our May Forest Folk camping event
  • Browsed through art books for ideas and inspiration
  • Shared time with my heathen friends for our monthly discussion group
  • Put away much of the holiday decorations, leaving out some seasonal color and light
  • Managed paperwork, some tax prep, laundry, cooking and other assorted housekeeping tasks
  • Sipped coffee, tea and tonight (this week's "Friday" night) cocktails
So even though I've been quiet here, I've making ... all sorts of things!
Peace.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pages in Progress





I'm in the middle of several projects now that have put me somewhat off my favored paths and more focused on creating things like meals, clean clothes, tidy home, you know - the sorts of things we all create in our lives, and I don't want to bore you too much with that manner of redundancy. Even so, I have committed myself to working at least a little each day in my journal, be it words or art or whatever. So it's no surprise (to me, that is) that I have several pages in progress. Pages that I will complete (whatever that means) at some point in time, space and inspiration. Needless to say, these are those recent pages.

Peace.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Nurturing Choices

As I sit here at this keyboard, not-so-random thoughts melding into words that might resemble some semblance of coherence, all can hear is the voice of Garrison Keillor purring in my head, "Well, it has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon ..."

And it has.

I've done my best to leverage this quieting time that follows the unnatural frenzy of the so-called holiday season. I've invested a good deal of concentrated energy sitting with "things," plotting, planning and plotting and planning some more. It's a fitting time to stew such stuff, this winter moment of (comparative) respite - complete with a mercury retrograde no less. I have ideas now I want to kick around with some folks. I have input to solicit from others. And all this serves to nurture the seeds that I chose and planted in Autumn. Seeds that will sprout as springtime approaches.

My journal has called to me each day and I am pleased to heed the call, to follow the nudge, to make a mess, to play, to create, to express. Another nurturing choice.

I sat outdoors this afternoon in the cold January sunshine as my mind and heart wandered on the gusty breezes and pondered the choices that I make in this life of mine. Not everyone sees the value in my choices, and that's OK, because they're mine and only I can fully sense, acknowledge, honor and act on them with any real meaning. Likewise, when I witness the puzzling choices of others I remember that they're theirs.

Peace.