Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day 3

A shorter drive today after some running and playing in the morning for the boys. Day 2 we drive through the Columbia mountain range and today it was into the Rockies. As we approached Dave and I both had memories of the grandeur of these giants. Their height is very hard to capture with a camera phone but I tried to show the scale. We arrived at our first longer stay destination, Fernie BC mid-afternoon and found the playground later on after exploring the town for a while.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Road Trippin' Day 2

Day 2 began in the desert with exploration and after an hour in the car we were back to mountains and forest.
Such a varied province we have.
I decided that the quintessential Canadian vehicle is a pick-up truck with a canoe tied on top, we saw several yesterday. Bye for now, I'll check in tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Road Trippin' Day 1

Big mountains, blue sky, sagebrush wafting through the air, and lakeside sunsets.

Osoyoos, what a lovely little town.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

come on along

Tomorrow we head out for a road trip.  Our first of such epic proportions, nine days on the road stopping in 5 different cities or towns.  Since I'm a road trip kind of gal I'm very excited and I had this idea that I'd take you along.  Wouldn't you like to take a road trip to celebrate summer's end?   I thought so too.  So to start you off on the right track you need the correct playlist.  I mean music is crucial to the whole vibe.  Here is my Road Trippin' 2012 playlist for you.

On the Road Again - Canned Heat
Without a Map - Sam Roberts
Elephant Gun - Beirut (my current song obsession)
Lonely Boy - The Black Keys (one of the boys' current favorites)
Imaginary Bars - Great Lake Swimmers
Road Regrets - Dan Mangan
How Come You Never Go There? - Feist
Road Trippin' - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
Pagan Angel And a Borrowed Car - Iron & Wine
Hit the Road Jack - Ray Charles
Come Together - The Beatles
Goin' up the Country - Canned Heat
Get out the Map - Indigo Girls
King of the Road - Teddy Thompson & Rufus Wainwright
Bobcaygeon - The Tragically Hip
Road to Zion - Damien Jr Gong Marley
Hard Road - Sam Roberts
Heart of Gold - Neil Young
Santa Fe - Beirut

As always leave your addition in the comments if you'd like and next time I write it will be from the road.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book of the Month: Small-Batch Preserving

When my mom visited in April she brought me a gift in the form of a book called The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. Those of us who are so inclined have been or are certainly up to our elbows in the preserving of the harvest.  Or if you are like I was in past years you are too nervous to give it a try on your own and that is why I think this book is a gem.

After Heidi Joy shared the making of a little batch of Strawberry-Rhubarb jam with me I made a few small investments; a round rack for my stock pot, some lids and jar thongs.  Then I jumped in and made another batch of the same jam.  This time one of my jars didn't seal but that meant that we could enjoy the jam that much sooner.  I've also tried the Old Fashioned Raspberry Jam and that was nice too although I over cooked it a bit.

What is nice about the scale of the recipes in this book is that for a family of four the batches are more manageable.  I think one reason that I didn't preserve alone before was that I was overwhelmed by visions of  hot pots bubbling and counters full of jars while trying to juggle two kids.  But making a small batch of 3 or 4 jars of something is much more doable with kids around for me.  Not to mention that we only eat about 4 jars of jam a year.  So making smaller batches means we have plenty for ourselves and some to give as gifts but not enough to feed us for the next 5 years.  When you live somewhere where storage is at a premium you don't want to take up too much space storing jam or pickles that will take years to consume.

So check out this great book and put something in a jar.  Next up for me is putting up some cherries, apricots and peaches or some sort of creative combo of two of them perhaps.

Happy Canning!

Friday, August 17, 2012

a Quarters call

I wrote this for an esbat many moons ago.   It jumped into my mind's eye when Q came up this week for the Pagan Blog Project.

As the sun rises in the east
we call the properties of air to form the circle
Fly to us on Raven wings

As the sun warms the south
we call the properties of fire to form the circle
Travel to us on a sun ray, warm us as you warm the snake

As the sun sets in the west
we call the properties of water to form the circle
Swim to us with the noble turtle

As the sun sometimes never sets in the north
we call the properties of earth to form the circle
Run to us beside the majestic polar bear

As our center shines with our internal sun
we call the properties of spirit to form the circle
Bind us together with the grace of nature's energy

the circle is cast, we are between the worlds,
blessed be

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pregnancy: reflections on growing two souls

Before I begin I'd like to share that I'm going to focus on the positive aspects of my two pregnancies in this post.  I want to make that clear because I felt guilty often while I was pregnant for not enjoying every part of it.  But in the interest of being honest about my experience for any woman yet to travel that path it was not all roses.  There is lots of magic in creating new humans but also lots of challenges and it is okay to not love all of it all the time.

I take the concepts of "know thyself" and "your body is your temple" as close to heart as I can.  They are a pillar in the fundamentals of my spirituality.  That is why as a pagan I feel immensely overwhelmed at times by the awesome power that nature has in the creation of life.  It amazes me to plant a seed and see it turn into a seedling and then a vegetable which I can eat.  I am amazed by the will of life, by how fragile it is, how particular and also how random it tends to be.  And so the fact that two human beings have lived inside me and were created by two of my eggs and my partner's sperm still blows my mind.  Nature is magnificent.

When I was the home to these two souls there were many crazy and emotional moments.  When I was in the moment it was very much about staying there.  With my first pregnancy, Kyan's, I remember rushes of energy.  My blood moving through my veins faster than usual.  Feeling attuned with everything around me, feeling a part of a bigger plan and power.  I was very grounded while he was with me.  I slept deeply and did not dream.  I felt round and earthy and rooted.  Interestingly he is an earth sign.  And having the pulse of that inside me did alter how I saw things for those 9 months.  I was always warm no matter the temperature.  I set up an alter dedicated to growing and fertility and motherhood as I imagined it to be.   I read this book, I read many more on breastfeeding, childbirth and mothering.  I took a spiritually focused pre-natal class and I searched for pagan books or articles relating to rituals during pregnancy(and didn't find much).  And I read hundreds of birth stories from women in all walks of life.

With Elliott's pregnancy there was little that was the same.  Having a different soul inside was indeed different.  He was born a water sign and that is the same as my own.  That made a huge difference.  He told me early on that he was a boy.  I dreamed intense and deeply.  His name was called out by a mother at a playground and was instantly the only boy name he could have.  I felt the desire to make art often which surprised me because my first pregnancy had taken all desire to create anything other than the baby away.  I kept things simple and celebrated Imbolc with his arrival a month and 16 days away.  There was less time to feel the magic in my body but there was also always someone there to share it with me.  A little hand on my belly outside and in.  Two souls, two lives to unfold around me.

The temple of my body grew my sons and now will create new ideas and new plans for me.  I know myself enough to feel that I will not again experience pregnancy's magic.  What a glorious gift it is, what a complex and ancient wisdom that it holds.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

around here: summer 2012

Much has been done so far this summer.  A busy 10 days of family time has come to a close.  It included events and cousin bonding.   And in saying it's been busy I mean in the most full of summer way.  Ice cream, hot sunshine and being hometown tourists.

 boys always seem to bond best over vehicles of some sort.  whether they move or not.

we have taken in some local festivities but have left early for toddler bedtimes

discovered new places to revisit in the future

appreciated warm nights with lovely sunsets

admired the abundance of well tended gardens that aren't necessarily our own

and learned that reminders of the simple things are always needed whether young or older

That is what has been going on around here these last few weeks.  Much more celebrating and fun to come this month and we are preparing for our Summer Road Trip of 2012.  First big one for our family and it's coming up in 2 weeks.  I'm more than a little excited. 


Monday, August 6, 2012

Pagan Podcasts Revisited

Three years ago I wrote a post about the Pagan Podcasts that I was listening to at the time.  And I thought I should share a few more as well as point out that I have a page dedicated to all the podcasts I listen to above.  I love podcasts.  They are very practical for busy people and there are just so many things that I've gained from listening.  Way too many to list here.  But for those who are new to paganism or even veterans who haven't listened yet I urge you to give it a try.  Many of the podcasts I started listening to are now no longer podcasting but as all of us who frequent the internet know sometimes things endure and sometimes they fade away.  But the benefits certainly outweigh not giving it a try.  And if you don't find one that you like right away keep trying because there are tons out there.  Here is a list and short description of my current favorites in no specific order.

Druidcast - Damh the Bard hosts this cast put out by the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids once a month.  This cast has music, interviews, lectures and giveaways.   I have learned lots about Druidry with this cast and there are times when the music has been otherworldly good.

The Wigglian Way - Hosted by Mojo and Sparrow this podcast is a hometown favorite for me.  This show is full of personality and fun.  I like that the hosts are not afraid to be real.  I'm not a Wiccan like these two nor am I a Druid but listening to the experiences of other pagans walking their paths is very enriching for me.

Digging Nordic Roots - with Kari Tauring and friends has only two episodes but I really hope more are produced.  I am fascinated with Kari and her work with Runes.  So fascinated that I found her book and bought it.  You may notice a theme here that each cast deals with a different tradition and covers a wide spectrum of the pagan experience.  That is the beauty of this community - so much to learn and delve into.

Elemental Castings - T. Thorn Coyle's journey through the elements of life.  Each podcast centers on an element and then Thorn and her guest discuss how that element relates to their work, path and life.  Often Thorn will also share recordings of the panels she participates in when she travels to spiritual conferences around the world.

The Pagan Homesteader - If you love gardening, animals, Permaculture and homesteading then check this one out.  Rhianna Stone shares the goings on of her homestead, interviews, heritage animals and folktales.  This is about living life pagan rather than focusing solely on the spiritual side.

This is really the tip of the iceberg in pagan podcast land but have a look out there and find what suits you.  These podcasters put out their work for free and deserve our support.  What a resource for us all.  Please add any pagan podcast that you can't live without and why in the comments for all to find.