Sunday, November 7, 2021

Day 4: Sunday Upcycling...Milk Jugs, again

 Our 2ce a month recycling is happening first thing Monday morn, so tonight I started the process of upcycling my pile of milk jugs, as seen here:

Friday, November 5, 2021

Day 2: Scorpio Season New Moon Meaning

 Yay...Day 2, and starting off pretty early in the day for me. 

            Aside: part /of why I'm doing this daily writing challenge/mini-resolution is to follow thru on cycles...I'm great with ideas, and sometimes have an issue with starting, but *often* have an issue with follow-up, follow-thru, and/ finishing.

So...why start this challenge on a new moon? What is the meaning of Scorpio, and what is the meaning of a new moon, particularly a Scorpio new moon? Why even follow a lunar cycle at all?

I follow the lunar cycles to stay more in touch with the power of nature...the dance of the spheres (planetary system) and especially of the moon is a large, impactful and yet very personal embodiment of nature: we each have our own experience of our moon, no matter the phase. Moreover, the lunar cycle is a driving force on the Earth: it drives tides, an early way to measure time, (as was the daily rise and set of the sun and moon), and as Chaucer noted, don't wait for anyone. Further, for women, the lunar cycle and women's cycles are sync'd, more or less. Men too, follow their own, though less pronounced, lunar cycles. So aligning our lives with the cycles of nature is wholly logical, and, for me, makes me feel more in tune, tapped into the greater energies, and spiritually expanded.

Within the lunar cycle, the new moon is the beginning, the origination point, the start of the cycle, the seed of what will emerge. In astronomy, the new moon is the first lunar phase, the beginning of the cycle, a new beginning. It can be a time to set intentions and/ goals, and begin projects. During a new moon, one can mark the moment with a ritual, or rite, setting intentions for the next cycle of your life. Many mark this time of newness with a ritual bath, washing away the old cycle, cleansing ourselves to be fresh for the coming new experience of this next cycle. As the moon's gravitational force exerts a pull on the tides of the oceans, our internal cell waters may be affected* minutely too. Further, for all the millenia of animal and human lives, the only bright light at night was the moon, and during the new moon, it has always been barely visible, and, by definition, does not reflect light to us, except maybe a fingernail's it has been a time to stay home, stay safe, nest, if possible, looking forward to new

*However, even though the light is not present, we, like all animals, are probably affected by the lunar cycle: 
...lunar cycle has an impact on human reproduction, in particular fertility, menstruation, and birth rate. Melatonin levels appear to correlate with the menstrual cycle. Admittance to hospitals and emergency units because of various causes (cardiovascular and acute coronary events, variceal hemorrhage, diarrhea, urinary retention) correlated with moon phases....Animal studies revealed that the lunar cycle may affect hormonal changes early in phylogenesis (insects). In fish the lunar clock influences reproduction and involves the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis.    -
Thus the various effects of the new moon phase can affect us; however we can choose our direction forward at this inflection point in our month, setting our direction for embodiment and manifestation to peak at the full moon.
The lunar cycle is about a month (a moonth). The Sun's visit in each sign is also about a month, generally starting on the 21st of the calendar month. So the current Scorpio *solar* season, which always encompasses, appropriately, Hallowe'en, began at the middle-end of October, and will go to the middle-end of November. Meanwhile the *lunar* cycle, which always starts with the new moon in the same sign as the solar, but each phase only lasts 1-2.5 days, thus, this Scorpio new moon in the Scorpio solar season, kicks off a Scorpio-Taurus axis, the full being in Taurus, on Nov. 19, 2021, which happens to be an almost total lunar eclipse and super-moon. The goals and intents of the Scorpio New Moon energy should manifest fully by the Taurus Full Moon.

Scorpio is a fixed water sign; water represents emotion water....

...more about Scorpio in next  post

coming soon: vines & willow, nano, upcycling jugs, leaf preservation

Thursday, November 4, 2021

New Moon Seeds: Writing Daily during Scorpio Season

So, years ago, I earned an English Language & Lit degree from a top University Lit department, and also a double minor in Comp. Sci., and in Media Arts, focused on digital arts/new media...*perfect* for a career as a blogger, yes? But I have disappointed myself in my blogging attempts over the years.  I have used various blogging platforms since basically before blogging was a thing (& now since it's 'over', kind of, via social media {though it's not really over: future blog topic!}), and yet I have not been consistent, and disappointed myself in some kind of perfectionism around what I thought I should have been doing/achieving in both career, and in blogging. Even in the past month...I thought I was going to do not finish/follow-thru....πŸ˜πŸ˜‘πŸ˜’

However, I just ran across a gorgeous blog (I think I ran across it years ago, too) while I was researching weaving & basket-making, specifically I was interested in grapevine and willow weaving, and general basketry, and this blog design was so clean and modern, and seemed on point with my interests, so I ended up digging back into her archives. I came across the concept of 'mini-resolutions', 12 per year...which struck me as a thing I could start today, literally I had the thought right as the new moon occurred, on the dot, 5:14 pm! She started her mini-resolutions at the new year, which is the classic time to start, but I'm starting today, right now, because: 

  • right now it's after a New Year of a sort, i.e. Hallowe'en, and 
  • on the day of a New Moon, 
  • specifically...the New Moon in Scorpio... is a great time to finally create this reality. This reality...MY reality...of writing, working as a digital creative, and coder, possibly as a digital nomad, sooner or later. But I have to prove to myself I can do

SETTING MY INTENTION...planting this seed: Scorpio Season, I will write here (& in other places), including:

Looking at Anne's list of 12 mini-resolutions, I'm unwilling to lay out my 12 or 13 moons of the year ahead, as that will defeat the purpose of the lunar flow of my mini-resolutions being set up to their time, but I am interested in some of her ideas for resolutions:
  1. Working Out Daily (5 days long, 2 days 10 min); yes, this one (modified from her 'Work out 5 days a week'
  2. Write Daily: her 'Consistent Work Plan' which includes Time Management (she includes specific hours for her book in the morning, her blog in the afternoon) but for me this post you are reading is this very seed intention: Writing Daily, starting now, plus my nano writing, since it's November; this may be my Sag moon seed, or maybe will start out now, doing just 10 min daily as a break from writing
  3. Probably skipping/subsuming her next 3 'Getting work-outfit prepped daily (shower, make-up, etc.)' and subsuming her 'Top 3 priority list' (blog, nano, code writing for me in my Writing Daily Seeds) and her 'Phone use only between 2-4pm'
  4. 15 min. morning meditation...I like this idea; have included it in previous lists I've made, and have done it inconsistently in my spiritual practice, though not sure yet when this seed will be planted again; in a later post, she recommends:
  5. 'Done list + Gratitude list': Maybe the latter, even the done list if I do a seed about bullet journal posts?
  6. 'Make art everyday'...have also tried this, & had it in my previous lists for every moon in each sign (which last about 1-2.5 days), as part of the monthly lunar cycle; not sure when I will include this
  7. Probably skipping her next 4: 'Building community', 'No buying things', 'No sugar', and maybe 'Morning journaling' because, laudable as these at this point I'm not sure these are priorities for me, though I *have done* "Morning Pages" previously, and may again
  8. - 13.    The other ideas I might try, once I've gotten into the habit of writing daily include intentional audience building using social media, I also like her previous idea of finishing wip's (work-in-progress/de-stash), also gardening daily is an obvious seed for me; maybe yoga daily?, a to-do & ta-da list (a commenter mentioned this) & gratitude list as in #5 if I *don't* do the bullet journal posts; last, but not least, maybe in association with #6 art often, a lunar sign cycle follow & journal &/OR reducing/reusing/upcycling daily  something/a category. it is...first seed planted, (plus I had to go make dinner in there)...the writing daily blog posted! Now off to work on nano, & some coding too!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

13 Mostly Apple Recipes to Try: Healthy, Decadent, and/or Easy

Healthy Mostly Apple Recipes First:

🍎Healthy Apple Bran Muffins by 'Rachel Cooks': My dad with Parkinson's needs to up his whole grain game. So I bought some bran, to use with my whole wheat flour, and these look good, though I might cut down on some of the oil, which isn't much, just 3T, just a little, and maybe up the apple flavor with a little applesauce...?

🍎Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins by This next muffin recipe is quite a bit more bran-filled; it makes up the bulk of the muffin, in a 3:1 ratio of bran to whole wheat flour, but definitely looks lower calorie, so that can be a plus when you are watching every bit of energy you take in, versus how much becomes stored (as fat on your/my bod).

πŸ”Best Black Bean Burgers by 'Sally's Baking Addiction': Not an apple recipe..., but inspired by apple baking adventures and wanting to use the heat from the oven when baking...I'm trying these tomorrow (I already opened the cans yesterday, when I thought there wasn't enough leftover chili for dinner, but discovered there was excess chili, so then I put the cans in the fridge after I must!); I am interested in seeing if the special technique of dry-baking the canned, rinsed beans helps make them 'not mushy' and 'the best'!

🍎Quinoa and Veggie Salad, with Apples, Dried Berries, Walnuts and Cheddar by Another non-dessert, this recipe could be either an entrée dish or a protein loaded carbohydrate salad when the main dish is a soup. For my octogenarian folks, I might need to pre-cook then cool the apples so they are soft enough; I also probably would use spinach, maybe even kale, as we are not found of arugula.


🍏Whole Wheat Fresh Apple and Applesauce Cake by This one is almost in the decadent category, and there is another bundt featured there, but because it uses whole wheat flour, and no cream in the glaze, I'm calling it (comparatively) 'healthy', but that's why it didn't get a 'red apple' to mark it

Decadent Mostly Apple Desserts:

🍎Another apple-y dessert, this looks super delicious, and should help satisfy an adult desire for the caramel apple flavor, but in a softer, more decadently refined way (and for those cooking for those who need soft desserts, caramel apples are an impossibility!...upon biting into an ordinary apple, (that had been pre-sliced!) a family member with some dental work literally broke a tooth!)

🍎Another "Sallys Baking Addiction" recipe, this one looks delicious, maybe decadent, but in a way that apples and cake are decadent; it *does* have quite a bit of oil and flour, but it's a big, dense bundt, so those are apropos ratios, plus the glaze is rich with cream in it....

Last, but hardly least: Easy Mostly Apple Recipes

🍎Ukrainian Apple Pastries, Pirozhki s yablokami, v hlebopechke by user Irina75 on I still miss Sparkpeople, and part of the strength of that site was the great recipes on Sparkrecipes, from both their paid staff, but also users, along with nutrition's one that looks interesting, and probably easy as it appears to be made in a bread machine; it also looks pretty healthy; might make a delicious breakfast alternative to muffins

🍎Apple Cinnamon Slab Pie by 'Natasha's Kitchen': I made this next one, with a few changes yesterday, but here's the original, though I would call it more of a strudel than a pie, even a slab pie, and it *WAS* very easy! (also pretty quick) Basically: sauté some sliced apples with butter and sugar, then wrap in store-bought puff pastry and bake...result: an elegant dessert


🍲Moosewood's Mojo Sauce: Sounds delish, and made me wish...that I still had my Moosewood cookbooks (they might be in the boxes my ex packed, which I haven't opened yet) but so *glad* I discovered Moosewood has some recipes online; I ate there, decades ago, (in the mid '80s), with a different ex, who'd been a regular customer as a student at Cornell. (Ithaca is gorges!)


These look good, and my fam is now WAY into soft cookies (after years of only liking hard little bricks!)...I might try these with whole wheat flour to make them a *little* healthy...I think they look quite yummy πŸ˜‹,q_lossy,ret_img,w_650/

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Week in Review/Word of the Week (WOTW): Lens; Goal for this week: Progress/Forward

 This past week, there was a theme in the lives of my family that was focused around vision, caring and helpfulness, as there was eye surgery, which gave us all a different lens for perceiving what was important.

We were all happily surprised when the neph got his act together and showed up to help the folks. (We were surprised mostly because he showed up on time, early actually, and without a wake-up prompt). He has been known not to show up in the past.

The surgery was scheduled for midday T, but we started to prep the weekend before, and, especially on Monday, some deep cleaning, so no dust would be flying around. Also some meal planning and then, later in the week (W? Th?) went to the grocery maxi-mart, spending 2 hours purchasing pretty much just groceries. Then the lens switched back to Parkinson's, and after a good deed punished, I found a screaming deal on mums at Lowe's (50% off) and got 6, plus some grab bars and supplies. Then today the lens was on enjoying the pretty day with a trip to the Gull Lake areafor some art, birds, and autumn produce per I did however miss my little friend Adrian's birthday today though, but couldn't be helped

This next week my goal is catching up on some blogging, coding, arting, organizing, gardening, writing, and working out. There are only so many 'pleasant' days left in this year, in terms of warmer weather, so I will focus on making the most of that time.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

NaNoWriMo PrepTober First Steps: Idea Inspiration and Planning (vs. Pantser*-ing)

NaNoWriMo (or nanowrimo) stands for National Novel Writing Month (though it's international); it started out in early internet days, and has grown, a lot. It's held annually during the month of November (which always seems like a weird month for it to be occurringto mebecause, in the US, it starts during Halloween hangovers, (many local groups of folks all over start writing at midnight, which really interferes with any late-night / midnight Hallows activities), then continues (some years, some places, and other years everywhere) during election season (and I've been a paid political operative so I find it impossible to participate those years), then finishes during Thanksgiving & the start of the December Holidaze season, including travel (though writing during a layover or travel delay *could* be productive, but not optimal), and Black Friday.  I've often thought about participating, and have even written a few thousand words here or there (the goal is 50k for a slim novel) on 3 different ideas, but have gotten stuck because I've gone at it like a 'pantser'i.e.: by the seat of my pants, at the last minute, without much of a plot, or plan, or a 'built world', or well-drawn characterizationsvs. being a planner, which really does make the process easier, because you spend more time on it up front. (Pantser vs. Planner is one of the topics that nano folks discuss, and one of the original Nanowrimo leaders even wrote a book about how to be a 'pantser'!)

Some of the 'Novel Idea Inspiration' techniques I am using to try and be a planner this year for  that I found on the nano site include:

  • Brainstorm a bunch of things (I did 50 now, & then did another 50) that I like (or "that make you feel excited, inspired, or curious") including settings, motifs, themes, subjects, interests, genres, etc. Really, I think one is writing this novel for yourself, are your own ideal reader / audience, for most first-time writers.  {This exercise is from the nano Young Writers Prep}  ...I had: cyber, herstorical fiction, gardens, needlework, candles, bodies of water, tarot and survival as some of my 'things'.
  • Summarize 3 (at least) favorite books/movies (in 3 sentences or less), including setting, key characters, and plot points to "Borrow a Plot"; then rework those summaries with a few new additions of your own; the example was The Hunger Games; My 3 choices:  The Matrix, and 2nd in Jean Auel's 'Earth's Children' series: The Valley of Horses,  and last, but not least, Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle:
      1.  In Blade Runner, Neo discovers that the world he has been living in is a computer matrix and the *real* world is actually a bombed out world-at-war with machines a century later than the present time. He must fight for independence and the right to live against various software program Agents, like Agent Smith; he fights alongside his ship's team who rescued him,, esp. Trinity, his soulmate and contact, and Morpheus, his ship's captain. The machines' energy source is ultimately human bodies, kept in a fetal state.
      2. In The Valley of Horses, Ayla, a Cro-Magnon woman, must survive alone, after being exiled by her Neanderthal adopters, with only a horse and lion cub as company in the harsh Ice Age climate, until Jondalar, on a rite-of-passage journey, travels into her area, injured. They get to know each other as he heals, then decide to continue his journey together, leaving the valley.
      3. In Lady Oracle, a parody of gothic romances and fairy tales, Joan Foster, a romance novelist, is revealed through flashback sequences of: her past overweight childhood self, being a mistress to minor nobility, and relationship with a performance artist, while attempting to hide this past from her husband, and then being blackmailed and faking her own death, after publishing a viral success of her feminist poetry.
    1. Neo, a physicist, creates a wormhole in the fabric of spacetime and jumps back to the last ice age where he meets Cro-Magnon Ayla and her horse. He falls in love with her and they jump forward to the future, but she hates it, yet cannot escape because the hole back is closed.
    2. ....Meanwhile, Jondalar was also picked up in the wormhole but deposited in present-day France. His past is discovered by scientists, and he is trapped for samples and study. Ayla learns about this and rescues him.
    3. Joan, an upper-class mystery writer and suffragette, is the prime suspect in her lover's murder. She is jailed after a protest and force-fed along with other suffragettes, which causes her to have flashbacks to her anorexic past, and she realizes that her husband killed himself and framed her. She must prove her innocence.
  • "Borrow a Character"..."invent a future/history for someone"...choose a sub-section and then "find the story" within your invention
  • Choose a viewpoint of a character from a current event ('News You Can Use') and make up your own details
  • "A Whole New World": make up stories from a picture (abandoned or weird places)

The first (brainstorm, then refine) is from the nano Young Writers program: 

and the other four ideas (borrow a

Day 4: Sunday Upcycling...Milk Jugs, again

 Our 2ce a month recycling is happening first thing Monday morn, so tonight I started the process of upcycling my pile of milk jugs, as seen...