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Showing posts from June, 2020

Looking Towards July

Move Art Outside - Land Art

1) Go somewhere and open your eyes 2) Look at what is there and see the colours and shapes and forms 3) Select some materials that appeal to you because of their shape or colour or whatever else 4) Collect as many as you can 5) Make a pattern, swirl, circle, spiral or anything you like with what you have found This is exactly what a great many of us do naturally, kids and adults alike, and by behaving in this way you get a better connection with nature, more appreciation of the natural world, calmness from the connection, fun, creativity and play too! What’s not to like! Pebblefish Spiral

Depression Era Desserts

From a Historical Collection Dessert was basically unknown to me as a child except for the Pumpkin Pie my mom made for Thanksgiving. The one dish she did make was Bread Pudding and I loved it. The recipe below is the closest to the ingredients she used. When she served it with ice cream I was in heaven! These days they use a vanilla sauce but it just doesn't taste the same. I hope you have enjoyed this series on Depression Era cooking, please comment if you have other options. I'm always game for a sweet, cheap dessert.

Let's Talk About Plants

Plants are the source of the air we breathe and most of the food we eat, yet we often do not pay enough attention to keeping them healthy. This can have devastating results. FAO estimates that up to 40 percent of food crops are lost to plant pests and diseases annually. This leaves millions of people without enough food to eat and seriously damages agriculture – the primary source of income for rural poor communities. Plant health is increasingly under threat. Climate change and human activities have altered ecosystems, reducing biodiversity and creating new niches where pests can thrive. At the same time, international travel and trade, which have tripled in volume in the last decade, can quickly spread pests and diseases around the world, causing great damage to native plants and the environment. As with human health, protecting plants from pests and diseases is far more cost-effective than dealing with full-blown emergencies. Plant pests and diseases are often impossible to eradicat

New Moon Ritual

The Moon cycle starts in proverbial darkness as the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, blocking the Sun’s rays from our view.  Spencer, Ezzie. Lunar Abundance (p. 55). Running Press. Kindle Edition.  To begin you need to choose a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for about half an hour. When you set up your ritual area include things that feed your senses. Roses, sparkly lights, favourite tea, soft comfy seat and some soft music as an example. With all your senses thus engaged close your eyes and become present to what is going on inside: both your emotions and physical sensations. The physical brings us home to the temple that is our body; the physical is an embodied sense that steers us home to our physical selves and allows us to touch much, much more.  This may seem straightforward enough. The problem is, however, that many of us have forgotten how to feel.  You cannot think about these physical sensations; you must feel them Many of us, when we start to tune into

Bump up the Fruits & Veggies

A few recipes and some fun stuff. The last item is a challenge that I'm going to try and thought you might like to join me. Remember all the pages in this series are downloadable with a "right click" and "save as". I hope you enjoyed this series and found some interesting tidbits to help you add more fruits & vegetables to your diet. My thanks to the American Heart Association for providing this information so I could share it.

African American Music Appreciation: Jazz

Miles Davis- Freddy Freeloader This link will take you to a Top 100 Jazz Classics Playlist on Youtube. This track is the first one on the list. But what is it that makes Jazz so great? According to Wikipedia : Jazz is difficult to define because it encompasses a wide range of music spanning a period of over 100 years, from  ragtime  to the  rock -infused  fusion . Attempts have been made to define jazz from the perspective of other musical traditions, such as European music history or African music. But critic  Joachim-Ernst Berendt  argues that its terms of reference and its definition should be broader, [12]  defining jazz as a "form of  art music  which originated in the United States through the confrontation of the Negro with European music" [13]  and arguing that it differs from European music in that jazz has a "special relationship to time defined as 'swing ' ". Jazz involves "a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvi

River's & Water Part 4: Healing Properties

Jackson Creek Jackson Creek begins in Jackson Park our naturally wooded park and runs beneath several blocks of downtown. It pops up here and there creating pockets of soothing water music amid the buildings to those who need it. Water music is what I am thinking about today. As a Libra, I am supposed to have a greater affinity to air than water but it is water that draws me. There is something about the sound of water running over stones that relaxes me in a way that nothing else can. One of my favourite places to go is a coffee shop that sits right at the edge of the Otonabee River near downtown. When I've had a really stressful week I will go there  to release some of that stress by letting the water carry it away. Another place I like to go is a small stretch alongside the Social Services building on King Street. I will always stop on my way to downtown just to listen for awhile. Healing properties of water:   Improves energy levels & immunity   Boosts physical performanc

Knitting 101

Of all the needlecrafts I have tried I've found this one to be the easiest. It has two stitches unlike the dozen or so for embroidery and uses two pin-like devices instead of a single shallow hook like crochet However that being said you do need to get used to a different handhold on the needles and you have to be able to count. You have probably heard this line a time or two: "Knit 1 Pearl 1 repeat 10 times" or something similar. The two stitches called knit and pearl is how you make a row. Any project you make requires a lot of rows and often the stitches change order & number in each row for several rows then you go back to the first row and repeat until your item is finished. As I said a lot of counting because if you get a row wrong or forget a stitch your whole project gets messed up and you have to tear out your stitches until you get back to the place you made the mistake. After which you have to redo the stitches you pulled out. I have found that if I do the

Depression Era Cooking: Supper

I remember making this for my kids though I didn't use any seasonings except salt & pepper. It is cheap as you can use leftovers from other meals or if you are buying getting the cheapest package of meat possible. Mainly I used ground beef cause it was cheap back then, these days when I make it for myself I use chicken or turkey. Glop This is not a precise recipe. It is a one-pot rough, crude, delicious, and filling meal. You can use whatever amounts of ingredients you have on hand. Chopped meat Mashed potatoes Diced vegetables A generous amount of curry powder & chili powder. Ancho & Chipotle are my personal favorites for chili powder, and for curry, I like Tandoori Begin by searing meat in an oiled skillet. Beef will give the best results, but you can use pork,  lean poultry or wild game as well. Add whatever vegetables you have available and sear them until they’re browned. Thin the meat and veggie mix with a little water, and stir in mashed potatoes or instant potat

Men's Health: Sexual Health

Sexual desires and activity aren’t static. They change throughout life for lots of reasons, such as having children, coming to terms with sexual orientation, or physical or mental illness.  Growing older  can also have an effect on sex, but it’s important to realize that this is normal. Talking about sexual health contributes its own dynamics for a person and within a relationship. Men tend to not be comfortable discussing their sexual health. They may joke around with it when they are around their male friends, but are they really asking the right questions or expressing their experiences to make their friends provide support or guidance? Very rarely. Add to that the personal relationship with a partner. In a perfect world partners would speak openly about their want, desires, likes, and dislikes. But that doesn’t always happen either. ( source ) With that said I figured we could use a laugh so enjoy the video. The following information was provided by the Men's Health Libra

Summer Solstice Part 3

Now to figure out the ritual part ... given that the solstice is tomorrow I am leaving it a little late I know. The basic things I want to do are as follows:  Use Tarot to read what the next four months hold Renew my dedication to Aphrodite Renew my dedication to Gaia Renew my protections to my home Do a ritual for all four elements spread throughout the day Quarter Calls for Midsummer: East: I call the guardian of the east, the power of air, to come to this circle bringing refreshing summer breezes and lightness of spirit.  South: I call the guardian of the south, the power of fire, to come to this circle bringing warm sunlight and a passion for summer joy.  West: I call the guardian of the west, the power of water, to come to this circle bringing life-giving rains and flexible attitudes.  North: I call the guardian of the north, the power of earth, to come to this circle bringing energy for growth, and strength to rely on no matter what comes. Blake, Deborah. Midsummer (Llewellyn'

Fresh Fruit's & Vegetables: Sneaky Ways to Eat a Rainbow

My thanks goes out to the  American Heart Association  for these images and the information they contain.

African American Music Appreciation: Blues

River's & Water Part 3: Water is Life

It really sounds uncomplicated in chemical make-up. H20! A part of oxygen insured with 2 parts of hydrogen. But that easy factor on this planet can create us stay more time. Our life things are indeed in need of water. It purifies our whole body, it stimulates us every day. It is one of the most essential resources for our health and is very essential to take in for our whole body. Water is like a fuel and we are like cars. We need that factor for us to work. Water is very essential for us, also for creatures and even for plants. We all know that we can’t stay without water. I think that it is one factor that can’t be ignored once it is given. Water is indeed essential in many ways. The globe would be in catastrophe without water. Let us preserve water and together preserve the World. Together, all of us can create factors possible. Let us now move together because it is not yet too late. We can still convert this broken situation into a fresh era. Unknown. Water- The Elixir of Life: A

Keeping a Commonplace book for Inspiration

I've kept one of these off and on since my early 20's. There are many options that can be used for the base book. The one above reminds me of my third one in which I put the pages I wanted to keep into a plastic sleeve and put it in a binder. I still have it around here somewhere, if I can find it in a timely manner I will share some page images on my Instagram. The one I'm doing now is just a folder in my documents folder on my computer in which I put quotes, images and info pages that catch my interest. When I get stuck I will open the folder and look through the accumulated material and eventually something will get me thinking and then creating. It has helped me out of a number of creative blocks. You can do it too and maybe you will find it as interesting as I do and as useful. Below are a few of the pages from my current collection hope you find them interesting.            

Depression Era Cooking: Lunch

I haven't decided which of these sandwiches I will try but once I make them I'll add the photos here and on Instagram. Instead of using store-bought bread I decided to make this emergency bread I found online.

Men's Health: Mental Health

Mental Health: It’s A Guy Thing Overall, women are about twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with a mental health issue. But that statistic tells only a small part of the story. Here’s why. To start with, men make about two-thirds as many doctor visits as women do. And even when we do see a doctor, we’re often reluctant to talk about what’s really bothering us, especially if it has anything to do with feelings or mood. Plus, most men don’t realize that some of the physical symptoms we may experience—things like chronic pain and digestive problems—could actually be caused by a mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, or stress. And then there are the men who know (or at least strongly suspect) that they have a problem but suffer in silence, afraid to admit they need help. Afraid others will find out their secret and they’ll be perceived as weak or wimpy, or that they’ll lose their job. Dealing With Anger Anger is a normal human feeling, but it can be a tricky emo

Summer Solstice: Part 2

At Midsummer, the primary themes are abundance, growth, fertility, and increase of every kind. This means that the Summer Solstice is a good time for working on prosperity or anything positive that you want to continue to grow. This sabbat is a good time to connect with the earth, growing things in general, and the faerie folk (with all due respect and caution, of course). Green magick of every kind is practiced on this day. Traditionally, it has also been connected with healing, especially in conjunction with sacred wells and other bodies of water. Use the light of the season to help you tune in to the internal light we all carry inside ourselves. Let the glow of the sun overhead remind you to look on the bright side, and to let your own inner light shine out for the rest of the world to see. Blake, Deborah. Midsummer (Llewellyn's Sabbat Essentials) . Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.. Kindle Edition. There are so many different ways to celebrate this day it's hard to know wha

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables: Store it Right, Keep it Fresh

As I was looking over this I made a startling discovery. Not all fruits and vegetables keep best in the refrigerator some do better in the cupboard and others do better sitting out on a counter or table. Go figure! I don't know about you but I like learning new things especially if they are useful and will contribute to my health. My thanks goes out to the American Heart Association for these images and the information they contain.

African-American Music Appreciation: Spirituals

Spirituals  (also known as  Negro spirituals ,  Spiritual music , or  African-American spirituals )   is a genre of songs originating in the  United States  and created by  African Americans .   Spirituals were originally an oral tradition that imparted Christian values while also describing the hardships of slavery.   Although spirituals were originally unaccompanied monophonic (unison) songs, they developed into harmonized choral arrangements.   ( source ) Although numerous rhythmical and sonic elements of spirituals can be traced to African sources, spirituals are a musical form that is indigenous and specific to the religious experience in the United States of Africans and their descendants. They are a result of the interaction of music and religion from Africa with music and religion of European origin.  Further, this interaction occurred only in the United States. Africans who converted to Christianity in other parts of the world, even in the  Caribbean  and  Latin America , di

River's & Water Part 2: The Watershed

I had no idea what a watershed was so that is the first thing I checked out. What is a watershed? A watershed is the land area that drains to a common body of water, such as a stream, lake, bay, or even the ocean. They provide drinking water, habitats for wildlife, soil to grow our food, and locations for fishing, boating and swimming.  We all live in a watershed. (source) Image Credit. A. Vicente, U.S. Forest Service Snowmelt, rain, etc that collects at a point where it becomes a river or stream is the watershed.  Benefits of a healthy watershed: Human Health : A healthy watershed provides safe drinking water, provides food, enables us to adapt to the impacts of climate change more easily by cooling the air and absorbing greenhouse gas emissions, and provides natural areas for people to keep active and recharge our batteries.  Ecological Health : A healthy watershed conserves water, promotes streamflow, supports sustainable streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater sources