Swimming with Joe

Photo courtesy of funcatpictures.com

Hey there,

Swimming into November – with Joe.  Keep pushing, one stroke at a time.  Up, up, up towards the light of all things Christmas.  This week brings the hard frost we all hold our breath for; that vapour appearing as we exhale outdoors in the night.  Snowflakes dance as the garden and all things green shrink down, down, down back into Mother Earth for the long sleep.

So, who’s Joe?  Keep reading – that’s not him above – or maybe it is.

Are you sad?  A little?  Or are you ready for the change of season and some rest.  For us gardeners, we do feel it, don’t we?  Although we miss the green, we are ready for the rest.  The abundance that our gardens produced this year!  First with the cooler, rain-plentiful Spring and Summer, and then with the glorious sunny days we experienced this Autumn.

It’s a lot of work, even with Joe (keep reading).  Harvest is in.  Greenies are in jars in all shapes and forms.  Dried for teas and their goodness drawn out in vinegars and tinctures in the fridge, oils stacked in cupboards and by the tub.

Good thing it’s done, because there isn’t much room for food in my fridge right now…can you say “what’s in that jar?”  Haha – I like to leave some of them, the ones I know for sure, without labels.  Just for fun.

“Mustard”? … Second shelf at the back behind the shrunken heads…eye roll.

I know, Hallowe’en is over and the pointy hats have been put away.  Or have they? Heheheheeeeee

I have decided to ignore the sh!t show that is my life at the moment for today.  See here.  Still no lemonade, so I’m swimming with Joe.  According to a recent reading I had, I’m in it for a while and I need to keep WRITING – so here I am.  So glad I went for that reading.  I’m pretty sure it was her version of “kittens and flowers, kittens and flowers”

The world’s on fire – 
but you still need to eat lunch

I also still need to dig up some Horseradish root to clean, grate and soak in apple cider vinegar.  The root is better after a decent frost, so I’ve held back.  (Yes, I am capable of doing that.  Who knew?)  Not a fun thing to dig out – there will be cursing.  I have broken shovels doing this, despite what Mark Cullen says…they can be broken.

Perhaps a good outlet for me at the moment.  Or perhaps a pick axe, but I digress…

There are bits of it (the Horseradish, not Mark – or Joe) that have rooted in the meadow after an old garden was dug up and the contents dumped.  Once your shovel has pierced the root and you put that shovel in the ground somewhere else, it’s kind of guaranteed that you will have more Horseradish.  That’s how she rolls.  A very good plant ally to have during Winter, sitting fermenting in the fridge (another jar!).  Just waiting to help fight off those colds and flu.  Also excellent for your gut flora.

Well, anyone who has ever taken a mouthful of it knows that it will clear your sinuses – and then some!  Giddy up!  Horseradish root is a powerful circulatory stimulant for lung and urinary infections.  Ground into a poultice, it can be used externally to stimulate blood flow for those suffering with gout or arthritis.  Right up there with hot peppers.

When I grate it, I put it in the food processor and I wear eye protection and a mask…learned that the hard way.  Kind of like pepper spray…you’ve been warned.  Unless, of course, you like whimpering in the fetal position with your nasal cavity on fire.  Then, by all means, have at it.  No judgement here.  I’m swimming with Joe.

Ugh – I finally got those reading glasses ordered.  Hopefully next time I sit down to write at the computer I won’t be winking at you.  Do these glasses make my face look…never mind.

Back into humidifier season.  Filling twice per day – how do you spell fun?  It’s either that or raisin eyes.

Kind of meandering here.  At least I talked about a plant today!  Who the @%!&* is Joe?  Almost there.

Oh, I’d just like to mention (because I can), for readers who like to comment but don’t go through the sign-up process, your comment goes to spam.  Sorry, but that’s just the way it is – and there are quite a few.  Comments are moderated (by moi) and I’ll gladly post them – as long as they’re nice. 🙂  I love to read them, but they won’t be posted unless you go through the process.  There needs to be a name of some kind attached.  As far as the spammers go – and they are there too – a curse on your house! (Pointy hat)


And now, Joe:

Joe Cocker songs have been playing in my head recently. (Yes, that Joe.)  Hmmm  Maybe it’s because the Sun is in Scorpio.  So is Jupiter – and Venus.  Or maybe I’m just dreaming about being somewhere else, a different time, perhaps.  Purging.

This is fabulous, have a listen.  Brian May on guitar, Phil Collins on drums.  I know I’m dating myself here, but OMG that voice – hello! Sing it Joe!  The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Concert.  I’m a big Beatles fan, but this cover is all that.  Fab.  🙂

November, of course, is ruled by Pluto, Lord of the Underworld and Mars, God of War – and Joe (apparently).  Enough said and moving on.  Traditionally, a dark, cold month here in Southern Ontario.  The worst month for some, but has never bothered me, as it’s a busy month with Fall things in full swing and gearing up for the busy-ness of December and all that it brings.  I like to be well-prepared so that panic doesn’t set in the closer we get to Christmas.  That’s my Virgo peeking out.  Planet alignment is quite something right now.

However, can we please give the Veterans the respect that they deserve before we fall into all things merry and bright?  Thank you.

We move into a Cancer Moon tonight.  Earth Mother, home, nurturing, expressive.  Me?  I’ll be bowling – not very well, but bowling all the same.  Then, there may be a libation and some much needed laughs.

Today’s colour is scarlet.  As in lips and nails…and here comes Joe Cocker again…this time a different song – something about a hat – oh boy…

Channel your inner diva!

Until next time,


November blues?


Hey there,

Here we are, entering slowly, if not grudgingly, into the dark side of the year.  The wheel of the seasons turns slightly and we are into November.  To some, it is the worst month of the year; the gardens are done and dying back, the leaves on the trees have finished with their beautiful show of colour and now they descend, back to the earth, to enrich, to sleep, to let Mother Nature rest and prepare for the show all over again.

Our world turns from one of delight and surrounding beauty, to various shades of brown.  Darkness, cold, damp.  Does this give you the November blues?  Is it any wonder that November is ruled by Pluto (the Lord of the Underworld) and Mars (the God of War)?  SHIVER

Gardeners are scurrying to get everything “done”.  Planting bulbs for their Spring show…did you pick up your Canada 150 tulips?…cutting back the plants to tidy up.  I don’t go crazy with this.  You know how I love my feathered friends.  They so appreciate the seeds left behind and it gives some shape to the yard and interest with things poking up out of the snow.  I cut back the plants without seed heads and the others I leave until Spring, when the new growth starts to show. Then I cut them back. By leaving the dead plant material there, you are also helping to insulate!

Hallowe’en is over – the festivities and fun of dressing up and pretend put back into the box for another year. As we start to get some frosty nights, all those beautiful Fall displays of pumpkins, dried corn and Mums disappear. Hallowe’en, or Samhain is another of those “in between” festivals.  An “in between” of the seasons or the half-way mark between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice.  Here’s how they work.

“How YOU doin’?”

In the words of Joey Tribbiani, from the TV show Friends.  People tend to think of November as a depressing month.  Our clocks change, outwardly and inwardly.  We all know how everybody likes change (insert sarcasm).

What if you looked at November in a different light (pun intended!)?  What if you thought of November as “recharge your batteries month”…I’m talking about your personal batteries.  What if you thought of November as the month to go within, to embrace the cozy; a hot cup of tea, a warm bath, some time to just think; to be grateful for the good stuff in your life.

There is no angry way to say “bubbles”!

Take some time for yourself before the craziness of all things Christmas happens.  I, personally, would like to see Christmas held back until after Remembrance Day.  Let’s give that day the respect it deserves.  More about that next week.

It helps if you surround yourself with positive things and positive people…

A visual for you:  Driving home from work or wherever, it’s getting dark, it might be raining, the streets are slick with fallen leaves, you’re passing by houses with their inside lights on and people are pulling up into their driveways after another day at work.  Inside, what awaits them?



Their loved ones, their pets, a warm home, a hot meal (even if you’re the one making it), maybe a fire in the fireplace. Discussing your day (or maybe just mulling it around in your mind) over a meal and then afterwards, curling up with a cup of tea in front of that fire with a book or some music or your favourite TV show.  My kitty Winnie loves November. She is a cozy girl – loves her bed by the fire and blankets and ear rubs. 🙂

The ultimate coziness.  How can that be a bad thing?





red-cushionsAdd a bit of the colour red to your decor, through a toss cushion or throw and see how that amps up the warmth and cozy factor!  I’m not talking about Christmas decorations (sigh – see above).  But you’d be surprised how colours can change your mood and the mood of a room.  Go outside on your front lawn after supper, in the dark, and have a look at your home lit up from inside.

Does that bring a smile and the warm fuzzies to you?

Good, that’s the goal.

November is also a good time to have a careful look at the garden, as things die back and you can see where you’ve planted stuff!  What holes need to be filled next year…take pictures, because you won’t remember. What worked this year in pots and planters; what didn’t work?  Take notes and let the scheming begin…

Collect some seeds from some of the seed heads to sprinkle around for next year.  Some of the greenies will self-seed.  Those “tidy” gardeners out there know all about that!  Curses!  I would not consider myself to be a tidy gardener – I like things to spread willy nilly, but then I also have the room to let that happen. 🙂  You know the new greenies that have been sown by the mother plant will do much better and need less care than the original one that you planted and pampered…just sayin’!

Wild greens’ seeds can be collected now too.  Plantain, Lambsquarters, Amaranth…add them to sauces, stews and soups.  Did you ever stop to think about the energy and nutrition that is stored in one seed?  One seed produces a whole new plant.  That is the ultimate in energy.  Once a plant has died back, all of its energy goes into either the root or producing seed.  Depending on the plant, that is the part that you harvest at this time of year.  You harvest the plant’s energy.  That is Nature’s gift.  Think about it. Make sense?

November also has it’s own particular smell; dampness, earthiness; the colour of brown.  The stone for November is Topaz.  Yup.

What else?  The night sky!  There are five visible planets in the November night sky:  Venus pops out right after dusk in the West – that really bright twinkle, before it’s dark, that’s her.  Saturn and Mars are also visible in the early evening in the West.  You might catch Mercury in the West later in the month.  As Saturn falls into the horizon in the West, Mercury rises, but sometimes hard to see, depending on the Sun’s glare. Jupiter is very bright in the East before dawn.  Very cool!

Tonight’s Moon is in Sagittarius; optimistic and positive, laid-back and casual – that explains my encouragement above re all things November!  Sagittarians are ruled by Jupiter, as is Thursday.  Today’s colour is turquoise, also a Sagg colour.

I hope you’ve been inspired to look at November a little differently.

Until next time,