September – Fresh Start

Hey there,

I know I’m not alone in thinking that really, September is the start of the new year.  Everything is new and beginning again.  I don’t like to rush the seasons…OK, now I’m fibbing…we all know how I feel about Winter – it’s OK for a little while, but then, enough already.

It’s not officially Fall yet, but it’s in the air.  Especially this year, after the “Summer that wasn’t” here in Southern Ontario.  I love the Fall and it’s normally such a short season, but September and October – FAB!

There are many activities art related in my area in September and October…all the things I love: shows, tours, classes.  The food is amazing with the fresh harvest.  I get the urge to make things with my hands. There’s a coziness to it all and yet, I still have my gardens…it’s still too early for “Jack” to take them from me.  Ahhhh  Mums and pumpkins and all the rich colour.  The sky is a deeper hue.  The fields are dotted with gold, purple, white, rust and warm shades of brown.  Darker at night a little bit earlier, but not too early yet.  Cooler for sleeping, blue jeans, maybe a light sweater or jacket, but most days, you can still wear sandals and Pearl still wears her pretty summer wheels. YAY!  What’s not to like?

Mercury has been in retrograde and I have not been at all inspired to write.  Mercury being the planet of communication – you see where that came from.  Mercury plays a big role in my birth chart.  Not an excuse, just a statement.  Besides, I’ve been spending every spare moment outside and not in front of my computer. There will be lots of time for that later.  I’m going with the flow.

Round two of seeds have been planted in the veggie gardens.  Peas, radish, spinach and lettuce, hoping for a second crop in the cooler weather.  Swiss Chard is still going strong.  I’m harvesting tomatoes daily, made some dill pickles from my cucumbers (where I often find Niles peeking out from beneath the vines…)

← Meet His Royal Cheekiness, Niles!  Looks like he’s wet (again) from being out in the rain (or in the garden).

There are squash on the vine, green beans are yummy as are the yellow zucchini. Carrots and beets processed and round two planted.  I’ve really enjoyed my veggie gardens this year and so glad that my plan from last Fall – the apple harvest bins – have worked out really well.  They seem to be just the right size for the amount I need.  Easy on my back and easy to plant and harvest – not large enough for me to go too crazy with amounts planted – but you’d be surprised at how much I can sneak in. 🙂 A saunter out to the barn in the morning with my scissors and my basket is the routine…what will I bring in today?  Happiness.  Soon, I’ll be harvesting and drying the culinary herbs. Oregano is already in the jar.  Hello homemade pizza!  Can you smell it?

 

 

Some of my harvest!

Oy, the drying frenzy hasn’t really started yet, but it’s coming.  As is the bringing in of the plants. Very soon. My big pot of Rosemary has not had a happy Summer.  Even sitting out on the deck on the South side, where it sits every Summer, it’s been too wet.  It was actually happier inside the dry house in the Winter. I’m hoping it perks up and am thinking about bringing it in now.  I’d hate to lose it, it’s a good sized plant and one that I use often in Winter for flavouring.  On my bucket list is visiting those countries where it actually grows as a shrub…one day.

Not a wild greenie here in Canada, but Rosemary is an awesome plant.  It tastes and smells divine and is the herb of remembrance.  Even Shakespeare said so!  One of those culinary, curative and cosmetic herbs that may be used year round.  Not only tucked into bridal bouquets and wreaths for centuries, but once used as a religious herb as well.  It has been burned as incense in ceremonies as protection against evil and at funerals. Sometimes mixed with Juniper to cleanse and purify the air.  I like to use it for adding flavour to roasting meat and potatoes.  I will also make an oil with it for use in cooking and/or the bath.  A very clean scent when mixed with Lavender.

The oil from the plant leaves is antibacterial and anti-fungal.  A good “breathing” herb to relieve headaches. Used in a tea, it makes a good mouthwash.  All good reasons to bring my potted plant in sooner, rather than later!

What else am I harvesting?  The Moon’s energy.  Tonight she is full in Pisces and the Sun is firmly planted in Virgo.  So an excellent time to dream big, as Pisces is ruled by Neptune and is the sign of dreams, whereas Virgo, a very grounded, Earth sign is the one to get things done and make those dreams a reality. A powerful combo.  Win-win!  The September Full Moon is the Harvest Moon, a little earlier this year.  Watch for the orange colouring.  I will be straining some bath oils this evening and using the preserved energy in the cold months ahead.

Today’s colour is white.  Appropriate in speaking about the Rosemary in bridal bouquets and wreaths above.

What will you dream of under this Harvest Moon?  Make it big and then make it happen.

Until next time,

-Debra

Summer, “worts” and all

 

Hey there,

So the longest day of the year has now come and gone, which means we’re almost half-way through. Summer Solstice and the turning of the year.  I had a blog post all ready, well almost ready, honest – but then this rain has been playing havoc with our Internet service up here in the boonies.  Add that to my busy schedule… My computer also needs a tune-up which did not help matters.  (Communication issues – hello Mercury).  So, today seems to be better- I’ve fired up ‘Ol Smokie here in the Meadowview and I’m just tweaking what I wrote on Wednesday.

ALWAYS SAVE YOUR DRAFT!
Kittens and flowers, kittens and flowers

Cheating?  Perhaps, but ask me how pleased I was after spending three hours writing and then my Internet seizes up…not pretty.  Suffice it to say, the air was blue under the blue roof.  Kittens and flowers, kittens and flowers.

Anyhoo,

Summer officially begins, worts and all…it’s been a very wet, cool Spring here in Southern Ontario.  What’s with the “worts”?  Ew.  “Worts” is “herbs” in German; as in “Motherwort”, one of my favs.  Just me being a smarty pants. 🙂

Gardens are happy with the moisture, some plants are needing more Sun. There is later and sometimes extended bloom time. You win some, you lose some.

Me?  I’m fine with the temperature in the low 20 degree C range, but many are not so fine with it.

How do you define happy?  It’s not all about the weather, although some may think so.  I very recently lost an Aunt.  A very inspiring lady who lived her life to the fullest.  She was not a complainer, she was a doer and dedicated her life to “doing” for others.  Her profession was nurse, but she did far more than that with volunteering her time for so many charities and causes, especially after she fully retired from nursing – at least her full time job of nursing.

It gave me pause to really think about what life should be all about – and what makes me happy.  It made me think about my past, my childhood, growing up and my previous life in the corporate world.  As well as previous lives…but we won’t get into that woo woo here. 🙂 Her passing also made me think about the things that don’t make me happy.  I must say, this one gave me a couple of sleepless nights.  Pluto was at work again, conjuring up all manner of bad memories and bringing with him the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” that we all think about from time to time.  Especially when you’re comparing your life to one that has just ended.

The conclusion?  I am basically happier now, doing my own thing, than I have been in a long time.  Life constantly challenges me, but living here, under and around the blue roof, amongst nature and the plants, passing my knowledge on to those who care to learn and listen, my family, my kitties and I have a wonderful circle of friends.  Although I have a heavy burden of responsibility, being the parent to my parents, I am now in a position where I run my own show (and theirs) and I don’t have to answer to anyone.  It suits the “bossy pants” me very well.  Selfish? Perhaps, but I’ve earned it and I have in the past and continue to donate my time to others and the community.  Building some good karma there. 🙂

Thinking about my Aunt’s life again, I never realized the similarities between her and I.  Isn’t it always the way that you don’t truly learn about what a person has done until you hear their eulogy?  That’s a shame. Although she wasn’t a Virgo, as I am, I have always been a caregiver (Cancer Ascendent), like her – from a very early age, being the eldest of three children. Starting with my brother and sister and foster babies (who shared my room) in my childhood.  My Aunt was a nurse by profession and although I didn’t study in the medical profession, I have certainly studied extensively in the natural medicinal field and using food as medicine. It’s all about helping and healing. We are/were both involved with our communities in various ways and our paths did cross once as volunteers working with Special Olympics Canada.

She was just “Aunt Joan” to me.  I wish I had gotten to know that other person better.  Woulda, shoulda, coulda.  Hats off to a life well lived, Aunt Joan.

Phew!  That feels better, thanks for listening. 🙂

Too heavy?  Let’s lighten up a little then, shall we?

Did I mention there was another man in my life?  This one is of the four-legged furry variety. (Haha – gotcha)  There is a new kitty here.  His name is Niles and I will post his photo once I have one.  It’s been almost a year since my Tigger passed away.  Ralph brought Niles home with him one afternoon. Someone didn’t want Niles (how cruel some people can be).  I believe he was left on the road just like my Tigger was and Ralph dusted off the vacancy sign:

“Come with me!  I was homeless too, but now I’ve got a Mommy who feeds me when I want, always makes sure my water dish is full and my litter box is clean and gives cuddles and ear rubs.  Happy dance.  It’s cool in the Summer and warm in Winter with beds by the fire. There’s even an old girl named Winnie that you can poke once in a while to get a rise out of her, just for fun.”

Reading Ralph’s mind, that’s his schpeel.

Niles is not a barn cat nor feral and hasn’t been on his own for long.  He’s not older than around two; this is probably his second Spring.  A lovely disposition and very affectionate.  Small, refined; a handsome boy – solid charcoal grey with bright green eyes.  Remember the TV show Frasier?  Hence the name:  Niles! (Who didn’t love Niles?) Follows Ralph around like he’s Dad.  Niles made his debut at the Vet this week, and wasn’t very happy with that visit – checkups can be rather, um, “invasive”… he slunk off when I brought him back home and he showed up for dinner and hasn’t moved on since.  So, he’s decided to call the blue roof home. Ralph is delighted, Winnie, not so much (she hates boys).  You know what they say about cats – they own you, you don’t own them.  He has a very healthy appetite!  I did cover his ears when his neutering appointment for next week was discussed…stay tuned for more about Niles – he’s now part of the gang.

Back to the Solstice.  Did you do anything special to celebrate?  I had dinner with a group of women (as I did a different group on Solstice Eve, here under the blue roof – busy, social me!).  There was no naked dancing around the fire either night – but there was wine and there were giggles. 🙂

As the world turns, literally, on its axis, it orbits not in a circle, but in an elliptic around the Sun, with the Sun being closer at one end.  That’s right, Summer Solstice happens when the Earth reaches that end.  At Summer Solstice we are closest to the Sun and therefore we have the most light.  As the Earth turns around that end and starts its decent…yup, it starts to lose light and the days become shorter.  The good news is that we have a ways to wait – six months, in fact – until the Earth reaches the other end, where the Sun is furthest away and we have the least light, or the shortest day – Winter Solstice.  See how that works?

In the lore of woo woo, the Holly King and the Oak King (both trees – Holly being Winter (dark) and Oak being Summer (light) ) battle it out on the Solstice and the Holly King wins, representing the darkness slowly returning.

Let’s not think about that just yet – we’re just beginning the warm days of our Summer!

The Sun entered Cancer on the Solstice and the Moon entered Gemini before darkness fell.

The day’s colour for Solstice was topaz – a colour of the Earth, health and home.  Wednesday is ruled by Mercury, the messenger planet.  Messages being sent to you and how you communicate, or the messages you give.  I don’t think we’ve chatted about Mercury before…curious that the day of the week that is ruled by communication is not usually my writing day – and so it wasn’t meant to be that I actually published my writing and sent it out to you on Wednesday.  Hmmmm

Lately I’ve had deer visit the meadow.  What kind of message could that be sending me?  Hmmmm  More about that one later.

As we are are now into Friday and Friday is ruled by Venus and all things beautiful (TGIF?), our New Moon tonight moves into Cancer.  Cancer is ruled by the Moon and is about all things maternal, nurturing and home.  The New Moon, of course, is dark and the end of the fourth quarter.  Time for reflection on the previous month and to clear the board to get ready to start fresh under a new cycle and phase.

Today’s colour is purple.

Well, there you go now.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted – I’ve seen you checking!  Thanks for your patience.  I’ve given you a double reading whammy (we’ll call it that – certainly not that I happen to be long-winded today).  To my friend who is being married tomorrow:  You are a Cancerian being married under a Cancer Sun and a Cancer Moon, on the first day of the first quarter.  Another double whammy and an awesome fresh start for you my dear, although I know you didn’t plan it that way…sometimes things just happen because – just sayin’. Blessings, and I will see you there. 🙂

Until next time,

-Debra

Close encounters of the BEAR kind

black bear

Hey there,

The other day
[the other day]
I saw a bear
[I saw a bear]
A great big bear
[a great big bear]
A way up there
[a way up there]
The other daaayyy I saw a bearrrrr, a great big bearrrr a way up therrrrre

That is a Girl Guide song from back in the day – not sure if they’re still singing it, but I have been lately…because I did see a bear!  Right here at Blue Roof Living.  First time – I know they are “around” but this was a first!

Here’s the story – dun dun dun dunnnn…

I’m out by the barn having a look at my garlic to see how it’s doing, because we haven’t had rain in quite a while (this was a couple of days ago – before the rain).  My bad for not writing sooner.  Anyway, I’m out by the barn and I hear a scratching sound.  I think it must be the raccoons in the loft.  Every year there are babies up there and we just leave them be.  They grow, disperse, and we’re done with them until next year. The scratching sounds a little “heavy” for raccoons, and I’m looking at the door at the top thinking they must be full size and trying to push out.  It seems a little early for them to be full grown.  Waited a few minutes, but didn’t see anything.  Didn’t think anything more of it and went back to the house.  My garlic was fine, by the way. 🙂

It’s now dinner time and I’m out the back BBQing.  Finish making my dinner and I says to myself:  Self, it’s much too nice out to eat inside, I think I’ll have my supper on the porch with a glass of wine – you can do that when you’re dining for one. 🙂  The June bugs won’t be out for hours…  Back out I go to my favourite chair on the porch with my dinner, my wine, my book and of course, my binoculars – never leave home without them!  You never know who might visit the bird water. (As we all know, I’ve been caught before without them…).  Ahhh, this is bliss.  Peace and quiet.

Winnie and Tigger are on the porch in their beds and Ralph is, well who knows where Ralph is.  It’s no where near dark, so I won’t see him for a bit.  He’d better not be playing with those raccoons.

Anyhoo, I’m enjoying my meal and watching the birds and I hear the cedars cracking.  I am surrounded by very tall cedar hedging here.  That’s weird, I think.  Is Ralph climbing the cedars after the raccoons?  BAD RALPH.  Geez – here we go…bliss is too much to ask.  (Poor Ralph, always the first to be blamed.)

Then I can smell something really rank – that is not raccoons.  What the…?  I’m looking across the driveway from my vantage point on the porch and a BEAR goes by.

OMG!!!

Ralph comes out of nowhere, crouched an inch from the ground, barrelling across the front lawn, eyes as big as saucers.  So I know Ralph has seen the bear too.

One glass of wine – that’s it.  Girl Guide promise.

It takes me a minute to register, because it’s not every day that a bear goes by…Quiet as a mouse, scooping up plate, glass, kitties, beds – in the house.  Back out for Ralph.  He’s not fighting coming in – he’s in the middle of the lawn, totally transfixed, kind of like a zombie, watching the bear go down the driveway and across the front of the house through the trees.  I grab Ralph and everybody is now inside, watching from the window.  The bear saunters off.

bear print

 

Didn’t get a photo – Edward Bruin shown above is not him.  But I did get a photo of his tracks in the ditch along the road!

Someone needs a pedi.

 

 

How’s that for a story?  Never a dull moment under the blue roof!  Thinking about it now, here’s me, out by the barn where, apparently, so was the bear. I don’t know why I didn’t smell the bear until he crossed in front of me, but there you go.  I also don’t know why the bear didn’t come over to see what was cookin’ on the BBQ…I’m thinking woo woo was in my favour.

Funny for ya:

You should always wear bells when you’re out hiking in the woods in case you come across a bear.  This way, the bear can hear you.  You can tell when there’s a black bear in the area, because their scat is full of berries. You can tell when there’s a grizzly bear in the area, because their scat is full of berries and bells…

My close encounter was of the black bear kind.  Whew!

Speaking of woo woo – June’s ruling planet is Mercury.  Mercury is the planet of communication and messages.

What message could my encounter with a bear mean?

The bear promotes awakening the power of the unconscious.  A very powerful symbol in myth and lore. Bear even has a constellation named after it – Ursus Major – or the Big Dipper.  Made up of seven stars; seven is a spiritual number, the seven stars have links to the seven rays of light of the Divine.  The bear is also associated with the Goddess Diana, Goddess of the Moon.

The bear, as we know, hibernates, or goes within for the winter sleep.  During hibernation, the body temperature drops and the breathing rate can actually be cut in half.  The kidneys actually shut down. Your kidneys serve a vital function in your body, excreting urine and filtering blood plasma.  The kidneys are symbols of discernment and discrimination.

Still with me?

So bear is telling me that it’s important for me to take time for meditation and spirituality; to spend some time alone to think and work out what needs to be worked out.  That, I do.  I’m also being told that I have the strength and power to go inside and figure it out.  I also need to lighten up sometimes (true) and take some time to play.  That, I have also been doing, getting my creativity back.  So, maybe bear is telling me that I’m finally starting to figure out what it is I need, and to keep going. 🙂  I am grateful to the bear and to Mercury for that message.

Tonight’s Moon is in Cancer – the earth mother, safe and secure.  Home.  We’re in the first quarter of new beginnings.  Today’s colour is maroon.

I will think of my close encounter of the bear kind, when I look up to see the Big Dipper in the night sky. One constellation that is always there – my constant reminder to keep doing my inner work.  Woo woo never ceases to keep me in awe.

Until next time,

-Debra

Storm Moon

full moon

Hey there,

Thought I would sneak in a little word on tonight’s full Moon in Libra.  The March full Moon is called the Storm Moon – how appropriate, as we hunker down for what the weather guy says is going to be a doozy Spring storm.  Ice and snow (sigh) depending on where you are.  Let’s hope this is the last for a couple of seasons!  It can also be called the Hawk Moon – we’ll talk about the significance of birds and animals another time.

So, the Libra Moon seeks out the beauty of the world.  You can see her in the last day of her second quarter as a full square, or 90 degrees from the Sun.  She sits in the west – you can see her now, before night fall – glad we get the chance to see her before the storm blocks her out.  I am going to use this Moon to manifest.

A Libra Moon is ruled by Venus, all about beauty, partnership and shared experiences.  Restoring balance.  A social time with people.  Also a time to decorate and make things beautiful – I plan on putting away the winter blankets and cushions and getting out the Spring ones.  I do that seasonally,  everyone loves it when it’s change the cushions day! 🙂 (insert sarcasm).  Winnie hates it when her bed gets washed.  It changes the bum dent and she has to beat it down again the way she likes it – a little exercise for her.  I also treated myself to a bouquet of tulips – so lovely.

This year, Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, the Full Moon of March and Easter all fall very close together.  That’s why Easter is so early this year.  Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Full Moon after the Spring Equinox.  Whew!  Easter is named after Eostre, the Greek Goddess of Spring and celebrating new growth, renewal and fertility.

Sooo, the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs, chicks (the fuzzy yellow ones) – bunny, eggs, chicks – fertility.  Get it?  For a Christian holiday, it sure has a lot of woo woo in it! 🙂  Just sayin’.  But who’s complaining – it’s another chocolate fest.

Today’s colour is yellow.  Yellow is for intellect and confidence – buy yourself some yellow tulips, girl!  Done. Wednesday’s are ruled by the planet Mercury, the messenger with the influence of study, travel and wisdom.

That’s it for today – just a quickie.  The robins have finally arrived, hopping around the grass along with the bunnies.  Did someone say chocolate? Mmmmmm I’ll leave you to your chocolate bunnies.

Until next time,

-Debra