As always, I’ve been having thinky thoughts. I’ve managed to stay upbeat while doing so, despite the work drudgery with all its negative mouthfeel right now. I managed to have an excellent past few days with this change in attitude. I’ve been in a great mood and allowed my deep thoughts to fill me with wonder and light instead of seriousness. Thinking about projects and spells has lifted my spirits so much, I feel so much more positive right now. I feel playful right now 🙂 It’s been keeping my mind busy on making positive changes in my life. I’m syked to try some of the awesome spells I’ve been reading about and planning!! I think I will spend some time getting a full moon plan for tomorrow. There are tons of ideas rattling around in my brain! Oh, and I had the most wonderful tea time with my Mum yesterday afternoon, too! She had some great suggestions for dealing with my sensitive skin and even a new mouth rinse that is more gentle than the one I make. She was telling me about the chemistry of the mouth, and that killing too many flora isn’t healthy. She advised that I ditch the alcohol in my recipe, and also cut WAY back on the baking soda. She said it should be about 1/4 tsp. per 8 oz (the recipe I was using called for 2 tsp) to create the gentle balance in the mouth, a natural environment with good flora doing what they need to do. My mom rocks!!
I’ve been organizing my recipes into a single 3-ring binder that, once done, I’m going to make the transition to instead of my recipe box. I have so many wonderful recipes in my binder that I never look at because I’m always referring back to the same old ones in the recipe box (when I use it), and I’d like to expand my repertoire a little in cooking. I think a nice goal would be to try at least one new recipe a week. I tend to try things based on the yummy looking pictures, so even though the binder is bulky, I’m more apt to try new things when I can see the photo. And I’ve only been saving recipes that I’m likely to make. I don’t like recipes that call for stuff I’ll only use once, or infrequently, so now I only save the ones that are practical for me. And I’m not into the whole culinary “art” food, you know, the stuff they pile high with fru-fru? That’s not me, it’s not practical, that’s stuff that I’ll go out and have someone else make for me. I’ll make the simple stuff for us 🙂 I also had the idea of making a family cookbook with all the recipes that we’ve collected from our families through time. We inherited my hubby’s grandmother’s cookbooks, and I’ve tried to write down my mom’s as best I can. I may pick her brain for some more of hers (she never writes down exact amounts, and neither do I, so it’s hard to write these out!) and maybe dishes that her mom used to make, if she can recall them. I’ve got some of my sisters recipes, my other grandma’s, and my own that I’ve developed. I’ll also incorporate our “friend family” recipes that I have a lot of, as well. I thought that would be a great project to keep me busy, excited and cooking! I love working with food 🙂
I started a new tradition for myself last year: For the New Year, I will clean my house top to bottom. However, it’s too much to do this in one day. Last year, I spent about 7 days doing it. Even that was a lot for me, so I’m going to instead spend the “season” of the new year doing this. That way, I’m not rushing through anything. It’s not just cleaning, it’s deep cleaning. I will clean the vents with a vacuum and wet-dust the grates, vacuum every corner of the house with my edging hose, clean the windows (what I can of them) inside and out-including the nasty sills, wet dust every tchotchke in the place, dust every book spine, every frame, every planter stand, even the plants with large leaves. I wash every thing that sits out, bedding, couch covers, run the pillows on the air cycle. I bleach out the cupboards, the fridge, even the vent at the bottom of the fridge, degrease the stove, under the stovetop, the burners, the garbage cans, under the sinks and all the fixtures. So you can see why this kind of cleaning takes way more than a day, and even a week. Last year, I was ovulating during this time and had tons of energy. But even that waned and I was exhausted by the end of it. So I’m going to give myself the whole season, from Yule until Imbolc, to get these things done. To me, Imbolc is truly the new year. It’s the beginning, the earth is conceiving again, there’s new promise. Yule is definitely the end of the year, the Death. I know for some pagans, the new year (or rather, the Dark half of the year) is Samhain. I guess I just can’t wrap my mind around the two halves of the year. For me, the many clicks on the seasonal wheel are more significant than splitting the year in two. I wonder if this is regional, because those who may not really have four definite seasons may see things more as cooler and warmer times. Here, there is defined four seasons, and I appreciate the mid-clicks in between as important agricultural celebrations. I feel like celebrating the Wheel is a more balanced practice for me. I’m definitely not someone who sees only duality (masculine/feminine, light/dark, god/goddess, positive/negative), I think everything in this world is shades. The extremes are at polar ends, but there is much in between. So anyway, that’s how I see it.
It’s a beautiful, chilly day out there with my favorite kind of sky: grey and white clouds creating shadowy interest over the land, and bright sun coming up in the east creating the most gorgeous highlights on the trees. There must be hundreds of crows swirling about the river trees this morning. I brought Vesta out a couple of times to the balcony to enjoy the cawing crows and the rising sun. She was happy to get out for a sniff, but quickly starting shaking her paws at the cold and wanting to come in 🙂 Our weather-widget says it’s 26 degrees out there, so it’s a good day for a nice walk! It was springlike this week (in the 40s!) but I rather enjoy the crisp, cooler air. Plus, I think the warmer weather is aggravating my allergies. It’d be nice to have a little snow on the ground with the cold so we could go snowshoeing!