Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Samhain Greetings!

Not feeling it too strongly yet...maybe when "true samhain" gets here next week (November 6) it will hit me. Still, the energy is strong when the whole world is celebrating, even if the true thinning of the veil happens when the sun is at 15 degrees of Scorpio...

Anyone out there think of Samhain as a date, as opposed to a moment in astrological time? or both? or neither?

Anyway, hoping your celebrations and observances are full and worthwhile.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New York City...autumn?

This photo (from shows an aerial view of the Cloisters in the fall. BUT NOT THIS YEAR. I was just there, in late October, and the majority of the trees were still green. Normally I think the view would look more like this one.

This struck me as odd. We have loads of foliage color in the Albany area which is only two and a half hours north. I guess NYC did not get temperatures low enough to force the maples to change. This may mean they don't get any nice bright color this year, which is a shame.

In any case, the day we visited the Cloisters was very autumnal, chilly and sunny and windy! The night before, when people in costumes were roaming the streets, was quite warm and humid. It was nice the weather finally became seasonable. I will post some of my own photos when they are available.

Oh, and I hate digital cameras. They eat batteries like popcorn. Very environmentally-unfriendly. That is all.

Monday, October 22, 2007

change of scene

I'd love to go to England right now (Avebury would be nice). But it ain't gonna happen.

I have been itching to have some sort of change of scenery for a while now. It's nice to go back and forth from eastern NY to Boston every week, especially in autumn, but I have not been anywhere else but Brushwood or Elmira for the last few months.

I feel lucky, therefore, to be going to New York City this week for several days. I will spend time with a friend who's involved with the green living community there. We've had a standing date to go to the Cloisters (which I have never seen) for a couple years now so we'll finally do that. And we're going to a cool Samhain event at St. John the Divine as well.

Also my sweetie is coming with me to Boston for a couple days and we'll visit friends overnight in New Hampshire. I doubt these brief sojourns will satisfy any deep-seated wanderlust but it's something. I used to think of myself as someone who travelled fairly often. But since getting into a relationship and buying a house and getting a dog, it's harder to get away.

Does this mean I don't get to travel anymore?

Friday, October 19, 2007

samhain and death and grief

I am trying to come to grips with something.

Why is grief such a selfish emotion?

In other words, why do so many people respond to death in such self-serving ways?

It has seemed to me in recent days that some of the outpouring of feeling I have read online about Chas (a friend who passed on October 16th in Ohio) are little more than thinly-veiled expressions of people's own agendas and issues, disguised as expressions of grief.

Then I find myself wondering if I am guilty of the same thing.

Why do we do this?

I am thinking this will become a much longer rant. But for now, I am just pondering it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A magical entreaty....

(cool earth graphic from Jupiter Images)

Isaac Bonewits has a good his blog entry entitled "Run, Al, run!" on October 12.

So check it out.

It would be such a wonderful thing if Gore ran. He already won the popular vote once. But does he stand a chance against Hillary and Barack? Maybe the spell-work could also include opening the hearts and minds of the democratic hopefuls to ask Al to be their running mate?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dark Days Challenge

This is a challenge to eat locally-grown or produced foods for 90% of a meal once a week in the winter: quite a challenge in the Northeast!

More information can be found here. Thanks to my pal Zimra for keeping track of this stuff.

Since I can get stuff from the farmers' markets in Boston through Thanksgiving week, it will not be too difficult in the first few months. I know there is also plenty of locally produced dairy produce in our area we can get from Indian Ladders Farms. Locally-raised meat and poultry will be tough but I will try.

Potato-leek soup! Apple crisp! Kale over pasta! Roasted winter vegetables! Yum.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

the weekend approaches

Lots of rain means no yardwork and staying in to start scraping paint.

It also makes it easier to stay indoors and do all the grading and writing I have to do!

Not much else to say right now, other than I love pumpkins. I grew some white ones, and some gourds, and they are now decorating our front steps. Photo to follow, perhaps...

Have a lovely autumnal weekend, oh and don't forget Mercury goes retrograde tonight. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Autumn/Samhain issue of Goblin Fruit now live!

Yup, that headline about sums it up.

In case you missed my previous post where I mentioned having a piece accepted, my poem "Transplendent We" has been published in the latest issue of this lovely online poetry zine, found here. The issue and art have a very satifyingly spooky focus, perfect for Samhain. I realize I forgot to include the sort of last (tag)line of my poem which reads "Leiden, Samhain, 2004" but perhaps it is not needed.

They have some wonderful artwork, this current issue's theme includes fantastical mushrooms. I plan to submit some more poetry to other zines in coming months so will post news of any publications here.

ETA: I blush to say my poem is quoted at the top of the Endicott Studio's entry on this issue. Here, have a look.

I should also say, I was wrong in my earlier post when I said I had not noticed audio files there previously. Actually, they ARE there, cleverly disguised with little graphic symbols. So look for them in the archived issues!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

the long weekend

The weather at Brushwood was unseasonably warm; during the wedding we stood around sweating and flushed and one poor guy actually passed out from the heat! (T. checked him out, it was not serious). October is a crapshoot for this kind of thing but we were lucky to have warm nights and sunny days, if a bit muggy and uncomfortable here and there. The ceremony was very moving and the celebration went all night long with drumming and music in the Roundhouse and plenty of wine from local wineries flowing...We missed Friday night's festivities which were apparently a good time as well, though I heard the women had much more fun than the men!

We only spent one night at our beloved Brushwood, as I had to stay at my Mom's house and give my siblings a bit of a break from lookig in on ger every weekend. It was also hot in Elmira, so we did not accomplish much. I pulled a few weeds and picked my white pumpkins and gourds to rbing home for some nice autumnal displays on our porch.

The Harlequin marigolds I planted there actually came out the way they are supposed to! With bold stripes of brown and yellow as pictured above. The ones I planted at home are mostly yellow with small spots of brown. But they are not as mature as the others yet so maybe they will develop more color.

Friday, October 5, 2007

to Brushwood

We're heading to Elmira for the night, to stay with my Mom for a long-overdue visit and help care for her. We will go to Brushwood on Saturday for a wedding and to spend the night, then will head back to Elmira to stay Sunday night and most of Monday. It will be really warm and nice, "Indian Summer" weather this weekend.

Hoping to get some more photos for the calendar project I am doing, all photos taken with a 1964 Pentax Spotmatic and 50mm lens! This photo is of an old apple tree near the entrance to the lower campgrounds.

I will also bring some flower bulbs in case I get a bit of time to do some planting there. We're planning to get the little grove site we've been working on in shape for our own wedding next summer and having some flowers planted are a good start tp transforming it. To bloom in July, I will plant some Asiatic liles and dayliles, some Chinese forget-me-nots and maybe some annuals like impatiens for color.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

cool clip art!

Cute, huh? Every week I get an email with free clip art samples from Dover. Want some? Sign up here. It's a weekly email, nothing more.

This week there are plenty of vintage Halloween images! And I download a lot of the free samples to post in my blog or use elsewhere. Oh, and Dover does this to get people interested in ordering their print clip art books, which are also fantastic.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

This sh*t pisses me off

Why does stuff like this keep happening?


My father died one year ago today.

I am feeling sad. I just posted a long entry in my LiveJournal about it.

Why must people die on beautiful autumn days? And why must those days be so achingly beautiful in subsequent years?

We're still planning to plant apple trees in his honor, in our backyard. Two heirloom organic trees. I also have some of his garlic harvested from last fall and am going to try planting it this year. I have parsley from his garden that I dried and cook with frequently.

How do we keep people alive? Memories? Keepsakes? Photos? Words? My father lives on every time I gaze upon a tree fluttering in the breeze or waterfowl in flight or a pond glittering in the sun. Dad was about living things: growing them, hunting them, observing them, surrounding himself with the cycles of nature. I am thankful for the path he taught me to follow, even as I know there must be a thousand things I have forgotten. I wonder how his friends and other family members cope with his loss. I hope they can find warm thoughts of him everywhere on this day.