Thursday, September 30, 2010

No Flaming Marshmallow Bombs... Sigh....

This weekend will be my youngest son's first time at Boy Scout camp, and it looks like the weather will be nice.  The Old Hippie cannot attend with him, soooo.....  guess who gets to go?  Moi!  And I couldn't be happier about spending time with my CritterBug.  One problem has been identified so far - there is a burn ban for the area in which the Scout camp is located so there will be no campfires.  No smores.  No flaming marshmallow bombs.  No fire meditation.  This will not get us down!  It may get a little chilly when the sun goes down, but we will go prepared.

MOON SONG #10 of 99

Old funk puts me in a great mood.  I want to get out bell-bottoms, Dr. Scholls clogs, and a halter top!  

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Secret Life of Garbage...

Trash, Inc. The Secret Life of Garbage is a program that is airing on CNBC tonight at 8:00 p.m. Central Time.  I think this is one worth watching.

MOON SONG #9 of 99

One more from Stevie... One of my all-time favorites that I cannot sing or even listen to without getting that big lump in my throat...  If you have ever had a landslide (who hasn't?) you know what I mean...  Grab a hanky.

Peace, love, happiness... and Stevie Nicks,
Earth Mother

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Terrible Tuesday...

Horrible week at work....

MOON SONG #8 of 99

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Monday, September 27, 2010

Manic Monday....

Working under a tight deadline at work so I only have time for the Moon Song today!  Be good(ish).

MOON SONG #7 of 99

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Friday, September 24, 2010

Midnight Margaritas...

Welcome to the Practical Magic Blog Party 2010!!!!!!

Practical Magic Blog Party

The Midnight Margarita scene is definitely my favorite scene in the movie!  I bet I'm not alone!  Margaritas...  not-so-much my favorite mixed drink.  Tequila and I parted ways many years ago.  It was a love/hate relationship.  Occasionally our paths meet again, we do some catching up, wax nostalgic... I romanticize about being young and free in my 1987 Toyota Tercel hatchback and any number of oh-so-fine but malleable boyfriends that I would eventually tire of and toss aside out of boredom... We become instant friends again, like no time has passed at all.  We laugh, we sing, we dance.... but it always ends the same.  Painfully.  And when I wake the next morning (or afternoon), my head feels as though it is in a vice grip, and someone is using a Makita 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Hammer Driver Drill on my skull.  Buh-bye Tequila, don't come around here no more.

This dark-colored margarita is perfect for 
adult Halloween parties. Rum, (no Ta-kill-ya)
Blue Curacao, grenadine and a homemade
Lime Mix combine for a delicious drink.  If you have
made enemies with tequila in the past, this is the 
margarita for you!

Ingredients for each serving:
2 ounces dark Rum
1 ounce Blue Curacao
1/2 ounce Grenadine
4 ounces Lime Mix (see below)

Lime Mix:
Blend together 1 cup lime juice and 1 cup sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Keep refrigerated until use.

Fill a shaker with ice cubes, add all the ingredients and shake until well blended.  Strain into a margarita glass filled with fresh crushed ice.

You must use the exact ratios to result in this deliciously dark margarita that is perfect for any celebration, but particularly perfect for a MIDNIGHT MARGARITA PARTY!

 (of the Strawberry and Diet Variety)

5-6 large frozen strawberries
1 cup cold water
1 individual packet of Crystal Light Lemon/Lime Drink Mix
2 heaping teaspoons of Splenda
2 ounces of Jimmy's favorite Tequila - El Diablo
Step 1 - Blend all ingredients until thick and smooth.
Step 2 - Salt the rim of a glass and pour.
Step 3 - DRINK!

Makes one HUGE serving or two regular servings.  Enjoy.....

 Click HERE for the video!

Eye of newt, toe of frog, wing of bat, tongue of dog.
Adder’s fork and blind worm’s sting…
Barbados lime is just the thing.
Fragias salt, like a sailors stubble…
Flip the switch, and let the cauldron bubble!

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yes, I'm a Taphophile...

Taphophilia (from Wiki) is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries.  The singular term is a taphophile.  Taphophilia involves epitaphs, gravestone rubbing, photography, art, and history of (famous) deaths.  An example of an individual's expression of taphophilia is the character Harold in the movie Harold and Maude.  Taphophilia should not be confused with necrophilia, which is a sexual attraction to corpses.

Yep, I'm one.  I love walking through cemeteries and reading the gravestones, trying to piece together the families and their history.  The heavy energy is sometimes very overwhelming, and I have to leave.  Making gravestone rubbings is also a favorite way to kill a Sunday afternoon, although I have had to explain on several occasions that I am not a vandal.  When you clean and prepare a gravestone (remove the mold and lichens) to do a rubbing, you actually prolong the life of the stone by one-hundred years.  Once people understand what you are doing, they don't mind. 

I found these photos online while doing some research on local abandoned cemeteries.  I was unable to find the exact location, but one site said it was in Italy.  There are also some very interesting photos here and here.  Enjoy!  Are you a taphophile?

MOON SONGS #6 of 99

This one reminds me riding in Mom's brand new 1976 Cutlass Supreme.  Good times...

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I have seen this plant all my life, but until a few years ago, I never knew what it was.  All I knew was that birds liked them.  As it turns out, the American Beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana) is pretty interesting.  The leaves can be crushed and used as a mosquito repellent, and the berries can be made into jelly that reportedly has a mild pomegranate flavor.  I have never tasted it, but I will definitely be harvesting some soon for that purpose.  It is growing everywhere around here!  Beautyberry has also proven to be an attractive plant for wildlife within its native range.  Birds - including robins, catbirds, cardinals, mockingbird, brown thrashers, finches and towhees - are favorite consumers of both the fresh berries and the shriveled raisins.  The fruit is loved by white-tailed dear as well, and the fruit will usually last into the early winter. 

It is native from Maryland to Florida and west through Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas.  Beautyberry commonly occurs on a wide variety of sites - moist to dry, open to shady.  It can also be grown in a garden or flower bed.  It is very easy to identify. I have read that the berries do not have any flavor when eaten raw, and have an unpleasant, mealy texture, but taste good when made into jelly.  A very informative video can be found here.

It has beautiful lavender flowers in the spring.  You can root softwood cuttings in sand.  Keep them moist and they should root in one to two weeks.  Beautyberry can tolerate extremes of heat and cold, prefer partial shade, but are more fruitful in the sun if given the proper moisture.

The shrub often volunteers within its range, sometimes so much that it is considered to be a pest.  Seeds are bird-dispersed.  To use as an insect repellent, just crush some leaves and rub them all over.  In this Mother Earth News article, it says that extracts made from Beautyberry can match DEET for repelling mosquitoes.

I will be sure and keep you updated when I make the jelly.  Have you ever made or tasted Beautyberry jelly?

Moon Song #5 of 99

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jupiter Buzz...

The Jupiter buzz that you may have been hearing is a bit like the "Mars as big as the Moon" emails that you get periodically.  Today Jupiter is at opposition, exactly opposite the Sun in our sky.  The earth is passing Jupiter in our respective orbits.  If you have been hearing that Jupiter is closer and brighter than it has been in 50 years, well, that is mostly true.  However, tonight Jupiter will look pretty much the same as it has all month, and will for the next month.  Jupiter has been big and bright all summer, but tonight will be the peak.  Just step outside at midnight and look to the south.  You won't have any trouble spotting it; it will be brighter than any star.  If it is cloudy where you are tonight, just look for it tomorrow night, or the next night, or the next.

Look at the Hubble telescope photo above.  To give you an idea of just how big Jupiter is, Earth would fit nicely into the Red Spot on the lower left.  Jupiter's orbit takes it sometimes a bit farther from the Sun (apogee) and sometimes a bit nearer (perigee).  Since Jupiter takes 12 years to orbit the Sun, it passes through perigee once every 12 years.  And if Jupiter is at perigee when the Earth overtakes Jupiter in its orbit (opposition), then we make the closest possible approach.  Which is nearly the case tonight.  

For more amazingly beautiful Hubble photos, click here.

Okay, where is my fall weather?  I'm ready and waiting...

MOON SONG #4 of 99

This one is for all the Sisters of the Moon...

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Frosts & Mushrooms...

I was fortunate enough to meet two of my favorite authors this weekend, Gavin & Yvonne Frost.

They are fascinating people.  Their books are so very useful to me because they not only give you theory and instruction, but also real-life examples on every page.  I am particularly interested in their work in the field of Meta-Psychometry.  They were kind enough to sign ALL of their books that I own.

At the end of their workshop, they demonstrated energy flow in an amazing way.  They had everyone stand in a circle, alternating male and female.  We held hands.  Then Gavin instructed us to put our thumbs pointing to the left, which means that your left hand is palm-up and your right hand is palm-down.  They instructed us to hold our hands an inch from the person's next to us, with our fingers parallel.  The energy flow was not only palpable, but shockingly stong.  Then they told us to rotate our hands a quarter-turn so that our fingers were now crossing, still an inch apart.  The energy flow stopped.  We did this several times.  It was such an effective way to demonstrate energy flow!  

I looked over my office balcony and saw the biggest mushrooms I have seen all year!  Some were a good seven inches across!

It is odd to see really big ones this late in the fall when it is so dry and hot.

MOON SONG #3 of 99
I asked my 7 year-old if he liked this song, and his response was, "Why would anybody like a song about losing all your body parts."  Teaching moment!

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Friday, September 17, 2010


I thought I would show you some more of the photos from our backpacking trip.

Loaded and ready to go.  The moldy bread sticking out of my pack is for the critters.

Hopefully not this kind of critter.

Beautiful wildflowers.  Normally I would look up what these are, but I'm short on time.  Maybe later.

These look like they are made of wax.

Love the color lavender. 

Don't eat these....

I took some of these home for fall decorating.

LOTS of turkey tails...

Did this guy follow us from home?

For some reason he LOVED our gear.

My first impulse was to tote this groovy rock home, but I decided to leave it for others to enjoy.

The view...

Pedestal rocks everywhere!

We camped in this cave.  I will do a post with photos of all the caves soon. 

The view from our tent at dawn...  Yes, we tote in a perk coffee pot.  It is well worth the extra weight!

Our backpacking stove.  I think this one is called the Pocket Rocket.

It gets VERY hot...

The camera wouldn't focus....  I'm regularly leaving not-so-subtle hints that I would really like a new one for Yule.

We built the fire right in the cave because there was a vent hole above.  It is not anywhere near being cold enough to need a fire, but you gotta have a campfire!

Candles lining the entrance of the cave....

Home sweet home....

 The Old Hippie and I should really communicate more when packing.  How much toothpaste do two people need for an overnight hiking trip?

More photos later..

Moon Song #2 of 99

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weekend Spiders...

Falling way behind on posting due to a big project at work with a swiftly approaching deadline.  Here are a few spiders from our weekend hiking trip.  More from the trip in future posts...

I think this would definitely qualify as a Category 2 spider.

Click for a closer look.  

Learn how to make a money spider here. 

For your listening pleasure.....   
 MOON SONG #1 of 99

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Under the Buckle...

Oh, how I LOVE church signage...

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother