Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dragonfly's Laughter

Guess what? I now have heating pads at Dragonfly's Laughter! You can buy one and use it the next time you get a headache. :)

I also have a Facebook page for Dragonfly's Laughter now, which you can find here.





"We built your house"

Have you ever met one of the people who built your house? I did. Last Friday.

We were putting our gear in our car, about to head off to the Highland Game. I saw an elderly man and woman in a car driving by slowly. I figured they were trying to find a particular address, and didn't pay much attention until they pulled into our driveway and waved me over to talk.

Thinking that they would ask "Do you know where so-and-so lives?" I went over to them. Instead of asking for directions, the old woman said "My husband and I built this house, and we lived in that house next door to you."

I was quite stunned. I wasn't sure what to say, but was rescued by my mom who came over to chat.

We only talked for a few minutes. The man (who was the woman's son) seemed eager to leave. Maybe he had something else he wanted to do. Before leaving, the woman did tell us that her son used to have a tree house in the oak in our front yard.

Afterwards, I realized that she didn't even tell us her name, and we didn't tell her ours.

What would you think if a stranger showed up and said that they'd built your house?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Highland Games in BC

Hullo, I'm back from Canada! :) ...actually I got back Saturday evening. It just took me this long to finally blog about it.

I didn't get to see any caber tossing, but that was ok. I did see another heavy weight sport, and I found a video of it on YouTube.



Tall One did pretty well in his bagpipe competition too, by the way. :) So it was a pretty good Highland Game, I think.

Now, about the hotel...

Mom and Tall One had stayed in this hotel before, but I hadn't. When they told me that our room had a balcony I was excited. I love balconies. They let in air more than a window can. So you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the balcony opened onto the inside of the building. Seriously. Here's a photo of the view from our balcony.


Oh well. I guess I really can't complain if the worst thing about the room was that the balcony was on the inside of the building instead of the outside.

Something that I did find funny was that there was a phone next to the toilet. Just think, you can call back home while you're on the pot! And you might even be able to use the phone while taking a shower!


It really was a nice hotel. I just found these quirks about it to be somewhat funny.

Dragonfly's Laughter

Guess what? I have a new Etsy shop online! You can find it at www.dragonflyslaughter.etsy.com or by clicking here.

I have more fun stuff coming soon, but at the moment I have three cute scarves for sale for only $10.00. Check it out!




Note: Yes, I will advertise my stuff on my blog. But never fear, I will always keep posting my regular fun stuff. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

On the Road Again

This song often pops into my head when I'm going on a road trip, but I can never remember the words beyond "On the road again..."

We're leaving later than planned (so that Tall One can sign up for fall term classes promptly at noon) so I decided to look this song up, and then figured that I may as well share it here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Guess what all has broken down in the past month? Our dishwasher, one of our two microwaves, and now our fridge. Fortunately the dishwasher still gets the dishes clean, it just doesn't drain completely or heat dry our dishes anymore. So we can still work with it, for the moment. But we had to throw out the microwave and we put all our foodstuff that must stay cold in an ice chest.

I'm just hoping that this has nothing to do with me naming my new computer Puck.




Anyways, I'll be heading out of town tomorrow to go to a Highland Game. I'll probably be back with stories about it on Sunday.

In the meantime I'll share a short video of my favorite sport, which I hope to see some of this weekend. It's called caber tossing. :)


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Litha

For those of you who don't speak Pagan, Litha is another word for summer solstice.

My Litha this year was pretty good. It was the first day in ages that I volunteered in circulation at the library (as opposed to mending books in technical services), so I got to see people who I haven't really seen in a while. No, I didn't plan for my first day back to be on Litha. It just sort of happened that way.

In the evening I got together with a friend. Our spur of the moment plan was to do crafty stuff, and have a bonfire in my backyard. Yes, I do have a fire pit in the backyard. No, we don't take advantage of it too often, but it's fun when we do use it.

My friend and I had trouble getting the fire started, however. We couldn't get the fire to get going and to stay alive and not die on us. Given more time I think we could have managed, but Tall One came to our rescue and started the fire.

He is amazing with fire. Maybe I should rename him Fire Tender.

It wound up with mom, Tall One, my friend, and me hanging out around the fire. Except, I don't think that we were the only ones enjoying the fire. I'm pretty darned sure that there were some faeries there too. In fact, I know there were. Of course I couldn't see them, but you don't have to see faeries to know they're there.

The fire got started during dusk, and we (that is, Tall One) kept it going until the embers died at 12:30am. Mom went to bed at about 10:30pm, and Tall One when he finished tending the fire. I got a sleeping bag to sleep under the stars/clouds when the fire was dying, but my friend stayed up so that she could make stuff.

Some of us definitely didn't get enough sleep that night, but it was fun.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Odds and ends

So much to write about!

~~~~~~~

First, Father's Day. Dad went out to dinner with mom, Tall One made some delicious lemony stuff for desert, and we gave dad an audio book from the two of us. :)

~~~~~~~

I am the type who will sleep in until noon (or later....) if I am not expected to be someplace in the morning. It doesn't matter if I set my alarm to 10am the night before and have every intention of getting out of bed at that time -- it just doesn't happen. I keep hitting the snooze button, and/or eventually turn it off.

I've gotten sort of tired of sleeping in (since I had nothing to MAKE me get out of bed last week) so I am now volunteering at my local library. This morning I spent three hours being productive by the time it was noon! And, I found a few more books that I want to read.

Thank gods for my library. What would I do without it?

~~~~~~~

And speaking of my library...

The other day there was someone I knew working the summer reading desk, so I jokingly asked "Hey, may I sign up for summer reading?" The first part of her answer I expected: "No, you're too old..." But the second part took me by surprise. "...but XXX library has a summer reading program for adults."

I was stunned.

How long has "XXX" library had a summer reading program for adults??? Is this its first year, or could I have signed up for it the last couple years after I aged out of my local library's summer reading!?

Of course I signed up with XXX library that evening. I love love love reading, and if there's a relatively local library that has an adult summer reading program, I'm signing up! After all, why should summer reading just be for kids?

~~~~~~~

And speaking of things to do with summer...

The weather doesn't seem to know it where I live, but today is Litha! That's Pagan speak for summer solstice, by the way. ;) I'm not sure what I'll be doing for it yet. I'll have to figure something out, and I'll post about it later.

:D

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My strawberries, or lack thereof

I love strawberries. Eating too many can give me canker sores, but ah well. I can eat some without any fear.

There are some wild strawberry vines in my backyard, right by my herb
patch. Each year I eagerly watch the flowers grow on them, become pollinated, slowly turn into green strawberries, and eventually ripen. Store bought strawberries just don't compare to those eaten fresh off the vine.

So you can imagine my dismay when I discovered that slugs have gotten to the first ripe strawberries before me. I didn't even know that slugs will eat strawberries! The nerve of them. First my basil plant, and now my strawberries. They've never attacked my part of the garden before.

I had been happy to coexist with slugs before now, but I think I just might start waging war on them.



By the way, Father's Day is not forgotten. I'll share a post about that later. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Housekeeping

I've been doing some tidying up on my blog -- the blog buttons and awards now have their own pages, and you'll find the links right under my blog header. I also wanted to make a page for my tweets, but I'm not sure how to do that.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Donating blood

Wow. It's been four days since I posted anything here. I can't believe that. Can you believe that?

Anyways, today I donated blood. For the (I think) fifth time. By now I'm getting used to the routine. It's pretty easy. I think that the worst part is when they prick my finger to check my iron level. Yes, to me that's even worse than a pint of blood being drawn out of my body from a vein in my arm.

And, just in case you're wondering why it's a good idea to donate blood, I have here a video that's under 2 minutes short.




Today something happened that hasn't happened before to me. Once they were done drawing blood and had removed the needle from my arm, it took a couple minutes for the bleeding to stop. I was getting worried, but apparently it was nothing new to the guy who had drawn my blood. He just kept putting pressure on it, then had me hold my arm over my head. That did the trick, and the bleeding stopped. It weirded me out, though.

Also interesting was the location of the blood drive. It was in a church, which in itself wasn't surprising. Hey, churches are great places to do things like this, since you can get the space for free. What was surprising was something I saw inside the church, which taught me something about the Seventh Day Adventist Christians.

There was a bulletin board labeled "The Ending Days" and it had clippings of news stories about murders, the war, catastrophes, and other fun stuff like that.

Live and learn! Of course I know that some people think that the world is coming to an end, but I didn't expect to see a bulletin board all about it when I'm donating blood.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Paganism =/= One Religion

I just realized that there's one thing I haven't made sure that everyone understands about Paganism, and which I meant to post about early in the month.

Paganism is not one single religion. "Paganism" is an umbrella term which covers many different religions and spiritualities. Wicca is the most well known Pagan religion, but there are others like Druidry and Heathenry. There are many more, but these are the three that I am most familiar with.

This is something which I take for granted, but a while ago I was talking to a classmate and found myself explaining this little detail about Paganism. Her response? "I didn't know that! Ok, that explains a few things that I hadn't understood." Because of what she said I thought that it would be a fact worth sharing as a Pagan Values Month post. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One animist's view on addictions

In writing about coffee the other day and mentioning my previous addiction(s) to it, I suddenly realized that addiction is another good subject for Pagan Values Month. In particular, I am writing about addiction from the point of view of someone who believes in animism.

What is animism? Good question. I could never remember what that weird word means until I eventually discovered that it's a word for something I believe in.

An animist believes that every thing has a soul. Everything. Your pet cat, the tree in your backyard, the fruits and veggies that wind up on your plate, the plate itself...you get the idea. Each and every single thing has a soul, whether it's something that's obviously alive or is an inanimate object. So even my cute little computer that I'm using to type this up has a soul, and is alive in its own way.

When you believe in animism, "substance abuse" takes on a whole new meaning. Now that I believe in animism, that phrase means that to abuse a substance is to abuse and hurt its spirit. I also believe that the phrase "substance abuse" can be applied to any addiction, whether it's to an obviously deadly thing like tobacco or to a rather benign drink like coffee. So in its way, an addiction to coffee is just as bad as an addiction to tobacco, even if it isn't going to kill you in the long run, because it hurts the spirit of coffee.

I know that this whole thing about hurting the spirit of coffee may sound strange, but then again I know that animism is a rather unusual belief. But this is Pagan Values Month, and even though animism isn't something that every Pagan believes in I wanted to write about it.

Other animists might see things differently and disagree with me, though. So I want to ask, are there any people reading this blog who believe in animism, and if so, what are your thoughts on this subject?

More about Ashland

Here are some photos taken from my recent trip to Ashland.



This was a rather unusual clock that I just had to photograph.



I took this at Lithia Park. If you go to Ashland, visit that place. It's beautiful.


My hotel was old fashioned and charming. It even had this old old heater in it!


When I first saw this I thought that it was ice cream and Soundpeace all in one. No such luck -- they're two separate places. Ah well.

But you can get a nice book from Soundpeace (even though I didn't buy a book) and then read it as you eat ice cream next door. :)


This was right outside Soundpeace.


Tickets for two of the plays I saw.


During a tour we were allowed to take photos inside the Elizabethan theater.

Things can get quite interesting when this stage is used. They have to deal with the weather, which is sometimes disagreeable. And when they work with the lighting the tour guide said that they often find surprises. (I saw a dove making a nest among the stage lights during my tour.)

The set up you see is for Henry IV.


The entrance to one of the three theaters they have plays in. It's also the one that I did not see a play in.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cookie dough coffee

I know I generally don't blog about coffee. In fact, I completely gave it up last fall term after my second addiction to it. (Starting university without coffee was daunting, but I really don't like being addicted to anything.) These days I do drink coffee again, but not very often. At the moment my rule is one cup a week. I had my weekly cup of coffee this morning, and it was so neat I just had to share.

I went into Seattle's Best Coffee planning to get something for only a couple of bucks. But when I saw their new summer special, I decided to spend nearly $4 to try it out. It was a cold chocolate chip cookie dough drink.

Yum.

Truthfully it didn't taste like cookie dough as I drank it. Regardless, it was good. If I feel like splurging on coffee again I'll quite likely find my way to a local Seattle's Best Coffee place in search of this drink.




Just to clarify, I'm not getting paid to talk about their coffee. It was just so cool and yummy that I wanted to share.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A funny tarot deck

For the amusement of my followers, I would like to share the first tarot deck that I bought.

I got it about a year ago, give or take some months, and here you see a photo of some of the cards with a quarter to show exactly how big (or how small) they are.


I got this because I was sort of curious about tarot, and this was only about $5. I don't use them, though. They're too small for practical use, and anyways I sort of feel a disconnect from the tarot. Maybe when I finally get that animal deck that I've been wanting I'll finally start connecting...but it's like $35...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My adventures

I traveled by myself for the first time this weekend.

It was a school field trip in which my Shakespeare class went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to see the three plays we read: Hamlet, Henry IV, and Twelfth Night. I stayed an extra day so that I could hang out and watch Pride and Prejudice. As a result, my classmates left about twenty four hours before I did, and I couldn't get a ride home with any of them. So what did I do? I took the bus home.

I traveled by myself. Completely by myself. Not even with classmates who I barely knew. Totally. By. Myself.

I was a tad worried ahead of time, and expected to be nervous (or even a little scared) when it finally came time for me to step onto the bus. But I wasn't. It was pretty neat. It isn't my preferred method of travel, but it's not bad. Aside from the restroom on the bus. That was definitely bad.

But back to Ashland and the plays. By the way, I won't give any plot away in the plays I mention. I promise.

The plays were great. I definitely like Hamlet more after seeing it performed live. Twelfth Night was as hilarious as I could have hoped, with my only complaint being that Olivia seemed rather over the top and wasn't believable to me. As for Henry IV, I already had trouble with that play. I did finally understand the first half of the play for the most part, but became pretty lost in the second. Oh well. The fighting scenes were cool.

Those were the ones I saw with my class. The one I saw by myself, Pride and Prejudice, was also awesome. It was as good as I could have hoped, and better. There were two characters who weren't quite as I had imagined them, but at the same time they were portrayed so well I didn't care that they weren't exactly what I'd had in mind.

And Ashland itself was amazing. But I think I'll save that for another post, along with photos. :)

A Pagan Values Month post

Over the weekend I got an aroma diffuser. It's one of those that you put water in the top with a few drops of herb stuff in it, and place a little candle in it.

This morning I used it for the first time and I suddenly realized that it combines all the elements presented in the pentacle: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Are you wondering how they are all present?

Earth -- The material used in making the diffuser comes from the earth, as does the several drops placed in the water that give the lovely scent.

Air -- The scent is released into the air.

Fire -- A candle is used to heat things up so that the scent is releases into the air.

Water -- The drops containing the herb are placed into water.

Spirit -- The spirit is soothed, and I imagine that one of these could be used in rituals.

I've only used mine once but I already love it. Also, I think it could be a good alternative for people who want to use incense but are allergic to the smoke.




I know I'm writing about this in a Pagan context, but it can definitely be used by non-Pagans. :)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pagan Values Month

I've been busy with school stuff so I haven't really done much as yet about Pagan Values Month. But, I'm finally at my computer and in a blogging mood! :)

I was wondering what kind of things I should write about, and then I remembered a few years ago in an English class when we were studying old mythology. One of my classmates said "All these gods, it's crazy. How do you figure out who to pray to?" I didn't say anything at the time, but I decided to answer it now, by asking a few questions:


When your faucet is leaking, who do you go to for help? The plumber.

If you want help with selling your house, who do you go to? The real estate people.

If you want piano lessons, what do you do? You find a piano teacher.


I think you get the idea. Different deities have different specialties, so who you pray to depends on what your situation is or what you need help with.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Good times

I'm out of town this weekend, and will tell about my exploits when I'm back in town.

In the meantime I'll tell you is that I'm outside, on my netbook, taking a break from homework, with some yummy ice cream in my tummy. Oh, and there are a couple of street musicians I'm listening to who have a sign that says:

ROBBED BY PIRATES
NEED MORE BOOTY

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fun stuff

This morning I was trying to cat nap on the bus, but I couldn't. I just wasn't falling asleep, and I was getting irritated with myself when...

...I woke up.

Yep, I was dreaming about being unable to fall asleep. Can you believe it?

And for your further entertainment, here is the next installment of How to Fail With Dignity.




Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pagan fiction

To kick off Pagan Values Month I have put together a list of books that come to mind when I think about Pagan fiction. In no way is this an exhaustive list -- it's just a list of my favorite books with Pagan stuff in them. I'll share a little about the authors, and then list some of their books.

Juliet Marillier

Marillier was raised on legends and fairy tales, and it shows in her works. She is also a Druid, and this too comes through in her writing. Marillier writes historical fantasy, and she is the only writer I know of who fills this genre.

This author catches the heart of Paganism, while at the same time adding in fantasy elements to it. People in her books celebrate the turning of the seasons like Pagans usually do, and do other Pagan stuff, but Druids also occasionally perform grand magic that I am fairly certain modern day Druids do not.

Something I find particularly interesting about Marillier’s books is her handling of Christianity. Rather than taking the stance that Christians are either good or bad, you see a variety. Some of them are good people and don’t care if their friends worship a different deity, while others have no respect for their Pagan neighbors. Ultimately what it comes down to is that people are people. Some are good and some are bad, regardless of what religion they profess to follow.

I don’t think of all of Marillier’s books Pagan, so below I will list those books that I consider to be Pagan works. I do recommend all of her books as excellent reads, however.

The books I list below are written for adults, but I read them in my teens (those that were released in my teens, that is).

Sevenwaters trilogy:

Daughter of the Forest

Son of the Shadows

Child of the Prophecy

Sequel to the Sevenwaters trilogy:

Heir to Sevenwaters

The Bridei Chronicles:

Dark Mirror

Blade of Fortriu

Well of Shades

The Light Isles books:

Wolfskin

Foxmask

Tamora Pierce

I’m not sure what Pierce would think about being on a list of Pagan authors, but the fact is that her characters follow a well thought out pantheon and celebrate the changing of the seasons. Religion is not usually a forefront topic in her books, but it is not entirely in the background either. Her characters frequently pray to the gods for help, and as some titles (such as In the Hand of the Goddess and The Realms of the Gods) suggest, divine interaction does sometimes play an important part in the novels.

It should be remembered that these are fantasy books. In addition to showing traditional Pagan activities, some of her characters practice magic that I am sure any modern day witch would be jealous of.

I have not read all of Pierce’s books, but I have read each of her books which take place in her made up realm of Tortall. I list each of them, in chronological order, below. They are all young adult books.

Song of the Lioness quartet:

The First Adventure

In the Hand of the Goddess

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

Lioness Rampant

The Immortals quartet:

Wild Magic

Wolf-Speaker

Emperor Mage

The Realms of the Gods

Protector of the Small quartet:

First test

Page

Squire

Lady Knight

Trickster’s books:

Trickster’s Choice

Trickster’s Queen

Beka Cooper books:

Terrier

Bloodhound

Note: The Beka Cooper novels actually take place two hundred years before the other books, but they were written after the others and I think they are more interesting if you are already familiar with the other books.

Rick Riordan

Again, I am not sure what this particular author would think of being called a Pagan writer. But the fact is that his series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the gods have followed western civilization and Mount Olympus now hovers above New York.

I’m not entirely sure what the gods must think of how they are portrayed in this series, but they are a wonderful way to learn about Greek mythology. The young hero, whose father is a god and whose mother is human, faces monsters out of Greek legend and myth on a regular basis. As he does so the reader learns about the gods, what their stories are, and about Greek mythological creatures such as the Harpies.

I have not read any of Riordan’s other books, so I cannot say how Pagan they might be. All I can tell you is that his Percy Jackson and the Olympians books are page turners filled with excitement, which just so happen to teach Greek mythology. They are young adult books.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series:

The Lightning Thief

The Sea of Monsters

The Titan’s Curse

The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Last Olympian