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Archive for the ‘going green’ Category

 

 

I love working in my kitchen.  When I’m there, I feel close to Brighid, my patroness and guardian of the hearth.  Over the years, I’ve turned into a real foodie.  I love making my own food.  If I can grow it, that’s even better!  The kitchen is a great place to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.  Although we’re not perfect, Weretoad and I have been making considerable efforts!

I was really, really pleased to get a food dehydrator as a holiday gift from my parents.  Drying is one of the oldest forms of food preservation.  I’ve been doing a bit myself the old fashioned way – mostly with herbs and chili peppers from my garden.  This new dehydrator will allow me to dry larger quantities of food quickly and using very little energy.  Last night we dried two bunches of mini bananas that were on their way out and dirt cheap at the grocery store.  Sure they’re not local.  They weren’t organic either.  But using old bananas that would have been thrown out anyway is very sustainable!  They are so delicious too.  They aren’t like the typical banana chips bought in stores, which are usually fried before drying.  These are chewy like a gummy candy!

 

 

 

As I write this, I’m making tonight’s dinner – stew and dumplings thanks to my father’s dumpling recipe.  A few years ago, I was more likely to make some sort of vegetarian hamburger helper type meal – something from a package.  To a busy gal more focused on literature than food, they seemed healthy.  As I’ve grown, I’ve become more interested in what is on my plate.  Where did it come from?  What’s in it?  Is it really good for me?  Again, we’re not perfect, but we’ve made huge strides in making a majority of our meals from scratch or from local/organic products.  Making food in the traditional way, I feel, brings me closer to the Kindreds.  Working in the kitchen, as I said, strengthens my relationship to Brighid of the hearth.  Using better ingredients brings me closer to the Nature Spirits.  Preparing meals from scratch rather than from a box and becoming more and more familiar with traditional methods brings me closer to my ancestors.

We don’t feel that we’re perfect (we have lazy moments) and our journey towards better sustainability continues.  It is a very Druidic journey, in my opinion.  Witches and Druids who strive for a closeness with the Earth should take such a journey.  Some of you may disagree with me, but it’s something I believe very strongly.

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Remember that stand I salvaged earlier? I saw an old picture frame in the pile as well. After bringing the husband home tonight, I asked if he would stop with me to take a look. It’s large and seems fairly old. The glass was broken and covered in frost, but we could see an almost ghostly portrait of a man staring out at us. We decided the frame was salvageable even though some of the decor was broken off.

I brought it in and immediately got to work sanding the wood and old paint as much as I wanted. I had to pry the pack off with a hammer. The portrait, which was drawn, had already been damaged. Opening the frame exacerbated the tears, unfortunately. The paper was backed by a rectangle of fabric which, stiffened with age, disintegrated almost instantly. I tried to peal some of it off to save the portrait but only ripped it more. I kept a chunk of the gentleman’s face – the eyes. Don’t ask me why – I really couldn’t say. It’s currently pinned on the bulletin board in my studio. Maybe I’ll decoupage it onto something.

Anyway, my plan for the frame is to nail/staple wires horizontally from right to left. I’m then going to use it as a jewelry organizer for the bathroom. Shabby chic, as they say. I’ve given it a coat of paint and I might just leave it as a single coat. I like the dark colors showing through the rose pink. I’m going to add some accents and, where the decor was rubbed off, I’m going to write something. What, I don’t know. I’m thinking about “jewelry” in French. I’m kind of going for a French theme in the bathroom I suppose… Slowly but surely…

Creative projects like these get me so excited. I feel so close to Brighid and the imbas she puts in my head. I’m very glad that my artistic motivation has returned.

Speaking of art, the Artisan Guild study program in ADF was officially approved! Since completing the Dedicant Path, I’ve been excitedly waiting for this.

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When I moved up here, I immediately began searching the vast internet for signs of Pagan life in Northern NY. I came across the Yahoo group, NNY_Pagans. (I think that was its title…) The mailing list was pretty much dead. The occasional email about a psychic fair or event in Syracuse would show up. I got an email about the death of an Upstate Pagan elder. Otherwise? Zip. And then, this past month, I noticed an influx of adult-themed threads. Disheartened, I finally unsubscribed. I’ll have to resume my search for a community of Northern NY Pagans. I’m surprised not to find something more prominent, really. There *are* Pagans up here. Witchvox attests to the existence of at least a few scattered solitaries. I know there are a couple groups at least – one at the UU Church and another of dubious reputation (according to a couple folks). At one point (I’m not sure if it’s still in existence) there was a Heathen group. Not to mention the Pagans in Fort Drum. I know they are there, too! There are meeting minutes online describing a group of Pagans wanting a ritual space and/or time. Perhaps it’s the migratory nature of the military keeping them from looking to the outside community? On the other hand, if I were in their shoes, I would seek something out even if it was only going to be for a year or two.

In other news, I found a perfectly functional television stand in the garbage near my apartment today. I’m assuming the family bought a larger TV for the Super Bowl and needed a different stand (or something). Still, why throw it out? Why not donate it? Or find another use for it? The ignorance and laziness of people really frustrates me. Luckily I’m all for garbage picking and I now have a new piece of furniture! We don’t need another TV stand but we could use more storage for books and such. Maybe we could put the printer on it… It’s currently sitting (rather unattractively, I might add) on the floor.

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I’m going to put in more of an effort when it comes to bringing reusable bags with me while shopping. I need to remember to say “no thank you” when a cashier starts to bag an item. If I forget my bags, I need to buy less and carry it out in my hands/purse or not purchase anything at all. That would certainly help my wallet. 😛

I also want to only buy eco-friendly cleaning products and even attempt to make some of my own.

Also, I want to learn to bike. This sounds so stupid, I’m sure, but I rarely biked as a youngster. I was scared without training wheels so I gave up. Now I’m more determined than ever to improve so that I can bike to work. (When it’s not crappy out.)

In addition, I want to continue the environmentally friendly practices I’m developing – composting, gardening more and more, recycling, using cloth towels more than paper, etc… I’m proud of how far I’ve come. It’s both a little and a lot… I guess.

Spiritually I want to spend more time meditating and even improve my divinatory practices. I really let those fall to the wayside.

Happy secular New Year everyone!

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