Saturday, October 31, 2020

Samhain, So Be It


Gathering the final harvest. Apportioning it fairly. Culling what can't be fed through the winter. Prior to government handouts, food banks, soup lines, electricity and refrigeration, you were on your own. What you harvested and stored was all there was between living and starving. You spent eight months sowing, cultivating, growing, reaping, the other four you spend hoping it was enough. 

Brings the mind right down to reality. Life isn't much different now, except if you have money or barter you can get milk and apples and flour in the depth of winter. We reap what we sow in any era. And we live with our choices and actions. So be it. 

Art by Jacqui Lovesey

Friday, October 30, 2020

Leaky Cauldron

 Madam Lydia Wilhelmina's Tarot ~ Ace of Cups

This cup is more of a recirculating fountain. That bird, if it is like ours is probably thinking shallow would be better. The support system is good, if support is what is needed. 

I had a nice note from my aunt this morning. Only three years older she was more playmate than elder, close enough to be fun, older enough to be awe inspiring. Lucky I had her to guide me, mother was hopeless at verbalizing the things a young girl needs to know. 

I'm noticing two of these cups aren't even filling the well, like many of the people we seem to pull close in the course of our lives. So many users. What was I thinking? That I was needed, wasn't the joke on me. Older and wiser is a good place to be, with still lots of room for more relationship lessons. One of which is don't rely on receptacles with holes in the bottom. But don't refuse a new cup just because the old one was disappointing. I have zero doubt I've been the leaky cup at times. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020


 Madam Lydia Wilhelmina's Tarot ~ Devil 

Daylight savings time. There is a stupid bedevilment. My state has approved dumping it in the deep plastic filled sea. It has to be approved by congress. And what has congress been doing in the three years since we've pushed it forward? Devil's work instead is all I can figure. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


 Madam Lydia Wilhelmina's Tarot ~ 2 of Coins

Winter's Black Masquerade. In this dark and monstrous deck it comes to my mind what a good idea mammograms are. The Affordable Care Act requires insurance carriers include this benefit.

No coverage? There are many places to get one at low or no cost, lots of good information here at the Susan G. Komen website. Sooner is better than later. I went sooner and only lost a bit of me, my sister went too late and now I decorate her grave. Don't let this quick easy exam slide by, for the love of your family. And yourself. Did you know the whole Komen and pink for October began with the loss of a sister? 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Still Too Late

 Madam Lydia Wilhelmina's Tarot ~ 9 of Swords

Apathy.I think these figures are inmates in a loony asylum of their own making and one of them just woke up to find she is dead. Rich pampered entitled, bone white. 

Realizing something too late, is still too late. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Can Of Goya Beans

 Madam Lydia Wilhelmina's Tarot ~ 8 of Cups

From the book: "People grow more rude and she'd as soon wish them away." 

Disappointment, with the need to withdraw or escape. Disgust, with the desire to get my fingers around someone's neck. I'm doing the first, with a seething rage that wants to do the second. Five minutes, a can of Goya Beans in the toe of a sock. Pretty sure that is what is in her basket. Thought I'd grown past this much hate. Back to square zero. 

Begin again again. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Rest In Peace

 Madam Lydia Wilhelmina's Tarot ~ 10 of Cups

Happy families eh? In respect to this Halloweenie deck of the monstrous and macabre should I talk about the dark side of families? Euu ick. 

But I'll guess most of us just Knew we were adopted at some point didn't we? So abused, parents loved the other kids the most, never get to go anywhere, never get to do anything, and never ever get/have/do what our friends get/have/do. So utterly unfair, must be adopted. My stage there was about eight years old. Moody and filled with self-pity. My poor parents. Rest In Peace...we didn't give you much back then~ 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

An Odd Anomaly

 Wild Medicine Herbal Deck ~ Willow

Tea or tincture decocted from bark, leaf, or root, chewed for toothache. In use at  least 3500 years as a poor man's aspirin, from the salicin in the bark. Not native to my state but majestic weepers and whites can be found on this, the rainy side, and on the desert side of the state you always know where a creek might be because they are lined with crack willows. Don't park your car under any of them, they drip sap. 

And now you know everything I know about willows. Not much, and no snappy or trenchant or wisenheimer remarks to add. I should mark this odd anomaly on my big white board...

Friday, October 23, 2020


 Wild Medicine Herbal Deck ~ Goldenseal

Used historically for bowel problems and yellow paint pigment. Side effects of internal use? Cardiac damage, depression, death. When the average life span was 40 years, long term side effects weren't much of a worry. 

What am I doing for the short term good that might be long term damage? I can think of three things right off the top of my head, which probably means there are a lot more I'm not thinking about. Humans...oblivious. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Sock With A Knot

 Wild Medicine Deck ~ Pipsissewa

Never heard of it, had to look it up of course. Depending on what or who you believe, it is good for kidney and bladder infections, or, there is no good scientific evidence to support any of its uses.

The old two sides of the story, which confuses us, makes us have to think. Maybe alter our mindless behavior... I went to bed last night so angry I could hardly breathe. We are camping and next to us is a nice family of seven, new here from Ohio, house hunting. In a very tiny trailer. They got one of the kids a small young dog, perhaps because he was the most fragile about the move. But no training for dog ownership and it is a disaster. He runs dragging it on it's leash, jerks it along when it is trying to do it's business, and last night he kicked it in the stomach and hit it on the hip with a large stick. So I exploded out of the 5th Wheel and rained anger on him. 

In the night I thought about all the times as an adult I wished I'd had a mentor. And how over the years I've learned the basics of dog training. Start small, lots of praise and tiny treats for good behavior. If I see that young man I'm going to ask if I can talk to him for a few minutes, and make a couple of suggestions. Starting with a gift baggie of cat food (tiny, dry, easy to carry in a pocket so it's quick to hand for good behavior) and suggest an old sock with a knot in the middle. Easy for a little dog to get his teeth into for pull games, light to carry for fetch, playable in a confined area or large outdoor space. I can but try. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020


 Wild Medicine Deck ~ Marshmallow

Marsha Mallow. Marshall Mallow. Believe it or not, suggestions to name my brother and me from the hospital nurses. Real funny. With a last name like Mallow, marshmallow was the automatic nick-moniker bestowed on us. I didn't mind, could have been dummy or clumsy, or dumpy, or sneezy, or bashful. In high school it became Ma-loo after a new teacher's mispronunciation. It's all good, just call me, right? 

On the dark side, during the Spanish Inquisition, if you weren't Catholic you were likely be tortured to death. People painted mallow sap on their bodies in hopes it's healing properties would help them survive. Not likely, difficult if not impossible to survive religious fanatics with a king or president whipping them into a frenzy. Humans. We've learned nothing.

Mallow was one more plant I tried for cut flowers, also still trying to kill it out some twenty years later. Hard to believe a marshmallow crop could be destroyed...but take a look at this. Poor North Carolina farmers...the tragedy starts about 25 seconds into the film. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Gout And Warts Oh My!

 Wild Medicine Deck ~ Mullein

Cramps, cough, gout, warts. Well that should get me through life. So far no warts other than mental, but the other three, oh yeah. Did you know gout can be a side effect of surgery? As if healing from that isn't enough to cope with. Gout is owie owie owie.

That said, when we were doing our sideline of cut flower sales a nursery owner advised me that Mullein would be good for big displays. I often made up big lobby type bouquets. I swallowed the idea without checking and bought three starts, the days of standing in a field and looking something up on a hand held device were far off.  

Turns out mullein grows by the side of the road everywhere here, which I realized when they started showing their growth. And they spread and spread and spread some more. I think it was about five years before I got it all gone. But I still admire them by the side of the road, and now I will think about getting some again...only in pill form. Leaving nature to nature and science to me. I have found being prepared for something often insures it doesn't happen. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Couldn't Hurt

 Wild Medicine Deck ~ Elder

Tea, syrup, tincture, decoction. Treating cuts and abrasions, and internally for cold and flu season immunity. Our ancient herbalists, when they found a working tool, they applied it to more than one task. I like that. 

As a avid quilter, you can image I have many tools at hand. The right tool for the right job makes a whole project easier and better. People who market to quilters recognize that and continually come out with new and improved. Which often translates to not as well made but prettier colors. I welcome the new ideas for applications, but if I can get it at the hardware store it will be better made, and less expensive. A lot less expensive. 

In these truly weird times when my mind alternates between grasping at all straws and refusing to consider any advice at all. I'm thinking about the ancient herbal remedies. If I had some Elder tea, I'd drink it. Couldn't hurt. But we also had our modern flu shots this week. All bases covered.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Got Bloat?

 Wild Medicine Deck ~ Fennel

foeniculum vulgare. Sounds vaguely dirty doesn't it? 

This week with the Wild Medicine Deck is bound to be all over the place, just how deeply can I mine herbs anyway? But I have zero doubt I'll learn something, perhaps be encouraged to try something new. We are pretty simple cooks. Salt, Pepper, chives, an occasional lash out with thyme on a turkey. and Johnny's on my hard boiled eggs. Exciting innit it? I had to make my spell check accept legally a word. Pretty soon I'll be saying the shovel is up agin the wall and I'll put the sparagrass on to cook. Maybe followed by an expresso. Our 'roots' are never far from us in the end. 

Fennel is of the carrot family, originally found around the Mediterranean, now common worldwide, a medical herbal for indigestion, bloating and heartburn. Rob has completely reworked the garden area this fall, perhaps I'll mark off a bit of it for a kitchen plot?

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Pick It Up

 Wilderwoven Tarot ~ Ace of Wands

On the verge of creation.  

Don't know about anyone else but we are wrung out. Each day seems to bring a new mallet slam to the psyche. Normally October is my favorite month of the year; I can not wait for this one to be over, gone, outta here, don't let the door hit you in the butt.

November may draw some fresh life into the leaf. Rebirth the common sense, the unity, the light, reawaken the so fragile Ace of Wands. It is nothing without a guiding hand to pick it up and use it. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Seeds Of Our Tomorrows

 Wilderwoven Tarot ~ 4 of Cups

One of the worst nightmares of my life looked very like this image only the turtle was in the rock rather than on it. A particularly bad side effect of the very last anti-depressant I agreed to try. To wake up screaming my guts out every night was a bad start to a day. 

Our 4 of Cups suggests a turning away from actions or events, introspection is more in order, disinterest in whatever is outside our own tiny thought pattern. No way to live a life, but yes, it is restful to turn our face from the world that is some times too bright to bear, to disappointing to stomach. And reassess the seeds of our tomorrows. We hold them, will we plant them or destroy them? I look at this beautiful image and say yes, plant, nurture, live to see and celebrate the results. But first just a little time in Child Pose. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

A Fool And Her Money

 Wilderwoven Tarot ~ Page of Coins

To keep my brain nimble and occupied I've been deep researching stocks again. Which bumps me back to Page territory, where I was when I first began this particular foray in the late nineties. Now  looking at long term consistent dividend payers. I've always set to reinvest, the easiest most painless way to get more of a good stock. Except when a good stock splits, that is always a Star day in my book. Painful Page stumbles? 

Crocs. I bought it because it seemed like every nurse in the cancer unit seemed to be wearing them. Bought $500.00 worth at $58.00 a share in 2007. The next year it dropped to $2.00 and in the long long intervening years has only recently gotten into the $40.00 range. Now it has Bieber fever. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. My lesson? If it is something that can be a knockoff in the Dollar Store in six months keep your money in your pocket. Maybe it was part of the 'total global 2008 meltdown' but mostly it was me, not Paging it through. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

River Traffic

 Wilderwoven Tarot ~ Wheel of Fortune

I'm bookmarked on three sides by rivers, the biggest being the Columbia where I spent four days recently. At various times of the year it is stuffed with salmon, one of the mainstays of the peoples who thrived here though time. Until the white man came, but that is a different Wheel. 

Before dawn we'd hear, then see, hundreds of small boats going south at a great rate of speed. Then later those small boats drifting north on the current, fishing. It must be a fisherman/boat owner mentality thing. All that money and fuel and time expended. I walked the river every day and met bank fishermen just standing in one spot who had caught big fish. There is also the hogline...where the boats line up across the river and just sit there with their lines out. Of course I have an opinion about that too. So do the great ocean container boat captains. The Wheel of course being, pull any of those fishermen out of their boats and into  my quilt room and they'd wonder why I have five sewing machines when I'd be as well served with a three legged stool, a needle and a spool of thread. Welcome to the Wheel, where we all ride where it is comfortable and fun and profitable. This is a photo from my retreat, little boat, big boat, fish, sewing machine, in harmony. It is a tough life but someone has to do it. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Rapid And Extreme

 Wilderwoven Tarot ~ 8 of Wands

Rapid and extreme change embodied by cicadas. In my hurry to learn everything there is to know about everything, my first lesson this morning was cicadas climb out of the ground and suck on the sap of trees, and yes it might kill young trees. But they aren't locusts, wiping out crops. And while there is a lot of speculation, scientists don't have a clue why the thirteen or seventeen year cycle. 

The world is in a rapid and extreme cycle now, and I suppose we will come out the other side, those of us that survive, pretty much unchanged. Funny, that. 

Monday, October 12, 2020


 Wilderwoven Tarot ~ 3 of Wands

Metamorphous. Our outside doesn't reflect what is going on inside. Sometimes we aren't even aware of the changes until we wake up and say 'who was that and who is this stranger?'. What do I do, how do I behave with this new mental attitude? Different body? Stunning health issues? Creeping mental issues. 

I'm going to put a note on this deck box to review this post when it next comes up in the rotation in a year to 18 months. Because I'm so discouraged with the times and people and the world I think my chrysalis will be quite dark and not one bit pretty. 

edited 1/9/22: The human world is still ugly, politics, covid, asshattery. But we have innoculations now, and I didn't know it but I was in a chrysalis at that moment in time, Only now, a year and a half later are the effects shaking out. Amazing changes, for me. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020


 Wilderwoven Tarot ~ 6 of Cups

6 years old. Was I an innocent? Pretty much. It was the time and place combined with good parents. I've met children 6 years old through work and social interactions that I'm sure weren't worldly innocent anymore, they seem to have access to everything these days. But they are still innocents. 

Don't know where I'm going with this but these 6 ducklings, safe in their cove makes me wish that for all children. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Pancake Frog

 5¢ Tarot ~ Fool

 "Sometimes you feel like a nut / Sometimes you don't." A 1970s candy bar thing. I think. Could have been the 1980s. We had radio, TV, board games, cards for sit down and veg out time. And there have been Fools in every generation before and since. 

Been there, usually because I leapt before I thought things through. But isn't the brilliance of a new idea just overpowering some times! The key perhaps is to think, and yet continue to approach life like it is still fresh. A good goal for this rainy Saturday, bright thinking without the tire tracks across my back making me a pancake frog. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Nerdus Doomus

 5¢ Tarot ~ 4 of Swords/Needles

Take a break! Give it a break! I'll confess, I've been working my scanner to death. Apparently. It is autumn ebay clear out time and I have been scan scan scan and scan some more. I finished yesterday afternoon, this morning my scanner wouldn't scan my card. Yipes. 

I've been thinking the last couple of weeks how much I like this scanner and how much I've used it over the years and how much I appreciate it as a helpful tool. Honest, I have. Did that doom it? All the HP ideas aren't working, nor the nerd turn it off, unplug it, uninstall it. 

So I had to get my phone out of the drawer, charge it up, photograph the card and send it to myself. Maybe this card says go have a little lie down. But. What if I also can't print my postage to ship items? Yipes. Yes, go have a little lie down. Then try booting this little guy in the umbrella, see if that works? 4 of Swords. Yes indeedy. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020


 5¢ Tarot ~ 9 of Cups

A male Peacock. Did you know collecting their feathers is bad luck? Probably propaganda put out by the peacock's union, but still, pause for thought. 

They are loud, someone had peacocks about 2 miles from our last home, and we could hear them. There were peacocks on the grounds at Bryn Bras Castle in Wales, Rob gave one an M&M and the whole pack followed him around the rest of our stay. 

That is pretty much everything I know about peacocks. They aren't ashamed to strut what they have, but never seek to be something they aren't. I can dig that. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Done My Share

 5¢ tarot ~ 5 of Cups

Done my share of lamentations; regrets, I have a few. Pessimism, not so much although reality does overwhelm me sometimes.

This card suggests we hold on the potential of good, of overcoming obstacles. Of seeing the subsidence of our dark side, and a strengthening of our better one. Or not. Maybe. Could go either way...this is a 5 after all. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Adapt Or Die

 5¢ Tarot ~ Page of Wands/Matches

Represented by the Quetzal. Is it determined enough to find a work-around for its nesting areas? They depend on carving out their nests in dead trees where the wood is soft enough to be worked by their beaks and claws. Their high canopy forests in the Central Americas are rapidly being cut and burned, natural sanctuaries are few and far between. 

Adapt or die out, pretty much sums up the Page of Wands. 

Monday, October 5, 2020


 5¢ Tarot ~ 10 of Coins/Buttons

The roots, body, and fruit provide the rich legacy of this tree's life. Part of our legacy goes to the local animal shelter. 

In these Covid times when we are here this week and maybe long gone next, I'm glad we have a will. The creation of it clarified a lot of things we hadn't given much thought to. Or had avoided thinking about, comes to the same thing. I have zero concern regarding what my nieces and nephews do with our things and money, but it comforts me to know the proceeds of the sale of our home will go toward homes for the animals who can't fight for themselves. 

This tree suggests to whom and where your 10 of Buttons go should be in writing. Is it? 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Lookie Lookie Song

5¢ Tarot ~ Page of Swords/Needles

Depicted as a rooster, boastfulness and a tendency to crow is suggested. Roosters can be all that and more, rough and abusive, noisy, sometimes downright dangerous. On the other hand the three we've had, Peanut, Rudy, and now Rusty Boy have been a treat. They work hard, have quite a language of sounds or commands, and are an absolute pleasure to watch work. 

There are worse creatures to model our own life after. A rooster tends his personal flock, pointing out the tastiest tidbit with a charming footy dance and special come here, lookie lookie song. He does his manly duty to all, never tearing out neck feathers or making his hens wings sore. Keeps his eye to the sky for sudden danger and when he says, the girls run for safety. I have yet to ever see a rooster on the nod during the day time, even if all the girls are taking a snooze. 

It is just coming dawn now, and Rusty Boy is suggesting I get a move on with my day. I hope to be as productive as he is. And he'd make a good president. 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Numero Uno

 5¢ Tarot ~ 2 of Coins/Buttons

Continually assess and adjust. I had a job once where trying to keep everyone happy was like trying to put socks on an octopus. Couldn't be done. Nine huge egos, all looking out for number one. I made it six months, then I had to look out for my own Numero Uno. Throwing up every day before work is no way to live life. 

I'm reminded by this card to be flexible, and keep assessing. And that buttons are one of my touchstones, I have gallons of them, sorted by color. There is a whole story there... beginning with old fashioned slow talk radio bingo. And turtle doves. And Alaska. Lovely. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Thorny or Smooth

 Oracle of Eggs-Pression ~ Rose

I've been away, no computer, no phone, just fresh air, sunshine, long river walks. Doggie playtime, sitting with a cat in my lap. Aimless conversations with strangers. A retreat, reset, review, recharge. 

When I pulled the Rose egg and scanned it, it came out squished. Too small an object. So I cast my eye about for something to add to it and chose one of the 'seed rocks' that came with my commissioned word of the year rock. Eureka, perfection. And the point, I can't change the world, but I can and often do change myself. I can choose thorny or smooth, scent free or odoriferous, closed tight or open. It is all in the perspective.