Elimination diet is actually helping.

After seeing that Tycho has been doing well with my milk, I started adding back eggs and gluten, carefully adding each so as not to cause a reaction. I’m still off dairy considering his intolerance, and I have to admit that I’ve been feeling a lot better (though I missed the hell out of pizza).

The verdict:

  • Eggs are no problem at all. I added them back with no adverse reaction.
  • Gluten may be an issue, but seems to be okay in small doses — “gluten-lite”, if you will. He reacts okay save for gas, which is reduced when I cut back — not out — on the gluten.

I’ll admit that I’m excited to add back the gluten, even in small doses! At least now I can have some cheeseless pizza. ;) And I’m not, nor have I ever considered myself, vegan.

Nothing else in my diet seems to have any effect, though I notice that he’ll get gassy shortly after I eat something that makes me gassy, even without gluten, so I need to watch my broccoli intake. Aw darn. ;) I’m also careful about alcohol consumption by following KellyMom’s advice, which works well to maintain my dark-beer-a-night thing for milk production.

Otherwise, things are going well! He nurses in the morning before daycare, takes two and sometimes three 6oz bottles of formula while at daycare, nurses when we get home, and either nurses and gets a bottle of expressed milk with me or a bottle of expressed milk with Matt. Nighttime depends on how much I managed to express that day and who feeds him at night — since I’m still only getting 6-7oz per workday, it’s switched between formula and breastmilk.

I’m happy where we are right now. While my goal is still to EBF by the time 2014 rolls around, this is much better than it’s ever been. He’s cut down from 5 to 6 bottles of formula a day to 2 or 3, and my supply is only getting better.

My regimen:

  • Domperidone, 30mg 4x/day
  • 2 Tbsp brewer’s yeast, in morning smoothie
  • 2 tsp flaxseed meal, in morning smoothie
  • One dark beer each evening after Tycho goes to bed
  • Oatmeal whenever possible

What I’ll be adding:

  • More Milk Special Blend, 1 cap 4x/day (I had discontinued this for a while as I ran out, starting back up tomorrow)
  • More Milk Plus, 1/4 tsp 4x/day (given to me by an amazing couple friends, Christian and Ali!)
  • Fenugreek, 2 caps 3x/day

My hope is that I can cut out the Domperidone bit by bit, to replace with everything I’ll be adding — cheaper and, let’s be honest, not as pharmaceutical-y. I also plan on trying this tincture from my friend Sarah, with more galactagogues in it!

AND… I need to rave about these lactation cookies I got from my friends Gena at Bake All The Things and, mommy-related, Miracles for Mommy! Because they were delicious AND helped tremendously. :)

photo(4)

Mother Blessing for Kit’s Mama

(This is related to a Facebook event. Sorry, I’m doing a direct copy/paste from the event itself. :) I hope y’all are able to join in! <3)

Ooh, and just WAIT until I get the chance to upload all the amazing maternity photos from my amazing friend, Brooke! :D

I’ve been given the wonderful idea of having a sort of Mother Blessing before I go into labor with Kit, and I’d love it if you would participate! I’d like a way to keep all of you in my thoughts while going through labor and birth, and what better way than to have a Mother Blessing. :)

A Mother Blessing (or Blessingway) is an old Navajo ceremony that celebrates a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood. Unlike a traditional baby shower, a Mother Blessing is about nurturing the mama-to-be and celebrating motherhood. Considering this, I’m fortunate to have so many mother friends already who are so happy to have me join them!! The Mother Blessing focuses on the mom, and a woman who is given lots of love has more love to give in return.

Since a lot of you are long-distance, I don’t want to ask for too much! If you’re open to sharing, I ask that you share your birth experiences with me here on this page (or by email, if you’re more comfortable with that, at stephanie.ak.fox@me.com) so I may read them while in early labor.

If you’re into poetry, storytelling, prayer, or other forms of the written word, I’d love if you would share a blessing through one of these. I hope to collect some and, like the birth stories, add them to a book, journal, or scrapbook to bring to labor as well. I can have Matt or my doula read some of them. :)

And finally, I’d love to have you all there with me in some shape or form! If you would like, I’d love it if you could select and send me a bead to string onto a cord and wear during labor. (I’ll pick the cord, no worries there.) It’s so amazing to know I’m already surrounded by so much love and support, and I would love to have a physical reminder of your presence. I’ve added my address to this event in case you’re able to do this.

If you can do any of these, I would appreciate it forever! Even knowing that you’ve accepted an invite to this “event” makes my heart grow with love. :)

Thank you all!! I look forward to letting you know when Kit and I make the journey through labor and birth, and I know y’all will be in it, too!

Blessed Yule!! – A Winter Solstice Mash-Up

This time of year always evokes some pretty strong emotions in me, mostly because I have such fond memories of the holiday season from my childhood. Despite not celebrating Christmas in the same sense anymore, there’s still this magickal feeling that takes over every year, a feeling that I absolutely want to instill in our own children.

Since we are interfaith, there are many ways in which our little nuclear family can honor this time of year and celebrate that magick. I’ve come to learn that many of my friends also celebrate the winter holidays in several different ways, too, so I invited everyone to share their holiday traditions! From secular Christmas to religious Chanukah, from Florida “winters” to inspiring Solstices, and everything in between, y’all sure did deliver!

So this year is going to be a mash-up of all of them, celebrating not only our personal take on the holidays, but including yours as well! Thank you all for participating, and in typical Coexist Cafe fashion: HAPPY EVERYTHING! :)

 

What IS Yule, Anyway?

I get this question every year without fail. In fact, it surprises a lot of people (my awesome attorney-boss included, haha) that Pagans get a holiday to themselves to celebrate every winter, too! This is more ironic than anything considering that most of our current holiday traditions have Pagan beginnings, but when this time of year is so focused on Christmas, strangely enough, Yule gets lost in the shuffle!

Yule is a modern English word used to describe an old twelve-day religious festival observed by Northern Europeans. For simplicity’s sake, even if the festival went by a different name for a certain group, I’ll be using “Yule”. :) The festival was later absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas, taking many traditions and adapting their own practices. Santa Claus, the myth of Jesus Christ, and the trappings of the season (trees, stockings, caroling, everything!) are all derivatives of old Yuletide traditions.

The solstice celebration likely originated with the Norse people, who viewed Yule as a time for merrymaking, feasting, and sacrifice (if the Icelandic sagas are to be believed… and I wouldn’t put it past them). Traditional customs included the Yule log, a decorated tree, and wassailing.

Thanks to culinarychef.com!

The Celts of the British Isles celebrated Yule as well, called midwinter to them. Not much is known about their traditions as they’ve been lost through the ages, but those that are known still persist today. Though while they still collect mistletoe, I’m pretty sure they don’t sacrifice a white bull like Pliny the Elder said Druid priests did back then!

Then there are the Romans, who had their own winter festival, Saturnalia. Full of general merrymaking, a lot of gambling, even more alcohol, and other debauchery, the week-long party was held in honor of the god Saturn — in fact, the common greeting around that time was “Io, Saturnalia!” There was sacrifices, gift-giving, special privileges for slaves (we ARE talking Roman times), and feasting. On top of all the debauchery, and probably more importantly, the festival was to honor an agricultural god in the hopes for a fertile and abundant crop in the spring.

Thanks to serenedominic.com!

Oh, and as mentioned above, Jesus Christ wasn’t the first Son of God… or Sun God, more accurately. Four thousand years ago, long before Christianity started popping up, ancient Egyptians celebrated the rebirth of Horus, the god of the Sun. This became wildly popular with other civilizations, which took to honoring the welcoming back of the Sun, especially as these civilizations started to realize that things went swimmingly with their crops and abundance… until the weather got cooler. Each year, the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth played over and over, and they saw that the Sun did return after a period of cold and darkness. Good reason to celebrate, if you ask me!

As their religious base grew, Christians took full advantage of many of these traditions and used them to their advantage, adopting them and applying them to their own religion in an attempt (one that proved pretty effective!) to convert the Pagans. Within a few centuries, Christians had everyone worshiping a new holiday celebrated on 25 December! Not too shabby, if you ask me… though it might behoove them to remember from where all their traditions came. ;)

In some current Neopagan traditions, the Yule celebration stems from the Celtic legend of the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King, representative of the light of the new year, tries every year to usurp the old Holly King, the symbol of darkness. As we can see, the Oak King indeed kicks the Holly King’s ass every year, and the light does indeed return. This ass-whoopin’ reenactment is popular among some Wiccan and Pagan rituals.

Thanks to ArwensGrace at deviantart.com!

The sun returns! The light returns!
The earth begins to warm once more!
The time of darkness has passed,
and a path of light begins the new day.
Welcome, welcome, the heat of the sun,
blessing us all with its rays.

 

Post Round-Up

Here’s a round-up of posts from TCC’s previous years, as they’re definitely interesting (at least I think so):

I also really enjoyed these posts from other Pagans this year, and thought you would, too!

 

Facebook Friends Chime In!

Last week, I posed the question of how you celebrate the winter holidays on Facebook, and I received some great responses! (I also asked on my personal page, and received some responses there as well.) Below are some of your insights, and some fun pictures to go along with some of them.

See, I love this. It gives you time to spend with your family without the stress that typically accompanies it.

Hahaha! One of my favorite things growing up was getting that themed Christmas ornament to hang on the tree each year. Mine were actually Barbie ones (I’m not entirely sure why, either!), and I’m pretty sure my mom still has and hangs it most years!

My dad had the Star Trek ones. :) In fact, my sister and I preferred them off the tree as toys than we did ON the tree…

SHE’S NOT EVEN KIDDING!! :D

If anyone ever wonders why I miss Florida, this is exactly why. ;)

Mmm, challah and Lughnasadh! Now THAT’S a tradition I could sink my teeth into! :cymbalcrash:

I also like the idea of creating your own butter. Might have to try that… with a little dance party, of course. :)

I love getting an atheist’s perspective on this! I’m of the belief that atheist children end up knowing more about a wider array of religions than many of those religions’ adherents, and this is exactly why. Checking out books? Reading and discussion? Delving into the actual history of the holidays? Love love LOVE it! It’s the same thing as I’d want to instill in our children, even if they aren’t raised atheists. :)

OH, and she had some amazing photos to share! Remember the reference to the Trek Tree? You can thank Sarah for that one:

Trekkie Tree!

Santa “Claws”, hahahahaha!

Sarah’s adorable daughter sampling some goodies.

And Tori shares her story below about extending winter celebrations from Yule to the day after Christmas! These are just some additional things they do to make the week even more special.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in and shared their holiday traditions with us! :)

 

A Week of Christmas (a special post by Tori Zigler)

I’ve been asked on a number of occasions what Matt and I are planning to do with the holidays, considering I’m Pagan, Matt and his family are Jewish, and my family is Catholic. The easiest response, of course, is to say, “We’re going to celebrate all of them!”

… easier said than done, am I right?

We’re still lost for ideas, especially since we want to start new traditions with our children and would like to celebrate all three in a way that both separates the significance of each and melds them so they make sense together. So I asked you, my faithful readers, over on my Facebook page to send me your holiday traditions, no matter what you celebrate! As you can tell above, y’all definitely delivered. :)

I did get a special word by email from a good friend of mine, Tori Zigler, a prolific children’s writer who herself is part of an interfaith family — she and her husband identify as Pagan, but their families do not, so they’ve had to create their own traditions! See how they make the winter celebrations last not only on Yule and Christmas, but all season long…

It’s always seemed like a real shame to me that, after all the preparations and expense, within 24 hours Christmas is over and all that’s left is the mess. Wouldn’t it be nice if Christmas lasted longer?

Yes, we thought so too! So, because of that wish, and the fact we’re Pagan and the rest of the family aren’t – meaning that we wanted to celebrate the Winter Solstice, but they didn’t – we decided to make it happen. Besides, the Roman celebration of Saturnalia lasted for eight days, so we saw no reason our celebration couldn’t last for several days too!

So, here’s what we do:

Instead of one or two expensive gifts, we buy 1 expensive gift and 4 cheaper ones each. The cheaper ones are exchanged on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th of December, and the expensive one on the 25th. The expensive one gets a slightly different label to the others so we know to not grab that one from under the tree until the 25th, but the 4 cheaper gifts are grabbed at random from under the tree. We started doing this both to spread out the gift giving and because it gives us time to enjoy and appreciate each gift before moving on to the next one. Also, ‘Santa’ usually visits on the 24th, filling our stockings with treats, and placing a small gift for us under the tree from him.

On the 21st of December we usually do some kind of a ritual, even if it’s a very small one. Last year, for example, I did a ritual to chase off unwanted houseguests, which seemed appropriate since we’d pretty much only just moved in here.

The days from the 21st through the 25th of December are then filled with any holiday activities we want to do. Always involving holiday baking, the watching of holiday movies, and the reading of holiday books, but usually also involving the making of some sort of handmade holiday decoration. Last year, for example, we made some decorated baubles for the tree, and also some penguin tree ornaments (there were four, but we gave three away). Other holiday activities may be included; pretty much anything you can think of really… Holiday parties with family and friends, holiday games, more baking (especially good if family is visiting for a party or to join in your feast), build a snowman (if there’s snow), or whatever. The key thing is to be doing things together, preferably things with a holiday feel to them, though that’s not essential.

On the 26th of December is when we have our holiday feast. It used to be that the 26th was when we had a buffet with the family, but now that we live away from the family we’ve changed things a little. What we do now is phone them on the 25th to wish them “Merry Christmas” and exchange news on who got what from who, and so on, then we have our Christmas dinner on the 26th instead. The reason for this is a combination of not wanting to try and cook a full roast between phone calls, and the fact it then leaves us free to enjoy the phone calls and exchanging of final gifts without having to worry about burning the potatoes. Besides, we technically have two roast dinners to make, since I’m a vegetarian and my hubby isn’t, so we make a vegetarian roast and a meat roast. Last year, for example, I had a cranberry nut roast to go with my potatoes and veg, hubby had ham. Making two different roasts in our little kitchen is hard work, but it’s worth it.

Also, the good thing with making those roasts just for us is that there’s enough left over for the next day, so on December 27th, all we have to do is enjoy leftovers and relax; an option we took with leftover buffet food in the past too. We don’t really count that as part of our holiday celebrations though, because it’s basically a day to rest from all that celebrating. I suppose you could count it though.

And that, my friends, is how to make your holiday celebrations last a week!

Tori is an eclectic Pagan, a poet, and a writer of children’s books. Her series include “Magical Chapters” and “Toby’s Tales“. Tori can also be found on Facebook! She currently lives in England’s southeast with her husband, Kelly, and her Westhighland terrier, Keroberous (“Kero”).

 

Fox Family Traditions: One Year At a Time

Matt and I are still trying to find our footing in this holiday, especially considering how many we have to work around this time of year.

One thing we’ve been doing for the past few years is getting stockings prepared for opening at Yule, and a pair of PJ pants to keep us warm as the weather continues to cool off. I’ve put together the stockings each of these years, basically forcing us to do something for Yule (as we have or have had traditions for Christmas and Chanukah, but nothing for the Solstice). This time around, though, we’re making them for each other! I’m really excited about that, as it’ll add an element of surprise to this Yule celebration.

I’m so happy Matt is getting into this tradition, too, and between that, Chanukah candle lighting, and our Jewish-Pagan Christmas (Chinese and a movie, yo!), we’re hoping that we can make the winter holiday season just as amazing for our kids as it has been for us.

We’re taking it one year at a time. The nice thing about having our own little family is starting these new traditions, and finding out what works, what doesn’t, and what we can’t live without.

Again, I want to thank everyone for sharing their holiday celebrations! It makes me look that much more forward to giving Kit everything he deserves when it comes to making the Solstice magickal. :)

I see your truuuuue colors shiiining through… (A post about racism)

I see your truuuue colors, and that’s why I love you I sometimes wish you never had a thought in your head again.

Sorry for butchering your song, Ms. Lauper. But when it comes to true colors of certain Americans shining through this (and the 2008) election season, one only has to look to Twitter to find out how people really feel:

In case you were hopeful that Obama winning a second term was some kind of indication that racism doesn’t really exist anymore, check out Twitter. The amount of hate speech, referring to the president as a “[n***er],” a “monkey,” calling for violence and for the south to “rise again” was depressing—and eye-opening. Here is incontrovertible proof (as if we needed it) that racism isn’t just some imaginary talking point invented by liberals, but an actual problem. What’s sadder is that many of these Tweeters seem to be in high school, who don’t have the flimsy excuse of being raised in “another time.” If you believe the children are our future, then our future is fucked.

WARNING: Jezebel’s post refers to several uses of the “N” word and other racist slurs directed towards our President by those in the Twittersphere. It literally made me sick to read one, much less the hundreds that I’m sure actually exist. Read at your own risk… and at the perils of your own sense of sanity.

I honestly thought my own friends and people with whom I communicate online were a bit better, a bit more tolerant. Obviously, some random Joe Schmoe who has a public platform from which he can spit out whatever fecal matter enters his tiny brain could air his thoughts to everyone, but I thought my friends — and, by association, my friends’ friends — were somehow above all that.

Allow me to introduce K, who not only blew that theory out of the water, she completely obliterated it in the process.

(Ellen, by the way, is a friend of mine and has graciously allowed me to post this thread from her Facebook page. :) )

It just goes on from here. Whoops, guess my bullshit meter is running on empty. I blame the Jezebel article. :P

This goes to show that, if anyone were ever to become complacent about select Americans’ stances on racism, women’s rights, equality, or other social topics, think again. There is constantly work to be done, and it can only improve with what we instill not only in ourselves, but in our children and our children’s children.

For what it’s worth, I’m completely serious when I say that one should have pride in their heritage. But as far as pride in a race as privileged as white, and the difference between that and Black pride, think of it this way: I’m fortunate to be able to trace my heritage back several generation, and probably further back if I tried.

For those who arrived here as slaves — mere chattel, free (as opposed to hired) hands, torn from families both while in their native countries and while here in America — the furthest back they can go is when they arrived here, and no further. There were no records kept about from where they came, who their families were, what their given names were. Just… they were here, and that’s all. So they can’t have Zimbabwean, Botswanian, Ethiopian, Kenyan, or other specific “prides”. Instead, they have what they are: Black pride.

The difference lies in heritage (“Irish pride”) versus supremacy (“white pride”).

And let’s face it. “White pride” is all around us, and tells of way more harm than good. It pervades our everyday lives, has a huge voice in our social and fiscal policies, and shapes how we all (even subconsciously) think about a neighborhood, group of people, and so forth. This “pride” stems specifically from one race’s supremacy over another, and can be traced back to Neo-Nazis, KKK members, skinheads, and other white supremacists. There is no “nice” beginning to such pride.

To think that some don’t understand the difference — or who do but blatantly ignore it or try to say that this “pride” has some humanitarian root — is disgusting. Even worse, when someone states that the problem with the world is that whites are the minority… I mean, if that doesn’t make you a blatant racist, I don’t know what does.

(Oh, and even better, K’s eventual retort to my pointing out her racist and ignorant thoughts? ” I know for a fact you wouldn’t like to meet me in person.” Good to know that your ideologies are based on violence. Sure explains a lot.)

Also, my favorite election-related FB status of the week.

I absolutely have to post this, with identifying information removed. I’ll just refer to her as Lizzie, who occasionally comments here and who is, by far, one of the sweetest women I’ve ever known. She’s also pregnant with an amazing little boy, and she had something to say about last night’s election:

I totally hear you, Lizzie. And I absolutely did, too. For yours, mine, and everyone else. :)

Wednesday Perk-Up! (11-17 October)

I am so far behind on these Perk-Ups that it’s embarrassing! But here I am, trodding right along as if nothing ever happened. And really, when you have a hot cup of DD’s Pumpkin White Chocolate Latte, you really can leave all your cares behind. An “aaaah” in every sip. :)

Anyway, September was completely skipped over, and we’re already more than halfway through October. But that just means I have that much more to share with y’all!

(If you ever want to be featured in TCC’s Wednesday Perk-Ups, by the way, just shoot me a message! I absolutely love including people in this!)

 

When Witches Go Riding Writing

Samhain’s Sirens: Bringing Sex, Fun, and Prizes to the New Year!

Samhain’s Sirens is a gift of Halloween love to you from us. During the Samhain season (October 1- November 2) we’ll be treating you to blogs, giveaways, craft ideas, recipes and music to help you celebrate this holy and happy time in honoring the thinning of the veil and our ancestors.

I hope y’all enjoy this page! I had to drop out of most of the festivities myself (blog post to be featured on Samhain’s Sirens about that this Friday), but it’s run and contributed by several talented witches all around the world! Yesterday’s blog post is from Sosanna over at Sosanna’s Closet… I highly recommend and dearly love this girl!

Be sure to visit their other pages, too:

And don’t forget to enter their daily giveaways!!

 

Sam Curtin: Bones, Buried Treasure and Beliefs

You know what I love about this girl? Aside from the fact that she’s Sam and she’s awesome. :) Sam has such a great spirit and the biggest heart you could ever imagine, and that shines through everything she does. Just today, she posted about charities that are looking to improve the lives of the less fortunate. One is Shepherd’s Table, and her workplace is participating in a food and clothing drive from 22 October through 16 November. Would you consider giving something, if not to this charity, then something else local to you?

If you’re interested in helping Sam’s and Shepherd’s Table’s effort, below are items taken from the organization’s wish list:

Food Items:

  • Margarine or butter
  • Pepper
  • Salad dressing
  • Hot sauce (an item our guests love)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Canned vegetables (large #10 cans)
  • Soup (cream-based or broth)
  • Spices
  • Coffee
  • Creamer
  • Sweet-N-Low or other sugar substitutes

Kitchen Items:

  • Aluminum foil (large industrial roll)
  • Saran Wrap
  • Paper Napkins
  • Industrial Can Openers
  • Tide Laundry Detergent (powder)
  • Metal Silverware (spoons and forks)

Clothing Closet Items:

Shepherd’s Table always accepts donations of new and gently used-clothing and shoes. Please donate seasonal items that will enhance the dignity of their clients.

  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirts
  • Sweatpants
  • Men’s Jackets
  • Children’s Clothing
  • New Men’s and Women’s Socks
  • New Men’s Underwear (smaller sizes)
  • New Women’s Underwear (all sizes)
  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving cream, toothpaste, and deodorant (travel-size bottles)

Resource Center Items:

  • Blankets
  • Safety Razors

Administrative Items:

  • Stamps
  • Paper (97 bright white)

 

Food for Thought

ThinkProgress.org: Skinny Minnie Mouse Could Give Girls Body Image Problems for Christmas

It’s the gift that keeps on giving, right?

I fully admit to having body image issues of my own, as do upwards of 80% of American women. It’s difficult for us to accept our bodies as they are and realize that they are all created perfect in whatever form is given to us.

And it’s this kind of display that really gets my shackles up. A far cry from the Minnie with which I grew up, this new Minnie, featured by the New York department store Barneys, is 5’11” tall and has legs that are probably thinner than my pinky finger.

“When we got to the moment when all Disney characters walk on the runway, there was a discussion,” Freedman recalled. “The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress. There was a real moment of silence, because these characters don’t change. I said, ‘If we’re going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie,’ and they agreed. When you see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey, they are runway models.”

We’re already bombarded on a daily basis as to what “true beauty” is: Stick-skinny models teetering on four-inch heels, done-up faces with not a speck of natural skin showing through, body parts that have been “enhanced” using surgery or other questionable methods. It’s no wonder that eighty percent of 10-year-old girls in the US say that they have been on a diet – with pressure around them every day to fit a specific mold or conform to society’s idea of “beauty”, they feel they have no choice but to fit in.

Even if it brings them to their deaths.

This news makes me terrified to have a daughter of my own. If I were to ever be blessed with a little girl, I’d want her to feel comfortable in her own skin, to know that she is beautiful just the way she is, and that anyone telling her otherwise is insecure and trying to make her feel bad for their own gratification.

Reminds me of a beautiful photo a friend of mine posted to her Facebook wall not too long ago:

 

Born This Way Foundation

Speaking of being born a certain way and accepting yourself for who you are:

Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, the Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2011 to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.

We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, to be empowered and to make a difference in the world. Together, we will move towards acceptance, bravery and love.

 

Vegetarian Times: Ingredient Substitution Guide

A fantastic resource for tweaking otherwise non-veg*n dishes! As recommended, try to keep substitution ingredients within the same ethnic category, i.e. black beans or hominy for Mexican dishes and lentils for Indian recipes.

They have great suggestions for making a dish meatless, vegan, low-fat, allergen-free, ethnic, and alcohol-free. A great way to easily swap out one ingredient for another and still create a delicious dish!

 

Local Brew

Every Sunday, 1:00pm-5:00pm: Open Hearth Foundation Pagan Book Drive
1502 Massachusetts Ave SE, Washington, DC  20003

Got Books? Got Tarot Decks?

We will be collecting donations of books, periodicals, and tarot decks at the OHF Library in the DC Pagan Community Center.

The OHF Pagan Library is constantly building our collection and you can help! Stop by, bring us your books, check out the library!

The Open Hearth Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

 

Decaffeinated: Blissful News

This Month in Holidays

Be sure to check out our NASA Goddard-provided list! (Old, but whatevs, lol.)

(Thank you to HolidayInsights.com for this list!)

Month:

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
  • American Pharmacist Month
  • Apple Jack Month
  • Awareness Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Clergy Appreciation Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Cookie Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Eat Country Ham Month
  • International Drum Month
  • Lupus Awareness Month
  • National Diabetes Month
  • National Pizza Month
  • National Vegetarian Month
  • National Popcorn Popping Month
  • Sarcastic Month
  • Seafood Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • Week 1 Get Organized Week
  • Week 1 Customer Service Week
  • Week 2 Fire Prevention Week
  • Week 2 Pet Peeve Week
  • Week 3 Pastoral Care Week

Each Day Year 2012:

1 World Vegetarian Day

2 National Custodial Worker Day
2 Name Your Car Day

3 Techies Day
3 Virus Appreciation Day

4 National Golf Day
4 National Frappe Day

5 Do Something Nice Day
5 World Teacher’s Day

6 Come and Take it Day
6 International Frugal Fun Day – first Saturday of the month
6 Mad Hatter Day
6 Physician Assistant Day

7 Bald and Free Day
7 Oktoberfest in Germany ends, date varies
7 World Smile Day

8 American Touch Tag Day
8 Columbus Day – second Monday of month

9 Curious Events Day
9 Fire Prevention Day
Leif Erikson Day
9 Moldy Cheese Day

10 Emergency Nurses Day- date varies
10 National Angel Food Cake Day

11 It’s My Party Day
11 Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day

12 Cookbook Launch Day
12 Old Farmer’s Day
12 Moment of Frustration Day
12 World Egg Day –  second Friday of the month

13 International Skeptics Day

14 Be Bald and Free Day
14 National Dessert Day - take an extra helping, or two

15 White Cane Safety Day

16 Bosses Day
16 Dictionary Day

17 Wear Something Gaudy Day

18 No Beard Day  

19 Evaluate Your Life Day

20 Brandied Fruit Day
20 International Newspaper Carrier Day -date varies each year
20 Sweetest Day Third Saturday of month

21 Babbling Day
21 Count Your Buttons Day
21 National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day find a recipe, too.

22 National Nut Day

23 National Mole Day
23 Tv Talk Show Host Day

24 National Bologna Day
24 United Nations Day

25 Punk for a Day Day
25 World Pasta Day

26 Frankenstein Friday - last Friday in October
26 National Mincemeat Day

27 Make a Difference Day-  fourth Saturday of the month, an opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors.
27 National Tell a Story Day – in Scotland and the U.K.
27 Navy Day

28  Mother-In-Law Day – fourth Sunday in October
28 Plush Animal Lover’s Day

29 Hermit Day
29 National Frankenstein Day

30 National Candy Corn Day
30 Mischief Night

31 Carve a Pumpkin Day – no surprise here
31 Halloween
31 Increase Your Psychic Powers Day

 

Yoga Journal: What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health by Ashley Pitman

I’m going to let you in on a massive health secret. Inside of your mouth you have a reliable diagnostic tool for monitoring your overall state of health on a day to day basis.

It can tell you if you’ve properly digested your food from the night before, if your colon is clear, if your organs are happy, if you could use a cleanse, if you’re holding onto too much anxiety or fear and it can even aid in diagnosing disease.

This diagnostic tool is your tongue. If you’ve never taken a peek at your tongue start checking it out first thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth or eat. In general, you’re looking at the color, shape, and coating of your tongue.

A body with healthy organs and a clear digestive tract will show up pretty pink. A body with clogged organs or undigested food from the night before will show up with a layer of fuzz, film, the quivers, indentations from teeth, and/ or bumps (other than your taste buds).

Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been advocating and performing this type of visual inspection for thousands of years. In fact, tongue diagnosis is actually a very old practice that dates back to the Shang Dynasty, which began around 1600 B.C.

Although the intricacies of tongue analysis can take years, or even a lifetime to master, there are a few simple things you can learn right away to diagnose yourself and quickly remove any toxins that have accumulated.

First off, below is a mirror image chart of what organs correspond to what part of the tongue. Cool, right? So, the gist of tongue analysis is that if something funky or abnormal is showing up on your tongue, take note of where it is. These locations give us insight into the health and state of our organs.

(Read more…)

 

Espresso Shots: News with a Kick!

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Granola

This comes to me from Dashing Dish! While I haven’t checked out the rest of her recipes yet, this was a GREAT one to start off with. I’m considering a few changes to her recipes, so if you’re feeling daring or off-the-cuff, check out my [suggestions]. YUM.

Ingredients

* 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
* 2 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
* 1/2 cup baking stevia [or sugar because why not – in fact, I’d love to try 1/4 cup each white and brown! Ooh, or turbinado!]
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 3/4 cups pumpkin [check out TCC’s pumpkin goop recipe!]
* 1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
* 3 Tbsp agave nectar
* Optional: 1/2 cup white chocolate [or butterscotch, if you’re into that] chips, 1 cup honey [or other] teddy grahams (lightly crushed)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. [If you’re using the optional ingredients, add them at the end!] Mix wet into the dry using a spatula (or your hands) until everything is well-combined and oats are coated with wet ingredients.

3. Place granola on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then stir granola around. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until granola is golden brown and crisp. Take the granola out of the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.

4. Stir in the optional ingredients, then store in an airtight container for up to a week [if it lasts that long!].

Wednesday Perk-Up! (16-22 August)

Running a little late this morning, but I’m blaming that on having no good coffee to perk me up! I hope your mornings are a little more eventful and a LOT more caffeinated!

I know I missed the past two perk-ups — sorry about that. So much going on at the office and in life that I slipped behind a bit. But no worries, I’ve got plenty on the warmer here for you today!

(If you ever want to be featured in TCC’s Wednesday Perk-Ups, by the way, just shoot me a message! I absolutely love including people in this!)

 

When Witches Go Riding Writing

Tori Zigler: Two new publications!

So I received word from Tori that she has two more books published, one of which is absolutely free! This girl is seriously a talented writer, and I can guarantee that you’re going to love this fairy tale and collection of heartwarming tales of much-loved pets over the years.

 

Sam Curtin: “Dark Cell” novella on Amazon!

If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to also check out her Facebook pages for news, discussion, and other fantabulous offerings!

 

Colleen @ Urban Earthworm: Step Away from the Shampoo

I’ll admit, I haven’t used shampoo in years, relying on conditioner to keep my hair clean. Shampoo’s not at all good for a curly girl like me! Colleen takes it to a whole new level by eliminating shampoo and conditioner, and she says her hair “has [never] been cleaner or in better condition”. She describes the harmful chemicals that can be found in shampoo and conditioner, and while she doesn’t seek to convert, she sure does a hell of a job teaching!

The most frustrating thing about all this scary stuff in all these products we use every day? It’s utterly and completely UNNECESSARY. Marketing and mainstream media have lead us to believe that we need to shampoo our hair every day, to wash with bubbly soaps and foamy toothpastes, and slather ourselves with all sorts of concoctions and potions promising results we know we will never get. I mean, let’s be honest; I can soak in a tub of beauty products up to me ears for 6 months, and I’m still not going to look any more like Zooey Deschanel when I get out.

 

Food for Thought

Australia: Big tobacco loses High Court battle over plain packaging

So. I should preface this by saying that I AM asthmatic, likely a result of my mom smoking while pregnant with me (hey, it was the ‘80s, what did they know!), though the reason hasn’t been proven. Considering I still get asthma attacks when around smoke and other irritants, I’ve been pretty up on smoking laws, bans, and packaging.

Recently, there was some discussion about plain packaging in the US, which was struck down as unconstitutional as the government’s opinion on smoking cannot constitutionally be required to appear on the merchandise of private companies. Plus, it might hurt sales.

… don’t even get me started on “smoking is bad” being an “opinion”. But anyway.

Nothing like a good scare to get people to stop smoking.

In Australia, a landmark case bucked the trend by ruling that plain packaging laws are constitutionally valid, and would require cigarette packs to be green and have large, graphic health warnings, with the manufacturers’ brand  names appearing in small generic fonts.

I personally think this is a great achievement. Smoking – from firsthand to thirdhand – has proven to be a deadly habit, one that has been marketed to consumers as a product not necessarily bad for your health. While everyone’s complaining about “nanny state!” and so forth, realize that this isn’t a ban on the sale or consumption of the product, but a dose of the realities of consuming these things.

In a prepared statement, Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, said, “With so many countries lined up to ride on Australia’s coattails, what we hope to see is a domino effect for the good of public health.”

I, for one, certainly hope so. :)

 

Born This Way Foundation

As a repeat from my last Perk-Up!

Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, the Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2011 to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.

We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, to be empowered and to make a difference in the world. Together, we will move towards acceptance, bravery and love.

 

MORE AWESOME: American Apparel: Legalize Gay

In the fall of 2008, Proposition 8 passed in California, striking down the legalization of same-sex marriage. Since that time, several states across the country have voted to legalize same-sex marriage, or recognize those performed in other states.

With many of our employees and customers identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, we are a company that is vocal about our support for the protection and advancement of gay rights, and we hope that the rest of our fifty states take the necessary steps toward equal rights for all, and legalize same-sex marriage.

Visit legalizegay.com for more information on the initiative.

 

Local Brew

Every Sunday, 1:00pm-5:00pm: Open Hearth Foundation Pagan Book Drive
1502 Massachusetts Ave SE, Washington, DC  20003

Got Books? Got Tarot Decks?

We will be collecting donations of books, periodicals, and tarot decks at the OHF Library in the DC Pagan Community Center.

This event is for you because …

We, Pagans, tend to love our books. However…

Maybe you have a few duplicates…

Maybe you have read a few once and just know you probably won’t get to them again, but others will definitely enjoy them…

Maybe there are some you bought and just know you won’t get to reading them and, really, books should be read…

Maybe you just don’t have any more room and you know you have to make a sacrifice for the greater good…

The OHF Pagan Library is constantly building our collection and you can help! Stop by, bring us your books, check out the library!

The Open Hearth Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Decaffeinated: Blissful News

This Month in Holidays

Be sure to check out our NASA Goddard-provided list!

(Thank you to HolidayInsights.com for this list!)

Month:

  • Admit You’re Happy Month
  • Family Fun Month
  • National Catfish Month
  • National Eye Exam Month
  • National Golf Month
  • Peach Month
  • Romance Awareness Month
  • Water Quality Month
  • National Picnic Month

Weekly Events:

  • Week 1 National Simplify your Life Week
  • Week 2 National Smile Week
  • Week 3 Friendship Week
  • Week 4 Be Kind to Humankind Week

Daily:

1 National Raspberry Cream Pie Day

2 National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

3 National Watermelon Day

National Mustard Day first Saturday
4 U.S. Coast Guard Day

5 Friendship Day - First Sunday in August
5 International Forgiveness Day – First Sunday in August
5 Sisters Day – First Sunday in August
5 Work Like a Dog Day

6 Wiggle Your Toes Day

7 National Lighthouse Day

8 Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day - now that’s nasty!

9 Book Lover’s Day

10 Lazy Day
10 National S’mores Day

11 Presidential Joke Day
11 Son and Daughter Day

12 Middle Child’s Day

13 Left Hander’s Day

14 National Creamsicle Day

14/15 V-J Day – which date do you mark the end of WWII?

15 Relaxation Day - now this one’s for me!

16 National Tell a Joke Day

17 National Thriftshop Day

18 Bad Poetry Day

19 Aviation Day

20 National Radio Day

21 Senior Citizen’s Day

22 Be an Angel Day
22 National Tooth Fairy Day – and/or February 28

23 Chinese Valentine’s Day/Daughter’s Day – 7th day of 7th Lunar Month
23 Ride the Wind Day

24 Vesuvius Day

25 Kiss and Make Up Day

26 National Dog Day
26 Women’s Equality Day

27 Global Forgiveness Day
27 Just Because Day

28 Race Your Mouse Day -but we are not sure what kind of “mouse”

29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day

30 Frankenstein Day
30 Toasted Marshmallow Day

31 National Trail Mix Day

 

Yoga Journal: Summertime Ayurvedic Kitchen Cures by Ashley Pitman

One of the things I love about Ayurveda is that it challenges us to get crafty in our kitchens and come up with natural healing remedies.

This hands-on approach really gives us the opportunity to take responsibility for our own well-being by knowing how to respond to our body without immediately heading to the drugstore.  For example, there are simple ways to cure summertime ailments like sunburn, bites & stings, hangovers, bad breath and heartburn with ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen.

If you’ve ever felt curious about ayurveda and natural cures that come right from you kitchen, this post is for you…

 

Espresso Shots: News with a Kick!

LOL-worthy: QWOP

Had to share this again, because WOW. (Also, hope y’all enjoyed the closing ceremonies!)

You are Qwop, our small nation’s sole representative at the Olympic Games.

  • Use the QWOP keys to move your legs.
  • Ideally, you will run 100 metres…
  • … but our training program was under-funded.
  • Remember, it’s not about whether you win or lose.

Stitch11: Size 0-3 month Princes Crown

This crown is perfect for a new little girl in your life! Very easy, incredibly manageable. I was able to whip out one in under 30 minutes. :) Find the free pattern at the link above!

Wednesday Perk-Up! (26 July – 1 August)

Good morning, lovelies, and a very happy Hump Day! Celebrate by, well, humping those you love. (Weird? Maybe. Random? Most likely. Awesome? Definitely!)

The brew I’m enjoying this morning is Starbucks DoubleSHOT Energy, white chocolate flavored. You KNOW I had to grab that once I saw it at the convenience store! It’s not as good as their fresh-brewed hot stuff (lol, I said “hot stuff”), but I was in serious need of serious caffeine today. And it doesn’t stop there: I’m meeting up with an awesome friend and talented writer, Sam, for a second serving after work today! Mmm mmm, coffee and friendship. They go together like peanut butter and banana.

… or whatever combination you prefer. Don’t judge!

(If you ever want to be featured in TCC’s Wednesday Perk-Ups, by the way, just shoot me a message! I absolutely love including people in this!)

ETA: DUH BLESSED LUGHNASADH!!!!!!

Lammas Prayer

 We give reverence to Our Lord and Our Lady
On this feast of the first harvest.
We thank you for your patronage,
And for your love.

We offer these These First fruits

Of our fields,
Of our hands,
Of our hearts,
Of our minds,
Of our souls.

And we offer this ancient prayer.

“Grant O Lord and Lady Thy Protection;
And In Thy Protection, Strength;
And In Thy Strength, Understanding;
And In Thy Understanding, Knowledge;
And In Thy Knowledge, Wisdom;
And In Thy Wisdom, Justice;
And In Thy Justice, Peace.”  

Copyright © 1 August 2012 ~ WolfSong All Rights Reserved 

When Witches Go Riding Writing

Short and sweet this week, as many of these are recaps!

Trish Veilleux: Remember When… You Raised Six Girls?

Forgetting one’s life is tragic – something we all hope will never happen to us or a loved one.  But for one woman, my mom, a beloved mother of six, it has happened.

This is a true story and a recounting of some of the ordinary and extraordinary moments that occurred in that very special woman’s life while raising her children – all girls.

My illustrations represent some of the greeting cards created over the years to convey my love for her and my gratitude for all she did.

(Again, a portion of the proceeds will be going to Alzheimer’s research!)

 

Eliora: Enchanting Elegance for your Magickal Life

An absolutely incredible Pagan artisan and very good friend, Eliora has a handcrafted gift to meet your every need! She has everything from besoms to altar accessories to gift sets, and everything in between! Be sure to check out her shop, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

 

Tori Zigler: Special price on her books, “Mr. Pumpkin-Head and Other Poems” and “Witchlet”!

One more week left!! Throughout the month of July, an excellent wordsmith and good friend Tori Zigler will be selling her books on SmashWords at half price! I personally own her collection of poems and will be taking advantage of her book, and y’all should, too!

To take advantage of this offer, simply go to my author page at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz and add one or both of my books to your cart, then enter the coupon code “SSW50″ at the checkout phase.  Since both books are half price, it’s basically an option for anyone who hasn’t got them yet to buy one of my books and get the other one for free! But this offer is only available throughout July, so don’t wait too long to take advantage of it, or you may miss your chance!

 

Sam Curtin: “Dark Cell” novella on Amazon! FREE for a limited time!!

If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to also check out her Facebook pages for news, discussion, and other fantabulous offerings!

 

Seba @ Southern Fried Witch: Unveil My Johnson

Yes, it’s just as funny as it sounds. ;) This entry from a new friend, Seba, attempts to define what a Southern Witch is, and in the process, she weaves an incredibly heartwarming and silly tale about her experiences as a Pagan in the Bible Belt.

And so?  What’s a Southern Witch?  Hmmm.  Well . . .

I am a storyteller, word-giver, respectful, disdainful, oathe-keeping, chicken-frying, baby-birthing, crunchy, spicy, legend-making, tomato-growing, community-building, tattooed righteous bitch.  I can shoot a gun, season an iron skillet, can beans and make love like someone with something to prove.  My disapproval is hard earned and hard lost, as is my approval.  My respect of dogs, front porches and peach cobbler is only rivaled for my adoration of old folks, 1960 somethin’ trucks and church suppers.  I understand our speckled history, find myself in the thick of it often and wouldn’t move north of the Mason Dixon line if you paid me in gold.  My temper is a flash fire, my forgiveness is forever, but my memory is as long as the Tennessee River.

Oh yes… y’all gon’ love her. ;)

 

Food for Thought

Chick-Fil-A-Holes

This week’s Food for Thought features a fast food chain we love to hate… which is fitting, as they apparently love to, too! I’m not even going to rant about this one, as the series of subsequent articles pretty much say it all.

No no, wait, I do have one thing to LOL about, and to say, “Seriously, shut the fuck up”: “[Chick-Fil-A] then states that it will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender … Our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

 

Born This Way Foundation

In completely opposite and more awesome news!

Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, the Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2011 to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.

We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, to be empowered and to make a difference in the world. Together, we will move towards acceptance, bravery and love.

 

MORE AWESOME: American Apparel: Legalize Gay

In the fall of 2008, Proposition 8 passed in California, striking down the legalization of same-sex marriage. Since that time, several states across the country have voted to legalize same-sex marriage, or recognize those performed in other states.

With many of our employees and customers identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, we are a company that is vocal about our support for the protection and advancement of gay rights, and we hope that the rest of our fifty states take the necessary steps toward equal rights for all, and legalize same-sex marriage.

Visit legalizegay.com for more information on the initiative.

 

Local Brew

Every Sunday, 1:00pm-5:00pm: Open Hearth Foundation Pagan Book Drive
1502 Massachusetts Ave SE, Washington, DC  20003

Got Books? Got Tarot Decks?

We will be collecting donations of books, periodicals, and tarot decks at the OHF Library in the DC Pagan Community Center.

This event is for you because …

We, Pagans, tend to love our books. However…

Maybe you have a few duplicates…

Maybe you have read a few once and just know you probably won’t get to them again, but others will definitely enjoy them…

Maybe there are some you bought and just know you won’t get to reading them and, really, books should be read…

Maybe you just don’t have any more room and you know you have to make a sacrifice for the greater good…

The OHF Pagan Library is constantly building our collection and you can help! Stop by, bring us your books, check out the library!

The Open Hearth Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

 

Friday, 3 August – 7:00pm-9:00pm: Full Circle UUCA: Full Moon Circle
Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, 333 Dubois Road, Annapolis, MD  21401

This event is open to women and teen girls with their moms/adult female. UUCA’s Full Circle program runs full moon circles for women each month at 7 pm on the Friday closest to the Full Moon. More info is available from Susi at sdf.c@comcast.net.

 

Friday, 3 August – 6:30pm-9:00pm: The Family Circle: Family Lammas Ritual & Potluck
Peerman’s House, 17312 Queen Anne Bridge Road, Bowie, MD

Bring a dish to share. If your family has any special food issues (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc), make sure to bring something that you know they can eat. Otherwise, bring what you like, and just make sure you remember what is in it to let others know! :) Also, we will have bread & fruit juice for the ritual — Let us know & bring alternatives if necessary if there are foods that your children are sensitive to. Weather permitting, the kids can use the big playset in the yard before the ritual, and there are various spaces in the house/deck/yard where kids/adults of various ages can congregate.

 

Sunday, 5 August – 5:00pm-7:00pm: “Manifestation” Mixed Art Exhibit
49 West Coffeehouse, Winebar & Gallery, 49 West Street, Annapolis, MD  21401

G’day Everyone, I just wanted to extend an invitation to you all and invite you to be a part of my new collection Called “Manifestation”. Every piece is one of a kind. It is a visual, mixed media, Intuitive art show, like never before. I will be doing an unforgettable “LIVE” intuitive body painting for all to appreciate.

(I SO wish I could go to this, but we already have plans! If anyone goes, please let me know how much it ROCKED.)

 

18-19 August – 10:00am-8:00pm: KarmaFest 2012
Fair Hill Fairgrounds and Racetrack, 378 Fair Hill Drive, Elkton, MD

KarmaFest is Maryland’s Ultimate Holistic/Psychic/Yoga Festival and we are so happy to be bringing KarmaFest back to Cecil County.  This year the Cecil County KarmaFest will take place at Fair Hill in Elkton.  This is a new venue for KarmaFest, however, we found during last year’s Cecil County festival that Cecil County was excited for the experience and came out in large numbers, thus we outgrew our first venue.

(We’ll most likely be here, by the way. :) )

 

Decaffeinated: Blissful News

This Month (August! Already!!) in Holidays

Be sure to check out our NASA Goddard-provided list!

(Thank you to HolidayInsights.com for this list!)

Month:

  • Admit You’re Happy Month
  • Family Fun Month
  • National Catfish Month
  • National Eye Exam Month
  • National Golf Month
  • Peach Month
  • Romance Awareness Month
  • Water Quality Month
  • National Picnic Month

Weekly Events:

  • Week 1 National Simplify your Life Week
  • Week 2 National Smile Week
  • Week 3 Friendship Week
  • Week 4 Be Kind to Humankind Week

Daily:

1 National Raspberry Cream Pie Day

2 National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

3 National Watermelon Day

National Mustard Day first Saturday
4 U.S. Coast Guard Day

5 Friendship Day - First Sunday in August
5 International Forgiveness Day – First Sunday in August
5 Sisters Day – First Sunday in August
5 Work Like a Dog Day

6 Wiggle Your Toes Day

7 National Lighthouse Day

8 Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day - now that’s nasty!

9 Book Lover’s Day

10 Lazy Day
10 National S’mores Day

11 Presidential Joke Day
11 Son and Daughter Day

12 Middle Child’s Day

13 Left Hander’s Day

14 National Creamsicle Day

14/15 V-J Day – which date do you mark the end of WWII?

15 Relaxation Day - now this one’s for me!

16 National Tell a Joke Day

17 National Thriftshop Day

18 Bad Poetry Day

19 Aviation Day

20 National Radio Day

21 Senior Citizen’s Day

22 Be an Angel Day
22 National Tooth Fairy Day – and/or February 28

23 Chinese Valentine’s Day/Daughter’s Day – 7th day of 7th Lunar Month
23 Ride the Wind Day

24 Vesuvius Day

25 Kiss and Make Up Day

26 National Dog Day
26 Women’s Equality Day

27 Global Forgiveness Day
27 Just Because Day

28 Race Your Mouse Day -but we are not sure what kind of “mouse”

29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day

30 Frankenstein Day
30 Toasted Marshmallow Day

31 National Trail Mix Day

Espresso Shots: News with a Kick!

LOL-worthy: QWOP

Seriously, what is this.

You are Qwop, our small nation’s sole representative at the Olympic Games.

  • Use the QWOP keys to move your legs.
  • Ideally, you will run 100 metres…
  • … but our training program was under-funded.
  • Remember, it’s not about whether you win or lose.

Craftster: Melted Bead Suncatcher

Posting this again, as I LOVE IT. :)

You’ll need:

  • a bag of cheap plastic beads, in whatever colors you want
  • metal baking pans or ceramic dishes, in whatever sizes and shapes you want
  • an oven (duh)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lay down a single layer of beads in the pan or dish and shove it in the oven for 20 minutes or until hardened — keep checking so they don’t burn.

After the beads cool, flip over the pan and gently coax your creation out. Drill a hole through the top, string some fishing line, and hang ‘em!

I’m thinking this would be a fun project for kids, too!

Lemon Sugar Cookies for Le Petit Prince

Le Petit Prince

I attended a wonderful baby shower this past weekend to celebrate a new life to be brought in the world by Christian and his partner, Ali. It was a ton of fun, and it was great to meet so many new people! There was a ton of food, a few games, and best of all, time spent with the happy couple as they were surrounded by their families and friends.

I love baby showers. :D

The week prior, I helped as much as possible on little details and getting things put together. It was seriously the least I could do, as Christian was so generous with his Shamanic healing! The baby shower had a very loose The Little Prince theme, based off the book Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, to welcome their own little prince.

The Little Prince, tending to his volcano.

When I heard about this, the first thing I thought was, ooh! I can make cookies! (I tend to think that any occasion is one just made for baking, lol.) Once I had my mind set on that, I started to ponder ways in which I could work with their theme, when I remembered that the Prince traveled amongst the stars as he went from asteroid to asteroid, finally to land on Earth.

And so began my search for a star-shaped cookie cutter. ;)

Ingredients

For the cookies:

* 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
* 2 cups white sugar
* 4 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 5 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* zest from 1 lemon

For the frosting:

* confectioners sugar (about 5 cups)
* milk (by the Tbsp)
* juice from 1/2 lemon
* splash of vanilla extract
* yellow food coloring

Method

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. If your butter is too hard, leave it in the sun to soften a bit. ;) Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

2. Stir in the flour in 1-cup increments, zesting the lemon over the mix between each cup. Add baking powder and salt, then blend until the dough starts to form into a ball.

3. Leave the dough to chill for at least an hour. Overnight is best.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into star shapes, then place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 6 minutes in the preheated oven. You’ll want the cookies to come out with just a tiiiiiny bit of color on the bottom. Adjust the time and temperature as necessary — Matt and I had to eat the first batch as the bottoms were too browned. (No loss there. ;) ) Cool completely before frosting.

6. When the cookies are cool, make the frosting! Add 3 cups confectioners sugar to a bowl and add lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add milk in increments until the desired consistency is reached — you’ll want it not so thick as you can’t dip the cookies in, but not so runny that the icing falls off the cookies. It’s not hard to reach this, promise!

7. Once the consistency is reached, add food coloring until the icing is bright yellow. About 5-10 drops will do. Frost the cookies by dipping them in, allowing the leftover frosting to run off, then placing them on a cooling rack to dry. Allow icing to dry overnight.

 

ETA: OOH! I should say, this recipe yields around 60-80 cookies. The stars are about 3″ across, and this recipe made 80 of them. 80. So keep that in mind, lest you be building your own universe of stars. ;)

Wednesday Perk-Up! (05-11 July)

I’m one of those “to the ends of the internet!” types who finds random articles and saves them for discussion. Unfortunately, those articles never actually get discussed, so they instead sit in their lonely Firefox tab, waiting for me to hover my mouse over their URLs and share with you all!

It hit me recently just how many of those tabs I tend to have open… certainly far too many, a sure sign of my procrastination. Today’s count is a lowly 10, but believe me, I’ve once had so many tabs that I had to open up a new browser! (Thereby causing another problem: Having to go not only through different tabs, but through different windows, too. Too much hassle, way too many tabs.)

Inspired by all these blasted tabs and mostly by Kallan’s Sunday Stews (which are delicious and nutritious and packed full of vitamins and minerals to get you through your week!), I’d like to start weekly postings with things I find around the internet related to faith, food, and fun that I think might interest y’all. I may or may not include personal commentary… depends how I’m feeling. ;)

So with that, welcome to Wednesday Perk-Ups at The Coexist Cafe, a collection of articles to pique your interest and fuel your mind! Almost as addictive as caffeine, half the calories. (But who’s counting, right?)

 

When Witches Go Riding Writing

Tori Zigler: Special price on her books, “Mr. Pumpkin-Head and Other Poems” and “Witchlet”!

Throughout the month of July, an excellent wordsmith and good friend Tori Zigler will be selling her books on SmashWords at half price! I personally own her collection of poems and will be taking advantage of her book, and y’all should, too!

To take advantage of this offer, simply go to my author page at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz and add one or both of my books to your cart, then enter the coupon code “SSW50″ at the checkout phase.  Since both books are half price, it’s basically an option for anyone who hasn’t got them yet to buy one of my books and get the other one for free! But this offer is only available throughout July, so don’t wait too long to take advantage of it, or you may miss your chance!

 

Sam Curtin: “Dark Cell” novella now on Amazon, and she’s all around Facebook!

Another up and coming Pagan writer and dear friend of mine! Her novella just went through an overhaul so it can be easily read on your Kindle or other mobile device. And at $0.99, it’s a steal. I own it, I’ve read it, and I love it… and I know you will, too!

After being wrongly imprisoned for the murder of two Gorgan children, a Crizenian by the name of Ness is broken out by two teenage boys. The boys then embark on a fantastical journey full of magic, suspense and corruption to prove Ness’ innocence.

You can also find Sam around Facebook (and may I be the first to say, I LOVE the play on her last name for her publishing house!):

 

Renee Olson: Dealing With Anger

In a post that seeks to reason whether we truly need to “forgive and forget”, Renee shares with us an insightful and raw post about anger and how to manage it. What does it mean to “forgive and forget”? Is this something we’re absolutely mandated to do? What about the Wiccan Rede… if bound by it, does forgiving and forgetting harm us?

At times I find myself at odds with protecting myself and with my religion.  As a solitary follower of Hecate, I don’t have a great deal of dogma associated with my faith.  I don’t have to forgive as instructed by the Christian Bible or even as Buddha suggested in the story about the man who spit in the face of another.

It is said that Hecate does not forgive easily and she holds a grudge.  As Goddess of the Witches, Hecate holds a special place for me, and is why I believe she chose me.  You see, I need someone to watch over me and protect me.  I need that extra dose of confidence.  I believe that’s why she’s here with me.

Thank you, Renee, for such a thoughtful post. Head on over to share your own thoughts!

 

Featured Podcast: The Wigglian Way

I swear, it’s not just because we just visited Canada that I’m obsessed with all things Canadian, including their Pagans. I have been for years, at least this duo, Mojo and Sparrow of the Wigglian Way. I started listening to their podcasts back when I was a wee little witch, and while I took a little hiatus (I was having a hard time syncing up my iTunes, not anything against them!), I was delighted to see they were still on the air.

In fact, they’re not just on the air… they’ve exploded! Having recently celebrated their 100th episode, they had a rowdy good time on that show — seriously, if you listen to no other podcast of theirs, please at least listen to that one. ;)

Their topics are engaging, their music stylings are amazing (did you know Mojo was a musician?!), and their delivery is flawless. They’re an amazing team, something you’ll discover the first time you listen to them. Love these guys!

 

Food for Thought

Mark Bittman: A Chicken Without Guilt (Finally, Fake Chicken Worth Eating)

I’m no stranger to the lauding of fake meat products as a way to eat more ethically, but I’ll admit that converting people over to the veggie side is difficult when fake meat in fact tastes so… well, fake. Not that it’s a bad thing — I’ve personally come to prefer chik’n over chicken, veggie burgers over cheeseburgers, and the like.

But if your average carnivore is anything like Matt, you’ll know that you tend to prefer the “real” stuff! And finding a suitable replacement is all but impossible, even if your desire to eat ethically only makes you feel guilty as you give a mock smile while “enjoying” your mock meat.

Even I’m impressed with this stuff!

Then I came across this article by Mark Bittman, arguably one of my favorite food bloggers around the ‘net. And he’s omni! In his quest to find delicious, satisfying, cruelty-free or -reduced food, he’s tried his fair share of soy and tempeh and seitan, about as much as any non-vegetarian can take. When he came across this fake chicken product, he had his doubts:

[I]n October I visited a place in The Hague called The Vegetarian Butcher, where the “butcher” said to me, “We slaughter soy” — ha-ha. The plant-based products were actually pretty good — the chicken would have fooled me if I hadn’t known what it was — and I began to consider that it might be better to eat fake meat that harms no animals and causes less environmental damage than meat raised industrially.

And about fake chicken in general:

I love good chicken, but most of the chicken we eat doesn’t qualify, and the question becomes more compelling as meat imitators gain sophistication. The vegetarian meat I ate in The Hague isn’t widely distributed, but Quorn, a mushroom-based product, can be pretty appealing in some instances, Gardein has made some advances in soy-based products and at least one new product is a better-than-adequate substitute for chicken in things like wraps, salads and sauces. I know this because Ethan Brown, an owner of Savage River Farms, came to my house and fooled me badly in a blind tasting.

[Editor's Note: He was fooled not once, but twice, and this is a guy who does this stuff for a living!]

 

Decaffeinated: Blissful News

This Month in Holidays

Be sure to check out our NASA Goddard-provided list!

(Thank you to HolidayInsights.com for this list!)

Month:

  • National Blueberry Month
  • National Anti-Boredom Month
  • Unlucky Month for weddings
  • National Cell Phone Courtesy Month
  • National Hot Dog Month
  • National Ice Cream Month

Week Event:

  • Week 2 Nude Recreation Week

Individual Days:

1 Build A Scarecrow Day (first Sunday in month)
1 Canada Day
1 Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
1 International Joke Day

2 I Forgot Day
2 World UFO Day

3 Compliment Your Mirror Day
3 Disobedience Day
3 Stay out of the Sun Day

4 Independence Day (U.S.)
4 National Country Music Day
4 Sidewalk Egg Frying Day (YOU DON’T SAY)

5 Work-a-holics Day (even though everyone is on holiday)

6 National Fried Chicken Day

7 Chocolate Day
7 National Strawberry Sundae Day

8 Video Games Day

9 National Sugar Cookie Day

10 Teddy Bear Picnic Day

11 Cheer up the Lonely Day
11 World Population Day

12 Different Colored Eyes Day
12 Pecan Pie Day

13 Barbershop Music Appreciation Day
13 Embrace Your Geekness Day
13 Fool’s Paradise Day

14 Bastille Day
14 Pandemonium Day
14 National Nude Day

15 National Ice Cream Day (third Sunday of the month)
15 Tapioca Pudding Day
15 Cow Appreciation Day (go out and give a cow a hug)

16

17 Peach Ice Cream Day
17 Yellow Pig Day

18 National Caviar Day (something’s fishy here)

19 National Raspberry Cake Day

20 Moon Day
20 Ugly Truck Day- it’s a “guy” thing

21 National Junk Food Day

22 Hammock Day
22 Parent’s Day  (fourth Sunday in July)
22 Ratcatcher’s Day

23 National Hot Dog Day
23 Vanilla Ice Cream Day

24 Amelia Earhart Day
24 Cousins Day

25 Culinarians Day
25 Threading the Needle Day

26 All or Nothing Day
26 Aunt and Uncle Day

27 Summer Olympics (every 4 years)
27 Take Your Pants for a Walk Day

28 National Milk Chocolate Day

29 National Lasagna Day

30 National Cheesecake Day
30 Father-in-Law Day
31 Mutt’s Day

 

Yoga Today: Find Your Cosmic Dancer

 


Espresso Shots: News with a Kick!

Smiling Silversmith: Coffee Ring for Coffee Lovers

Uh. Ma. Zing.

OMG, are you serious?! This thing is INCREDIBLE!! I want to make it mine!

My birthday is in November, in case anyone’s wondering… 6.75, please… ;)


ONTD: Is it wrong to call this 20-year-old who punched a street harasser a hero?

A very emphatic FUCK NO!! If anything, that’s awesome!

WARNING
This particular shot might be triggering due to talk of rape threats.

Look. Rape culture is one of my sticking points, a topic that (aside from food and faith, of course) speaks to me on a very intimate level. So when I hear that someone got exactly what was coming to them, a swift punch in the face in response to a terrifying threat? I can’t help but cheer to myself while fighting back the urge to shout this good news from the rooftops.

The fact that this kind of talk is still accepted and even perpetuated by the mistaken notion that women (and other gendered victims) are the cause of rape, as they “had it coming” or were “leading on” the perpetrator” or other such vile excuses, is exactly why this problem is so prevalent.

In response to some asshole who, after a noticeably drunk girl quickened her pace from a couple leering men, said that “Fucking cunt, [he'd] take her into the back alley and show her what [he's] made of”, Kelsey of the now-defunct Tumblr Ignite My Thoughts swung around and decked him right in the face, succeeding in injuring her hand and, much more importantly, bruising the asshole’s ego:

“I hope your mother/girlfriend/sister/friends/everyone asks what happened to your nose. I hope you have to explain that you thought it’d be funny to joke with your friend about raping the drunk girl across the street. I bet you didn’t think that the girl who was walking in front of you would turn around and punch you in the face. You’re a filthy piece of shit and I don’t regret this at all.”

Now she’s not only facing possible charges for her act — she willingly went to the police station and turned herself in after learning that her Tumblr went viral — but the responses she received were absolutely abhorrent. Of note:

“Hey you crazy bitch, he was joking about rape, not raping the drunk bimbo, not even plotting on raping her, he was JOKING,” one person wrote. “Wow. And you seem proud of what you did. Seriously, you’re the one who deserves to get raped.”

The message that comes across here is that women take rape threats too seriously, don’t lighten up in the face of direct threats of physical violence, and need to shut their mouths and just realize that he was joking zOMG why are you so sensitive. Arguments that, as an astute LJer already pointed out, are linked to a well-known reaction called gaslighting.

And don’t even get me started on the degrading language this, ah… gentleman had for a woman who happened to drink. I imagine a man who did the same would also be called a “bimbo”, yes?

Anyway, I could go on and on about this topic, but I’ll let it rest for now. Don’t want that espresso to taste too bitter. For additional recommended reading, check out: