Saturday, February 21, 2015
Meet Stache, the newest member of the household! This guy showed up on my porch about a month and a half ago, skinny and desperate, so I made him up a bed on the porch and gave him a bowl of crunchies---and he never left :) I kept him living on the porch the whole time because I didn't know what diseases he might have had and didn't want to expose my other cats to him. I checked the various lost and found ads and polled the neighbors. No luck. I figured when I could afford a vet, we would scan him for a microchip.
Finally, I felt I could take him to the vet and get him checked out. First we looked for a microchip---he didn't have one. He was already fixed, however, so that was one less expense. Buuuuut....I had budgeted 100.00 for the visit, was told that was about what it would cost, and by the time we were done with the exam, I was looking at a 160.00 bill. I grimaced, pulled out the checkbook and wrote a check, knowing that I didn't have that extra 60.00 in my account. I figured the check wouldn't clear for a couple of days and I just prayed that I could come up with the 60.00.
The next morning I woke up and bingo---two sales in my Etsy shop. Halfway there. Then, got a call to do a little extra work at a client's house. Wham, the rest of the money, with just 2.00 over the mark. If I hadn't gotten this money, the bank would have covered the check, but it would have cost me 35.00 extra.
This is a principle I call "Always Just Enough". Being at the low-income end of the monetary spectrum, I am constantly juggling bills, extra expenses, crisis. And usually, I am coming in at just enough. There have been occasional fails and there have been times when friends have been instrumental in my survival (xoxo, you know who you are) but the bulk of the time is just enough and nothing to spare. It takes a lot of faith to live this way and not succumb to utter despair. However, when you have no other choice and just have to go on, you can kind of get into the rhythm of the "just enough" lifestyle. You discover you don't need a whole lot of extras and that the money you do spend is on worthwhile things. Like an adorable cat with a mustache :)
Thursday, February 5, 2015
|Making gnome soaps again! Easy with melt-n-pour soap base and a mold. Lots of cool molds on Etsy.|
|another one of my stamped stones|
|Love this circa 1950s ghost sign! The business is no longer there, hence the "ghost" part. There are whole blogs devoted to ghost signs.|
|A casualty of the recession. I liked the blue and yellow color scheme, though.|
|Mushrooms on a log|
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
We have just passed the Imbolc/Brigid's Day/Candlemas/Groundhog's Day marker. The important thing about it? These holidays mark the mid-point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, when the faint first stirrings of spring can be seen. Groundhogs aren't the only animals used to predict how long winter would last---I have read that badgers served this function in German folklore and hedgehogs in English folklore. I just happened to come across these adorable hedgehog cookies on Pinterest so I made them in honor of the day.
These festivals all have roots in fire festivals, as well, so candles and light are part of the celebrations. Brigid is, of course, a Celtic fire goddess and when Christianity took over the festival as Candlemas, they kept the fire focus by making it a day when the candles to be used in church ceremonies are blessed. In the Christian tradition, it also has to do with the purification of Mary after giving birth to Jesus, reflecting an earlier concept (and I am being very general here) of the Goddess recovering after giving birth to the God. But, as I have said elsewhere in this blog, all religions have a base root in the cycle of the seasons---back when people were more dependent on the land, it was of keen interest to them just how much longer winter might be around. While we grouse about how much more snow we might have to shovel (or, in my area, how much more rain there will be) our ancestors were concerned with starving to death. This is the reason one of the names for the full moon in February has traditionally been "The Hunger Moon".
I typically bring out my vintage Mary candle holder (whom I view as all Goddesses) and some of my shed antlers for a display. This year I included some moss as well as I have been collecting moss to make tiaras. I used battery operated candles on this altar, and real ones elsewhere.
In my opinion, observing these celebrations helps reconnect us not only to our past, but to the earth and sun, our life support system.
Spring will soon be here!