Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Samhain Lore (October 31st)

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means "End of Summer", and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two "spirit-nights" each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.

Originally the "Feast of the Dead" was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the "wandering dead". Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person's fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow's Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch's New Year.

Symbolism of Samhain:
Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death.

Symbols of Samhain:
Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms.

Herbs of Samhain:
Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Sage and Straw.

Foods of Samhain:
Turnips, Apples, Gourds, Nuts, Mulled Wines, Beef, Pork, Poultry.

Incense of Samhain:
Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg.

Colors of Samhain:
Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold.

Stones of Samhain:
All Black Stones, preferably jet or obsidian.

Monday, October 22, 2007

They Call Me Crazy!

Mm-ma-ma mara
Mm-ma-Mm mara

Mm-ma-ma mara

Taking pictures with honeys
Spending all mo-mo-money
If you want it so badly
Then why don't you say so, lady.

You'll be hurt if you'll kiss me
You gotta gotta believe me
But if you want it so badly
Then why don't you say so, lady.

And If you'd wanna take it back
You don't wanna take it back
You don't wanna take it back, my love
Don't you wanna love?
Babe, you don't wanna take it back
Don't wanna take it back
Back, back, back.

They call me Crazy Loooop
Gotta gotta be crazy loooop
Gotta get a life
Oh, mom, I've tried

Gotta gotta be lonely-lon-lon-lon.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mommy’s essentials

These items must be in your bag, or you’re bound for trouble!

* Hospital or insurance card.

* 2 bras (breastfeeding bras, for those who intend to nurse).

* 6-8 pairs of underwear (you can leave the frillier ones at home—you’ll probably end up staining a lot of them).

* 2 or 3 night gowns or pyjamas that button at the front (great when nursing)

* A warm bathrobe.

* Comfortable slippers and sandals.

* Sanitary napkins (some are especially designed for new mothers).

* Toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, shampoo, hair brush, deodorant, contact lens case and solution (if needed) and hair dryer.

* Clothing to wear when you leave the hospital.

For mommy’s comfort

Don’t forget these items: they’ll make your stay at the hospital a lot easier and are bound to pick your mood up…

* A thermal water atomizer (Evian, Vichy, etc.) will be nice and refreshing during labour, since you won’t be able to drink.

* A few bottles of water, some fruit, and a few granola bars (for when you get the munchies after giving birth).

* A small pouch containing your favourite makeup items for when you leave the hospital.

* A good facial moisturizer and lip balm (childbirth will cause your body to be very dehydrated and your lips are bound to chap).

* A comfortable pillow.

* A bottle of non-greasy massage oil (for when your man offers himself to rub your back and feet).

* A breastfeeding cushion.

* A bottle of hand-sanitizer (such as Purell).

For mommy’s entertainment

Despite the frequent visits from friends and family, you’ll probably have several moments of quiet when you may feel the need to relax a bit.

* An mp3 or CD player (with your favourite CDs).

* A few easy reads (such as magazines, short novels, etc.).

* A camera (don’t forget batteries and some film or an extra memory card).

* A list of people you’ll want to call to tell the good news (and their numbers).

* A pen and notebook (so you can jot down any important info or tips from your doctor and nurses during your stay—it’s hard to remember everything).

* Make sure to have some small change on you (to use in vending machines, public phones, etc.)

Baby’s essentials

These are the last items on our list, but definitely not the least… Make sure you’re not missing anything for your beautiful newborn.

* 5 pyjamas (at least one that’s a little bit bigger than the others—hey, you never know!)

* 5 newborn bodysuits.

* Diapers (some hospitals provide them, but it’s quite rare).

* 1 pacifier.

* An outfit for the trip home (take the weather into account).

* A warm blanket.

* 4 bibs (to protect baby’s clothes).

* Socks.

* A cotton bonnet.

* 3 small towels (to put on your shoulder when burping your baby).

* Baby soap and shampoo or a bottle of baby wash.

* A pair of small mittens (to keep him or her from scratching her face).

With all the above-mentioned items in tow, you should be just about ready for the big day.
Good luck!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tips For Homeowners to Conserve on Heating Bills

Insulate walls, ceilings and floors as required. Savings in fuel costs in a well insulated home over an uninsulated home will pay for the cost of proper insulation in a few years.

Install storm windows and storm doors. These items of good quality and properly installed are a major factor in fuel savings as the reduce both heat transmission and air leakage.
Caulk all cracks around door and window frames and at the foundation.
If storm window and doors are not installed, use good weatherstripping to reduce air leakage.

Close outside doors promptly and securely.

Keep doors of an attached garage closed.

If the garage is heated, maintain the temperature at about 40F.

If the basement is to be heated, or there is no insulation in the floor above the basement, insulate the walls and seal cracks at the foundation, windows and doors. If possible install storm sash.

If the house is built over a crawl space, make sure the ventilating grills are closed and air tight during the heating season. Insulate the walls of the crawlspace if possible.

Closing the damper in the room with the thermostat can cause the rest of the house to overheat.

Lower the thermostat settings in unoccupied areas and close doors to those areas. A 10% setback overnight will save fuel.

For best performance a thermostat should be located on an inside wall where it will not be affected by sunlight. Do not locate on an outside wall, on a chimney wall, over a radiator or in direct drafts.

Keep the windows closed and locked when not opened for ventilation.
Close the fireplace damper when the fireplace is not in use. With the damper open, the warm air in the room will be drawn up the chimney. Install a set of glass doors on the fireplace which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use or when the fire is very small.

Have your heating equipment serviced and kept in top working condition. A dirty furnace wastes fuel.

Insulate heating pipes or ducts in an exposed or unheated space.
Make sure inspection doors and cleanout openings on your furnace are closed. Prevent air leakage into the combustion chamber.

If an automatic draft regulator is supplied on the flue pipe, make sure the damper swings freely.

Replace or repair hot water faucets if they drip. Always close securely after use.
Do not let carpeting block the bottom air opening of a baseboard heating unit.
Periodically examine the fins on the pipe inside the baseboard heating enclosures. If they have a lot of lint or other material on them that will restrict air flow vacuum or otherwise clean them.

A major source of air infiltration into homes is through wall outlets and switches. To stop the infiltration, install wall plate gaskets and safety plug covers.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Updates & Things

I know, bad blogger...
I havn't updated in awhile.
Things been rather busy accually
Work for one, since I got this promotion I havent had much time to be online and when I do I hop into City Of Heroes for a bit, or chat.
I been to tired to do much else really.
I know I didn't need to take this promotion, I just did for the money accually.
10/hr can't go wrong ya know?
It is a fun job though, plus saving money and paying a few things back :)
Also hoping for a visit to my grandparents this spring for there 92nd and 94th birthdays.
Things at home been well too, can't complain :)
I am just really over tired
Well time to hang out with hubby for a bit before I go to sleep
Work calls tomorrow at 1p until 6p
I don't really wanna go honestly, I really miss being at home taking care of the house =/

But before I go, I found that seal generator again that was on the boards once upon a time and I bought it to the surface again...

Check out mine for City of heroes :)

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