Wednesday, January 26, 2011

B is for Bat Wool
ABC Wednesdays 

(I'm going to try and pick up ABC Wednesdays again, since I lost my way on it last year.  I've missed 'A', but coming in on the second letter of the alphabet isn't too bad considering how this year is going so far!)

Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog

From Shakespeare's Macbeth, of course, though the better-known lines are

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

I first saw this performed on stage during a field trip with my high school Senior English class, in which we were of course studying the text at the time.  Having always been attracted to the creepy, the dark, and the scary, I LOVED this scene.  (I loved it so much, I believe it had a great deal to do with my ongoing love of Shakespeare.)  The lighting was dark and  the stage obscured by floating mist.  The Witches were scary in their rags and warts, and the huge cauldron was properly glowing with an eerie green light.  Delightful!

I obviously still have fond memories of the scene, despite the stereotypes perpetuated by it, and how offensive I find them since becoming a Witch myself.  (And it begs the question, do we judge literature by our own standards or by the standards of the time in which it was written?)

Anybody up for bat wool or dog's tongues? (I happen to have two of the last item just lying around!  ;>   )

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Like Ice In My Drinks, Not On My Driveway

I need help, Dear Readers.  Due to the stormy winter weather over the past few days, the pavement which makes up our longer-than-normal driveway and the "parking pad" in front of our garage is now for all intents and purposes an ice-skating rink.  The only thing giving it any traction at all is the thin dusting of snow on top of it.  And we have no idea what to do about it.

We don't like using salt or ice-melt due to environmental reasons, but even if we were willing to do so in this instance, we can't 'cause the puppies play on the parking pad and eat the snow around it.  (I don't know why, but they seem to prefer eating snow to drinking water.  Maybe they're hot.)  And our resident rabbits hop across pad and driveway constantly.  "Pet-safe" ice melt quite frankly doesn't work very well, and is prohibitively expensive for such a large area besides.  And I'm not sure how "safe" it would be in such large amounts.  On top of all this, the ice is too thin for our ice breaker tool to get any kind of bite, so we can't remove it manually, either.

Do any of you who grew up in real winters have any advice?  Native Canadians?  American Yankees?  Russians?  Swedes?  Mongolians?  Is there any way to get it off before the Spring thaw, or do we just need to give up and buy ourselves (and the dogs) ice skates?

This Texas girl and her South Carolina/Florida husband are stumped.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back to Your Semi-Regularly Scheduled Reading

Alright--I've been off for almost a month, it's pretty much time to get back to my regular schedule, and to my computer!  You see, around our house, we have holidays starting at the Winter Solstice (around December 21st), through New Year's Eve and Day, and continuing through both DH's and my birthdays in the first half of January.  We still have our anniversary in the first week of February,  but that's usually a weekend or less--not nearly so disruptive.  And then there's Valentine's Day, which some Pagans refer to as Aphrodite's Day, but that, too, takes a weekend at most, if we even choose to celebrate it.

It actually used to be worse, when we DID celebrate US Thanksgiving.  At that point, our holiday season would start in the last week of November, and continue through all the Christmas parties and New Year's celebrations and birthday merriment right through until now.

Combine all the revelry during the holiday season, and add to that the amount of vacation DH usually takes at this time of year, and you can imagine how different our lives are for this past month!  Nonetheless, I'm determined to get back to normal!  I caught up on a bunch of personal tasks yesterday, and today I'm getting back to this!

Of course, I'm simply trying to get back in the habit, such as it was.  I don't have anything earth-shattering or particularly insightful to say. 

Maybe tomorrow.  :)