Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Great Podcast to Curl Up and Listen To

The last week or so I have been suffering from the plague, so I have been diligently drinking herbal teas like my friend Rebecca recommends, and curling up in a blanket and re-listening to all of the episodes of the Celtic Myth Podshow.

Many find Celtic mythology difficult to read and digest, and the Celtic Myth Podshow is an excellent way to learn the stories. The show hosts Gary & Ruth are true and wonderful story tellers, with great music and sound effects to boot.

Right now they are going through a cycle of Irish mythology, starting with the story of the Tuatha Dé Danaan and the Fir Bog meeting up and going toe to toe, to the story of Manannán mac Lir.

Sprinkled throughout the episodes are other lore, book reviews and short story readings, poetry, music and news.

Next it looks like they will soon be covering Welsh mythology (yay!). So curl up and have a listen and enjoy!

Also check out their great blog to get up to date info on all things ancient and Celtic.



Friday, February 27, 2009

Thrifty & Nifty Spring Cleaning Recipes

Photo from Guido Gerding

In the spirit of Spring cleaning, here are a few recipes that are eco-friendly, cheap and easy, with ingredients that you might already have floating around your house.

Surface Cleaner for the Kitchen and Washroom:
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 cups water
10 drops of lavender essential oil

Place it in a clean spray bottle, and just wipe down during use. Lavender is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral; it also smells luverly. For sinks, toilets, and tubs I like to sprinkle some baking soda and then spray this concoction then scrub.

Oven cleaner (or other large greasy messes):

4 or 5 drops tea tree oil
About 1 cup of baking soda or borax
About 1/4 cup of hot water

Mix altogether in a paste and plaster on the inside of the oven (or other mess). Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then scrub and rinse. Make sure to clean thoroughly.

Carpet deodorizer:

Enough cornstarch (depending on how large the area is)
Enough dried lavender flower powder
Enough dried thyme powder

Sprinkle on and leave for about 1 hour, then vacuum.

Laundry Soap:

1 and 1/2 cups castile soap
1/2 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sea salt
1/4 cup baking soda
15 drops lavender oil
10 drops tea tree oil
5 drops thyme oil or
5 drops jasmine oil

This will make about a gallon of detergent. Place in a clean container, and use about 1/4 cup per load.

Dish Soap:

2 cup castile soap
1/8 cup baking soda
10 drops tea tree oil
5 drops lemon oil

Place in a clean container.

Furniture Polish:

2 cups olive oil
1/4 castile soap
15 drops orange blossom oil

Place in a clean container. To use, take a clean soft cloth, dip in the polish (just a small amount goes a long way!) and apply in circular wipes.

Room Spray:

2 cups distilled water
20 drops of your favourite essential oil(s)

Place in a clean spray bottle.

If you have any recipes, please share them! Happy cleaning ;)



Thursday, February 26, 2009

West-land escapades

With coffee to my lips (instant, coffee maker is broken), cinnamon on my fingers (from a giant sticky bun) and Delphonics in my ears, i type to you about some of my exploits from my visit with my lover (soon to be recognized lovers under the law)

~ ~ ~

Cities visited during my 47-ish day voyage in British Columbia

Non-ferry trips: Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Delta, Tsawwassen

Ferry trips: Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicam beach, Courtenay

~ ~ ~

Books aquired during my hideaway in British Columbia

Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture
by Ariel Levy

{i initially bought this book based solely on the title. Obviously, i read the title wrong. i was under the impression that it was about females that are pro “raunch” culture.... women who feel strong and secure in this identity. i was quite mistaken and perhaps a bit idealistic. After i got it home, i soon realized half way through the first page, that although Ariel Levy was going to try and portray a balanced view of “pro-raunch” & “anti-raunch”, she most certainly herself leans very much against “it”. As i continued reading through the anti-sex work and anti-trans rhetoric, i realized she was not doing such a great job at portraying an unbiased argument. i have since finished this book, and although i disagree with all of her “arguments”, and find some of this book quite offensive to transgendered individuals as well as other groups; it was important for me to read. It simply solidified for me the reasons why it would have to take a huge step, on the part of ‘feminist’ culture, to be able to have a place for me and other "raunchy" women.}

Eyewitness travel: Morocco by DK ‘books’

{i have always had a powerful link to Morocco, even though i have yet to visit there. i have a deep-rooted craving for the desert as well. The Sahara in particular. This book is vibrant, informative, and speaks about the various areas in a uniquely non- snobbish way.}

The Chemical Muse: Drug use and the roots of Western Civilization

by: D.C.A. Hillman, PhD

{Although i am only 60 pages into this magical book, it has blown me away from the beginning. It speaks historically about how in Ancient Rome and Greece, drugs were an everyday element of a free society. They were not just simply available, “but vitally necessary for use in medicine, religious ceremonies.” This book handles the highly debated topic of drug use and the connection with freedom of thought during the Classical world. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to know what those who have translated ancient texts have left out of our world's history.}

The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography
by: Wendy & Larry Maltz

{My lover was the one who found this book. i was sitting on the floor of the book store, surrounded by piles of books, as i went through a few more stacks before leaving. He comes fluttering down the aisle holding this hard-cover book with a white cover with red text. He proclaims loudly “this book looks hilarious, I must get it for you”. He could not have been more right. This book holds more side-splitting quotables than any pro-porn woman could ask for. We spent countless nights, curled up under the covers, reading chapter after chapter of Mr. & Mrs Self-Righteous {Maltz} words about; how addictive porn can be, and how watching porn can lead you down the dark alleys where you will eventually end up watching child pornography because your porn thirst can no longer be quench by anything else. Forever changed into a violent criminal because of what they seriously describe as “The Porn.” Unfortunately, one cannot take comfort in the fact that the authors are simply writers with a love for humorous fiction. This book contains stories from their “real” therapy clients. Painful and authentic; one can only hope that they don’t work in the therapy field for much longer; damaging any more lives with their destructive theories and dangerous ideologies.}

A separate reality: Further conversations with Don Juan
Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan
both written by: Carlos Castaneda

{The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of knowledge, is the first book in Castaneda’s Don Juan series, which was given to me by Laurel. Since then, i have been on a page turning adventure into these realities. i have a hard time putting into words how these books have affected me, so i am not going to even try. Except to say, that if you have yet to read this series of books, you are most certainly missing something within your life.}

~ ~ ~

Some photos of my B.C. journey are currently being processed, and should be up in a few days. They should compliment nicely, the wisdom & love i re-discovered all over again....


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sustainable Food Security Education Programs

Currently in Canada there are two post secondary programs available to take online in the realm of food security and sustainable agriculture. I am personally super excited by this, as I can take these courses from the comfort of my own home!

The first one is the Food Security program through Ryerson University (based in Toronto). Here is a brief program description:

Program Highlights

Research and practice across local, national, and international communities: these will be the core components of your studies. The Chang School’s Certificate in Food Security will introduce you to the following topics:

hunger and poverty
food policy and programs
community development
urban food security
global nutrition

Our food security teaching team is recognized internationally in the field. Having lived and worked around the globe, they understand the challenges of implementing food security in Canada and the developing world.

You may choose to take one or two courses, or register for the entire six-course Certificate in Food Security. A benefit of studying with The Chang School is membership in a highly interactive, supportive online learning community. Most courses in the Certificate in Food Security can be completed online. By taking our unique courses via distance education, you'll be interacting with peers from all over the world!

The other program is called the Sustainable Local Food for All Canadians and it is through the St. Lawrence College (based in Kingston). Here is a brief program description:

Program Description

This distance education certificate program is designed to meet the rising interest in, and need for, "how to" training for local food system development that is sustainable, socially just, economically dynamic and ecologically specific to the countrysides, cities and regions of Canada. The curriculum is being developed in collaboration with food and farm related organizations who have expertise to share, training needs to be addressed, and positions to be filled.

Courses have a practical orientation and include problem-based and experience-based learning components. The focus is on how to change the food systems in the communities we live in. There is a particular emphasis on the challenges, lessons and successes learned in regions across Canada and beyond, with plenty of reading and discussion of models, concepts and ideas as participants analyze and compare problems over time and space and debate solutions relevant to specific communities, ecologies and economies.

Participants are welcome to take any individual courses they like. For the certificate, you will complete 3 required courses and 3 electives of your choice.

For more info on these programs, click on the links that go to their webbys.



Luverly of the Week: Friesian Mare & Foal