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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Rambles in August and Some Slow Stitching

Those dog days of summer are upon us when the heat of summer sets in what seems to be forever. The humidity so thick it feels like you could move it with your hands, if only.  Living here in north central Florida for 23 years certainly has some challenges, but in the long run I've endured the summers, learned to adapt and eventually thrive.

Gardening was a challenge in the beginning, I learned the hard way you can't plant the way I did it up north because the rainy season hits and all is lost.  Trust me I didn't learn that my first or second year I was here, but I did learn and for the most part my garden did thrive. What I did learn for me is to not plant a vegetable garden anytime after the first week of March or all will be doomed, now that's just for me there may be many gardeners whose vegetable gardens thrive in the summer, but for me after too many losses I just don't plant veggies in the summer. That's okay though we have several nice Farmers Markets in the area so I can get my fresh produce from them and help support locally grown foods. Flowers for the most part do well a I have learned to buy native and tropical plants which has made a big difference, but even in the heat and humidity and torrential downpours the flowers begin to droop from the heat.3

Friday evening after some heavy rainstorms the Oak tree in front of my house lost one of his beautiful branches falling to the ground without making a sound.  Lucky for me it was a branch on the front of the tree and didn't come crashing down on my car.
My son moved his car the he and I dragged it onto the front lawn area where it fell, part if it was on the neighbors mail box, it doesn't look all the big but it took the two of us to drag it the few feet past my mailbox there in the photo.
What amazes me is that something so large fell silently to the ground, I don't even recall any wind blowing up with the rainstorm.  After the rain I always go out and walk the property to check for damage.  One of my small potted plants was on its side so I righted it surprised it fell over, I didn't here any wind, then my son says look at the end of the driveway and there it was this huge pile of green just sitting there. I shake my head wondering at nature's way, a few months ago we had tornado warnings with 65 mph winds and not one branch fell from the tree, just a few small twigs, Friday we had barely a breeze and there in my yard sits a downed tree branch, mother nature sure is fickle.  The branch will be cut up later in the week.

I haven't done much more on my crochet project this week but I did manage to put in three more rows.
The Summer of Love piece will be finished in a few days and then off it goes in the mail for the exhibition.
I have a new project in the works last night I put in quite a few stitches. This project will be put aside until the Summer of Love is done.
I did take a day for myself on Friday to accompany my sister and niece Tessa shopping for back to school clothes, school starts back on Thursday, August 10th, she will be attending Pre-K this year, my time does fly.  We had a nice girls day out, found everything Tessa needs until winter and made it home before the rains came.

I will linking my post today at Kathy's Quilts https://kathysquilts.blogspot.com/2017/08/slow-sunday-stitching.html   stop on over and see what other talented bloggers are slow stitching today.

UPDATE August 7th

I did manage to put in quite a few more stitches yesterday finishing the roots of the tree and moving onto the tree top and the bright silvery full moon.

 I decided to use a slippery rayon satin floss to give her a bit of a glow, the floss is DMC S712 Mother of Pearl which is very fitting for the moon don't you think?  This is a 6 strand floss  I separated it using 3 strands.  Its quite a slippery thread so it took me a few minutes to get the needle threaded but once threaded its stitched up like a dream.  I've had the satin floss for a few years I'm not sure if its still available at local shops but you can pick some up on Amazon and Ebay.  I will link up today at Supermom No Cape here:  http://www.supermomnocape.com/vintage-embroidery-monday-stitchery-link-party-122/
Stop on over and have a look at what other bloggers are hand embroidering today and maybe you will be inspired to link up your project too.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Warm wishes for a wonderful Lughnasadh/Lammas

The Lughnasadh is a time to celebrate the first of three harvest celebrations (Mabon and Samhain being the other two). It marks the middle of Summer represents the start of the harvest cycle and relies on the early crops of ripening grain, and also any fruits and vegetables that are ready to be harvested. It is greatly associated with bread, as grain is one of the first crops to be harvested.  The Celts celebrate this festival from sunset August 1 until sunset August 2 to honor  the God Lugh. It is the wake of Lugh, the Sun-King, whose light begins to dwindle after the summer solstice.

 The Saxon holiday of Lammas celebrates the harvesting of the grain. The first sheaf of wheat is ceremonially reaped, threshed, milled and baked into a loaf. The grain dies so that the people might live. Eating this bread, the bread of the Gods, gives us life.  

One traditional Lughnasadh custom was the construction of the corn dolly or corn maiden. This figure, braided into a woman's form from the last harvested sheaf of grain, represented the Harvest Spirit. The doll would be saved until Spring, when it was ploughed into the field to consecrate the new planting and insure a good harvest.
My Corn Doll Witch
While I love the idea of plowing the corn doll to insure a good harvest, my corn doll witch sits on a shelf among a few other harvest season trinkets throughout the harvest festival season.  

If you are interested in non-traditional seasonal celebrations  you can find them within the pages of these books.

If you follow a Goddess path and are looking for simple rituals and ideas for living in a more sacred, mindful way every day, I highly recommend this book it is absolutely worth tracking down a used copy if you can.
From the back cover: In 2007, the Seruntine family relocated to a secluded Nova Scotia homestead. They made it a point to live gently upon the land by growing and raising their own food, living in balance with the surrounding forest, and honoring Nature's spirits. In return, the land and the spirits looked after them. Seasons of the Sacred Earth follows life deep in their woodland hollow through a magical year.
And another book I have on living the around the Wheel of the Year or Wheel of Life and enjoying all the ways to celebrate, and again if you follow the Goddess path you will find much among the pages.