GivingTuesday ~ December 1, 2020

From GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. GivingTuesday was born and incubated at the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City. GivingTuesday is now an independent nonprofit and a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts, and everyone has something to give.

If you’ve given to a charitable organization you may already be aware of GivingTuesday. If you’re hearing about it for the first time, GivingTuesday’s website has suggestions on how YOU can get involved.

It doesn’t have to be about money, although that’s always appreciated. (Thanks to wonderful sponsors at their end, two smaller charities I support are matching my donations!) Do you know someone (maybe a neighbor) who may need some help shopping or running errands? Offer to give them a ride. Local food pantries can always use help – especially now. The opportunities are ENDLESS.

And (I know I’ve said this before) if any of you already shop on Amazon, use the AmazonSmile page to login. You do not have to create a new account (and you don’t need to be a Prime Member) – just use your existing account/password! From there you can choose an organization to support. AmazonSmile has thousands to choose from, both large and small.

I support Milo’s Sanctuary and Special Needs Rescue based in Los Angeles, and my roommate supports Black Jaguar White Tiger.

Amazon donates .05% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.

Why not get started now:

20 21 Small Acts of Kindness that Will Spread Love and Make Somebody’s Day:

  1. Do a random act of kindness.
  2. Buy a coffee for the person behind you in the drive-through.
  3. Leave quarters at the laundromat.
  4. Buy a gift from a friend’s small business.
  5. Return all the carts at the grocery store.
  6. Take a walk and pick up any litter you might see. (I actually observed a neighbor routinely doing this when I went on my walks in Hootersville.)
  7. Send a “thinking of you” text to somebody you haven’t spoken with in a while.
  8. Send a handwritten letter or crafty greeting card to a friend or family member.
  9. Leave a glowing review for a local small business you love.
  10. Rake a neighbor’s leaves for them.
  11. Leave your favorite book in a “little free library.” You can find one near you with this map.
  12. Leave an inspirational note (For someone you know OR even someone you don’t know very well – because who doesn’t like inspirational notes?).
  13. Sneak a five dollar bill into your partner or roommate’s pocket.
  14. Call the library and pay somebody else’s library fees.
  15. Find a few things around your space to donate, like towels to an animal shelter or clothes to a women’s home. Or take your delivery box and mail it back with donated items for Amazon’s Give Back Box program. (I didn’t even know they DID that. Now I do.)
  16. Leave a box of cookies on a neighbor’s doorstep. (I get a kick out of doing this!)
  17. Steal a chore from your partner or roommate’s to-do list.
  18. Make a small donation to a charity you support. (If everyone donated just $5…it adds up.)
  19. Write a thank you letter to a service member. You can send your letter to Operation Gratitude to be included in a future care package to our troops.
  20. Write a thank you note to the nurses at your local hospital, first responders at the fire station, or librarians at your favorite library.
  21. Leave cold drinks and snacks out for your postal carrier and delivery drivers. Add a sign that says “Thank you delivery drivers!” and “Help yourself.”

courtesy of Apartment Therapy

I’ll bet you can think of 20 more.

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Tomorrow’s Full Moon Lunar Eclipse

Tomorrow’s Full Moon Lunar Eclipse is the last full moon before the Winter Solstice (December 21, 2020 here in the Northern Hemisphere.)

Traditional Pagans refer to this as a Mourning Moon.

The November full moon is also called Reed Moon by the Celts and also marked the start of their new year. Native Americans referred to it as the Beaver Moon because November is the time of year when beavers begin to take shelter in their dens.

The Mourning Moon marks the end (or death) of Autumn and reminds us that the nights are getting longer and colder. For our ancestors it was a reminder of the cycle of death and rebirth.

Wiccan Correspondences:

  • Colors:  Grey, dark blue, deep purple
  • Gemstones:  Lapis lazuli, turquoise, topaz, and apache tears
  • Incense:  Patchouli, jasmine
  • Trees:  Cypress, alder, hazel
  • Deities:  Bastet, Isis, Hecate, Astarte
  • Herbs:  Thistle, betony, verbena, fennel

Full moons are known to bring emotions to a head and with the days getting shorter many of us may feel gloomy, irritable, depressed, or suffer from low energy. Be kind to yourself. Allow whatever emotions you are feeling to wash over you, then let them go. Full moons also shine a light on our inner Shadows and are an excellent time for self-reflection and meditation.

eclipse
Derived from the Greek noun for “the abandonment”, “the downfall”, or “the darkening of a heavenly body”.

In 2020 we’ve had a total of seven eclipses – a rarity since most years have 4-5. Eclipses are powerful cosmic events signalling big endings and usher in great change. The November 30, 2020 Full Moon Lunar Eclipse occurs in the sign of Gemini and will affect those born under Sagittarius and Gemini the most; however, all signs will feel its influence. Gemini rules the intellect and communication and governs the 3rd House of communication, transportation, and local community. Gemini energy is changeable, indecisive, sharp-witted, impulsive, and a little unfocused at times. Be flexible. Give yourself – and others – space to “do your own thing”. People may have difficulty communicating clearly. It’s important not to become defensive and go into attack mode. Stop, take a breath, and tell yourself to “chill.” (Or my favorite, “It’s mice nuts.”)

Additionally, although full moons are an excellent time for letting go of negative energies, a full moon eclipse is NOT the best time to perform release rituals. (Save them for the next full moon.) Instead meditate on all you have to be thankful for. Send blessings out to those who have paid you a kindness.

What’s a penumbral eclipse of the moon?
Under a Full Moon
Farmer’s Almanac: Full Moon Names
Dark Star Astrology
Rising Woman
Astrology King

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Halloween 2020 ~ Part 3

Yeah, I know. I’m a bit late with this last Post in the series. (I got side-tracked.) But – better late than never!

In Part 2, I promised you a tour of my living spaces. So here goes.

I’m going to do a backwards round-up beginning with the communal living area downstairs. Although the place is still in a bit of a shamble (due to boxes still sitting around waiting to be unpacked and cool stuff waiting to be hung on the walls), I did snap a few photos.

(Once we get this area straightened up and decorated properly, I’ll post more pictures.)

Now let’s go upstairs to my “ensuite” bathroom/bedroom.

ensuite
adj. (of a bathroom) immediately adjoining a bedroom and forming part
of the same set of rooms
n. a bathroom that immediately adjoins a bedroom and forms
part of the same set of rooms

Bathroom

Bedroom

I even strung some purple lights around the window. (I loved these so much I waited until this week to take them down!)

Well, that’s a wrap, and remember:  There’s never a wrong time (or place) to celebrate SPOOKINESS. Bwahahaha…

Halloween 2020 ~ Part 1
Halloween 2020 ~ Part 2

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Thanksgiving Memories

Reading stories about how people will be facing the Nazi-like restrictions on gatherings this Thanksgiving had me reminiscing…

When I was young, we would sometimes converge at my Uncle Bob’s house in San Francisco for Thanksgiving, but for the most part it was just the three of us. Mom cooked a typical turkey dinner – which was overkill and would see us eating leftovers (Can you say “turkey sandwich”?) for what seemed liked weeks.

After I turned 18 and moved out on my own, we’d take our Thanksgiving celebrations to fine-dining establishments. To this day, my fondest holiday memories are the ones where we got all dressed-up and went out to eat. I can remember dinner-plate-sized Caesar salads tossed at the table and escargots with lots of french bread with which to mop-up the garlic butter sauce (This was before I became a vegetarian.), and Cherries Jubilee for dessert. I dearly miss those special times with my Mom and Dad.

After I got married, my ex-husband and I would swap holidays. One year we’d go to my family for Thanksgiving and spend Christmas with his folks. The next year, we switch it up…and so on. When my Mom died we’d invite Dad over to our place each year – until he met a wonderful lady (Ruth), who would become his wife and my step-mother, and then holiday get-togethers would be split between three households.

As far as holiday traditions go, I can’t recall much after my divorce. But I DO remember occasional dinners out with Dad and Ruth. Most holidays I spent by myself, but I really didn’t mind. I’d watch movies and hang-out with my cats. One Thanksgiving a couple who were close friends (and aerobics students) of mine came over brandishing a turkey thigh (Yes, the kitties got some!) while I cooked all the extras.

When I moved in with my ex-boyfriend (and very best friend), splitting-up the holidays between families became de rigueur once again. After my Dad passed away and holidays with his family occurred sporadically, we chose to create our own traditions – which lived on even after we split-up and became roommates.

Then I moved to Hootersville… Never part of any family and not given the opportunity to make friends, I spent the last two years with an individual who didn’t believe that holidays were “special”. So Diego and I celebrated together, in our own way.

Now that I’m back home in Santa Clara, I am excited to be hanging-out with my two best friends – and roommates. This will be our first Thanksgiving together, Ramses and I (Too bad we’re having Tofurkey®. I may have to come up with something special for him.), and the first one for all three of us. I have much to be grateful for.

My heart goes out to all who cannot be with their loved ones today, but I hope everyone has at least one good friend to “hang-out” with – whether that friend has four legs or two!

Together, let’s raise a glass – you and I – and toast to friendships, family, health, and happiness for one and all!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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