A Slight Summer Squall

Mother Nature ushered in Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1, 2022) with a little shower that morning. The temps were in the 80’s which made for a very humid day, but when we ventured outside to run some errands the air smelled fresh and clean.

The squall did not last long and the sky gave way to some beautiful sunsets that evening.

At 11:00pm the temps were still in the low 80s. I LOVE warm Summer nights. I revel in them. When I was re-designing the Concrete Jungle this year I did it specifically with that in mind. My Magickal Space.

You may have to turn the volume up because I was whispering (All our neighbors were asleep.) Ramses was having the time of his life. We have seldom had the chance to enjoy a late evening in the patio.

Blessed Be to All.

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In the summertime when the weather is hot…

What else says “Summer” like taking in a baseball game? Nothing, that’s what. We were right behind home plate yesterday to watch the San Jose Giants beat the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at Excite Ballpark. (Got some burnt knees to prove it, too. There was absolutely no shade where we were sitting. Next time: sunscreen.)

Sweeeeet.

Tim enjoyed beer and a Polish dog…

while I chose wine (!) and nasty ballpark nachos. (Seriously, that’s what I call them.) One of the very few times I indulge in unhealthy food. The only thing here that wasn’t “suspect” was the pickled jalapeños. LOL

Life’s for living, yeah, that’s our philosophy…
– Mungo Jerry

(Ear worm)

More Sounds of Summer

Boys of Summer (Don Henley)
(For some reason this song reminds me of a scene in the film Suddenly Last Summer)

Summertime Girls (Y&T)
California Girls (David Lee Roth)
Summer in the City (The Lovin’ Spoonful)
Hot in the City (Billy Idol)
Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
Cruel Summer (Bananarama)
Cruel Summer (Blestenation Mix – from the Blue Crush soundtrack)
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini (Bryan Hyland)
Summer Nights (from the Grease soundtrack)

(Actually, ANYTHING from the Grease soundtrack…)

Summer Nights (Van Halen)
Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffet)

Just about everything by The Beach Boys
Anything by Dick Dale

and…drum roll, please:
Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer (Nat King Cole)

Finally, summer means heirloom tomatoes. Today I made a “Deconstructed Caprese sandwich Salad”. Tomatoes, chunks of sourdough & mozzerella, fresh basil, and plenty of EVOO. Yum.

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Lá Bealtaine

Yesterday, Ramses and I rescued a bee. It was smallish and had the same markings as a honey bee. Somehow it had fallen into a pile of empty pots. Ramses evidently heard it because he would NOT leave that area alone. Upon closer inspection I saw the bee with a tiny spider (by size comparison) attempting to encase her. Although the poor thing was probably dying (either naturally or from spider venom) I still wanted to save her. So I scooped her up very gently with a trowel and deposited her in my Datura’s pot where she could get some sun if she wanted. She was trying valiantly to rouse herself. Ramses could still hear her buzzing her wings and made a bee-line (!) to the pot. That’s when we called it an afternoon and went back into the house. Unfortunately, when I checked on the bee this morning I found she had perished. We do what we can do, leaving the rest to Mother Nature. R.I.P. little one.

So today saw the last of 2022’s Black Moons: A New Moon/Partial Solar Eclipse occurred at 1:28pm here on the West Coast. Like the other three Black Moons this year, it marks the day before either a holiday (Imbolc, Beltane) or other day of significance (Ash Wednesday, April 1st). This New Moon takes place in the sign of Taurus. New Moons kick my ass. I have plenty of energy and positivity surrounding Full Moons, but just the opposite a few days before each New Moon. (Hmm…)

Tomorrow is May 1st. May Day. Beltane. In Irish the name for this festival day is Lá Bealtaine (la bel-te-nah) and represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Rituals to ensure prosperity, health, fertility, and the well-being of one’s livestock and other assets were performed, as this was a time to tune in to Nature’s tides of strength, growth, and abundance.

Beltane (“Bright Fire”) is a FIRE festival so it was customary to build a huge bonfire and then dance around it; however, if one doesn’t have the luxury to build a bonfire (Safety first!), substitute a red candle in a firesafe bowl. Light the candle and let it burn down completely. Dancing around it is purely optional – but fun!

White and yellow flowers are used traditionally. In 19th century Ireland flowers such as primrose, rowan, hawthorn, gorse, hazel, and marsh marigold were placed at doorways and windows in the form of bouquets and/or garlands.

All Springtime veggies and meats are eaten on Beltane. I’m going to cook a batch of Bannock tomorrow (Unleavened breads shaped into round, flat cakes which are then fried or baked). Mead was often drunk at Beltane but the traditional drink is May Wine which is customarily served as a punch with strawberries and Sweet Woodruff leaves.

I picked-up some Sweet Woodruff from the nursery last year with the specific purpose of using it to make my own May Wine. In fact, I am steeping some in my favorite white wine (Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling) right now!

The wine is plenty sweet without adding honey and I infused the herb with Magickal intent before using. Cannot wait to try it.

Let me leave you with a blast from the (70s) past – A song written and performed by Marc Bolan and his band T. Rex (of “Bang A Gong” fame) which contains the line: “Ride a white Swan like the people of the Beltane”. (Gorgeous man who died way too young. Actually, now that I see the band again most of them were drop-dead gorgeous.)

Have a bitchin’ Beltane!!

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Playlist::Stationary Bike [Eclectic Mix]

An odd-ball mix of songs which range from moderate (Tarzan Boy) to super fast (The Rockafeller Skank – in some parts) and from pop (The Monkees) to 80s rock (Mötley Crüe). I’m now wearing 2 lb. weights on my wrists and trying various speeds and resistance during the workout. These songs are in no particular order except for the last two which I use to wind-down.

Songs without embedded videos contain links to them on YouTube (Which will open in a new browser window).

8 songs
30 minutes

East Bound and Down
from “Smokey and the Bandit”
Jerry Reed & Bill Justis
The Rockafeller Skank Fatboy Slim

Fell in love with this song after hearing it in the movie “She’s All That”.

Valleri The Monkees

Cocaine Cowboys CRASHDÏET

The Dirt (Est. 1981) (featuring Machine Gun Kelly) Mötley Crüe

Blood on Blood ToxicRose

Elderberry Wine Elton John
Tarzan Boy Baltimora

The opening theme for AEW wrestler Jungle Boy
(aka “Jungle” Jack Perry, son of Luke Perry)

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Small Spectacles

The panoramic view of a landscape. The Olympic Games. A sunrise or sunset. Fireworks on the 4th of July. Great wars. An erupting volcano. The Sistine Chapel. Redwood forests. The cinematic showmanship of Cecil B. DeMille. All can be considered spectacular spectacles.

spectacular
n. an elaborate and remarkable display on a lavish scale

But for me, well, I prefer spectacular on a SMALL scale. I like to zoom in, observing close-up rather than far away. I am reminded of a 1996 documentary (Of which I own a DVD copy.) entitled “Microcosmos“:

Take a meadow in France that appears to consist of nothing but grass and show us what wonders there are to be seen if you lower your eyes and look at the very very small… Filmed from a bugs-eye view and accompanied by beautiful soundtrack, the movie took three years to film. “One great movie to restore your sense of wonder.” Indeed. It is Magical. Nature is Magickal.

I ordered this Ludisia discolor (Jewel Orchid) back in July. Sometime in October I noticed a tiny green leaf sprouting from the soil of its 2″ pot. Fast-forward to November 30th and it presented itself as a miniature begonia! (A “twofer” – two plants for the price of one!)

Or take this Heliamphora minor which I got last January. On October 27, 2021 it began to develop a flower stalk which grew up and out of CarnieVIL.

Finally, tiny orange mushroons have sprung up next to my Darlingtonia californica.

Grandeur on a micro scale.

We might think we are nurturing our garden,
but of course it’s our garden that’s really nurturing us.

– Jenny Uglow

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