Sunday, October 8, 2017

Apple & Staghorn Sumac Jelly


I made this jelly about a month back for the first time, and definitely will be making it again! I used a really great recipe found over at the Thomasburg Walks blog.

If you are not familiar with staghorn sumac and how to harvest it, Wayward Spark has a very informative post that you can check out. I harvested mine back in August and left it out to air dry, before stashing it away in a jar to use throughout the rest of the year. If you are new to making jelly or canning, check out this article.

***One thing to note about staghorn sumac is that it is high in tannic acid, so keep boiling time for the juice limited.***

If you can, give this lovely recipe a try!


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Sláinte!

Laurel

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Gaelic Roundtable for September: Faith


This is my sixth post participating in The Gaelic Roundtable blogging project, and September's topic is Faith. The Roundtable asked:
"What gives you faith? What makes you believe in the Gaelic Deities, and why? How do you respond to those times when your faith is wavering? What do you do when your faith becomes too unstable, or “too hard to handle”? do you think that doubt is healthy when it comes to having faith? Why or why not?"
I think that in some ways faith/belief/trust comes naturally to me, to the point that the motto of one of my ancestral clans is Confido. So perhaps it's even in my DNA. ;)

While this is probably not really an influencing factor, I was brought up with the idea that faith is important. Even as a curious, at times skeptical child I still held on to this notion and that hasn't changed much since becoming an adult.

Don't get me wrong, I have a healthy skeptical streak in me and I almost always question things, but I think that belief in something, anything is important. It doesn't have to be religious or spiritual, it could be political, philosophical, or even just in oneself and those you love. Either way I think that faith is a must if one is going to keep hope.

Faith and hope bring comfort, and I am a huge fan of comfort. 

I believe in the Gods of the Gaels as well as other deities, although I choose to be devoted to the former. I can't say that I know that they exist or who they are exactly, but I have my ideas. I could be wrong, may be right, or perhaps a little bit of both. 

How I see them {as well as all deities and spirits} is not how they would be classically viewed in the Abrahamic sense. I don't believe in an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful deity. I think that their powers are finite, although they definitely have a lot more than I do. Which I think is kind of the point why us mortals benefit from forming amicable relationships with them.

Obviously I have my own personal reasons for believing in deities and spirits instead of being an atheist or at least an agnostic. That said, I am not going to trot out a laundry list of experiences, but will just say that I am either touched in the head or they exist at least on some level. 

Even though faith for me is important, so is doubt/skepticism. Blindly believing in something with no reasoning or benefit to oneself I think is more bane than blessing. This is especially true when dealing with leadership, risks and such. People who blindly believe are the perfect candidates to be duped or abused. 

Skepticism and questioning things are obviously important to the pursuit of knowledge, and to me knowledge is just as important as faith. 

I think that both faith and knowledge are important facets of our species. Faith and hope bring us comfort in life's hardships and the pursuit of knowledge is what helps our species strive through those hardships.  
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Sláinte!

Laurel

Friday, September 22, 2017

Reminders From Moss & Trees


I like to go to the woods to be reminded 


that there are things much bigger than us humans,


and that we are not permanent. 


In the overall picture we are just a blink of time,


and I am good with that. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

While Cares Will Drop Off Like Autumn Leaves....


"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." ~John Muir

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tending the Flame of Hope


Some of you have probably already heard of the lovely Tending the Flame of Hope project, which started this past January and is slotted to run until January 2021. It was started as a response to all the unrest and misery going on in the world right now. As a simple act of devotion of lighting a candle every day to spark hope in those who participate, and perhaps to bring some light and hope to others as well.

Upon hearing about the project I was inspired to participate, but realistically it is not something that I can do every day. Instead, I have slotted three hours every nine days to light my own flame, to pray, just sit and try and find my own hope. It is a time of reflection, of healing and thinking of ways how I can bring more hope into the world.

Brighid, bringer of peace,
Keeper of the communal fire-- 
May your flame bring us healing and hope,
May its light shine through the darkest despair. 


Blessings to you all,

Laurel