magenta: (Fog)
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

Nearly 100 years. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

JASNA 2013

Oct. 1st, 2013 12:22 pm
magenta: (Books)
The Jane Austen Society of North American Annual General Meeting 2013

I went )
magenta: (Witch's Hat)
Because DDB asked at the MnStf Meeting yesterday.

Caramel Frosting

1 stick butter

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan and add brown sugar. Over medium-low heat bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Return to heat and bring back to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Stir in vanilla and stir in powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. Spread onto cake while still workable.

magenta: (Witch's Hat)
It's her birthday (well, yesterday) and she has a bunch of new stuff up for all to see.

magenta: (Witch's Hat)
Does anyone know a good handyperson of any gender in the Twin Cities? I need repairs on the roof that a contractor suggested I use a "handyman" for, plus I have a number of little jobs, like replacing a doorknob.

I'm back

Jun. 24th, 2013 11:33 am
magenta: (Mpls skyline)
We have internet again, or rather, we have USI, instead of using the old computer with dial-up.
We still have branches on the roof, but the one on the phone line has been removed. There is a little damage to the roof, but I think just torn shingles.
We were without electricity for 16 hrs. I realized just how used to it I am. We need better emergency preparation.
magenta: (Witch's Hat)
I am thinking of having a Pampered Chef party in early March, after Marscon, but before Paganicon. I want to know if anyone is interested in attending, or even buying something from the catalog. Pampered Chef is fancy cookware, and some food. Or I could have a Tupperware party, if I could find a good Tupperware person. Or do you rate this sort of event only slightly better than a root canal?

[Poll #1894654][Poll #1894654]
magenta: (Witch's Hat)
This is true, checked out on Snopes, and got this email from my credit union:

We want you to know that some stores and businesses may begin charging you more when you use your credit card to make purchases.

Beginning January 27, stores and online businesses were given the ability to charge a “checkout fee” for every purchase consumers make when using their credit card. This fee was designed to help businesses recoup the processing cost of each credit card transaction, which ranges from 1.5 percent to 3 percent of the total purchase price. The checkout fee is capped at 4 percent of the total purchase price

Learn if the places you make purchases are charging the checkout fee by looking for signs posted on doors and sales counters, and printed on receipts. Additionally, online businesses are responsible for putting a notice on their homepage. If you don’t see any signs, the store is likely not going to charge you a checkout fee, but if you have any questions, make sure you ask.

The new checkout fees only apply to credit cards. You will avoid excess fees altogether if you use alternative forms of payment such as your debit card, reloadable prepaid card, checks, or cash.

magenta: (Default)
Is the Up-Goer Five Text Editor Some people are doing their job description, but I did my favorite poem.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we don't use our powers well:
Little we see in the green world that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, because they are too heavy!
The great water who bares herself to the sky;
The winds that will be crying at all hours,
Are picked up now like little roses;
For this, for everything, we follow not the music;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A person of the Old Ways of thought;
So might I, standing on this beautiful field,
See sights that would make me far less sad;
Have sight of the water god coming from his water;
Or hear his son make loud music with his mouth.
magenta: (Default)

My Nano writing is stalled. This is what I wrote this morning instead. It's still a work in progress.

The Write Land

November is the cruelest month, breeding
Writing out of the moribund mind, mixing
Memory and frustration, stirring
Dull minds with falling rain.
Summer kept us hot, sweating
Earth in heartless sun, feeding
Our lives with fresh veggies.
Autumn surprised us, coming over the Rocky Mountains.
When it snowed, we ducked into the gas station
When it stopped, we went on to the coffee shop
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
I am not gay, I am metrosexual; well, there was this boy once.
When we were young, living in the college dorm
We wrote poetry late into the night
Reading it in cellars to bongo drums
And telling each other we would be famous.
In a cellar, there is no place to go but up.
Now I read past midnight, and drowse in my cube.

Chicon 7

Sep. 13th, 2012 08:14 pm
magenta: (Default)
I promised a report a week ago. By the time we finished unpacking, doing laundry, catching up on mail, etc, the con crud, in the form of a bad cold, struck.

For anyone who is interested, here are my memories of Chicon 7. Read more... )

In a sentence - it was fun, there were thrills, but it took so much time, energy and money I don't know if I'll ever do it again. But I am glad I did this time.


Aug. 24th, 2012 06:03 pm
magenta: (Witch's Hat)
Elise is having a sale:

Looking is free (hee, hee, hee)

Also, I have been to the State Fair, and will post about it as soon as I have finished re-hydrating and resting. I didn't know it was going to get to near 90 degrees.
magenta: (Snow)
Since we are home instead of camping in extreme heat, it seemed appropriate to get ice cream just about every day.

Twin Cities Tour de Glace 2012 )


Jul. 1st, 2012 10:22 am
magenta: (Default)
Happy birthday [ profile] marykaykare!!


May. 31st, 2012 02:53 pm
magenta: (Default)
We are back from Wiscon, where we had a good if very tiring weekend.

More about Wiscon )
magenta: (Default)
This is going around on Facebook, but I don't want to do it there, because I don't want to share personal info I can avoid. Plus, it's long, and make more sense for LJ.

100 Foods )


Mar. 18th, 2012 05:54 pm
magenta: (Default)
The second Paganicon was this weekend. It was great. I've already registered for next year. The best couple of presentations were by [ profile] jenett about online privacy, and Steve Posch reading his poetry.

I promised I would post information about our egg dyes. This is from an article Steve wrote many years ago for the Wiccan Church of Minnesota newsletter. I've updated it at the end.natural egg dyes )

I also wanted to post a few references for my presentation Death and the Pagan )
magenta: (Default)
I finally wrote to the Library Board. I decided to send emails to each member, because there is another Board meeting this Wednesday, and I hope to perhaps have a tiny bit of influence.

This is the text I sent. )
magenta: (Default)
Last Sunday, I went to the 100th anniversary service at Christ Church Lutheran, because it is on the next block, I can see the tower from the back window, and because Martin Marty was the guest speaker, and I wanted to hear him. I rarely go to churches of any kind, and when I do, they are usually Unitarian. I haven't been to more than a handful of services by Christian denominations in my life. I thought this might be interesting.

The musical program before the service was pleasant, Bach father and son, Mozart, Handel. The inside of the sanctuary is quite beautiful, literally a modern cathedral, with low ceilings at the sides, and a towering vault in the middle. I like the plainness of it as well, all brick, very simple. Designed by a master architect, Eero Saarinen. They were celebrating both the 100th anniversary of the congregation, and the end of the remodeling and restoration work on the building, which is about 60 years old.

There was fortunately a complete printed program of the service, so I had some idea what was going on. There were hymnals in the pews, but no bibles. The hymns were completely unfamiliar, of course. There was a hymn, then a procession in of the choir and the ministers during another hymn, then a prayer. Then they did something I think is a good idea, all the children were brought up to the steps of the platform, and the regular minister gave a very short talk to them, after which some of them were taken out, to the nursery presumably.

Then there was a reading, which was from Ezekiel (34:11-16,20-24), which was about sheep and shepherds. I thought about how Christians use that metaphor and imagery, and how sheep are dumb, and exist to be sheared and eaten. I do not want to identify with sheep. Pagans sometimes identify with goats, partly because of Biblical imagery about sheep and goats, but goats are smelly and unpleasant animals that exist to be sheared and eaten as well. Okay, in both cases, they are sometimes milked. I wouldn't want to identify with a cow either. I am just as glad we called the Pagan student organization Children of the Night, which refers to wolves. Wolves I can identify with. They are pack animals who take care of each other.

They sung Psalm 95, but there was no Bible so I couldn't follow it. I finally found the list of Psalms in the hymnal, and read that one. it refers to "A great ruler above all gods" which is yet another reference to the fact that at the time of the Bible, everyone knew there were many gods, but the Hebrew were trying to say that their god was bigger and better than any other god. Then there were a couple of New Testament readings.

The sermon by Martin Marty was about people coming together to form a congregation because people need to be together to face the world. He talked about what people had needed at various points in the history of the congregation, from written prayer, requests I think.

I do see the need for religion of some sort. There is a need for something that points beyond the everyday, to the infinite, that which is beyond us, what came long before we existed, and will be around long after we are gone. We need to have that which is more than us, which can comfort us and give us meaning. Churches are about community, about congregation, coming together, not being alone to face the world, especially during the difficult times. We need to connect with each other, with the divine with ourselves and within others, and with the divine within the universe. And yes, I am saying there is part of the universe and of me that is not divine. Because if all is divine, nothing is divine.

I don't understand some parts of Christian imagery at all. Why light a candle – what is the darkness, what is the light? Yes, if there is light, one can see one's way better, so I guess this is the point of it, but there are joys in the darkness as well. One cannot see the stars or the Moon if your fire is too large. We have a natural cycle of light and darkness, and we need both. If I want to sleep, I want darkness, if I want to read, I want light. This is part of the Christian X is Good so non-X is Evil, at least in my opinion. I want balance between. I want third and fourth choices.

A feature I liked was that after the sermon, they rung a bell, and asked people to sit quietly and reflect on the sermon. Then there was yet another hymn, with the common bloody imagery, which I find very disturbing.

The service got to the point where they were doing an affirmation of Baptism. Well, I have never been baptized, and never will be, not even in the Gnostic and Catholic Church that's adjunct to the OTO. One thing I promised my parents years ago was that I would never be baptized, and plan to stick to that. The congregation was reciting the Apostles Creed, and right in the middle I felt that my nose was bleeding. I rushed to the bathroom, and managed to get it to stop in about five minutes. (I've been having problems with nosebleeds this fall, so this was not a shock, but it was disconcerting.) I sat for a little while, debating what to do. I never feel really good after a nosebleed, and I knew the service had a while to go yet, since there would be communion, and I wasn't going to take communion. So I went back to the sanctuary, grabbed my coat, and left. And usher asked me if I was okay, and I explained I had had a nosebleed, and needed to go home. They are very nice people, and doing very good work in their own way – the collection would go in part to Meals on Wheels and a homeless shelter for teens, many of whom I'm sure are queer. But I felt very out of place among them.

I posted on Facebook about the nosebleed during the Apostles' Creed, and tried to make a joke of it, since there are stories of Pagans bursting into flames or otherwise having catastrophes happen when they hear certain prayers. I don't really believe the world works that way, but it was an odd coincidence.
magenta: (Default)
Hidden on a back page in the Strib was some VERY annoying news. The Hennepin County Library Board passed a major change to their circulation policy. As of January 1st, they will restrict check-outs to 30 items, down from 100. Reserves will be limited to 15, down from 50; CDs will be due in 7 days instead of 21. I can't find any more information on the website, so I don't know how they will handle the transition. In fact, I can't find the notes of the Library Board meeting where this was decided, either; the most recent meeting notes are back in September. I am upset that this article was obviously from a HCL press release but there is NO information on the website. Didn't they think anyone would notice and want to know more about this?

I am extremely angry. The article says this is because of a major budget cut, and otherwise they would have to cut hours. I think this is BS, since as I recall, the collections budget and the personnel budget are funded differently. I am going to write letters to both the Library Board and the Hennepin County Board today, and I would encourage anyone else who dislikes this new policy to do the same. Don't complain to library staff, they can't do a damned thing, and they are busy enough as it is.

I don't think this would have happened if we still had an elected Library Board. It is now appointed by the Hennepin County Board, which is mostly suburban Republicans. If you live outside the Twin Cities, and your local library policies are even worse, you have my sympathy, but I'm upset about how much our library has gone downhill in the last 7 years.
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