Tuesday, August 26, 2008

~The late Luverly of the Week~ {second edition}

Aymi's Luverly Edition of the week

Three-toed-sloth (Bradypus variegatus)

{photo taken by: Stefan Laube}

{location: Lake Gatun, Republic of Panama}


Three-toed-sloth (Bradypus variegatus)

{photo taken by: Christian Mehlführer}

{location: Cahuita National Park in the southeast of Costa Rica}

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Heading on Down to Toronto

Eco Car in Kensington Market by !yes

Tomorrow I am heading down to Toronto to see Aymi for about a week (yay!!), and because we have a pretty full itinerary lined up, we may not post anything until after then.

It will be awesome to see people that I have missed, and to go back to my old haunts (hello Riverdale Farm and Kensington Market!!!) Just pray for me to have nice cool weather and no smog days and be well 'til then!



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Guilty Pleasures {Musical Edition}

Minerva and the Muses by Hans Rottenhammer

I am certain that we all have at least one song that we will listen to at least twice in a row (or at least I will continue to tell myself that so I don't feel so abnormal).

The following is a list (!!!) of songs that I will have no qualms listening to two times back to back.

Ellas Mari by Navan

Creepy Green Light by Type O Negative

Nightshade by Rhea's Obsession

The Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Gypsy Woman by Muddy Waters

Appalacian Waltz by Yo-Yo Ma

Magdalena by A Perfect Circle

Caligula by Macy Gray

The Grace by Neverending White Lights (with Dallas Green)

Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix

Root Down by The Beastie Boys

Reflection by Tool (well really anything by Tool, but I will just pick one)

Possession by Sarah McLaughlin

So, what is yours??



Wortcunning: Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

Photo by Cody Hough

Other Names: Heart-Wort, Lion's Tail, Lion-Hearted, Throw-Wort.

Description: Motherwort is a hardy perennial that grows to 3 or 4 feet tall. It has squared and hollow stems, with serrated leaves and pretty pink or white flowers that come out between June to August.

This plant is a member of the mint family, and is sometimes considered a 'weed'. It is native to Asia and Europe, and can often be found growing along roadsides, fences, meadows, and 'waste' areas.

Warnings: As with all herbs, one should make sure to be thoroughly informed before ingesting them, and is best to do so under the guidance of a qualified healer. Motherwort is reported to cause dermatitis by touching the plant for sensitive individuals, and ingesting the oil can cause photosensitivity. It is also cautioned that it may induce miscarriage during pregnancy.

Susun Weed in her book the Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year 'Limit the use of Motherwort if you begin to feel that you can't get through the day without it, as this calming herb may be habit forming' when using for sleeplessness.

Cultivating: Motherwort can be propagated by seed, or can be readily bought as a plant. If growing from seed, plant as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring, and when there is no threat of frost. If you are planting an already grown plant, that can be done anytime from spring to late summer.

It prefers well-drained soil, and to be planted in full sun to partial shade, about 12 inches from each other. Water as necessary, keeping the soil slightly moist.

Recommended not to harvest in the first year, so the plant can establish it self. When harvesting, collect the leaves and flowers by clipping the stalk, when the flowers are fully blooming, between early July to August. Be sure to leave enough flowers so has some seeds left over to re-sow itself.

Medicinal/Remedial Properties and Lore: Antirheumatic, antispasmodic, aodyne, astringent, cardiac, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, tonic.

Motherwort has been noted for its healing virtues by various cultures throughout history. In early Greece, it was given to mothers-to-be who were suffering from nervousness, which is possibly why the plant became known as 'mother's wort/herb'.

According to Herbalpedia the ancient Chinese used the herb to promote longevity, and in Europe it was first used as a treatment for ailments in cattle.

Today it is often recommended by herbalists for heart conditions, anxiety, sleeplessness, epilepsy, to ease childbirth, and is very helpful for menopausal women.

Magical Properties and Lore: Motherwort is an excellent herb to use for protection, especially for women and children. Planted around the home, or hanging above the doorway, it is said to keep away evil spirits and other unwelcome guests. Used in a Witch Bottle it can be used to protect from or reverse a curse.

It is associated with Venus, the Moon, and Women's Mysteries, and is an excellent herb to use during a lunar ritual, or to honour Goddesses of fertility and motherhood.

Also helpful to bring a sense of purpose to one who feels lost in their life, as well to attract joy and success.

Other Uses: An excellent plant to have in the garden as it will attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, and it is also said to improve soil conditions in the garden.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Musing {timely edition}: Lessons From a Feathered Visitor

Photos by Ken Thomas

Yesterday I had a Cedar Waxwing on my balcony railing, which is pretty odd, as I have never seen one there before, and they are not exactly plentiful like the crows and gulls.

Whenever I have a critter come into my life, I am keen to find out what lesson they might have for me. I believe that these animals are messengers and teachers, and there is plenty to learn from their lore and what they symbolize. Often people call these critters Animal Guides or Totems.

I scoured the web trying to find some lore about the Cedar Waxwing, and pretty much came up empty. So, turning to my trusty copy of Animal- Speak by Ted Andrews I found a small section of Waxwings.

According to Ted Andrews, Waxwings symbolize gentleness and courtesy, transformation and new consciousness, as well as mask-making and ceremonial wear.

He also calls Waxwings 'polite', and says that they are often sighted passing food to each other (learning how to share is a lesson I think that just about all of Humanity needs!).

Then he says that these are questions brought by Waxwings:

Are others extending the courtesy you deserve? Are you extending them the courtesy that they deserve? Do you need to start seeing yourself and others from a new perspective? Are you possibly not being gentle with yourself?

Well, definitely something to think about.



Screw a Mansion....I Want a Home!

I have got a yearning that is something awful to live in the middle of the woods in a home that I have built myself. Take a look at these BEAUTIFUL homes. Besides living in a cave, these homes are probably as close to an 'eco home' one could get!

From A Low Impact Woodland Home

From Earthship Biotechture

From Cae Mabon

From Tinker's Bubble

From That Roundhouse

From I Love Cob!

From Mud Girls