Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween to All of Our Readers!

For more nifty Halloween Greetings, go to Vintage Holiday Crafts

However you celebrate this time of year, may it be filled with more treats than tricks! ;)


Aymi & Laurel

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Frankenfood Just in Time for Halloween

Photo from

I woke up to this news this morning.

So, it turns out that scientists have created a Genetically Modified (GM) tomato that allegedly 'contain higher levels of antioxidants' that came in the form of anthocyanins (found in raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, as well as some other fruits). Apparently these antioxidants 'helped prolong the lives of cancer-prone mice'.

One might ponder why in the world would someone tamper with Mother Nature when there are already foods with these constituents in them. Well, the article goes on to say:

'While eating these fruits can provide a health boost, most people do not consume enough of them, the researchers said. They said the successful transfer of the antioxidants to the tomato - a more commonly consumed fruit - could help provide the benefits to a wider range of people.'


Instead of encouraging people to eat more of the foods that naturally have these antioxidants, it is so much more profitable for biotech corporations to craft more Frankenfood.

To read the rest of the article, click here.



Monday, October 27, 2008

EcoNews Feature on North Bay

Here are a couple of videos that I found on EcoNews Youtube Channel featuring North Bay. Pretty!

Part One

Part Two



Monday Musing: Honouring Our Ancestors

'It is indeed a desirable thing to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.' Plutarch

Across continents and cultures, there have always been ways in which we humans have honoured the deceased, especially our ancestors. From actual ancestor worship, elaborate rituals for the dead and funeral customs, to celebrations of ancestors such as Día de los Muertos, there are many ways in which we have and do pay homage to those who have passed.

Around this time of year, here in my home we celebrate the lives of loved ones who have died, which is highlighted by feasting, ritual, and the like on Samhain.

Around the middle of October we dedicate our altar to those we have loved, whether they were a family member, friend, or pet by placing photos, belongings, and other mementos. We also decorate it with the lovely gifts that Mama Nature has left for us such as leaves, acorns, feathers, etc that remind us of this time of year.

We believe that this time of year is when the 'veil is thinnest between worlds', which makes Samhain the perfect time to commune with the dead as well. It is also a new year for us (well, at least in the spiritual sense), so we also do divination to see what the upcoming year has in store.

I won't go more into about our rituals as they are personal, but there are various ways in which one can take advantage of the little extra 'activity' happening at this time of year. I had done a post previously about herbs associated with death, which might come in handy if one is wanting to connect with the departed.

Besides the Samhain/Halloween recipes that I had posted a little while back, here are a few webbys with recipes appropriate for this time of year, and the dead:

Funeral Food from

A Black Feast from Widdershins

Día de los Muertos Recipes

Regardless of one's spiritual (or non-existing) beliefs, I personally think it is important to honour our ancestors, for reasons that are perfectly summed up by Edmund Burke:

'People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.'



Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oh, Isn't This Nice...

Of all the things that I might be accused of being, one thing is certain is that I am not a prude; in fact, many would probably consider me a deviant. With that said, I am an adult, who is capable of making her own choices.

While I acknowledge that we are all sexual beings—and this includes children—it does not mean that we have the right to sexualize everyone—again, this includes children!

I have come across a website that features some real messed up costumes for little girls. If you browse the whole website, you will notice that it is women and girls who get the ‘honour’ of donning the slutty costumes, while the men and boys are shall we say, more covered up.

I really don’t give two hoots about the women’s costumes, as they are being marketed for adults, so I will share some of the worst ones for little girls.

From's Diva Section:

"Deluxe Pink & Silver Sequin Dot Diva Dress Child"

This pink little number is short enough for your little girl to slap on the thong of her Baby Bratz doll.

From's Occupational Section:

"Major Flirt Child"

Who knew being a flirt was an occupation? Anyhoo, this costume certainly calls for 7 year olds to wear their padded bras, as well all know, if you don't have big hooters, you're worthless!

"Mega Star Child"

This costume is the perfect pairing for the child's pole dancing kit.

"French Maid Child"

Better get started early on grooming your little girls into the ideal housewife! And she better know how to clean and look sexy while doing it.

From's Animal Section:

"Purrty Kitty Child"

A nice little tongue-in-cheek reminder of what one body part that all females are eventually reduced to in our society.

And here are a few that just speak for themselves:

"Cheerless Leader Child"

"Bad Spirit Child"

"Devil Grrrl - Child"

"Registered Nurse Child"



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sex Tourism in Thailand

Our friend Chanelle has written an excellent article for $pread Magazine that would raise the eyebrows of most westerners. It is very much worth a read, and may change some misconceptions that many have.

Here is an excerpt:

It's Friday night and I'm sitting in a noisy dance bar in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai with three local sex workers. Hip hop pounds out of the speakers. The bar is filled with mostly Western tourists and a few Thai folks. My three friends are students in the English class I've been teaching for Empower, a national sex workers support organization. We drink our whiskey and sodas, yell over the music, dance to the latest Rihanna hit, and scope the crowd. Sex workers frequently work in regular bars and tonight my friends may or may not be working, depending on whether they see any clients they find desirable. So I ask P. if she thinks anyone at the bar is cute. Yes actually! she says. Smiling, she points to three young English men, dancing in a manner I can only call spasmic. They're all drunk and dancing with their sunglasses on. Indoors. I look at her incredulously.Really? Yes! She nods enthusiastically. Those guys?! Mm-hmm! Another woman in our group shakes her head and tells me she doesn't like the young men. She prefers men with white hair and points to an older guy, in his late 60s sitting with a pretty young Thai (working) woman. She thinks they're more handsome and better clients. You mean one of those guys that everyone thinks is a horrible sleaze for hooking up with 20-somethings? Yep! That's the one she's referring to! I'm stunned and even more amazed by my own assumptions: Where exactly did I get the idea that Thai sex workers must dislike or resent foreign clients?

Read the rest of the article here.



Monday, October 20, 2008

A Powerful Message to Sarah Palin

I saw this over at Feministing, and even though I am not in the States, Sarah Palin still boils my blood. Have a look-see.



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Luverly of the Week: 'Love' by Gustav Klimt

(click to enlarge)

'Love' by Gustav Klimt is very creepy and beautiful. Perfect for Halloween, especially this little detail ;) :

POEST Halloween Sale Round Up

Below is just a taste of the goodies available, so make sure to check out the blog for more details and the POEST Etsy site to see more of the listings.

Tunrida Oracle Runes are on sale (for $20.00 and are usually $24.45)

NascarWitch31 has 15% off of everything in the shop

StarryDance has 10% off everything in the shop

SusanSee has 20% off of everything in the shop

FollowTheRedBrickRd 10% off of everything in the shop, and 15% off when you purchase more than 3 items.



Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Samhain Sale on Etsy

From October 16th to October 31st, we will be having a special sale at our Etsy shop to celebrate Samhain/Halloween! Laurel will be offering full Haindl Rune Oracle readings for $10.00 (usually $15.00).

To find out more, click here to go directly to the listing.

For many more awesome items on sale for Samhain/Halloween, check out the Pagans of Etsy Street Team blog


Aymi & Laurel

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Season of Changes and Endings

Yesterday we had quite the windstorm in the Bay, and now many of the once colourful trees are bare. The geese have been passing through, and even though just a few days ago the birds have been very vocal, today even the crows aren't out making their wonderful noises.

It appears that everything is just about ready for the long sleep of Winter. This was also marked by the ending of the North Bay Downtown Farmers' Market for 2008, which had its last day of operation this past weekend.

It was such an awesome year, and even though we had a lot of crappy weather, the people flocked out every weekend. It was announced that the amount of people coming to the Market tripled since last year, and most of them are locals. Yay!

The Near North Locavores, which is an organization that formed at the beginning of 2008 and I am a member of, had a weekly booth there. Our mandate is to promote local food, and we are working to connect local producers and growers with the local eaters. None of us could predict the amount of support and interest that we got in such a short time.

At our booth we sold goods of local farmers, with four major participants. Each one next year is going to increase the amount of food they produce, as they see that there is a market for it. It feels really good to know that many people are starting to 'get it'.

I love Farmers' Market and I am going to miss it over the Winter. However, I have plenty of awesome people in the Locavores to work with, and we have plenty of planning and the like for next year. We are getting everything in order to expand our mandate, as well as start other projects. That should keep us busy ;)

Here are a few photos of our booth at the Market, which were taken by group member Marlo.

As I am sure all my fellow Canadians already know, yesterday Canada went to the polls to vote in the federal election. I was hoping and praying for a change, and the end of the strangle-hold that Stephen Harper has on Parliament. Unfortunately the Conservatives got even more seats.

It perplexes me how someone can vote for a party like that, and for a leader like Stephen Harper. I have spoken to supporters of the Harper Conservatives and asked that very question, but the idea still does not seem any less foreign to me.

In general I am disenchanted by party politics altogether, as I think that the system that we currently have in place corrupts even the most pure-hearted politician, if they want to survive in the game.

A good example of this is Jack Layton of the New Democrats, who was a long-time city councillor in Toronto. He was activist first, then politician. Now he's all politician. So, I guess at the end of the day, it's more of the same, no matter who is in power.

However, there was something about Stephane Dion, the leader of the Liberals that I liked. And, of course, the leader of the party that I voted for, Elizabeth May of the Greens is an amazing woman.

I have not seen the official results yet, but from what I understand, the Greens did very well, improving on the results that they had in 2006.

Regardless of who you did or did not vote for, I hope that all of you enjoy this Season dear readers.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Luverly of the Week: Susun Weed

Susun Weed is an author, teacher, herbalist, and Wise Woman.

As an aside, after being down for a few months, her forum is up again! If you have any interest in herbs, healing, green witchcraft, and the like, check it out here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Places I Have Loved: My Last Toronto Apartment

Wow, it's been just over two years now since I moved to North Bay. I left Toronto to escape all the noise and pollution, but in doing that I did sacrifice many things, including leaving friends I love. As well, I also had to give up an amazing apartment.

Previously my better half and I had been living in a basement apartment together for 3 years. It was a decent place, a nice size and we loved the neighbourhood, but we decided it was time to have some windows and our own laundry.

So, whilst hunting, we came across an AMAZING apartment that had a huge deck, an awesome view, skylights, lots of windows, and laundry (!!!)...all for only $800 inclusive a month. It had hot water rads, pretty mouldings and tiles, from what I would guess were from the '30's. We also really liked the location, as there were plenty of trees, most of the needed amenities, and a whole bunch of cute little shops. Plus we found it to be quieter and cleaner than other areas of Toronto.

Given all of this, of course we took it. Unfortunately there was a downside to this new place, and that was many of the people who lived, worked, and shopped in the area.

I suddenly had found myself surrounded by people who would openly sneer at my granola appearance, and people being very mean spirited towards the handful of panhandlers (there had been a couple of incidents where the panhandlers were attacked, and others had things said to them like 'I hope you freeze to death'). We also had neighbours who complained about our nag champa burning, and how our patio furniture was an eyesore as it was not 'trendy' enough.

After living in downtown Toronto for over a decade, I was perplexed why people would be so hateful to others who were just asking for spare change, or why people would give two shits if I wore bell bottoms, or if I didn't have a pair of mango wood loungers with matching end tables of my deck (apparently that was all the rage in the summer of 2006).

If I could, I would have waved a magic wand and got rid of all the dipshits, and ship people from Kensington Market and Cabbagetown. Trying to be realistic, I knew that was not going to happen, so I decided to try and enjoy our new pad anyway.

Whoever lived there previously must have been a colourful character, as the whole place was painted canary yellow, and the cabinets in the kitchen were painted lavender. Luverly! But it needed a little green and fuchsia, so we added that ourselves.

It was decided after a couple of months living there that we would be moving to North Bay within the year. If we were staying in Toronto, we certainly would have stayed in this apartment, and invested in making it more 'home', such as building storage on the deck, and make permanent planters.

Here are a gaggle of pics that were taken around the place. Enjoy the tour ;)



Living Room:






The View: