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Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Moon! Part 2 of Between Now and the Turning of the Calendar

The new calendar begins with a NEW MOON! Does that evoke the same excitement in any one else out there as it does with me?  I hope so!

New/dark moons sometimes appear to not be acknowledged or worked with as much as the full moon, but for me, the cycle is the thing and the monthly renewal that the moon's energy brings as it first waxes and then wanes to new is a most useful thing. So here we are, on the verge of a new calendar (which I say instead of "new year" because for me the sun cycle renews at a different place round the sun) and we can open the page of this book with a fresh new cycle. Isn't that a wonderful thing? This past calendar has proven a challenge for many folks and this is a bang up opportunity to stop, really take stock, and step deliberately and mindfully into the new book, opening chapter, with a fresh renewal energy backing you up.

In our culture, the end of the calendar and the beginning of the new one is fraught with a minefield for many. The news media dredges up the "excitement" and tragedy of the past year with the biggest steam shovels they have, which feeds growing melancholy in many of us who have not had the best time during this -- or previous -- winter holiday seasons. The growing melancholy is further fed by over indulgence in sweets and drink, culminating on the last night of the calendar with parties featuring much drink and which sends us into the first line of the first chapter of the new book in a drunken stupor, sleep, and/or the night-after wrath called a hangover. I hope this is not the way you plan to start the first day of the rest of your life!

A toast to the passing calendar, whether you are wishing it well or kicking its butt out the back door, is appropriate. A toast to the opening of a new page, as well... but much better rituals (with a lower case "r") in my mind, involve setting the stage for 2014 to be a positive story, rather than opening the chapter with headaches and barf.

As the moon winds down this cycle, don't dwell on the failures and trauma of this past story, but take positive steps -- however small -- to set the stage for the opening of the new one.

An example from my own life follows.

It would be easy for me to start a pity-party, were I inclined. Hours at my part time town job suck and just got cut more. Hex income is at a standstill, because I had to close orders to catch up my backlog. Projects for winter prep that did not get done, for various "good" reasons, have allowed much of the food that I put in the back room for storage to freeze and therefore to begin going bad. I "know" that the first few months of the year are going to be a serious financial challenge... for several reasons, including some stated above. Include in that "because they always are" and the fact that a lucrative design project that often carried me through this time in the past has apparently been given to a different designer.

All that being as it is, my mind is currently on several different tracks.

First off, project for today will be to bring into the warmer part of the house all of the potatoes, apples, squash and beets that have been languishing in the back room for sorting and processing. As the squishy potatoes thaw, they will be loaded into bucket and hauled to the compost (no small task over the snow/ice/snow terrain we have been dealt thus far this winter), along with the rotten apples... some of which the fowl will doubtless enjoy as well. The squash will be sorted, and the good ones stored, with any remaining good potatoes, under the cabinet in the far side of the kitchen where I used to store such things, when I had a smaller harvest that would fit. The frozen squash cook up just fine in the oven (proven yesterday) so in they will go, to be baked, scooped and frozen in 1 cup lumps, later to be bagged and stored for quick heat-and-eat. I am hoping that I can cook, peel and freeze the beets as well. Giving thanks for what was NOT ruined by my lack of attention, and planning more appropriate storage for next year is the focus of this project.

Then, once the produce is dealt with, I will be able to attack the mold on the subfloor with bleach and begin putting down the plywood underlayment for the new flooring. The first two sheets of plywood are already waiting in the garage (planned ahead from last month, when money was not an issue) and I will trust the Powers That Be to provide the necessary stuff for the next step of the process... adhesive and commercial vinyl tile like this stuff which comes in various colors, some of which are a bit more expensive, but i will buy a variety and lay them random. Just the first 8' will be all that I do initially. This will allow me to move the single bed to the end of the room and get it set up on blocks or whatever I decide, as under the bed is where I will be building the insulated storage for root veggies that did not get done this year. I have been collecting styrafoam sheets from work (they arrive insulating chips for the impulse racks at the front of the store) and will continue to do so as long as I work there.

Also this week, we will clear out the trash (trash run today) and recycles (recycle run on Tuesday) to open up space, help put the place in to better order and improve the energy flow.  

I used to do a complete deep clean of my space on the eve of the new calendar, but no longer have the energy for such a task... so instead I do SOMETHING in that vein... and look forward to the coming year when I will not have to be off the farm during the run up to the winter holidays... when I can take the week that it will take to do the proper complete cleaning once again.

So, come Tuesday night, I'll reset the altar in winter mode (yeah, late at that this year, too!) and light a candle for the dark moon. My story shall begin with seed sorting and order planning on Wednesday, not at all too early considering that I will be looking for something on the homestead that I can use, instead of the plastic planters that have given up the ghost after many years, to start lettuce indoors any day now... and it won't be long until February, when the seed blocker will once again crank out little cubes, each to receive an onion or leek seed destined for the garden.

What story will YOU be setting out to write during this turn about the sun?