Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Request for content for He Epistole!

From Laura, at Neokoroi:

As you know, He Epistole was on hiatus for the Autumn issue.  We do plan on publishing for the winter issue and I need CONTENT!  I need all kinds of content:  Poems, essays, articles, short stories, artworks, photos....anything you can think of!  As long as it fits into the general theme of "All things Hellenic", I'll consider it for the issue.

Some people have mentioned that writing prompts would be helpful. The original plan for the fall issue was "Harvest", so feel free to keep that in mind as well.  Other ideas that have been mentioned are "Giving" and "Transformation".  I have often associated Dionysos with the holidays, so he may provide some inspiration as well.

Please email your stuff to me:  wheezinggirl at hotmail dot com.

The deadline for this will be November 5th  I know this is earlier than normal but since I am making the announcement earlier I thought it would be okay to push that up a bit.  Plus, I travel for the holidays, so this way I can be sure to get everything completed before I leave.

Thanks so much.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Victory Garden Meme

Victory Garden Meme Questions

1. What are your favorite local garden resources (ex. nurseries, blogs, reliable regional "celebrity" gardeners,county/parish extension office)?

Since I'm just starting the whole Victory Garden experience, I don't yet have people that I really read or follow. I get Gardening magazine, and I read Red White and Grew, and the occasional post of interest to me on random blogs (such as this one on The Old Foodie. Beyond that, I turn to Farnham for information and help, as he's our respected elder and expert!

2. What are your favorite books and magazines?

Hm. I am reading Living the Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing. We read Country Life. Silly enough, I also enjoy reading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. While they don't give a lot of indepth information, I find them inspiring. They give me hope that we can actually do this. We also read the Foxfire books, which are fantastically fun!

3. What have you had success with growing in your fall garden?

Well, we don't have one this year as we're in the process of moving from PA to NH, but we've been successful with squash, zucchini, pumpkin, onions, parsnips, and other fall crops in previous years.

4.  When do you plant and harvest it?

Good question. We have to work on this!

5. What is your favorite gardening tip?

Hm... I think I am enamored of the idea that you can plant things in the fall in order to harvest them in the spring, when the weather thaws. That's so neat!

6. Why do you call your garden a _________ (Victory Garden, Peace Garden, Freedom Garden, vegetable garden...etc.)?

Well, I was investigating Victory Gardens thanks to a picture on a wall, and I decided that the idea was well suited to our little homestead. This isn't our victory over an outside enemy of our country.  Instead, it's our victory over high food prices, over harvesting and slaughtering practices that we disagree with, and over people who would tell us that our family is somehow wrong.

Vive le garden! 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shrines and Temples

I know that my plans are "grand" but I want to erect some really amazing (if small) shrines and two small temples on our property. I am hugely excited about this!

We will have a grape arbor that is also a temple to Dionysos. We decided this ages ago, and isn't a problem. I also plan on having a temple to Hecate, somewhere quiet and dark. I don't yet know what form it will take. I admit, I would really like to have a small cave or indent in the mountainside as the temple! We'll have to see what I can find.

I also plan on a small shrine to the nymphae on our property, likely at our spring head (if I can find it). Somewhere along the stream that comes down the mountain, I will be putting a small shrine to Artemis, which I am going to have the girls help me tend. It seems only fitting. :) 

There will also be an underworld shrine for Hades and Persephone, because it is where we want to comemorate our dead. We may even go  far as to put up something that could house small urns of ashes, for when we die, although we're not sure about it. We'll find out.

I'm not sure what else I would like to do. I have grand plans, though the above ones are small enough to at least be sure of being done. This is so exciting!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago...

Seven years ago today, I was just waking up and stumbling to my computer to say hi to my friends. No one was talking, though. Everyone was silent, and chat room headers pointed people to their televisions: someone was bombing the United States.

I rushed into the living room, turning on the tv just in time to see the live image of the second plane hitting the tower, and the flames, the debris raining down, the chaos. My stomach dropped, and I frantically began trying to call people that I knew. I had a friend who's son was supposed to be in the Towers that day. Gray was suppsed to be near or in the Pentagon (I didn't realize he didn't actually enter it, but worked nearby). I had a few friends in PA, but didn't know if they were near where the plane crashed or not. 

I remember them shutting the schools down, and going to pick up my daughter. I remember seeing the faint trails of smoke in the distance, even the few hundred miles away from NYC that we were. I remember Bush's first few statements, and the rush of gratitude that it wasn't Gore in office, as embarassing as the feeling was. 

I remember all the planes being grounded. I'd never heard of such a thing. For a long time, there was nothing in the air, nothing overhead, and we lived in fear of our lives. All the rules changed that day. Before September 11th, 2001, if you were involved in a hijacking, you knew that if you just did what the nice hijackers said, eventually you'd get out. That's not the case anymore. Now, we're not so naieve. We know that the "nice hijackers" might choose to take the plane down over a national monument, or some cowardly civillian target.

I remember watching the images, over and over again. You couldn't NOT watch. I had never seen destruction on such a wide range before. And it was in NYC, so close in the grand scheme of things. If I had ever doubted the Gods, all doubt disappeared that day as I found out that every single person who should have been near or in any of the crash sites was mysteriously ill or unable to get to work that day. Yes, thousands of people died... but if it had been a "normal" day, TENS of thousands of people would have died. For whatever reason... thank the Gods... it wasn't a normal day.

It was a vivid reminder, painted in the blood of human lives, that stupid things can and will still be done in the name of religion.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Land

Well, today we make an offer on one of the pieces of property we've been looking at. It isn't the one I talked about before, but is better in many ways. Some positive things about it:
  1. The house has five LARGE bedrooms.
  2. Only one of the five needs anything more than bare cosmetic work and even that one is pretty simple.
  3. It overlooks a gorgeous river.
  4. It has a massive barn, large enough to store about 2 of those big camper trailer thingies in, without stretching... and the barn has electric and is in pretty good condition.
  5. The kitchen in the house is huge, with a central island sink that has a garberator and plenty of storage for pots and pans.
  6. The range is GAS, not electric, oh thank all the gods!
  7. It has a nifty little low counter that is JUST the right height for kneading bread... and above it, a lighted recipe book holder which is attached to the wall and nowhere near the prep surface.
  8. It has a large pantry.
  9. It has a basement that has a concrete finish, except for one corner, which will end up being our root cellar.
  10. There are two bathrooms with showers.
  11. Across the street, there is a 115 acre plot of land that comes along with it. 
  12. On the 115 acres there is a spring fed stream which provides some of the water to the house and barn. 
  13. It's heavily wooded, allowing us to use the land efficiently as a wood lot to heat our home.
  14. There's already a wood cook stove in the kitchen.
  15. The land already has logging roads with clearings that would be suitable for building yurts or other alternative housing.
  16. Everyone in town seems to already know us or know of us, and they seem to like us, to a high degree.
Wow. Lots of pros there. There are a few cons. The two bathrooms only have showers, not tubs, and we'll have to fix that. Most of the bedrooms require new floors, though they are structurally sound. The twins' room needs a new ceiling. We'll be spending a LOT of money buying the house and land, and so won't have the cash to get our yurts for a while. Really, though, the negatives are far outweighed by the positives.

I admit, I am looking forward to putting my mucky boots on and going for a walk up the stream, to find out if the spring wells up on our land. If so, I will make an effort to contact and leave offerings of good will for the naiad of the spring. :) 

There's also a little graveyard, much disused, a few minutes' walk from our new home. If we do get this house, I will be following through on a promise I made to Hecate, and will begin putting flowers on the graves, and tending them somewhat. 


Friday, September 5, 2008


This is the front image of the house we're looking at on Saturday afternoon. We looked at it once already, but the guys weren't along. So on Saturday, we'll all truck out there again, and go through the house once more. Then the guys will go walk the 115 acres across the street, to see if it's worth our while to purchase. 

If we decide this is worthwhile, we will live in the house until we built our "real" homes, out in the back woods of the acreage. Eventually, this will become the "big house" or the place to house friends who visit, or to go to be alone for a while. It will also house a small store, wherein we can sell our soap, hand-made items, and food. Since the store is on the road, it would be ideal to sell things from. Our 
houses will be far from the road, ideal to live in! 

I have to admit, I do like this house. The kitchen has a large wood cook stove in it, and a central island that hosts an older porcelain sink with garberator. The kitchen window looks out onto the Connecticut River. The backyard is full of lovely flowers, well taken care of, if a bit neglected the past two years. There's room for a small table (as you can see in the picture there) under the window, and the living room is actually three rooms made into one, and can host all our living room, computer, AND dining room things. There is enough room for everyone to eat, which is fant
astic. I just love the idea of having everyone sitting together at the same table (or, if necessary, two tables together), with the sideboard ladened with turkey, stuffing, cranberry jelly, fresh tomatoes, squash, corn, peas, Farnham's famous green bean cassarole, and the ubiquitous mashed potatoes. Groaning sideboards are my speciality, and I do hope to get the opportunity to do it this year.