Taking a week

One of the good things about working for a school is the vacations.

(There are also downsides: my breaks are unpaid time, and I don’t get any say in when I get them – it makes it very hard to do things requiring time off during the school year.)

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Father’s Day

I have very mixed feelings about Father’s Day, for the very simple reason that it is logistically tricky to celebrate a father who has been dead for more than half your life. Especially if one is bound into the Hallmark holiday sort of model.

Not impossible, of course, and as I am a Pagan whose path includes a certain degree of ancestral honoring, certainly something I do include. Just not on random Sundays in June.

It does make me think, though. My father died when I was just over 15. We knew it was coming – the good thing about a terminal cancer diagnosis is that at least you have time to prepare. Long before the last moments of high school, or of college, I had long experience with a series of ‘last moments’ with my father.

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A few updates

Mostly cosmetic:

Index:
I’ve created an index of posts that I’d like to keep easy access to – just use the Index link at the top of the page. These include a couple of series (like the seeker series), but also posts that are either popular or have gotten links from other places. I plan to update this about once a month – but if you see other posts you think deserve some highlighting, please let me know.

House rules:
Nothing here that should be unusual or a surprise, but getting into writing (not just in my head) seemed like a good idea. I’d rather be clear and not have any concerns than not be clear, y’know?

Friday Recs and some happy news

(People reading my LiveJournal already know this one): I finished some great conversations yesterday with the head of the school I work for, where we have found a way for me to earn enough more money I can afford to stop looking for a new job. This is very good, because the library job market right now is miserable, and this gives me some time to continue to build some specific skills and do more professional projects. (And continue working at a place I very much like, which is no small thing.)

The other side the good news is that this means I’m not moving any time soon, and thus, can truly make longer-term plans about the coven. This means I should probably start calling it by name, and note a few upcoming things.

Name: The shiny new coven’s name is Phoenix Song (my home tradition has a particular focus on the phoenix imagery), and I wanted a name that would bring together that focus with the group’s heavy focus on music and arts in ritual.

What’s coming: I do plan to have a very small website (elsewhere on this domain) by early fall. I’ll have a few more details up in a post soon about some of the structure and other choices (summarising much of what I’ve been talking about here.) We have plans to opening to considering new members sometime this fall, but exactly how is still in process, and we intend to proceed very slowly and gently.

Expect to see lots of discussion here, not so much about what we’ve chosen to do (though I’ll use it as an example) but as what I’m thinking about as I move forward with this, and what matters to me.

Friday rec:

Since I spent Monday making a new kind of bread, a bread recommendation.

I stumbled across The Fresh Loaf site a while back, and used the pita bread recipe linked from the right column of the main page with great success. They’ve got all sorts of great articles and comments and ideas for all levels of home baking. (well, not bread machines, maybe. But everything else.) Also many really nifty recipes, many of which have photos and other commentary.

Bread is one of the most magical and nifty things I do. First, the whole process of baking bread is about transformation and change and getting something new, nourishing, and powerful out of some pretty minimal ingredients.

But more than that, it’s such a sensory process. There’s the dusting of the flour on your hands, the sweetness of the honey, the feel of the dough as you knead it, the delight of hands in warm olive-oil rich dough in the winter. I take a great joy in having fresh, homemade bread, for ritual, too.

If you’re at all interested in making your own bread, go check them out.

Coven syncronicity

Something to be going on with, while I get through my last week of work before the summer. (Working for a school has some schedule benefits. The not-getting-paid for 3 months of time off, however, is not the fun part.)

So, tonight, I show up at L’s home, my covenmate, for what was supposed to be a scheduled role-playing game night (we play about once a month with several of my former groupmates. Yes, we’re geeks, but we have fun.) Due to computer emergencies requiring urgent repair, gaming got cancelled while I was on my way there. So, we hang out, she feeds me fabulous food (hamburgers from humanely raised reasonably local cow, and homemade hamburger buns, and and…), and somewhere in the food prep, I say

Me: Hey – I tried out new adventures in bread baking last night. I made pita bread.

L: You did? I did too!

We blink at each other in mutual amusement, comment about how it was surprisingly easy and fun, and we plan to do it again. We wander off to other subjects, and sometime later…

Me: Y’know, when I did the pita bread, I ended up using half whole wheat: it came out surprisingly well, I was really pleased.

L (looking at me slightly oddly): I did too. And yes – they did come out well.

We wander off to other topics again. Another 20 minutes down the line…

Me: Ok, I’d ask if you used honey and olive oil, but that’s probably a given.

L: Yes. But yes.

(Those being our general preferences for bread baking for the sugar + fat component in bread when needed.)

At this point, I decided I should probably blog it, just for everyone else’s amusement.

Ah, well. We’re nicely matched up, at least. And we can talk endlessly about making good bread. There are far worse things to have in the world.