August 21st – “The Solar Eclipse occurring today brings new beginnings in the coming weeks and even months in your life direction, path, professional dealings, or reputation.”

Oh, good! I wasn’t particularly excited about the solar eclipse today, but I’m all for new beginnings. I LOVE new beginnings.

New beginnings are awesome because:

  1. I get to start with a clean slate
  2. I haven’t messed anything up yet
  3. Anything can happen

I thrive not knowing what’s what the future will hold. Unknowns are filled with mystery, possibilities, and unpredictability. It’s not for everyone, but for my personality, I like change and living through life’s many surprises. I’m ready for all the beginnings the next few months will bring.

My horoscope also advised that I’ll get some assistance:

“This solar eclipse will open doors that have been previously locked, and you may even have a helping hand from a VIP. “

Last month, I requested a past life reading from my go-to tarot reading Benebell Wen. She’s been busy with some new services she offering on her website. Did you know you can get a 300 page book all about yourself? No wonder she’s so busy! Benebell got back to me today. She has not failed me in the past and I consider her a VIP in astrology.

My 26 page past life report came with a lot of helpful material about things that I need to work on. Some of the karma has already been handled and others have not. One of the things I asked was the big question that many (if not all) writers/artists ask themselves:

  1. Who is my audience?
  2. How do I want to get recognized?

Apparently, I want to go for gold in this lifetime. One of the “past me’s” was an effeminate intellectual man with dark hair (it’s crazy the type of detail she gives me!) who didn’t get recognition for his work. In order to fill this void, I need to get approval at the highest level. That means impressing the smartest people in my profession AND getting an award for it. That’s a really tall order!

It’s been a good news, bad news kind of day. The good news is that I got some answers to questions I’ve been thinking about. The bad news is that playtime is over. I can’t go on pretending like it’s okay for me to be mediocre and coast through the remaining years of my life. Why me?!

August 20th – “Consider things that have been holding you back from going after what you want….

….You have a rather fearless attitude now, and this works. There can be breakthrough thinking about practical matters, career, or long-term goals.”

Goals don’t work for me. I’m sure it does wonders for some people, but I find goals confining. I become inflexible, stressed out, and unmotivated. I don’t think goals are for people who are self-motivated.

That doesn’t mean I wander through the world aimlessly. In fact, it’s the opposite. If my life were to be summed up in a book, my trajectory would be clear to any reader. When I have freedom to do what I want, I am motivated and am able to accomplish things that I have never dreamed of.  

I have never had a 5 year plan and don’t want to make any now. I don’t have a vision for my future self that that’s perfectly fine. The more I try to think about planning for the future, the less value I find in investing in long-term goals.

Things rarely work out the way I see them. The more expectation I set up for myself, the more disappointed I get. Accomplishing a goal is rarely as satisfying or significant as I had believed it would be. A lot can change in the course of a day and what’s important today may not be important 5 years from now.

For now, I’m doing what I do best. I am doing what I want and making no excuses.

August 15th – “There are a number of ways we can end up borrowing from the future…such as overindulging and promising ourselves we’ll cut back tomorrow, or making promises so you can put something off.”

I’ve been putting off work projects for the past month. It’s starting to catch up to me now and I want to get some things checked off my list before it gets out of control. There are no real deadlines, but I will miss some great opportunities if I don’t complete my projects.

For the past two days, I’ve spent 10 hours re-watching a television series I’m writing an article about. It was good that I did because there were so many things that I forgot about! I missed so many details and may have to rework my entire argument. Eeeck! Well, may not the entire thing, but my brain will definitely be working overtime the next few days.

It was not easy to stay away from junk food during those 10 hours. I had a ton of apples, so I made a slightly healthier apple crisp. Let’s get real. If I baked chocolate chip cookies today, I would have eaten them all! An oatmeal apple crisp was the best thing I could think of making without derailing my semi-healthy diet. I already borrowed from my future last week, so there will be no more indulging until the weekend.

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Oatmeal Apple Crisp

Filling
8-9 medium apples, sliced
3 tablespoons lemon
½ cup maple sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup water
½ teaspoons ground ginger

Topping
1 cup whole rolled oats
½ cup ground oats (oat flour)
½ cup flour (or more oat flour)
½ cup maple sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup olive oil
A few pinches of salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix filling ingredients together. Pour mix in oiled 9×13 pan
3. Mix topping ingredients. Spread on top of apple mixture.
4. Bake for 50 minutes.

Original recipe here

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August 12th – “Mercury turns retrograde in the sign of Virgo today…”

You’d be wise to be more alert than usual when it comes to dealings with friends and groups, as well as business income and dealings with business associates….Fortunately, this is a great period for looking back and seeing things in a new way.”

The last time Mercury was in retrograde (back in April and May), things did not go so well. My health deteriorated, I was behind on work, and I had major communication issues with others. This time around, I planned ahead.

Yesterday, I handled all my important business transactions and mailed a signed contract. Now that that’s off my hands, I’m postponing all communication with new contacts until after September 5th when retrograde ends.

The timing is great for me because there are a number of things I want to finish up on before I put myself out there. I’ve made some decisions and haven’t worked out the details yet. This is the perfect opportunity to look back and see things in a new way. It will give me a chance to revisit, revise, and refine the steps I need to take to move forward with my next project.

I’m sure some of you don’t believe in Mercury retrograde effects, but I don’t feel like taking any chances right now. This morning, I went to harvest vegetables in my garden and found a creepy looking tomato. Every year there are some deformities with the tomatoes, but I never imagined I would find one like this:

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If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is!

 

 

August 4th – “If a friend is in need, let them know you’re at their service. Make time for them.”

It’s summer, and as usual, I’ve disappeared for a while because I am trying to focus on a number of things at once. What makes summer especially busy for me is the added responsibility of managing a garden.

For once, I’m doing a pretty good job of harvesting, consuming, and giving away my fruits and vegetables before things go bad. I’ve made several loaves of zucchini bread,

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pots of apple sauce,

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and pints of strawberry rhubarb jam.

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There’s nothing like fresh broccolini and kale for dinner!

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I even had enough energy to pick wild blackberries on my jogging trail.

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Now that I’m caught up, I have time to listen to a friend in need.  

July 22nd – “You have big plans—and don’t need to broadcast them. In fact, with fewer people around, you won’t have distractions pulling you off-task.”

I like to talk about ideas with others. It helps me figure things out. I never know what might spark a new idea or perspective. It’s a way of jump starting my brain, to force me to process my thoughts while I am in conversation. However, this is only good for brainstorming sessions. When things start coming together and get serious, there’s no time to talk!

What I’ve learned from working on long term projects is that it’s not a good idea to talk about what I’m doing unless someone is going through the same  process. The bigger the plans, the less it helpful it is to share.

In fact, it can get really annoying when someone asks, “How’s that thing you’re working on going?” And my favorite, “Are you finished?” That one’s the worse!

I know that others mean well and are just trying to to engage. Sometimes I get irritated, but I can’t fault them. After all, I have disappeared for months at a time. It’s only natural that one would be curious as to what I was up to.

With that said, here is some cat pictures.

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His bobtail is too cute!

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Look at Little Rooks go!

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July 20th – “Mars bolts into Leo, heating up your tenth house of career and long-term planning until September 5. “

Retirement is not in my cards. I was 100% sure of that even before I went for my tarot reading last November. I once told the 401K manager at work that I didn’t plan on retiring. I’ve never forget the horrified look on his face.

Even when I am not getting paid to work, I work. There’s always some project in the back of my mind that I’m thinking about. Hey, thinking is work too!  The tarot reader said she saw 2 books in my future. My prediction is that I’m going to go (yes, I mean die) when that second book is finished. I don’t even have one book yet, so I have a few years left.

Since I’m not going any time soon, it would be wise for me to figure out what my next career move will be. After all, I do have bills to pay. It’s a real shame that I don’t want to get married because the stars do say that I could be financially supported by such a union!  My resume and CV have not been updated in awhile, so I brainstormed some ways to start padding it.

Brainstorming is easy. It’s choosing what to focus on that’s difficult. Although I’m no closer to figuring out what my big picture plan is for the future, I have determined one thing. I cannot work in isolation. All the options I’ve written down involve interaction with people, and lots of them.

This goes contrary to how I have been behaving. I’ve been playing an introvert for 2 years and I’ve reached the limit. If I don’t start dealing with people, I may end up lifeless, grumpy, and unappreciative like some of my coworkers.  

Today, my boss brought in this lovely coffee cake crumble chocolate Challah bread from some fancy hipster bakery in San Francisco. It was a nice treat.

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Look at the layers of chocolate and dough!

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At the end of the day, there was still half left. I don’t think my work environment is right for me. I like to eat, laugh, and enjoy life. If my coworkers are an example of what I have to look forward to as an introvert, I’m tapping out. Give me another slice of Challah bread, please!

 

July 19th – Content yourself with just working like crazy around your own home. Bet you’ll find quite a few things to get done, too.”

The garden was neglected for almost an entire week. I had disappeared for a few days for work and a short trip to Minneapolis.

There’s a big Scandinavian population there and I got to try their cuisine.

Herring with cucumbers, fermented apples and potatoes in buttermilk sauce

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Kropkakkor (dumplings)

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There’s also a big bunny population there.

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I arrived a day too late and found out that there was a Weird Al burlesque.

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By the time I returned home to tend to my garden, these giant things showed up.

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My partner watered the plants while I was away, but didn’t harvest anything.  I was only gone for 6 days! There’s no stopping zucchini’s once they start growing. I found quite a few things to do in the garden today. 

July 13th – “End a bad habit — pat yourself on the back as you take a step in a new direction!”

Ooops! Too late! I already had a maple leaf cookie sandwich for breakfast today! It’s one of my favorite cookies, so it was hard to resist.

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One of our customers sent us these cookies a couple of weeks ago. He does not live or work in Canada, but I guess he celebrates Canada day.

I really wanted to have another cookie, but I should end this bad habit today. Goodbye sweet maple leaf cookie. I’ll see you next Canada day!