Saturday, September 08, 2007

It's alive!

I have been meaning to update this blog for a long, long time. My daughter, Erin, is visiting, and today she said that she looked at my blog every day, and was sad to see it not updated.

The guilt trip worked. Here I am! I'm going to give a quick update, and hopefully then get back on track with keeping the blog up and running.

So, on July 21, I spent the entire day reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It arrived via USPS that morning; I read through the day, taking breaks now and then, and finished aorund 11:00 pm. As best I can recall, this is the only time in my life I've ever read a book start-to-finish in a single day. And a 759 page book at that!

As you may recall, the reason I did this was that I was one of the winners of the Portland Oregonian's HP #7 review contest. I had to turn in my review on Wednesday morning, so wanted to get the reading done as fast as I could. It was a great book, and a good experience. Go here to read my review. (Note: the reviews were limited to 300 words, and we weren't allowed to give any key plot points or spoilers. Note also that in its on-line format, the intro and reviews take 8 pages; mine is the last one, and you might want to read the book editor's into on page 1, as well as the other reviews. Fun stuff!)

I taught a summer class from the middle of July to the middle of August-- one of those 4-week kamikaze college composition courses that runs Monday through Thursday for 3 hours each day. Class started at 8 am! We all slogged through, and had a pretty good time in the end. Check the class blog if you're interested; our theme was "travel," and the students posted some pretty interesting images.

On August 2-5, Aaran (Grey School) and I drove up to Lewis and Clark State Park (Washington, near Mt. St. Helens) for the Grey School's Washington Conclave. The weather was lovely and we had a fine time with our wizardly friends! High points included a session on the magick of chocolate, by Kalla, and some incredible energy sessions with Flamekeeper.

Camping among old-growth cedar:

Magick trees....


Lunaris and a BIG tree:

Campfire magick....

the group:

Last year I planted a container "fire garden" on my deck-- one of the requirements for a Grey School class on elemental gardening. This year it resurrected itself! Every plant-- even the annuals-- came back, having overwintered successfully. (Global warming, anyone?) See below:

As if one Conclave wasn't enough, Aaran and I also took in the California Conclave in mid-August. Held at Humboldt Redwoods State Park, this event also featured our very own GSW Headmaster, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. Once again we lucked out with the weather, and camping amongst the ancient trees was incredible.

Below: the Pacific Ocean, just north of Crescent City, CA.

The redwoods!

Making runes (Aaran, Treeotter, and Oberon):

A hike through the "Founders Grove." A dozen of us were inside of a hollow tree, with room for more!

Preparing for ritual:

Oberon directs the campfire (and the fire itself!):

Oberon and I:

The group:

August 23: I officially began my Practicum in Wortcunning in the Grey School. Check my Wortwritings blog to follow my progress. This is my final step in earning a Journeyman's certificate from the GSW. It should take me 2-4 months.

On August 25, we visited Mom at her new digs, Cougar Springs Assisted Living in Redmond, OR. Here are a couple pictures of Mom's new apartment and of her caregiver, Maria.

August 28: A total lunar eclipse, visible start-to-finish on the west coast. I got up at 2 am to watch and stayed up the rest of the night. It was spectacular!

Here's the moon entering totality:

During totality-- blood red!

Emerging from Earth's shadow....

That's it for now, but I'll write more soon. I promise to be a better blogger!

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