Salt of the Earth

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My blogging rut extended to a great many areas, including this poor column. Which is silly because there’s so much that I haven’t even thought about touching.

A lot of them are just that basic to me that it doesn’t occur to me to actually write them down.

Conversation held earlier this week, about ghosts and hauntings.

Me: “Well, it’s not like I’m going to start handing out bathroom salt or something, you’re just going to have to go it alone.”

Person: “Why…why are we using salt to ward off ghosts, exactly?”

Why, I’m glad you asked, person I won’t identify by name!

The easiest answer to the question is that salt has a long standing connection to ghosts, hauntings, energy work, bindings, unbindings, hexes, crossing, uncrossing, so and so forth in multiple regions of world mythology because of its connection to the earth.

Invoking earth is what is sometimes called grounding and the general idea is push the energy that you’re with into the earth. The earth is a very big thing and it doesn’t matter if the thing you’re working with seems very big to you-it’s small to the earth. The earth is going to shrug and be like yeah, whatever, I’ll take it on (this is the basis for part of egg magic. Whether or not I write about eggs remains to be seen).

Americans’ outright obsession with the stuff aside, salt was also exceptionally rare. The rarity, the connection to grounding, and the way that salt has been known to preserve food for centuries combined to create a folkloric powerhouse material.

What you do with it is dependent on what you’re trying to do. Salt is an all purpose barrier; in this Supernatural is actually right-salt creates a doorway that requires an invitation to cross. Salting the corners of the room is saying that the room is off limits. Carrying salt with you wards off evil, bad energies and prevents malice. If someone enters your home that you would rather not return, sprinkle the doorway they left through with salt and sweep it out of the the house.

Salt Folklore and Magic

 

I am not my blog hop, I really love my eyebrows, and other rambles. Welcome to March.

We are finally through February and I am doing the happy dance. I am quite literally doing the happy dance. February and November are my least favorite months, I do not regret seeing either month end.

-Inspired Weekends will be back later this month

I’ve been enjoying the break from blog hops but I want to get that hop back up and running. My promise to myself, however, is to be more laid back about it. I am admittedly behind on getting stuff onto Pinterest, but I’m not going to take myself to task for the state of the hop. Part of the reason for the break was I needed some distance from the Internet popularity points that come from the process-it’s like Reddit karma; I got a little too caught up in playing fake and forced popularity games over the blog hop size.

-I really love my eyebrows, and other things I’ve noticed from my descent into the beauty underworld

It turns out I own a brow kit. I don’t know why. This is an item I should not have picked up at any other point of my beauty history. I would not have known how to use it prior to now. I don’t even know how to use it now, though I’m closer than I would have been prior. But I really love the shape of my brows though they’re getting slightly bushier than I would have liked.

I can’t keep up with skin hydration this month. I’ve resorted to carrying Nivea cream and BB cream everywhere I go. It’s right around my nose and nothing that I do can stop the flaking. Light moisturizers, heavy moisturizers, drinking twice more water, expensive foundation, cheap foundation-it doesn’t matter. It’s supposed to be in the 30s all week (!!!) so hopefully we’re in the tail end of ‘suck all the water of out of your skin’ season.

-I have managed to exercise for a full week

And it’s all Reddit’s fault. Both in the actual ‘I’m getting sick of being called a fattie, even if I’m not normally one to give into body shaming’ sense and the ‘I just like positive reinforcement’ sense. I talk about dancing on Reddit, we have a conversation, everyone’s happy. I think that part of the problem is that I love my social circle but it doesn’t matter what I do, the support is the same. Exercise? Great! Don’t exercise? Also great! Since the result’s the same either way there’s no incentive for me to actually do anything.

And my back’s happier, by the way. That’s pretty much the only reason I’m getting back into exercise. I’ve been pretty open about my stance on being whatever size you’re at right now, it’s all good-but I’m a little concerned I can’t get socks off of the floor without fear of my back going out for a week or more.

-General State of the Blog

As I said in my word of the year check in post earlier this week, I’m slowly coming out of my winter depression. I’m starting to write more, I’m starting to cook more, and I’m starting to work out my spring plans. I don’t think I’m going to do my monthly theme for March, but I am hoping to get more posts up. It should be obvious that my scope has opened up a little but I’m hoping to hold to my normal horror/not horror balance.

Morgana (2012)

I still hold that lackluster foreign horror is still generally a better bet than most anything American mainstream studios are putting out right now.

Morgana is not an awesome film. I’m not sure if the movie is that bad or if the plot just feels stale. Morgana, the titular character, finds herself in the middle of increasing danger surrounding the abandoned house next door, a doll-and her own secrets. The movie plays off of a lot of traditionally feminine horror tropes and outcomes with an almost puzzled air of ‘well of course this would happen this way. Why wouldn’t it?’

Even the ending feels obvious-as in, the closing shot feels like the production staff sort of went, well why wouldn’t a woman feel this way? Of course Morgana is now full of grace and forgiveness. She’s now an adult. Satisfied head shake.

I’m sure part of this is the cultural lens (I’m watching a Mexican film as an American), but honestly this seems to be one of the stances that is fairly universal throughout the horror genre regardless of country.

-Spoiler Break-

Horror does not seem to handle the concept of impending motherhood without sliding into that ‘but of course I’m now a loving and protective person who’s capable of great forgiveness. That’s what mothers do. Personally I am much more impressed when a film is able to break out of that trope and just admit that parenthood isn’t all cooing and love and warm cuddly feelings for people who may have harmed you. I don’t think all films need to go quite as far into it as Rosemary’s Baby does, but at least we’re not claiming that -it’s okay you’re being attacked by demons because of a baby-.

Word of the Year Check In-Tough (Self) Love and Gangsters

Me and Bugsy. And those weasels from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Me and Bugsy. And those weasels from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

I was going to do a check in for my word of the year since we’re nearing the end of the first quarter anyway but the universe is twisting in on itself. I’m being tagged on links on Facebook about how sometimes self love is a battle, and you’re going to fight yourself the way that you fight any person you love.

I will say this much-I am not at peace or center, but I’m so much closer than I was in mid-December.

It’s been a matter of cascading situations. I had a wake up call about how much I had hit bottom before the New Year, and have been slowly adding routines back into the swing of taking care of my self. Starting with moisturizing, which led to cosmetics (again) then to de-dreading and rehabbing my hair, to exercise and now I’m drinking water (I hate water).

Here’s the thing though-my self wears a fedora and talks like Bogart. It swaggers like the bad boy in a noir rendition of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. It swears and throws its weight around. It doesn’t want to be fluffy, it doesn’t want to be pretty, and it definitely doesn’t want to be feminine. My self wants to rock my natural Baba Yaga power brows and lip colors you sort of don’t like. It wants to wear mono-color eyeshadow just because you don’t wear mono-color eyeshadows. It wants to dance because fat girls don’t dance, and it wants salads because lettuce just tastes good.

For the first time in close to a decade, it wants to be seen-and that’s a huge, huge deal for a woman who had that desire stolen out from underneath her.

And that’s pretty *&(* good, too, right now, if that’s what’s going to take me closer to certain and something like stability.

My favorite photo of myself right now is one I took randomly at night when Mid plunked a fedora on my head. I’m wearing dregs of the day’s makeup and I’m sneering.

The article that I was tagged to on Facebook used the phrase ‘ganster self love, it’s punk %$#(ing rock self love.’ and that’s actually a pretty $@$$ accurate description of what’s going on right now. We have an agreement, me and my self. There’s nothing wrong with lace and fluff and gradient brows and all the trappings of traditional femininity. We’re just heading in a different direction.

Can Al Capone be a beauty deity? ‘Cuz he sort of is for me right now.

 

Pashima With Tails [The Easiest Wrap You’ll Ever Wear]

I am fully wrapped in this tutorial. No hair is showing. I am however wearing a cami tank, as I was getting dressed while taking these photos.

*Photo quality isn’t awesome, and most likely will be reshot later. First photo to the left is #1 and then so on.

PicMonkey CollagePashima with tails is my easiest, go to daily wrap. You can decide which side to wear your tails, or split them as in the last photo.

I think that sometimes we forget to start at the absolute beginning-that before we learn regals and crowns and even hijab we need to figure out how to get used to the -size- of a scarf. This is a great tie to get used to just working with the size and bulk of a scarf. You can wear this is a full range of scarf lengths. This does work best with rectangular scarves.

If your hair is long enough to be put up, pull into a pony tail. If it’s long enough for it, put it into a bun.

1. Take your pashima and find near center. Place close to center over the center of your hair. I have always worn my hair parted in the middle so center goes over my part. Don’t freak out about getting it too balanced-to steal a phrase-tails are sisters, not twins.

2. Drape the ends of the pashima over your shoulders and pinch or twist the ends slightly. This makes it easier to handle the tails.

3. Pull the tails to the back. You’re going to tie your pashima in a half hitch, or like the first step in tying your shoes. Overlap your tails and pull one end through the gap between the overlap and the fabric against the back of your head (it’ll make more sense when you’re tying it).

4. Pull the half knot snug but not terribly tight. If you are worried about slippage, use a velvet head band or bobby pin the front. I very, very rarely have issues with slipping and I rarely use a band or pins.

5. Place your tails to the front. Or not. Wear them down the back or to one side or another.

Cleaning, in 2 Minutes Bursts

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I have no idea why this was tagged as cleaning on Pixabay. But it amuses me.

 

Bear with me.

I know that a lot of people are going to cross their eyes and wonder what sort of weirdness I’ve gotten into this time-or truly how deep does my laziness run.

I’m a terrible person to ask cleaning advice from. I’m a horrible housekeeper. I’m not a horrible housekeeper the way that bloggers say that they are and mean ‘I haven’t bleached the grout in the last 15 minutes, take my blogging card away from me until I get my act together, lawl, lawl’-when I say it I full and truly mean I’m a slob.

Contrary to what people will sometimes whisper I’m not a hoarder. My issue isn’t with throwing stuff away or getting rid of things. I just hate cleaning with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I don’t like it, I don’t feel better in a clean house-I lived with an ultra clean person in grad school and it was like living in a dentist’s reception area.

There are so many other things that I would rather be doing with my time than cleaning.

The point being, if I’m telling you that I have started a collection of cleaning tips that have helped me immensely, then you should probably pay attention.

Clean in 2 minute bursts

Not, like, literally in 2 minute bursts. But do that too, if that works. My friend Victoria passed this tip along to me and it actually works for me. Break tasks done into things that can be done in less than two minutes and then do as many two minute tasks until you can’t take it anymore.

Most of the time it’s the size of the project that turns people off of cleaning-and the momentum to start. Again, if you’re the type of person that can power through four hours of cleaning and then just do spot cleaning then this tip probably won’t make sense to you. My list is sometimes broken down into ridiculous sections like ‘put the knife in the sink.’

But you know what, you do enough ‘put the knife into the sink’ sections and you’ve made a dent in the cleaning.

Take Breaks

I got this tip from A Beautiful Mess years ago and it’s really stuck with me.

For the most part, you don’t need to power through your cleaning. If you need to clean for five minutes and then take a break for 20-there’s actually nothing wrong with that.

I think I needed to hear that it’s okay to have whatever natural cleaning rhythm you fall into. Not everyone has the same levels of patience for housekeeping than other people do.

I can’t clean but I can babysit a canner for 8 hours. It’s all in our individual tolerances and it’s okay to do what  you can handle and then stop for awhile. As long as you start again. That’s the hard part for my slob soul. Remembering to start again.

The Last House on Cemetery Lane

So this movie is sort of adorable.

I’m not saying that it was aiming for cute, or that it’s a cuddly film.

I’m not even saying that it’s good (because it’s not). It’s just that it’s one of those movies where it’s sort of like watching a really good LARP- the acting isn’t believable, the script is stilted and the plot is clunky and forced. But it’s like watching people who are really into what they’re doing role playing. As in, you can tell that the actors are acting but you don’t really care because watching them act is sort of enjoyable in and of itself.

There are a few elements that were at least entertaining in passing-a lot of the effects and shots that were used to try to build tension were enjoyable in passing. Nothing in this film is particularly terrifying, even for a low budget piece.

John Davies moves to Wales for a short time in order to get away from the monotony of his normal life. When he finds the house not as advertised, he questions his decision to move in. However, he does take the house and notices that things become increasingly odd. At the urging of his neighbor, he decides to attempt to communicate with the entity or force that he is sharing space with. What he finds is certainly not what he was hoping to get out of a relaxing trip.