Mercurial Motion

I had a hunch, so I checked it out and, sure enough, I was right.

Mercury went retrograde on January 11th and won’t stop the retrograde motion until February 1st, reaching a full return on February 14th.  Whew!

I KNEW there was something going on with communications and thinking, but no one here had mentioned it and I kept forgetting to check it out.

The next retrograde period begins on May 7th and will continue until May 31st, achieving a full return on June 14th.

There is another period in September and another one in December.

So hang on, everyone, things are about to settle down and straighten out in a few more days!  If you don’t know what it means to have Mercury go in retrograde motion, here is a good page that explains what it’s all about.

New Socks!

Look at these gorgeous, I mean GORGEOUS, pair of new socks that just came off the needles a few minutes ago! They are made of the softest Marino wool I have ever had the pleasure of touching. And the colors?  Turquoise, purple, rust, chartreuse – oh my!  They were an absolute joy to make. I started them a few months ago (September maybe?), but have worked on them off and on over the past few months. I had to get them done because I have a very important pair of socks to make for a very important woman and I want to use my favorite wood needles, which were occupied with these until now.  The wool came from a St. Paul dyer named Aiesha Celia.

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Today is a day for warm oatmeal and hot cider for breakfast.  When I left the house this morning, it was -17 on the house thermometer and -18 on the car’s.  You know it’s cold when there is ice on the inside of the bus windows.  But, hey, we’re Minnesotans, right, and we knew it was coming.  Rather than wait until the end of the day, I will do my gratitudes early.

Today I am grateful for:

  • Thermal underwear
  • Smartwool socks
  • Lambswool sweaters
  • Engine block heaters
  • Furnaces that work

One thing’s for sure, temps like that will wake you up when you take the dog outside to piddle!

And now for a bit of warm fuzzy for a day like today …


Harald has been fighting off something for weeks now and when he went to the doctor the last time right after Christmas, it was suggested he make a trip to Whole Foods and buy a product called “Umcka” which is supposed to help lessen the severity and duration of symptoms.  I felt pretty suspicious when I heard that.  I guess I tend not to believe too strongly in the value of “natural” remedies that cost a lot, since so few of them have proven reliably effective – in my experience anyway.  And at around $15 for a box of the stuff, you do have to think twice about spending that kind of money during these economic times.

However, after a few days of taking the chewable tablets, Harald felt remarkably better.  He said his symptoms really were less severe and didn’t last as long.  So on Monday when I started getting a painfully scratchy throat, I decided to give it a try myself and start taking the tablets.  I’ve gone through what H had left over, and now I’ve started taking the tea instead.  You can get this product in a droplet form, chewable tablet form, or a tea form.  And I have to say, for a cold that’s making me feel as tired and beat as this one is, I have remarkably few other symptoms.  I am particularly free of the awful head congestion (knock on wood!) that usually ails me.

If you are unfortunate enough to come down with a cold any time soon, I encourage you to consider giving it a try.  After the experience we’ve both had, we are buying a box or two just to keep in the house at the ready.  With the frequent colds that H brings home from the kids at school, it is most welcome to find something that works so well.

Good Books in Bad Times

Based on the premise that “books are friends, therapists, healing tonic, and … ‘life-affirming'”, HarperCollins has started a new blog called  I learned about it today from the Christian Science Monitor, one of my favorite papers.  There are all types of categories of books you can look through, so check it out if you don’t know about it already.

The Campaign for Love and Forgiveness

If you haven’t checked it out already, I encourage you to visit and learn about The Campaign for Love and Forgiveness.  From their web site:

“Launched in 2006, the Campaign for Love & Forgiveness uses PBS documentaries, community activities, online resources, and networking opportunities to encourage reflection and conversation about how love and forgiveness can effect meaningful change in individuals and society. Through community conversations, the campaign aims to create a meaningful national dialogue that will bring about positive changes for individuals, their relationships, and their communities.”

I stumbled across this today while visiting the Speaking of Faith web site and listening to the Parker Palmer interview as part of the Repossessing Virtue series entitled “Repossessing Virtue: Parker Palmer on Economic Crisis, Morality, and Meaning.”  If you don’t have this bookmarked in iTunes or can’t listen to the online version, I encourage you to download and read the transcript.

Christmas in Lutsen

We had one spectacularly sunny day while on the North Shore recently, and I snapped this photo from inside the living room showing the view down the hill with Lake Superior in the background.

This was taken a little later the same afternoon – one of many deer that show up late to get the corn that is their special treat.

And the newest addition to the Hall family, little Kyli who was born December 1 – isn’t she adorable?