church of tarot: king of wands

king of wandsThis week’s card is the King of Wands which represents: a dark man, someone friendly, a country man, generally married, honest, and conscientious. The physical and emotional nature to which this card is attributed is dark, ardent, lithe, animated, impassioned, and noble. I like to think this is the classic, “You will meet a tall, dark, and handsome man” card.

Let us know, is this pertinent to your day or week? How so? Or just let us know that you think the lizard in the corner is cute! We might share what it means if you do.

church of tarot: judgement

judgementThis week’s card is Judgement. I handmade a full tarot deck and of all of the cards this is one of my least favorite, artistically. The judgement card is one of the major arcana card and represents: change of position, renewal, and outcome. The people in the lower half of the card are appealing to the angel, ready to be judged by the power of the universe.

Some questions to consider might be: Are you awaiting some kind of judgement in order to move forward in your life? Are you in need of a change? Do you need some kind of a spiritual renewal?

judgement

Let us know how this card relates to your day or week in the comments below!

Camping at Withrow Springs State Park

I have a new favorite campground. Withrow Springs State Park is a little under an hour from our apartment in central Fayetteville, AR but it’s totally worth the drive.

withrow springsWe camped on December 1st and ended up having the whole campground to ourselves. It was a bit scary in the middle of the night when we met a scavenging possom and had to scare him off with sparklers and dancing (shh, don’t tell the ranger we had fireworks!). We went to celebrate Brooke’s birthday, but you’re going to see a lot of camping posts in the future because it’s our New Years resolution to camp once a month for the whole year.

campingOne of the most fun parts of the trip was that we cooked everything we ate over our wood fire. My dad chopped us a bunch of logs and collected two big bundles of sticks for us. I made some girl scout style firestarters and we were set. On the left up there is our potatoes just after I pulled them off of the fire to scoop them into our potato salad bowl. The other things we made were: bratworst, yellow cake (from scratch! over a fire!), and bacon and eggs. Then of course there were the morning s’mores you can see me making in the middle, above.

campingWe had tons of fun camping and I can’t wait to go again in January (even though it’s going to be pretty chilly!).

Put a Bird on it: Christmas tree edition

Brooke and I found exactly three Christmas ornaments with birds on them in our Christmas box this year and decided to do a themed tree. Since three wasn’t quite enough to make an impact, we made a few more to join the flock. I’m not even going to bother explaining how to make these because it was so incredibly simple. So simple that Real Simple magazine approved!

christmas treeowlsowlschristmas tree

peanut butter cheesecake with brownie crust and sour cream topping

cakeBrooke requested this for her birthday and it turned out amazing. The recipe was from a recent issue of southern living and was surprisingly simple to make for something that seems so complicated. The brownie crust was easy to make with gluten free flour and might be a new staple in our repertoire of crusts. A regular cheesecake, or a chocolate pie with this crust would be super yummy too.

It’s a basic brownie recipe. The bottom is par-baked, and the sides are not. They are carefully spooned onto the edges of the pan, the filling goes in, and it’s baked.

Clearly I need to work on my chocolate shaving/curling skills. But the whole thing turned out perfectly otherwise! Sorry for not including a recipe, but I altered it so minimally that it didn’t seem cool to share. Again, check southern living if you’re dying for it.

church of tarot: three of swords

three of swordsEach Sunday we pull out a card from our hand made tarot deck and interpret it. We often share (in the comments) how the card is relating to our personal lives and encourage our readers to do the same. This week’s card is the three of swords. The card shows three swords piercing a heart with clouds and rain behind. It’s meanings are: removal, absence, delay, division, rupture, dispersion, and all that the design of the card signifies naturally. The Three of Swords is a card that represents your pain. But this is also a card that appears to warn you that you may be inflicting cruelty upon others.

How does this relate to your life right now? We hope it doesn’t at all to be honest, it’s kind of a miserable card!

light my fire

fire

After three years as a counselor at Girl Scout camp, I can’t go camping without a fresh set of fire-starters. These classic scouting essentials are easy enough to make yourself, and will light your fire on the first try every time. Brooke and I went camping for her 25th birthday a few weeks ago and I made some of these for our trip. They were wonderful!

What you’ll need:
cardboard egg carton
dryer lint, sawdust, wood shavings, and the like
parafin wax

What you’ll do:
Distribute the lint, sawdust, and wood curls evenly and attractively in each segment of the carton. Melt the parafin wax according to the box’s instructions (we double boil it in something disposable like a steel can). On a newspaper covered surface, or outside in an area that won’t be disturbed by a bit of wax, pour the melted wax into each of the segments. Allow to cool completely.
When you’re ready to use them, just tear off one segment at a time, stick it in the base of your fire, and light a cardboard edge.

Have you made these before? Do you have a different kind of fire starter that you like to use? Tell us all about it!

the evolution of a pumpkin

 

pumpkinIt’s a little hard to have an appetite for pumpkin when it seems like pumpkin flavored everything exploded into every store ever, but a classic pumpkin pie is an essential holiday dish. Brooke and I get our pumpkins from a local pumpkin patch that offers an endless number of varieties of pumpkins and gourds.

We pick our pumpkins up around late October and save one from an early demise as a jack-o-lantern. That pumpkin sits unpunctured in the kitchen until mid-october when I finally find the time to chop it, gut it, and bake it. Once it’s baked (tender to a fork) I chunk it up into smaller bits and throw it in the blender. And that’s it. Pureed. Then, on Thanksgiving, it gets pie-ified.

So much more delicious than some gross can of pre-mixed pie mush. And SO much more vibrant. With a bit of dad’s perfectly home made whipped cream, I could eat the whole pie!

What goes into your holiday desserts? Are you a pumpkin person or a pecan person? I lean toward the pumpkin side of things, obviously.

Southern Fried Christmas Music

I’m really not a huge fan of Holiday music. That being said, I do remember decorating our tree as a child while listening to Gene Autry, Dolly Parton, and other country Christmas classics. This playlist honors that tradition. Enjoy and Happy Holidays

church of tarot: eight of swords

This week’s card is the Eight of Swords. That’s three from the swords this month! Swords represent the element of air and call for an exploration of your emotional and imaginative self: emotional responses, reactions, and impulses; feelings; psychic and emotional sensitivity; dreams; fantasies; passions and desires; impressionability; and creative self expression.

eight of swords

The eight of swords itself represents: bad news, violence, crisis, censure, power, conflict, and sickness. Not a happy card, but when this card comes up I like to remind those I am reading for that these things might not be coming for you, but perhaps for someone else. In a one card reading there is a little more ambiguity as to where the card’s meanings will settle, which can be reassuring when cards like these come up.

Some questions to consider might be: Are you aware or unaware of options open to you? (There are always options.) Do you think that you don’t fit in? How might you be responsible for your position?