Thursday, May 31, 2007

TT #42: once in a blue moon

Thirteen things about the blue moon

A blue moon is a second full moon to occur in a single calendar month.
"Once in a blue moon" means not very often.

  • Some sources say that in 2007, there is a blue moon in June. Others say that the blue moon actually occurs in May. Who is right? Well, you could see a blue moon in May, June or even July, but it depends where in the world you live. Look here to find out.

  • There are historical examples of the moon actually turning blue. When the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa exploded in 1883, its dust turned sunsets green and the moon blue all around the world for the best part of two years. In 1927, the Indian monsoons were late arriving and the extra-long dry season blew up enough dust for a blue moon. And moons in northeastern North America turned blue in 1951 when huge forest fires in western Canada threw smoke particles up into the sky.

  • The next month with two full moons (for both North America and Europe) is December 2009, and the next after that is August 2012.
  • Originally, the definition was different. Seasonal moon names are assigned near the spring equinox in accordance with the Christian ecclesiastical (church-) rules for determining the dates of Easter and Lent. The beginnings of summer, fall and winter are determined by the dynamical mean Sun. When a season contains four full moons, the third is called a blue moon. That's because only then will the names of the other full moons, such as the Moon Before Yule and the Moon After Yule, fall at the proper times relative to the solstices and equinoxes.

  • A blue moon happens about seven times every 19 years, roughly once every three years. The rare phenomenon of two blue moons occurring in the same year happens approximately once every 19 years (four or five times in a hundred years). It last happened in 1999, the next year of double blue moons is coming up in 2018.

  • Two full moons in one month may occur in any month out of the year except for February, which is shorter than the lunar cycle. Therefore, it is the only month in which it is possible for there to be no full moon, a phenomenon which goes hand-in-hand with the "double blue moon" (usually one in January and one in March).

  • "Blue moon" appears to have been a colloquial expression long before it developed its calendrical senses. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first reference to a blue moon comes from a proverb recorded in 1528: "If they say the moon is blue, We must believe that it is true." Saying the moon was blue was equivalent to saying the moon was made of green (or cream) cheese; it indicated an obvious absurdity. In the 19th century, the phrase "until a blue moon" developed, meaning "never." The phrase "once in a blue moon" today has come to mean "every now and then" or "rarely"—whether it gained that meaning through association with the lunar event remains uncertain.

  • A full moon on Halloween is always a blue moon, it happens three or four times per century. The 21st century has an unusually large number of Halloween blue moons, five or six to be exact (depending on where you live).

  • Double new moons also occur every two or three years, just like double full moons, but fewer people notice them. The second new moon is called the Black Moon, and any magic worked during that period is deemed to be especially powerful.

  • According to certain folklore, it is said that when there is a blue moon, the moon has a face and talks to the items in its moonlight.

  • Everybody knows the song "Blue Moon", recorded by many artists around the world. For example this video shows Dean Martin singing the song in his show.

  • A blue moon is a special time of magic. Wishes made during a blue moon are said to last until the next blue moon. It has an awesome power which can lend energy to any working done during this powerful phase.

  • If you want to know when there is (or was) a blue or black moon, use the Moon Calculator.

Sky & Telescope
Inconstant Moon
Earth & Sky

Am I the only one that can't visit the TT-site? Ever since last week Wednesday midnight I'm getting an error page. I can see part of the posts in my Google Reader though. It's quite annoying!


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Today Ron has gone back to work. He'll work 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for 4 hours. There will be someone who helps him reintegrate, starting with adapted tasks. He wasn't really nervous, but felt a healthy tension. It was strange to be up very early and see him leave for work. He has been home since September and I'm used to having him around. I miss him, but of course I'm glad he's doing better. He still has psychological help, but that's a good thing.

My diet is showing ups and downs. I try my best... It seems like the 100kg-limit is playing games with me though. Everytime I get close, the next time at the scales I'm heavier again. Sometimes that's for obvious reasons (ate too much, didn't move enough), but often it's inexplicable and that's frustrating! I mustn't grumble, I've lost 10 kg already. Still, I'll be so glad once I'm on the right side of 100 again...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tagged again... eating out

Sanni at Coffee 2 go tagged me for the Eating Out Meme. The rules are:
1. Link to the name of the person who tagged you.
2. Include the state and country in which you live.
3. List your top 5 favourite places to eat at your location (locally).
4. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

I'm in IJmuiden, The Netherlands. I'm afraid I don't eat out very often, rarely to be honest... But let me see what I can come up with...
*** De Stal, Kerkweg 23, 2064 KS Spaarnwoude. Ron's favourite restaurant because they have really big T-bone steaks. The food tastes delicious and the entourage is casual. De Stal is Dutch for "the stable".
*** Peper's Pannekoekenhuis, Hoge Duin en Daalseweg 5, Bloemendaal. The best pancakes restaurant I know. They have a lot of variety. It is situated next to the watchtower on the highest point in the neighbourhood.
*** IJmuiden has several fish restaurants that serve fresh, just caught fish. My favourite is Waasdorp with a shop and a restaurant. Other good ones are De Meerplaats and De Kop Van De Haven.

Well, I listed 5 restaurant in total. There are many more restaurants in my neighbourhood though. I dont like to tag others, but if you want to share your favourite restaurants: feel free and let me know!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

TT #41: Google says, Cora needs

Thirteen things Cora needs according to Google

I've seen this in other TT's and decided to give it a go with my own real name. I just put "Cora needs" into the Google window. You can also take the first 13 things, but I picked 13 random ones.

  • Cora needs to win him over if she's to have a pleasant future. - hmmm, who's he?
  • Cora needs to succeed in her quest to bring her grandmother, the Wanderer, back into the enchanted realm of Luster. - sounds interesting...
  • Cora needs a white frog; her 'guardian spirit' is a white frog. - that's a symbol of metamorphosis, not too bad!
  • Cora needs to start eatin weight watcher n stop eatin all da pies. - hey, I watch my weight very carefully!
  • Cora needs a freaking makeover. - okay, but not in a TV program please!
  • Cora needs a home without kitties. - no way! I need kitties around me!
  • Cora needs to get him to safety of heavenly arms and big bussoms, as mysterious pixies loot the bags. - come into my arms against my bosom, dear!
  • Cora needs to play. - true, and I like to!
  • Cora needs a 12-step program. - sure, what for?
  • Cora needs to keep in better touch with me... and I with her. - yeah, could be... oops!
  • Cora needs sponsors willing to contribute to her surgery. - haha, yes please, for liposuction!
  • Cora needs to take a vacation on a tropical paradise where they serve fruity drinks with parasols. - sponsors needed again!
  • Cora needs to visit Jeff to stop her addiction to pooing on the floor. - Jeff, help me!

That was fun to do! I most certainly need things,
but Google isn't always right in what I need. ;-)

(TT-Google graphic courtesy of Emily)


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pasar Malam Besar

Today Wonder and I have been to the 49th Pasar Malam Besar in Den Haag (The Hague). The name literally means (translated from back to front): Large Evening Market. And less literally: Grand Fair. It most likely is the largest Eurasian festival of the world. You can read more about what it is on this page. I had never been there before.

We enjoyed ourselves very much. There was a lot to see, hear, touch, smell and taste; a treat for all senses! Wonder bought some bottles of Sabai oil, a special oil from Thailand used for massage and for skin care. It is made by a secret recipe from tree oil with extracts from lotusblossom and jasmine. It smells and feels very good. We had our auraphoto's taken, here is mine. We got a little booklet with explanation of aura and the colours, that seems very accurate. Wonder took a special massage from Java. We sat outside to rest for a while and eat (and drink) something. Wonder took Bami Rames and I had Saté Ajam (chicken satay).

When Wonder was waiting for his massage, I walked around. There was a stand where they sold slimming pants. I wonder what that has to do with Asia, but okay. A woman approached me and asked if I wanted to streamline my body with her product. Before I knew it I said: "No thanks, I'm proud of my curves." She didn't know what to answer, smiled sourly and disappeared in the crowd. I was surprised by my own answer, but also proud of myself! ;-)

In the culture pavillion we visited the stand of Van Stockum (real bookshops and internet booksales). They had some authors signing their books. We stopped by Yvonne Keuls (website). Wonder bought one of her books (Alle Indische Tantes) and I made a picture of them together with my mobile phone. It's a nice and friendly woman. I wrote my thesis about 3 of her books years ago. I sent it to her and she sent back a lovely note.

At the end of the afternoon we had been where we wanted to be, seen what we wanted to see (etc.) and decided to go. We walked to Wonder's home through the wood in the city center. The weather was good and we enjoyed the walk. I drank something and then it was time to drive home. Wonder had to work tonight; I don't envy him, I'm quite exhausted. But it is worth it; it was a great day!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

SFGA: Kabbalah

Thursday evening I went to the monthly meeting of the SFGA in Amsterdam. Wonder and I arrived early, so we could eat first. A lot of people had not reacted on the invitation, so we didn't know who would come. Unfortunately it wasn't that busy, but that was the loss of the absent ones! Marco told a very interesting story about kabbalah. I always found it to be quite difficult matter, but I finally get the basics now. Marco based what he told on the ideas by Colin Low. Colin originally posted his notes on Usenet, but kept upgrading his work. Right now you can download the free PDF-file "A Dept of Beginning; Notes on Kabbalah" here. Please note the license conditions, also on the fly-leaf. This book is for personal downloading and use only. Distribution, electronic or otherwise, is not permitted. I already downloaded, printed and binded it. I'm definitely going to work with it.
Of course we also caught up on how everybody's doing, the latest stuff etc. After all that's part of our gang of friends too. :-)
P.S. Last month the theme was divination, but I forgot to write about that!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

TT #40: detectives

Thirteen favourite detectives

I love books, I love detectives! Need I say more..?

What are your favourite detectives? Tips are always welcome, because I've read the above a zillion times already! ;-)


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ dew ~*~ pussreboots ~*~ Nancy ~*~ Wylie Kinson ~*~ Gina ~*~ Shannon ~*~ amy ~*~ The Gal Herself ~*~ Thomma Lyn ~*~ Ctina ~*~ Christine d'Abo ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Milan-zzz ~*~ Amy Ruttan ~*~ Janet ~*~ Gabriella Hewitt ~*~ Mama Kelly ~*~ L^2 ~*~ Christine ~*~ Judy Callarman ~*~ Ann ~*~ misc-mum ~*~ Joely Sue ~*~ Barbara ~*~ Samantha Lucas ~*~ Darla ~*~ whenn ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ Megan ~*~ Alasandra ~*~ samulli ~*~ Joy Renee ~*~ Miss Frou Frou ~*~ Kuanyin ~*~ Mark Caldwell ~*~ babystepper ~*~ Mo ~*~ Lazy Daisy ~*~ Sue ~*~ Michelle Hasker ~*~ Lori ~*~ julia ~*~ Rhian / Crowwoman ~*~ Chelle ~*~ Robyn Mills ~*~ Lyn Perry ~*~ Lesley ~*~ Anni ~*~ Jerry ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Crystal ~*~ Titania Starlight ~*~ Denise ~*~ Jane ~*~ homemom3 ~*~ Lara Croft ~*~ Cheryl ~*~ Qtpies ~*~ Wacky Mommy ~*~ Candy Minx ~*~ Tina ~*~ The Rock Chick ~*~

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tagged - I'm It!

Today I was tagged by BecK. The purpose of the game: each player starts with 8 random facts or habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their 8 things with a copy of these rules. The rules include tagging 8 other people, but I won't. If you feel like playing, just be my guest!

  1. I'm 1.73m tall (about 5'8")
  2. I'm a youngest child (my sister is 10 years older, my brother 6 years)
  3. I don't have grandparents or parents anymore
  4. I'm very bad in throwing things away
  5. I don't smoke, never did
  6. I don't drink alcohol, on principle
  7. I like to send and receive postcards
  8. I like to read on the toilet

Those are the first 8 things that came to mind!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New toy!

Yeah, this girl has got a new toy! Last Friday at MediaMarkt we bought a new AIO (= all-in-one = printer / scanner / copier). It's a HP Photosmart C5180. I've always had HP-printers; they suit my needs the best. The only disadvantage was the price of the cartridges. My new AIO has 6 cartridges (1 black, 3 colour, 2 photo) that are very reasonably priced. Yippee! ;-)
I decided to tidy up my desk in honour of the new addition. It takes up less space than my last one (HP PSC 750). Yesterday and today I've been playing with the printing and scanning options (copying is easy). I'm very happy with what I've seen so far. It's fast and user-friendly. I printed a paper I made with images and photos; the quality is much better, really great!
There's a bonus too: HP has a special campaign for this AIO: temporarily VAT-free printing, which means I get the paid VAT back on my bank account. That's 19% over here. Yay!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award

I was surprised but very happy and honoured to read that Nathalie chose my blog for a Thinking Blogger Award. Thanks, sweetie! You deserve yours very much.
Khlari decided to give me another Thinking Blogger Award. Thanks to you too!
The participation rules are simple:
  1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think
  2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme
  3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.


I've been thinking a lot about who I'd want to tag. So many have been tagged before. I decided to tag 5 blogs that are special to me and definitely give me food for thought. In no particular order:

Check them out, they are worth it!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

TT #39: food / snacks

Thirteen favourite food / snacks

It has been studied, researched and proven, but I could have told you easily anyway: a person watching his or her weight is (to a lesser or a higher degree) obsessed with food. I'm no exception, so this week's TT is all about food! :-)

  • chocolate - especially white and milk (or white & milk) chocolate! Swiss chocolate is great, Belgian chocolate is yummy... I'm an incurable chocoholic.
  • ice cream - o yeah... favourites are Häagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry's, but I like all ice cream esp. fruit flavoured
  • strawberries - new and fresh with sugar or sweetener, or chocolate!
  • pizza salami & old cheese - esp. Dr. Oetker's with a lot of extra old cheese on top
  • Old Amsterdam cheese - I love all cheese, but Old Amsterdam is the ultimate for me.
  • smoked eel - you can wake me up in the middle of the night, but they need to be fresh and in skin, and you have to have enough to make me happy! ;-)
  • mussels - preferably from Yerseke in Zeeland, cooked with mussel herbs
  • chips, esp. Chipito or Nacho Cheese - I can do without, but when I start with one...
  • chicken - It's the reason I'm not a vegetarian, but to compensate I always use free-range chicken. I can eat chicken every day and never get tired of it.
  • chewing gum - sugar free fruit mix bubblegum from Mentos at the moment, but I like most gums!
  • acid drops - normal ones, but also extra acid ones that causes me to make silly faces ;-)
  • liquorice - sweet coins, but also double salty. I can't have too much, because it increases the blood pressure
  • vegetables eaten raw and fruits - tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, etc: healthy and yummy! Fruits: kiwi, green apple, ananas, pear... all!

O-oh, now I'm hungry...


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Mark Caldwell ~*~ Barbara ~*~ Selena Kitt ~*~ Wolfbernz ~*~ Joan ~*~ Sue ~*~ The Gal Herself ~*~ Jill ~*~ misc-mum ~*~ Gabriella Hewitt ~*~ Starrlight ~*~ Tis me ~*~ dew ~*~ DK ~*~ JennyMcB ~*~ Tina ~*~ L^2 ~*~ damozel ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ Samantha ~*~ mar ~*~ Chelle ~*~ Shannon ~*~ she ~*~ Ingrid ~*~ Miss Frou Frou ~*~ Darla ~*~ Skittles ~*~ Rene Lyons ~*~ Tinker ~*~ Rhian ~*~ jdoriot ~*~ Lori ~*~ BecK ~*~ Annie ~*~ Mercy's Maid ~*~ Julia ~*~ SparkyDuck ~*~ Lesley ~*~ Dragonheart ~*~ Di ~*~ KC ~*~ Stephanie ~*~ Mitchypoo ~*~ Janet ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Kimo & Sabi ~*~ Daisy ~*~ The Rock Chick ~*~ She-Schenker ~*~ Norma ~*~ Christine d'Abo ~*~

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, May 07, 2007

The weight is over

On Stephanie's blog I came across a challenge that seemed to call me: the 10:4 challenge, started by Carl V. Here it is:

"The rules: lose 10 pounds between May 1st and September 1st. That is 4 months, 2.5 pounds per month. That may not seem like alot. Quite frankly, that is the point, because the other rule to this challenge is that weight loss must be done in a healthy manner. The point isn’t so much to lose the weight but to improve health. That means no skipping meals or fad diets or impossible-to-keep decisions like “I’ll never eat dessert again”. This is about taking the next 4 months to make some lifestyle changes that should result in steady, consistent weight loss and increased health. The 10:4 Challenge is about baby steps. It is about no longer accepting the excuses we all make for ourselves and going forth as a group to accomplish small, but important, changes in our lives. I have tried this sort of thing before, alone, and it doesn’t work. My hope is that if we do this as a community and encourage one another on a fairly regular basis that we will all see steady results and will feel much the better for it. "

It appealed to me, because it doesn't encourage a crash diet. It's all about doing it the right way. That's the only way that works for me. I have to watch myself not to start eating less and less and/or binging. I want to lose weight, but not at all costs. I also have to take my underactive thyroid into account. And I want to exercise; I can't do a lot, but I can do more than I did the last months.
The amount in the challenge is not what's the most important. Convert-me told me that 10 pounds is 4.536 kilogram. That's attainable, but I need to lose more. I already started watching my weight and eating habits in the beginning of april. I was 110.2 kg (242.9 lbs) and that's BMI 36.8! Time to get a grip... I got a new pair of scales, that measures weight, fat, water and muscle percentage. I don't do a particular diet, because that's no good. I eat everything I want, but in moderation. It doesn't work to ban things. I try to make healthy choices, but if I really crave chocolate I better take some. Nothing wrong with that.

It's only fair to start the challenge now. In the first month I always lose a lot, but mostly water. I won't post too many numbers, but here are some:
  • my start: 110.2 kg - 46% fat - BMI 36.8
  • 10:4 start: 104.9 kg - 45% fat - BMI 35

Friday, May 04, 2007

Full moon ritual

Wednesday evening the inner circle of the Witchy Girls performed the second ritual in the Amsterdamse Bos. Two weeks ago we did the banishing under the dark moon, now it was time for cleansing and celebrating under the full moon.
Again the weather was sunny and dry. We had decided to use the same beautiful spot. It looked much greener and the plants had grown big time. We put up the altar almost the same as with dark moon. We added the head of Hygiea (Greek goddess of health), strawberries and different flowers.

The framework of the ritual was the same, because the two rituals are clearly meant to be a pair. The interpretation was different of course. The tone of this ritual was cheerful and happy. We welcomed each other to the inner circle in two ways: by cleansing with eucalyptus dipped in water with special herbs, and by smudging. We danced around the circle chanting "I sing her praises". For the libation Lothanna baked a cake with "muisjes" ("beschuit met muisjes" is a Dutch tradition at birth) to celebrate the birth of the inner circle. Along with it we had cranberry mead. Afterwards you could see a circle where we sat!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

TT #38: 13 goals of a witch

Thirteen goals of a witch

In his book "Wicca, a guide for the Solitary Practitioner" Scott Cunningham publishes the following list of 13 goals of a witch. It's not clear whether he quotes an older source or he made the list himself. After the bold words you can read my thoughts about it.
13 is an important number in witchcraft: there are 13 moons in the lunar year, the number of people in a coven is preferably 13. By no means 13 is an unlucky number!

  • Know Yourself - It's important to know your own qualities and weaknesses, what you like and don't like. Who are you? What do you want? Soul searching is a continuous process.
  • Know Your Craft - Reading a lot of books and websites doesn't do it alone. You need to know what path you choose to go further. There are many paths to explore. Even initiation is only a beginning. - My path is solitary eclectic witchcraft;read more here.
  • Learn - You are never done studying, but learning constantly about yourself, your Craft and the world around you. Witchcraft isn't a standstill religion, it is always evolving. - That's exactly what I like about it!
  • Apply Knowledge with Wisdom - Knowledge and wisdom are not synonymous. You can get knowledge from a book, but wisdom is knowing what to do with it. Knowledge is power, but without wisdom you won't be able to have control over that power.
  • Achieve Balance - Have your life balanced on all levels: emotionally, physically, spiritually. Balance your needs and the needs of other people. Although you'll never completely achieve it, strive for total balance.
  • Keep Your Words in Good Order - Be careful what you wish for, you might get it! You have to know and specify what you want. And we live by the saying "an ye harm none, do what ye will".
  • Keep Your Thoughts in Good Order - The power of thoughts is big, so you better think positive. Otherwise a selffulfilling prophecy happens: if you think you can't do it, you won't succeed. In order to make your magic work, you need to believe in it.
  • Celebrate Life - Life is meant to be enjoyed! Cherish what you have and can do. In the pursuit of happiness, every detail can be important.
  • Attune with the Cycles of the Earth - Everything goes in cycles: the lunar year, nature, life itself. Take time to enjoy nature, cherish and protect it.
  • Breathe and Eat correctly - Be aware of your breath, use it in meditation and energy raising. Don't live to eat, eat to live. - Oops, not always the easiest things to do!
  • Exercise the Body - Your body is your temple, so you should treat it like that. Keep it in shape. Love and accept your body the way it is. - That's still a problem for me...
  • Meditate - Meditation is very important and necessary (along with visualization) for successful rituals, spells and divination. It gives you peace of mind and is very good for your health. Do it regularly and find the method that works best for you. - I love meditating, but I fail at being regular...
  • Honour the Goddess and God - It's not about blind worshipping but treating them with respect, love, trust, etc. The divine power is also inside every one of us, so by honouring them you honour yourself and other people.

I think most of them could apply to more people than just witches.
What do you think?


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!