Horoscope Madness

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  I went to a hilarious event with Ms. C. the other evening, in which people told a personal story from their life to a group of actors who then acted it out.  I had the opportunity to see Ms. C's coming out story performed by random people dressed in black.  Pisces, I'd like to see that as a routine part of people's life:  at the dinner table, the family is sitting around, and random people in black act out the tiny moments that make up our days.  Are you in?
Photo thanks to E-bro

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  I woke up with a black eye the other day, which is kind of creepy -- black eye of unknown origin?  You know that guy in the Time Traveller's Wife, didn't he always arrive wherever all banged up?  I know.  I'm pretty sure that's what's going on.  This week, my friend, try to arrive wherever you are not banged up, and be right there, as if that's the only place you've ever been or wanted to be.  There will be time enough for the next place later.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  I have a person in my world who I spend and inordinate amount of time explaining about maps, and how their accuracy is limited due to RUSSIAN SATELLITES, the curvature of the earth, and the flatness of paper.  I write explanatory e-mails about the orange, the doily, etc.  I was just arriving at the idea of showing up at her house with a flashlight, a grapefruit, a piece of tracing paper, and a tiny, tiny wetland on the big plump orb to act the whole thing out as an interpretive dance, possibly to the tune of Friends in Low Places, because I've run out of ways to explain it in words.  And then I heard a guy on the radio talking about the plane that went down months ago.  They're resuming the search, which he described as, "like looking for two shoeboxes in the rocky mountains in the dark without a flashlight."  Who would have come up with that?  The Rocky Mountains?  Shoe boxes?  But it got me to thinking, Taurus, yes it did, and what it got me to thinking is that we can all try just a little tiny bit harder to be interesting.  Yes we can.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21): The other morning, when I was doing partner's figure skating (or is it couples ice dancing?  Is there difference?) with one of my favorite people, she challenged me to think: in each moment, with each breath, what it would be like to keep in the front of our minds that everyone we know and love is going to die, and we're going to die, and this moment is all we get.  So, I went around for a few hours weeping and making dumplings and laughing and looking for things, including mushrooms.  And then I put on my survival suit and carried on because it was just too much.  But I'll try it again, Gemini.  Yes I will.
A tiny wax insect, pollinating.  Ish.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  Speaking of looking for mushrooms, is this awkward? Give it to me straight up, Cancer: I was in the vicinity of some property that I did some work on, looking for mushrooms with a few friends, and I suggested we look on this customer's property.  "He hasn't built on it yet, he won't be around."  So, just as we're almost entering his land, you know, walking past the "No Trespassing" signs, he drives by.  I know.  And he zooms backwards in his car, rolls down his window, and says, "Betsy?"  Yep.  Cancer, why do so many of my stories start with, "Um, does this seem awkward?"   

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  There's been a dead possum on C.V. Road all week, and, not unlike a joke on a t-shirt (which I'm anti, btw), at first it's jarring, and then you don't notice it, and then it comes back around and you really notice it.  In fact, the image of this poor deceased marsupial is what I see when I close my eyes sometimes.  But Leo, here's my question:  who usually cleans up the roadkill?  I know, on this hill, there are poachers and scavengers who find all manner of dead thing and make use of it for shoes and food and shelter.  But a possum?  How long will it be there?  And another question I have:  will a discussion about it arise on the local FB forum?  So many questions, Leo.  Try not to fret this week.  Just enjoy.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  I had never heard of the Friends in Low Places song until the other day when I ended up at our local karaoke night, which is even more sweet and hilarious than you can imagine.  All manner of people showing up, singing their hearts out, talent or no.  And apparently, the Friends in Low Places song is a big karaoke thing.  Who knew?  (Not to stray from your horoscope, Virgo, but I did notice that there are some fancy shoes in this town.)  Sing your little heart out this week, Virgo.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  I went on a fun outing with The Birthday Girl the other day; we sat in the dark on the closed side of the bar because the Monday Night people in their stupid #12 jerseys were being way too loud.  Inside voices, People! The dark and quiet suited us, but luckily, she had a flashlight, because she began writing part of an important project, at least it seemed so at the time, that you may hear more about. You may even want to contribute to it!  But the best part was going to hear about old barns and cemetaries, and being one of the youngest in the audience, which doesn't happen much.  It was a little light on stories and heavy on tax incentives, but still, nice slides, pretty barns, and there will be a training ahead on cemetary restoration!  Let's go!  Anyway, happy birthday, Libra.  May the road rise up to meet you.  

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  Oh, so the project?  Don't you think it's time for a list of core competencies that the adult humans should have?  Here's where I'm coming from:  I see people stuck in situations (and what I mean by that is relationships) because they can't take care of themselves. What should go on the list, Scorp? 

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): I spent a while the other night learning about Morgellons Disease, which may or may not be an actual disease, but whatever it is, it's pretty terrible.  Itching of unknown origin, which is not unlike black-eyes of unknown origin, but you don't get to look like such a badass.  Even Joni Mitchell has it.  But I guess the humans can adapt to all manner of things -- the itching, the tinitus, the fall.  Speaking of fall, I parked where I always do the other day, and got out of my car and there was a guy with a leaf-blower in the parking lot, and my first unedited thought was, "WTF HAPPENED HERE!  OMG!"  Because there were brown leaves everywhere.  Then I remembered it was fall, and this happens every year.  But sheesh, it's harsh.  Here comes winter, Sag.  But just like tinitus, we will get through it.

The red cabbage slurry
Index card being transformed
The litmus paper, drying

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19):  I spent the morning making litmus paper out of red cabbage and index cards; I got the idea from a book of children's science projects that arrived anonymously in the mail.  I frankly can't think of a more useful way to spend my time.  And now, I'll have a fool proof way to figure out if something is an acid or a base.  So, if you have any tough acid/base things to figure out, I'll be right over with my organic, locally produced litmus paper.  Don't let anyone talk you into using some imported GMO paper.  Oh wait!  I CAN think of a more useful way -- making a lava lamp, which is explained on Page 22.  Stay tuned.  And Capricorn, do useful fun stuff this week.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  I made this thing for my bees, a candy board, and at first I was really proud because, well, it was a miniature feat of carpentry -- not my strong suit (I would say my strong suit is litmus paper, in case you're wondering).  And I did the cooking part, which is really just mixing water and sugar, and then the best part, giving it to the bees, and mostly I was proud because they love it so well, and if you play their buzzing noise backwards at the right speed, you can hear them saying "Thank you!"  But now I'm feeling kind of icky, because they're going through it so fast, just like a 4 year old with unobstructed access to the Halloween candy.  Should I make them more when this runs out?  Am I a bad bee mom?  Like, "sure, kids, just sit on the couch, watch tv, and drink coke."  Should I take them to the dentist?  

Speaking of which, I have three items for my Citizenship badge:  1.  I'm going to the dentist today!.  2.  I got my septic tank pumped last week.  I won't go into that except for to say that the pumping-the-tank guy was hilarious and I haven't laughed that hard in a little while.  And 3, of course, I made the litmus paper.  duh.


  1. Oh, I just wrote a really good list and then my browser crashed. It was kind of un-repeatably good (I'm not just saying that), but here's my best redo:

    1) Know of 15 things that generally irritate other people (to find out, use the scientific method, preferably before age 18), that you can commit to NEVER DOING. Reducing irritation in the world is good for all of us. On my list: drawing on people's faces without consent, waking people up from naps prior to the 1-hour mark, not leaving a note if I ding somebody's bumper, etc.

    2) Be able to make a good potluck dish, recommend a few good books (real books), dress for the weather, and identify 80%+ of the produce in the grocery store (up to 20% can be wishy washy on the name, as long as you could confidently use it, and you get a 6-month grace period if you recently moved to a new country)

    3) Make sure you cut your toenails. The real purpose behind this is: If there's something you can do to prevent discomfort in your life that takes less than 10 minutes per week and isn't terrifying, do it. Doing terrifying things may also benefit you, but since the camel can only carry so many straws why don't you start out carrying the easy ones?

    4) Know the life cycles of basic plants and animals (ie, those that are likely in children's books). When I named my company Chrysalis, I was unprepared to confront the reality that most people don't know what a chrysalis is! It will enhance your life to know how miraculous and mysterious other life can be.

    5) Know how to basically orient yourself in your environment without a Device.

    6) Have something on your to-do list. If you don't, consult your bucket list (or your science experiment book). If you don't have a bucket list, you could put that on your to-do list.

    7) Have at least one healthy coping strategy. It doesn't have to work every time, but you do have to be able to a) recognize when you need it and b) implement it to the best of your ability. The only restriction here is that it may not harm anyone else, and it's preferable if you can do at least part of it alone.

    8) Be able to paraphrase at least 80% of what the person you're talking with said in the last minute. Percentage goes down as the conversation is less intimate (ie, there's a presenter, or a podcaster, or you're in a conversation with more than just one person).

    9) Celebrate something. It could be Christmas or something obvious, but you have to actually celebrate. If you're not celebrating something, consider why. Maybe you need to invent something to celebrate, or change your life so you have something to celebrate. Must occur at least annually, but you might get a badge if you celebrate weekly.

    10) Strive to be flexible open to change. In your belief system, in how you treat yourself, in how the best way to make cookies is, etc.


    6) open to change
    8) listening
    9) celebrate

  2. Dear Betsy,
    If you were sitting right here with me on my back porch right now I would hold both of your hands (and no, it would not be awkward) and I would look into your eyes and I would say, "You make me as happy as my chickens."
    And then we would spend a great many hours just watching those chickens and maybe I'd take you on a walk down the road here in Lloyd where we could observe many dead animals (some possums) in various states of decomposition. Also, you could teach me about mushrooms.

    1. As happy as your chickens! Whoa! That's awesome. I would love to take a walk through Lloyd to see all of the dead things. (WHy so many L's in lloyd, I've always wondered...) I'm glad you lived through your dental procedure. xoxox

  3. I totally want to make a lava lamp. My neighbor has FOUR and I'm fecking jealous.

    As for the black eye. Could someone have snuck in while you were sleeping, socked you in the eye and then snuck out all while you stayed asleep? Just wondering.

    You friend Beth

    1. I would think your neighbor could spare one, Right? What's going on in there, anyways? Those people should get off the coucn and GIVE YOU A LAVA LAMP.

      Yes, it's quite possible that's what happened. Black eye of intruder-that-we slept-through-origin, we would call that.

      Are you not my friend in jesus anymore? Oh well.

  4. Your posts are so meaty, and not in a dead possum kind of way, either. I always read quickly, because you pull me along, then re-read to get what I missed in the first frenzy. And I never know what to comment on because there is just so much good stuff there.

    So I'm just going to say that it blows my hair back to think you can make litmus paper from cabbage, water, and index cards. I've always wanted my own litmus paper. I really can't remember now any of the occasions or reasons why, but dang it I wanted it, and never knew where I could get it.

    And the septic-tank-cleaning guy - that sounds like a stand-alone post. Share the funny? We could all use a good laugh now and then, although maybe it doesn't translate well. Some people are just hilarious to be with, no matter what they say or do.

    1. You can now have litmus paper! And your troubles will be solved! Blend cabbage in a blender with water. Strain. Soak index cards in the water for a few minutes. Remove and let dry. Voila! I know they work for acids; haven't really tried the bases much because I guess that's all we have around here is acid. Who knew?

      The septic tank story is definitely "had to be there".

      Have a good week!

    2. Does it have to be red cabbage?

    3. Yes, I think there's something important about the red cabbage....

  5. Here are some common bases for litmus testing your paper!: Lime water, Window cleaner, Soap, Shampoo, Milk of magnesia, baking soda, detergent solution, Face cream, Egg whites, toothpaste, Ammonia.


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