Excerpt from Planting A Vineyard, Georgics: Book II Arboriculture and Viniculture, Virgil

And don’t let anyone be so wise as to convince you

to turn the solid earth when a North wind’s blowing.

Since winter grips the soil with frost and won’t let a shoot

that’s planted then fix its frozen roots in the ground.

The optimum season for planting vines is when the stork

that enemy of long snakes, arrives, in the first blush of spring,

or in autumn’s first chill before the horses of the swift sun

touch winter, when summer is on the wane.

Spring benefits the leaves of the groves and woods,

in Spring soil swells and demands life-bringing seed.

Then Heaven, the omnipotent father, descends as fertile rain,

into the lap of his joyful consort, and joining his power

to her vast body nourishes all growth.

Then the wild thickets echo to the songs of birds,

and in the settled days the cattle renew their loves:

the kindly earth gives birth, and the fields open their hearts,

in the warm West winds: gentle moisture flows everywhere,

and the grasses safely dare to trust to the new sun.

the vine-shoots don’t fear a rising Southerly,

or rain driven through the sky, by great Northerly gales,

but put out their buds, and unfold all their leaves.

I can believe such days shone at the first dawn

of the nascent world, and took such temperate course.

That was true Spring, the great world passed its Spring,

and the Easterlies spared their wintry gales,

when the first cattle drank in the dawn,

and the iron race of men lifted their heads from the hard ground,

and wild creatures were freed in the woods, and stars in the sky.

And tender things could not endure their labour,

if this respite did not come between the cold and the heat,

and heaven’s gentleness welcome the earth.



Moreover, your wit is fully apt to all things, and to be rationally employed, not in a few or low things, but many and sublimer. Yet this one rule I advise you to observe—that you communicate vulgar secrets to vulgar friends, but higher and secret to higher and secret friends only: Give hay to an ox, sugar to a parrot only. Understand my meaning, lest you be trod under the oxen’s feet, as oftentimes it falls out.


The Potions

As I mentioned in my last post, a person could end up with a cabinet full of essential oils and yet not know what to do with it. So in this post I will narrow in on the recipes I think will be useful for my shop.

The text I’m using is The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. Chapter 11 is actually called “Assertive Oils for Sports, Dance, and Exercise”- just the thing we need. I’m also picking out some scents for the types of mood  dancer/circus/flow types might want.

The book tells me how to dilute them in carrier oils and gels, I will have to do some further research to find out how to use these blends safely and effectively in costume sprays (alcohol), facial mists (witch hazel), and rooms sprays (alcohol).

I’m going to give them my own names…

Get up and Go (Edit #EveryDamnDay)

Eucalyptus radiata (5 drops)
Rosemary (10 drops)
Ginger (5 drops)
Peppermint (2 drops)

Blend 3-5 drops per teaspoon of aloe vera gel or carrier oil.

Before the Show (Edit: The Show Must Go On!)

Vetiver (3 drops)
Bergamot (4 drops)
Juniper berry (1 drop)
Sweet orange (4 drops)

4 drops per teaspoon aloe vera or carrier oil.

After the show (Edit: Curtains Close)

Eucalyptus radiata (5 drops)
Rosemary (10 drops)
Lemongrass (5 drops)

Blend per 2 tablespoons of aloe gel or carrier oil.

Be Confident (Edit: Drop it like it’s hot)

Coriander Seed

20 drops per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.

Feel yourself (Edit: Live for the Applause)

Ylang ylang (10 drops)
Bergamot (4 drops)
Vetiver (2 drops)
Sandalwood (12 drops)

20 drops per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.

You got this (Edit: Girl Power)

Hyacinth (4 drops)
Bergamot (5 drops)
Rose maroc (5 drops)

Only 14 drops or fewer per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.

Relax (Edit: Fainting Couch)

Clary sage (10 drops)
Lavender (15 drops)
Chamomille roman (5 drops)

20 drops per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.

Don’t worry about it (Edit: Treat yo’self)

Bergamot (15 drops)
Lavender (5 drops)
Geranium (10 drops)

20 drops per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.


State of Melanie – Early Jan 2018

In general I have a few courses of study going on. Career-wise, I’m studying responsive web design and I’m studying API documentation. Hobby-wise, I’m studying textiles, scents, painting, and wearable tech. Body-wise, I’m studying dance and diet.

I got started a bit slow today on account that I had trouble sleeping last night. This was due to an ill-advised nap I fell into, early in the evening on the couch. I was feeling a bit listless yesterday. I attribute this to the calorie restriction I am undergoing, well, and the fact that I’ve insisted that I make room for a drink. I know that I have been making a dangerous gamble sacrificing nutritional calories for party calories. According to my nutrition report, I’m on track for approx 1.5 lbs weight loss per week, but I’m also a bit low on choline, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and iron… Ugh. The thing is, for choline the choice seems to be eat some egg or mushroom. I was tempted by some muffins so, yeah, I haven’t been getting my morning omelet in. I know I am overly relying on calcium from dairy, but of course I can’t have too much dairy, so I don’t always make the cut. Need to eat more broccoli. Vitamin E and potassium are big in the nuts and seeds, which add up quite fast… and often I have sacrificed them to having a drink instead. Potassium also just seems tricky. Yeah it is in nuts, its in yogurt… but so low. Even my “Calcium Magnesium Potassium” supplement has only 3% potassium. It is a bit of a struggle. I have started taking that supplement though and it will at least make sure I don’t break my bones during aerial practice. Anyways, I know that magnesium is very important for sleep. Low potassium can cause fatigue. So… need to get my act together. But I suppose the good news is I’m on track to lose 5 lbs by mid January, which is my first benchmark.

I saw a Physical Therapist last Wednesday, ostensibly about having injured my knee in some inappropriate torsion movement while gardening, but to see why it is all my aerialist friends go there all the time, even when they’re not injured. She was cool to talk to and overall it was a bit casual of a thing, but then she said we should try needling my hurt leg. I was like, wuh, that’s terrifying. This is what all these aerialists go to her to get done though. Well, I mean, I’m a brave person, if I do say so myself, so I said, sure, stick that needle in me. The needle in question is the same as an acupuncture needle, it’s just being used in a western science context rather than for chi balancing purposes. It’s long and thin and flexy. I figured, if I can give blood and get vaccinated, I can put up with this. Well she stuck that thing in my leg and at first I was like, oh. That was literally nothing. But given all the talk up to that point, I knew that the ahem, fun stuff had to be on the way. She started wiggling that thing around and wow, that was some pain I tell you what. We-ooowaahw I said. It was only for a moment though. Well, like I said, I went in there for a knee injury. Mm, I hurt it like, mid December maybe? Limped around a few days, maybe a week after. But by the time of the appointment, I hadn’t been limping around for a couple weeks, only if I bent my knee, like to get on a bed or go into yoga’s child’s pose, I could still feel that bit of tightness around the knee area. It was pretty crazy though, afterwards, I went into childs pose, and that tightness was completely gone. Only if I really focused, I could feel the remnants of it in the untreated muscle, but I was flabbergasted. So I rationalized a bit, went into denial, figured, maybe it had already gotten to that point some point between the last time I tested it and showing up for the appointment. The effect lasted for a couple of days, until the cold weather came and I started feeling it again. If I get it really warm, I can fix it a bit, but it does cause me to think that there very well may have been a link between that needle procedure and the lack of tightness in my knee. Well, this Wednesday, I’m gonna see if she will do my hamstrings- my nemesis, and apparently this treatment will probably feel worse. Hooray… o.O;

Well, I’m well enough that I can go to aerial class/practice. I’ve demoted myself to Beginner II for awhile. For one thing, the aforementioned weight that I am trying to lose, is really slowing me down, so I need to buff up and learn how to handle it. I’m using all my energy on climbs these days. Whatever, it happens. My bestie is recovering from having a baby, so, it works out. We’ll strengthen up together. I’ve decided that the first thing for me to do, will be, to try to get all my climbs up to where I touch the hardware at the gym. This is no small feat. And I mean all the climbs I know- basic, russian, crochet, bicycle… ok I won’t make myself to hook climbs to the top. But yeah, every class I’m going to do these climbs on both legs as high as I can safely go. When I can touch the top on all those climbs, when I can S-lock and same side and opposite side hook climb like a champ, I will let myself return to the intermediate classes. I hope this is a journey of a month, but I suppose we will see.

On my way back from class Saturday, I got a flat tire. 😦 It is going to cost quite a bit of dough….

My yoga practice is going decently. It’s hard to keep warm in this house though. I don’t remember it being this cold inside during the winter last year. I finally arranged for our fireplace to get inspected but since I waited so long, we won’t have that done until the end of the month. So in the meantime, we freeze. Anyways, it causes a struggle for me to stay limber in my poses, the opposite of hot yoga haha, but can’t be having excuses… Just gotta wear more clothes.

Going with some girl friends to a bellydance class soon too. I’m very much looking forward to reconditioning those muscles. I’ve been trying to prep myself and yeah, I will have much work to do. The place where we are going to take these classes has a performance series that I’m interested in if I make good progress.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, but I feel like I had to have, that I’m planning to start painting an aerial tarot deck. I already have the major arcana mapped out. I’ve got a bunch of 4 x 6 canvases, some heavy body acrylic, some nice paintbrushes, and I’m ready to go! I think this could be something the people want. I’ve got some larger canvases too, and I think I should definitely also paint some still life and landscape. And I’ve always wanted to paint Ben. He’s told me how he would prefer to be depicted, but I’ve admittedly forgotten. He will probably have to do with whatever I come up with ha.

I ordered some more felt. I think I’ve gotten some larger amounts so that I can do larger pieces. My starter kits were nice, but they definitely seemed to be about making little figurines and things. I need arm warmers, leg warmers, and hats!

In my adventures in scents, I’ve been studying, but I gotta admit, I’m getting a LITTLE frustrated. I got a book that has a lot of recipes, but they were so insistent that they must be followed so specifically… and here I am apparently without half of the important essential oils. -_-; I guess I will have to invest in a FEW MORE. I feel like I already have so many… also, for some reason I got it in my head I needed a million spray bottles. I feel like I would have been better off with more droppers and a few just like… regular bottles. I am getting to the point though, where I really don’t want to spend… any… more… money…. I am going to see if I can just make things work with what I have.

And finally, I’ve finished one responsive design course and one api documentation course, and now I have more! As soon as I’m done blogging, I’m going to be getting back to them, and updating my portfolio hopefully in tandem.
Where I am now is adding containers and then determining what the breakpoints will do to my layout. That will probably take up the rest of my day, but if it doesn’t I’ll just keep going. Probably best to alternate days.

Monday: Responsive, painting
Tuesday: API doc, felting or knitting
Wednesday: Responsive, painting
Thursday: API doc, felting or knitting
Friday: Responsive, painting

We’ll see. Sometimes trying to plan things cramps my style. Sometimes it keeps me from getting overwhelmed.

I’m planning on journalling more in any case. Seems to be one of those accepted self improvement things like meditation. Anyways, better get to work!

Jovanica’s Hair Toys – 3d Printed Hair Clips

Very cool blog here~

Myriad Whimsies

A selection of 5 printed hair clips - forest green, royal blue, sunflower yellow, black, and striped red and blue

In 2007 I read a novella by Bruce Sterling called Kiosk.  The main character, Borislav, is a humble, limping man from a cold, Eastern European country who owns a street kiosk selling 3d printed tchotchkes.  A young girl called Jovanica is a regular customer – returning day after day with her pocket-money to buy 3d printed barrettes, hair clips and scrunchies – she’s the trend setter of the area.  She picks out the coolest hair toys and leads the next hair toy craze – with Borislav’s kiosk being the only supplier.

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Mount Agung

I’ve been following the news on Mount Agung for some time. Coverage
seems oddly sparse. My keyboard is malfunctioning a bit in the WordPress app, so forgive the weird linebreaks… will fix at desktop later.

Anyways, just a note that it erupted again on New Years. Pretty crazy. Also a neighboring volcano, name starting with an S, erupted late December. 

Will be interesting to see if the eruptions become climate significant. 

Etsy Store – Further musings

So, in general, I’m interested in wool crafts, recycled materials, 3D printed goods, flow fashion, aerial silks, and “aromatherapy”.

It seems like a sufficient basis for starting a shop…

I tried out hand scoring a bottle today. It split… almost good. It is just incredibly hard to make a clean circle with a hand tool. Especially since our local recycling service stopped picking up glass, we are a bit burdened with glassware. And I’ve always wanted to process the bottles into something useful… so I bit the bullet and I’ve ordered some rigs for cutting bottles. Right now we had a huge trashcan full of glass, and when I pulled out the glassware I think is great for upcycling, the trashcan was a little less than half full. 😀

I think I have some options. I can list well cut bottles for others to use in crafts. I think there could be some interest in that. I can etch cut bottles with designs and put candles in them. I’ve never made candles. According to my essential oils textbook essential oils can only be used with soy, palm, rapeseed, coconut, or beeswax candles. From other research, I find that the flash point of an essential oil must be above the melting temperature of the wax, (for soy, 122 – 180 Fahrenheit (50 – 80 degrees Celsius). I would add them after the wax is cool enough, but not yet solidifying. Choices (that I like and have on hand) are: cedar wood, geranium, clary sage, rose, & lavender. It looks like the recommendation is 4-10 drops of oil per 1 oz of melted soy wax.

I had Ben remind me how to knit last night, and I’m practicing that. Knitting is a good base for needle felting. I think I could probably start with garlands, necklaces, and bracelets. And I think I will also sell felted circus people and yogis. Eventually, I will get to the point where I make fanciful hats. This is going to take a lot of practice!

I think we should invest in a new 3D printer. For one thing I don’t want to be competing always with Ben for printer time. I’d like to sell some 3D printed things, hopefully, some of my own design.

I’m working on painting a series of silks themed tarot cards. It would be wonderful to make them into a real deck to sell. It may take forever to make the deck though! But I have a lot of time these days…

Lastly, I hope to sell cute leotards and leggings! This will be the end goal of my learning to sew. I also would like to sell cloth yoga mats. I want my shop to be all cotton and hemp, but I hope I can print my tarot deck on the yoga mats as well! Maybe I will also sell bellydance scarves :D.

I don’t know. It really feels like I could do this, but it is daunting. Can’t wait for my supplies to arrive!