Articles (Blog)
Posted on July 13, 2018 10:45 AM by Jon Opsahl
Categories: General

2018 will have three new moon supermoons in a row, which are defined as new or full moons at or near their closest to Earth for that particular month.
2018’s new supermoons fall on June 13, July 13 and August 11. Thus this next new moon on July 13 is a supermoon; in fact, it’s the closest and largest of the three.
New moon falls precisely on July 13, 2018, at 2:48 UTC; that is July 12 at 10:48 p.m. EDT, 9:48 p.m. CDT and so on.
Happy Super Mooning!
Posted on July 13, 2018 10:00 AM by Jon Opsahl
Categories: General
Today is Friday the 13th.......uh-oh......not to bad luck's ALL good!  : )  
Historically Friday the 13th has to do with the attack, capture, and torture of the Knights Templar by the Catholic Church on Friday the 13th in the year 1307.  The reason for the attack was due to the fact that the Templars had gained too much power, thus threatening the power of the Catholic Church.
The next time it will occur is September 13th have a whole year to prepare........get busy!   
Posted on July 13, 2018 9:30 AM by Jon Opsahl
To all my friends who look to the stars and the heavens for their guidance and inner/outer reality.
New Moon in Cancer
The New Moon occurs when the moon and the sun are in alignment, when looking from the Earth's perspective.
Friday, June 13th at 10:48 pm, the New Moon will be in the sign of Cancer. The New Moon cycle is the time of new beginnings. It's an excellent time to initiate new plans, projects, desires, dreams or any other forms of creativity.
Cancer is the first of the three water signs, including Scorpio and Pisces. Cancer represents the liquid form of water.......Scorpio the solid form (ice).....and Pisces the gaseous form (mist – fog – steam – clouds)
Cancer’s key phrase: I feel and keyword: devotion
Positive characteristics: tenacious – intuitive – maternal – domestic – sensitive – retentive – helpful – sympathetic – emotional – patriotic – good memory – traditional
Negative characteristics: brooding – touchy – too easily hurt – negative – manipulative – too cautious – lazy – selfish – sorry for self
Cancer is ruled by the moon
Moon represents: domestic, nurturing urge keyword: emotions
The Moon’s influence in a person's chart is very important because it is the closest body to the Earth, and moves through the zodiac rapidly. It goes through each sign approximately every 2.3 days.
The Moon is responsible for all feminine principles: mother – wife and women generally. It governs instincts – moods – phases – receptivity – fluctuations – feelings – habit patterns – reflex actions – personal interests – desires – needs – growth and fertility – impressionability – consciousness and the need to touch. Its action fluctuates and changes. It rules liquids – commodities – sailing – brewing – nursing – tradespeople and the public in general.
The Moon is the unconscious side of the personality, the set of habits and instincts. It is the constantly changing personality that responds and reacts to external stimuli. The individual's feelings and emotions interfere with the development of creative self-expression because of accustomed patterns of behavior, and the person shows vulnerability to aggressive forces by withdrawing for protection. The Moon is the herd instinct that finds safety in numbers. It rules the past and the nostalgia associated with the past, and therefore it is inclined to follow tradition. It is the need to feel wanted; hence it represents emotional security. It attracts the individual to matters that require attention and to people who require protection. The Moon is maternal love rather than romantic love and demands ownership of affection to satisfy emotional insecurity.
The Moon’s position in the horoscope represents those aspects of human behavior that depend upon automatic responses, whether they be the familiar motions of driving a car or irrational stimulus-response actions based on past experiences (past life experiences also), which the individual cannot consciously remember. The Moon represents inertia of character or the tendency to go on behaving and living in the manner to which one is accustomed. A consciously directed effort of the will is required to change these automatic response patterns. Often, these patterns are inappropriate, and even dangerous, and serve only to impede the individual’s success and progress. Such patterns are apt to be irrational and aberrant. Usually they are based on past experiences that have been re-stimulated without the individual’s conscious, rational awareness. The Moon in the horoscope represents something to be outgrown and overcome through a conscious awareness of one's self expression.
The Moon moves quickly through the Zodiac and like a mother hen is always checking to see if everything is all right. Where the Moon resides in your chart is where you are subject to your emotional ups and downs.
The New Moon is a good time to initiate projects around the house....try a new recipe, start a new sewing project, begin any new project. Experiment with the key words and definitions, and apply the Moon's characteristics to your life.

Have fun!
Posted on July 10, 2018 7:58 AM by Mark Conde
Categories: Health and Wellness
You all know that the ticks are bad this year. I think its related to the water and heat we are seeing. So here is a quick link to a CDC site I use to remind myself how to lower the exposure to them and deal with one should it connect with you.
Note that the technique for removal is important. By pulling them away from you around their head areas you are less apt to squeeze their stomach contents back into you. So notice the diagram in the article about removal.
Now I have always been curious how they get on you. I actually saw one run up a board I was reaching for and do a springing back flip right on to my pants from around 2 feet away. That was amazing to see and I never realized they actually jump at you. 
I can tell you that the DEET sprays really do work. In another experiment I saw them literally run away from an area I sprayed with a deterrent. 
Now we are one of the neighbors who encourage deer to come visit with us. Deer are one of the major carriers of the blacklegged tick which is a primary host for Lyme disease. Mice are also a significant carrier. I worry a little less about this because the primary area these are found and Lyme disease is prominent is in the Northeast and Midwest. I still would not go hug a deer but worry less about Lyme disease here in the south.
So use that bug spray and look for the little buggers when you work outside.
Posted on June 28, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
Posted on June 24, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
We (Southerners) LOVE our Hydrangea bushes!!!
Fascinating plants, hydrangeas.  When the soil is acid (low pH) the blossoms are blue.  When the soil is alkaline (high pH) the blossoms are pink.  When the soil is neutral (pH 7.0) the blossoms are white!!!!I
OK...I remember a story about my grandfather putting rusty nails in the ground around the hydrangea bushes to make them turn blue.  I remember those bushes in Nanny's back yard.  The blossoms were BLUE!!!
Another interesting thing about hydrangea bushes....there are several different types.  The most commonly planted are called mopheads:  the big floppy ones, like in the picture above.  Another popular type is Lacecap.  Instead of a big fluffy ball, the flowers are flat with a ring of blossoms around a central core.  I better take a picture to explain THAT.
OK...There are mountain hydrangeas, oakleaf hydrangeas, paniculata hydrangeas, and some others....
They are all beautiful, and blooming everywhere NOW!!!  Be on the lookout.
Posted on June 23, 2018 9:30 AM by Gerry Trout
No, really....this is the picture I wanted you to see.  This is what the birds, bees, and butterflies see when they are in my garden.  Beautiful flowers, lots of nectar, easy meal!!!!
Black eyed Susans are a major source of nectar, loved by the pollinators.  That's why we put them in the garden, besides just being pretty.  In order to produce fruit, flowers must be pollinated.  Did you know that 1/3 of the food we eat has to be pollinated?  Probably more for me, cause I live on rice, beans, and zucchini.  And soon, peaches, blueberries, and apples.  They all depend on being pollinated.
I just read an interesting tip for attracting pollinators:  plant similar flowers in clumps to make their visit more efficient.  They can collect a lot of pollen without travelling so far.  Makes sense to me.....
And of course there is this reminder:  Minimize pesticide use.  Keep a few Dandelions; they are a great source of pollen for the birds, bees, and butterflies.  Poison that kills bad bugs also kills good bugs, including birds, bees, and butterflies.  Jon's theory is that those worms on the kale add protein to our diet.  YAK!!!  I'd rather wash them off with a little soapy water.  But either way, we don't want to eat poison.   Nor do we want to feed it to our friends, the pollinators.
Come see the garden.  It is BEAUTIFUL right now.  You may even get to pick some blueberries.
Posted on June 22, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
I am in the land of Crape Myrtles!!!!!  And they are blooming everywhere!
Lagerstroemia is the genus name, but we all know them as Crape Myrtle.  There are lots of colors, ranging from white (Natches) to pink and magenta, to lavender and red!!!!
They are great small trees, and adapt well to street dwelling.  So they are planted along residential streets, in median strips, and in commercial parking lots ALL over Norfolk and Virginia Beach.  Everywhere we go, we see them.  
I wish I could say which one is my favorite, but to do that I would have to eliminate ALL the others, so I can't.  I just LOVE them ALL!!!  Each one makes me happy.
Be on the lookout where you are, and notice the Crape Myrtle trees.  If you can get up close, give them a smell:  it is a glorious thing!!!
Posted on June 21, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Today is the Summer Solstice.  And the Farmers Almanac has an interesting article about it.
Go to:  Summer Solstice  and learn some facts, lore, and other cool stuff about the longest day of the year.
Posted on June 19, 2018 7:15 PM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
I didn't forget Father's day, but I did forget to show you a great dad, Jon.
He and Jean raised two beautiful daughters:  Sheri and Shannon.  They are both strong, independent human beings, and make their father very proud.
I came on the scene after they were grown up, so I can't claim parenhood, but I am happy to say that they introduce me as their friend.