Color Palette For Spring Using Astrology

color palette for spring with astrology

Here in New England, solar spring and meteorological spring have passed. The only thing left is the real deal. Astronomical spring (aka the spring or vernal equinox) arrives in two weeks on March 20th. Yay! I am loving all the daylight now. It’s such a mood lifter.

On Twitter, I saw a meme that lets you create your own personal color palette for spring using your astrological placements. Since I love Pantone colors, spring and astrology, how could I not try it?

The meme uses the “Big Three” (your sun sign, moon sign, rising/ascendant sign) and Venus signs. If you want to find yours, you can easily do your chart for free on Chani Nicholas’ website. Generally our sun sign is considered our zodiac sign, but there is far more to astrology than that.

I’m a Virgo sun. Taurus rising, Scorpio moon and Venus is in Leo. The picture above shows my color palette for spring! I prefer the taste of peach and smell of lavender. For clothing, I have a lot of forest green and some of that shade of yellow. Not as fun (or frustrating) as Wordle, but I like it!

Will you try it?

The Wordle Craze Of 2022

Wordle

At the beginning of the year, my Twitter feed filled up with Wordle squares. I had no idea what was going on. There were more and more everyday. Then I started reading articles about how these Wordle squares were a word game created by Josh Wardle as a gift for his partner. So romantic!

Word games have never been my thing. Sure, I’ve done crossword puzzles and similar games, but overall I tend to not enjoy them. I get a few words quickly, then some I don’t get, so I stop. I’m but a mere mortal. How much of my very limited time on this earth should I spend playing games that start annoying me? Ahem. Not much.

The older I get, the easier I abandon things that don’t bring me pleasure. I used to always finish books and movies no matter how much I disliked them. I would grind it out to the end, because I’m not a quitter. Then after, I would feel frustrated thinking about how I couldn’t get that time back. These were things done for fun. Not for school or work. I started wondering why I was doing this to myself. I’m the boss of me and get to decide.

Let me clarify that these games annoying me are done alone. I love board games and playing word games with other people. I’m an introvert, so I don’t quite get why for games I’m all about the social aspect of it. Something to explore about myself I guess.

Anyway, I love Wordle! It’s a game that you can play alone, but it has definite limits. You can only play one time a day. All the words are five letters. You only get six guesses. Then you’re done! No agonizing endless hours of guessing and then not even getting all the words. It’s usually around 10 or 15 minutes, then it’s over. On with the rest of your day!

For the past 13 days I’ve played. It brings such a simple yet complete sense of comfort and satisfaction every time. There’s this moment when I’ve guessed a couple of times and gotten a few letters and I’m going over so many words in my head, then I feel like giving up.

There’s absolutely no way I will ever find this word. Then I get another letter. That was no help! How will I ever get this word? How has anyone gotten this word today?! But I see them. They got it. It’s possible!

Then I’m feeling kind of sad for myself. Again, I look at the letters that I know the word contains. Nothing. Then they start sort of melting together in different ways and suddenly I think of a new word. Aha! Could it be? Yes, it be! I did it again! Yay, I’m so smart! Then I go about my day.

Up until now, Wordle has been free. Last week, The New York Times bought it. Hopefully it will remain the same wonderful Wordle that I enjoy each day.

This game that so many of us play each day is a bright spot in the pandemic. It feels like a very specific moment in history. One of fairly few things that I will savor from this time. So I want to make sure to capture this feeling. This simple little game brings a wonderful escape in the midst of so much that is not wonderful and for that I am grateful.

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*Updated 2/10/2022* Just learned that there’s a Wordle Archive where you can play previous games. Not sure how long it will stay free, but for now you can find it here.

*Updated 4/27/2022* Unfortunately, the Wordle Archive is no longer available. ☹️

Apples 2 Apples: Spencer + Mutsu

applesNot only do I love the board game, but over the past few years, I’ve found my love for apples increasing.

Back in 2009, I blogged an apple taste test, Macoun v. Braebern. They were both good, but I chose the Braebern and it was my apple of choice for several years, even though I ate, cooked and baked with other apples too.

A couple of years later, I attended TECHmunch in Boston and heard Amy Traverso speaking as part of a panel discussion. This may have been the first time that I learned about her book,The Apple Lover’s Cookbook. I planned to get it right away, but didn’t and now find myself thinking that this book is becoming a necessity.

There are so many different types of apples and this is supposed to be a very good season here in New England. I want to learn more about apples and of course eat them too. Chronicle, a local lifestyle television program, recently had a wonderful show all about apples.

They mentioned some urban orchards that allow apple picking and talked about the Roxbury Russett, which originated in the Roxbury section of Boston, where I was born. My parents, who grew up in Roxbury, talk about how when they were young, they could just randomly pick apples and other fruits on trees that were around the city.

When my brother and I were little, my parents would take us apple picking in the fall. By then we had moved out of the city to the suburbs. My father loved taking us on long drives and we’d go all over New England. We’d get fresh apple cider and my mom would make apple sauce, apple pie and buckwheat pancakes with apples. Just the memory of the scent of apples cooking, usually with cinnamon, makes me smile.

When I was at the farmers market at Dewey Square last week, I saw so many new to me varieties of apples. I decided to try the Spencer and Mutsu. Below are descriptions of both from the New England Apple Association’s blog.

Ripening in mid- to late September, Spencer is a conical apple, nearly solid red-pink in color, with green highlights. Its flesh is crisp, juicy, and more sweet than tart, though less sweet than its Golden Delicious parent (Spencer’s other parent — surprise! — is McIntosh). Spencer is an all-purpose apple, especially good in pies and sauce. It does not have a lengthy storage life.

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They make outstanding sauce and cider. Also known as Crispin, Mutsus have a sweet, light flavor when cooked, and hold their shape well. An excellent dessert apple, they are also especially good in salads.

Mutsus are a late-season apple ranging in color from greenish to yellow, with an orange blush. Their firm, juicy flesh is creamy white to pale yellow. They can grow quite large (a pie made with Mutsus may require as few as three apples).

Mutsu has its origins in Japan, from a Golden Delicious crossed with an Indo, a Japanese seedling, in 1930. It was introduced in the United States in 1948.

I ate these apples raw and loved them both. There was no side-by-side comparison, so I can’t describe them that way, but they were sweet enough for me and super juicy.

The plan is to make Apples 2 Apples a continuing series of posts about apples, so we’ll see how it plays out. Plus, there may be a surprise announcement to come!

Can your inner child come out and play?

giant chess pieces in park to playRemember when you were a kid and your friends would randomly stop by your house and ask if you could come out and play? And you would. Just go out and play.

At least I did. It was such a simple thing. No coordinating schedules. We’d let our parents know and off we’d go.

Riding our bikes. Swinging on the swings. Climbing on the jungle gym. Running around. Playing hopscotch. Jumping rope. Sliding down the slide. Swimming in the pool. And so much more.

It was just fun and simple and I must admit that my inner child misses being able to go play. I’m not the only one, because it seems that more of us adults are taking time out to feed that playful and creative side of ourselves.

After a tough day at work, a co-worker and I were talking about plans for the evening. She was going to buy some art supplies and paint with her boyfriend at home. Not painting the house or the walls. But painting on a canvas just for the heck of it. To unwind at the end of the day with some creativity.

The next day I was so curious about how it went. They had a lot of fun and she took some pictures on her phone that she shared with me. They looked great!

Many businesses now offer places where you can go and paint and craft in groups, as I wrote about a few years ago. But you have to pay and that can be a luxury that some of us cannot afford too often. I thought it was brilliant to just set up paints and have fun painting at home. I used to love doing that at school and at home after school when I was a kid. I plan to do this myself and maybe try it with some friends.

Apparently now adult coloring books are the rage. They are flying off the shelves and becoming best sellers. Jacksonville.com reported on the trend recently.

“We cannot print them fast enough,” said Amy Yodanis, Quarto’s head of marketing. “We are getting orders of 60,000 at one time from some of our biggest retailers.”

There are coloring clubs and coloring contests. Parade magazine devoted a Sunday cover to the trend. Dover plans a national coloring book day on Aug. 2.

“People are stressed and anxious all the time,” said Jeannine Dillon, Quarto’s publisher. “Coloring is a way to calm down and unwind at the end of the day.”

The coloring books sound pretty fun to me and I wonder how many people will be coloring on August 2nd to celebrate national coloring book day.

Not everyone is into coloring or painting. Just like when we were kids. Different people like different things.  Some friends of mine went to tennis camp this past weekend, as they have done each year for several years. There are cooking camps and writing vacations. There are yoga summer camps too.

In light of this new back to childhood trend, it makes sense that a new long-lost Dr. Seuss book is being released.

What Pet Should I Get goes on sale this Tuesday, July 28th. I’m sure lots of grown-ups will be reading along to find out the answer to the question.