Monday. That’s all I could think when I woke up this morning. Luckily I got semi-ready for today last night. Lunch is prepacked and my son is all set for today. Here we are at stanza 32.
Many men are mutually well-disposed,
yet at table will torment each other. That
strife will ever be; guest will guest irritate.
Chisholm: Many a man is being friendly
when he teases at the table.
There is always strife
when guest clashes with guest.
How many times have we been around friends and take jabs at the other back and forth? Did it ever go too far? Maybe you or your friend got upset? I think this stanza warns of that. Even the closest of friends can go too far and an argument ensues. The same goes with guests that don’t really know each other. All it could take is one comment and bitterness will spread. However jokingly it may have started, it could end badly for all and the moods go sour. And nowadays it’s even harder to joke with people as it seems everyone gets so easily offended. Among friends, family, and kindreds I think not only do we need to keep in mind joking is just that but when it gets mean instead of causing an even more noticeable scene perhaps pull the offender aside and speak in private. An apology is just as good in private as it is in public. Stay genuine and have honor whether you are the offender or the offended.
A lot has happened this weekend but more emotional than anything else. That’s for a different post. I’m going to jump right in with stanza 16.
A cowardly man thinks he will ever
live, if warfare he avoids; but old age
will give him no peace, though spears
may spare him.
The unwise man thinks he will live forever
by avoiding battle
But old age will give him no rest
though he be spared from spears.
This is almost the same as stanza 15 but I feel that it’s a bit more blatant about the message. The stanza before talked of peaceful days and spoke of living an example of optional behavior, living good. This one is something that even my father taught me from a young age. Don’t be a coward or run away from your fears. Don’t back down because you’re afraid to get hurt. Those are regrets that you can never right. This stanza tells me the same.
This stanza can also relate to modern life and not just a battlefield. Stand up for yourself, other’s, and what’s right. I have many regrets already and working hard to right what I can but I am more vigilant about speaking up for myself and others. This is something that is very difficult when I have a hard time speaking out loud and in groups. Yes, it’s easier to keep your head down but that’s not how we are intended to live life.
Here I am going over stanza 14 the last one from 10-14 that gives advice on losing our ability to think clearly when we’ve had too much to drink. The real reason I don’t drink as much is simple.
A friend visited me from Alaska and we went to a local tavern for a game of pool and drinks. My husband was on standby and would pick us up if need be. We were playing pool and only ordered our first drink (mine being a whiskey and coke-usual). A group of snowmobilers had come through and were putting quarters on our table for next game. I HAD my drink in my hand! Please remember that. I was watching her shoot, drink in hand and took a sip from my full glass. She gave me the cue, took a swig of her drink and when I looked up she was spinning. Everything was spinning and moving. She was the one that had kept us both calm, grabbed my arm and said, ‘We have to get out of here NOW!’ We made it home and I got violently sick and passed out. My husband got scared and took both of us to ER where we learned that we had both been slipped GHB in our drinks. So no, I don’t drink a lot and now not only is my drink in my hand but I can see it at all times. I don’t want to ever be in a situation where I lose my wits or have a loose tongue because of drinking.
Drunk I became, dead drunk, forsooth,
when I was with wise Fjalar;
That bout is best from which back fetches
each man his mind full clear.
Drunk I was, I was over-drunk, at that
cunning Fialar’s. It’s the best drunkenness,
when everyone after it regains his reason.
First reading this I thought Odin to be boastful about getting drunk and it was fine because he regained his composure. Well, everyone regains composure after a good greasy meal and some sleep. But thanks to TOOHG (yup gave it letters instead of typing it out) they broke it down like the best sort of drinking is enjoying yourself but not to the point of becoming a drunken fool. As for Fialar that’s for another time.
Although my stanza study of the Havamal isn’t daily it’s something I CANNOT just walk away from. I’m so proud of the people that are dedicating their time to their belief and religion of choice as I read about their journeys daily. It’s an inspiration into devotion. But it just doesn’t limit someone to religion or beliefs. It can be art, writing, photography, whatever it is it’s still an inspiration into doing something daily that brings happiness. Kudos Y’all! Today I’m on stanza 12. Reminder, stanzas 10-14 all seem to go together.
For good it is not, though good it is thought,
mead for the sons of men;
the deeper he drinks the dimmer grows
the mind of many a man.
Pocket Havamal (what I carry with me)
A worse provision no man can
take from than too much beer-bibbing;
for the more he drinks the less control
he has of his own mind.
Again, keep a sharp mind when out and about. Don’t partake too much in the mead and keep your wits about you. Alcohol diminishes the ability to make good choices. Odin has great advice.
Yesterday after doing all the running around and chores I had made a goal. It started with my husband suggesting that we attend an Asatru Blot this month. Something that was being asked of us was to bring a dish to pass around for the feast. I can do potluck like no has ever potlucked before. It’s a huge southern tradition to get together with friends and family and pass around dishes that make up a HUGE meal. Then I read, ‘dish that has been harvested from either your garden or farmers market. Or meat that you have hunted or fish that you’ve caught for this event. Homemade baked goods from scratch are also welcome.’ Well…shit!
I just did a small experimental garden and even though fruits and vegetables grew there weren’t nearly enough ingredients to make an entire dish. My husband doesn’t hunt or fish so that is out of the question. Then I had an idea and after a little research into what the Norsemen ate I decided on making cheese and bread from scratch then add herbs from my garden. I sought out a dairy and was pretty lucky to find one on the outskirts of my town that sold by the gallon at a decent price. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty intimidated by using raw milk. Am I going to make something that will poison us all? NOPE!
I made sure and set up all my utensils and ingredients for the cheese. Then I got to work. Bring the milk to temperature, worrying about the milk scorching, stirring until I thought my elbow was going to break, and then WOW. Adding the lemon juice made me realize…I can do it! I was so proud that the pot of milk was doing what it was supposed to do. The recipe isn’t mine but what I found helped A LOT! I bounced between several how-to articles and decided on:
A gallon of Raw Milk
2 TBSPs of fresh lemon juice
2 TBSPs of apple cider vinegar
Bring to temp and add acid. The method suggested was to turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes. WRONG. REMOVE FROM HEAT COMPLETELY! I added salt at the end when it should have been done during the drying process. But the final product, in the end, was AMAZING.
What to do with Whey? The leftover product from straining the cheese from the milky water is actual whey. I can’t believe people spend so much money to purchase this stuff. I could have sold it but instead, I decided that making Whey Bread would be more beneficial to the blot that we are attending. I wanted to practice ahead of time so I don’t appear so new. I found a recipe and ran to the store while the whey was to warm. This is where I was again intimidated. I make quick breads all the time that doesn’t call for active yeast. I had a HORRIBLE disaster in my younger years making bread and I haven’t used yeast since then…until yesterday.
The recipe told me to add warm whey to the yeast. I panicked and added some whey from a smaller batch that was cooled making it warm. This worked and ta-dah! Happy yeast! Even though the cheese and the bread were high in points…I still counted and ENJOYED what I had made and baked.
The batch of both cheese and bread that I’m going to make I’m going to dried basil from my garden (it wasn’t dry enough yesterday but will be by next week). So I will have made homemade cheese from raw milk (which by the way is from grass-fed cows and Whey bread (not wasting anything) seasoning with basil that I grew in my experimental garden.
Any other ideas for easy homemade cheeses? Hmm…I could make butter.
The first day of August and I have to admit I’m feeling pretty excited. I have a lot of new adventurous things happening and studying. Two of my books to help me better understand Norse religions arrive today (or are supposed to) and I can’t wait. So I thought it was fitting to start the first off with my daily 6-Word take on the prompt.