Oculus Tidings & Hearsay - Mid-Autumn 2016

                                     SEASONAL & DEMI-SEASONAL TIDINGS & HEARSAY                            
In this issue:
  • Curator's message
  • Naiad Respite Retreat weekend
  • Coloring Books & Paper Dolls
  • Featured Recipe - Omni Chicken Pot Pie
  • Dates of Note
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From Curator Theod:
Fiddleheads, our tidings this issue are bittersweet. While we continue to revel in the triumph of young Peter Swift from Dimension Q, as documented in the book of the same name, we also mourn the loss of many of our own to the rebellion. Under the circumstances, it is my sad duty to announce that the annual Aldazh Song of Silence Masque must of necessity be cancelled, or rather, postponed until next term. For now, we thank the Aethereans for the safety we owe to the Ragtag Rangers. Cheriste som.
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Your every wish, fulfilled

After a hard day of granting wishes, a genie needs some fulfillment of her own. Join us at the El Morocco Inn & Spa in Palm Desert, CA for a lavish experience worthy of a sultan.

March 3-5/6, 2017 (Fri-Sun/Mon) 

Our oasis escape includes genie lore, culture, crafts, belly dance and yoga sessions, lush single occupancy bed & breakfast accommodations and, of course, opportunities to indulge in dozens of spa treatments and exotic options such as Moroccan Mint Sugar Scrubs and Moroccan Clay Body Masks.

As for our oasis, it is among the 'Top 5 Hotels & Spa in the United States'

Forbes Traveler describes El Morocco Inn this way: 
“If the mild desert breezes aren’t enough to evoke an exotic trip to Fez, an aromatherapy massage and exotic essential oils might do the trick.”
  • 3pm - Check-in at our weekend oasis, El Morocco Inn & Spa
  • 7pm - Fireside Supper - Get acquainted with your siren sisters as we dine al fresco, by firelight, surrendering to the mythical world of the magical genie and exploring its lore and lifestyle

  • 8am - What better way to start our first full day than by being spoiled by our hosts with a lovingly prepared continental breakfast
  • 9am - Yoga in the Yurt - We retire to the inn's festooned fitness tent to enjoy a rejuvenating basic yoga class
  • 10am - The Bottle Opens - Get to know the power and placement of the chakras as your kundalini begins to waken. Includes a mid-morning Turkish coffee break
  • 11am - Stirring the Snake - Slow, empowering Fantasy Fitness Belly Bliss dance class, featuring the choreography from our preceding 6 week prep series
  • 12noon - Turkish DeLight Tea Luncheon - Refreshing tea luncheon onsite with chilled strawberry soup, cucumber sandwiches, lemon scones, meringues, tea, and of course, Turkish Delight
  • 1-5pm - Afternoon Options (free time): Spaaaaaah - Avail yourself of the the inn's many spa treatments; Get crafty doing some home decorating, i.e. embellishing a genie bottle; Learn how to play Mancala, the world's oldest board game; Stroll the neighborhood; Enjoy a Middle Eastern dance isolations session; Or just enjoy some relaxing quiet time
  • 5-7pm - Happy Hour & hookah - Sample the delight's of the oasis from the comfort of the inn's hookah lounge
  • 7pm - *Dinner in CasaBlanca, the popular cantina just blocks from the inn
  • Pampering, El Morocco style
  • 9pm - Rumi'nation - Retire to the sultan's tent for a healing mineral water jacuzzi while soothing your soul with poems by Rumi

  • 8am - Continental breakfast, poolside
  • 9am - Sleep in late or join us for another yoga session
  • 10am - History of bellydance with movement
  • 11:30am - Salad & sandwich sampler lunch onsite
  • 12noon - I Dream of Fashion - As we continue to nosh we'll look into the opulent traditions of bellydance wear from ancient times to modern day, from Egypt to America. We will use the last part of this session to embellish our own costumes for this afternoon's onsite photoshoot. Includes mid-session Moroccan Mint Tea break
  • 1:30 - Afternoon Options*Beautify your hands with a delicate henna design professionally created by a local artist; Get in those last spa treatments you've dreamed of
  • 3pm - Genie Hair & Makeup sharing session. Using bindi, face painting, veils, ribbons, jewels & trinkets we will celebrate our femininity (optional)
  • 4pm - Informal individual & group photoshoot around the oasis
  • 5pm - *Dinner at the Top - Take in the breathtaking view from the *Palm Springs Aerial Tramway as we ride to *Peaks, the summit's fine dining restaurant
  • 8pm - Making Music - Get tribal with the primal rhythms of a siren drum circle, followed by a videographed genie dance session
  • 9pm - While away our last evening with Hakawati - the ancient Arabic art of storytelling
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Coloring Pages & Paper Dolls

Omni is pleased to announce our newest bits of flotsam & jetsam, available for purchase on Amazon or as a complimentary PDF by clicking on the images below

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This issue's recipe: Omni Chicken Pot Pie
Pete removed the tray’s frosted glass dome to reveal a simple homespun dinner spread: chicken pot pie with the top crust baked in the shape of the academy logo, a basket of cornbread with orange honey butter, and cinnamon baked apples. Carved into the top of the cornbread loaf were the words: Some comforting food at a time so many need comfort. Cheriste som, your Academy Axis~chapter 14, Peter Swift from Dimension Q

  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast cubes
  • ` cups potatoes - peeled & diced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion - chopped
  • 1 & 1/4 cups frozen peas & carrots
  • 1 & 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/8 cups half & half
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch cumin
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 package (2 crusts, 14 oz each) refrigerated pie crusts

  • Saucepan
  • Skillet
  • Baking dish
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Knife
  • Omni logo stamp, plastic scraper or knife to create logo

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover potatoes with water. Bring just to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer until al dente / tender - approximately 8-10 minutes. Drain.
  3. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions until transparent and tender. 
  4. Add flour and spices to skillet and mix until blended. Gradually stir in liquids. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened - approximately 2 minutes. 
  5. Stir chicken, peas, carrots and potatoes into the skillet mixture. Remove from heat.
  6. Unroll a pastry sheet into a 9-in. pie baking dish; Pinch around edges. Pour chicken mixture over pastry into pie dish. Unroll remaining pastry and place over top of the pie dish. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut Omni slits in tops. (Note: if using Omni stamp, imprint top pastry sheet prior to placing over pie filling)
  7. Bake at 425°F for 35-40 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Let stand 10-15 minutes prior to cutting. 
Yield: 8 servings

Omni-recommended Pairings:
  • Cornbread 
  • with Orange Honey Butter
  • Cinnamon Baked Apples
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Auspicious Dates in the Offing:
  • Found Socks Day
  • Aldazh Song of Silence Masque - POSTPONED due to rebellion :/

Don't miss another important observance. Consult the Omni calendar -- new items added lumly