Sunday, December 19, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas - Six Geese A Laying

On the Sixth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Six Geese a laying
Not sure what one would do with 6 geese. 
Yet I am sure in the time that this was written
six geese could come in quite handy...

Also there is nothing like a nice roasted goose
for Christmas morning dinner. 
A nice diversion from the regular turkey or ham.

Only 6 more days til Christmas morn.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas - Five Gold Rings

On the Fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Five golden rings
Personally I think I would prefer silver rings.
However white gold would not be bad either.

Seven more days until Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas - Four Calling Birds

On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Four calling birds
Most think the line goes "four calling birds"
when in fact it is four colly birds.
Colly is a dialect word meaning black.
It refers to the European black bird

Some think the four colly birds
refer to the four gospels and/or evangelists
Matthew Mark Luke and John

Eight more days until Christmas.

Truth #5 - When I Grow Up I Want To.......

Whew… It seems like the last few weeks have been some tough truths. I guess really all of them have the possibility of being hard ones. It all depends on how one looks at the topic in question. That is why this week I decided to look at this one a bit of a different way.

Truth #5 : Something You Hope To Do In Your Life

I have always been a person who believes that ANYTHING is possible. It is just a matter of what one is willing to do to achieve or acquire their wishes. Some years back I made what some would call a bucket list. I developed it a short time after my divorce. On it I listed all the things I wanted to do in my life. In the beginning the items were effortless really. They did not require much out of me to accomplish them. Then I went on to items which required some effort out of me to complete and later I put all the things I wanted to do regardless of the degree of difficulty knowing that a number of them may possibly never be accomplished.

As I reviewed my list recently, I realized that several of the items that I thought were items that may be a bit difficult for me to do I had already accomplished.  I could cross them off my list. This has encouraged me to develop an updated list and to put myself a little further out there. I would like to share a few of the items I accomplished as well as a few new ones that I added to the list.

One of the big items on my to do list was to see a Beatle in concert. I was not blessed to have been of age in the 60’s to experience what was "Beatlemania".  I discovered the fab four in the early 70's.  My best friends dad introduced us to their music and seeing we were the young age of 9 and 10 we did not even realize that we were listening to music that was first recorded in the early 60's.  So in our own way we lived our own Beatlemania in fast forward. 

When Paul McCartney and Wings toured in the 70’s and 80’s I was either too far away, too poor, or had a family and other things on my mind. John had already passed and George seldom did concerts. Ringo did come near me one time shortly after my divorce yet I was unable to attend. Still I did not give up.  In 2000 Paul announced that he was touring again and I was determined to see him one way or another. I purchased 2 tickets to a show in Vegas with no idea as to how I would get there. At the time he had only announced a few shows and none of them were near me. I felt Vegas was my best bet. Sure enough I managed to get there for a short weekend trip. It was fantastic. His show consisted of mostly Beatle songs and it was the closest thing I knew I would ever get to seeing them. I had finally had my Beatle experience. When I arrived home I learned Paul had announced he would be in Dallas so I splurged and purchased one ticket on a bus of Beatle fans. This second experience was some of the most fun I have ever had. My ticket was right next to the stage on the left side right by all of Paul’s basses… it was heaven for any Beatle fan, young or old.

Another item on my list was traveling to numerous places. The first year I was divorced I went on a trip to Toronto Canada. I was all alone and it was the first time I had ever went anywhere that big and that far away by myself. I was terrified at first yet after the first evening in my hotel room alone I was bound and determined to not remain that way. The next morning I went down and planned me an array of trips including Niagara Falls, A Blue Jays game, The Phathom of the Opera and more. I met all sorts of people and ended up spending much of my time with a family from New Zealand. It was a major turning point in my life for sure.

Now in regards to new things on my list to do: here are just a few that I plan to attempt to tackle in the coming years.

Travel to New Zealand and Australia

Experience Glastonbury in all its glory, especially the music festival

Write and publish my writing

Get a Tattoo (Yea this one is a left over from my old list )

And a few that may take a bit more effort out of me:

Meet and discuss the meaning of life with Matthew Bellamy

Of course Nicolas Cage would do nice also

Skydive ( This was also on my first list and something I was scheduled to do about 15 years ago yet circumstances made me postpone and I have never rescheduled)

Learn to Fly
 (a plane of course - I have always had a strange love for crop dusters)

Travel to Space
(This one will just take an abundance of money)

What would you like to do in your life? Maybe its time you sit down and write a few of those ideas down. Keep it handy and look at it on occasion. You may be surprised just what you are able to do if you put a little effort and thought into it…

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Apple Here I come

Well it looks like my computer may finally have kicked the bucket.  I am typing this from Vince's laptop.  So in the next days if I seem to be a bit absent that is the reason.  I will still post when I can manage to do so via my laptop, yet just wanted to give all of you a heads up...

To the many of you who sent me wonderful cards... thank you so much.. I have loved receiving them each day and so many of them are so beautiful.. Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season...

A Thought To Ponder - Three French Hens

On the Third day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Three French Hens

What exactly is a french hen?  A hen and/or chicken that resides or hales from France?  A painting by Johnny Karwen, a San Francisco based artist who has a passion for natural colorful art? Or maybe Three French Hens is a antiques website based in Missouri who specializes in Old European antiques. 

Whatever it means: today it signifies that there are only 10 more days (counting today) til Christmas.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas - 2 Turtle Doves

On the Second Day of Christmas
My True Love gave to me
Two Turtle Doves

The last couple weeks I have had to tend to my bird feeders quite often.  The cooler weather brings all the birds (as well as a few squirrels) out in abundance.  I have added a few new feeders this year, although I think I have plenty really.  Yet the birds I  sure will not complain. 
I have hung a couple thistle feeders on the back porch as this brings the brightly colored finches closer so that I can watch them better.  I love how they dance back and forth with one another in play and a means to show off their vigor.

This year we were fortunate enough to have a flock of doves that settled near here.  The first time I saw them I was quite fascinated by their pure whiteness.  A group of about 12 of them would fly about each afternoon.  At first I thought they may be egrets yet they were far to small in stature for this.  Next I assumed they were an odd lot of pigeons.  Yet this also proved to be wrong.  When I observed them closer, I realized we were blessed with a small flock of white doves.  I am not sure how they ventured here as it is the first time I have ever seen so many  yet it was a pure delight. 

The turtle doves also as well were here.  They are such beautiful birds with such distinct markings and when adult most generally run in pairs.  They seem to be so devoted to each other once coupled.  I have  heard that they claim only one mate in a lifetime.  I am inclined to believe this as this summer we had a couple who would frequent our yard.  Later in the season I noticed only one.  As I continued to keep track of it through the days, it continued to remain alone. 

My grandfather used to cup his hands together and blow.  The sound he would make was that of the mourning dove.  It was one of my favorite things as a child.  On still afternoons I still love to sit on the porch and listen to them call. 

Perhaps because of its mournful song as well as its desire to create such strong pair bonds, the dove is often used as a symbol of devoted love.  Below an excerpt from a poem by William Shakespeare.

The Phoenix & The Turtle
by William Shakespeare

Here the anthem doth commence:
Love and constancy is dead;
Phoenix and the turtle fled
In a mutual flame from hence.

So they lov'd, as love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distincts, division none:
Number there in love was slain.

Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
Distance, and no space was seen
'Twixt the turtle and his queen;
But in them it were a wonder.

So between them love did shine,
That the turtle saw his right
Flaming in the phoenix' sight:
Either was the other's mine.

Wanderlust Wednesday - Happy Birthday Baby

One day when I was a little girl of 7 years I saw a boy. He was older than me by three years. I remember when I first saw him I was taken by his beautiful blond hair. It was that color of blond that is almost white. He was tall and the summer sun shone on him often. I say this because of the gentle kiss it gave to his skin leaving its mark.

This boy who caught my fancy soon became my brothers best friend so I was privedged to his presence at my house often. Although I am sure he never noticed, I watched him from afar. There was something about this boy. I knew from a very young age that this was the boy that I wanted to spend my life with.

His smile was gentle and his eyes seemed to sparkle each time he looked at me. His words were always kind to me despite my brothers attempts to drive me away. He would call me Janie Pie each time he saw me and although I knew it was only his kindness I loved the attention he would give to me.

Yet children grow up. Being the little sister did not give me much of an opportunity to ever act upon my crush/love for this boy. The fact that I was extremely timid when I was young also did not help much.

I was 18 when I accepted the facts.  That the chance of my childhood wish of being with the boy of my dreams was just that a dream. As reality came to me I remember watching him in my brothers back yard. As I left I still remember the sadness I felt even then at this realization.

Yet sometimes a mere child knows exactly what she wants and it is the older adolescent that gives up to easily. Later, much later, in life this tall blond hair boy (now a man) would come back into my life. And although we were apart for almost 25 years the moment we connected again was magic. Instantaneously both of us knew and we have not been apart since. It is a journey that although I wish I could have started back when I was young, I am still blessed and grateful that we both found our way back to one another.

Today my Vincent celebrates his birthday. I wish him happiness and all he wants and more. Happy Birthday baby.

I know this is a week late but it still hold just as much love, in fact a little more.  Because each day my heart grows just a bit fonder of you, so today I can honestly say I love you more than I did last week.  Yea I know it's sappy but so true...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas - A Partridge in A Pear Tree

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
A Partridge in a Pear Tree

It is hard to believe that in only twelve more days it will be Christmas.  Today I spent a large part of my day working on Christmas goodies and also baskets that I will give out to friends and family.  I wondered earlier last month how and why I was so far ahead with all of my shopping and such.  I guess the fates know best as things came up at the beginning of the month which required my attention and time.  If I had not had so much completed ahead of time I would have been in some pickle right now. 

My blogging has suffered somewhat yet I know that all of you understand and are yourselves juggling things during this time of year.  I have not even put up the Christmas tree and not sure if I will.  I have my Yule cards around the house from friends and family.  Some have the sweetest notes inside.  I just love the wonderful friends I have found in blog land.  I planted my amaryllis and they are coming up nicely although I do not think they will all bloom in time for Christmas.  Winston sports his festive doggy collar around... I love how he jingles...

The smell of the goodies in the kitchen today helped somewhat with getting me in the spirit of the season.  Wrapping presents also did some good.  I know that a trip to my grand kids will also make me smile, although I have no idea when we may be able to get up that way. 

My oldest son will be spending Christmas with us this year.  Vince and I are looking forward to it as we did think it would only be the two of us.  So the three of us will enjoy the time together in a quiet manner.. Of course I will make lots of goodies to eat and there will be the usual festive drink yet I am sure it will a quiet time. 

As this  year draws to its end I am reminded of priorities and the  importance of those who are dear to us.  As a mother it is hard sometimes to hold my tongue and not say something I may desperately wish too.  Yet I have learned by experience that as ones kids grow that they have to learn from their mistakes as much as when they were young.  It is my task to be there when they finally do see that light and comfort them as they need to be.  I have always loved being a momma.  This is probably why I love being a GG too.  I think I born to be an old mother hen. 

As we start into these last days leading to Christmas, may your time be filled with reminders of the joy that can be found each day in the simple things in life. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - Elder Myth & Folklore

uch of the folklore associated with the Elder tree has ties to Christian lore. In an attempt to suppress earlier pagan beliefs, the Elder was used as a representation with a negative persona.

An example of this is the story of Judas Iscariot. Judas was the apostle who told the Romans where to fine Jesus before his crucifixion. Realizing what he had done and feeling his guilt he hung himself on an Elder tree. Reference to this story can be found back as far as the 14th century. Although to consider the size of a Elder tree (rather small) it is a bit confusing as to why Judas would chose it as the his tool to end his life.

Another story which has ties to Christian lore, tells how the Elder was one of several trees whose wood was used to make the Cross on which Christ was crucified. Because of this act the Elder was said to have been punished for its part in this act. Its’ size and stature forever to be effected for the part it played. An old couplet states this reference best: “Bour tree – Bour tree; crooked rong, Never straight and never strong; Ever bush and never tree, Since our Lord was nailed to thee”.

The Elder is also strongly connected with magic and witchcraft in many countries. This association therefore lends itself to many folktales. One example is the story about Hylde-Moer or the Elder-tree Mother. Hylde-Moer was said to live in the Elder tree and her task was to watch over the tree. If anyone attempted to cut the tree down and use any of its wood for any purpose (especially in the making of furniture) Hylde-Moer was said to follow them home and thus haunt them. There is a story of a woodcutter who once cute down an Elder tree in order to make a cradle for his newborn son. Each time the child would be placed in the cradle, Hylde-Moer would appear and pull the baby by its’ legs. This action of course made the baby cry and would allow him no peace or anyone else until he was picked up out of the cradle. As in any tree, if one wishes to cut an Elder, one must always ask permission. In the case of the Elder, after asking permission, one must wait until Hylde-Moer grants consent by remaining silent.

Another folktale is that of the Rollright Stone Circle. The Rollright Stone Circle is near the village of Long Compton in Oxfordshire. It is said that these monoliths are the remains of an invading Danish King and his men who had come to conquer England. As the king and his men were approaching Long Compton, an old witch appeared and gave them a challenge. The challenge was as follows: “Seven long strides shalt thou take; an if Long Compton thou can see, King of England thou shalt be”. The village itself is hidden behind a low mound which is locally known as Archdruids barrow.

As the King had taken his seven strides he still could not see the village, so the witch called out again : “As Long Compton thou canst not see, King of England thou shalt not be. Rise up stick and rise up stone, For King of England thou shalt be none. Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be, And I myself an Elder tree.” With those words spoken, the King became the known as the “King Stone”. A lone stone which stands out alone. A group of five upright stones huddled together are known as the “Whispering Knights” while the stones forming the circle itself are known as the “King’s Men”.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quick Update - Life Goes On

Whether many of us like to admit it or not we are all somewhat slaves to a routine.  If we were to take a few moments to think about it I think we would all have to agree.  We rise each morning and for the most part each day we go through the same motions.  It is when the unexpected comes and changes the routine that we seem to notice it best. 

As of late I have been absent from the blog world and have not had much of any time to keep up with my posts or the many blogs I love to follow.  I wish I could say that I have been festive and bobbing around with holiday doings.  Yet this is not the case. 

Without getting into the entire drawn out details... I have been tending to my oldest son.  It is funny how to a mother her children forever remain just that... her children.  He is a 6'3" boy of 27 yet still to me he is my little boy.  He is going through a rough patch in his life right now and being the protective mother hen that I am, I am close by just in case he needs me. 

I am hoping to get back to a somewhat regular schedule this next week and hope to update myself slowly with the many posts I am sure I have missed as well as a little writing myself.  It is a great therapy for me so it is something I am looking forward to. 

I  hope that this Sunday finds you well and enjoying this holiday season.  Many of you I know are probably buried in snow.  Old man Winter has made an early entrance for many.  We have only been blessed with his wonderful cold air and strong winds thus far.  And really I can not complain much about that as it has been relatively warm most of this month and last.  Yet Yule is still a bit over a week away so there is much more to come.

Have a blessed Sunday.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why I Am So Thankful - Reflections on Thanksgiving

Last week I enjoyed my home being full with the sounds of laughter, crying, screaming and more.  Yes my grandkids were down for a few days as well as others.  It is always nice to have a house full of people.  The life it adds to air is priceless. 

We did the usual.. Watched Alice In Wonderland, the new one of course.  Their momma had not seen it yet so of course we had to watch it with her.  We read stories, colored pictures, and played for hours.  Vincent shared a new toy with them.  Needless to say they loved it and spent most of the day before Thanksgiving outdoors.  Yet it was a wonderful 80 degree day; something one does not experience much in Oklahoma in mid November.  
 Of course though the following day was to bring colder tempertures so we were sure to take a few moments to fill all the bird feeders as well as leave some corn out for the other animals that may wander through the yard on Thanksgiving.   
The feast went wonderful.  A tradional meal of turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and so on.  But the highlight for me was a wonderful 4 layer Carrot cake that my oldest son made.  He is not an avid baker but every so often he gets a wild hair and when he does his result is always totally yummy.  I have already put an order in for this to be my birthday cake and present from him for the remainder of my days.  It was totally made from scratch even to the point of grating his own cinnamon.  Believe me it tasted soooo good. 
As soon as all the fun started it was over and the house was once again silent except for Winston and I.  Yet there are many things to do.  Christmas cards to write, presents to wrap and goodies to make.  I hope all of you had as wonderful of a holiday as I was blessed with. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A wish...

I can not help but be reminded at this time of year of those who are alone. While so many of us are happy and celebrating the season with family and friends there are those who are silent and alone in their solitude.

This Holiday season it is my wish that I be given the opportunity to reach out to one who is lonely.  I have been in this room before and know that it is not the place that one usually wants to reside in.  Yet there is something that keeps many from reaching out to any to end this fate.

Opportunities are with us daily.  Too often we chose to not take notice to them and shrug them off.  It is my wish that my eyes be open, that my heart be tender, and that my courage be strong. 

Even those who appear to be strong are sometimes weak. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - The Elder Tree

ovember 25th through December 23 marks the Celtic tree month of Elder, making it the 13th tree of the year. The word Elder is derived from the old Anglo-Saxon word “aeld” which means fire. If one removes the pith (soft center) from an Elder branch a tube is formed. These tubes were once used as pipes for blowing up fires. Bellows were also made from Elder for the same use.

The Elder is kin to the Honeysuckle. This association can be seen in the Elder’s method of growth. At the base of a sapling, stems appear each growing upright. After they have grow to some length due to weight probably they bend over creating a curve on top of which a new bud appears. From this bud a new stem grows upright and the process continues. The stems can reach a size of two feet in diameter, which indicates several years of growth yet this size is not often found.

The bark of the Elder is rough, somewhat corky to the touch and light brown to grey in color. The branches however are smoother and its twigs are a bright green color. The wood of the Elder is hard and heavy. It is white in color and has a fine close grain. It is easily cut and polishes well. Some of the uses for Elder wood are small toys, fishing rods, and a variety of musical instruments.

The leaves of the Elder consist of five leaflets attached to a central stalk. Once the leaves have formed its’ flower buds begin to grow and usually it is in full bloom by June. The flowers consist of five white petals. In between each petal there are five yellow stamens.

Elder trees can commonly be found growing in old country gardens and often times cemeteries. This is because it was thought that wherever an Elder tree grew was considered a sacred space protected by the Elder Mother. Because of this the Elder tree has often been associated with death. In older times the dead was often laid out on Elder branches as well as crosses used as grave markers were made of Elder wood. It is believed if a cross made of Elder wood sprouts , it is a clear sign that the departed person whom it represents is happy and has been welcomed into Elysium, the blessed realm of the dead.