Saturday, April 18, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

got a late start with my starts



There was snow on my vegetable garden just last week.  A winters worth of compost  has been exposed by the melting snow, and the Blue Jays are very happy about that,  as they strut around with eggshell or orange peel in their beaks.

I  am surveying the scene, wondering where to start, knowing from
years of experience that my plans are just not going according to plan.  But being an optimist, I make plans anyway.  I say this is this the year that I won't plant, or will plant this or that.  The thought of growing a truly huge pumpkin still  sounds good to me. But may-be not so many tomatoes and/or green beans, would be good.
I could give the soil in one part of my garden a rest for this year,  that would be good for it's productivity. But I would still have to keep it tilled. 

One year I spaced the rows really wide,  sorta double spaced the rows.  That year I thought it would b so easy to till around the plants and keep my garden more or less weed free.....HA!!!!   Orphaned  plants began showing up on my doorstep, in the bed of  the truck, even beside the garden, at first I thought people might have been trying to help me out, then as the season went on I realized it was probably revenge for the mysterious  grocery sacks of snap beans that appeared on their doorsteps. There they were, those wicked souls watching me try to weed around those now too close together plants, and laughing their wicked laughs. I solemnly swear that I will leave no more mysterious bags of vegetables on doorsteps.  And that I will only plant 2 Zucchini seeds, not that I ever was one to leave ....Ok I lie like rug.

I tell myself that I am no longer going to plant potatoes, but I will find a few  forgotten ones and plant those anyway, and I know it.   Someone will have a lot of left over tomato plants or perhaps pepper plants and well they will make the price irresistible, and I will buy them  for fear that the great Karmic foot of life will stomp on me and I will turn  into a stain on the sidewalk of life, if I let them go to waste.  That makes gardening sound almost dangerous, thought  having the Fates smile on you when you live in an area where there isn't enough water available to water regularly, and where some clever ungilate has posted signs inscribed with 'This way to the all you can eat salad bar'  in the language of  "venison" ; is a very good thing.  Gardening has it's own special rewards though.

I ache from the first days digging, but it is almost a joyful ache, especially after I took some ibuprophen, it lets me know I am as alive as the earth I walk on, the earth I turn, the earth I pull weeds from, and the earth that feeds me.  




Monday, April 13, 2015

haiku, a late snowfall

stars twinkled at night
 dawn there was a blanket of snow
and at noon Spring sun

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Not so silent Sunday information on Greek Orthodox Easter




MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to Home Life - HolidaysHolidhttp://www.chiff.com/home_life/holiday.htmays Arrow to EasterEaster
Greek Orthodox Easter - April 12, 2015
Greek Easter Traditions & Recipes
The streets of Greece and Greek Orthodox communities throughout the world ring with happy voices sharing "Christos Aneste" ! - Christ is Risen!...


Tsoureki recipe

Tsoureki,
Traditonal
Greek Easter Bread

Easter time, from the carnivals that come before the Lenten fast through Holy Week and the celebrations of Easter, is a special season in Greece.
Greek Orthodox Easter 2015
Since the date of Greek Orthodox Easter is based on a modified Julian calendar (while the Western world uses the Gregorian calendar), the festivities sometimes do not occur at the same time as other Christian Easter celebrations. Sometimes the dates can be as much as a month apart.
In 2015, Greek Orthodox Easter is celebrated on April 12, a week later than Easter observances in the Western church —— and marked by unique traditions that make Easter in Greece different than Easter celebrations in other lands.
Greek Lenten & Easter Traditions
Greek foods and traditions mark the season as uniquely Hellenic. The history of Greece traces back far past the beginnings of Christianity, but from the very earliest days of the Christian faith the Islands of Greece and the Greek people have embraced these beliefs and made them part of the Greek heritage. Of all the Christian feast days, Easter is the greatest time for foods, feasting and celebration to people in the Greek Orthodox faith.
The celebrations for Easter truly begin two months before with Mardi Gras. The Carnival or Apokria season starts on the Sunday of Teloni and Fariséou and ends on Shrovetide Sunday with the Burning of the Carnival King...setting fire to an enormous paper mache effigy of Judas in the early evening. The fireworks and feasting continue throughout the night. The next day, Kathara Deftera or Kathari Deutera, is known as Clean Monday or Ash Monday
For Greeks, Clean Monday is one of the most festive holidays of the year. Decorated with the colorful local almond trees and mimosas bursting into bloom, nature invites children and their parents into the hills of Athens and the Greek countryside. Flying kites and feasting at local tavernas or outdoor picnics is how Lent begins in Greece.
Htapothi Octopus and calamari or squid, prawns, Soupies Giahni - cuttlefish stewed in wine, rice pilaf with mussels, varieties of bean stews and salads, Lenten dolmades - rice stuffed grape vine leaves, Halva a semolina pudding, plenty of meat free salads and the once-a-year lagana, a yeastless bread, are a small portion of the unique tastes of the day accompanied by joyous music.
If Apokria, Kathari Deutara and Lenten Sunday feasts are the preliminaries for Greek Easter, Holy Week is the peak of these activities. On Holy Thursday the bright dyed red eggs that are symbolic of Easter in Greece are prepared. Tradition says that the Virgin Mother, Mary, dyed eggs this color to celebrated the Resurrection of Christ and to celebrate life. Every Greek family prepares these eggs as part of the Easter Sunday Resurrection Table.
Otherwise, the women in Greek families are busy baking koulourakia - butter twist cookies and tsoureki - traditional sweet bread for the Easter feast.
On Good Friday or Great Friday, flags at homes and government buildings are set at half mast to mark the mournful day. The Procession of the Epitáphios of Christ, the Ritual Lament that has survived from Homeric times, mourns the death of Christ on the Cross with the symbolic decorated coffin carried through the streets by the faithful. On Corfu, the procession of St. Spyridon is held on Easter Saturday.
Holy Saturday is filled with anticipation of the religious celebration of Easter and the Resurrection. People begin to gather in the churches and squares in cities, towns and villages by 11 p.m. for the Easter services. Large white candles are carried by just about all of the faithful. At midnight the church bells toll as the priests announce Christos Anesti!...Christ is Risen! Fireworks are set off, in some areas gunshots are fired and the each person in the crowd answers with the joyous responses of Alithós Anésti - Truly He is risen.
Greek Easter - A Time for Family
red easter eggs
By tradition, red is the color
of Greek Easter eggs.
The people leave the churches and crowded squares and make their ways to homes of friends and relatives. The candles they carry are placed in each home and burn through the night to symbolize the Light returned to the world. Celebrations continue with the cracking of eggs and The Resurrection Table. The Kokkina - pasxalina avga - dyed red Easter eggs that are found on the Resurrection Table become pieces of a traditional game. Each person takes an egg and challengers attempt to crack each others' eggs. The breaking of the eggs is meant to symbolize Christ breaking from the Tomb. The person whose egg lasts the longest is assured good luck for the rest of the year.
The traditional foods on the Resurrection Table: hiroméri - smoked salted pork; cheeses; magiritsa - a creamy, lemony soup made from the lamb sweetmeats; koulourakia - Greek Easter bread; Tsoureki; Lambropsomo and other Easter breads and plenty of Greek wine, retsina and ouzo insure a feast which will last throughout the night.
After the night of feasting and celebration, everyone is still up early on Easter Sunday morning. The Easter Sunday table is prepared and the festivities continue! The Easter meal is truly a feast. Salads of beans, greens and seafood, vegetable dishes that are grilled or cooked to be served with the rice dishes, Kokoretsi, breads, cakes, cookies, wines, ouzo...
The main dish at the Easter Table is the Easter lamb or goat (usually kid). Served in honor of the Lamb of God who was sacrificed and rose again on Easter, a whole spiced lamb roasted over a charcoal fire is the most traditional of Greek Easter foods. The Easter Sunday celebration lasts through the day while visits are made to family and friends and the Easter feast is shared with every guest.
Each person that enters the home is greeted with Gia to kaló tis iméras! - "For the good of the day!" with a plate of food and an invitation to join in the feast. Besides bringing insult and bad luck to a host who is rejected, the foods are so delicious...who could refuse?
Easter Monday is a much more relaxed day when everyone gets ready to return to work and school. The main work of Easter Monday is to finish the foods that were not eaten the day before!
Kaló pásha ...Happy Greek Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

haiku post

~~Lady Thirteen Photography
 


not a house or barn,
stone posts and barbed wire alone
and the town beyond

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter baskets and boo boos



Vintage 1940s era photograph of two darling sisters
who slept with curlers in their hair and got all
dressed up for Easter. They are happily sitting
by their Easter Baskets on the back porch steps.
Little sister has a big boo boo on her knee. Big
sister is missing her two front teeth.
~~https://www.etsy.com/shopAndSoForth

Sorta like time travel, seeing this picture, I was flooded by mostly good memories of  Easter mornings, Easter Seasons long past,my past memories that go back to walking down the Main street of out town, seeing displays of stuffed rabbits and new clothes, with baskets of brightly colored eggs, and jelly beans, and most amazing was the giant chocolate egg that sat in the candy shop window.  Years later I would learn that the egg was filled with newspaper and covered with painted plaster.  I can remember walking hand in hand with my Dad, and he lifted me up so I could get a better look at that giant egg.  My Mother, who was a good cook, made homemade Easter eggs, maple, peanut butter, coconut for my Dad, fruit and nut, but not cherry which was my favorite.

In the weeks prior to the big day, I would get new shoes, a new hat, those were to wear to Church.  And when the big morning came, there would be a new dress beside the Easter basket.  And one year a new Easter basket covered in cellophane, and brimming with all sorts of  candy and toys, my favorites were the chenille chicks, I had a hen house full of them.  Even the handles were covered with chenille chicks and ribbons, I loved it.  and over the years that basket has been used and reused until it one year when I went to retrieve it was nothing but a heap of shreds and splinters, and repairs I had made to it.

One year I got skates  for Easter, and though I have no idea what happened to the skates, I still have a scar on my knee.   Another particularly vivid memory was walking with my Dad, enjoying the fresh spring air, we walked quite awhile, and paused to sit down on a low stone wall, he took two  brightly wrapped foil packages out of his pocket and gave me one, then he said "No, this one is for you, that's my coconut one." and handed me  a cherry flavored egg with dark chocolate, the best kind I thought.   Coconut has never been a favorite of mine. We watched the birds for awhile and then walked  home, it was getting chilly and the sun  had started to set.

I was blessed by having a truly inspiring first grade teacher, who one morning taught us how to fold and glue a square of colored construction paper into a box  and then  she fastened a paper handle onto it with staples.
Staple guns were almost magical to me in those days.   We left them on our desks and went to lunch, when we returned they were gone.   Afternoon recess came and after those much too short minutes were up, we returned to our desks to find, Easter Bunny, was sitting at the teachers desk.  We read a special story together and played a game, and each of us got our basket back,
filled with cellophane grass and candies, as we left to board the bus for the ride home.

It didn't take long for the sophistication of being in grade school to tarnish the magic of Easter, and it became  in no particular order, new clothes, Church and egg hunts with the cousins.  Easter was  also a long vacation from school, just before it was time to start counting the days until the end of the school year. 

Not until I had a child of my own did I again feel those magical moments.  The excitement of  finding eggs on a egg hunt, and finding not only a basket at his own house, but a basket of candy and toys at my parents house as well.  
And most important and special to me the walks.   Only now it was eating Cadbury eggs with 'Grandpa' and walking with him again, and seeing the wonder of  an emerging Spring through my  young  ones eyes.  

Happy Easter!



  






 
  

Friday, April 3, 2015

April's Full moon

The beautiful full Pink Moon of April, a magical and romantic moon, is tomorrow but tonight there will be an eclipse, one is sadly not likely to view it.  The sky is overcast and snow is forecast for morning, and I live in an area where only a partial eclipse will be visible.
I include a link with more information.
http://earthsky.org/tonight/shortest-total-lunar-eclipse-of-the-century-on-april-4-2015#.VRbu5EanvrA.mailto
and one to watch it on
http://main.slooh.com/

A faint glow in the clouds rising above the pines, this moon makes the transition between the cold months and its drawing inward, and the green and growing times, when ones life expands in the warming sunlight.  It's the Seed moon, Awakening Moon, Egg Moon, Frog Moon, Willow Moon, Growing Green Moon, Flower Moon, when the first flowers are see.  Perched between, the Breaking Ice Moon, Snow on the lake Moon, Wind Moon, Strong moon, and the Ostera Moon, Pascal moon, Moon when Nothing Happens, is the Sap Boiling Moon, Fishing Moon, Planting moon, and the Ashes Moon, when the built up ashes are removed from the hearth, perhaps? 

I could call it the Waiting Moon, waiting for the snow to melt, the ground to thaw, the rain to stop, the sun to come out and the rhubarb, walking onions and horseradish to sprout through the ground.
Today I watched a robin courting it's own image in a gazing ball and that perhaps this could be called the Quickening Moon, or Courting Moon.
Greening Moon, yes, winter weary and looking for green, tree buds and flowers, this year that is definitely my favorite name. so gentle reader  join me in dancing under  the full moon, even if you choose to dance in the Greenings Moon's glow through your living room window.