Saturday, December 31, 2011

A cat told me

~thanks to whoever took this picture
It hasn't started to snow yet, but I watched the sun sink below the tree line and that is the final sunset of this calendar year.  Crisp and still, the air  smelled soooooooo good, like it does when snow is coming.  And snow is coming.

I have had this cat as my desktop wallpaper for awhile now, he looks like he is looking for something, some sign or signal,  just listening and watching closely.   Trying to peer into the future, or may-be just over the fence rail.  Anticipating what is to come, because tonight more than any other night we wonder, not think, but wonder about the future.  Beliefs about  divining the future abound tonight, and of course resolutions...ahhum "I hereby resolve to make no resolutions." that should be easy enough to keep.

As I always do I will park myself in front of the TV, and watch the ball come down in Times Square, being very grateful that I am not in that throng of people, though at one time I would have enjoyed it immensely!!!  And if I an lucky I will get to see  footage of the celebrations in other cities.  And if I haven't gone off to dreamland.

Tomorrow morning when I get up I will flip the page on the calendar, start the coffee and welcome the new day, it is a new year, and a new day, and a new start just like every other morning.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Christmas

~thanks, Ben, for letting me share your beautiful tree

If i could give each of you a gift
 it would be the joy and wonder of a child on Christmas morning,
the peacefullness of a snowfall on Christmas Eve
 abundace, and love.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas with Ralphie

The house on Cleveland Street, has become a big part of my Christmas celebration.  I think I know most of the dialog, and the scenes I don't like....and damnation, the word theme makes me cringe!!!  I had a teacher like Miss Shields, but then probably you did too. That last week of school before Christmas was a never ending distraction from what was really important, besides the presents and that was the all too brief  Christmas vacation. It was never ever long enough. 

I always get a twinge of anticipation when they deliver that great big box marked FRAGILE,  Fraaageellay....think that is Italian for "major award".   Or may-be excelsior, oh what fun I could have, and what a mess i could make with a huge wooden box of excelsior. And then at last, the famous,leg lamp. I want a leg lamp, in fact I am  saving up for one, fishnet hosiery was shall we say a bit tacky, but fun.

One year I was lucky enough to be in the big city of Pittsburgh, at Christmas time, and the  got to visit with Santa, who I was sure was the real deal, not the guy who sat in the garishly painted yellow chair at the end of the toy isle in our towns department store, the name of which eludes me right now.  I never wanted a BB gun,  but there were plenty of things I did want.

We always cut our own tree, well usually my Dad did that, he loved Christmas, and  was always bringing home new decorations. and trees that were much too large.
 I also remember those extremely hot to the touch and temper mental to use 7 watt tree lights.
Much better for setting fire to a tree than the more modern mini-lights.

 It just wouldn't be Christmas without a trip to Ralphie's house.And so now with "24 Hours of a Christmas Story" almost here,  looking forward and backward to laughing at the same old stuff, and  watching the sky for snow.  knowing exactly when to get up for a snack, because  know the story word for word. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Longest night of the year, a personal view

Shortly after midnight tonight EST, the Winter Solstice will occur, the moment that markes the return of the sun and the lengthening of days.
image by MissGaylee

I can't describe how strange it seems to me that the Solstice should fall at the very beginning of winter.  That the Sun returns as the weather turns coldest. "As the day lengthens, the cold strengthens." is a very accurate statement, nighttime temps  will often be in the single digits and even sub-zero in a few weeks, however the sunsets will be noticeably later by then.
The lengthening daylight just doesn't seem to have much of a effect,
Until that time you first feel it's warmth on your face, or see the snow beginning to first melt away from the fenceposts and from around the trees.
The return of the sun, and lengthening days were seen as the promise of life returning to the earth, our ancestors, built bonfires, danced and sang, gathered together and feasted to encourage the return of the sun.
Blessed Yule!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dear Santa,

I could wish for world peace and to end hunger and injustice.  After all this is then season of miracles. 
Instead all I want for Christmas is for everyone in the whole world to have a smile or a laugh, at least once everyday.

Monday, December 19, 2011

happyness is a warm mug

I love a good cup of coffee , or tea while I look out the window and let my mind wander.  And wandering is the thing my mind does best, it wanders over what I will plant in the garden next year, or what chore needs done first, sometimes it wanders far afield, past the woods and out into the great wide world, back in time,  or to some place I hold dear.  At this time of year it wanders to the days when the sun shines and sometimes the days when it snows so deep that after stoking the fire I go back to bed and pull the covers over my head,  and wonder at the beauty of snowflakes drifting down like feathers. But eventually, the cup is empty and it wanders back to the here and now.

This is my new coffee cup, it is huge as you can see as it has most of the teaspoon hidden in it.  I don't think that a new cup makes the beverage taste any better, but it was just such a great looking rooster and the price was right and there is never enough coffee in my cup on a frosty morning,and give me a chance I'll think up some more stuff.   It is wonderful to wrap my hands around it warmth on a cold morning.

Friday, December 16, 2011

sparkle and cheer

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How are thy leaves so verdant!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How are thy leaves so verdant!

Not only in the summertime,
But even in winter is thy prime.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How are thy leaves so verdant

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!
For every year the Christmas tree,
Brings to us all both joy and glee.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

Each bough doth hold its tiny light,
That makes each toy to sparkle bright.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly.

~thanks, Ben, for allowing me to use images of your wonderful ornaments

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Luminia Mundi

Today is the Winter Solstice on the old Julian Calender.
For as long as I can remember, I have heard today called Luminia Mundi, meaning I think "to light the world" or "the night that the world lights up". 
The night that a candle was place in a jar, or a light put in the window to show the Wise men their way in the dark and cold.  the first night that the Christmas lights are alite. A night that Mother Mary was reverenced and she began her journey to Bethlehem as she still carried the Christ Child, as we were told. 
It is also one week to the Solstice, or Yule, the longest night of the year. After which the days begin to lengthen again, bringing the promise of a new spring a new growing season.
A new season, a birth, a renewed life and a new light, as we count down the final long dark nights of the year. 

a pile of purple yarn

"Been there , done that!
Bought the Tshirt.
Wore it out.
Tore it up and made rags out of it."

Referring as it does to something good or bad that took up a lot of space in a persons life.  Like may-be for real, their clothing.  Clothing is a practical object, at one time clothing was actually included in wills and bequests.  It does more that protect us from the elements,  and it says something about or taste, and lifestyle, and is possibly emblazoned with out current favorite phrase, it says something about how we live, and our economic status, though it is not always an accurate representation of ourselves.   clothing can be a sort of costume, something you wear for others to see, or it can be a soft  well worm pair of jeans and a cozy sweatshirt, that make you feel warm on a cold night.

I have jeans that, became shorts, shorts and jeans that have more patches than original fabric, work shirts that are masterpieces or nightmares of patchwork, some days I am a walking canvas of slap dash mending.

The other day my favorite purple sweater, that I bought at the Thrift Shop came out of the washer looking much more like a heap of purple yarn than a sweater.   For the last 10 or so years this has been my "go to" garment, soft , cozy, with very cool metal buttons, it went well with jeans, skirt and leggings, and over the years it got compliments regularly.  Now it is in ruins,  I got a lot of use out it, and now I face the daunting task of replacing it, or trying to.
And that is the hardest part.

 I think that Donovan Leach said it all, when he wrote this.

 Do you have a shirt that you really loveOne that you feel so groovy in?You don't even mind if it starts to fadeThat only makes it nicer still
I love my shirt, I love my shirtMy shirt is so comfortably lovelyI love my shirt, I love my shirtMy shirt is so comfortably lovely
Do you have some jeans that you really loveOnes that you feel so groovy in?You don't even mind if they start to frayThat only makes them nicer still
I love my jeans, I love my jeansMy jeans are so comfortably lovelyI love my jeans, I love my jeansMy jeans are so comfortably lovely
When they are taken to the cleanersI can't wait to get them home againYes, I take 'em to the cleanersAnd there they wash them in a streamScrub a rub dub dubAnd there they wash them in a stream, know what I mean?
Do you have some shoes that you really loveOnes that you feel so flashy in?You don't even mind if they start to get some holes inThat only makes them nicer still
I love my shoes, I love my shoesMy shoes are so comfortably lovelyI love my jeans, I love my jeansMy jeans are so comfortably lovely
I love my shirt, I love my shirtIn fact I love my wardrobe
I love my shirt, I love my shirtMy shirt is so comfortably lovelyI love my shirt, I love my shirtMy shirt is so comfortably lovely...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Share a cupppa

I didn't take this picture, in fact i don't know who did.  But I really like it . It reminds me of the warmth of the season, of the light that drives the darkeness from our souls on the longest night of the year, of finding joy in the quiet moments. Taking the time to enjoy the work I have done and to be alone with my thoughts an memories.  The peacefulness of a quiet house on a long winter night, surrounded by the
glow of simple delights. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

first full moon of winter

The Moon before Yule, the second  lunar eclipse of the year,   obscured by snow flurries.  Tomorrow morning I will look for the eclipse, even though it is unlikely I will see it.

To stand out under a winter sky and gaze up into the vast overhang of dark dotted with stars, the landscape lighted not only by the glowing full moon, but it's reflection off the freshly fallen snow, surrounded by stillness, your own heartbeat and breathing are the only sound.  Moments so still that time becomes irrelevant, and the imagination soars, until in the distance an owl calls for a mate, or a train whistle sounds, and the chill creeps through the soles of your shoes, and again you are standing there under the stars and the first full moon of winter.

December Moon names

Kaitvitjuitk (Inuit).
Cold Moon (Celtic).
Night Moon (Taos).
Respect Moon (Hopi).
Bitter Moon (Chinese).
Peach Moon (Choctaw).
Twelfth Moon (Dakotah).
Big Winter Moon (Creek).
Real Goose Moon (Kiowa).
Cold Time Moon (Mohawk).
Ashes Fire Moon (San Juan).
Oak Moon (Medieval English).
Big BearĂ¢€™s Moon (Winnebago).
Long Night Moon (Neo-Pagan).
Popping Trees Moon (Arapaho).
Running Wolves Moon (Cheyenne).
Frost Fish Moon (Passamaquoddy).
Cold Moon, Long Nights Moon (Algonquin).
Snow Moon, Before Yule Moon (Cherokee).
Oak Moon : Full, : Snow Moon Dark (Janic).
Popping Tress Moon, Deer Horn Shedding Moon (Sioux).

Other moon names : Wolf Moon, Turning Moon, Heavy Snow Moon, Aerra Geola, Under Burn Moon, Big Winter Moon, Winter Maker Moon, Yellow Leaves Moon, Little Finger Moon, Mid-Winter Moon, Wintermonat, Small Spirits Moon

Monday, December 5, 2011

But it wasn't cold outside!

 Yesterday, this post was supposed to up yesterday, but I just got computer burn out, so here it is. Yesterday was warm and sunny and felt like October, and going barefoot and not needing a coat and it even smelled good and I was enjoying it!!! I spent much of the afternoon outside, puttering around, really trying hard to look busy.
 At about 4:00PM I noticed the beautiful crescent moon rising and went in to get my camera, never go inside until you absolutely have to because there will be work waiting for you!!! that's my motto.  It took about 45 min to get back outside again, and the sun was setting.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Just like the seasons i change


It is cold, it is winter!!!
No, longer can I comfortably walk out the back door in the mornings to enjoy my coffee, without first putting on shoes and a coat . The steam rising from my cup is as welcome as the first sip off coffee, The woods no longer belong to this foraging, garden they belong to the hunter. The coyote, owl and bobcat, crow and raven,but brother bear has wisely begun hibernation already, for a short time share they all share their woods and fields with human hunters, but soon it will be all theirs again.  Except for visits from a forager looking for signs of spring.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I feel very lucky when I come upon and apple or pear tree that has a crop of fruit ready to pick, they are often the only thing left of a long forgotten home, though some are planted by squirrels and other creatures who cache seeds for winter and then forget about them. The fruits are often far from perfect looking, and look very different from what we might find in the grocery store, but these old varieties have a robust flavor.  As if a bit of the savior in them is expressed in their hearty flavor, a flavor untampered with for reasons of shelf life , texture, size or eye appeal. This year the old trees groaned under the weight of their crop, and I groaned as i carried them home.    

Yesterday I stood at the kitchen sink, peeling apples. attempting to take the skin off cleanly and in one log continuous strip.  Watching the snow drifting down, winter is tightening it's grip. As I sliced them into the pan, I couldn't resist taking a slice of two for myself. The taste of every autumn season, the
orchards long gone where I had picked apples with my parents and siblings, the way those stored apples made the cold room smell, the Heatrola coal stove that warmed my grandparents house, standing near it and being at once hot on one side and freezing on the other.  Feeling a sense of bliss spread over me, I look forward to next year.
But for now anticipating the taste of the apple cobbler in the oven.  Baking on a cold day not only warms the house it warms the heart.

slightly wordy Slent Sunday on a road

Not every picture is worth a thousand words, but the memory it represents is.