Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beltane randomness




Beltane or May Day, what can I say but "Hurray, hurray, for the first of May!"  While the  southern Hemisphere celebrates Samhain,  the beginning of the new year; and before you ask, no they don't have Trick or Treats at this time of year, those that celebrated do so on October at roughly the same time Beltane is honored.  Beltane is as joyful and forward looking as Samhain is somber and introspective.

In some parts of Germanic Europe,  Walpurgisnacht,  a day observed before Beltane came into being, and named after Walpurga, a  Christian missionary to the Franks, who later was Canonised. Often this celebration is a few days before Beltane.  The celebration of St. Walpurga's Day and the Viking and other local Spring customs combined and  large fires were lit to keep away the the fae,  mischievous and sometimes outright nasty beings, not at all like Tinkerbell, European fairys or fae have attitude.    Like Samahin the separation between world is grows thin on this night, and communication with the spirits is possible. Even though it is has it's roots in Christianity it is celebrated with a ritual bonfire, singing dancing and merriment. 


The focus of Beltane is fertility, the fertility  of livestock and abundance of crops. even the fertility of  game animals is included.   The Bale fires are lit on the hilltops and cattle and other livestock are driven through the smoke to insure their health and fertility. 

Handfasting, a type of common law marriage was common in the British Isles, a couple simply crossed hands in a figure eight shape and proclaimed themselves married, usually in the presence of witnesses.    In rural villages it could be months between the scheduled visits of a clergyman and proper weddings with bands announced and clergy presiding.   Couples might choose to commit themselves for a lifetime and other just for a year and a day, at which time they would decide if they wanted to continue or separate.    The occasion of Beltane was and still is  a time for Handfasting.  

It was also a night when young lovers stole away into the fields and couples  to their garden plot or fields, and with their ardor encourage the fields and gardens to produce abundant crops. 

Enter the romantic and slightly scary figure  known as the Greenman, a favorite subject of stonemasons, despite the edicts of the Church against representing him.
Covered with leaves, as if the grew from his body,like leaves grow from a tree. he is the very symbol of the rebirth of the woodland.
 



***********************************************************

In medieval times, the image of the Green Man appeared. He is typically a male face peering out from the leaves, surrounded by ivy or grapes. Tales of the Green Man have overlapped through time, so that in his many aspects he is also Puck of the midsummer forest, Herne the Hunter, Cernunnos, the Oak King, John Barleycorn, Jack in the Green, and even Robin Hood. The spirit of the Green Man is everywhere in nature at the time of the harvest -- as leaves fall down around you outside, imagine the Green Man laughing at you from his hiding place within the woods


vvGreen Man Cake

Make this cake to celebrate Beltane and the spirit of the forest.
Image © Patti Wigington 2009
vv
The Green Man is an archetype often represented at Beltane. He is the spirit of the forest, the lusty fertility god of the woodlands. He is Puck, Jack in the Green, Robin of the Woods. For your Beltane celebrations, why not put together a cake honoring him? This spice cake is easy to bake, and uses a delicious cream cheese frosting and rolled fondant to create the image of the Green Man himself. This recipe makes either one 9 x 13" sheet cake, or 2 8-inch rounds.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 C milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp rum-flavored extract
  • 1 C butter, softened (don't use margarine)
  • 2 C firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 2 C confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package white fondant
  • Green food coloring
  • Leaf-shaped cutters

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350, and lightly grease and flour your cake pan. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and blend well. In another bowl, combine milk, eggs, vanilla and rum extracts together.
Add the softened butter to the flour mixture, and beat until it forms a clumpy sort of dough. Gradually add the liquid mixture in, blending it a little at a time until all the milk mixture has been combined with the flour mixture. Beat until completely smooth, and then add the brown sugar. Mix for another thirty seconds or so. Scoop batter into the pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan. Once you have it out of the pan, you can begin frosting the cake.
To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese and the butter in a bowl, mixing well. Add the vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the confectioner's sugar and blend it in. Spread this evenly over the cake, and allow it to sit for an hour or so to firm up.
To make the Green Man himself, you'll need green fondant. If you've never worked with fondant before, it can be a little tricky, but with some practice you'll be able to use it easily. Roll out the fondant and knead it into a ball. Add the green food coloring in very small amounts and blend it in, until you've got the shade of green you want.
Roll the fondant out until it's about 1/8" thick. Use the leaf-shaped cookie cutters to cut out different sized leaves. Score lines on them, to look live leafy veins. Place them on top of the frosted cake and press in place, layering them to form a Green Man. Roll two small pieces into balls, flatten them down, and put them in to create eyeballs in amongst the leaves. Reminder - fondant tends to dry quickly once it's rolled out, so only cut off small pieces. The cake in the photo was made using a block of fondant about the size of a package of cream cheese.
Tip: if you're in a hurry, or you're not much of a baker, you can use any boxed spice cake mix. Also, if you have dietary restrictions, you can use other spice cake recipes, such as this great Gluten-free version.
Make sure you stay connected with regular news and article updates from this website! Subscribe to our weekly newsletter or RSS feed here: Sign Me Up


The Green Man, Spirit of the Forest
The Green Man embodies the spirit of the fertile forest.
Image © Patti Wigington 2009
**********************************************************************

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

forever young

As the transition from  winter to spring is particularly long this year I get to spend alot more time than usual indoors, doing dull repetitive things and thinking.  Thinking is dangerous stuff, questioning why one thinks the way they do, it probably isn't very objective, it still has purpose, as Socrates said "An unexamined life in not worth living."  

  For some reason, probably because I am getting older, I have been thinking alot about that, getting older I mean.  And why that should or shouldn't separate me from being "young at heart", young in my beliefs and feelings.  All of our bodies get older, the emphasis on youthfulness, yes youthfulness not youth, but  but the appearance of youth, left the curiosity and flexibility, dreams and wonder of youth behind?   Well it shouldn't.   It should be what  we strive for, to be at heart, forever young.









Lyrics to Forever Young :
(Bob Dylan)

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

~~Bob Dylan

 

The video, for which he was joined on Dylan’s song by the Grammy-winning Rivertown Kids choir that he had mentored, has now been viewed more than 500,000 times, up from around 120,000 about a week earlier

vSeeger was 92 when made the “Forever Young” video in 2012 as part of commemorations of human rights organization Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary, and it accompanied what became his last major audio recording as well
Pete Seeger was an incredibly inspirational figure,” Lewis told Pop & Hiss on Wednesday. “He led by example. His commitment to the causes he cared about was total. His courage in the McCarthy era was legendary. He stood up to the reactionary bullies and faced them down. It was a great privilege to get to know him and work with him on two projects for Amnesty International.
“Human rights was a cause very close to his heart,” Lewis said. “His heartfelt performance of Bob Dylan's song captures the spirit that defined his life. And he gave us all a salutary lesson on how to live our lives. It is wonderful that so many people are reliving the humanity of Pete in this poignant video. In our hearts Pete Seeger will stay 'Forever Young'."

What does it say on Pete Seeger's banjo?   “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender,”

Sunday, April 27, 2014

national tell a story day is April 27th

"Tell me a story."


I will spare you my the more connected to our electronic communications, the less we talk speech....well pretty much anyway.   And I talk way too much about the art of the the Storyteller, probably have given some people and inferiority complex about that. 

In the United States, April 27th is  "Tell A story Day",  though the exact origin of this day isn't known to me, in England and Scotland the date is October 27th, exactly six months from now, and the day appears to have started there.  It also receives more attention there, and most libraries hold  a storytelling  event. 


Remember story hour at you school or public Library?  Some one read you a story they thought was cool.  This is the same idea.  But, lets include the adults, too.  The story doesn't have to be from a book, it can be factual, or made up as you go along, a tall tale  or myth, something you remember form childhood, or a fishing trip, or how about one of those campfire ghost stories.   You could tell the story to one person or a group....bring props, photos and memorabilia, may-be a little music...express yourself. Sketch while you talk if that works for you, or knit.You could tell a story about a photograph, or display a photograph of someone , or  of some thing they did or or a place they were in while you tell a story about them.



UH,OH! I feel a speech coming on.  OK, I'm better now.


Instead I'll start you off, with a story I have been itching to tell, and still might.  I thank whoever it was who posted this research to me, I would thank you properly if i knew your name.


 
 

Today we remember Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary. She was the first African-American woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States, and just the second American woman to work for the United States Postal Service. Even though she was about 60 years old when she applied, Mary was hired because she was the fastest applicant to hitch a team of six horses. She never missed a day, and her reliability earned her the nickname "Stagecoach." She was Born a slave in 1832 and died a legend in her own time in 1914.

Thank You for the doors you've opened and the boundaries you've broken

.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ghosthouseflower haiku



planted years long past 
melt out of the snow each spring
the house fallen silent

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day, some history, some thoughts

I still remember that first Earth Day, and how I was sure that it would have a great impact on the way the world treated the earth. I was an idealistic kid.
 
Now I am and idealistic  senior citizen,  having spent the intervening 44 Earth Days, wondering how much worse things would  be if there  had not been that first Earth Day.  If, gentle reader , you detect a bot of pessimism,  you are right.   Living gently on the earth is a goal, and a gift to those who come after us.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





How the First Earth Day Came About
By Senator Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day

What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start? These are the questions I am most frequently asked.

Actually, the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.

I continued to speak on environmental issues to a variety of audiences in some twenty-five states. All across the country, evidence of environmental degradation was appearing everywhere, and everyone noticed except the political establishment. The environmental issue simply was not to be found on the nation's political agenda. The people were concerned, but the politicians were not.

After President Kennedy's tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called "teach-ins," had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me - why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?

I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try.

At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.

Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events:

"Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems...is being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...."

It was obvious that we were headed for a spectacular success on Earth Day. It was also obvious that grassroots activities had ballooned beyond the capacity of my U.S. Senate office staff to keep up with the telephone calls, paper work, inquiries, etc. In mid-January, three months before Earth Day, John Gardner, Founder of Common Cause, provided temporary space for a Washington, D.C. headquarters. I staffed the office with college students and selected Denis Hayes as coordinator of activities.

Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter! HO! HO! HO!




Happy Easter! , dear readers!


Spring is late, but I didn't have to tell you that.  In fact it is so late, so  late that there seem to be much more like  the approach of  Christmas  I, myself bought enough Santa themed ornaments to decorate a tree, at a price close to giveaway  recently, they were selling fast, and I think that the snow on the ground might have had something to do with that.  I do love a bargain.  And I love Easter.

Easter,  even if one is not Christian, holds the promise of renewal and the gift of hope. Dear readers, my wish for you is the promise of renewal, in the greening grass and sprouting leaves. The gift of hope,  that is the light is a someones eyes.  And the blessing of peace in your heart.



Saturday, April 19, 2014

"It' been a long time since that Easter Snowstorm, Ivy."




Ivy and Greta waved as Pauline drove off. The first time Greta had been away from home, far away from home. Ivy was the only Grandma that Greta had  ever known.   Ivy stretched out her arm and wrapped Greta in the fabric of her wool cape, and when the dark green SUV had disappeared  at the end of the street, instead of going into the house Ivy said, "Lets go over to the railing and then we can see Mom again for a few more seconds , right down there by that big red brick building."  They both stood quietly as they watched the SUV travel through farmland and disappear into the trees on it's way out of town. 'Common let's go inside and get out of these silly dress clothes and get warmed up." She gently hugged Greta as the two walked inside.

Ivy was excited and filled with trepidations at the same time, not exactly sure what to do next.  the girls sat on the sofa and watched the snow fall. Ivy jokingly said "I think we should be listening to Christmas music instead of  talking about Easter."  Gretta broke into a broad smile, "could we, could we listen to Christmas music?"  "Of course!" Ivy replied.  As they settled on the sofa,  and began stringing the brightly colored plastic eggs that sat by her chair, onto to a cord.  Gretta and Mr. Chips sang along with the carols.  

After that week Greta went to live with her other grandma, her biological grandmother.  They exchanged, cards letters, photos, phone calls and confidences, always keeping in touch. Ivy was excited and worried about how it would be to have her under her roof again. Sweet shy Greta was almost grown now, and Ivy was no longer the introverted new widow,
Ivy kept reminding herself that she was worrying for nothing.  But she worried anyway.  "It's been a long time since that Easter snowstorm, Ivy, don't expect too much." she told herself as she straightened the mirror.  "Not bad for an old girl, not bad." she murmured.  Her eyes darted around the room, everything was in place, just like it was, only better, she hoped Greta would remember how it looked when she visited last, but much more than that she hoped the years hadn't change either of them too much.

ivy kept herself busy with the kind of little chores one does when one is waiting, and  stopped to put out water for Millie and Skye after she saw them racing around the yard, back and forth over the bridge to Gus's house and back.  Then shes settled down with a big mug of fresh coffee, to watch them playing  like puppies in the sunshine.  The late afternoon no longer cast rainbows sparkled on the prisms in the windows, but it no longer cast rainbows around her kitchen, it may be as cold a February, but it was still the month of April.   The school bus passed by, no one got off at the corner as someone usually did, and as he usually did Skye immediately rocketed off down the sidewalk and disappeared, leaving Millie to race around the yard by herself.  Ivy absentmindedly began to put fresh eggs into the salted water, her thoughts rambled across the fields, and the years.  While the eggs boiled merrily on the stove, ivy  smile to herself about the egg hunts, and mishaps that ruined Easter outfits, the big family gatherings that she stressed about, but almost always enjoyed.  The timer on the stove buzzed, interrupting her thoughts, she turned off the stove, and  then went to cover Mr Chips' cage.  "Well tomorrow in the big day,  Greta will be here tomorrow, do you have a happy song for her?  Oh I hope everything goes OK." As she spread the cover over his cage saying "Goodnight my little friend."

Ivy retrieved the eggs from the pan and placed them gently into the cups of home made coloring on the counter by the sink.  The sun was near the horizon, the lights were coming on,  taking the eggs out of the cups of coloring, she put them on a plate to dry and put more eggs into the dye.  And then arranged a nest of green plastic Easter grass on the table, Once more she walked to the sink and looking out the window whispered "Safe travels, granddaughter, safe travels."   So lost in thought she never noticed the car in the driveway, as she collected her shawl and lantern and headed for the stair, she heard a knock at the door. 

"I wanted to surprise you, I wanted to go up to the attic and wave with you."  The lovely young woman said.  Stunned, happy, excited and a bit flustered,  "Come in, come in, leave your jacket on, I was just going up." As they climbed  the narrow stair, they were both smiling to hard to even speak, they reached the attic and Ivy broke the silence saying "You can sit in my chair", "nope, can't do that, I'm gonna sit on the little bench, like last time, don't want to ruin this, it's like magic being here again."


 
















  
















Sunday, April 13, 2014

April Moon


The moon in the sky at mid-day is one of my favorite sights.  It has always been a wonder to me, I find it hard to look away, and I want to stay and watch it. 






Aprils full moon is often called the full Pink Moon, or even the Yellow Moon, perhaps these manes come from the misty atmospheric conditions at this time of year. I don't know.  Other names on the list are the Ashes Moon, perhaps for the trees, but to me more likely for the amount of ashes that have accumulated from the hearth fire over the winter, and this year were very useful as anti skid on the patches of ice that remained too long.  The tress have finally begun to bud out, hence the Budding Moon, and I did see a few rabbits, The Hare Moon, though Hare is a European term, the first day of fishing season, thus the Fishing Moon, though more likely the ice has finally melted on the ponds and lakes, the water is warming up and it is easier to catch the more active and hungry fish.  I wonder if Bullhead Moon refers to the fish or the attitude of those who have had to wait too long to get back into their gardening routine this year.   The Egg Moon, the Tulip Moon, The Grass Greening Moon, The Wind Moon, The Maple Sugar Moon, are all pretty self explanatory. The White Lady Moon, what a beautiful name, refers to Beltane, and that the Goddess is mirrored not only by the moon, but by  white flowers.
Willow moon, the willows are among the first trees to green up, and I can recall making willow whistles with my Dad, that was a big treat.   Frog moon, the sound of  a chorus spring peepers, a tiny frog, means spring to me and last evening as I finished raking a section of the yard, I paused to listen to them,  what magical voices.

The Moon when Nothing Happens...truly sounds odd, one possible meaning is that some people fear the Blood Moon is a sign of impending doom, but there have been many Blood Moons and so far, nothing has happened, could be the origin of this odd name.

Of all of the name on the list of full moon names that were sent to me , my favorite  for this month by far was the  Broken Snowshoe Moon...yes break those snowshoes, those broken down snowshoes... use them for kindling the bonfires of Spring....we surely do deserve some warm weather.


by
 Vega Star Carpenter



And here we all be under the Wind Moon, so I thought it might be appropriate to celebrate with prayer flags. Homemade prayer flags, with homemade prayers, a prayer can  be as simple as the word,  like HOPE, drawn on a cloth square with magic marker or a complex as you want them to be.



 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 11th is Eight Track Tape Day

Return with me now to those glorious days of yesteryear, when people still rolled  down the windows in their vehicles for ventilation, when both men and women wore platform shoes, and had big hair.  Disco ruled, I will never understand that, especially all that, sweaty almost bullet proof polyester.   A time when recycling meant making things out of milk cartons and tin cans, I still have several pencil holders made from Spaghetti'Os cans, most don't even have pencils in them,  would feel so guilty if I tossed them out though.

However I did toss out my eight tracks....all except for a few that I found in a very snazzy, shinny case, made specifically for eight track tapes.  And they were grabbed up at my last yard sale.  The tapes were big and bulky, jammed easily, had very poor sound quality, but you could listen to them in your car or truck as you cruised around on a warm summer night with the windows rolled down.   And it might have been more than a little difficult to get them into and or out of the tape deck, sometimes the case came out and the tape, which was a continuous loop stayed in there wrapped numerous times around just about everything.   Still it was exhilarating to turn up the speakers and roll down the windows, cruise along, listening to Fleetwood Mac, Boston, McKendree Spring, yeah whoever..it was a new kind of freedom.   Listening to your favorite tunes, no commercials, and no DJs. Listening to the music you like, and only that music as you drove along, though by current levels of technology that doesn't sound like much, it was alot then.   Some  cars even came with a factory installed  Eight Track player.   It would seem that these fragile and pioneering plastic wonders would really be in demand by collectors. Certainly those that didn't get warped by being left on the dashboard, or tangled up inside the workings of the tape deck, or just tossed out the window by a frustrated user, would be rare items. Perhaps they are rare items, but they are not , except for a few ,  of any value.    In those days we lived nearer to town and it was not unusual to find tapes in our yard of Saturday or Sunday mornings.  Some of them still worked.  Free tunes!!!  But that was then.

Did you know that the  Eight Track was invented by William Lear, yes the same guy invented the Learjet.   Both symbols of their time. 









Monday, April 7, 2014

snail haiku





climb it and learn, old
 moss covered stone with footholds,
 new stone slick with rain


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

a spring tradition

There is something on the wind, and something in the blue of the sky, may-be there is snow on the ground, and nary a crocus has popped through, nor are the buds swelling up threatening to pop open and turn into fresh green leaves.  But it's coming, something tells me change is coming. 

It's going to be Spring, and soon I hope, even though there is snow, and the nights are well below freezing, if the sap is not rising in the maples, it is still rising in my soul!  And even before one can turn the first spadeful of garden, it's time to go for a long leisurely walk.

When I was a kid, my Dad and I would go for long walks down the hill almost into town and then onto a dirt road that curved around the hill and finally brought us to our house.  The air no longer smelled cold and metallic, a sweet and grassy scented breeze pushed us along as we climbed up the hillside the jackets so necessary when we left the house were now burdensome as we walked under the midday sun.
Some days were perfect for kite flying.   And some days were just for looking for flowers and listening to the birds sing.  There were days when we looked for the Easter Bunny, or any bunny for that matter, and on those days when I came home there was often a foil wrapped fruit and nut egg in the old cigar box, that I kept my treasures in.  Some days we foraged for leeks and watercress, wild asparagus and  a few things that I can no longer remember.    And sometimes we were just glad to be outdoors again.

My Dad is gone, the road we walked along is gone, the meadow is now rows of houses and even part of the hill is gone.  I walked a different dirt road with my son, and I hope he will walk still another road with his child, enjoying the gentle beauty of spring.







Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hello April!!!

Goodby March!!!! 
Came in like a lion, hung around like a bad cold, and left like a pouting pitbull.


 Now the April showers will bring May flowers, My feeling is that this is the most changeable months of the year when it comes to weather, a characteristic of just about every month can show up during this month, truly the weather changes every five minutes.

What was frozen solid is beginning to thaw, the birds are chirping and the buds swelling, though in most spots the ground is still frozen and there is still snow in  sheltered places.  Long ago and far away,Ok not so far away, on one of my spring walks I was pleasantly surprised to find ice, between the rocks I was climbing over. I  say pleasantly because the temp reached the upper 80s that day, and even I had a touch of sunburn.






Month:
  • National Humor Month
  • International Guitar Month
  • Keep America Beautiful Month
  • Lawn and Garden Month
  • National Poetry Month
  • National Pecan Month
  • National Welding Month
  • Records and Information Management Month
  • Stress Awareness Month
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Weekly Celebrations:
  • Week 1 Library Week
  • Week 1 Read a Road Map Week.
  • Week 2 Garden Week
  • Week 3 Organize Your Files Week
  • Week 3 Medical Labs Week
  • Week 4 Administrative Assistants Week
  • Week 4 National Karaoke Week

April, 2014 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days: 1 April Fool's Day 1 International Fun at Work Day 1 International Tatting Day 2 Children's Book Day 2 National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day 2 Reconciliation Day 3 Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day - we know your decision 3 Tweed Day 4 Hug a Newsman Day 4 National Walk to Work Day - first Friday of month 4 Walk Around Things Day 4 School Librarian Day 4 Tell a Lie Day 5 Go for Broke Day 6 Plan Your Epitaph Day - a little morbid if you ask me 6 Sorry Charlie Day 7 Caramel Popcorn Day - Most likely created by a popcorn maker, or an Ecard company. 7 No Housework Day 7 World Health Day 8 All is Ours Day 8 Draw a Picture of a Bird Day 9 Name Yourself Day 9 Winston Churchill Day 10 Golfer's Day 10 National Siblings Day 11 Eight Track Tape Day - do you remember those? 11 Barbershop Quartet Day 11 National Submarine Day 12 Big Wind Day - this day blows me away! 12 Russian Cosmonaut Day 13 Scrabble Day 14 Ex Spouse Day 14 International Moment of Laughter Day 14 Look up at the Sky Day - don't you have anything better to do? 14 National Pecan Day 14 Reach as High as You Can Day 15 Rubber Eraser Day 15 Titanic Remembrance Day 16 National Eggs Benedict Day 16 National Librarian Day 16 National Stress Awareness Day 17 Blah, Blah, Blah Day 17 National Cheeseball Day 17 National High Five Day third Thursday 17 Pet Owners Independence Day 18 International Juggler's Day - also applies to multi tasking office workers 18 Newspaper Columnists Day 19 National Garlic Day 20 Easter Date varies 20 Look Alike Day 20 Volunteer Recognition Day 21 Dyngus Day always the Monday after Easter 21 Kindergarten Day 21 Patriot's Day - third Monday of the month 22 Girl Scout Leader Day 22 National Jelly Bean Day 23 Executive Admin's Day (Secretary's Day) - date varies, Also called Administrative Professional's Day 23 Lover's Day 23 National Zucchini Bread Day - they hold this at a time when you are not sick of all that zucchini. 23 Take a Chance Day 23 World Laboratory Day 24 Pig in a Blanket Day 24 Take Your Daughter to Work 4th Thursday 25 East meets West Day 25 World Penguin Day 26 Hug an Australian Day 26 National Pretzel Day 26 Richter Scale Day 27 Babe Ruth Day 27 National Prime Rib Day 27 Tell a Story Day 28 International Astronomy Day 28 Great Poetry Reading Day 28 Kiss Your Mate Day - guys, do not forget this one. Kiss her, then read her some poetry. 29 Greenery Day 29 National Shrimp Scampi Day 30 Hairstyle Appreciation Day 30 National Honesty Day

Tennesee Ernie Ford, sings Amazing Grace

If you know me at all you know you are unlikely to find me in a church on a Sunday morning.   But Amazing Grace became a favorite probably t...