Friday, October 27, 2006

Black Cat Friday followed by Men in Kilts

I realize that this is an odd post, but then, I am feeling odd today. The fall air is quite intoxicating and I am finding life's responsibilites getting in the way of my desire to play. Hence, kitties and kilts.

This is Chaco. He is neither a girl nor is he from New Jersey. He is polydactyl on both front paws which gives him an edge in escaping whatever he wishes to escape from. One time he went after a wild turkey that turned on him. He was able to get away and has never attempted to play with those birds since. He watches from afar. Smart kitty. He's a good mouser and rater which he proudly brings in to add to his family's food storage. Such a good kitty. He gets unending love for his efforts. My life would be much emptier without him.

Now these boys don't bring me food or curl up beside me. They just bring me pleasure. There is nothing on this earth quite so wonderful to watch than men in kilts. I try to go wherever there might be a man in a kilt as often as possible. I think the very best circumstance for seeing a man in a kilt is anywhere that you would not expect them to be. I remember seeing a handsome young fella about to disembark from a boat ramp onto a his kilt. It was a site to behold.

Thank you to all the brave men out there willing to bare their lovely calves and knees and....

So...this is kitties and kilts Friday from now on...I can sure use the break from "all things serious"...which we can return to the rest of the week. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Swap Tote

I knitted this bag for the International Tote Swap. I bought some 100% lopi type wool that I have used before for felting so that I would be sure that it felted well. I used a Manos del Uruguay pattern. I came up with some fun embellishment for the front which included chain stitching some lengths of wool in different colors then sewing them to the bag. After it was felted, I added beads and buttons and a tiny jewelry piece that says "love".

It is difficult in these swaps when you will be making something for someone else, to not add a bit of your own taste. Much of the time spent is a direct result of something that you like yourself. I don't think I could knit something that I didn't like.

I will be receiving a tote bag made by someone else...I expect it to be more "them" than "me". I think that this is the most interesting and fun part of such an exchange. If someone isn't willing to accept this aspect of the game, they shouldn't play.

So, off this goes to Deborah in Ridgewood, New Jersey, which just happens to be not too far away from a town I spent my highschool years in, West Orange. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 05, 2006

To Donna...

Yes...I jumped ahead to Solstice with little acknowledgement to the upcoming celebration known to us as Halloween...but around 2000 years ago, it was called SAMHAIM....

Samhaim was a pagan holiday to mark the end of the harvest and honor those who died during the year. Because the Celts believed the power of the sun was fading during the Samhaim, it was the perfect time to commune with the spirits.
According to legend, spirits wandered the world of the living on October 31. This was a good news, bad news situation: the dead souls could torment the living and be called upon to foretell the future. Celts also would leave out food for the visiting spirits, hoping that a “treat” would prevent a “trick.”
When Christianity swept through Europe, pagan temples were demolished, but pagans still honored the Samhain festival.
The church decided to counter the anti-Christian holiday in the sixth century with All Saints Day or All Hallows’ Evening. Halloween came to America when the Irish immigrated due to the Potato Famine.
The Reformation got tangled up in Halloween because Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenburg door on October 31, 1517.
To recap, Halloween started as anything but Christian, however, the Church countered the celebration with terms like Reformation Day and All Saints Day, although, needless to say, there are more witches trick-or-treating than Martin Luthers.
Jack-o-lanterns originated from an Irish legend about a stingy drunk named Jack. Apparently, Jack upset Satan because he tried to trick Satan into throwing him an apple. After Jack died, he was locked out of heaven and Satan didn’t want him in hell.
Satan threw a hot coal at Jack, which he put in a half eaten turnip. He used a torch to wander about for the rest of eternity. When the Irish came to the U.S., they replaced the turnip carving ritual with a pumpkin.

...and a good Samhaim to all of ye pumpkin carvers out there...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Solstice meme...

  • In preparation for an upcoming swap we have been asked to answer some questions, aka meme. I love the holiday season, but what I most relate to is the Solstice celebration which I have heard refered to as "the return of the light". If you are a gardener, this means more than Santa or even the chosen birthday of Jesus. I am a gardener. I like when the days start getting longer and I like celebrating this aspect of the holiday season.

    With due respect to all other forms of celebration, here are my answers...

    1. what kind of holiday party food do you like best? finger food buffet or sit down multi-course style?
    I love sitting down to a homemade meal and being waited on. If I am the hostess, I like finger foods and buffets.
    . do you make/use those little name cards for your table seating or is that just another little something that magazines are trying to add to our already long holiday to-do list?
    Yes, I do!
    3. do you miss sitting at the "kid's table"?No way...
    4. any particular holiday party traditions that you like to do every year?
    We all make Christmas cookies
    5. Which is your favorite winter holiday?
    I like to celebrate the solstice
    6. do you make or have you tasted any good egg nog recipes...whether using it in a dish or as a drink?
    I buy some really good organic egg nog
    7. fruit cake .... do you love it or think it should be used as a door stop?
    Fruit cake is sadly maligned. I love it and make some really good ones in November so that they can marinate. I have tasted some that SHOULD be used as a doorstop, however.
    8. What do you like to do to get yourself in the holiday spirit (ie. certain music, visiting certain seasonal sites, enjoying winter weather, etc.
    I love Christmas music but mainly I start making holiday gifts in the summer and that stretches out the season. I also pick greens from the evergreens and berry bushes and fill containers with bouquets that I use inside and out. I try to bake early and freeze so I have more time to myself when the holiday rush is on. I also love the holiday craft fairs.
    9. What is your favorite holiday song and who sings it best?
    I love "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by John Gorka, the Ronettes version of "Sleighride", the Roches version of "We Three Kings" and John McCutcheon's song/tale of WW 1 soldiers on Christmas eve brings me to tears. I play all the Windham Hill holiday recordings throughout the day...they are wonderful recordings.
    10. Any ideas for interesting holiday themed parties? (Even if it's really out there -- like renting a snow machine and having everyone build snowmen if you live in a no-snow areas!)
    "return of the light"...building a bonfire and throwing into the fire written wishes for the next year. "winter sky"...celebrate the winter sky by finding the winter planets and
    signs of the zodiac; use star motif in decorating. " garden party" seeds with friends and send everyone home with a seedling plant that you started a few weeks before; celebrate the winter garden by making greens and roots soup.

    I will be posting more about the upcoming swap and solstice in the weeks to come. No harm in getting the party started a little early. eh?
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