Wednesday, December 31, 2014

When do you take down your Christmas Tree????



When do you take down your Christmas Tree?   Is there a special rule about that?  I know it was the custom to have all Yuletide décor down by January 6th, but then there is the superstition that states that it is bad luck to have any greens left up on Candlemas Day, Feb 2nd.

Probably it is just as well that there are no hard and fast rules.  In the day when trees were real and lit with candles, it probably a good thing if they were not left up long enough to become dry and even more of a fire hazard.
but now with all of the really realistic fake greenery, and much safer electric lights that is not as big a concern.  

The season begins a my house with Dec.6th and ends with January 6th, still my tree isn't brought in until the about the 12th-15th of December and then it is decorated over a period of days.  Ornaments are not so much carefully placed as they are admired and  the memories they bring back are savored.
And for many days and nights the tree gets more watching than the TV does.

It can take just as long to take down the tree as it does to decorated it, and for much the same reason.  But the day does come when its time to return  my "green pipecleaner" tree to it's place in the rafters.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Twas the day after Christmas



twas the day after Christmas
I rose at first light
for the event I have dreamed of
night after night

I crept to the kitchen
after a cup of strong  coffee
I was off in my old car
to a half price buying spree


the parking lot was not plowed
nobody was there
I parked near the doors
under a street lights glare

Slow and surely
the bargain hunters came
and after all these years
we knew each other by name

the plow began plowing
he gave us a grin,
he admires our dedication
and didn't plow us in

the employees
began to arrive
this is what makes
this bargain hunter feel alive

I counted the seconds
my eyes on the door
I wanted that white tree
and may-be a few things more

The door swung open
I sprang from my car
and launch my self
well almost that far


Inside it was chaos
an everyone ran
and loading their carts
as full as they can

An I stood there for a moment
and admired that white tree
 with mighty heave
it was coming with me

I garbed lights and light bulbs
tinsel, paper and ribbon
tags and ornaments, pine cones
and even a stuffed gibbon

Cookies and candies
all in pretty tins
and to leave Cristmas cards behind
would surely be a sin

I struggled though the checkout
and then out the door
I filled up the trunk and most of the backseat
but there was still room for more


Pushing my empty cart
back through the door
I look around
and find there is more!

fruitcake, nutcrackers, ugly sweaters
mugs, socks and gift bags
paper goods and even holiday paper towels
tablecloths, curtain and luggage tags

I struggle to my car
and the snow begins to fall
and I think it will be awhile
before I feel like shopping at all


















Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day Ramblings

It was snowing gently,  when I leaned out the back door to look at the night sky, I was looking for the moon or a star, or most likely something to write about for Christmas Day.  There were no stars or moon, just a fierce wind and a very few snowflakes.  In the distance there were a few twinkling Christmas lights, not like when there were so many lights that they lit up the night. But that was then and this is now.


Somewhere high above my world , but also hurtling through space are stars, planets, suns, moons and myriad things I know nothing about.   And I wonder.

I wish all of you my gentle readers, a Merry Christmas.  I wish you a spark of the joy and anticipation of  the Christmas season to carry in your heart all through the year.



And
 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve



Way back when TV was a new thing, way back when I was a kid, way back when there weren't programs scheduled all day,  there were numerous short programs like this on a range of topics.   I remember watching  them with wide eyes and a boundless curiosity about everything, even how the programs were made.  I also wondered why ever version had a different  Santa.  And why my house didn't look like that one, and just about everything else.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

guest Blogger "Twas the night before Yuletide"

If you haven't seen this yet or read it, take a moment it is wonderful! From The Old Crones Corner ~Lady K
Twas the Night before Yuletide ☽○☾
Twas the night before Yuletide and all through the glen,
Not a creature was stirring, not a fox, not a hen.
A mantle of snow ...shone brightly that night
As it lay on the ground, reflecting moonlight.

The faeries were nestled all snug in their trees,
Unmindful of flurries and a chilly north breeze.
The elves and the gnomes were down in their burrows,
Sleeping like babes in their soft earthen furrows.
When low! The earth moved with a thunderous quake,
Causing chairs to fall over and dishes to break.
The Little Folk scrambled to get on their feet
Then raced to the river where they usually meet.
“What happened?” they wondered, they questioned, they probed,
As they shivered in night clothes, some bare-armed, some robed.
“What caused the earth's shudder?
What caused her to shiver?”
They all spoke at once as they stood by the river.
Then what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a shining gold light in the shape of a sphere.
It blinked and it twinkled, it winked like an eye,
Then it flew straight up and was lost in the sky.
Before they could murmur, before they could bustle,
There emerged from the crowd, with a swish and a rustle,
A stately old crone with her hand on a cane,
Resplendent in green with a flowing white mane.
As she passed by them the old crone's perfume,
Smelling of meadows and flowers abloom,
Made each of the fey folk think of the spring
When the earth wakes from slumber and the birds start to sing.
“My name is Gaia,” the old crone proclaimed
in a voice that at once was both wild and tamed,
“I've come to remind you, for you seem to forget,
that Yule is the time of re-birth, and yet…”
“I see no hearth fires, hear no music, no bells,
The air isn't filled with rich fragrant smells
Of baking and roasting, and simmering stews,
Of cider that's mulled or other hot brews.”
“There aren't any children at play in the snow,
Or houses lit up by candles’ glow.
Have you forgotten, my children, the fun
Of celebrating the rebirth of the sun?”
She looked at the fey folk, her eyes going round,
As they shuffled their feet and stared at the ground.
Then she smiled the smile that brings light to the day,
“Come, my children,” she said, “Let's play.”
They gathered the mistletoe, gathered the holly,
Threw off the drab and drew on the jolly.
They lit a big bonfire, and they danced and they sang.
They brought out the bells and clapped when they rang.
They strung lights on the trees, and bows, oh so merry,
In colors of cranberry, bayberry, cherry.
They built giant snowmen and adorned them with hats,
Then surrounded them with snow birds, and snow cats and bats.
Then just before dawn, at the end of their fest,
Before they went homeward to seek out their rest,
The fey folk they gathered ‘round their favorite oak tree
And welcomed the sun ‘neath the tree's finery.
They were just reaching home when it suddenly came,
The gold light returned like an arrow-shot flame.
It lit on the tree top where they could see from afar
The golden-like sphere turned into a star.
The old crone just smiled at the beautiful sight,
"Happy Yuletide, my children," she whispered. "Good night."
☽○☾
The Author of this wonderful tale is unfortunately Unknown. It may possibly be C.C. Williford.
Found on: Pagan by Design
http://paganbydesign.blogspot.com/…/twas-night-before-yulet…

 

Friday, December 19, 2014

guest Blooger, a chicken wreath, love this

Hudock's Lighthearted Art's photos · Sarah Hudock's Lighthearted Art's Page
 


 

Remember last year when Melissa over at Tilly's Nest blogged a GREAT how-to for making a chicken Christmas wreath? This was my attempt last year, and I need to do a NEW one this year - I better get on the stick because I am late! If you haven't made yours yet, click on the link for a VERY helpful guide. I will post my new one once it's done and I hope you guys post yours too!
http://www.tillysnest.com/2013/12/craft-holiday-chicken-wreath.html
 

 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hardrock Coco and Joe , just for you

Nothing and I do mean nothing said Christmas like Hardrock, Coco and Joe, it wasn't quite as good a presents but it was still a highlight of my kid Christmases.




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Night Before Christmass presented by FeatherSpeak


Night before Christmas...NDN Style
T’was the night before Christmas and all thru the teepee
Not an eyelid was shut because nobody was sleepy.
...
The Wal-Mart bags were hung by the fire so neat,
Hoping Chief Nick would fill them up with smoked meat.
The children were nestled all snug in their bed
While visions of fry bread men danced in their heads.
With Ulla in her kerchief and my hair braided tight
We turned up the scanner to entertain us tonight.
Then all of a sudden a crash we did hear,
The rez dogs started barking but that’s the norm around here.
The moon on the breast of the new falling snow
Gave the luster of midday to my rez car below.
When what to my ndn eyes should appear
But an ndn sleigh with eight tiny reindeer!
With a little rez driver so stoic but quick
I knew in a moment it must be Chief Nick.
More rapid then Rez Ballers the reindeer they came
And he pointed with his lips then called them by name.
On Fancy Dancer, on Smoked Meat, on Thomas and Victor,
On Back Strap, on Philbert, on Black Cloud and Trixster;
Sshhh, land beside the teepee, quiet for good reason
We have to be careful it’s deer hunting season.
The stickers on his sleigh read "I love baloney"
Another one read, "My other ride is a pony".
The one in the middle said NDN Power
There was duct tape and bailing wire holding it together.
When they teepee flap opened I just hung my head,
For I just finished off his stew and fry bread.
He was dressed in full regalia from his head to his moccs,
His outfit fully beaded right down to his socks!
His huckleberry eyes twinkled, his braids were like WOW!
You have to see it for yourself, he was just…somehow!
The stump of his peace pipe held tight in his teeth
And the smoke signals encircled his head like a wreath.
His face was kind of greasy and he was ndn size,
He had a commod bod only a skin could recognize.
He spoke not a word just flashed his Tribal ID.
He left a block of cheese and new tape recorder under the tree.
He left hand drums and blankets and round dance CDs,
huckleberry pies and the new Northern Cree!
Then he pointed with his lips, gave a big hearty AYYE!
And he danced out the door and jumped in his sleigh.
I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight
"Merry Christmas to all, let’s round dance tonight

Sunday, December 14, 2014

guest bloger, on the Oak King and the Holly King

The legend of the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. These two mighty rulers fight for supremacy as the Wheel of the Year turns each season. At the Winter Solstice, or Yule, the Oak King conquers the Holly King, and then reigns until Midsummer, or Litha. Then the Summer Solstice comes, and the Holly King returns to do battle with the old king, and defeats him. 

 One concept that must be kept in mind is that the struggle of light versus dark is not one of good versus evil. In the Pagan mindset, the struggle of light and dark is of one of birth and regeneration. Like the harvest, one thing that grows will die and what dies will grow again. It is about how we choose to grow and die and how we choose to be reborn. As the sun is reborn on the Winter Solstice day, we too are reborn. As the darkness reborn on the Summer Solstice day, we too start to die on that day. It is cycle that we live from year to year. Death is not bad - it is just an opportunity to be reborn.
The legend of the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. These two mighty rulers fight for supremacy as the Wheel of the Year turns each season. At the Winter Solstice, or Yule, the Oak King conquers the Holly King, and then reigns until Midsummer, or Litha. Then the Summer Solstice comes, and the Holly King returns to do battle with the old king, and defeats him.
One concept that must be kept in mind is that the struggle of light versus dark is not one of good versus evil. In the Pagan mindset, the struggle of light and dark is of one of birth and regeneration. Like the harvest, one thing that grows will die and what dies will grow again. It is about how we choose to grow and die and how we choose to be reborn. As the sun is reborn on the Winter Solstice day, we too are reborn. As the darkness reborn on the Summer Solstice day, we too start to die on that day. It is cycle that we live from year to year. Death is not bad - it is just an opportunity to be reborn.

guest blogger, a poem




I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December,
A magical thing,
And sweet to remember:
"We are nearer to spring...
Than we were in September."~Oliver Herford, "Hope,"
Artist~ Asako Eguchi
 
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December,
A magical thing,
And sweet to remember:
"We are nearer to spring
Than we were in September."~Oliver Herford, "Hope,"
Artist~ Asako Eguchi

 .

 
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Friday, December 12, 2014

guest blogger on Yule

What is Yule?
A Festival of Light:

Many cultures have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light. In addition to Christmas, there's Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays. The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21 in the northern hemisphere (below the equator, the winter solstice falls around June 21). On that day (or close to it), an amazing thing happens in the sky. The earth's axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches at its greatest distance from the equatorial plane. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light -- candles, bonfires, and more.

Origins of Yule:
In the Northern hemisphere, the winter solstice has been celebrated for millennia. The Norse peoples viewed it as a time for much feasting, merrymaking, and, if the Icelandic sagas are to be believed, a time of sacrifice as well. Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to Norse origins.

Celtic Celebrations of Winter:
The Celts of the British Isles celebrated midwinter as well. Although little is known about the specifics of what they did, many traditions persist. According to the writings of Pliny the Elder, this is the time of year in which Druid priests sacrificed a white bull and gathered mistletoe in celebration.

Roman Saturnalia:
Few cultures knew how to party like the Romans. Saturnalia was a festival of general merrymaking and debauchery held around the time of the winter solstice. This week-long party was held in honor of the god Saturn, and involved sacrifices, gift-giving, special privileges for slaves, and a lot of feasting. Although this holiday was partly about giving presents, more importantly, it was to honor an agricultural god.

Welcoming the Sun Through the Ages:
Four thousand years ago, the Ancient Egyptians took the time to celebrate the daily rebirth of Ra, the god of the Sun. As their culture flourished and spread throughout Mesopotamia, other civilizations decided to get in on the sun-welcoming action. They found that things went really well... until the weather got cooler, and crops began to die. Each year, this cycle of birth, death and rebirth took place, and they began to realize that every year after a period of cold and darkness, the Sun did indeed return.

Winter festivals were also common in Greece and Rome, as well as in the British Isles. When a new religion called Christianity popped up, the new hierarchy had trouble converting the Pagans, and as such, folks didn't want to give up their old holidays. Christian churches were built on old Pagan worship sites, and Pagan symbols were incorporated into the symbolism of Christianity. Within a few centuries, the Christians had everyone worshipping a new holiday celebrated on December 25.

In some traditions of Wicca and Paganism, the Yule celebration comes from the Celtic legend of the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King, representing the light of the new year, tries each year to usurp the old Holly King, who is the symbol of darkness. Re-enactment of the battle is popular in some Wiccan rituals.
What is Yule?
A Festival of Light:
Many cultures have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light. In addition to Christmas, there's Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays. The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21 in the northern hemisphere (below the equator, the winter solstice falls around June 21). On that day (or close to it), an amazing thing happens in the sky. The earth's axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches at its greatest distance from the equatorial plane. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light -- candles, bonfires, and more.
Origins of Yule:
In the Northern hemisphere, the winter solstice has been celebrated for millennia. The Norse peoples viewed it as a time for much feasting, merrymaking, and, if the Icelandic sagas are to be believed, a time of sacrifice as well. Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to Norse origins.
Celtic Celebrations of Winter:
The Celts of the British Isles celebrated midwinter as well. Although little is known about the specifics of what they did, many traditions persist. According to the writings of Pliny the Elder, this is the time of year in which Druid priests sacrificed a white bull and gathered mistletoe in celebration.
Roman Saturnalia:
Few cultures knew how to party like the Romans. Saturnalia was a festival of general merrymaking and debauchery held around the time of the winter solstice. This week-long party was held in honor of the god Saturn, and involved sacrifices, gift-giving, special privileges for slaves, and a lot of feasting. Although this holiday was partly about giving presents, more importantly, it was to honor an agricultural god.
Welcoming the Sun Through the Ages:
Four thousand years ago, the Ancient Egyptians took the time to celebrate the daily rebirth of Ra, the god of the Sun. As their culture flourished and spread throughout Mesopotamia, other civilizations decided to get in on the sun-welcoming action. They found that things went really well... until the weather got cooler, and crops began to die. Each year, this cycle of birth, death and rebirth took place, and they began to realize that every year after a period of cold and darkness, the Sun did indeed return.
Winter festivals were also common in Greece and Rome, as well as in the British Isles. When a new religion called Christianity popped up, the new hierarchy had trouble converting the Pagans, and as such, folks didn't want to give up their old holidays. Christian churches were built on old Pagan worship sites, and Pagan symbols were incorporated into the symbolism of Christianity. Within a few centuries, the Christians had everyone worshipping a new holiday celebrated on December 25.
In some traditions of Wicca and Paganism, the Yule celebration comes from the Celtic legend of the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King, representing the light of the new year, tries each year to usurp the old Holly King, who is the symbol of darkness. Re-enactment of the battle is popular in some Wiccan rituals

Thursday, December 11, 2014

snowy snowy dreams

No, I didn't forget you yesterday, this was scheduled to post then.
 
 
 





guest blogger, making a yule log








My W.I.P. Yule Log.

Did you know that the Yule Log is not to be bought, normal you are to go find your own.

I was lucky enough to have a friend with a wood pile. My husband chopped a side of so it would lay flat, and even then I had to carve it down a bit, I then had to drill the holes in it for the candles....

Mine is made from Oak, which is tradition but not necessary. I've made the wreath from pine. I'll have three candles on it, Green, Red, and White for the season. (These aren't the only colors you can do.)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

guest blogger, Make your own snowflakes




12.18.2010

~~http://www.littlethingsbringsmiles.com/2010/12/rustic-snowflake-tutorial.html


*Rustic Snowflake Tutorial*

I have a few requests for a "How-To" on the Rustic Snowflakes I posted a couple of days ago so here it is! This DIY Craft is great because there is no "correct" way of doing it--you can add what you want as you go! The Rustic Snowflakes can be as simple or complex as YOU want! I enjoyed making all 8 of mine completely different to add more visual interest and to keep my creativity flowing! 



Materials needed to create Rustic Snowflakes:
     - Twigs
     - Hot Glue Sticks
     - Hot Glue Gun
     - Pruning shears or really sharp scissors

Materials needed to make your Rustic Snowflakes BEAUTIFUL:
(This part can be totally up to you--it's your craft so make it your way! I am simply suggesting the things I used, feel free to copy or change it up!)
     - Pine needles (Michaels $4.00..Also used to make this)
     - Pine needles with snow
     - Button Stickers (Michaels $1.50 each)
     - Berries 
     - Twine
     - Felt 

I used scraps of twine, felt, berries, and the snow covered pine needles I currently had in my "craft corner" of our spare bedroom. Check out your own collection and see what you have before making any purchases!

Making Your Rustic Snowflake

1. Gather all of your materials.
2. Cut twigs to your desired size, cutting four long and four short.
3. Lay out your twigs in the design of your choice.
4. Cut a small square out of your felt scrap.
5. Hot glue your four longer twigs onto the felt square like shown:

6. Hot glue your four shorter twigs onto the felt square in the four remaining 
     corners. 
    Hint: As you are gluing your twigs onto the felt  
    square, make sure you are putting the prettiest side
    of the twig facing you.
7. This step is the beginning of making your snowflakes look pretty :) Begin 
     hot gluing your pine needles into place.
8. Hot glue your snow covered pine needles wherever your heart desires!
9. Continue jazzing it up with button stickers and a bow made out of twine!
Although it appears finished, I am going to take it a few steps further to show you how I made my other snowflakes with a little more detail :)

10. To add extra detail to your twigs (for more of the snowflake appearance),
       find a thinner stick and cut into very tiny pieces. 
       Hint: Cut one side on an angle as shown:
11. Hot glue your smaller, thinner pieces onto your twigs and create your very
       own snowflake design. The angled side gets glued onto the twig and fits 
       perfectly, making it very easy!
12. Continue hot gluing your smaller pieces of twig until you are satisfied 
       with your design. For this particular snowflake, I was not thrilled with 
       where the design was going, so I simply added more until I liked it! 
13. If you do not want to cut the angled pieces of twig, you can cut straight
        edges to create this effect:
When you are pleased with your work, show it off :) 
Some ideas how to use your Rustic Snowflakes:
     - Attach ribbon or fishing line to make ornaments (great gift idea for loved 
       ones!)
     - Hot glue snowflakes onto red ribbon evenly spaced, to create a banner for
       displaying your Christmas cards
     - Hot glue snowflakes unto a "Merry Christmas" banner you already own 
     - Using ribbon or fishing line, hang snowflakes from chandelier or other 
       light fixture in your home
     - Hang, using thumb tacks or sticky tack, on your wall as art! (Adam's 
       idea!)

(Fishing line works great because it is sturdy and becomes invisible!..Can you tell I grew up with a fisherman as a father?!)

Here are my Rustic Snowflakes displayed in our home at the top of our staircase (Thank you Adam for this great idea!):

Fun centerpiece I threw together with my scraps!
Thank you for reading, happy crafting

Not at all silent Sunday

photo by Km Zurn words by Chelsey Bahe, please visit her wonderfilled page on Facebook Take 'Em Outside