Party On The Patio May Edition

The Fish Bowl party on the patio. Great time with family and friends. Steve, Suzie, Liam, Toni, Tim, Charles, Alycia, Faye, Bob, Kathy [neighbor] and of course Snoop Dog. The Fish Bowl mix was smooth and killer!

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Party On The Patio! Official Opening!

And Happy Mothers Day by the way

Perfect day for a season opener

We have had other private parties on the patio but this is the “official” opener!

Well today has been a busy day already. Treated Faye Dean to new patio plants, both hanging baskets and potted ones for Mothers Day. Headed out to the big Royal Oak Flower sale early, 7AMish to get them in before she woke up.

I got back and the weather so far has been super. So I went to work getting the patio all nice and comfy for the gathering later this afternoon. All the chairs are cushioned and the umbrella is open. I changed into a light pair of shorts and sandals for the first time this season! Now I am comfy.

 

I already have the dogs, burgers and veggies thawing and ready for grillin. And in the meantime I am here at the table blogging away with an ice cold brewski and the stereo is crankin out some great rockabilly.

So I am good for now and just waitin for the guests to arrive. Faye Dean came out to join me for a bit of the sunshine.

More pics later. Enjoy your day! I am enjoying mine.

 

Yep! Winter has arrived!

Taint the season to be jolly!

Hard to be jolly with a snow shovel in your hand ain’t it!?

We here in the Detroit area are just getting over our first real snow storm of the season. We got what appears to be 4-5 inches of snow. It was the fluffy stuff so it really wasn’t a whole lot top move. And hopefully it will disappear as fast as it came. So we are all kinda hiding inside and rubbing liniment on our aching joints and just lounging around waiting for spring to get here.

But other than going to and from work we don’t go out much. I try to get the essentials while I am commuting so we don’t have to. So for now it is time to try to get motivated to accomplish some of the indoor stuff I have been putting off. Cleaning out closets and the like.

I wouldn’t get my hopes up cause this recliner is way, way comfortable! So for now it is just getting somewhat prepared for the Winter Solstice festival and all the goofiness that goes along with it. And we can only hope that we all survive the holidays without any major traumas. You know … friends, family, alcohol. It can be tough if little Charlie doesn’t get the 2 zillion dollar whizz bang game machine he was expecting!

So with that being said I will say this about that.

Happy Holidays!

Whatever version you choose to participate in!

Litha – The Longest Day

Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning “sun” + “to stand still.” As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.

As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.

In North America, summer solstice begins on June 20, 2012 at 7:09 P.M. EDT

Litha – the solar festival that marks the longest day of the year, with the sun rising and setting at its most northerly points. The summer quarter of the year runs from Beltane to Lughnasadh, so Litha stands at the midpoint of summer.

Litha celebrates the height of the sun’s power and the abundance of summer. Nature is alive, and fields and fruits are growing towards harvest, but the blessing is mixed, for once light reaches its apogee it can only decline. Litha is a fairly modern term for the summer solstice, and it may be derived from an Anglo-Saxon word for “moon” that referred to the sixth and seventh months of the year. The Druidic name for the festival, Alban Heruin or “Light of the Shore,” is very appropriate for this turning point of the year, lying at the midpoint between “Light of the Earth” and “Light of the Water” (the Druidic terms for the equinoctial celebrations).

In the past, midsummer fires were lit for purification, protection and in the hope that the sun could be kept powerful for long enough to ensure a good harvest. People would leap over these fires in the belief that the crops would grow as high as they could jump. Drumming, dancing and singing were common, making this festival a noisy and social time. The full moon in June is known as the Mead or Honey Moon, and mead is a traditional drink for Litha, just as June is a popular time for weddings and hence honeymoons.

Litha honors the apex of Light, symbolized in the Tree King myth cycle by the crowning of the Oak King, God of the waxing year. At his crowning, the Oak King falls to his darker aspect, the Holly King, God of the waning year (days grow shorter after Litha). In terms of the God and Goddess cycle, the God is made King through his marriage to the Queen at Litha.

Just as the winter solstice festival was appropriated by the Christian church to celebrate Christ’s birth, so the popular summer solstice festival was taken to mark the birth of one of the church’s most important saints: the cousin and baptizer of Jesus, John the Baptist. Other saints’ days correspond to the supposed dates of their deaths, but John’s is unusual in marking his birth. Saint John’s Wort is a flower of traditional importance to midsummer celebrations.

Litha is a time to consolidate your strengths and clear away negative thoughts and energies. It is a time to be joyful and full of life, while at the same time mindful of the waning of the light from now until Yule.

Ostrara is Coming! Ostara is coming!

Again We Can Party Like a Pagan!

Not a pagan?  Well, you got your own options. But you may want to reflect on where they came from. Just sayin.

Ostara? Spring Equinox happens on March 20 at 1:14 am EDT.

Spring is coming!  This year in the Northern Hemisphere,  Spring Equinox happens on March 20 at 1:14 am EDT.  Most Pagans will be celebrating the beginning of spring, some under the name “Ostara”.  Unlike many Pagan holidays that have a history in Celtic tradition, the Celts did not observe this equinox.  Instead, Ostara comes to us from German tradition and is said to be named after the German goddess Eostre.More info

Look! All this celebrating at “Easter” / Ostara ain’t nothing new. Peple have been celebrating the Vernal Equinox since the beginning of time. The weather warms and the ground thaws, flowers emerge, yada, yada, yada. It’s got nothing to do with being a Christian, or whatever. It’s got everything to do with Spring! It is just celebrated in every culture differently and that’s that!

Every year at Ostara, everyone begins chatting about a goddess of spring known as Eostre. According to the stories, she is a Teutonic goddess associated with flowers and springtime, and her name gives us the word “Easter”, as well as the name of Ostara itself.

Personal note: Oh no not another pirated holiday! Yeppers! Christians naming an event after a Teutonic goddess?! Hey! What’s with that? Simple quiz. What were Christians, Muslims, Whatevers before [2000 years ago] they were Whatevers? PAGANS! Tada! That was an easy quiz wasn’t it? Some things are just hard to give up. Ain’t they!

For my buddies In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on March 17. St. Patrick is known as a symbol of Ireland, particularly around every March. One of the reasons he’s so famous is because he drove the snakes out of Ireland, and was even credited with a miracle for this. What many people don’t realize is that the serpent was actually a metaphor for the early Pagan faiths of Ireland. St. Patrick brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle, and did such a good job of it that he practically eliminated Paganism from the country.Good job Pat! Drinkin to ya!

All this just to say this. Happy Ostara! Happy Easter! Happy………  whatever! Let’s party!

Newer Meaner Leaner Holiday Celebration! I like it!

Festivus for the rest of us
Happy Festivus

A Festivus for the rest of us!

I need to premise this segment with the fact that I was not a Seinfeld watcher or cult follower. The events that have been in the news that are related to Black Friday, thanks to WalMart and its’ great holiday spirit of giving, makes one step back and want to take a second look at what we really are all about at this time of the year. And taking a poke with, in this case an unadorned aluminum pole, at the long standing traditions and what this season have evolved, or more correctly, devolved into. I find myself very willing to participate in this new version of the seasonal celebration. These are strange days here at home in the USA and things do change and evolve. And in these hard economic times I am not at all surprised. I dare to say it was inevitable but here it is. And I actually like it! Well, this one at least.

While I can’t say I will embrace all of the documented events I will take on the elements that I find fit my personal beliefs and meld them with my own to create my own personal flavor, so to speak, of the season.

Bring on Festivus!

It is somehow strange and cool at the same time that a holiday tradition can be proposed on a television show and become a pop culture icon. Festivus has its’ roots in the family of a writer for the Seinfeld Show and after being put into a script and subsequently presented to the viewing public was an instant hit. After stripping away the fanatical Seinfeld fans you get to a celebration of anti-commercialism and frustration with the time of the season as it has been presented to us all of our lives. And with those of us that are vocal proponents of some non-Christian sects, it may have its’ day and that is now. Well, actually Dec 23rd.

I must say that personally I really do take to the holiday and some of it’s traditions. It melds well with my own personal beliefs. But I can pass on some of the others. The Festivus pole is as iconic as it gets, a simple aluminum pole with no adornments. Simple and to the point. The traditional “Airing of Grievances”, which, according to the guidelines, should take place after dinner, where everyone vocalizes their disappointments of the prior year is actually cool but not exactly new. Most holiday get togethers usually have some facet of this only in a more personal one on one environment and after the consumption of alcoholic beverages. But now it is done up front and to all in attendance.

Festivus is a holiday celebrated on Dec 23 by those frustrated with the commercialism and pressure of other December holidays. Although the original Festivus took place in February 1966, as a celebration of the elder O’Keefe’s first date with his future wife, Deborah, it is now celebrated on December 23, as depicted on the December 18, 1997 Seinfeld episode, “The Strike”. According to O’Keefe, the name Festivus “just popped into my head”.

Reference – Wikipedia

The Bob-mas Celebration

I will still stick by MY traditional Druid based Winter Solstice celebration. But with that said, I must say that while I will keep to the traditional display of the evergreen tree, tastefully adorned and on a much smaller scale, it is along side the Festivus “tree”. As for the “Airing of Grievances” I have adopted my own version that takes a more liberal approach to this tradition and just do it all year long! Been doing it for years, Sorta like a tradition, right?! Very similar to bitching and blogging. Why keep it all till the end of the year? I ain’t got that much memory! Wouldn’t want to leave anything or anyone out. Get it out while it’s fresh in your mind! Yep, you could call it being cranky too! And gift giving is still in my script at least. I am Santa Claus! And the spirit of the season is still there and intact after all these years. Despite all of the cultural differences and the wide scope of applicable names for these events, the core celebration is still there.

As a trailer to this segment I want to wish everyone a great holiday season and enjoy the days with family and friends. You are free to celebrate it any way you damn well please! Pick one, or get crazy and celebrate them all, whatever works for you. Ain’t this a cool country!?

Remember those that aren’t here. This time!

Even though it was written in 2007 this is still a great piece that reminds us to remember just why we can celebrate and to thank those that sacrificed their time and service to make it so. And that maybe, just maybe, they will be with us the next time. That means you, Logan!

Carry On!

A Soldier’s Thanksgiving

Over there a soldier’s thinking
Of a time not long ago,
When his loved ones got together;
‘Twas Thanksgiving Day, you know.

Over there a soldier’s dreaming
Of a turkey baked just right,
Mashed potatoes, golden gravy,
Chestnut dressing, pure delight!

Over there a soldier’s hungry
For whipped cream on pumpkin pie.
Squares of cornbread, crusts so tender,
Homemade biscuits stacked up high.

Over there a soldier’s wishing
He could have one buttered roll.
But he feasts on GI rations
While his unit’s on patrol.

Over there a soldier’s lying
In a ditch, his makeshift bed.
Mud and dirt are his companions;
Been awhile since he’s been fed.

Over there a soldier’s praying
That his open sores will heal.
He is sure that he’ll feel better
Once he has a good hot meal.

Over there a soldier’s hearing
Loud explosions, muffled cries.
Shrapnel killed his foxhole buddy
Right before his very eyes.

Over there a soldier’s quoting
Scriptures learned at Mother’s knee,
Proud that he’s a mighty warrior,
Keeping all his loved ones free.

This Thanksgiving as you’re eating
That sweet corn that grandpa grew,
Say a prayer for that dear soldier
Who would love to be with you.

© 2007 Mariane Holbrook

On this Thanksgiving, America remembers
the men and women of our military….May God love, bless and protect you all.