It’s February Second

Happy Groundhog day!

It was also known as Imbolc or Candlemas in the old European Calendar. These mid-season holidays fit between the solstices and equinoxes in what is called the Wheel of the Year. Candlemas is the final deadline for Christmas or Yule decorations to come down. But you are wondering about the weather, here is the full poem for the day:

If Candlemas day be fair and bright,

Winter will have another flight.

If Candlemas day be clouds and rain,

Winter is gone, and will not come again.

~ E. Holden

The US tradition honors the groundhog, or marmot depending on what they are called in your state, as the local weather prognosticator. Other countries honor the fox, the robin and a host of other animals. The animal chosen is not important, nor is the forecast supposed to relate to a whole country, but is said to describe a local micro-climate phenomenon. So don’t look at the TV News, look out your window. Today is was overcast and cold in the morning but sunny and mid-forties by 9 am so a groundhog, robin, fox, or human would have been able to see their shadow. I guess we are in for a longer Winter. Actually,  I was greeted by these when stepped off the porch today. They are right on time, next the true crocuses will come up and then the camellia will bloom, then the riot of bulbs will begin and we’ll have narcissus, tulips, muscari, and iris until the lilacs and then the roses take over. Are your crocuses opening up yet?

WP_20160202_13_00_03_Pro

Some fun links:

The American Ground Hog: Click here to visit Punxatawney Phil’s official site.

For some of the science behind the tradition, yes, there is a wee bit of science, see the Farmer’s Almanac article.

The History of Ground Hog Day in Seattle on My NW.com

Most importantly, watch Groundhog Day again. I love this movie.

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Celestial Events to see in 2016

mercury

Illustration by ESA, NASA, SOHO

No, not the Golden Globes, National Geographic: Stargazing has a lineup of real stuff worth going outside at night to see.

Total Solar Eclipse — March 8

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower — May 6

NB In dark countryside in the Northern Hemisphere, they say you can expect around 30 meteors per hour, while those in the Southern Hemisphere may experience an hourly rate as as high as 60.

I may have to plan a trip to somewhere where they have something like a dark sky outside to see this since the 7th will be our 34th Anniversary.

Transit of Mercury — May 9

NB In Classical Astrology, planets are generally believed to be burned up or ‘combust’ by close proximity to the Sun because they can’t be seen in the brightness of the Sun glare and therefore lose their power. This zone of combustion extends to 8 degrees around the Sun except in the case of extreme closeness called ‘Cazimi’ or within 17 minutes of the Sun, which the astrologers believed gave the planet more power because of being right ‘in the heart of the Sun,’  as they are when they are still visible during a transit over the Sun as in the picture.

Celestial Line-up — August 23

NB  Mars, Saturn and Antares, the two malefics with the bright star of Scorpio, Yikes

Venus Meets Jupiter — August 27

NB the two benefics together, Ahhh :)

 

Mars and Lagoon — September 28

There is more detail and notes about visibility and where to direct your binoculars at the National Geo site. Enjoy!

Click National Geographic: Stargazing

 


2015 PRCM Airport Food Review

2015-airport-header_0

Remember the days when airport food meant eating from vending machines? Here is proof that foraging on the road is improving. This is an excerpt of the 14th annual Airport Food Review from the Physicians Committee for responsible medicine that was just released today:

This year’s survey found that 71 percent of airport restaurants offer at least one plant-based, vegan meal option—a 25 percent jump from 2001, when just half, 57 percent, offered doctor-approved meals rich in the healthy basics: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.

LAX gets top ranking this year with 90% of its restaurants offering a plant-based option. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport comes in last place, receiving a failing grade, with plant-based entrées available at just 56 percent of its restaurants.

(See that, even the worst of the lot, has 56% healthy options)

You can read the rest of the report here: PCRM Report

Scott and I were just in LA to visit his family and to see StarWars together and we found great food in the airport – giant veggie burritos that were made right there. I asked if they could be made vegan and the cashier said she’d switch the white rice for brown because the white had butter on it, hold the cheese, and add guacamole. Kudos for the knowledgeable staff at Wahoo’s!


40 Great Quotes about Marriage

Marriage Credit Rex Features

credit: Rex Features

“Most women use more brains picking a horse in the third at Belmont than they do picking a husband” 

This quote is one of 40 in a slideshow by the Telegraph and is attributed to Actress Lauren Bacall (1924-2014), who was married to Humphrey Bogart. It makes a good quip doesn’t it? It should, because as commenter, allthoughtswork, noted, it was written by a screenwriter, not thought up by Ms Bacall. This is just one more example of the cultural issue we seem to have of confusing the character with the actor. Nice catch, allthoughtswork. 

See this and 39 more great quotes by personalities including Terry Pratchett and Abraham Lincoln here: Telegraph.co.uk

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Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

I thought it would be fun to post a list of current Thanksgiving themed coloring pages, click the links below, to save and print the originals from their sites. You could use them to decorate, as patterns for other crafts like a flag or a banner or even in a flower arrangement, or to entertain the kids while the adults do boring stuff like socializing.

I think everyone knows by now that coloring is the new yoga, right? It is supposed to relax you and help you focus better, “Promoters of coloring for the older set say it has therapeutic properties and can aid in personal growth. ‘Creativity positively impacts many parts of our lives and helps us grow cognitively, emotionally and even professionally,’ notes Brit Morin, CEO and founder of Brit + Co in the article linked below. I’ve included the NBC News link on the stress relieving effects of coloring and another on the Greek mythological antecedents of the Thanksgiving cornucopia, ya, of course it’s Greek.

Link to Adult Coloring Article from NBC News.

The Story of the Cornucopia from Greek Myth

‘I am Thankful for’, single colorful page

Autumn leaves, so many uses for these!

Fall Coloring Page, Alisa Burke

Raising Our Kids’ Coloring Pages website, multiple pages

Turkey, alive in a field, not cooked on a platter

Charlie Brown and Snoopy with a turkey on a platter

Cute stylized turkey

Autumn Harvest with a scarecrow

Another live turkey

Fall Y’all page from Abstract Doodles

Pilgrims in Mayflower

A Masted Ship, no pilgrims, says Happy Thankgsgiving above it

Harvest Scene

Related Post:

Find Thanksgiving Clip Art

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There is a Knitting Reality Show in Denmark. No, honestly!

Isn’t this too funny? There is something to be said about people who can get worked up about knitting. And I especially love the dramatic music. Enjoy!

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Hiker Discovers Viking Sword in Norway – Archaeology Magazine

Hiker Discovers Viking Sword in Norway

Norway Viking sword2

(Hordaland County Council)

HAUKELI, NORWAY—A hiker who sat down to rest discovered a 1,200-year-old Viking sword in central southern Norway. “The sword was found in very good condition. It is very special to get into a sword that is merely lacking its grip,” archaeologist Jostein Aksdal told The Local, Norway. He added that the sword probably dates to between A.D. 750 and 800, and is of a type that was common in western Norway. “When the snow has gone in spring, we will check the place where the sword was found. If we find several objects, or a tomb, perhaps we can find the story behind the sword,” he added. To read about another recently discovered Viking weapon, go to “Artifact: Viking Sword.”

via Hiker Discovers Viking Sword in Norway – Archaeology Magazine.

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