February 2nd, AKA Candlemas AKA Groundhog Day was bright and clear here in Seattle. Yup, a groundhog could have easily seen its shadow. I saw mine. According to tradition, that means 6 more weeks of Winter and by the groundhog, that is what we have gotten.
Well, I am finished, tired of snow, cold, the whole thing. How about you? March 20th is the Vernal Equinox and the first day of Spring. Equinox is derived from the Latin words equal and night meaning that the day and night are equal again and we are heading to longer days. Whoopee! Let’s celebrate Spring!
I am sorry about the weather preempting the Solstice party. It was a bummer missing the opportunity to spend time with you. Maybe we’ll wait for the Spring Equinox or maybe we’ll do something for Candlemas, a.k.a. Groundhog Day. I made Robby a batch of oatmeal peanut butter cookies for his birthday. What a great recipe! I left out the wheat germ because I didn’t have any and just added a little more flour and oatmeal and he and Freya love them. Stew and I thought they were pretty tasty, too.
Dec 21st is the Winter Solstice. On this day, the Sun enters the part of the space-time continuum belonging to Capricorn. This is the official first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The word Solstice is derived from the Latin sol, or “Sun,” and stitium, or “stoppage.” At the Solstice, the Sun appears to both rise and set at the same spot on the horizon.
On June 21, the Summer Solstice, the North Pole is tilted most directly Sunward. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere experience this as the longest day and shortest night of the year. On December 21, the Winter Solstice, the North Pole is pointed away from the Sun giving us in the Northern Hemisphere, our shortest day and longest night. It is this tilting of the Earth’s rotational axis that gives us our seasons. If you want more information on how this works, just ask and I can recommend some articles and books that explain it really well. I don’t know about you, but to me, the important part of this is that from here on out, we get a few minutes more of daylight each day, until the Summer Solstice, that is. Here is evidence that humankind’s fascination with the Sun hasn’t waned in thousands of years. Study-buddy-Jacqui sent me this website featuring a series of photos called “Holding the Sun”
The 25th is Christmas. Do you believe in Santa? Did you? I did until I was 10 because we had one. The guy across the street used to come over on Christmas Eve and hand out presents. He had a Santa suit and Grandpa left the bag of presents on the front porch for him. He did a great job because I never had a doubt he was the real Santa.
My Kepler College Newsletter just arrived and it has links to our graduation speeches! You can watch my study-buddy, Jacqui and me here on You Tube. We were the serious, no-fun, class-nerds so of course, we gave the comedy speech at graduation while everyone else gave serious ones. Our Senior Projects are also featured in this issue. Thank you, Enid!
I’ve received two notes from people who have planets made by Josh Simpson! I’ve only seen them on the website and can only imagine how beautiful they are in person.
Mom arrived in town and she and Robby are hard at work training for the “reading to dogs” program offered by Therapy Dogs International. He looks concerned about her choice of reading material and I am betting kid’s books will be more his speed.
Have you seen The Best of Cassini? Scott sent me these photos from the Orbiter and they make great screensaver shots. Don’t they look more like graphic design logos than planet photographs?
Welcome to my new Blog! Unlike the newsletter format, this “goes both ways” and will allow all of us to post comments and share back and forth. I hope you enjoy this as a better way to keep in touch. If you get the newsletter now, you’ll be registered to post in a day or so. New readers will need to register in order to post.
You’ll notice lots of changes when you visit the website. Like it has been completely transformed! It isn’t finished yet, so be patient. Scott moved the jewelry catalog into what will soon be an online store and I will be adding mp3 files and astrological reports that you will be able to download.
Make sure you fill out your “pick a party” survey for the upcoming Winter Solstice Party!
Pick Your Reason Party