Tag Archives: Christmas

For you: The All-Purpose Holiday Card

For you: The All-Purpose Holiday Card

I received this picture years ago and have no idea where it is from any more. I tried finding it on Google but didn’t have any luck. If you know where it is from, let me know and I’ll give proper credit.

Anyway Happy Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.

Thanksgiving and Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving as a tradition

Christianity.com says: the pilgrims never observed an annual Thanksgiving feast in autumn. In the year 1621, they did celebrate a feast near Plymouth, Massachusetts, following their first harvest. But this feast most people refer to as the first Thanksgiving was never repeated.

Thanksgiving Timeline from The Library of Congress

1621 – Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated a harvest feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
• 1630 – Settlers observed the first Thanksgiving of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England on July 8, 1630.
• 1777 – George Washington and his army on the way to Valley Forge, stopped in blistering weather in open fields to observe the first Thanksgiving of the new United States of America.
• 1789 – President Washington declared November 26, 1789, as a national day of “thanksgiving and prayer.”
• 1800s – The annual presidential thanksgiving proclamations ceased for 45 years in the early 1800s.
• 1863 – President Abraham Lincoln resumed the tradition of Thanksgiving proclamations in 1863. Since this date, Thanksgiving has been observed annually in the United States.
• 1941 – President Roosevelt established the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. Continue reading Thanksgiving and Turkey

Happy New Year!

I’ve been out of touch a long time and I have a lot to catch you up on. I am listing events in order of chronology rather than importance, and as always, not using anyone else’s names in case they don’t want to be google-able.

October: I started a Masters Program at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. The degree is Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. Cultural Astronomy is a newish term for the fields of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. In plain English, the exploration of all the ways mankind relates to the sky. The program site says, “We define Cultural Astronomy as the ‘study of the application of beliefs about the stars to all aspects of human culture, from religion and science to the arts and literature. It includes the new discipline of archaeoastronomy – the study of astronomical alignments, orientation and symbolism in architecture, ancient and modern”.

My study buddy from Kepler started with me and I met lots of new people through our meetings online. Then, my dad had a medical procedure and I was able to use it as an excuse to see him for his birthday. He came through the ordeal in fantastic shape and it was great to see the St Louis contingent, especially while the weather was nice. We went to one of my favorite sites, Daniel Boone’s home. The house and land are just beautiful and the tour is always good.

November: By the time I came home from St Louis, Mom was feeling really poorly so I flew down to Orlando. She decided not to undertake more invasive chemotherapy and had been referred to hospice. We had a really good week and thanks to our great petsitter, Scott was able to spend some quality time with her as well. Her condition declined rapidly after that. The hospice nurse came by every few days and mom’s friends stopped by to sit with her, bring me coffee and give me breaks. She passed comfortably the evening before Thanksgiving. Many friends came by that evening and we ended up having an impromptu memorial for her and with her. She had an extensive network of friends and it was great hearing all of their stories. Scott collected some great pictures of her and put them on Facebook. I can’t link to them here so I’ll make a separate page for them later on.

Scott flew down again to help me with her affairs and two of her friends insisted we take some time off. One gave us a pass to Disney and we had a wonderful time at Epcot. Mom always enjoyed Disney. She was a serious a roller coaster fan. In fact, the first time she and I went, we rode every roller coaster in the park and the runaway mine car twice.  Another of her friends knew that she had wanted to see Harry Potter at Universal with us, so he made sure we were able to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was fantastic! We both agreed that the Hogwarts castle ride was the best either of us had ever been on! Mom would have loved it.

December: Scott and I flew home to Seattle and spent some time trying to adjust to life at home and without mom, and of course, work on my paper for the semester. I think Robby thought I was never coming home because he would not leave my side for days. My professor gave me an extension until the day after Christmas. Ironically, he was also my professor at Kepler College in ’07 when Mom was first diagnosed as terminal. There were six topics to choose from and I chose “Is Myth a Primitive Superstition?” Somehow, Word and Endnote, my citation software,  disagreed over who had more control of my document. Word won and actually disabled the link between them. This resulted in Word deleting my current paper and “recovering” a previous version of it. It took Scott a day and a half to get the problem tracked down and software reinstalled and a more correct version of the paper recovered, proving, once again, that in-home IT is essential. I checked in with my Kepler study buddy to find out how her paper was going and found out she had dropped out! ACK! Shock, betrayal, all that stuff… I didn’t even call her back for 2 weeks! Sorry, babe, I’ve recovered now. I am happy with how the paper turned out and although I am not posting it here, if you’d like to read it, just email me!

Well, that is my report for the last quarter of 2010. I am looking forward to 2011 and to the start of next term in February, Research Methods: Ethnography and Fieldwork, and I have found a new study buddy who actually lives nearby. I just hope Research methods doesn’t overlap too much with BA level statistics because I barely survived all that math.

The Dye-In

I had a great time at the NwRSA dye-in this weekend hosted by The Pines Farm in Maple Valley. Betty Crotchitt and I went together. The farm is beautiful and the outdoor dyeing studio that Lin has set up is something I’d love to copy for my own backyard.  Those of us who weren’t dyeing gathered under the big trees to stay out of the sun. It was quiet, pastoral and every once in a while a sheep would come up to the fence and baa at us. Too cute! Betty dyed some yarn in a dark grayish-green and roving in a bright sapphire blue while I visited, spun some baby camel and tussah silk fiber on my drop spindle, and ate too many cookies.

I brought the raffle basket that I won at the last spin-in filled with a mix of exotics to spin. I didn’t get a picture but I included hand-dyed bamboo roving, hand-painted sock yarn and baggies of tussah silk sliver, cotton, angora from Rosie, and mulberry silk. I also slipped in a packet of stitch markers I made, lavender tea light candles and some fancy French chocolates. I hope the winner enjoys it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

I was looking for a way to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Meán Geimhridh and Kwanzaa in July and I finally decided to stick with tradition and have a holiday sale!  Not very imaginative, I know, but I am offering free shipping on everything in my store. I don’t have any stitch marker sets listed yet, but I will be making some for sale soon. Click here to visit Dunthor Design on Etsy.

Happy 4th of July

July begins the second half of the year and is the seasonal equivalent of January in the Southern Hemisphere. Originally named Quintilius because it was the 5th month in the Roman calendar, it was renamed by the Emperor Augustus to honor Julius Caesar.

According to the new Marist Poll: 74% of Resident Americans know that the US declared independence from Great Britain, 20% were unsure and 6% named other countries. This is a great lead-in to my annual recommendation that everyone watch Liberty! The American Revolution. Originally broadcast on PBS in 1997, this is a great history and civics lesson that is actually fun. It is always intriguing to me that the issues dealt with by the 1st Continental Congress are the same issues dealt  with by every subsequent Congress. See for yourself!

If Christmas in July is a tradition in your family, or you would like to make it one… Check out Dunthor Design on Etsy. This may be the last few days that scarves will be available in the store. I am deciding whether or not to  remove them rather than figuring out the recent FTC labeling laws.

This is also the anniversary of our finding Maggie trapped in a storm drain in downtown Burien while walking Freya on a firework filled night.

Click here to read about the rescue of Margaret Liberty Duncan on that particular 4th of July back in 2004.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas to you all! I’ve put together a few ideas to help you get into the spirit, the fit Christmas spirit, that is…

Use the Christmas Calorie Counter to estimate what you will eat for Christmas appetizers, dinner and dessert. You can use it to figure out trade offs for some high calorie items or to calculate how much exercise you’ll need to do to work off a splurge.

Make a holiday tradition of walking. Traditionally, Christmas-time was when the most socializing happened. Progressive dinners, parties, caroling, wassailing, and ice skating are all more a part of this holiday than are the more modern so called celebration of sitting around eating and watching movies. Take a family walk before or after dinner. Here are some good tips for walkers.

To brush up on your visualization skills, try the portion-size pop quiz from Prevention magazine.

Try to look at the holiday as a social time, it is about visiting and bonding, not just food. Enjoy your relative and friends and be joyful!

Santa Claus is coming to town!

Christmas Eve 1969
Santa and me in 1969
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.

Click to see Sketchy Santas.

Here is a beautiful story from the New York Times on Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

And that reminds me of Alice in Wonderland,

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Lewis Carroll