Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And the Pagans Played Shuffleboard at Midnight.

Ok, so there probably wasn't shuffleboard at the ancient Pagan festival celebrating the Summer Solstice. But they did gather to celebrate and party on the longest day of the year which usually took place at the end of June. Although the longest day has shifted its date over time, today it usually falls on June 21st. Still celebrated by neo-pagans and other groups, the longer days around the solstice are known as Midsummer. (Shakespeare? Midsummer Night's Dream? If anyone wondered when it took place, now you know! Hooray for cool useless facts!).

But I was fortunate enough to be on vacation in northern Europe during these days a few years back and was able to experience the longest day of the year, a day in which the night never got dark and the sun never truly "set". At midnight (see above picture), my husband and I were playing shuffleboard on deck of the ship taking us to Stockholm, Sweden without the aid of lights. When we went to bed, it was still light and the sun had just started its brief dip below the horizon before it rose again a couple of hours later. We were up early to see its full return as the ship navigated its way through the many little islands of Sweden. It was calm, peaceful, empty of the party-goers of the night before. It was also slightly unnerving to have things drenched in sun so early in the morning.

So to the real point of this post.

I did a poll asking when my blog title picture was taken - yup, here it comes (drum roll) - and only two people guessed correctly (most likely my own family members). Believe it or not, my blog title picture was taken a little after 4:00am.
I remember at the time looking at the little houses and summer cabins on the islands and wondering if their residents were all still asleep. I think if it hadn't been so beautiful (and for the fact that I probably wouldn't be able to pull myself back out of bed again due to the late night before) I would have gone back to my pillow to join them in their midsummer night dreams. (Hopefully minus the heartache and donkey).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yes, the Economy is Going Down the Toilet........

"Dow Industrials Fall Below 10000"
That's the headline of today's "Money & Investment" section of the Wall Street Journal that my son is reading in the above caption.
(And no, I didn't give him that section, and no, I did not force this picture. He was "reading" his "instruction manual" before getting ready for bed and he insisted he take it to the toilet with him.)

Perhaps an appropriate title for this picture would be:
"Future Market Investors Uneasy About Current Market Trends".
Either that, or: "Start- Your- Children's- Financial- Education- Now- So- They- Don't- Make- The- Same- Stupid- Mistakes- As- Us- Though- They- Probably- Still- Will".

I think I'll stick to the first one.

There is a bright side still to all this financial crisis, though. Just check out Dave Barry's Blog to find out what that is.

Monday, October 6, 2008

7 Random Facts About Me

1. As a child I did NOT have naturally curly hair. Any curl was t
he product of curlers forced upon me by my mother.

(I hated sleeping in them.)

And if I didn't have curl-induced hair, it was because it was cut short.
(Very unbecoming to the princess that I was.)

2. From the age of 4, I was in at least one show choir for a part of every year until I was in college. Then, I just joined Institute Choir.

3. From the age of 4, I also took swimming lessons every summer until my senior year of high school. I used to be able to dive, swim the butterfly, and save your life if you needed it. But the key phrase is "used to". Swimming suits and I don't really get along anymore.

4. The old phrase of Disneyland being the "happiest place on earth" is actually true. I was going to either live in Cinderella's castle or the Haunted Mansion.

5. I like jumping spiders.

My favorite variety is the phidippus (workmani or audax)

6. I want to live in the Pacific Northwest (Washington or Oregon) at some point in my life.

7. My original wedding date was set for Sept. 11,
2001. Good thing I got cold feet the month before and pushed it back, right?

Well, that looks like 7 facts, so that means it's.......The End........

.....Oh, I guess I should mention that I did this little post because I was tagged by my friend, Bonnie
I am also supposed to post these rules.

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blog.
4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Since I am a rule breaker though, I think I'll break half of them.
(That's socially acceptable, right? To follow most rules, but not all of them?) If anyone wants to do this, though, please do. It was fun!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods." -William Allingham

It's that season again! The season where the sweaters come out and the crispness of the cool air reminds you of juicy, sweet apples and big orange pumpkins. It's the season where the world turns vibrant and rich in its color, the deep azure sky a perfect complement to the orange of the mountains. Finally, you can light up that fireplace and drink cider and cocoa while cuddled up in your sweats or favorite comfy quilt.

I love fall! It's my favorite season. I love "sweater-weather" and the smells and colors. I am reminded of my childhood and the fun we had with raking leaves and making "leaf houses" and mazes. Anticipating Halloween, and coming home from school in the cold to find a warm house (sometimes a fire going) and frosted sugar cookies shaped like pumpkins and bats.

Just recently my husband, son, and I went up into the mountains to see the fall foliage and to take pictures. These pictures posted here are some of the scenes we got to see. It was gorgeous and I honestly couldn't compare it to any other season. Perhaps the author Albert Camus said it best - "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."

So welcome, October, my favorite month of all! Here is a little poem in celebration of your arrival....

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
~George Cooper,
"October's Party"