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Archive for October, 2010

October’s End

It’s strange, This year I have no Halloween spirit. That’s strange because besides Thanksgiving, Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. I think it’s because there are no trick-or-treaters and my kids are too old to be excited about it. No pumpkins carved, no costumes to get ready, No sounds of “Trick or treat, smell my feet, Give me something good to eat!” at my door.

It was strange, My Co-worker was questioning why we say “Trick or treat..” After all, he says, Who really goes up to a door on Halloween and says, “Gee I hope they’ll hit me with a water balloon when I ring the doorbell.”

I secretly chuckled and kept the answer to myself. After all, What they’re really saying is “Give me a treat or YOU’LL get a trick.”
But we’ve fallen so far from the origins of the holiday.

The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off.
It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces.

Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2).

The souling practice of commemorating the souls in purgatory with candle lanterns carved from turnips, became adapted into the making of jack-o’-lanterns. In traditional Celtic Halloween festivals, large turnips were hollowed out, carved with faces, and placed in windows to ward off evil spirits. The carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween in North America where pumpkins are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips.

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I Also like the Hispanic tradition of Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead! It is not the same holiday, but is celebrated near the same time.

Previously it fell on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar, approximately the beginning of August, and was celebrated for the entire month. Festivities were presided over by the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The goddess, known as “Lady of the Dead,” was believed to have died at birth, Andrade said. But now it coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls with the names of the dead written on them, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.
It is a time to honor the dead whom they believe are present on this day.

They have these festivals in Atlanta, Maybe I’ll push Hubby to take us. if not this year, than next year.

Day of the Dead – in Atlanta; October 29 – 31, 2004; at Woodruff Arts Center; Mexican entertainers, authentic Mexican artifacts, delicious Mexican food, art works from Mexico and South America, piñata and other fun workshops for kids to enjoy; view hand-made altars created by local elementary schools, take pictures with volunteers dressed in authentic Day of the Dead and Mexican Folkloric costumes, and have some fun with face painting

Day of the Dead at Atlanta History Center – in Atlanta; October 30, 2005

Day of the Dead at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History – in Atlanta

Guess I’d better start putting up decorations, Halloween is almost here and gone and I’ve not done a thing. (that’s not true, I bought candy but I never get any trick or treaters so we’ll be eating that later.)

Happy Weekending,

Oh I almost forgot,
Gratitudes: Let’s see.. I am grateful that I’ve had the creativity to start writing again. It seems like there’s been long spans of time in between Muse visits. It feels good to be able to write a few pages and then read over it again and Not totally hate it! I am grateful for the little bit of time I have to devote to my Muse and am grateful for her patience with my busy schedule.

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Sweet Potato Scones

Scones
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
5 Tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup Fresh cooked sweet potatoes or yams
4 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside

In a separate bowl, whisk together sweet potato, half and half, and egg.
Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.

Spoon dough onto parchment paper at the size and shape you want – or you can roll and cut if you desire

Bake for 14 -16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

original recipe pulled from here

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Apple sauce

I like tart apple sauce with strong flavors, so I use Arkansas black apples. you can also use granny smith or any other cooking apple. If you like a sweeter flavor to your apple sauce, mix in a few Fuji or yellow delicious or sweeter apple.

Peel (or partially peel) and core apples, Chop into small chunks.
Put a pat of butter in the bottom of a sauce pan (with a lid)
When butter is melted add the chopped apples.
1 Tablespoon of Lemon juice
Put a dash of brandy in the pan.
cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
Add 2 teaspoons of honey, (Or maple syrup, honey or sweetener of your choice)
Cinnamon to taste
Cover and let cook until the apples are soft and mashable.

For chunky apple sauce mash in pan. For smooth puree in blender or processor.
If it is too thick add a little apple juice, cider or water. Until it has the desired consistency.

You can add raisins if you wish.
I eat it in a bowl, or on toast like jam, I top my ice cream with it sometimes.

Warning: after you eat homemade applesauce, you’ll never eat store-bought again.

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a flaw

Sigh,
Looks like I found a flaw to our pen design, luckily one that I hope is easily fixed. We used metal support beams to keep the shape of the pen even with the heavy roof. Here is the problem. My banty hens are roosting on them. That would be okay in summer…. But temps drop below freezing here and those metal pipes will just sap their body heat.

Maybe I can wrap the pipes with insulation – but I don’t want them pecking at it nd eating it.. and if they continue to roost on it, they’ll also poop on it. That would get very messy, very quickly.

I might have to wrap wire around it, to block their roosting – That might work. I have welded and chicken wire on hand. Either one of those should do it.

If you can think of any other suggestions please post your thoughts on the comments section. It is supposed to drop to 39 tomorrow night. It may not be freezing but its closer than I’d like with them roosting on metal.

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It’s Wednesday again! The Week is half over.

Yes it sounds like I’m looking to the future rather than living in the moment. Yes it sounds like I’m filling up on anticipation, hoping not to be crushed into disappointment, Yes it sounds like I am breaking all my own rules. Well… I am.

🙂

I am excited that my In-laws are almost here! Someone to talk to in the morning, share coffee with in, and show off my beautiful state! The leaves on the trees are just turning beautiful colors and shades of autumn! My father in law likes to read the Vent to me in the morning when he comes. It’s awesome!

We do girly stuff Like shopping, and boy stuff like building and fixing things. We laugh, cook, and the boys go golfing!
I really enjoy their visits! and during the month of November, we will be heading up to Disney World. EPCOT here we come! WHOOOOOOOOOT!

I’m Happy and running Late so i gotta run!

Gratitudes: I am grateful for Wednesdays and Middles. They are the top of the hill, The moment we can look back and see how far we’ve come and at the same time cast our eyes forward to direct our path. It is a good time to catch our breath and breathe in the scenery, To look within and still have enough time to alter the end result. It is a time of options.
Peace to all! Love to all!

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I was searching the net today and found these things that I’d like to share. Links will take you back to the original page.

History of Coffee
Ethiopian shepherds
discovered coffee
when they realized
their goats began
to dance.

Michelle Ramadan

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Black coffee
Bitter, rich, warm.
The dark liquid reflects you
to me.

Christy Boggs © 2003 – “So much of my interaction with dear friends takes place in a coffee shop over a cup o’ joe…so I wrote this.”

These two poems are pulled from Cocoajava.com

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And this one is for My Sis-In-Law
Psalms for the caffeinated

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Caffeine is my shepherd;
I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures,
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz,
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness
for its name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal
for thou art with me;
Thy cream and thy sugar
they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me
in the presence of Thy Starbucks,
Thou anointest my day with pep;
My cup runneth over.
Surely richness and taste
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of Mocha forever.
Amen! Amen! Amen!

Author Unknown

Submitted by Susie Pugsley, Lincoln, Nebraska
Proprietor of Mamasitta’s Mansion

This one is pulled from Coffee news of Monroe

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And this page has some awesome poetry – INeedCoffee

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Can you guess whats on my mind today? Coffeecoffeecoffeecoffeee!!!!!

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Responsibility

Single Dad laughing to blogged “Worthless women and the men that make them” Click here to read

I AM a fan of his writing but I can’t help but find flaws with the logic in this post.
He states that Women hate themselves because they can not be perfect in the eyes of men. Men look at other women’s legs, hair, breasts, etc. That they fantasize about the perfect women and are always finding flaws with real ones. (how they look, how clean the house is, how they take care of the kids, etc)

This is my take on it:
Women (and men) hate themselves, hate their bodies and physical abilities, hate their intelligence, skills and knowledge, because they forget that it is the Soul that is important.
Women (and men) forget that The Creator loves us just the way we were made and that we have massive amounts of potential overflowing within us.
We can not blame our insecurities, our sense of self-worth on the opposite gender.

It is unnecessary and silly to assume that men will stop looking and stop fantasizing. Hell, Woman look! Women Fantasize!

Single Dad Laughing makes many good points:
I agree that people believe what they’ve been told over and over. If you tell a child that they are stupid over and over again, they will come to believe that they are indeed stupid. If you tell a woman that she is a horrible mother, she will doubt her capacity to care for her children.
We need to watch what we say, offer compliments or constructive criticism rather than complaints or insults. Even insults wrapped in humor can hurt or reinforce negative beliefs that are already in your mind. We need to treat people like we want to be treated. We need to learn to love ourselves.

However instead of singling out the opposite gender, we need to take responsibility for ourselves!
We need to Look inward rather than outward and comparing ourselves to other people. It never comes out well… for either party.

Yes, this is easier said than done.
I have found that those who compare other people’s weight, looks, parenting skills, flakiness, etc, usually do it to make themselves feel better. We drag people down so we can look so much better in their light.
We should be looking inward to make ourselves feel better. Build ourselves up and change what we dont’ like, rather than drag someone else down. With the right encouragement maybe they’ll do the same.

The first step is to find something about yourself that you like and embrace it; Be it physical, emotional or mental. Try and find something new you like about yourself every day. Action, reaction, physical, mental, spiritual, or social – it’s all a part of who you are.
Second step: Every day acknowledge your beauty, brains, confidence.
Step 3: Find something about yourself that you do not like (for me its weight) and work on it. One thing. It is easier to change one single small thing rather than be overwhelmed counting all your flaws. (some of which aren’t really flaws – but a part of what makes you unique and beautiful, even if you can’t see it right now)

I try to weigh myself every morning, do one 15 minute exercise daily, and watch what I eat; Portions and/or content. For exercise I walk, I work in the yard, At the store I walk the carts back into the store after we load the car, I Jog in place, lift hand weights while watching t.v., and walk home from our street sign (1/4 mile) when we go shopping. Little things, Changing from corn oil to Olive oil, cutting the sugar use in half, drinking more water.
But most importantly, It is a DAILY monitoring, so if you splurge and eat cheesecake today, it’s okay.
Tomorrow You start fresh. New day = clean slate.

That’s the essence of my philosophy. Each new day is a new opportunity to try something new, fix a mistake, pass on love and encouragement, and live!

I am not always successful. I have bad days. I have days when I hate my body, mind, life. We all do. But the cool part is this.. Each new day = a Clean Slate.

thanks for listening.

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