(05) October 2010

end of another exciting month

HALLOWEEN WEEKEND!!

hope yours was awesome!

We were all ready for our trick and treaters – 2 each!! Pick the ones you like!!

My favorite “guest” was a little guy dressed as a Power Ranger. “I am awesome” he said proudly. I agreed with him! Wish all my grandchildren could have visited – my “real” ones and my “virtual” ones too!!

Granny’s Halloween Vest. It is all quilted with gold metallic thread.

I made earrings from the same buttons. Some of the bears have “googly” eyes!!

and a teddy bear hair clip to complete my outfit!!

 

HALLOWEEN or ALL HALLOWS EVENING

A THREE DAY FESTIVAL

ALL HALLOWS EVENING, ALL SAINTS DAY AND ALL SOULS DAY

celebrated October 31st, November 1st and 2nd

Día de los Muertos – is the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead

There is a lot of  information and conflicting thoughts about these celebrations, but I will try to summarize something sensible for us.

Many cultures, both past and present, do not fear the dead. Departed relatives and Saints are honored. Their guidance and prayers are actively sought to help the living. I love Neil Gaiman’s book, The Graveyard Book, where the spirits protect Nobody Owens from a living evil person.

The Christian Church, when they could not stop people from honoring pagan holidays, placed Christian celebrations on those dates. If people were determined to have a time to honor the dead, then they could properly honor the souls of the Saints and other departed souls during this time.

http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/all_saints_day.html

There are many legends about the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) which celebrated the end of summer and preparation for the “dark” part of the year: winter. They believed spirits could pass easily between this world and the world of the dead during this time, and many traditions were created to protect people from evil spirits, while welcoming good ones – especially departed family members. The original Jack O’ Lanterns were carved turnips. Their fierce faces were placed in windows to protect homes from evil spirits.

“For those of us who are Christians we can have a truly Happy Halloween by keeping the festival as the Church originally intended. Halloween means “All Hallows’ Eve,” an old-fashioned way of saying, “The Eve of All Saints’ Day.”

The first thing we can do as Christians then is to tell people what Halloween is really about and witness to our faith in the “sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We can tell others that as Christians “we believe in the Communion of Saints and the Life Everlasting,” that those who have died in Christ are actually MORE alive than we, and pray with and for us. “

quoted from http://www.ancient-future.net/halloween.html

 

Friday October 29th

Got your costume ready??

 

Of course, this is not a photo of me and I did not make this costume. I really debated about being the Queen of Hearts after reading the latest Sisters Grimm books – but I decided I am the Queen of Hearts in the best possible meaning of the title!!

Matching accessories are so much fun!!

 

Thursday October 28th

PUMPKINS!!

Once again I have been too busy in my life to record anything. As Halloween is almost here, I decided to focus on this celebration rather than post about my week.

You really MUST go and look at the amazing work of Ray Villefane!! I am in awe that anyone could do this with a pumpkin!!

http://www.wix.com/tamzzzz/rays_pumpkins

I think we have everything ready here – all the decorations up, our pumpkin ready to go, and lots of candies in the big silver bowl. We are keeping the cats in starting tomorrow just in case. (We always have them inside at night as we often hear cat fights outside)

 

Sunday October 24th

READ YOUR LABELS

I bought some Del Monte fruit cups with NO SUGAR ADDED and discovered they have sucralose in them. Horrible aftertaste!! Fruit is sweet anyway – why do we need sweetener with them??

COKE or Pepsi?? or something worth drinking??

My family and I are all Coke drinkers. But I am going to have to resign!!

After all those wonderful mouthfuls of NO chemicals and pure cane sugar – I cannot go back to drinking chemicals!! lol Order me a case of BOYLAN please.

 Wind and rain today. Doing some housework while I wait for the weather to clear. I NEED to be out gardening not washing dishes!! Could we please just skip winter?? Snowfalls already predicted in many places!!

Friday October 22nd

Start of an awesome weekend!

My mail order bulbs finally arrived so I can start planting my almost 500 bulbs!!

This morning I fed the birds as usual. Some of the sunflower seeds go on the ground for the quail. This male was down on the ground and eating well before the others thought it was safe. I was still only a few feet away.

He ate some of the seed from the top and then from the middle.

He ate his way down the whole line of seeds and then went over to check out the peanuts for the jays and squirrels!!

 

Thursday October 21st

Strength in Numbers

Today, our local flock of crows forced a falcon to land at the top of one of the trees. They dive bombed the falcon, one after the other, and yelled at him. Alone, the falcon would have caught them for dinner, but together they were safe.

http://westseattleblog.com/category/westwood/page/4

I wish people would work together like this against bullies. The birds did not hurt each other, although I think they called the falcon some bad names. LOL. We can stop violence. We must learn to stand together.

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/NgvkL2_zM6-D05jG7NB53g

 

Wednesday October 20th

By today’s standards – Marilyn Munroe might be considered “chubby”.  I was literally FOMC (falling off my chair) when I read this –

http://insideoutandbackwards.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/voluptuous-vs-portly/

Please listen to your body – it might tell you something important!!

My body said – I am tired and sore after all this heavy garden work – I need a day off. Get out the bunny slippers and make some hot mocha and cookies!

Perfect timing too!! I was in the house when the Postal Carrier came with my new Eeyore slippers!! They look so cute with the Eeyore quilt!! Time for another nap I think – HUGS!!

Tuesday October 19th

another awesome day in the garden!

Transplanted the poor sage who had been hidden, without enough sunshine, behind the massive fennel .

  Camomile is all cleaned up and ready for the winter.

Digging a new flower bed around the base of the big old cherry tree. Last big project for this year!

Monday October 18th

BFF DAY!!

Even Grannies have best friends and I love mine a lot! We always have a great day together wherever we are. Sometimes we go out to lunch and shop, sometimes we eat in and just visit at home.

Today we spent most of the day outside in the sunshine.

Here is the awesome haiku my BFF wrote to remember the day –

fairy garden fennel
stalks poke through grape
ivy interwoven

ALERT! ALERT!  There is a stranger in the garden!! Everyone stay hidden!

Aren’t you going home yet??

(these two photos are by my husband)

More Sunday October 17th

Last Sunday, Joan Sutherland, the great bel canto soprano died at age 83.

http://www.deeh.org/news/joan-sutherland.html for this photo.

Here she is dressed to perform Norma by Bellini. So many of the bel canto operas had not been performed for years until she came with her rich voice – finally someone who could sing these roles.

Dame Joan, nicknamed La Stupenda for her amazing voice, helped launch a revival of bel canto (beautiful singing) opera. I have several of her recordings. Her performance in Gounod’s Faust is amazing. She sings exactly like a young girl playing dress up with the jewelry she receives.

My favorite aria ends Gounod’s Faust. Mephistopheles tries to claim Marguerita’s soul when she dies – but she rises up with the angels.

Mon Dieu, protégez-moi ! My God, protect me!
Mon Dieu, je vous implore! My God, I implore you!
Anges purs, anges radieux, Pure angels, radiant angels,
Portez mon âme au sein des cieux! Carry my soul to the bosom of Heaven!
Dieu juste, à toi, je m’abandonne! Just God, to you I abandon myself!
Anges purs, anges radieux, Pure angels, radiant angels,
Portez mon âme au sein des cieux! etc. Carry my soul to the bosom of Heaven!

(translation by http://www.aria-database.com/translations/faust.txt)

“I don’t believe you can just fabricate a great voice out of nothing. I think that lasting voices are the gift of God.” -Joan Sutherland-

The Met Opera did an all day salute to her today – ending with her last performance at the Met – El Trovatore with Luciano Pavarotti.

 

Sunday October 17th

Time to decorate for Halloween

I designed these decorations a few years ago for a larger window. The cats and rats are supposed to sit on a fence I made – but this window is too short – so we just have the critters now.  I lost a bat somewhere – should be 5 of them.

I drew the designs on white poster board and cut them out. (Once you are happy with one critter – just trace around it for however many you want). Then paint them with acrylic black paint on both sides. (Black poster board fades really quickly) Then each piece gets two coats of semi-gloss Verathane on each side. They have lasted for years and are pretty sturdy. Store them carefully though.

I just use clear tape to hold them up. Does not look so great from the outside during the day – but awesome at night behind my bright yellow lined curtains!! (that’s all of the window I can get at one time without falling off the porch – lol)

 

here is the rest of the window from outside

and here are my cat guards watching the front walkway

 

Saturday October 16th

The man who mows our lawn inadvertently (accidentally) cut off one of my fall crocus. I took it inside and placed it in a small glass – and it thanked me by being perfect!

Thank YOU for such wonderous beauty!

Here are the rest of the group – still blooming in my garden.

I felt much better about my ignorance when my daughter came to visit. She also thought the crocus were blooming at the wrong time!! This is the first year I have grown fall crocus.

Fall leaves barren branches and the last quince all alone.

 

 Thursday October 14th

…and God said – Let There Be LIGHT!!

– thinking of the Chilean miners seeing the sun after so long –

This is my current project – trimming back the “bird bush” to bring some light into this dark corner. Pruning let me see the quail feeding area out the window – not great photo – but it is a start!! (Think the windows need cleaning!!)

The hazelnuts are ripe so the jays are here eating them. (The only reason we harvest the grapes is none of the critters around here seem to like them. Everything we grow is for the birds!!) This year we decided we want the jays to stay. They are big and very territorial. We hope they will keep the starlings from invading the bird bush and eating all the suet from the winter feeders.

Steller's Jay

Steller’s Jay photo by Walter Amman

These birds move so fast we cannot even get a fix on them with the camera!

Jays adapt easily to people and figure out feeders quickly. They have a great trick – they mimic the call of a hawk – this clears all the other birds out and they have the feeders to themselves!

Funny story – my husband went to bring the jays some peanuts. When he got out, there were quail, squirrels, finches, chickadees and sparrows waiting to see what he had. They all went over to investigate. Only the squirrel was happy – all the other birds yelled at him for putting out something they could not eat!! NO jays in sight!!

 

Wednesday October 13th

Been too busy living my life to record anything!

Hope that is true for you too!!

A quote from a Chilean miner: “There were actually 34 of us, not 33, because God never left us down there.”

Sad for the Canadian news teams who called the rescue an engineering feat – while the US teams called it a MIRACLE

This is where I like to sit and reflect on life while taking a rest from gardening. You can see the wisteria growing towards me – perhaps it wants to give me a hug or maybe it thinks I would make great fertilizer!! lol

I LOVE technology – I got to talk with my oldest granddaughter over the weekend even though she is on the other side of the world! We spoke of many things – but the one thing I want to record here is – we talked about keeping a travel journal. Every day I record that one special moment I want to remember from my trips. Maybe it is a personal quiet moment watching a sunset or finding beautiful flowers in a back alley. Sometimes it is a special connection with another person – sharing a rainbow or when I met an old man with the most magnificent beard I have ever seen.

Whatever the moment, a few words recorded at the time, will bring back those memories. I realized that is what this blog is. My record of those special moments I want to share and remember.

I may not be on an exciting trip to another place, but I am experiencing the wonder of waking up every morning and looking to see what color the sky is today!

 

Friday October 8th

HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY

HAPPY CANADIAN THANKSGIVING

– hope you are having an awesome long weekend wherever you are –

The rains have come here. I am sad for all those people who waited for the weekend! For me, it means moving inside and taking care of the housework I ignored while I was out in the garden. Not much fun 😦

So what’s left blooming outside?

crocus

 

my sad photo – lol

could not get a good shot of my crocus!!

 http://www.planandplant.com/fall-bulbs.html

First time I saw  fall crocus (they look just the same as the spring ones) I thought it was mixed up and blooming at the wrong time!! lol The bulbs are planted during the summer and bloom now when almost everything else is over.

It is very important when taking a photo to keep your hat on!!

One last gladioli blooming. The wooden stick is my husband’s cane – he was holding the flower at the right angle for me!

 

Perfect place for a baby snail to take a nap!

The hydrangea are still lovely!

and this is my favorite photo for the week – a few sweet-william showing their last colors…

 

Wednesday October 6th

Always do the HARDEST things first!!

After the war with the bamboo – I tackled the daisies. They took over my rose bush.

No more daisies in the roses!! The daisies have been sucking up all the water and nutrients.

This summer the roses and daisies looked wonderful. Of course you do not see the dandelion growing there on the left. LOL. Actually I rather like them – as long as they get pulled before they go to seed! 

So after all that tough work, I had an easy day today. Did not even need to hit the showers or change my clothes after working. Lovely to finish off the easier work.

One more day of sunshine tomorrow to finish off the front yard.

I got a new RED wheelbarrow!! HAPPINESS!!

  

Tuesday October 5th

So many wonderful things happen in my garden

http://www.pink-spider.net/ for the photo

I felt so bad yesterday when I kept disturbing my quail. As long as I just stay working in one place, they feed happily. But as soon as I stand up and move around – great whooshing as they fly up into the trees. Quail are awesome birds that look after each other. They always travel in groups and post look-outs!

All through the summer my husband worries about the quail. They travel in small groups with the new babies. So we can never count how many we have coming to the feeding station. Just a few days ago, the whole flock arrived in the back yard. I called my husband over and we counted about 30 of them. We were so happy to see them.

 

Monday October 4th

Living in the garden during the last good days of the year!!

Figure I have about 3 more days of sunshine before the next rainstorm – and lots left to do before I get chased inside again.

You can see how my bamboo wall will fill in and protect the cats. That was my first big project – now on to the second one – the daisies have taken over my ancient rosebush. I think the roses are as old as the house – so probably over 80 years old!!

You can see the daisies have rooted through the roses. Going to be prickly work!!

These were wonderful fortunes to get – I got two in ONE cookie!!

 

A new month – seems like a good idea to remind myself why I do this blog. It started as a way to record things for my grandchildren. I lost so much when my grandparents passed on. All the things I forgot to ask or never thought were important. Now it is important and they are gone.

 I love sharing my photos and thoughts, but I realize I am doing this for me too – it is such fun to choose what I believe is important enough to be recorded and remembered.

Glad you dropped by – hope to see you again!!

HUGS!! to all my buddies!!

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