What year is it really…

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Again, inspired by a PBS show – about the Wise men from the tale of the Magi – I was wondering  just what year it is really. For some of my people – the Cherokee for instance – it is 2009 on Thursday because our treaty with the occupying government says so. Who are we to argue – give us our government cheese, I mean casinos.

 

The ownership of time like the ownership of land belonged to all the people and time was counted in our children’s steps and laughter. The seasons and the harvests kept the time. The music and the rhythms of life were very simple. For the Celts and my German ancestors same thing – whole different calendar than either of the Julian or Gregorian calendars with their own rituals and symbols and battles between bureaucratic errand boys. Then there are the Druids – Merlin would know I am sure of it.  Witches have their own ideas –Nature is the keeper of the calendar. So even if I embrace the spirit of Jesus – the calendar has still been jacked around by people seeking to serve their own purposes most of it having to do with taxes and money and as usual the poor. Ja ma.

China has its own thing going on Happy New Year for our comrades comes on January 26th ( year of the Ox -Brown Earth Cow) their calendar was  created by Emperor Huangdi in the year 2637 B.C.E, so it is the 4706th Chinese year. People in Africa and in the Amazon and India all have their own take on how to measure the passage of time and Mungo Man of Australia dates back some 40,000 years. (The Mungo Lady story would make a fabulous story if one of you writers is looking for something mythic and cool). The various religions also have their take on what year it is – cannot even imagine what the higher levels of Sciencetology and Pana Wave laboratories thinks and I will wager that in the none-to-distant future someone will go messing with the whole counting of the years again, Orwellian Style.  The atheists I am sure have a thought or two on this as well. The Illuminati  runs the whole thing anyway (so let them think) but truly I love that in the end it will be Nature who says what is what and she keeps time in her own way. Control her you may try, woo her and trick her and put her off.  Better hope you have a space ship…so then…What year will it be? Will the Aliens change things again?

I asked my kids what year it is going to be and they say it is 2009 and pushed to explain it more they said it was really year one million and that all time started with the Jurassic period and Pokémon ships.  Then some dancing broke out and someone got to wild and hit the other one with their knee – crying and madness. It is stop the madness year and calm down thank you very much sorry to bring it up  (to much chocolate milk and pizza lately) . We’ve got some work to do in the next few days –will make some charts and graphs and some dioramas perhaps. Puppet shows with dinos. Good times.

Of course there are always these scary thoughts ….one for you HF – this movie terrified me as a child beyond reason because Satanists were just a sect of Christianity, real witches do not believe in a Satan. That Myth belongs to the sons of Abraham and they are running most of the world.

 

 

 

 

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Gratitude Journals and Resolutions.

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It is almost the end of the year and it would be nice to pay all our bills to balance zero and be good to the environment and our selves. Be kind to the children and the animals. I am going to make all the kids (even my grumpy teen) a gratitude journal and have us all try to write at least three things a day in it that we are grateful for. I watched a Brain program called – Happy for no reason on PBS – over the weekend that talked about Neuroplasicity and the re-wiring of the brain. My little ones were the focus of my interest in this research. “The Secret” (a book and DVD) is still the rage with everyone jumping on this band wagon – but like most things it is simply repackaged ancient wisdom (or common sense) I found it a bit empty. I like the more scientific approach.

 James Allen in 1902 wrote a very popular book called “As A Man thinketh”. Pretty much the Secret without the splashy video and nature scenes. Mr. Allen was inspired by a passage from Proverbs in the King James version of the Bible. There is also the same theory in the Dhammapada and many many others throughout the texts of time. What you think and how you think it and what you are focused on becomes your life. (uh duh). But it is good to be reminded and to have a treasure map for your mind to help you in this most obvious of practices. So back to Neuroplasicity, my game addled children’s minds are not creating the pathways that will eventually lead to greater creativity and out of the DS box thinking unless I jump start them into varied and new experiences. I am not talking jumping out of a plane or having them battle to the death with homemade swords but I am going to try and think of simple – easy things that they can do each day that will light the fires of  thinking, learning, and acting.  If only just building a tent in the living room this long vacation on one of our no tech days.

For most of us moms I can say it is a busy hard world that we live in and our children are surrounded by so much stimulus that makes it convient for us to leave it to the children to entertain themselves. But it is not like it was only a few short years ago. Their entertainment is increasingly fed to them – prepackaged. They may make some small descisions but the creativity and imagination is filtered and watered down. This goes for us adults too – we all need to push away from the tech table from time to time and take long walks, go to museums and try new things. I am very guilty of just working all the time and not getting out in the world. I hope this inspires you to get out and about too. Some of my favorite bloggers have sites where the person is really exploring their environments and cities and themselves. If you get a chance to watch the PBS show Happy for No reason or you can rent The Dali Lama – Richard Davidson interview on changing your thinking changing your mind – please do. You will be inspired. So for resolutions I think I want to have my family try one new thing a week – experience not just food or books or movies but to do one thing we have never done before. It will be interesting to try. Here’s to the year 2009 Year of the Brain!

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Rest ye Merry

Midwinters Sleep

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Happy Holidays to you!

Being a Ghost Story of Christmas

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I love Christmas. I fell in love with my husband at Christmas, at the time we were friends and we played the Masquerade and he had a brilliant witty mind and a deep rooted romantic nature (still does). Christmas is the essence of romance to me. When I was young everyone was always happiest during the holidays between the Solstice and the New Year. I loved going to church with my Nana and listening to the German hyms. I loved going to Catholic Mass with my mother where we could sit and do our magic in complete comfort surrounded by lovely incense and candles and men in rich robes with family friends. Later as a teen I loved going to the Solstice Sabbats openly and learning the Yule celebrations as Witches became more mainstream and free to have gatherings inspired by ancient traditions and mysteries.  Such beautiful connections with nature and God as the Mother of all as well as the Father. Yule is definatly one of my favorite times of the year. One of the traditions I love the most though is started soon after Halloween as the Earth in the Northern Hem grows colder and the World joins together in the Celebrations of the Mysterious and Magical. The telling of stories, the sharing of miracles whispered before bed, Little Women and Santa Mouse and The Snow Children to my very favorite story of the season A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 

A Christmas Carol marathon is needed for this week. So this will give you time to prepare. I think we will start Sunday night here in the deep woods.
First enjoy this :
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8817517652455175582

Watch this version on your computer with your kids or with a nice mug of coco – a 1970s version I remember well watching every year at Christmas time. It is an amazing animated version.
Also I would recommend reading the book (best done aloud). How fun and spooky this time of year. Dickens wrote this story for money when he was in big time debt and how fitting for this economy when all is money lenders and economic hardships are on every corner. He wrote this to be read aloud to others as was the Victorian fashion.
A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas by Charles John Huffam Dickens you can read it online – free

http://books.google.com/books?id=f8ANAAAAQAAJ&dq=Christmas+Carol+movies&printsec=frontcover&source=in&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=13&ct=result#PPP5,M1

 

For more reviews than what I have provided you – Rotten Tomatos reviews – like tomatos, best eaten with a bit of salt. I like this site, sometimes very funny comments

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1004126-christmas_carol/

I find that  http://www.amazon.com/Scrooges-Christmas-Carol-Movies/lm/25FMOOBWJACF
There are Thirty two adaptations currently listed on Amazon.

“Scrooge” (1951)

The British film, released in the United States as “A Christmas Carol,” is “far and away the most powerful and faithful of the adaptations, principally due to Alistair Sim as Scrooge. He brings a lightness to a role that’s often overplayed.” He looks like Scrooge to me but then each actor brings his inner Scrooge uniquely to the part.

“A Christmas Carol” (1984)

A made-for-TV feature with George C. Scott, “who plays it straight as Scrooge but brings it off.” Loved this version.

Scrooge (1970)

A musical adaptation with Albert Finney as Scrooge and Alec Guinness as Jacob Marley. “Underrated. Musicals tend not to be taken seriously, but it’s perfectly delightful.” I really loved this version too. The music and the sets are gorgeous.

“Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” (1962)

Animated feature with Jim Backus as the voice of Magoo/Scrooge. “To paraphrase Thackeray’s final pronouncement on the original: ‘Who can listen to objections regarding such a (film) as this?’ ” A staple to every Xmas growing up watched with Charlie Browns Christmas and the Grinch each year.

“Scrooged” (1988)

With Bill Murray as a cynical TV executive planning an adaptation of Dickens’ tale. “An intelligent script, a clever updating for a late 20th-Century audience. Murray is a bit like Alistair Sim — lighter, but with a twinkle in his eye.” In the Spirit of a Wall Street version.

“A Christams Carol ” (1999)

Standing out in the crowded field of screen adaptations of the classic Dickens novel A Christmas Carol is hard to do, but this version pulls it off. When a transparent Jacob Marley walks through Ebenezer Scrooge’s apartment door, you know you’re seeing something both timeless and contemporary. Other strategically placed special effects–a funnel cloud that transports Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas present, the hollow specter of Christmas future–keep you riveted without slipping into anachronism.

But, as good as the technology is, the performances are what really power this 93-minute TNT interpretation. Patrick Stewart brings a depth to Scrooge that allows the character to go beyond the cartoonish qualities that have made him a Christmas mainstay. That doesn’t mean he’s any less heartless with his hapless employee Bob Cratchit (Richard E. Grant) or any less dismissive of his well-meaning nephew. A frail-looking Joel Grey makes an excellent ghost of Christmas past, and a superb British cast ably fill the remaining roles.

Director David Jones, shooting on location in England and at London’s Ealing Studios, has achieved a balance of science and sentiment that will help this version hold up for many years to come. Review from Amazon by–Kimberly Heinrichs which I agree with whole heartedly plus just love that Patric Stewart who loved this part so much he produced it for the Stage on the West End. Fabulous.

Barbie’s version new this year (2008). “Barbie In A Christmas Carol”

Which will be huge with my two girls, who are Barbie groupies. Have not yet seen this.

And the “Muppets Christmas Carol” of course one of my favorites. http://www.sheeplaughs.com/scrooge/muppets.htm

Snow Day 08

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My vintage paper nativity that we set up before the annual addition of Star Wars creatures, Penguins and Beany Stuffies and Bratz dolls. We watched the little drummer boy while putting it up and I just love that animation.

Snow day today – The early start of Christmas VayK – The robotic message came this morning about 5:30. All schools closed and it is an official snowday. Everyone here at home has colds so it is an easy quiet day filled with rest and soft comforts and I am making chicken soup and then enchilladas for our Christmas Eve dinner where we do a sort of TexMex thing.
My family always does this Xmas Eve of the Dead kind of ancestor worshippy feel celebration…I love the mexican Xmas eve dinner it is the perfect send off to the old year.
The menue is :Tamales which I usually buy but if the weather stays yucky will have to make them. Spanish Rice, Veggies, enchilladas, tacos and chalupas and sophapias. Chicken nachos and the good hot cheese dip. Chocolate oreo cookie pie. We are not vegetarian but when I was we just skipped the meat and had more beans and corn. For the Solstice this weekend I wanted to make Turkey again because Thanksgiving was wonderful and I let the kids all pick a thing to make that was special to the harvest festival and to set their own tradition. So we have the beautiful bird thawing – sweet thing, she was my pick. My youngest picked Shrimp Cocktail and plans to marry a Shrimp farmer she says so she will never be without shrimps. My Son picked MacNCheese that he will make with his father and use more cheese than humans should eat in a year and teenPM wants an assortment of Pie in honor of the Goddess – so chocolates and fruited pies it is topped with glorious homemade whipped cream.

We are into canning and stocking up for winter so we are able to do the fruits but if we were to stick with what is seasonal I am afraid my kids would be on an ice diet with some rabbit and squirrel. Again I am amazed at the women of the past, when in the winter everyday was a snowday.
We decorated the tree – which we bought at Walmart two days ago knowing that this year we will not be able to get to the tree farm once this storm settles in for the weekend. It was 13.dollars and I think it is beautiful and in no way think I am selling out to Walmart and its ever increasing grasp around the neck of the american consumer. They were from a local farm and quite lovely. Though filling up the stockings with garbage from China that is probalbly painted with lead paint by children is not going to happen. I will celebrate Sams original mission and hope with this tree.
It is snowing now still. Ten inches since last night midnight but it seems like a lot more.
We have watched Christmas Movies while we decorate and cook – me the chicken soup and stuff and the kids cookies. The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Came to town, Polar Express, and now the Grinch with Jim Carrey which has them hypnotised. Nightmare before Xmas is next and then the Nutcracker. A Christmas Carol marathon of every version will be on the agenda for tonight. Princess Mononoke (which is what I call my teen) is off with her teengirl gamer nerd friends playing Left for Dead and Halo singing Xmas songs and freezing on their errand to the post office for me in exchange for an early solstice present (Left for dead ho-ho happy zombie game and latte money). I think the Hogfather might actually be next before Nightmare. I love its sardonic British humor.
I wish you and yours a Happy Merry Solstice and the magic that it brings. Remember the light is coming. Dance around your tree if you can. We like to put it out a bit from the wall for just such an occasion should the mood strike. Dog, cats, kids – it usually does.
It feels more Happy Holiday with a tree. “Sympathetic magic by the Pagans” Sheldon said  on “The Big Bang” how true, how true. It was lovely that this year my children who are all avid witches and wizards ask about the symbolism of the tree and how it is conncected to Jesus and Mary and the manger – in the desert. And the whole Jesus was Jewish are we celebrating Hannuka this year (why of course we can says I) I found some Dreidels and chocolate coins at the World Market. We have our advent calanders which mark the time till “Santas Birthday” according to the wee ones. We are learning about candle magic and incense and Frankincense and Muir. The three wise men – obviously magic men are of great interest to my children. Persian Maji and Asian Sorcercers who knew about Astronomy – whats not to like for young witches and wizards? A Miracle Birth of a baby protected by its devoted family, Mary the Virgin symbol of the Goddess across so much time – letting us Witches worship her in all her glory unscathed. I love this season as much as Easter and enjoy the rest of the world sharing in hope and love and family – as much as they are enjoying the myths created by Coca-Cola and Macys.
Everything is in a blanket of white and my heart and prayers of peace go out to the world and especially my sisters on the East Coast, may their bon fires light up the night and the season.

Peace on Earth and off as well.

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For tommorows Film Festival A marathon of  Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli in honor of the Solstice.

Snow falling.

I found it. The snow falling across the blog to be found in appearance/extras to be used till Jan. 4th and I love it. It will never get that slushy grey and look powdery all the season. Now I need to figure out how to change my header picture to my lake picture and I am officially on my way down tech girl lane.

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Watching old movies.

So yesterday we waited for the Heat guy (who rocked) and watched the original “The day the earth stood still” and in this scene I could not help but laugh at the doctors talking about health and then lighting up a cig. – so common at the time, but looks so hilarious now.

Today I am working in the basement and watching the original BLOB on VHS. It is a very relaxing background movie.

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