We are all dust and shadows…

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photographed at New Harmony Labyrinth 12/25/15

“All Shadows whisper of the Sun” ….   (Emanuel Carnevali)

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Merry Solstice!

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. It occurs when the sun’s daily maximum height in the sky is at its lowest, and the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the sun.   It’s happening today,  Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 5:03 PM CST.

 

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The Winter Solstice is unique among days of the year — the time of the longest night and the shortest day. The dark triumphs, sort of, but only briefly, and the Solstice is the turning point. From now on (until the Summer Solstice, at any rate), the nights grow shorter and the days grow longer, the dark wanes and the Sun waxes in power. From the dark womb of the night, the light is born.

Many of the customs associated with the Winter Solstice derive from stories of a mighty battle between the dark and the light, which is won, naturally, by the light.

 

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We have devised a new tradition to celebrate the New Year that starts on this Solstice Day:  Casey is choosing a special, large, log for our night-time fire.  We will write our hopes and wishes on it.  As it burns,  those dreams will be released to return to us in 2015.

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We will consider our small spot on the wheel of life and thank The Lord for Love and Light in our lives.  We will drink warm,  mulled cider, spiked with bourbon, until we begin to sing…

 

WASSCOME

 

Okay, Okay, so Casey won’t actually sing….in fact, he’s got a terrible cold and cough right now, so the wassail will be a toddy for him.  Still, it is good to mark the changing of the seasons and to make a conscious effort to let our lights shine, overcoming our darkness, and lending a guiding beacon to those who need it.

 

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sowing and feeding

Puh-leeze, let this be the last icey-snowy day for the season…am I asking so much?  Lucky for us, I had the fixin’s for some jambalaya and muffulettas before the storm, so we’re inside warm and fat, getting fatter for Mardi Gras.  Outside, we moved the birdfeeders under the porch so they wouldn’t ice over.   We feed dozens of birds, a number that has increased as word got out amongst the feathery-types that there’s a buffet here.

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The wisteria desperately needs to be cut, but it provides such shelter for the birds, that we’re not sure just how much we should try to prune…

With hope in my heart, sort of, I started seeds last night…  I cleared out a closet upstairs and made it into a darkroom for germinating.  We added another grow-light, too.  If this doesn’t work, I really will give up…

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Casey worked last night, but cleared the snow from the ice in the driveway before he went to sleep.  He says the roads are still icey, so me and the birds will spend the day eating…  Hope your feeder is full…stay safe and warm.

Half-way there…

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Today marked the very middle of Winter.  Take heart!!  I’m daydreaming about spending lovely hours in the garden, drooling over garden blogs and pinterest, as well as gardener’s supply, burpee and the rest of the on-line storefronts.   Today’s snow seems superfluous, but the Real Mastergardener knows what He’s doing, so I’ll just do my planning and let it all be.

And who could be uncheered by some Amaryllis blooms?  Not I!

 

 

Got to be growin’ something…

I cleared out a closet upstairs for seed starting, but still haven’t decided what to start.  I swear every year, as the last weakling seedling bites the dust, that I will never again waste the lives of dozens of innocent seeds.

Nevertheless, each January I look for a garden-fix to get me through the cold.  This year’s polar vortex and snow days has tested my resolve mightily and I came up with handy-dandy solution the other day:  plant a terrarium..!  Over at Pinterest, you can bet that I got plenty of great ideas and I’m especially liking the idea of a Fairy Garden.

Last week I shopped the craft stores and came up with a wonderful Wardian case marked half-off.  Astounding, isn’t it, how much you’re willing to pay for something when they tell you it’s half-off?   I went to Zeidler for the plants and got everything put in and watered down on Friday.

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Check this out:  we used a compact to make a little pond for the people who move in…(Olivia suggested animals, too).  DSC_0005This is infinitely more fun than seed-starting.

(But I might possibly maybe start some lettuce and spinach…and thyme and basil…and marigolds…perhaps…since I’ve already cleaned out that closet)