“Solstice: from the Latin sol stetit meaning sun stood still. For six days in the northern hemisphere’s December, the sun ceases its southerly crawl on the horizon and appears to rise and set in almost the same spot. The ancients watched this quiet drama with drawn breath. Would the sun begin to move again? Would the light grow anew on the great wheel of life? Would life itself continue?
… Since time out of mind humans have marked the externally vital crossing from dark to light. For the perennial truth is this: Without the sun, there is no life. Green plants, those remarkable beings who are able to make their own food out of nothing but the sun’s light, are food for every other being on earth, all of whom, to stay alive, must eat either green plants or other beings who eat green plants. Though we now light our world with bulbs and take for granted not only the external day but often even our food, we still make of the return of the sun’s light a joyful metaphor for social and personal renewal.”
~ Carolyn McVickar Edwards, The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would be happy to see you again. Come on in! Hugs if you’re amenable to them. Along with the usual assortment of beverages, I also have hot chocolate. It is a hot chocolate kind of day. A cold front swept in and replaced the warm, mild temperatures with cold and wind. They say the winds might gust up to 30 mph today. Our lows overnight were in the 30’s (20’s expected tonight) and the high’s today are in the mid-40’s. A big switch from last week’s weather! It won’t last. We’ll be back up into the 70’s by Christmas Eve.
Let’s grab something to drink and settle ourselves in the living room where the wood stove is keeping things warm and toasty. From there we can watch the trees swaying in the wind and any birds that might show up at the feeders. Maybe this colder weather will finally bring the birds around. I put out some snacks for us too, in case you’re feeling peckish. Cheese, crackers, veggies, hummus, and pita bread. M is roasting pecans and the first batch should be cool enough to eat soon. He coats them in a sweet, spicy, and salty mixture of his own devising (I’m pretty sure it involved honey and cayenne pepper), and they are tasty.
How are you? What have you been up to lately? Are you ready for any holidays you might be celebrating soon? Do you have any fun rituals or traditions to go along with those holidays? Have you traveled anywhere or seen any new sights? Visited any museums or eaten out at any good restaurants? Have you taken any good walks or hikes? Read any good books or watched any good movies?
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that M and I are finally utilizing our Netflix subscription once again. DVD’s have been sitting here waiting to be viewed while we continued to pay for the privilege. I bet Netflix does a good business that way. Or used to. Many people probably stream now.
We watched The Last Waltz recently. The film, a recording of the Canadian-American rock group The Band’s farewell concert which they called The Last Waltz, was originally released in 1978. The DVD (along with a 4-CD box set) came out in 2002. I was not familiar with The Band (I was more into Motown during their era) although, as it turns out, I recognize a lot of their music. Their final concert included a lot of special guests (Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, and more) who also contributed to a fabulous concert. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and had a rockin’ good time watching and listening.
One of the things I’ve been doing with our Netflix subscription is occasionally getting a music-related film, either a musical or a filmed concert or a documentary about a musician or group. I mix it up, from the old to the new. We’ve watched documentaries about Katy Perry and the White Stripes, concerts by Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Weller, and others I don’t remember at the moment, along with a few musicals here and there.
As for books, I’m reading Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep. I’m about half way through. It will be a fast and entertaining read, as expected. I haven’t finished Nothing to Grasp, an interesting little book about non-duality and being in the present that I should have finished by now, but I’ve been caught up in the world of fiction and spending some of my spare time drawing and coloring mandalas. I will pick it up again soon.
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that a deputy from the sheriff’s office came out the other day to put the tree theft on record. Based on M’s description of it, the deputy valued the tree at $300. I was gobsmacked yet again (that’s happening a lot over one tree!). $300 for a Christmas tree! Maybe I should start growing trees so I can sell them for less. Who can afford that? Does it really cost that much to grow a tree? Or to buy one? If so, no wonder someone decided to help themselves to one of the trees in our meadow.
If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would tell you that we had a beautiful sunset yesterday. The clouds were incredible and beautiful, constantly changing as the cold wind whipped and churned them, tearing the heavy cloud cover apart and leaving wisps behind. As the clouds moved across the sky, the moon behind them appeared to be racing with them. It was almost dizzying to look at.
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that we harvested the broccoli and cauliflower yesterday. There was so much broccoli that we had to freeze a lot of it. Freezing broccoli always reminds me of my old blog. One of my most popular posts was Freezing Broccoli. A few years later I followed that up with this post because people kept searching for how to freeze broccoli without blanching it (the answer to that is no, just NO, you can’t do that). For those who didn’t know me at the old blog, I used to purchase about 10-15 lbs. of broccoli (for the remarkably low sum of $15-$17) from a farm down the road from us (in northeast Ohio) every year, and then spend 2-3 days blanching and freezing it. If you’ve never seen 10-15 lbs. of broccoli, it’s a lot. Enough to see you through the winter and at least half the spring.
We also harvested the broccoli leaves or greens, and had some of those for dinner last night. In terms of taste, they reminded me a little rapini (or broccoli rabe) without the bitterness and collard greens without the yucky taste and tough texture. I don’t like collard greens. I’ve tried them and tried them and tried them, and it’s too bad I can’t acquire a taste for them because they are popular here on the Eastern Shore.
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that we saw a rabbit run by this morning while we were eating breakfast. He was really hauling butt across the front yard. A few minutes later, a gorgeous red fox came strolling along, taking his time and stopping to enjoy the sun every now and then. I should have grabbed the camera so I could show him or her to you, but I didn’t think of it. That’s a good sign, by the way. There have been periods of time when I’ve been so wrapped up in capturing what I see (or memories) that I failed to be in the moment and just enjoy it.
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else, I would tell you that except for the case of the stolen tree, it’s been a relatively quiet week. I had my hair cut and the purple restored. I have been working on Christmas gifts, making things rather than buying them. This week will be a little busier. There’s an appointment on Tuesday that will take a few hours, and some food preparations for a Christmas feast. I will be cleaning house tomorrow. It shouldn’t take that long to do since this is not a big house, but in case I get distracted by the great outdoors, I can finish on Monday.
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would say I’ve rambled on quite enough (perhaps too much!). Thank you so much for visiting with me. Hang around if you like. Late autumn and winter sunsets are usually colorful, and maybe we’ll head down to the Point to watch the show this evening. Sunset is at 4:45 PM. We’ll probably have to leave about ten or fifteen minutes before that. Bundle up. It’s windy and cold. We can warm up afterwards with the Pad Thai (vegan version) I’m making for dinner. It will have a pleasant amount of spicy heat to it and four cups of the broccoli we picked yesterday.
Be good, be kind, be loving, be well. Just Be. 🙂
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.