I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Bit About the Origin of May Day

May Day dates back to the druids of the British Isles and before the birth of Christ.  It was an important day every year and great bonfires were lit to welcome back the sun and springtime.  It was originally the Celtic festival of Beltane where fertility rites were celebrated.  This same festival was celebrated all around Europe, but called different names in different countries.  Because it started out as a pagan holiday, it was looked down on and discouraged by the Christians.

May 1 was seen as the first day of summer by pre-Christian European cultures, hence, the summer solstice that occurs on Jun 21 is called midsummer.  It was a great time of celebration.  People would drive their cattle through the fires to purify them before taking them to their summer pastures, couples would walk through the smoke to cleanse themselves and bring them good luck.  Others would dance around the fire.  It was a time of revelry and merriment.  New life was springing forth again after the long, gray winter.

In the middle ages every English village had a Maypole.  This would be cut and brought in from the woods, decorated with ribbons and flowers and accompanied by rejoicing and merrymaking.  In some larger towns like London, Maypoles became permanent structures.  For a short time in 1644, the Puritans stopped this tradition.  It was evil to celebrate fertility and they tried to discourage the tradition.

When the Romans came to occupy Briton it became a feast day dedicated to the goddess of flowers, Flora.  It was still a day to observe fertility rights, but gradually became a day of joy and merriment for the children.

Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe.  A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America.  In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning the Queen of May, although the original version is still celebrated by many today to varying degrees.

In Catholic tradition, May was observed as a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In this connection children participated in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary's head would be adorned with flowers in a May crowning.  This faded in the late 20th century as did the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on a neighbors’ doorstep.  It was said that if you got caught, you received a kiss.

May Day (May 1st) is celebrated in many places around the world.  The traditions and stories surrounding May Day vary from place to place.  There is, however, one thing that is similar in most celebrations – the use of flowers!

So plant some flowers or make a gift basket for a neighbor.  However you celebrate, spend a few minutes to look around and enjoy the beauty all around us.  It is such a joy to see new life springing forth after the long, dark days of winter.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Getting Rid of Duplicate Pictures

Does anyone out there have any duplicate pictures on their computers?  I found a great FREE program for finding all the duplicates.  Believe it or not, I had 24, 859 pictures on my computer and I knew I had a lot of duplicates, so after I turned in my least project I decided to tackle that mess.  I’ve wanted to clean it up for awhile.  There is just never any extra time.  For one thing it takes forever to find what I’m looking for when I need it and for another it takes up hard drive space.

This program is very slick.  It lets you decide what to keep and what to get rid of.  Depending on the amount of pictures on your computer, it takes 2-3 hours for the program to go through them all and load them into the edit window on the left side of the screen.  It took mine 2 hours and 15 minutes to load.  You can go through them as you have time because luckily it lets you save the file each day so you can start again until the project is finished. This long, gruelling process took me three days to go through them all.

Of course now that is done, but I have to organize my file folders.  That is taking a lot of time because I can’t work on it as much as I would like, but it will be very nice when it’s all done.

This program comes from a very reliable source – Kim Komando.  I’m sure some of you have heard of her.  If you’d like to try it, here is the link:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Do we bring our own bad luck?

I have a tendency to think yes we do, by the vibes we put out there all the time.  Have you ever known people that had bad luck follow them around?  I think we all have.  If they didn’t have bad luck, they’d have no luck at all.

I really think it’s all a matter of attitude.  Today, being Friday the 13th got me to thinking about this.  I did an in-depth article on this on the other blog.  If you’d like to read some fun facts and myths, check it out.   http://sunni-faeriebookloft.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fond Memories of the Hay Meadow

Yes that is what comes to mind when Easter rolls around.  I guess we probably had a different childhood than most people.  We grew up on a farm and things were very tight when you tried to raise a family of seven on a farmer’s income.  I’m not sure how my parents managed it at times.

But we had plenty of chickens and would color eggs before Easter.  Somehow my dad always managed to find the money to get a package of that La Paz Easter egg dye every year.  We would mix the different colors in cups or bowls and then “ooh” and “aah” as we moved the eggs around with a spoon until they were just the right color. You can imagine the five of us girls crowded around a small kitchen counter to do this.  My two brothers weren’t all that interested in coloring eggs.

On Sun rnorning we would all pile into the old pink and white station wagon and my parents would drive us all down the road to the hay meadow to look for eggs.  At some point daddy must have gone out to hide them in the clumps of hay.  He was always gone tending the crops so we probably thought nothing of him leaving the house.  He would get a couple packages of those candy eggs too to mix in with the bunch of chicken eggs we colored and all of us kids would squeal with delight as we stumbled over each other to get out of the car and attack the hay meadow.  You have to understand we never did much at all growing up, so this was definitely an event.

That afternoon we would sit around and look at our treasures as we ate the stuff and “oohed” and “aahed” again at all the beautiful colors.  We rarely had any sweets either so we gorged ourselves on those sweet eggs and practically got sick every year, but it was worth it.  That stood out as a high point in our lives growing up. We still talk about it today as adults.

I guess it’s a good thing that hay was never harvested until after Easter.  It gave us kids something to look forward to every year. There was certainly no other place on the farm to hide Easter eggs.  That spot was perfect.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I feel ancient today!

Do YOU ever have those days? 

I'm heading for the Advil and to bed.  I've been at it all day - getting a magazine together.  Of course nothing goes as planned so it took most of the day to covert some files I needed and then to crop and resize them, along with getting copy together and finishing up some articles.  I'm still waiting for some author interviews, but at least I made some progress so all my weariness isn't for nothing.

I have to relax my neck and shoulders because it's back at it bright ad early.

Night all.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Perils When Wind Howls in the Desert

Well yesterday was one hell of a day.  The wind blew with hurricane force all day, hammering the windows, whizzing past the corners of the house and rattling the garage doors.  I can certainly see what has carved out all the red rocks all around us over the years.  They stand in various majestic shapes and are really breathtaking, but the wind is horrid!

It blew a heavy trash can down the street.  Lying on its side, it flew along in the gutter so fast that it was three blocks away by the time we caught up with it.  My neighbor was out chasing his down too.  I saw it blow across the street as it accelerated away at lightning speed.  All kinds of stuff will blow by when the wind gets like that.  Most things disappear never to be seen again.  I’m sure there must be hole someplace in the desert it all ends up in.  People have been known to lose patio chairs and cushions, tents and even barbeques.  Nothing is safe unless you have it chained down securely to something that won’t move.

To top the day off we discovered the pilot light on the water heater had blown out sometime during the course of it all, so we were out lighting it at 10:30 last night.  And it really makes me wonder how that happened because it is in a separate enclosed room in the garage.  Hmmm………