Category Archives: Legends

September Miscellany

Jillian here. Sorry I’m a tad late but work has been crazy lately. I don’t have a particular theme to talk about this month. I’m just going to share some random stuff.

Have you ever heard of worm webs? They are wicked looking, for sure. My parents’ neighbor’s pecan tree developed them this year. They don’t hurt the tree but they sure look like they do. It’s basically a colony of caterpillars who feed on the leaves. It can affect the fruit of the tree so my dad plans to cut the ones on his neighbor’s tree.

The cat I rescued from the restaurant in October 2019 is still doing well. She’s so much in love with my husband that she follows him around at the office all day. Whenever he takes a client in to his office, she sits outside the door, depressed, until he comes out.

I recently finished reading a book called Highfire by Eoin Colfer. I enjoyed it as it was super quirky. There was a lot of bad language and some brutal parts, but it was mostly a fun read with an irreverent dragon who loves vodka and Flashdance. All credit to the author for such a brilliant premise.

The best news for the month is a case that has been the bane of my existence finally ended in a surprise settlement. I’d been winning every step of the way, but the other side was ridiculously litigious so I was stunned when they threw in the towel. Grateful, but stunned. Then it took days to pin them down to the written document and I thought it might be a tactic as they’d lied about settling in the past, but we did achieve signatures and it was happy dance time. My client is the perfect client- she always listened to me and always paid her bill. I’ll miss that too, but praise the Lord, it’s over.

Here’s hoping everyone’s September is wonderful. It’s supposed to be 63 degrees Fahrenheit with 67% humidity (usually 90%) here tonight, so I’m pretty excited about that since August and September are two of the hottest months in our area. Happy taste of fall.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Shakespeare's BirthplaceLast week, we spent a few days in leafy Warwickshire (Shakespeare Country) and, since we lived in the area about thirty five years ago, took the opportunity to visit some of our old haunts. Stratford-on-Avon, where we spent many happy hours showing visitors around Shakespeare’s town (especially his birthplace, pictured), then on to Leamington Spa, where I used to work, and a day spent in the city of Coventry which, for me, was the highlight of our trip.

Coventry is probably best known for it’s medieval cathedral, which was bombed in November 1940 and left in ruins. At the end of World War II, it was decided to build the new cathedral beside the ruins of the old one as a symbol of hope, peace and reconciliation.  Unfortunately, the photo I took is too blurry to post, but there are many great images on Google if you’d like to check them out.

20190519_125326Another reason for Coventry’s fame is the story of Lady Godiva. According to legend, she was the wife of a powerful tyrant lord who demanded high taxes from the people of Coventry. Lady Godiva asked her husband to stop this tax since she knew it was causing such hardship amongst the people she loved. He allegedly told her that he would do so if she rode naked through Coventry.

Lady Godiva took him at his word, and with only her long blonde hair covering her naked body she rode through Coventry on market day. Pious and modest, Lady Godiva is said to have sent word to the townspeople that they should go inside their homes and not watch as she rode by. Because they loved her and knew she was doing it to save them hardship, they complied. Except one young tailor who couldn’t resist looking. He became known as Peeping Tom and was blinded by heaven for not adhering to Lady Godiva’s instruction.

On the plinth below the statue are words from Tennyson’s poem:

“Then she rode back
clothed on with chastity.
She took the tax away
and built herself an everlasting name” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything in Threes

Why does everything seem to come in threes? Is it magic number? We have the Three Stooges; plants should be grouped in threes; the Holy Trinity; the three wise men, traffic lights – red, amber, green; clothes, especially for babies: one on, one off and one in the wash; pre-packed meat in supermarkets, chops always seem to be in threes, not one or two or even four; three primary colours: red, blue and yellow; the three little pigs; three blind mice; no buses for an hour then three come along at once; three teaspoonsful equal one tablespoon… I could go on but it does seem odd (excuse the pun) that life and nature frequently have this triplet number. I’ve often wondered why or if there is any significance. Are these things simply a pattern? A lucky number, perhaps? No, I don’t think so for trouble always seems to come in threes too? At least it does in my house. I’ll elaborate…

Dave’s been retired now a month. It’s been brilliant. We’ve had a lot of fun, more laughs than I can remember us having and he and I have enjoyed every moment of this new phase in our long marriage. Except this month has also brought unwelcome and unexpected expense. Picture the scene: a beautiful Sunday, guests joining us for lunch, a roast merrily cooking its way, then bang! All the power in the house goes down. Trip switch flicked on again and again. Bang! Yes, you’ve guessed it, the cooker decided to burn out one of the heating elements in the oven. Oven turned off, meal resumed in the jet stream and microwave. Engineer summoned Monday morning. New element ordered, fitted on Wednesday.

Thursday, pouring with rain. Never mind, have washing to do. Thank goodness for tumble drier as we don’t have room for a washing line in the garden. Load machine with sheets. Drum turns a few times as it fills with cold water. Then bang! Trip switch shuts power off. Dave blames pump in koi pond and goes off to sort. I turn washing machine back on. Off power goes again. Kicks machine. Okay, it’s nearly 14 years old, never broken down so I can’t complain. Suspect pump has given up. Removes wet, soaking bedding from drum. Scratches head. What to do with dripping washing. Engineer summoned again in hope he can fix it. Yes he can. Heater element blown. New one ordered and fitted following Monday morning.

Now have larger washing mountain to climb. First load in: several large towels. Washing machine works a treat and an hour later they are dying in tumble drier. Well… I thought they were. All lights flashing on machine, washing still damp after two hours. Drier defunct. Research problem on internet: Common fault. Terminal. Still pouring with rain so can’t even rig up temporary line. New tumbler on order for next day delivery.

So, that is our three bad things done. Hopefully. Please no more. Dave reckons the dishwasher will be next as it’s over 10 years old. I’ve told him if it does break down, he will be doing all the washing up for wishing it upon us.

It’s still raining, and blowing a gale, but at least the garden is thriving, even if we can’t get out there and enjoy it today.

Kit’s Website and Blog  and Kit’s Art  Site

Pineapples – Product of Paradise.

DownloadedFileI knew when I did the last blog I wouldn’t want to stop the fruit theme. When I saw an article in this months Costco Connection I couldn’t resist writing about the exotic Pineapple.

The largest fresh fruit producer and distributor for the United States is Costa Rica. If I had been guessing I would have said Hawaii.

There are no seeds in pineapples, instead the leafy top is planted or sometimes the slips and suckers, offshoots of the plant that grow out of the base of the fruit and between the leaves. It takes from 12 to 20 months to produce mature fruit. It’s a wonder they are so affordable.

Unlike other fruit once a pineapple is picked it stops ripening. When you see one in a store it is as ripe as it will ever be.

Yummy, and good for you.
Pineapples nourish and protect our bodies. Bromelain is an enzyme found only in pineapple. Its anti-inflammatory properties are effective for sports injuries, swelling and as treatment of osteoarthritis. Ongoing research indicates it may possess cancer fighting qualities.

Vitamin C is also prevalent in pineapples and they have a high manganese content that promotes healthier skin and fights free radicals. Ummm fighting free radicals (aging) is a real good thing.

I’m on a role here so don’t be surprised if I shoot through the summer blogs with this fruit theme.

Do you believe in fairies?

Don’t panic. I’m not about to admit to seeing any at the bottom of my garden. As far as I know, my faculties are still in good working order. It’s just that on a recent car journey with AJ to visit my mother, we drove past a small village in Wiltshire nestled in a valley with its handful of cottages and houses surrounded by a stream. I’ve always referred to it as Brigadoon because it looks so magical and driving past at dusk it’s easy to imagine a sleepy village which only comes to life every hundred years.

The conversation turned to the possibility of such a phenomenon existing and then to the concept of magic in general. While I’m the one in the family who has her head mostly in the clouds, AJ is also open minded to the possibilities that exist outside the known, although he does draw the line at fairies and the existence of other such mythical creatures. Anyway, we discussed magic in its broadest sense and of our personal definitions of the concept—from spells, conjuring and sorcery to the more ethereal of possibilities. Personally, my interest is with the latter concept—the unaccountably enchanting, the fantastical, the sheer wonder of something that has the potential to take my breath away.

It is this everyday kind of magic that can, for me, turn the seemingly mundane into something quite enchantingly extraordinary. It can be a snowdrop peeking through layers of snow; a puppy gazing up at me with pure adoration in its eyes; my husband telling me that after almost forty years of marriage I’m still his dolly bird; a fabulous sunset; a little village in Wiltshire that I call Brigadoon…the list goes on and on and on. Pure magic, all of it, and I truly believe in this respect we all live daily in a magical universe.

And if I ever do get lucky enough to see a fairy at the bottom of my garden? Well, I’d invite her in for tea, of course. Can you imagine what I’d have to write about on a future blog post!

How about you? What are the magical things in your life?

If Easter Eggs Don’t Wash Their Legs Their Children Will Have Ducks by Valerie J. Patterson

That line is from a song aptly titled “The Nonsense Song”.  It’s a song I learned as a child.  Every once in a while I sing it for the bubbly hubby and—for my effort—he graces me with a smile, a shake of his head, and a squeeze of my hand.

Today’s blog is not so much about nonsense as it is about traditions.

St. Patrick’s Day and Easter—both holidays right around the corner—are steeped in tradition.

My grandmother—Dad’s mom—with the maiden name of Brady, was Irish and very proud of it.  St. Patrick’s Day was a big deal in her home.  Not because she liked green beer, but because she was a faithful Catholic and Saint Patrick meant something to her and the country where her ancestors lived.

The Wearing of the Green—commonly misinterpreted as wearing green for Ireland actually means to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing.  St. Patrick often explained the Holy Trinity using the three leaves of the shamrock.

Annually, Dublin, Ohio holds a huge Irish Festival that showcases fabulous Irish music, dancing, and dress.

Irish Truth—It is often that a person’s mouth broke his nose.  I don’t think that really needs interpretation, but just in case:  If one keeps his mouth shut, he removes all reason for someone to plant a fist on his nose!

March 17 commemorates the date of death for Saint Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland.

Legend states that St. Patrick banished all snakes from Ireland by chasing them into the sea after they attacked him while he was fasting on a hill.

Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day is full of parades, celebration, and drinking all over the world, not just in Ireland.

Easter comes with its own traditions from the coloring of eggs to the wearing of Easter bonnets, spotless white dresses, and patent leather shoes.  From hunting for hidden Easter eggs to devouring candy found on artificial grass inside a straw basket, to looking for the Easter Bunny.

The Egg Bump—traditionally each player brings their own decorated hard boiled egg to the competition.  Two players stand across from each other and roll their egg into the egg of their opponent, bumping eggs.  The player whose egg cracks is out of the competition.  Play continues until only one intact egg remains.

Early Christians stained eggs red as a symbol of the blood Christ shed.  The egg traditionally represents life.

The Paschal Greeting is exclaimed on Easter Sunday.  Instead of “hello” it is customary to say, “Christ is risen” to which the response, “He is risen indeed!” is returned.

Easter also—for me and my family—celebrates the resurrection of Christ on the third day after the crucifixion, offering salvation to all who wish to accept it.

For you and your family, I hope there are traditions that are held precious and dear to your heart, that are steeped in meaning and sentiment, and that are shared with each new generation that arrives.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Happy Easter to all of you!

Until next time, take care and be happy.