alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Polar Lights)
I remember both cutting down trees and buying pre-cut trees. But we bought from local businesses who offered trees as part of their seasonal service. It was nothing like the industry of today. Huge swathes of Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, and smaller competitors are out there investing in the boom or bust business of tree farms. I remember seeing more than one dead tree farm, especially in Texas. You have to keep watering those baby trees, or they can burn slightly, ruining the tree. You have to harvest them carefully, wrap them so you can get them to their destination intact--and you need to keep the mountain in one piece as you do it. It takes about eight years to grow a Christmas tree.

Trees are now harvested with helicopters and it's a fast, risky business. A tree farm has 35 days, period, to make all the income for their year. Everything else is expense.

Read on and see how the business works.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Fireworks)
May this year bring you everything that you are working and hoping for...
alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
Although the earliest presidents did declare days of Thanksgiving and gratitude, Thanksgiving as we now it is more recent. At the urging of Sarah Josepha Hale, Abraham Lincoln declared a day of Thanksgiving halfway through the Civil War, and it has reoccurred as a theme ever since, finally being named into law (first the fourth Thursday, then the last Thursday). But what did they eat at those early Thanksgivings?

Some things on the menu don't even exist anymore, like Passenger Pigeon. Venison would have been there, and corn--real corn, not "corn" in the European sense covering all commonly used grains. (Though we probably would not recognize the varies of corn present. They would have been flint corn, multicolored and tasting quite different.) Wildfowl, too. Stuffing was probably diced onions, herbs, and shelled chestnuts. Being close to the shores, the first European settlers undoubtedly ate shellfish.

Beans, squashes, root veggies--the Wampanoag ate well, and taught the colonists a lot. I'm guessing that Allie would have had a mixture of old and new on her family's table, the remnants of those great early foods as well as the precious addition of wheat, sugar, dried berries, and so on. No shellfish in her part of the country, though. Too much travel time even from Lake Michigan, and at the time of Kindred Rites, she didn't know about the advantage practitioners had in this regard.

But the foods we often think of as staples at Thanksgiving are mostly from the mid-nineteenth century. Read on.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Burmese Basket)
Rustle-rustle-rustle....

ME: Merlyn, what are you doing over there?
Rustle-rustle-snip!
MERLYN: It's complicated.
ME: Is it? Care to enlighten me?
MERLYN: No.
(Every parent, and everyone who shares a life with a cat or dog, knows that this is trouble.)
More cat reasoning. )
Happy Holy Days, Y'all.
MerlynNOOK1_adj
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Red Cascade)
I wish you good nights with dear friends, warm food well-prepared, family close at hand.

A few surprises, a few traditions, and more than a few delights.

I hope this Season was memorable for all the right reasons, and that it is but a shadow of holidays to come.

Thank you for reading, and buying, and encouraging. I hope to reward your patience soon!

Rejoice!

Apr. 24th, 2011 11:48 am
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Ukrainian Easter Eggs)
A joyous Easter to those of you who follow the Western Liturgical calendar!
alfreda89: (Winter)
I don't know if I'll have time to stop in again before the weekend, so just wanted to say Happy Holidays! All of them! May you spend them with people you love who love you. I'll be with family for Christmas, and I hope with friends for New Years'. Be well and stay warm, everyone!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Katy Rose Pink)
This is mostly for Americans, but everyone else is also welcome -- Thanksgiving is supposed to be that kind of holiday. This is the day to forget, just for a few hours, about all the cares weighing down upon you. It's a day to remember everything you are grateful for -- family, friends, work that satisfies, hobbies you enjoy, health you are smart enough not to take for granted.

Even if you're not sharing the so-called traditional meal, that's just fine -- I can't eat much of that meal, either. Share what you have, laugh a lot, tell good stories and listen to others tell their tales.

It was 87 F yesterday, a record for the region. Tonight it will drop to 30, thanks to the cold front barreling down on us. My winecup rose is bravely waving blossoms at me, letting me know it wants even less direct sun on its roots next year. I'm doing what I can to improve its lot -- like finding it a hill to clamber over -- and trusting that next year I will be even more grateful, as things will continue to improve. (That's a Katy Rose Pink up there -- I don't have a good picture of a winecup rose, sadly.)

Blessed Be your life. May joy follow you everywhere.
alfreda89: (Cat Magic)
Toy, curiosity, food? Big Cat Rescue offers pumpkin attacks with big cats!

http://icanhascheezburger.com/2010/10/27/funny-pictures-big-cats-pumpkins-part-2/
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Polar Lights)
I'm planning on a MUCH better year than last year! May you all have a glorious 2010!

I don't have an active fireworks icon, so have some polar lights!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Happy Thanksgiving!

I just finished assembling the cake rounds covered with parchment paper as I prepare for the de-panning of the pumpkin spice cheesecake. (Clearly de-panning is not a word -- or a common one.) Book View Cafe's blog has my first post on my until now silent journey of macrobiotics. Also, part two from "Feather of the Phoenix" is up on Book View Cafe. This last is not a permanent link, so stop by today, or you'll need to look under Kimbriel for it!

Remember -- our goal is to have new material every day. Enjoy!

And liquid meds sipped (next macro post!) to the de-panning and the bird I hope they're cutting at Oliana0's house.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Well, the thumb has stopped bleeding. Amazing how missing while putting on a new needle for the subcutaneous fluids biz can make a tiny pop bleed. And had to toss the needle. Max has enough problems -- he doesn't need mine as well!

The pumpkin cheesecake with the ground pecan crust is cooling, and will hit the fridge in the next ten minutes. Needs at least six hours in there! I have no idea if my chapter will go up correctly at BVC -- a goal this weekend is to make sure all the rest of the posts will go off without a hitch. I need to write my BVC blog post -- my first on the ins and outs of macrobiotics. I've been writing it in my head, so I hope it will be quick. The cats are trying to help me type -- Max hates the fluids, but he's much friskier afterwards. He heads for my desk to push things off. W has gone on a four day retreat. He's very stressed right now. So I will write, organize, eat with friends, watch some movies, and sleep -- soon, I hope.

No matter how bad things are right now for you, I hope that you have your family and friends at hand, your health, and a goal you pursue with passion.

I wish everyone could have a good holiday season. Be creative!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Ukrainian Easter Eggs)
The Equinox passes by, as well as the other special days of spring. I won't try any languages I don't know -- Babelfish has some curious blind spots, as in, masculine pronouns, among other things. Also -- the direct translation of the word I used last year for "risen" actually reverts as "increased". Which is great for bread dough, but not for resurrection.

Wishing you a lighter heart this year, and an upward path that challenges but does not exhaust.
alfreda89: (Peppermint Peach Tree)
To the Wiccans in the list, and everywhere -- let's think good harvest thoughts, since the rain/drought mix in the country has been lousy. On the other hand, cherries were two weeks early in Michigan when I was there -- so will REAL apples be early, too?

I haven't had an Ida Red in YEARS...................ARGH.

Did a massage tonight, my one weekly standard, so no visiting a circle for me. But the moon is beautiful, and it's NOT RAINING.

(Since it's rained here for almost two months straight, this is a big deal.)
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Ukrainian Easter Eggs)
Αυξημένος πράγματϊ

Whether you are celebrating the Risen Son of the Hebrew God, the return of the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre/Eastre, the Vernal Equinox, the arrival of Spring and rebirth in general, or just want to increase the fertility of your garden, this day is for you.

Wishing everyone health, wealth and happiness in the year to come.

Hope your weather is good enough for a walk in the April morning -- go soak up some sun!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai)
I believe it is the first day of Christmas, for those of you who know your songs, as well as the first day of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, and of Kwanzaa. (It’s even Boxing Day...) The sun has halted its flight and is now returning to us, and the end of the western year approaches.

Writer Laura J. Underwood sent this wish to the Yard Dog Press writer’s list, and I think she sums things up perfectly:

“Whatever season you select to celebrate, may it be filled with magic and wonder and good tidings.

May the new year prove better than the old.

And may all who have done me even the smallest of kindnesses reap a reward tenfold.”

Rest Ye Merry, folk of good will, and bright blessings on you all.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Google has done its usual fun thing with their logo, take a look!

And...this snip from AP is my idea of continuing credit hours:

"APPELSCHA, Netherlands (AP)
Dutch witches are getting a tax break. A court has ruled that the cost of witchcraft lessons can be taken as a tax deduction. Learning to cast spells and brew potions doesn't come cheap. Margarita Rongen runs the "Witches Homestead" in a northern province. Her witchcraft workshops cost more than $200 a weekend or more than $2,600 for a full course."

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