Saturday, 31 December 2011

An Important New Year's Eve Message


Hi, everyone. Father Time here. I have one question for you all.

Where the FUCK did 2011 go to?

Wasn't it just yesterday when I was the New Year's Baby, all cootchy-coo and cute as a button? And now here I am, a grizzled old codger about to get the bum's rush out the door.

I know, I know -- tempus fugit or time flies or some such bullshit -- but this is frickin' ridiculous, you people!


My only consolation is that YOU'RE all a year older too. Keep that in mind during 2012.

Now get out there, live life and have a great year!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Moms


The Divine Feminine as Mother Goddess has been an important spiritual image since time immemorial. She Who Gives Life is a universal part of all our own personal stories too. So I'm off to Manitoba to visit my Mom in the nursing home for a few days now. I'll see you all again on New Year's Eve!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Christmas Story . . .

. . . as written and performed by the children of St. Pauls Church in Auckland, New Zealand.



It's a refreshing (and perceptive!) take on the old, old narrative. And as they say at the end of the credits, it's "based on a true story" LOL! My favourite part is the animal poop.

I saw this video last year on Jim's blog, Ocean Breezes -- thanks, buddy! I tucked it away to use this year on my own blog.

Christmas blessings to you all!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Occupy Dickens!


Remember, Scrooge -- the three spirits will visit you tonight on Christmas Eve! Heed them!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Festivus Cakes Just For You!


Now do something nice for me in return, you ingrate.


I worked my friggin' fingers to the bone decorating this cake for you. Yes, those are corn niblets. So what? [Update: Sorry, everyone, apparently those are acorns . . . I know, WTF? And this is Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa cake, not a Festivus cake at all. Oh well, screw it. It deserves to be a Festivus cake too.]


What are you bitching about? It's got sprinkles!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Winter Solstice


According to Universal Time (UT) measured at Greenwich, England, the winter solstice occurs at 5:30 a.m. on December 22. So why am I posting my winter solstice greetings today? Because my time zone of Mountain Standard Time (MST) is 7 hours earlier than UT, so in Alberta the winter solstice arrives at 10:30 p.m. tonight. Depending on your time zone, the winter solstice may occur today or tomorrow.

Either way, winter solstice blessings to you and your family! May the returning light herald a wonderful holiday season for you all! *SMOOCH!*


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Festival of Lights Begins!

My cat, Her Royal Highness, wants to wish Happy Hanukkat to all her feline friends of the Jewish purr-suasion.


Tonight at sundown, the first candle will be lit on the menorah --


Have fun playing with your dreidel cat toys, everyone!


And enjoy all the special foods and yummy treats of the holiday!


Mazel tov and Meow!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Straight-Up Christmas

Disregard the annoying 30 second ad at the beginning of this video.

Friday, 16 December 2011

A Classy Christmas Outfit


Just perfect for that festive office party, church gathering or other holiday get-together! Beep beep, Rudolf!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A Classy Christmas Craft


Yes! It's a charming angel made out of a tampon! (An unused one, it goes without saying.) Full instructions on how to make this extra-absorbent celestial being are found at I-Madge-ine the Twaddle blog -- click here! Get crafting, girls!

[Thanks to Elly at BugginWord for featuring this on her blog first!]

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Christmas Can-Can



There's something for (almost) everyone in this modern carol! I snagged it from Sarita's blog, A College Girl's Days. She always finds the most awesome videos!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Sankta Lucia's Star Boys


Today is the feast day of Sankta Lucia (St. Lucy), the very superficially Christianized version of the Nordic Goddess of the Winter Solstice, She who brings the returning light after the longest night.

Last year I wrote about the girls called Maidens who accompany Sankta Lucia in the traditional Scandinavian Lucia pageants held on this day. This year I want to focus on the boys who also participate in the ceremony.

Sankta Lucia's male attendants are called Star Boys. Dressed in winter white like the girls, Star Boys wear tall conical hats sprinkled with stars and usually also carry a star on a stick. Star Boys walk in the procession and sing the praises of the Solstice Goddess. Their stars reflect a bit of Her sacred light during the night of long darkness and act as a promise of the greater light to come.


[Photos found on the internet]

Monday, 12 December 2011

Blue Christmas



There's a tradition in the Canadian Unitarian Universalist church (and perhaps in other churches as well, I don't know) of having a December event called Blue Christmas. It's a special service of meditation and readings which acknowledge and honour the fact that Christmas is not always a happy time for everyone.

For those who are ill, alone, grieving, depressed or in difficult circumstances, Christmas can be an excruciatingly painful time with its single-minded emphasis on fun, family, jollity and high spirits. Christmas can be salt in the wounds of many.

It's important not to force expectations of Christmas joy and merriment on those who don't feel it for whatever reason. It's okay not to be happy at Christmas and it's okay to need emotional support to get through it. Hugs, understanding and no pressure are the best gifts for us to give.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Maria Lanakila Labyrinth, Part 2

Every labyrinth has its own unique "feel" to the experience of walking it. For me, the Maria Lanakila Labyrinth will always be associated with the sounds of children laughing and playing.


My Rare One and I visited the labyrinth on a sunny Thursday morning. Just as we started walking it, all the school kids came outside for recess. As can be seen in the following photo, the Maria Lanakila Labyrinth multi-tasks big time! The school playground is right beside it. A basketball hoop for the use of budding NBA players shares the labyrinth's pavement. The labyrinth even doubles as an amphitheatre stage, with a permanent bank of tiered seats along one side of the circle.


A young boy and girl walked part of the labyrinth with us. Others played a fast-paced game of tag around us. But these children understood perfectly well why people walk the unicursal path and they were careful not to disturb us.


As we walked the labyrinth, listening to the laughter of the school kids, thankful for the shade of the big trees, we also gazed at the beauty of the West Maui Mountains in the distance.


[All photos by Debra She Who Seeks]

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Maria Lanakila Labyrinth, Part 1


Lahaina is a bustling tourist town on the west coast of Maui, full of shops, restaurants and entertainment. But in bygone days when Hawai'ian royalty ruled the islands, Lahaina was the capital of Hawai'i. In the 1800s, the town and its harbour were central to the whaling industry. Christian missionaries flooded into Lahaina during that period as well.

One of the oldest churches in Lahaina is the Catholic church of Maria Lanakila, built by Belgian missionaries who arrived in the mid-1800s. "Maria Lanakila" means "Our Lady of Victory" in the Hawai'ian language.


The church contains a beautiful mosaic portrait of St. Damien, the Belgian missionary priest who in the 1870s-80s ministered to a large leper colony on the nearby island of Moloka'i . Living among the lepers, St. Damien eventually contracted the disease as well and died in the colony.


Beside Maria Lanakila is an old cemetery with many historic gravestones, including those of Hawai'ian royalty.



Behind the church and cemetery is the Sacred Heart School which was also founded by the Belgian missionaries. In a corner of the schoolyard, there is a full-size Chartres labyrinth painted on pavement under the welcome shade of several ancient monkey pod trees.


Tomorrow: walking the Maria Lanakila Labyrinth.

[All photos by Debra She Who Seeks]

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Winnipeg's Drummer Boy



Have you seen this great video yet? It's in the process of going viral on YouTube. Not only is it a wonderfully fresh, modern take on that old Christmas carol Little Drummer Boy, it was created by a 16 year old Winnipeg high school student named Sean Quigley. He skipped school one day last month to make this video.

Sean arranged the music, played every instrument, drummed and sang, as well as directed, shot and edited the video. His youthful enthusiasm and talent just leap off the screen! And who else but a crazy Winnipeg teenager would be out in the snow wearing shorts and no parka!

I also love that the City itself is featured in the video -- Charleswood, Assiniboine Park, the Forks, the Riel Esplanade leading to St. Boniface, and of course that last shot of Sean drumming against the downtown skyline. And in true Canadian multicultural tradition, Merry Christmas greetings appear on signs throughout the video in several different languages.

Friday, 2 December 2011

CBC Memories: Little Mosque on the Prairie



This is actually a "current CBC Memory" because Little Mosque on the Prairie is still being broadcast. This Canadian sit-com started airing in 2007 and is currently about to start its final year. The show concerns the lives and tribulations of a little Muslim community in the small fictional city of Mercy, Saskatchewan, where the Muslims rent space for their mosque in the parish hall of the local Anglican church.

Much like King of Kensington before it, the comedy of Little Mosque on the Prairie is a smidge corny, a wee bit earnest, gently satirical and full of understated Canadian humour. It too promotes the values of tolerance and multiculturalism through humour. But every once in awhile, the writers do pull off a real zinger!

In 2008, the Fox network in the U.S. planned to make an American version for south of the border. But while good-natured joking about Christians and Muslims is fine and accepted in Canada, it is apparently too hot to handle in the States. An American version of Little Mosque on the Prairie never made it to air.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

CBC Memories: King of Kensington



In 1975, King of Kensington was one of CBC's first forays into sit-coms. The wonderful actor Al Waxman played Larry King, son of immigrant Jewish parents, who ran the family convenience store in Toronto's ethnically diverse Kensington neighbourhood. He lived above the shop with his WASP wife Cathy and his mother Gladys.

The comedy was a little corny, a little earnest, gently satirical and full of understated Canadian humour. The show reinforced the values of tolerance and multiculturalism which were then being actively promoted and developed in Canadian society. King of Kensington strove to be a direct contrast to All in the Family, its blue-collar American equivalent.

I enjoyed King of Kensington despite its shortcomings. I agreed with its values, then and now. And who can ever forget that iconic opening theme song?

(American readers may remember Al Waxman as Lt. Bert Samuels in Cagney & Lacey and as the archangel Judge Othniel in Twice in a Lifetime, before his untimely death in 2001).