Friday 29 March 2013

Back in a Bit!

I'm off to Manitoba again to visit my Mom in the nursing home -- regular blogging will recommence in the second week of April! Hop on back then!

[And if you're wondering where Friday's Edmonton Tarot card is, I posted it a bit early this week on Wednesday]

Thursday 28 March 2013

Ten Years Today!

Today is My Rare One's and my 10th anniversary! So I thought I'd tell you all how she came by her name. It's from the chorus of one of my favourite Scottish folk songs called The Tiree Love Song:

Ho ree ho ro, my bonnie wee girl,
Ho ree ho ro, my fair one,
Will you come away with me, love,
To be my own, my rare one?

Here's a beautiful acappella version sung by Canadian folksinger Eileen McGann:

Happy Anniversary, My Rare One! *smooch* I love you!

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Edmonton Tarot: The Star (XVII)

Interpretation: Following the conflict, struggle and upheaval generated by The Devil and Tower cards, The Star represents calm after the storm. It indicates a time of cleansing and healing, rest and renewal, insight and understanding. The person who draws this card will enjoy blessings and a state of grace.

Image: This big shooting star is found on the exterior of an office building in West Edmonton. I've always liked its dramatic, bold cheeriness. It's the corporate logo of Spark, a promotional products company which brands items for companies and organizations.

[Photo by Debra She Who Seeks]

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Remember that song?

Yeah, you know the one! It was a big hit for Joan Osborne in 1995 . . . .

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us?
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home?

Bus, subway, same difference. Poor Thor. Times are tough all over, eh?

Monday 25 March 2013

Jorel Rocks His Bar Mitzvah

In honour of Passover which starts tonight at sundown, I'm posting this marvelously funny video made by a young Canadian kid named Jorel who is celebrating his bar mitzvah next month. The video was designed as an invitation for family and friends to attend the ceremony, but it has since gone viral on YouTube!

Mazel tov, Jorel. You are one talented guy!

Friday 22 March 2013

Edmonton Tarot: The Tower (XVI)

Interpretation: When this card appears in a reading, the person is in for a sudden and cataclysmic change. An unexpected shock, revelation or blow to the ego is indicated. Like a bolt out of blue, misperceptions are about to be shattered. Old foundations are destroyed. This life-altering change may come from an external event or from an internal epiphany.

Image: The Alberta Legislative Assembly is one of Edmonton's most beautiful historic buildings. Constructed of sandstone and granite in the Beaux-Arts style, its interior is dominated by marble, mahogany, oak and brass. Alberta became a province in 1905 but construction of the Legislative Assembly was not completed until 1913.

Given the glacial pace of political change in Alberta, this is arguably not the best representation of The Tower but it's the one I've chosen anyway, LOL!

[Photo by Debra She Who Seeks]

Thursday 21 March 2013

More Effin' Snow

Now that "Spring" is technically here, Old Man Winter is busy clearing out his 2013 snow inventory. Everything must go!

I know My Rare One is damn tired of pushing the snowblower up and down the property.

If only there were an easier way!

And HRH is sick to death of all the snow too.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Spring Equinox

Today is the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere and therefore, the official "first day of Spring." But Spring in Canada is kind of a trickster kitsune fox -- it won't truly arrive here for at least 4 to 6 weeks more. Oh sure, the days are getting longer, the weather is warmer and sunnier sometimes and the snow may melt on occasion. But more snowstorms, cold snaps and snow are still entirely possible, indeed probable. Nobody is putting away their shovels, snowblowers or winter gear just yet.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Kitsune Shrine

Buddhist temples in Japan often have smaller Shinto shrines within their precincts. I came across this charming little shrine near the exit of a temple in Kyoto. It honours the sacred kitsune (fox) messengers of Inari, the popular and all-important Shinto deity of rice.

Peering inside the shrine, I saw a miniature red torii gate, two vases of greenery and an offering cup probably containing rice or sake. But what is hiding at the back behind the foliage?

Two ceramic statues of white foxes with large ears and big bushy tails! Traditionally, one fox of the pair is male and the other is female. The kitsune of Inari are benevolent, protective guardian spirits and ward off evil. Legend says that their favourite food is fried tofu.

But Japanese mythology features many other kinds of kitsune as well, not all of which are good or protective. They are often tricksters and shapeshifters. Their mercurial moods and shifting loyalties teach many hard lessons. Because kitsune can be both allies and enemies of humans, it is proper to simultaneously revere and fear them.

[Photos by Debra She Who Seeks]

Sunday 17 March 2013

Erin Go Bragh!

To celebrate Irish Heritage Day today, here's one of my most favourite Irish folk songs, Down by the Salley Gardens ("salley" means willow tree). The lyrics come from an 1889 poem by W.B. Yeats, the Irish poet, nationalist, playwright, mystic and 1923 Nobel Laureate for Literature. It's a short, two-verse poem of youthful love, loss and regret:

The poem was later set to a traditional Irish tune and has been recorded by innumerable singers. I particularly love this version by the great Irish singer Maura O'Connell:

I've enjoyed playing this song on my recorder ever since I was a kid. A lot of water has flowed past the salley gardens since then, but it remains a beautiful poem and song.

Friday 15 March 2013

The Wizard of Oz (Condensed LOLcat Version)

Every year, Oma Linda at Olde Baggs 'n Stuft Shirts hosts a Celebrate Oz blog hop party. This year's theme is aLtEReD oZ -- "not your mama's Oz" where everyone will "follow the yellow brick road to a different drummer." Now, I'm not a crafter or an artist; I can't produce a marvelously original Wizard of Oz artifact for you to look at. So I have simply altered the Wizard of Oz story by retelling it in borrowed LOLcat gags and photos. Thank you to all the creative people who produced these images in the first place!

If you want to blog hop and see what unique things other people have done with this theme, just go over to Oma Linda's for the full list of participants and links to their blogs!

Thursday 14 March 2013

Edmonton Tarot: The Devil (XV)

Interpretation: The Devil card represents bondage and slavery. Some malevolent being, thing or process is controlling the person's life, with disastrous consequences. The Devil can be an outer or inner force. In our society, this card can often represent addiction of some kind which has the person in its remorseless grip.

Image: This monument on the grounds of Edmonton's City Hall memorializes the terrible suffering of the Ukrainian people during the Holodomor. In the early 1930s, Stalin deliberately engineered mass starvation in the Ukraine as an act of terror to force people to abandon their own farms and join the state's collective farms. Millions died during that man-made famine. Its horror is remembered by relatives and survivors in Edmonton, which has the largest Ukrainian-Canadian population in Canada.

[Photo by Debra She Who Seeks]

Wednesday 13 March 2013

More Revealing Q & A!

Blog award season is clearly in full swing! A big thank you to Sarah at Enjoying the Epiphany for passing another Liebster award on to me.

And many thanks as well to Leeana at Can We Have a New Witch Ours Melted and Alice M at For the Love of Life! Alice's World! for each sending another Versatile Blogger award my way.

Now, of course, I'm supposed to tell you a whole bunch of random facts about myself -- 25 facts in total, if I add up the requirements of all three tags. Plus there are 11 further questions posed by Sarah as part of her award. But my gawd, if I did all that, you'd be stone dead of boredom by the time I finished! So I'm just going to answer Sarah's 11 questions and leave it there.

1. Where were you born? In a little one-horse prairie town in a galaxy far, far away (also known as Manitoba).

2. What is your most favourite thing from childhood? A battered-up old autograph book from 1965 when I was in Grade 3. Of course, no one famous signed it (see answer to question #1).

3. Why did you start blogging and why do you blog now? For me, it's all about the fame and fortune. Shallow, I know, but that's Hollywood, baby (also known as Edmonton).

4. What is your favourite silly made-up word? "Buggerlugs" -- a fine old prairie epithet that my father used frequently.

5. Who is your favourite leading man or woman? Everyone who reads this blog knows of my inexplicable obsession with Colin Firth. I am not ashamed.

6. Who is your favourite heroine or hero from any book and why? I've always been fond of Horatio Hornblower from C.S. Forester's novels about England's Royal Navy. An honorable, intelligent introvert and man of action!

7. Have you gotten to know any of your fellow bloggers personally? I've had the pleasure of meeting two local bloggers for coffee -- Jane of Jane's Jewels and Laeli of Into The Great Wide Open. Delightful women, both of them!

8. What is your favourite holiday? Any statutory holiday that pays me to stay home and have a day off.

9. Who is your role model and why? An important part of my childhood was spent playing scenes from Anne of Green Gables with a girl named Tomboy. I had such a huge crush on Tomboy that I let her be Anne and I settled for second-banana status as Diana. (Click here for further details, if you're interested).

10. What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you there yet and are you what you wanted to be as a child? I planned on being Prime Minister of Canada. Last time I checked, I wasn't. Damn you, Stephen Harper.

11. What is your favourite quote? It's from Paracelsus -- "Be not another, if thou canst be thyself." When I was young, I read it in a Robertson Davies novel, I believe. Words to live by.

Monday 11 March 2013

Aerial Memories

Yellowdog Granny recently sent me an email containing some amazing aerial views captured by a British photographer named Jason Hawkes. Two of the photos in particular brought back wonderful memories of visiting those spots a few years ago with My Rare One.

First, Stonehenge:

We had the great joy of participating in a Druid ritual among the ancient stones one evening at sunset. If you're interested in reading more about it, I wrote four blog posts about the experience -- just check out my archived posts for August 19-24, 2010.

Secondly, Glastonbury Tor:

This is a stunning shot which clearly shows the labyrinthine terraces carved into the hillside in neolithic times. To read about the day My Rare One and I climbed the Tor (dodging rain and cow patties all the way), check out my archived posts for September 20-21, 2009.

Friday 8 March 2013

Happy International Women's Day!

As I wrote in last year's post: Every year on this blog, I like to celebrate International Women's Day by posting a video of some wonderful KICK-ASS women who live their lives OUT LOUD. They are great role models for the rest of us, showing us how to be brave and be ourselves!

The woman I'm featuring this year, Vivian Maier, does not at first glance seem to fit this bill. She lived an extremely quiet and private life as a working nanny in Chicago and New York before dying in 2009 of old age. There didn't appear to be anything very kick-ass or out loud about her at all.

In fact, she was so private and secretive that no one, not even her closest friends, knew of her passion for photography. Only after death was her tremendous artistic talent discovered and revealed. Clearly an introvert, she did not need the world's acknowledgment or approval of her art.

It was through her unknown photography that Vivian Maier lived her life out loud simply by being true to herself and to her unique view of the world.

In addition to several posthumous international exhibitions, publication of a book and website posting of some of her best photos on the internet, a documentary about her life will be released in 2013 entitled Finding Vivian Maier. The trailer tells more about her life and about how her art was serendipitously discovered just a few years ago:

[Thanks to Doug Jamieson at Geezer Online where I first saw this video.]

Thursday 7 March 2013

Drumming With Intention

At my monthly drumming circle, we drum three times during the course of the evening. The second of these sessions is reserved for "drumming with intention." As we drum, we hold in our minds and hearts those who need healing of some kind, whether physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, financial or what have you. The spiritual theory of drumming with intention is that the vibrations of the drums carry our thoughts and prayers out into the universe where they blend with the universal heart beat and convey the desired healing power.

At yesterday's drumming circle, My Rare One and I drummed with intention for our dear friend Elaine, who is undergoing breast cancer surgery today. May the healing power of the drum assist her in having a successful operation and proceeding to a full recovery. Be it so!

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Yin Yang Cats

Her Royal Highness purrs: "Ommmmmm . . . as a welcome counterpoint to yesterday's rant by my person, here are some perfectly balanced yin yang kitties to soothe and brighten your life today!"

Monday 4 March 2013

What the Vatican needs . . .

. . . is a good clean-out of all that same old, same old crap! But unfortunately, it's not going to happen in the upcoming papal election. John Paul II and Benedict XVI have seen to that.

Every single cardinal who will vote for the next pope was appointed by the last two popes. And John Paul and Benedict were careful to select only men who, like themselves, adhere to rigidly orthodox doctrinal conservatism.

So it will be medieval business as usual at the Vatican under the new pope, whoever he turns out to be. No other outcome is possible.

Thanks, Grumpy Cat, even you would be a better pick. My Rare One and I have already done all that we can to reform the Roman Catholic church. In 2008, we infiltrated the Vatican while on a trip to Italy and reclaimed it for Magna Mater, the Great Mother, by placing small images of the Goddess of Willendorf inside St. Peter's (click here and here to read of our espionage, if you're interested).

A big dose of the Divine Feminine would do all those Vatican boys good. Like the swiftest of swift enemas, She would clean out, in a mighty whoosh, all their intolerance, misogyny, homophobia and criminal willingness to protect pedophile priests.

Friday 1 March 2013

Edmonton Tarot: Temperance (XIV)

Interpretation: The Temperance card is all about reconciling and integrating opposites in order to gain balance in the midst of upheaval. It is important to seek compatibility while being flexible and adaptable. Avoid extremes.

Image: This photo is from the snow-filled front yard of My Rare One's and my home. Part of our annual Christmas lights display is this rope-light palm tree that we brought back from Maui a few years ago. Anyway, this photo is trying to illustrate Temperance by contrasting the tropical palm tree with the winter snow. Yeah, yeah, it's the best I could do.

[Photo by Debra She Who Seeks]