Monthly Archives: February 2009

community Day to day

Help name this kitty

He has love, now he needs a name

He has love, now he needs a name

He was found in a blizzard in Northern Maine, outside the police station of a small town on the Canadian border. This was one the wildest blizzards in years, with record-breaking precipitation and high winds.

Over one hundred miles to the south we were driving home from seeing the Nutcracker Ballet. Walking from the concert hall to the car was a challenge. Whirling wet snow thick in the air peppered our faces, we opened our eyes to get our bearings, then they were forced closed against the icy pellets. It was a long ride home, warily passing the pinkish glow from the tail lights of cars that had spun off the road and were buried in the snow. Melissa kept watch for the edge of the road, Kymry gave encouragement from the back seat. There was a good six inches of unplowed powder to slide through and visibility was about 20 feet except when the wind picked up, and then it was a blinding glow of head light reflected off the snow, and nothing beyond the shadowy outline of the hood of the car could be seen.

Nameless kitty appeared on this night, and he isn’t telling us where he came from. Two years old, sick and thin, he stayed outside the police station a week or so, then finally slipped in for food. He was caught and brought to the shelter.

I heard about him a month later, and MOFW and I went north to fetch him. While the shelter did the best they could, unknown time in the wild plus a month in a small cage sleeping in his litter box left him thin, matted, scabby behind the ears and with a persistent sneeze.

Now he is sociable and playful. He is a very mellow and relaxed kitty. During dinner parties he comes out and mingles, rolling over for belly scratching, and swatting at the toys and strings offered him. His fur mats are gone, sneezing has lessened, and he has begun to groom and clean himself.

It is time to find his name.

__ Lumikki Finnish for snow.

__ Drosselmeyer In The Nutcracker he arrives on a snowy night bringing the Nutcracker for Clara.

__ Mawson Antarctic explorer who survived brutal weather and an amazing number of catastrophes.

__ Denali Park and mountain in Alaska, SUV, and great snowshoess .

__ Bombadil A merry fellow from Tolkein’s The Hobbit who wanders and explores the woods, cheerfully eating and dancing with the folk he meets.

__ Other

Day to day

The Red Dress

Behind the scenes at the Red Dress Fashion Show

Behind the scenes at the Red Dress Fashion Show

Remembered for the Red Dress Fashion Show

I have two beautiful older sisters. My oldest sister used to baby sit for a neighbor, Mrs.Paseeka. When Kathy was a junior in high school, she was invited to the Junior prom. Mrs. Paseeka was delighted for her, and brought her two treasured gowns down from the attic as a gift for Kathy. Wrapped in tissue and stored in dress bags, one was mint green and one was deep red. They had cinched waists and yards and yards of netting under the skirt. Saved and cared for since her prom days, Mrs. Paseeka was excited to be able to pass them on to her young friend. Kathy thanked her, and brought them home. This was in the late sixties, and the fashion of the day was Go-Go boots, mini skirts, and tent dresses. Kathy did not wear either of the dresses to the prom, and explained why to Mrs. Paseeka. Mrs. Paseeka said she understood.

Two years later, my other sister was baby sitting for Mrs. Paseeka. And she was invited to the prom. Mrs. P. got excited, exclaiming, “Oh, my old gowns, I remember my mother taking me to a fancy little shop in New York for those. Do you still have them?”

Susan awkwardly said she wasn’t sure, but would look for them. Susan, too, did not wear either of the dresses to the prom.

Time passed. My oldest sister went to nursing school, got married. My next sister went off to college. My mother cleaned the attic. The mint and red net dresses went to Goodwill. And then it was my turn to go to the prom.

“Hey Mom, remember those wild dresses Mrs. Paseeka gave Kathy? Can I wear one to the prom?” But it was too late.

Three years ago I was at my dentist’s. Her office is right across from the Goodwill store. I needed a Halloween costume. And there, on the costume rack, was a red, cinch-waisted net-skirted dress. No, it was not a Mrs. Paseeka dress, but it was very, very close.

I wore the red lace and net dress at a recent dress-up event. Mrs. Paseeka would have been pleased.

Photoshop fun aside, I really was there.

The Red Dress fashion show was held at Birch Bay Village retirement community and raised over five hundred dollars for the American Heart Association. Members of the community volunteered, modelling their own red dresses, or dresses loaned by area businesses, and told the story behind the dress. .



Guardian Bogman endures snow and rough weather

Guardian Bogman emerges from the Black Woods

Vigilant through storm, comforting in summer sun, Bogman stands guard on the hill behind the house.


Candlemas goes up in smoke

February second is Candlemas, also known as Imbolc, also known as Groundhog Day. Midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, it is a quarterday. A great holiday, loaded with enough traditions to beg for a party. And while begging generally leaves me cold, the combination of food, flames, ancient rites and that it is the eve of the Man of Few Words’ birthday could not be resisted.

A few random Candlemas traditions:

In France and Canada this day is known as La Fête de la Chandeleur. Traditionally crêpes are eaten to insure a bountiful year. They represent the moon and fertility.

Last Chance
Any Christmas decorations not taken down by Twelfth Night (January 5th) should be left up until Candlemas Day and then taken down and burned,

In pre-Christian times, this day was known as the ‘Feast of Lights’ and celebrated the increase strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring.

Farmer’s proverbs

A farmer should, on Candlemas Day, Have half his corn and half his hay.

On Candlemas Day if the thorns hang adrop, You can be sure of a good pea crop.

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won’t come again.

The snowdrop flower was known as ‘Candlemas Bell’ and it was believed to be unlucky to bring snowdrops into the house before Candlemas.

Place a lit candle in every window at sundown and let them burn all night (be careful how you protect them, tall glass jars work well)

We feasted, lit candles, burned wreaths and greens and sparklers and ate crepes. Bonne Fete.