The Ghost of Festive Lights Present

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2016 Columbia, Maryland

My husband likes baseball, planting flowers in the spring, and putting up Festive Lights in the winter. If it stands still, he can light it up. He put five around the thermostat on the living room wall a few years ago. I particularly like this year’s lights because they are put up all mismatched and wonky -like the lights on the Christmas trees when I was a kid. Those lights went branchward without regard to size, type, color, or number of bulbs that actually lit. Yup, love me some wonky. Maybe you like a little, too. Merry Christmas.

It Had Pink Pompom Blossoms Every Spring

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In three-and-a-half years, Josephine had never jumped up into this Kanzan Cherry tree before. I happened to be standing next to it a few weeks ago when she finally did, and I got three nice photos. The tree was cut down the next day so a sidewalk could be repaired. It’s felling was a shocking surprise to all of us who live here and admired its silky bark and profusion of cherry blossoms each spring. We delighted in the “pink rain” when the flowers finally floated free. It was a wonderful tree. I used to sit in it, myself.

 

Six Word Friday: HOPE

Jojo

“Most of the important things in
the world have been accomplished by
people who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no
H O P E  at all,” said Dale Carnegie

If the people at Small Miracles Cat Rescue hadn’t had  HOPE  that their work could make a difference, they would not have rescued a little, feral, tortoiseshell kitten from the Kill List of an overcrowded shelter back in March of 2013. She was deemed “un-adoptable” because of her injuries and feral, withdrawn ways. But, H O P E  wades right in, I guess. They had hope someone would want her. And, we did. Our darling Josephine.

National Thick Soup Week

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As some of you may know, I am am acupuncturist by trade. For several years I taught Introduction to Chinese Medical Classics at University. Choice of acupuncture treatments are often based on the time of day or season of the year. The traditional Chinese calendar is a lunar-solar calendar divided into 24 sections. Start of Winter occurs each year around November 7th when the sun is at 225* celestial longitude. I tell my patients that in Chinese Medicine, seasons go by Light and not by Temperature. The winter solstice is the deepest, darkest day of the year, and is thus the MIDDLE of winter and not the beginning. The beginning is November 7th.

The four beginnings of the seasons were important festivals in ancient times. Before the Start of Winter, the ancient emperor would take a shower and have no more meat. On that day, the emperor would lead his officials to the suburbs and perform the ceremony of “welcoming the winter.” (See picture above.)

Which brings us to Thick Soup. People in China now welcome Start of Winter a little differently. Depending on the region, festivals in which thick, rich, warming soups and dumplings, squash, and meats often figure prominently. Start of Winter celebrations often last several days, so why not join the fun? There’s still plenty of time to take a shower and have a vegetarian snack. Hitch the horses to the chariot and point them in the direction of the grocery store. Get some potatoes, carrots, turnips, peas, acorn squash, onions, apples, celery, red wine if you like, warming spices, meat if you eat it. Point horses toward home then make yourself a wonderfully fragrant, warming soup or stew to welcome Start of Winter. Ceremonial dress robes optional.

For more about Chinese Start of Winter Hertiage Festivals, click here.

Good, Random, Fun v. 38

Joining Tamar over at Random-osity for her fun meme, Good Random Fun. Here goes…

THE GOOD: Ladies and gentlemen, introducing my pal, Wallace the Slug enjoying some very yummy-good peanut butter.

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The Random: Josephine returning from patroling the perimeter of her domain. Notice Wallace still eating!

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The Fun: I have fiNaLLy begun the crochet blanket I am making as a HS graduation present for my great-niece, Megan!

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And there you have it, my lovelies, v. 38 of GRF; so named, I have discovered, because it is week # 38 of 52.

A good way to remember memes, no?

Happy day, friends. Happy week, version thirty-eight, of course.

Six Word Friday: PURPLE

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When You Are Violet, Not Purple

The difference between violet and purple
is that violet appears in the
visible light spectrum, or rainbow, whereas
purple is simply a mix of
red and blue. Violet has the
highest vibration in the visible spectrum.*

Nothing is mixed to get violet.

As a color, it stands alone.

My name is Maureen Violet Champion.
My mother was Violet Elizabeth Kelley.
Neither of us could explain Violet
Before watching laughing backs dance away.

*Color definition from http://empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com

Little Moaning Monday

Remember Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets fame?  Well, I’ve decided to create a mini-meme (probably lasting for today only). Pat, over at The Weaver of Grass was bemoaning her telephonic travails.I decided than one good bemoan deserves another, et, voila! (Actually, that should read, “et, voici” but colloquialisms being what they are…) Oh. Right. We introduce to you, Little Moaning Monday.

You know all those little pain in the a** things of modern life? They take up our time, but are actually funny when we recount them to others. I just decided to write one out for you today having been inspired by Pat.

We use our cell phones exclusively. Husband has to have one for his job, and I feel more secure when I travel out and about if I have one. (Once the car decided to not let me out of the seat belt and I had to call Ray from the front parking lot about 300 feet away to have him come get me out of the darn thing.)

But, anyway, my cell is designed so that if my cheek accidentally touches the touch screen (and whose cheek doesn’t do that?) it either hits the MUTE button or the OFF button. This happens A Lot, and results in the other party saying, “Hello? Hello?” repeatedly while I desperately press virtual buttons trying to UN-mute them -mostly to no avail. Of course, if I’ve disconnected them, I call them back. But the call goes into their voicemail because They are calling Me back. So then we both sit in silence for a few minutes waiting for each other to call back… Sigh.

🙂 m & jb who, being a cat, remains blissfully unaware of such problems

So that’s my Little Monday Moan. Haz you gotz one?

I Lied

P1010083Two days ago posted a Wordless Wednesday of “Miss Jo Jo Bean” as a kitten lying on a quilt. Several of you said, “Nice quilt!” and I smugly preened, “Why, thank you.” Well, turns out, I lied. (Hangs head in shame.) Oh, it Did originate in the Champion household, but just not much with me. It is mainly the work of Mr. Champion aka Ray aka Husband.

It was made about two years ago for our third new grandchild, Andrew. Ray likes to design our little Christmas light display each year, so I asked if he’d like to have a go designing a quilt. I showed him some pre-cut 5″ fabric squares to choose from and some packs were duly ordered. He laid out the design on the floor of our little house and I sewed the top together. He chose the sea shell backing, I chose the red binding.

(Actually now that I think about it…) It took me hours upon hours upon…well, you get it…to cut, iron, and sew that puppy together. For example. just basting the top, the middle, and the back layers together with thread took eight hours. And for anyone who knows not quilting, that eight hours worth of basting thread? It’s only temporary. It All Gets Removed once the quilt is permanently quilted together by machine

So, upon further reflection, me’s a-thinkin’ maybe I lied only a little.

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Does Desire for Coffee = Turning the Corner?

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Candida albicans. http://judytsafrirmd.com

As some of you may know, I dance with multiple sclerosis. Mostly I lead, but sometimes, it does. A new neurologist suggested I take a rather new medication that, as a side effect, lowers white blood cell counts by 20-30%.

Once I got used to it, I was doing fine until a small throat irritation on June 2nd had turned into a bad fungal infection by the 5th. A couple days later it was raging out of control despite medication.  We immunosuppressed types are perverse that way. It is no stretch to say that I wondered more than once if I would die. And yes, the doctor did want me to go to the hospital- more than once. This morning, as I was feeling like I may have turned the corner (see post title), best friend Judy, picked that teachable moment to point out her exasperation with my mulish tendencies. Gotta love her.

This is day eleven in bed in case anyone is counting. I know Josephine is. Outside with Mommy has been nonexistent. Soon we will walk around all your favorite places till your heart’s content little one. I promise.

However it is that you pray or connect yourself to the Wonder of Wonders of Life, please think of me? Thank you in advance. And since Ray is now sick and at the doctor right this second, please, for Ray too?

Commentary? (help, please)

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Greetings Earthlings and Other Readers of this blog,

Because I have nothing better to do with my time, I fiddled around with a different WordPress theme which landed me here with the Sketch Theme. I like it a lot. It is clear with nice, big type. However, the one big drawback is: where the heck do ya put the comments?

So! I have put some directions on the blog. Your mission, oh readers o’ mine, should you decide to accept it, is to comment if you can. Find the directions, post a comment, lemme know if it’s too big a hassle. (You can email me if you can’t comment.)

Very truly yours,

maureen and josephine whose comment was, “I go back sleep now.”

WJB RADIO

WJB RADIO

We here at WJB (Josephina Ballerina) Radio would like to give a shout-out to the shockingly spectacular folks at H&C Heating and Cooling in Laurel, Maryland for saving our worthless little butts this past weekend.

The air-conditioner breathed its last on Wednesday. Every a/c contractor from here to Brazil is booked solid till July. Some of us at the station self-combust in the heat.

Good, solid, courteous service is one thing, but, man! When these guys realized there were health issues involved, we here at WJB suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a whirlwind of phone calls, emails, photographs, measurements.

And the unit was installed three days later.

And was God in that whirlwind? Oh yeah.

So, thanks to everyone at H&C Cooling and Heating who had even the smallest part in making this miracle happen. Brian, your biz has our undying loyalty and then some. Lauren, you are so welcoming.

And finally, we at WJB Radio wracked our collective brain cell to come up with an appropriate Tune of Thanks for each of the three guys who did the actual work at the station while putting up with our antics: David who made the call, Ryan and Kevin who volunteered to work Saturday to help us out.

RYAN, THIS IS FOR YOU:  INDE BAND FROM CANADA. WE SAY THAT TO MAKE IT SOUND LESS LAME BECAUSE IT IS, WE ARE SORRY TO ADMIT, THE BACKGROUND SONG IN THE KRAFT AMERICAN CHEESE COMMERCIAL. THAT BEING SAID, THERE ARE WAY WORSE THINGS TO BUILD YOUR LIFE AROUND.

DAVID, THIS IS FOR YOU: “IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS TOWARD GOD, AND GOD WAS WHAT THE WORD WAS. IT WAS WITH GOD IN THE BEGINNING. ALL THINGS HAPPENED THROUGH IT, AND NOT ONE THING THAT HAPPENED, HAPPENED WITHOUT IT. WITHIN IT THERE WAS LIFE, AND THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. AND IN THE DARKNESS THE LIGHT IS SHINING, AND THE DARKNESS NEVER GOT HOLD OF IT.” Andy Gaus, The Unvarnished New Testament

KEVIN, THIS IS FOR YOU: THIS GUY WAS IN A HIGH SPEED ROLLOVER TWO WEEKS BEFORE THIS WAS FILMED. I’VE HEARD HIM PLAY THIS WITH MORE SPEED, BUT NEVER WITH MORE JOY.

So remember H&C Cooling and Heating at 301-953-2149 for all your heating and cooling needs. Give ’em a call. They are shockingly good. Ok, so maybe shocking would not be Brian’s term of choice. Sorry Brian…

We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.