National Thick Soup Week


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.


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


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


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


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

Six Word Friday: ROCK

The Billy Goat Trail, Great Falls National Park, Great Falls, Maryland
The Billy Goat Trail, Great Falls, Maryland (Just outside of Washington, DC)   Photo found on Pinterest

 Meditation on The Rock of Ages

Life on the rocks?  Oh, don’t
I know it well?  I sit
in hard places.  Afraid to look
down, afraid to go on.  But,
oh!  Don’t life’s rock climbers have
the most gorgeous, sinewed muscles from
holding on as they move along?

( I found myself on the Billy Goat Trail five years ago this coming Halloween. I knew nothing of hiking or climbing. And I did get stuck in fear two-thirds of the way up. Then a kind voice said, “Let go of where you are, cross over to the other side, and come on up.” I was pretty sure death was imminent, but it was that or stay stuck where I was. So! )

Linking up with Adrienne over at My Memory Art for Six Word Fridays. So you like a little challenge? Do you like to write with a prompt? This is such fun! Do give it a try!

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?

Song-ography: TIME


Hi friends! Keep reading…I promise you this is not a downer post even though this is not the cheeriest nor clear-iest of photos.

It’s 3 PM as I write this. Taking a break after spending several hours on the floor surrounded by masses of paperwork that need sorting and filing. Pretty much every body part I have aches right now, but, oh well. Sat down with a thud of sorts feeling every one of my sixty years and wondered. Wondered about how I had spent the last ten hours of my life -making my body ache over paperwork. Felt dull and blah.

Surfed my way over to Ida’s blog, Wishes, Dreams and Other Things, and saw she had linked up with Kathy from You’ll Shoot You’re Eye Out. Apparently, every Tuesday Kathy hosts this thing she calls SONG-OGRAPHY. She provides a snippet of song for a prompt, and you come up with a photo -your interpretation of said snippet. Or at least that’s one way of looking at it. There are others.

Today Kathy provided the snippet from Pink Floyd’s song TIME as follows:

“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way…”

Immediately recalled what I had thought when I had eased my aching bones into the chair to take a break not five minutes prior: what a dull day, a wasted day, really. Really? The photo I would used if I linked up immediately came to mind.

The man, Kenneth J. Mount, referred to on the card in the photo, was my son-in-law’s father. A police detective in life. A quiet man of observation; the father of five children. He died on Easter Sunday this year. As a detective -and as a father- he said it was the little things you had to look for.

Before this gets too long: I took the photo to remember the little white flower. My seven year old grandson gave it to me at the funeral so I could keep it, “Forever and ever.” I stuck the memorial card in so I could remember why I took the photo of the white flower in the first place. I’m glad I stuck the card in because as I wondered about the waste of dull hours today, in my mind’s eye I saw Mr. Mount -a man who lived a good life in a small town, quietly attending to what seemed like the little things, even when his bones ached.

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.