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A Spooky Halloween / Samhain! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Halloween will soon be here, a time for pumpkin carvings, dressing in costumes, trick or treating and parties  Halloween has been around for over 200 years - how did it evolve?  To answer those questions (and refresh my memory), I decided to share a short history of Halloween, dealing more with its ancient traditions.

 

Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts lived about 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France and celebrated their new year on November 1.  This day marked the end of summer and the harvest.  It also marked the beginning of the dark, cold winter, the time of year that was most associated with death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, Samhain was celebrated when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

The Sky is Already Purple - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

"The sky is already purple; the first few stars have appeared, suddenly, as if someone had thrown a handful of silver across the edge of the world."

 

 

I have always loved this quote from Alice Hoffman’s novel, Here on Earth.  It is so very evocative of watching the sky turn dark here in the Desert Southwest during this glorious time of the year.  When the sky is transformed for a few minutes into a magical velvety bluish-purple color, a multitude of stars come out to to play, twinkling away.  Then the sky will finally slip into a depthless black and even more stars will appear . . . and, hopefully, a shooting star will streak across the sky.  Another reason autumn is my favorite time of the year.

An Explosion of Flowers! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. Luther Burbank

 

 

 

 

 

Since we there has been quite a long string of triple digit days here in the Desert Southwest, most of my outdoor potted plants have quite blooming, with the exception of a vibrant fuchsia colored geranium that makes me smile every time I look at it.  Now gardening pretty much consists of watering and deadheading the spent blossoms. Hopefully the monsoons will soon show up (they are a bit late this year) and bring much needed rain and cooler temperatures.  Until then, I’ll dream about masses of colorful flowers.

Star Stuff Harvesting Star Light - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Dr. Carl Sagan is a major hero of mine.  As Wikipedia explains he “was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences.” he was often called "the astronomer for the people." Quite the Renaissance man!  I remember being glued to the TV when the groundbreaking TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage was first aired.  Dr. Sagan was able to explain complex ideas in a simple way that a layperson could understand.  Being a science geek, especially when it comes to space, my mind sailed on its own voyage of personal discovery each week (and with the reruns that I always managed to watch).  I still remember vividly and muse over certain parts of certain episodes that particularly touched me.  Unfortunately Dr. Sagan died in 1996 at the young age of 62.  I still miss him and all he had to offer.  He returned to the star dust he so loved.

 

All Creatures Great and Small - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade - January 27, 2016

 

 

I have always been a huge lover of animals, whether they have hair, feathers or scales - always have and always will.  Growing up on a small ranch in the Texas Hill Country, all of the usual suspects were there:  dogs, horses, cats, goats, cows, chicken, ducks, geese, pigs, rabbits and many others.  As a science teacher, my room housed many animals, from a huge boa to fun Madagascar hissing cockroaches, from parakeets to African hooded rats, from punk rock guinea pigs to flying geckos, and many other creatures.  And my life has always been shared with dogs, all adopted or "strays that came to stay."

 

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