On Short Hops into Winter Break

Here’s some background music for this post from a long-time, regular visitor here. I know no better way to thank Marina for her kindness while wishing her the best in latest studio project. Go ahead, click to get the music playing while you read.

I’ve learned that blogging breaks are good. For me (this time) I hope to visit/comment at other blogs – so I’ll be around …. plus I want to write, reorganize these pages, select a new header, and prepare the next musical … but, time will tell what I achieve.

As I head into my winter blog break, here is a collection of odds and ends.

Many thanks for the birthday wishes. For whatever reason, greeting from around the world and across my country warm my heart. Tuesday was a good day! The Arctic cold blast kept me inside most of the day, but we got out in the evening as friends for dinner and a touring Broadway production. Anything Goes (music and lyrics by Cole Porter) debuted in 1934 and has been revived multiple times.  Older musicals surround a corny story with outstanding song and dance, so we it was an enjoyable evening … and sitting sixth row center was delightful! For those who enjoy musicals, here’s a montage with the production company we saw.

Hooray for me for being selected to volunteer at the Cincinnati Wine Festival – which also means I get an event for free! I’ve attended many times, and look forward to volunteering at this fundraiser

With Fifty Shades of Grey (the movie) receiving a lot of attention, I offer some advice. If one thinks they will get offended, don’t go! … and just because you don’t want to go, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t or shouldn’t.

Yesterday’s post was the last in the series featuring my comments I wrote about certain aspects of education. Although each stands on its own, they can be woven together into a coherent theme.

I’ll return as John Phillips Sousa to order to ring in a good March – after all, you are accustomed to me ushering the new month with a post about the month. After that, I may ease myself back into the swing with less-frequent posts, but time will tell.

Your rest-of-the-month celebrations

20Feb – Women in Blue Jeans Day, Cherry Pie Day, Clean out Your Bookcases Day, Love Your Pet Day, Northern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day, Day for Social Justice, Post Office Day

21Feb – Mother Language Day, Locomotive Day, Card Reading Day, Sticky Bun Day

22Feb – Margarita Day, Woolworth’s Day, Thinking Day, Cook a Sweet Potato Day, Golf in America Day, Pebbles Flintstone Day

23Feb – Curling is Cool Day, Tennis Day, Diesel Engine Day, Tootsie Roll Day, Iwo Jima Flag Raising Day, Dog Biscuit Day, Rationalization Day, Museum Advocacy Day, Banana Bread Day

24Feb – Cupcake Day, SIngle Tasking Day, Bartender Day, Spay Day, Tortilla Chip Day, Trading Card Day, Nylon Toothbrush Day

25Feb – Inconvenience Yourself Day, Quiet Day, Let’s All Eat Right Day, Chocolate Peanuts Day, Clam Chowder Day

26Feb – Chili Day, Person Chef Day, For Pete’s Sake Day, Levi Strauss Day, Chili Day, Tell a Fairy Tale Day, Thermos Bottle Day, Bacon Day, Pistachio Day, Cartoon Movie Day

27Feb – Polar Bear Day, No Brainer Day, Day of Action Day, Read Me Day, Strawberry Day, Kahlua Day, Snow-Shoes Day

28Feb – Sword-Swallowers Day, Public Sleeping Day, Floral Design Day, Tooth Fairy Day, Pockets Invented Day, DNA Day, Rare Disease Day, Car Keys & Pocket Change Day, Chocolate Souffle Day

Last week of February: Entrepreneurship Week, Engineers Week, Future Farmers Week, Bird Health Awareness week, Invasive Species Awareness Week, Eating Disorders Week, Texas Cowboy Poetry Week

To send you into my blogging break, here are two songs celebrating a February 20th joy. Have a safe rest of the month, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch. Plus remember, blogging breaks are good … see you soon.

On February 2015

February is named after Latin term februum, meaning purification

February, along with January, were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar

February is the month limited to 28 days during common years, yet 29 during leap years – but all months have a 28th day

February starts on the same day of the week as March and November in common years, and on the same day of the week as August in leap years

February ends on the same day of the week as October every year and on the same day of the week as January in common years only

During leap years, February is the only month that ends on the same weekday it begins

February, the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of August in the Southern Hemisphere

February is the only month than can pass without a single full moon – but not this year.
Full Moon 3rd 6:09 pm (Eastern US); New Moon 18th 6:47 pm (Eastern US)

February symbols

  • Birth flowers: Violet and the common primrose
  • Birthstone: Amethyst symbolizing piety, humility, spiritual wisdom, and sincerity
  • Zodiac Signs: Aquarius (until February 19) and Pisces (after February 20)

February is a month for national celebrations in Dominican Republic, Estonia, Kuwait, Serbia, and Sri Lanka

Movies with February in the title include Summer in February (2013) and The Curse of February 29th (2006); plus documentaries Black February (2012) and February One (2009)

February is for promoting African-American History, pulling your sofa off the wall, returning carts to the supermarket, dog training education, a healthy heart, jobs in golf, feeding birds, indoor air care, therapeutic recreation, mending a broken heart, time management, responsible pet owners, wise health care, and youth leadership

February is for celebrating the Cricket World Cup, women inventors, library lovers, parental leadership, weddings, my birthday, spunky old broads, and Black History

February is for increase awareness in AMD/low vision, hoof care, prenatal infection protection, Marfan Syndrome, marijuana, children’s dental health, pet dental health, spay & neutering, and teen dating violence

February is for appreciating expecting success, barley, grapefruits, Florida strawberries, cherries, sweet potatoes, hot breakfasts, canned food, snacks, pies, and potatoes

February is for embracing blah-busting, adopting a rescued rabbit, my birthday, baking for a family, beating the heat (in the southern hemisphere), loving buses, condoms, laugh friendly, and relationship wellness

Are any days in February special to you? Which songs do you enjoy?

On January 2015

January, named after Janus, the God of beginnings and transitions

January wasn’t always the first month because March was in the old Roman calendar

January Symbols

  • Flowers: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstone: Garnet
  • Zodiac: Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) and Aquarius (January 20th into February)

January has also been referred to as Ianuarius (Romans), Wulf-monath (Saxons wolf month), Wintarmanoth (Charlemagne’s winter/cold month), Tammikuu (Finnish, month of the oak moon), Leden (Czech ice month), Prosinec (Slovene)

The names for January’s moon are Old Moon, Moon after Yule, and Storm Moon

Depending on your location, the moon will be full on January 4th/5th, and the new moon will be January 20th

January starts on the same day of the week as October in common years, and starts on the same day of the week as April and July in leap years

January ends on the same day of the week as February and October in a common year, and ends on the same day of the week as July in a leap year

On average, January is the coldest month of the year for most of the Northern Hemisphere, but the warmest month of the year for most of the Southern Hemisphere … thus January and July are seasonal equivalents

Movie titles include movies Captain January (1936), The January Man (1989), and The Two Faces of January (2014)

January promotes teen driving awareness, unchaining a dog, bath safety, books, getting organized, wealth mentality, hobbies, learning to ski & snowboard, mail order gardening, letter writing, thank you, radon action, mentoring, slavery & human trafficking prevention, fat-free living, staying healthy, slow cooking, and getting over it

January celebrates walking a dog, worldwide rising star, creativity, quality of life, polka music, self-love, OK to be different, blended families, printing, high-tech, stamp collectors, crime stoppers, and yours mine & ours

January is the month to enjoy oatmeal, prunes, candy, gourmet coffee, hot tea, soup, wheat bread, swapping soup, bread machine making, brain teasers, and making bread in a bread machine

January is the time to embrace training your dog, adopting a rescued bird, celebrating life, dried prune digestion, balancing life, changing your stars, skating, being on purpose, finding your way, shaping up, reaching your potential, voluntarily donating blood, and watching bald eagles

January is the month to increase awareness about stalking, the thyroid gland, personal trainers, birth defects, cervical health, financial wellness, Braille literacy, child-centered divorce, glaucoma, birth defect prevention, poverty, eye health, clinical trials, autism, and self-help groups

Have a great January. Which songs did you enjoy?

On December 2014

How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? (Dr. Seuss)

In Latin, Decem- means ten, so it was the last month when there were only ten – but at least it is still the last month of the calendar year

December, the last of the seven months with 31 days

December, the month with the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere

December, ushering winter to the Northern Hemisphere, but summer to the Southern Hemisphere

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly, I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Leonore -
For the rare and radiant maiden who the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore. (Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven)

December, who every year starts on the same day of the week as September, and ends on the same day of the week as April

December, whose birth flowers are narcissus or holly, and birthstones are turquoise, lapis lazuli, zircon, blue topaz, and tanzanite

December, whose astrological signs are Sagittarius (The Archer) through the 21st, then Capricorn (The Goat) from the 22nd into January

December, the month providing the Yule Moon

December is the time for cultural celebrations around light, such as St. Lucia, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa,, Yalda, and ending with New Year’s Eve

Every December, I host a tree-trimming party. I serve chili with cornbread and lots of good wine. It’s a wonderful party, and it shows how much adults like to play. (Maya Angelou)

Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. (William Shakespeare)

December increases awareness in AIDS, drunk & drugged driving, human rights, and Operation Santa Paws

December embraces safe toys & gifts, writing a business plan, spiritual literacy, and food service safety while promoting ties and stress-free families

December celebrates eggnog, fruit cake, buckwheat, quince, watermelon, tomatoes, winter squash, exotic fruit, and root vegetables

I heard a bird sing in the dark of December
A magical thing and sweet to remember.
‘We are nearer to Spring than we were in September,’
I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. (Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing)

Book titles with December include Tenth of December, The December Project, December’s Lament, Lost December, and December

Movie titles with December include December Boys, A Warm December, Miss December, Roses in December, Cold December, and December

Other than those in this post, December is included in song titles by Alan Jackson, Linkin Park, Deana Carter, Prince, Norah Jones, Josh Grobin, Moody Blues, Taylor Swift, Cyndi Lauper, Demi Lovata, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Michael Buble, George Michael, Miley Cyrus, Christina Perri, Stevie Wonder, and more

Pianist George Winter has an album titled December, which includes the beauty of Pachelbel’s Canon (just click right here)

Tchaikovsky wrote December as one of the selections in The Seasons

What did you find interesting? Which songs did you like? Have a good December!

On November 2014

The month of November makes me feel that life is passing more quickly. In an effort to slow it down, I try to fill the hours more meaningfully. (Henry Rollins)

Take your pick of two versions of the same song: soft touch vs. edgy (but you can listen to both)

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November, a month for autumn in the northern hemisphere, but a month for spring in the southern hemisphere

November, the eleventh month of the year was the ninth month in the 10-month calendar

November starts the same as March, yet ends the same day of the week as August – which happens every year – but November starts the same day as February only in common (non-leap) years.

November starts on the same day of the week as February in common years, and March every year; but November ends on the same day of the week as August every year

November has symbols as the Chrysanthemum (birth flower), and birthstones as topaz, Citrine or aquamarine

November’s zodiac starts with Scorpio (through Nov 21st), then ends with Sagittarius (starting Nov 22)

November comes and November goes,
With the last red berries and the first white snows.

With night coming early and dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket and frost by the gate.

The fires burn and the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest until next spring. (Elizabeth Coatsworth)

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November is for increasing awareness about diabetes, diabetic eye diseases, epilepsy, lung cancer, manatees, gluten-free diets, men’s health, PPSI AIDS, COPD, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s & ulcerative colitis, impotency, home care & hospice, long-term care, marrow, medical science liaisons, pet cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, prematurity, pet diabetes, flu, hunger, child safety & protection, transgenders, and good nutrition

November is for promoting adoptions, adopting a senior pet, adopting a turkey, healthy skin, memoir writing, novel-writing, runaway prevention, scholarship, PTA healthy lifestyles, vegans, sleep comfort, and NaBloPoMo

November is for celebrating Native American Indian heritage, aviation, historic bridges, entrepreneurship, sponges, Latin American, real jewelry, drums, fragrance, stamp collecting, and creative people.

November is for good nutrition and enjoying the delights of pepper, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, Georgia pecans, raisin bread, apples, and fondue

November is for embracing banana pudding lovers, family stories, Movember, military families, family caregivers, peanut butter lovers, picture books, bereaved siblings, military appreciation, and red ribbons

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Movie titles include November Moon (1985), Sweet November (2001), November (2004), The November Man (2014)

November includes independence and sovereignty celebrations in Albania, Angola, Argentina, Poland, and Suriname

November’s full moon is known as the Beaver Moon or the Frosty Moon

My sorrow when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
(Robert Frost—My November Guest)

Have a good month. What captured your attention? Which songs did you like?

On a Toast to Autumn

By definition, all seasons are a time of transition in the rhythm of life. Some see autumn as a start, after all, each school starts in autumn, yet it ends at the start of summer. To me, autumn is one of the more interesting seasons. Our temperatures vary, but I like the combination of warm by day, yet cool by night – yet, I don’t miss the long leaf-gathering ordeal of our previous address.

I built this post around three videos of fitting music will displaying the sights of the season. So think of the quotes as stepping-stones on your through the glories of the season. Which quote(s) do you like? Which music/video captured your attention?

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. (Albert Camus)

My sorrow, when she’s here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane. (Robert Frost)

Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring. (Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s)

The spring, summer, is quite a hectic time for people in their lives, but then it comes to autumn, and to winter, and you can’t but help think back to the year that was, and then hopefully looking forward to the year that is approaching. (Enya)

There is a part of me that will forever want to be walking under autumn leaves, carrying a briefcase containing the works of Shakespeare and Yeats and a portable chess set. I will pass an old tree under which once on a summer night I lay on the grass with a fragrant young woman and we quoted E.E. Cummings back and forth. (Roger Ebert)

I trust in nature for the stable laws of beauty and utility. Spring shall plant and autumn garner to the end of time. (Robert Browning)

The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh. (Rumi)

Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile. (William Cullen Bryant, Indian Summer)

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.
I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.
But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.
I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?
Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.
Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who’s to say where
The harvest shall stop?”
― Robert Frost (Gathering Leaves)