On the Sixth Day of Christmas

IceskatingPat here, wishing everyone a wonderful winter! 

I'd meant to find six geese a laying, but lacking Photoshop skills, I had to give up the task. And these gowns are much prettier than geese. I'm sure this is an image of a romance opportunity in the making. Poor gentleman, going down before all the lovely misses! Don't you think one will run to his aid?

I used to love ice skating but I'd probably break every bone in my body if I tried it now. How about you, do you ice skate? How are you spending your chilly winter days?

Wishing You Peace and Happiness

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From Pat:

 Peace begins with a smile–Mother Teresa

We can all afford to offer a smile. So as the new year approaches, let us all vow to smile at one another, greet each other with kindness, and make the world a better place.

And reward ourselves with a warm fire and a good book! What books did you receive over the holidays?

Peace begins with a smile. Mother Teresa
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/peace

Holiday Symbols

Advent-1821740_1280I remember bowls of apples and walnuts and bits of evergreen or glass ornaments in a big crystal bowl on our holiday mantel when I was a kid. I followed the tradition with my own family, along with the orange in the bottom of the Christmas stocking.

I hadn't really stopped to think that these were age old traditions. The oranges had many meanings, depending on who is telling the tale. And I love the old one about floating candles in walnuts. I can remember using the shells and making little sails for them. Do you have holiday traditions steeped in historical meaning?

Laboring on Labour Day

by Mary Jo
Blooming deck 1
It's Labor Day, and I'm laboring. <G> I need to complete a late book in the next few days (there's a plague of that amongst the Wenches!) so that means typing as fast as my inaccurate fingers can manage and hoping it makes sense.  After I've transferred the book from my computer to my editor's, I shall quietly slink off the grid for a couple of weeks and not look at any electronic screens and not labor at all.

The labor of many, many people is what has built civilization and as such, it's well worth celebrating labor in genera.  However, our holiday of Labor Day (Labour Day in Canada) is specifically a celebration of organized labor, which is to say unions.  In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed into law the bill that made Labor Day an official national holiday, though by this time, 30 states had already established Labor Day as state holidays. (Oregon was the first to do so.)  The parade shown here was in 1882 in New York City.   LaborDayParade, NYC 1882

The traditional ways of celebrating Labor Day are parades, picnics, backyard barbeques, and shopping.  The drawback of it being a major shopping holiday is that people who work in retail tend to labor rather than relax but with luck, they at least get time and a half pay for working on a holiday.  

Labor Day is also one of the endings to summer and beginnings of autumn.  There are several ends, actually.  Astronomical autumn is the fall equinox, generally about September 22, when day and night hours are virtually equal around the world.  (Of course, the autumnal equinox is the spring, vernal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere, but the day and night hours are still equal.

Rampant deck flowersThere is also meteorological autumn, which begins September 1st.  That date belongs to the weather folk and it's when the weather starts tilting from summer to fall.  (Though usually not until one last heat wave has passed!)  

Gardens are making their last wild display before autumn sneaks in.  My deck flowers look like vaudeville floozies, beautiful and overdone.  

And then there is Labor Day, which could be called the social end of summer. Vacations are ending, students are returning to school, traffic gets heavier, and there is generally a greater sense of purpose as we settle down to Real Work.

So what are you doing this Labor Day?  Laboring, shopping, marching, or best of all, spending time with friends and family even if the burgers are maybe a little charred?  

And is there anything you'd rather be doing?  <G>

Mary Jo, returning to her labors because "Happily Ever After" doesn't come easily!