St Nicholas December 6th is St Nicholas' Day. Nicholas is an interesting figure, or perhaps collection of figures, as the case may be. The official Nick was a bishop of Myra. His legends claim that he was born in about 270CE to wealthy parents in Greek Lycia. While still a child, he was orphaned by… Continue reading Jolly Old Elf
This is the time of year that is the most difficult for high latitude living. The sun is up by 6:30am. The birds are loudly busy. There have been seed catalogs filled with glossy green seduction in the post box every day for weeks. The chickens are talking more, attempting to leave the roost more,… Continue reading Hungering for Spring
I briefly considered writing about Mardi Gras today, but I just don’t like it enough. I am not a Carnival person. I don’t like the noise, the crowds, the mess, the stink. I hate feeling inebriated and I simply can’t tolerate drunk people. I have no use for plastic beads. And King Cake looks revolting.… Continue reading Pancakes for Fat Tuesday
I have chionophobia, fear of snow. This is not a professional diagnosis. Nor has it always been true. I used to love skiing and ice-skating. I could build a mean snow fort well into my nominal adulthood. The sharp scent of snow elicited memories of birthdays and mountain nights. The silence of snowfall still takes… Continue reading Chionophobia
Nor'easters Explained: We interrupt your spring-leaning inclinations to bring you this winter weather warning.
If Candlemas be bright and clear there'll be two winters in the year. — traditional adage from Scotland There are many weather marking days throughout the year. Candlemas, falling on 2 February, was the day that our ancestors began to get nervous about the spring. A fine Candlemas portends a bad harvest and winter dearth;… Continue reading Of Candles and Divinatory Beasts
This is the time of the Wolf Moon, the time of year when food stores in traditional cultures are dwindling. This is when cold is probing its sharp fingers through iced windows. The nights are still long, but usually by the Wolf Moon the lengthening of daylight is perceivable.
It's time to make some healthy and warm ballast for the belly — Winter Chile Stew.
Plough Monday, an ancient rustic holiday that became attached to the Christmas holiday tradition, is on the first Monday following Epiphany (January 6). It is the traditional beginning of the agricultural year.