Oct 31, 2011

Día de los Muertos

Day of the Dead...a Mexican tradition which was merged by missionaries  with All Saint's Day on Nov 1 and All Soul's Day on Nov 2 in order to christianize the holiday..... It is a time when family and friends gather to pray for and remember their loved ones who have passed..It is traditionally celebrated for three days starting on Oct 31st to represent three deaths....when the heart stops beating, being lowered into the ground and when there is no one to remember us..

Children and infants are honored on Nov 1. This day called  Día de los Inocentes ( Day of the Innocents)  & also known as  Día de los Angelitos (Day of the Little Angels). Adults are honored  on Nov 2.

Favorite foods and beverage as well as photos, candles and memorabilia associated with the deceased are taken to the graves, which are cleaned and decorated. Prayers and stories are told with the hope that the soul will visit to hear what is being said by their loved ones..Elaborate alters are made for the dead...

It is believed that the Aztecs started this tradition. Skulls were kept as trophies to symbolize birth and death. A festival was held in the 9th month of the Aztec calender around August to honor the deceased and there were celebrations all month long.

 Sugar Skulls are made to adorn the alters  and graves too...


All manner of skull related costumes, decorations, and food  are everywhere... as well as dancing and singing!

Papier Mache Skull


 



I am planning on attending my Angeles family reunion in Mexico next November... Hopefully I can get to see some of the Día de los Muertos celebrations!! In the meantime, I will honor my Mexican Grandparents with a post about them on Nov 2nd. I have been reading some of the other posts by my fellow bloggers and I think celebrating our deceased loved ones this way is wonderful! It makes me proud of my Latina blood with a heritage of such a beautiful culture..

Dark Shadows Returns!!

If you grew up in the 60's, you most likely remember the series Dark Shadows. It ran from 1966 to 1971 with Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins... shot in black & white only added to the Gothic effect of those times...


Tim Burton is doing a remake with Johnny Depp in the title role as Barnabas Collins and I couldn't think of anyone better to play that part...
Depp always seemed to have an Old World look to him as well as being a Bohemian just makes it a natural choice...


Helen Bonham Carter, another favorite of mine, will play Dr Julia Hoffman  and Michelle Pfeiffer will play Elizabeth Collins Stoddard,the Matriarch of Collingwood.

The film is due to come out  May 11, 2012. I can't wait to see Tim Burton's version of this...

~~Happy Halloween~~

Oct 30, 2011

It was a Cold & Snowy Night...


This is my Rose bush out back last night at the beginning of the storm....

This morning I woke up to find it flattened!!!  That is how heavy the snow is...I hope it is not damaged...
 According to my scientific methods of totaling snowfalls amounts...my bird feeder says around 10 inches of the white stuff...and not the fluffy kind either!!

It is melting fast though...I heard Western Massachusetts got 26-27 inches of this stuff!!!  I cannot remember the last time we had a Nor'Easter this early!!  No more until December, Please!!

Oct 29, 2011

Crows

As I have grown older, I appreciate the value of birds. There is something very therapeutic and calming watching them swooping and flying in for seeds at the feeder...or watching them sit in the feeder just looking around as though they are surveying their kingdom..

But the crow has to be one of my favorites!!  We have a crow that lives near our home ...we call him Robbie...He is quite the character!! When we are working outside he flies back and forth over us calling...so I go get him his bread...  He spent a good half hour one time taking pieces from a pile of bread I left for him, strutting around and tucking them under the grass all over the front lawn..... hiding his stash!!  He has a lady friend and is very territorial...He has been around now for 10 years since we moved here... We love him!

Crows are very intelligent and have been reported to recognize human faces... I have no doubt of that thanks to Robbie..
They have been known to fashion tools to get grubs out of trees, count to three and even talk...

They are very communal and are called a murder of crows. There is a roost near Fort Cobb, Oklahoma that is said to hold several million each winter... Can you imagine the sound when they are all cawing!!!!

Back in the early part of the 20th century they were a problem for farmers in the Midwest destroying their crops which resulted in hundreds of thousands of birds being shot and even blown up with dynamite. They do however eat a lot of pests that destroy crops so maybe that is why they were in the fields to begin with...

There are also legends such as one involving King Arthur in which it says that he didn't really die but was transformed into a crow or raven...

They are also associated with bad luck and death...

The saying "I have a bone to pick with you" was originally "I have a crow to pick with you"

In Native American Folklore, the Sioux recount the way the crow became black...

Originally white, the crow would warn the Buffalo when the hunters were coming. Afraid they would starve, they capture the leader. The elders were trying to decide what to do with him when one angry Indian threw him into the fire. He escaped but not before the soot and fire blackened his feathers.. as he flew away he promised never to warn the buffalo again..


Just some fun facts about a bird that I truly enjoy having around...and I am glad that he is black now...better camouflage!!

Oct 28, 2011

DIY Friday!! Wine Corks

I was first introduced with the reuse of wine corks by my daughter when she made a bulletin board similar to this one...


She worked at an Italian restaurant so she saved me a bag of corks too....
Now to decide which project to use them on!!

This one definitely...Love the colors!!



Bottle Brush trees would look cute too.



Like this one too  ;)








WoW!!!   LOL


Have a great weekend!!


*Picture Credits: Pinterest unless otherwise noted

We had a Flurry

 I know...I live in Maine ..it snows..... but this early...Usually most of the leaves are off the tree... but we still have a lot of greenery....

The wasps have built their nest high this year...a harbinger of things to come... They are talking a Nor'Easter this weekend in New England..


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