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Today is one of my favorite days of the year — the official start to the autumn season. Today is the day of the autumnal equinox. The word “equinox” means “equal night” and refers to equality between day and night. It is said to be the time when the hours of light and dark are equal, although scientifically that is not entirely accurate.
According to Greek mythology, the autumnal equinox marked the start of the period when the goddess Persephone returns to live with her husband Hades in the underworld. Persephone is also referred to as the vegetation goddess who is associated with the growing season. Her return to Hades in the underworld marks the end of the growing season and the time of harvest. Myth states that her mother Demeter was so saddened that she could not find her daughter that the crops died and would not reappear until the spring when Persephone comes back from the underworld.
The first day of autumn is also referred to as the Mabon in the Pagan and Wiccan traditions and is considered the second harvest festival. It signifies the end of the grain harvest. It is a time for reflection and thanksgiving to Mother Earth for the bounties that she has bestowed. It is a time to take stock of the fruits of the harvest and prepare the crops and the livestock for the long winter ahead. Druids, who call the holiday Alban Elfed would take the last corn stalk and turn it into a figure in order to trap the corn spirit inside. The stalk was burned and the ashes spread over the fields to ensure future bounties. It is also a time to reflect inward and prepare for the time ahead. Interestingly, it is in the autumn as opposed to the New Year, that traditionally one took stock of one’s life and place in it.
The full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox is referred to as the Harvest Moon. It was the full moon closest to the harvest of crops. This year’s Harvest moon occurred about 10 days ago.
Here in Vermont, it has felt like autumn for a few weeks now. The foliage has taken on fall colors and the mountains are gradually turning into a virtual explosion of different shades of yellow, orange and red. The air is crisp and we have already had a good frost here where I live. Apples are being harvested and smoke permeates the air from wood stoves and fireplaces already working to keep the chill out of the air. The fields are returning to their winter nakedness waiting to blanketed by snowfall. It is a peaceful time, given the harrowing days and weeks the preceded this Equinox from Tropical Storm Irene. Vermont is settling into her own, it is one of the best times of year here in the mountains.
Wherever you are, enjoy the balance of the day and take time to reflect upon the past year and the remainder to come.
Who can’t resist caramel? Especially as we come into apple season. Or, if you’re refusing to let go of your summer, caramel over your ice cream. In any event, please go to Fat Toad Farm today and buy some caramel — or a really cool Tshirt or Hoodie. Please? Pretty please?
The reason for my pleading is that today Wednesday September 7th, Fat Toad Farm in Brookfield VT is helping out their friends and our friends Evening Song Farm with a fundraiser where they are donating all profits from orders placed today to Kara and Ryan at Evening Song Farm. For those who might not know, Kara and Ryan lost everything in Hurricane Irene, their farmland has been decimated and now has the newly re-routed Mill River running through it, rendering the property completely useless for farming.
Fat Toad Farm folks, who escaped the storm relatively unscathed are trying to help out fellow farmers, fellow goat people, fellow Vermonters. Can you help too?
Here are some pictures from Wallingford Pond Road and Chapin Road in East Wallingford. These are two roads down the street from us.
So, thankfully we are okay up here on the hill. We have good friends and neighbors and we’re making the best of a bad situation. I keep reminding the boys that we are inconvenienced –no power(they are saying it could be two weeks), phones come and go and limited road access — but we still have a house and our lives. Many here were not as fortunate. Part of our road down has been made passable by the efforts of the town road crew and local folks so at least residents can get out if needed. The roadway headed down from here toward Route 103 is completely gone so that is going to require way more than a truckload or two of gravel and some equipment.
Friends on Facebook have been circulating pictures of the damage all around us, a lot of which is absolutely horrific. We hear parts of Route 7 headed to Rutland are completely gone. Killington lost its base lodge, this was the picture online today. Many of Vermont’s beautiful covered bridges were ripped away by the flood waters.
Lots of work to be done to repair roads and build new bridges. It will be a while before things return to “normal”.
- Swept away. (theskidiva.wordpress.com)
- Vermont Hit By Worst Flooding In Almost A Hundred Years Thanks To Irene (lezgetreal.com)
- The Morning After Hurricane Irene In Vermont, Flooding Of Epic Proportions (lezgetreal.com)
- Vermont battles record-setting floods in the wake of Irene (csmonitor.com)
Three little words. One often underestimates the power of speech. The power of suggestion. Human nature.
Improv Everywhere placed a wooden lectern with a megaphone in the middle of Union Square in New York City recently and in a few other selected spots around the city. The lectern was outfitted with the aforementioned megaphone and a plaque that read “Say Something Nice”.
The results are interesting and put smiles on the faces of the people on the street in New York City a few days ago and on my face when I watched it. See, we’re not all mean and grumpy — some of us given the opportunity can be downright charming.
Read on at Improv Everywhere’s blog to find out the whole story behind this project.
- Say Something Nice (duckduckgrayduck.wordpress.com)
- New Yorkers Say Something Nice – Through A Megaphone [VIDEO] (mashable.com)
- What Happens When You Leave A Megaphone On The Street With The Simple Instructions: ‘Say Something Nice’ (mediaite.com)
- A loudspeaker encourages New Yorkers to “Say Something Nice” (thenextweb.com)
I haven’t been the best about getting a post written every day this summer. It has been a hectic summer, with a lot of “mom” responsibilities in addition to work and household responsibilities. In addition, we had vacation last week and I returned to have a less than great week this past week. I won’t go into any details about anything, sufficient it to say that all appears well, but there was a day in there when I was not feeling like things were going well at all. We had family and friends visiting this past week and it was really nice to spend time with my sister for a few days where there was no holiday going on that required our attention.
All the company is gone and we are in the final stretch to the beginning of school next week.
We always feel like autumn is in the air when we get back from vacation and this year is no exception. Cool nights and the tinge of autumn color creeping into the foliage definitely suggests that fall is right around the corner.
This is my 1,000th post. Now before anyone thinks that I have been sitting around counting all these posts and keeping track (like I really have the time to do that) I need to tell you that WordPress.com, where my blog is hosted, kindly keeps count for me and as of late, has very prominently been telling me that I have been on the brink of 1,000. I started this blog in February 2008. Seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago.
When I realized that it is the 1,000th time that I published a post I felt that it should not be some vapid rambling off the top of my head. There are plenty of those sitting in the folder marked unpublished posts – mostly my own need to rant and rave about something or someone without letting the world know about it. Occasionally, those unpublished posts are little glimpses of an idea that has yet to come to fruition, but mostly, it’s just ranting and raving. I try to present a more collected appearance to the outside world (yeah, right) so I do try to keep my ranting and raving for those who have no choice but to listen to me and you know who you are and I thank you for listening and loving me.
This blog has become an extension of me. I enjoy writing it as much as I hope people enjoy reading it. It started as a way to keep family updated on what happened to our family here in Vermont. Now looking back at various posts, it is a collection of words that define me. But perhaps in accord with the numerically appropriate famous saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” this is really what defines me:
And you know what….. I’m good with that.
I found the most awesome little Asian/Thai grocery in the North End. It was fantastic and gave me my fix for Thai, sushi and stir fry supplies. This store is so tiny yet packed to the gills with everything. They had practically the contents of H-Mart in a store the size of Mac’s.
All kinds of noodles, fresh and dried, Thai tea, too many things to even attempt to list. I am so excited.
Yesterday we went over by Stowe and Smugglers Notch. We’ve never been over there and it is beautiful. We took the time to stop and enjoy coffee outside in the beautiful weather, climb around on some rocks, go through the Smuggler’s Cave and just stand around a lot in awe of how beautiful it is and how amazing Mother Nature really is.
We drove along Route 108 from Stowe through Jeffersonville – it is the road that we hear on the radio all the time which closes in the winter — or when the snow starts to fly — which may be earlier than actual winter. Driving the road, I can understand exactly why the road closes and forbids tractor trailers from traveling on it. For my friends in New Jersey, think the road down to the Boat Basin by the Hudson, winding and tight turns and very narrow, with incredible views.
One of our projects was to build a fire ring in the yard up by the chairs. Besides keeping the bugs away, it is pretty relaxing. Last night was the inaugural fire –made me feel like we were camping.
Fire is so primitive and so great to photograph….I sat and played with the camera for quite a while as you can see.
And of course, the guy responsible for it all….