Tag Archives: candles

More Than Just Groundhog Day

February always comes as a surprise to me.  As much as I dislike winter and long for spring and summer, you would think I’d be counting every day.  But January always seems to be an extension of December.  We do Christmas with the in-laws on the 1st, Epiphany on the 6th, I still have lights in the windows…  So I’m always surprised when the month of January disappears and Ground Hog Day (February 2nd) is at the door.

Here in the states, February 2nd is known as Ground Hog Day. It’s a national thing and makes the news. Punxsutawney Phil is supposed to come out of his burrow and tell us whether or not Spring is on its way. Unfortunately, he’s not very accurate. He’s right about 39% of the time. Random chance is 33%. But it’s a big shindig in Punxsutawney, PA so I don’t think it will be going away any time soon.

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright

Winter will have another flight

If on Candlemas Day it be shower and rain

Winter is gone and will not come again.

– Old English proverb

Not everyone needed a groundhog to predict the end of winter!

February 2nd is also the midway point between winter and spring.  (Yes! Half way through! Happy Dance!) The days are starting to be noticeably longer and hope for better weather abounds.

It’s also Imbolc, a cross-quarter day between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Solstice. As it is considered the beginning of Spring, it is a time of cleansing and purification, growth and renewal. It is believed to have originated as a Pagan festival honoring the goddess Brighid and Christianized into the festival of Saint Brighid. To different degrees, both are still celebrated on or about this day.

Today is also Candlemas Day. Candlemas Day has had different meanings over time. It is the Christian festival of lights; combining when Jesus was brought to the temple 40 days after his birth and the time when all the candles to be used in the church are brought forth and blessed. In the past, this was also the time for the lady of the house to inventory the candles to make sure she had enough to get through the winter. Candles were important for light but also thought to give protection against illness.

Another tradition of Candlemas, the one that always sends me into a frenzy and wishing February didn’t arrive so quickly, is that Candlemas was also the time when all the Christmas decorations were to be removed to avoid bad luck in the house. (Christmas was a much longer affair, back when.) This custom persisted for hundreds of years. Today there are people who claim Twelfth Day or Epiphany is The Day. I, however, prefer to stick with Candlemas Day. It allows me to leave my lights up to brighten my evenings for a few weeks more. 😀

I wish I could figure out a way to take a really good picture of the lights in the window!

I wish I could figure out a way to take a really good picture of the lights in the window!

So today I’ll be stripping out the rest of Christmas from the house and lighting candles in celebration.  And there will be tea and treats, of course!

Blessings be to match, wax, flame.

Gratitudes to the Kindler on this our Candlemas Day.

– Sarah Ban Breathnach “Simple Abundance”

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Blessings and Best Wishes!

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“And A Being Within Ourselves To Bring To Life”

Random Thoughts

I found this quote one year when reading Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  While Christmas-y in nature, I think it fits with the ‘take better care of myself’ theme.

If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi?  Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds?  Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary?  For each one of us, there is a desert to travel.  A star to discover.  And a being within ourselves to bring to life.  — Author Unknown

Life At Our House

We’re busy here.  Saver went shopping with Gma-in-law to get boots for LARPing in.  Tomorrow she will go shopping with my mom to get other things.

Spider Bait is doing presentations for different classes which have put him in a “wonderful” mood.

I am busting my backside putting my monthly boxes in order.  What’s a monthly box?  Well, I live in this way too small house that I was never supposed to stay in (long story).  There is very little room, but I still like my ‘stuff’ which happens to be teapots (40+ ish), mugs (100+ have to ask Saver), some tea cups, and my candle stuff.  I have a china cabinet from the other house, but it only holds on one shelf about 8ish teapots.  Teacups are on one and little bits of stuff with meaning on the third. I have a mug rack on the wall that holds I think 48 mugs.  And my candles and candle stuff?  OMG.  I had no idea how much of that I had till I started bringing it all together.  A number of years back I divided what I had then minus the candle stuff into 12 months and holidays and got boxes for them and any decorations for that month/holiday.  The first week of each month I would bring up that box and its contents and put away the month before.  That way I got to use/see/enjoy all my stuff.

Well the past few years I haven’t been doing my monthly boxes regularly and additions to the collection got stuffed here and there in the house and the Dungeon.  For the first time in a couple of years, I got teapots for Christmas.  Three, to be exact.  So I decided to round-up all I could find and re-sort my monthly boxes and also gather and sort my candle stuff and add it in.  Holy crap.  Hours ‘n hours and a couple of days later, I’m still not done.  I have to sit down and make an inventory for all the boxes so I know where everything is.  This does not, by the way, include Easter and Christmas.  Easter is buried in a corner I refused to excavate right now and Christmas is all over the damn place.

The candle stuff alone was sobering.  I put a few in each of the monthly boxes, but that still left 4 shelves worth of stuff.  I got only got rid of a shoebox of small candle holders.  Saver grabbed a couple that held memories for her.  Yikes.  Two and a half shelves are taken up with candles of different kinds.  I think as I work my way through them, a lot of the jar candles will wind up in the yard sale pile since I now have bad reactions to so many scented candles.  I need to let people know not to buy me jar candles anymore.  I’ll post pictures of box contents each month.  January always has to wait until after Epiphany.  AND…

We are also cleaning out the store-room in the basement as my son’s family project for his Eagle.  ***head table***  Another huge mess.  You could barely get in there. Hours of work. It is now my turn to go down and organize the shelves (put shit away) down the right side of the room.  I got the candle stuff in!!!  So tomorrow I will try to finish that and then Sunday the left side will be stripped out and cleaned.  It is the easy side since there really isn’t much to sort.  That whole side is pretty much food.  I took my time and built up a small stock pile of staples.  I buy in bulk whenever I can.  I really do love having a store-room and it will be sooo nice for it to be easy access and clean again. (No Halloween atmosphere with the spiders, no muck and mold on the walls, no mouse and rat traps with moldy peanut butter, … you get the picture.)  And speaking of which, I will post pics when we’re done with the room.

Here’s a picture of the Christmas mugs (minus 2 that came in after I took the picture).  I did at least get them out this year.

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Time for Bed!  Night all!