The Twelve Days of Christmas



In many Christian-based religions the first day of Christmas is Christmas day and is the beginning of “Little Christmas”, also known as Nollaig Bheag (Irish – Scotish – Gaelic) or many call it “The Feast of The Epiphany”.

  • The first day is the 25th of December which is Christmas Day.
  • The second day is the 26th of December.
  • The third day is the 27th of December.
  • The fourth day is the 28th of December.
  • The sixth day is the 30th of December.
  • The seventh day is the 31st of December which is New Year’s Eve on the Gregorian Calendar.
  • The eighth day is the 1st of January which is New Year’s Day.
  • The ninth day is the 2nd of January.
  • The tenth day is the 3rd of January.
  • The eleventh day is the 4th of January.
  • The twelfth day is the 5th of January and is The Eve of The Epiphany.
Some who observe the Twelve Days give individual gifts with each day of the Twelve Days representing a wish for a corresponding month of the new year. The entire twelve days is in observance of the Christmas season, celebrating each day and evening the entire time through the morning of the Epiphany, lighting a candle for each day has become a modern tradition in the United States. Some, instead, light a Yule Log on the first night (Christmas) and let it burn some each of the twelve nights.
Many Americans have their own traditional foods to serve each of the twelve days.
In many parts of the world, especially in the United States this period of celebration has been over-shadowed by commercialism and has led to the misconception that the Twelve Days are a celebration that would take place in the days before Christmas Day. It conveniently has come to fit with promotional sales for retailers.
It would be great to restore the meaning of the Twelve Days – it would certainly extend the spirit of Christmas into the New Year!

Find Love In Every Season


Happy Birthday J.R.R. Tolkien; Thank You for The Stories!

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

3rd January 1892 – 2nd September 1973


“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost…”

~ J.R.R Tolkien

My Journal



This year I purchased my private journal at the MoMA store in Rockefeller Center.  I really enjoy city shopping especially around the holidays and this is one of the things I bought for myself.  I try to buy my journals for the upcoming year when I am out doing something I love and all year long it serves as a joyful reminder each time I write.

This year my journal includes artwork adapted from the works of William Morris (1834 – 1896). He is remembered as the English designer who, in his time, brought fine art into homes through his intricate, nature-inspired wallpaper, tapestries and other textiles.

The cover and page borders of my journal feature bits of his design “Pink and Rose” (somewhat ironically, those were my unintentional colors for my new year celebration; I rarely wear these colors).  Other details feature bits from “Curtain”, “Wild Tulip”, and “Fruit on Pomegranate” (one of my new year traditions).

This journal really seemed to fit into this new year without any plan… I simply loved the design and bought it.

Now that the new year 2013 celebrations are over most of us are trying to settle into our “normal” routines (or maybe some of us have resolved ourselves to an entirely new routine).  

Handwritten journaling is something I love to do.  In the late 1990’s/early 2000’s I tried to only journal on-line and I always felt like I was missing something in the process… aside from that I like an excuse for carrying around a lovely book. 

Pomegranates and New Beginnings!


Pomegranates are a beautiful fruit.  I’ve heard it over and over again about how they just aren’t worth the effort.

Sure, they are a little bit of a looming catastrophe if you are all dressed in white trying to eat a dull knife and no water… otherwise these gems are quite easy to eat without any red mess at all. And separating the seeds from the flesh… also easy!

Step one… wash your fruit.  Yes… I said wash your fruit.  But why; I intend on eating the seeds, not the rind!?  Because it’s just safer, so wash the fruit – I like to wash using a little baking soda but just a liberal washing of any sort is great!  Rinse, rinse, rinse.

Step two… cut off the crown end… it’s the little end of the fruit that looks like a crown. Don’t put this in the garbage disposal… please compost this if you can, or discard.

Step three… score (from top to bottom) through the rind in several places around your pomegranate (as if you are creating wedges – but no need to cut deeply).

Step four… in a bowl of water (cold to tepid) soak the entire fruit.  Make sure your bowl is big enough to accommodate the pomegranate and your hands along with the water.

Step five… break apart the pomegranate along the scores. It does not have to be perfectly broken… just go with it.

Step six… underwater – remove the seeds from the membrane/rind.  The membrane will float to the top the seeds will sink to the bottom.  The water will turn a bit pink.  Oooo… it’s pretty.

Step seven… remove the floating debris from the bowl, using a spoon or your hands,,, whichever… then compost or discard.

Step eight… using a colander, strain the seeds from water and you are left with something remarkable: pomegranate seeds.

What makes these seeds so remarkable?  They taste great and are good for you.

Pomegranates are filled with history, legend and lore.  In Buddhism three kinds of fruit are held as sacred – the orange, the peach, and the pomegranate.  In Christianity pomegranates are often depicted in religious art as a symbol of resurrection and eternal life. In Judaism pomegranates are symbolic of fertility and abundance.

Considering the history of the pomegranate fruit and its place in religion and culture, one can easily imagine how they are said to be good luck in abundance and prosperity.  They’ve come to be a customary, symbolic, and “lucky” food for some on events such as a New Year celebration (Julian, Gregorian, Rosh Hashana, etc.), as well as any celebration of new beginnings – such as a wedding – as it symbolizes fertility.

Next time you see this gorgeous fruit get it!  (Get a few; they keep well.)  They are well worth any effort you might think is in the way of enjoying such a great-tasting, versatile and epic-ally impressive fruit!


On Media Bias… and We Hate Each Other… Are You Really Well-Informed?



Anyone who locks down to one news source is missing out on information. It’s important to seek out an un-skewed view, or even an opposing view – don’t limit your knowledge to only hearing what you *want* to hear. Seeking out more info can confirm your opinions, sway your opinions, or at the very least help you refrain from calling someone who doesn’t share your views a derogatory name that will in turn make you look like another derogatory name. Don’t be hateful… 

Presidential Debate Bingo

Presidential Debate Bingo 2012

I’m An Artist… I’m A Writer… I’m An Artist… I’m A Writer

I'm An Artist... I'm A Writer... I'm An Artist... I'm A Writer


When I create art it is an extension of my desire and intention to write. Whatever my creation – I never forget that I am a writer.


No More Shampoo… I’ve Switched To Baking Soda!

Here’s something you probably didn’t want to know… I have not shampooed my hair since mid-November 2011!

That’s right… I was reading about people who have decided to go “No-Poo”!  Reading about many of which who seemed to be otherwise sensible people, those who leave their home and have jobs and got out in the world and must look and smell clean!

I have completely dropped shampoo and conditioner.  I have ALWAYS NEEDED conditioner for my hair.  Without conditioner my hair naturally wavy hair was frizzed and I needed several additional products to ineffectively attempt to combat this.

I originally tried this “No-Poo” idea thinking there is NO WAY this would be all that wonderful and that I would soon be back to my sweet-smelling sudsy shampoo and conditioner.

Here is how I do it: instead of shampooing and conditioning I use baking soda to wash my hair and scalp… I rinse and then once or twice a week I then use apple cider vinegar as a sort of conditioner, and rinse.  I find I usually do not need to use the apple cider vinegar and no… I do not smell like vinegar.

I was always one of those people with thick healthy-looking hair and lately it was having such a hard time growing long and looking healthy.

Since being “No-Poo”… (I would love to come up with a better term for this) my hair is unbelievably shiny, manageable, no-frizz, and it is GROWING QUICKLY AGAIN!

I admit… I sometimes miss the sweet smell of shampoos and conditioners but I remind myself that I can add an essential oil, or a mixture of oils if I choose.

I can rinse with homemade Rosemary Water, or Rose Water, or any mixture of Herbal Flower, or Fruited Water.  Honey or Coconut Oil can add additional conditioning, if needed. (I haven’t needed it, but tried each of those.)

Taking this into your styling routine… Aloe Vera gel (be sure it is pure and without alcohol… I have even ripped off a piece of my aloe plant) is an excellent hair gel, and healing instead of damaging to your hair!
Traveling “No-Poo” hasn’t been a horrible problem either.  I simply use silicone travel bottles (Cool Gear) to transport the baking soda (make sure the bottle is completely dry before you fill it or you may have a baking soda brick to deal with) and I pack a little travel spray bottle for the apple cider vinegar.

I realize that all of this may sound “gross” to many, but I assure you it has been a wonderfully clean and healthy experience for me and my hair!  It is also liberating to not have to spend $20 or more a month on my hair products… which might be enough of an incentive on its own, to go “No-Poo”.

This is a surprisingly easy way to be kinder to yourself, the earth, and your budget… and at least for now, I really don’t see going back to shampoo.  This works for me!

Here Comes The New Year!

Here comes the New Year!  The name January is derived from the God Janus, a principal deity in Roman Mythology, originally the God of Light and Day he gradually became the God of Beginnings and Transitions including gateways, doors, and bridges.   He is often depicted as a two-faced God since he looks to both the past and to the future.

Party… party large or small!  Bring good luck to the New Year by with the tradition of kissing at midnight!  Kiss your loved ones, your pets, kiss yourself, if you choose… and get up, get up and dance… dancing on new years’ day will bring love and prosperity.

Try to make sure your cupboards are full and your wallets have some cash in them, (even if it’s just a dollar) on the New Year.

It is said in Scottish tradition that the first person to enter your home after midnight on New Year’s Eve will greatly influence your life for the next year.

Try to postpone housework until January 2nd… throw nothing away on the first day of the New Year!  No emptied dust pans, no shaken rugs to free their dirt.

Don’t do laundry on New Year’s or you may ‘wash away’ good memories in the New Year.  Save this chore for January 2nd!

Don’t clean your house on New Year’s Day… another chore to put off until January 2nd.

Don’t wash your hair on New Year’s Day!

Do wear a new article of clothing on New Year ’s Day as in increases your chances of getting more clothing in the year to come. And speaking of clothing, wearing red is your best bet as it will bring happiness in the New Year.

Do create a ruckus!  At midnight open all the doors in the house to let in the New Year and make noise to scare away the evil spirits.

Make sure you drain the bottle of champagne – or any beverage – on New Year’s Day as it brings good fortune.

Grapes!  Eat twelve grapes at midnight… served perhaps on a skewer… swirled into a glass of champagne just before the countdown.  Each of the twelve grapes represents a month.  Fortune would be that each of the grapes are sweet… if you get a sour grape, it indicates a bit of a rough month.  For example, if your fifth grape is sour, the month of May could be a bit of a rough month for you!  Hope for sweet grapes!

Round or ring-shaped cakes… here is your excuse to have a donut – either ring-shaped or filled with something sweet.

In many Asian countries long soba (buckwheat) noodles are eaten on New Year’s Day, this is called “toshi-koshi” which translates to “from one year to another”.  There is a catch… you cannot break the noodle before it’s all in your mouth.  Eat the noodle quickly and try not to chew it too much… the longer the better!

In much of the southern parts of the United States black-eyed peas represent humility and are thought to bring good fortune to those who eat them at the New Year, pair these with collard greens which symbolize financial prosperity!

In much of Europe and the United States serving any types of cabbages is a new year’s custom since it is green and resembles money and fortune!

Throughout Italy lentils are thought to be good luck when eaten in the New Year… lentils resemble coins and good fortune!

Pomegranate represents abundance and fertility and in much of the Mediterranean is eaten at the New Year!

Cornbread is good luck because the glories of gold!  Have some cornbread… round if you can!

If you are a meat-eater… some meats are considered good luck, some are not.  Stay away from poultry, such as chicken and turkey or anything which scratches backwards in dirt (representing poverty) and eat nothing with wings.  Eating something with wings is said to make your good luck “fly out the window”!  For good luck, in many parts of the words fish is associated with moving forward into the New Year since fish swim forward! Pork is also considered a good luck food, pigs always root forward with feet firmly pushed into the ground – this symbolizes progress and their high fat content represents wealth and prosperity.

It’s fun to eat as much lucky foods as you can for the New Year!  Just don’t overindulge!

Work a little… it’s actually a good thing to do something work related on New Year’s Day, but just a token activity, nothing major. And no, you don’t have to actually be at your place of business to do it.

Whatever you choose to do to ring in the New Year always remember to do so safely… no drinking and driving, no texting and driving, no distractions.  Wear seat belts… watch your surroundings and be cautious of others who may be distracted on the road, crossing streets, and just generally celebrating without good common sense.  Being alert, and sober while driving or walking is going to always be your best chances of a great start to the New Year!

Most of all… celebrate, cherish life and love!  Happy New Year!

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