Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Laundry bats

Laundry duty is a coveted job for most bats. They get to hang out with their friends and enjoy the breeze beneath their wings

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A costume to lose your head over

I adore Halloween ... I used to be in the minority, but now this sinister celebration has gone mainstream. It goes without saying that I turn my fae nose up at cutesy 'Happy Halloween' decorations, far preferring creativity that shocks and appalls me.

My favorite du jour is the guillotined Marie Antoinette created by Nicole Magne. Click here to see some construction pics and read what she has to say about her craft.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Another holiday, another excuse for cake

Regardless of the holiday, we fae celebrate with cake
The other day, a co-worker asked how we fae celebrate the 4th of July. He also asked if we had our own Independence Day. I nearly turned the fellow into a sloth ... but decided sloths are too cute for that blackguard! As if we fae have ever been anything other than fiercely independent!!!

As for the first, less offensive, question, fae from the USA celebrate July 4 the same way other Americans do ... we've just been doing it longer. I've seen plenty of customs come and go over the centuries I've been on earth, and other traditions take root.  Let's start with a brief history of the holiday itself, as succinctly penned by David Johnson for InfoPlease:

America celebrates July 4 as Independence Day because it was on July 4, 1776, that members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting inPhiladelphia, adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Spontaneous Celebrations

Following its adoption, the Declaration was read to the public in various American cities. Whenever they heard it, patriots erupted in cheers and celebrations.
In 1777, Philadelphians remembered the 4th of July. Bells were rung, guns fired, candles lighted, and firecrackers set off. However, while the War of Independence dragged on, July 4 celebrations were modest at best.
When the war ended in 1783, July 4 became a holiday in some places. InBoston, it replaced the date of the Boston Massacre, March 5, as the major patriotic holiday. Speeches, military events, parades, and fireworks marked the day. In 1941, Congress declared July 4 a federal holiday.

Picnics and Games

Over time, various other summertime activities also came to be associated with the Fourth of July, including historical pageants, picnics, baseball games, watermelon-eating contests, and trips to the beach. Common foods include hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, apple pie, cole slaw, and sometimes clam bakes.

Colonial Attractions

While the Fourth is celebrated across the country, historic cities like Boston and Philadelphia draw huge crowds to their festivities.
In Boston, the USS John F. Kennedy often sails into the harbor, while the Boston Pops Orchestra holds a televised concert on the banks of the Charles River, featuring American music and ending with the 1812 Overture.
Philadelphia holds its celebrations at Independence Hall, where historic scenes are reenacted and the Declaration of Independence is read.

Rodeos and Candles

Other interesting parties include the American Indian rodeo and three-day pow-wow in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Lititz, Pennsylvania, candle festival, where hundred of candles are floated in water and a "Queen of Candles" is chosen.

John Adams Urged Recognition

The second president, John Adams, would have approved. "I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival," he wrote his wife, Abigail. "It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other..."

John Hancock Was First

John Hancock, the president of the Second Continental Congress, was the first to sign the Declaration. With its ornate capitals, Hancock's sprawling signature is prominent on the document. Since then, when people are asked for their "John Hancock," they are being asked to sign their names.
All 56 men who ultimately signed the Declaration showed great courage. Announcing independence from Great Britain was an act of treason, punishable by death.

A Marvelous Document

The Declaration of Independence itself has become one of the most admired and copied political documents of all time. It was written by Thomas Jefferson and revised by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Jefferson.
The Declaration of Independence is a justification of the American Revolution, citing grievances against King George III. It is also a landmark philosophical statement, drawing on the writings of philosophers John Locke andJean Jacques Rousseau. It affirms that since all people are creatures of God, or nature, they have certain natural rights, or liberties, that cannot be violated.
The Declaration and the American Revolution have since inspired freedom-seekers the around the world.

As to holiday traditions, here's what goes on around the nation, as reported by Miss Cellania for MentalFloss:


Many communities have a Fourth of July parade. Murrells Inlet has one as well, but it is held in the local creek as boats line up to be decorated, spectated, and appreciated. This year'sannual boat parade will begin at 5PM, which is high tide. The annual event has been held since 1984. In recent years there have been as many as 125 registered parade entries, with more boats joining in at the last minute.


At the Mescalero Apache reservation in New Mexico, Independence Day celebrations include a coming-of-age ceremony for teenage girls.
On the first and the last days of the public portion of the ceremony, each girl runs four times around a basket filled with sacred items of the creation, symbolizing the four stages of life set by the White Painted Woman. Each night, the girls, godmothers and singers enter the Holy Lodge, or Ceremonial Teepee, where the girls dance and singers beat the rhythm with deer-hoof rattles.
The ceremonies are open to the public. The reservation also hosts an annual rodeo on July fourth. See more pictures of the ceremony.


The tradition of eating salmon on the Fourth of July goes back to the beginnings of the holiday in New England. The date coincides with salmon running thick in the rivers during midsummer in Maine and other New England states. In recent years, Atlantic salmon are declining, but New Englanders stay with the traditional meal; they just tend to eat Alaskan or Pacific salmon these days. What started as the tradition of "eating locally" is now just "tradition". If you'd like to try a little bit of New England in your holiday, here's a recipe.


Every year, the San Francisco Mime Troupe opens their performing season on July 4th with a free show. This year's production is called "Too Big To Fail" and will debut at Dolores Park at 2PM. The experimental theater group was founded in 1959, and has performed in San Francisco city parks since winning an obscenity case in 1963. The San Francisco Mime Troupe does not perform silently or paint their faces white, but their productions are movement-based. See a a sample of their work in this video from their 2008 production "Red State".


It can be said that hot dogs are a traditional food across the nation on the Fourth of July, but in Coney Island, the Fourth of July means Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Last year, reigning champion Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California bested six-time winner Takeru Kobayashi of Nagano, Japan in a sudden-death round after each had ingested 59 hotdogs in the regulation ten-minute period. Both men will compete this Saturday for the 94th annual contest in Coney Island.


More than a quarter-million people attended the annual Essence Music Festival in New Orleans last year. The event has been held annually since 1995, sponsored by Essence magazine. The music lineup for this year includes Beyonce, Lionel Richie, Al Green, Salt N Pepa, Anita Baker, Solange, En Vogue, and quite a few other stars scheduled for this weekend. The festival also offers a series of free seminars during the daytime before the music starts, featuring speakers on a variety of subjects.


For about a decade now, a group of friends in south central Kentucky have used the Fourth of July as an occasion to have some fun with electronic equipment that is obsolete or beyond repair. They gather these items all year long, then take them deep into the wilderness of central Kentucky each Independence Day. The components are launched into the air and used for target practice, which is both a sporting event and a way to vent frustration over hi-tech workplace annoyances. See another video here. Sadly, this year's event has been canceled because the host has to work.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I hear a firecracker cake calling my name!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Memories - the nanny

A heated debate broke out at a family function recently. It revolved around child-rearing and the issue of what to do with children when their parents work full-time or travel extensively.

Some voted for pre-pre-pre-school a week or so after the infant's arrival on this plane.  Others thought both parents should be with the child 24/7 for at least 3 months, in order to properly bond and 'imprint' on the nipper.  Some even voted for military school once the neonate had reached the 6 months-old mark.  My sister and parents rallied for baby care conducted by trained nanny.

Indeed, my sister had been contentedly swaddled, corrected and tutored on life's mysteries and society's dictums by Tink, our family's beloved tin caretaker who was with us for 17 years, until she succumbed to the ravages of rust.  Unfortunately, I recall her second hand, as I was a toddler when she passed. At her request, she was smelted into a lovely tea set that still graces my parents' mantle.

The images herein are shots of Tink in her prime.  She attributed her glowing exterior to daily ingestion of a quart of WD-40.

["Tinker the remote-controlled robot was the work of inventor David Weston from Yorkshire <1966>. His metal friend could wash the car, take the baby for a stroll down the road, go on a shopping expedition and weed the garden. However, all of of these tasks had to be done within 200 metres of David’s garage, where he controlled Tinker through a control panel." source: MessyNessyChic]

*The phrase "Monday Memories" purloined from fae friend Bonnie Ramsburg of the Ohio realm

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Happy Fortune Cookie Day!

Sept 13th

"Its pretty clear that the Fortune Cookie did not originate in China. Rather, it was invented in California. There appears to be some uncertainty over who invented it. Some historical references suggest it was Makoto Hagiwara who invented the fortune cookie at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco in 1914. Others believe that David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company, was the first to make fortune cookies in Los Angeles in the 1920s." [source:]

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Summer Garden

My friends have long praised the health benefits of gardening, but frankly, I never got it. It just seemed like a whole lot of work and mess. In my case, lots of mess. But this summer, for no discernible reason, I got the urge to get back to nature -- being an urban faerie, you sometimes forget your roots, so to speak.

Peek inside:

And see some of the results of my gardening