Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moon of the Hungry Ghosts, August 28th

Moon of the Hungry Ghosts

The full moon of the 7th lunar month of the Chinese year, is called the Moon of the Hungry Ghosts. According to Chinese tradition, at this full moon, ghosts enter the sunlit world from the world of Nine Darknesses. We, of the living world, in order to placate the dead, must make offerings of lit paper boats and lit floating lanterns which are set out on water to give comfort and direction to wayward spirits.

After the moonlit tribute, most spirits will then choose to visit their former homes for the comfort and the company of their loved ones and loved places. The more tempestuous spirits will roam the streets, seeking revenge on those who have wronged them in life and in death.

To avoid the revengeful spirits, we must have ready offerings of ginger candy, sugar cane, and rice wine. We all must go get ours now before supplies run out.

You will be able to tell if a spirit has visited your home if you notice an odor of smoky vanilla, white sandalwood, ho wood, green tea, white grapefruit, musk or aloe.

It is has been such a pretty moon this month to have such a responsibility. Poor Hungry Ghosts.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Just Because Day, August 27th

Just Because Day

Just because it takes at least a week and a half to normalize from a week and a half of vacation.

When I got home from airport via the Blog Party on Saturday night a week ago, I discovered that The Ants had moved into my apartment while I was gone. The Ants where everywhere. I was not happy with this, and bought poison for them. Now, nine days later, The Ants have mostly moved out. It took them as long to move out as the had to move in. Just because, The Ants are not entirely gone, I still don't feel like it is my apartment yet.

Just because I am a very clumsy person, both by nature, and by disease.

Saturday, while I was getting ready for a birthday party where I was to dress up as a nerd from the eighties (not much of a boost for my ego by the way) I stepped on a piece of broken glass in my kitchen. And when I stepped on the glass I jumped very clumsily backwards and twisted my shoulder in a way that it probably I could not replicate, but it probably looked a bit like a move that we all have seen Shaggy do when running away from ghosts. Anyway, the glass was deep in my foot, and when I tried to get it out, a piece of it broke off deep in the blood goo of my foot. So, I went to the emergency clinic, because I wasn't making the mess any cleaner. They got all the glass out and told me to ice my shoulder for the next few days and stay off my foot as much as possible. And, so I missed the 80's party, just because I wasn't in the mood any more.

And just because when I worry about things I can't control, I tend to lose control of things I should control.

Sunday night I had a good conversation with Edgy about things that kept me concerned and concentrated. But, while I was talking with my brain focued on him, my body was cleaning my kitchen, loading dishes in the dishwasher, getting the garbage ready to take out. And after the conversation had ended, I distinctly remember thinking about which pocket to stick my keys in so I could go check my mail, I had to worry about pocket because I also had to carry my cell phones, since I am on call for work this week. I needed to check my mail, which now hasn't been checked in two and a half weeks, because I haven't had any garbage to take out, because I have been limiting the food in my house just because of The Ants. I am sure my mailperson hates me. Just because the mailboxes are so far away from my actual apartment and from where I park; it's just not convenient to check the mail unless I am taking out the garbage.

So, anyway, after the garbage was dumped in the Dumpster, (see I can be cool and capitalize Dumpster just like it is all through Eclipse) I walk over to the mailbox and wait... no keys. Um. Problem! I hobbled good-foot-over-bad-foot back to my apartment and yes, I did lock the door. Why? Just because.

But, all is well just because I have Good Friend who said she didn't mind phone calls in the middle of the night, and who drove my extra key down to my apartment to let me in. And she brought freezer apricot jam for me and and for me to bring to Edgy. Why did she bring me and Edgy apricot jam? Just because.

And all is doubly well because I have Edgy, who text messaged me during the lockout to keep me company, just because he is cool like that.

So, through all the not-so-good just becauses, it's pretty good that I have some good friends- just because.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Feast Day of St. Philbert, August 20th

The Feast Day of St. Philbert

I was really glad to read about The Feast Day St. Philbert, because I learned why Oregonians call Hazelnuts Filberts.

As a child when I was driving around the orchards of the Willamette Valley with my mom, she would point out the rows and rows of low and gnarled trees and say, "Those are the filbert orchards. In the United States, Filbert trees only are grown in Oregon. Some people call filberts hazelnuts. People that call them hazelnuts aren't from Oregon."

This made me feel awkward. Now, I have a bit of pride for my Oregon pioneers who had come across the Oregon Trail and settled in the Willamette Valley, but if everyone else in the world called them hazelnuts, maybe that meant that we Oregonians were a little bit backward. I mean really, why filberts? Filbert doesn't even have the word nut in it? We were trying to hide the yummy goodness that is the filbert away from the rest of the world? Because really, if you didn't know that a filbert was a nut, and some one offered you one, you would think that they were offering you a beloved pet to eat?

Anyway, I was always curious as to why these seemed to be a great hazelnut debate.

According to School of the Seasons, St. Philbert was a French saint, and Hazelnut Trees are ready to harvest around the time of the Feast Day of St. Philbert, (which is on August 20th according the the School of the Seasons, and on August 22nd according to other sites) and so his name has been lent to the nut in areas with strong French influences.

Oregon doesn't really have a strong French influence. So, I did some more research.

Soupsong.com stated that

Frenchman David Gernot arrived in Oregon in the 17th century with European hazel trees and a personal mission. When he stumbled into the beautiful Willamette Valley, he was reminded of his home in the Loire valley. Without hesitation, he staked out his home and planted the first of his 50-tree grove. Other planters followed and by the early 1900s, hazelnut orchards had taken root in Oregon, where their nuts are produced commercially to this day.

Now, there are lots of different ways to eat a filbert.

If you are not if you are not afraid of cracking your teeth, you can eat them straight from the shell.

You can grind them up and put them in cookies and cakes.

Or you can cover them in chocolate, and then they are just perfect. If you are looking for Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts, Edgy has some, straight from Oregon.

Oh, and I have some too, but I am not sure if I am nice enough to share.

Friday, August 17, 2007

#2 Pencil Day

#2 Pencil Day

On #2 Pencil Day, we should all stop for a moment to be glad that we aren't taking tests with #2 Pencils any more.

And then we all should go play in the sand with Baby Niece.