Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Friday, February 16, 2018

Happy Lunar New Year!


Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is the first day of the Year of the Dog, a new year on the Chinese lunar calendar. The Dog is one of the 12 symbolic animals in the Chinese zodiac, meaning each animal-year comes up every 12 years.  The rose is one of the lucky flowers for those born in the year of the Dog. Interestingly, 2018 is not such a lucky year for Dogs.

Do you want to know more about the Year of the Dog, whether you're a Dog, the Chinese zodiac, or the Chinese lunar calendar? Here's one web page to check out.


Monday, January 1, 2018

Taking It Easy


This first day of 2018, I'm taking Molly the Cat's cue and making like it's a holiday. Of course every day is a holiday for Molly.

"Hey!" says Molly. Purrrrrrrrrrrr. 

Okay, Molly.

Being retired, every day is essentially a holiday. For that matter, every day is the start of a new year. Hmmmm.

"There you go," says Molly. Purrrrrrrrrrr.


 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Suman


Suman is my all-time favorite Filipino dessert that the Mama made during the Christmas season when I was a kid. It is a decadent sweet rice concoction made from sticky rice (aka glutinous rice and sweet rice), brown sugar, and coconut milk.

The delightfulness about suman is the memory of it being made, usually on a cold, rainy day. I'm anywhere from age four to seven. The Daddy cracks open two or three coconuts, pouring the juice into a waiting glass. I have yet to taste coconut water as good as what I drank way back when.

The Daddy scrapes the coconut meat from the shell carefully and precisely on a a flat, round serrated scraper that he attached to a thick chunk of wood that he straddled. "I want to do it," I say every so often, as I watch the coconut transform into tiny slips of whiteness as it falls from the scraper into a large white metal basin with red trim. Eventually the parents let me sit on the homemade coconut scraper and try for a short bit. It is not easy, and frustrating, as I scrape chunks rather than delicateness from the coconut.

The Mama takes the full basin of grated coconut and somehow turns it into coconut milk with a lot of water and repeated hand wringing of the grated coconut. Then the Mama puts a big pot of sticky rice to cook on the stove. Does it have coconut milk in it? I can't recall. I leave the kitchen after I sample the coconut milk, which is not as tasty as the coconut water. The next thing I know, the Mama sets pans of baked suman on the table.  The smell is heavenly. Mmmmmmm.

In my early 30s, I decided one Christmas to make suman for the first time. From memory. My suman was tooth-meltingly sweet but hard as brick, especially when it cooled. That was the last time I made suman.

Two weeks ago I came a across a bin of organic glutinous rice which triggered a desire for the Mama's suman so I purchased enough to cook in a small rice cooker. Instead of making the dessert from what I think the Mama did, I searched for an Ilocano recipe on Google.

Ha! suman does not have loads of butter in it, which was what made my heavy-as-a-brick concoction. Butter is used, but only for greasing the baking pans. Also, you make a sauce out of coconut milk and brown sugar, stir half of the sauce into the rice, then pour the rest over the sweet rice once it's in the baking pan.

My suman didn't taste as sweet or as awesome as the Mama's, but I am pleased with the result. I modified the recipe using far less brown sugar and adding about half-a-cup of Kahlua to the canned coconut milk.  I didn't use all of the sauce. If I remember today, I'll put the remainder in the freezer, just like what the Mama did with her leftover grated coconut and didn't ever use again.



Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!


Wishing you good health, peace and joy, love and happiness!
~ Su-sieee! Mac 




Sunday, December 17, 2017

Getting into the Spirit


I don't know what got into me today. First thing this morning I went into the garage and pulled out the Christmas stuff. Red bows are now strung in the front yard, the mailbox looks festive with ribbons and red and blue balls, and a rickety wooden chair is adorned with fake snow-covered pine branches. Ooh-la-la.

A small, vintage plastic Christmas tree came out of its box to become the centerpiece of the festive festiveness that you see in the photo. Methinks this tree has found its home in that old-fashioned milk can. The ornaments, too, most likely.

Anyone else think its funny that our holidaze tree is outside among the living plants? Ha ha ha. This may be one of my favorite Christmas trees ever.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!


Have you ever wondered what Thanksgiving Day is all about? How it came to be? 

It's not about the big box store sales that start earlier each year on Thanksgiving Day.  Or, is it?

It's not about the huge generous portions of turkey, stuffing, gravy, pumpkin pie, and other yummy food that friends and family gather together to consume. Though that is much to be thankful for, especially if you don't have to do anything but eat.

It's not even about the Pilgrims who supposedly ate the first Thanksgiving meal in the New World with the original residents of the land.

According to the Wikipedia article, Thanksgiving Day originated as a kind of harvest festival. You know, as in thank you, God, for all the food that we have been able to grow, gather, eat, and store for the harsh cold months until we can grow food again.  I am indeed very thankful for the lemons, persimmons, avocados, apples, and tomatoes that we harvest from our backyard.

In the early years of the United States, the nation's leaders set aside several days throughout the year for citizens to  pray, be humble, and remember to be thankful. I wonder if any of today's Republicans would say this was an example of the federal government having too much power and control over individuals.

Until President Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day holiday in November, presidents and governors may or may not call for a Thanksgiving Day. And, it wasn't always in November or in autumn. It seems that leaders were more likely to proclaim a Thanksgiving Day in wartime and during other national crises.

We can thank President FDR for the tradition of Thanksgiving shopping. During the Great Depression, FDR declared an earlier Thanksgiving Day so that merchants had more time to sell stuff for Christmas. Back then it was a no-no to advertise Christmas sales until after Thanksgiving. Interestingly, the Republicans didn't like having Thanksgiving Day earlier. I guess the leaders and their backers weren't so greedy about profits yet. For years some states continued to observe a Republican Thanksgiving in the last week of November while other states observed Democratic Thanksgiving a week earlier.

In December 1941, a few weeks after the U.S. entered World War II, FDR signed into law making the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day, a federal holiday.

So here we are.

Joy, Peace, and Love to you all!



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Flags & Flowers


Happy Fourth of July, One and All!


Friday, July 8, 2016

Eden Hills Friday Hunt V2.2


This week Teresa's Friday Hunt includes 1) Starts with the Letter B. 2) Week's Favorite and 3) Patriotic. My photo covers all three items. Hurrah!

My town holds a lot of parades every year. Seven, if I'm counting correctly. My favorite is the Fourth of July Kiddies Parade. It's the sweetest, cutest, shortest, and quickest of them all. I'm not kidding about quick. You blink your eyes too often and you've missed all the children, the parents, and grandparents marching by. The Husband and I like to join in at the tail end for half-a-block of so.

What's the letter B, you ask? B is for bitty as in the darling itty bitty girl pulling her horse. I thought her rather strong.

Ready to go check out other blogs taking part in this week's Friday Hunt? Click here then.


Monday, January 18, 2016

What's Wrong with People?


"Today is a holiday," I reminded the Mama this morning. "So, no mail. No library. No banks. No schools."

"What's the holiday?" the Mama asked.

"Martin Luther King Day."

"Is this the day he was born?"

"Yes."

The Mama sighed. "The good people die too soon. Poor man."

She shook her head. "The crazy person who killed him. Too many crazy people. What's wrong with people?"

The Mama's question had me pondering throughout the morning. My conclusion, at the moment: Insecurity. Fear is based on insecurity. Anger? A person gets angry because she does not get her way, which puts her in an insecure position. Jealousy is essentially feeling insecure for not having what someone else has. Greed in a person is due to his insecurity that he don't have what others have.

Unfortunately, there are greedy, angry, jealous, and fearful people in this world who manipulate our insecurities for their purposes. I like to think that the majority of us have our heads screwed on straight and can see through their inhuman minds and souls. I have faith that positive light prevails over negativity.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!



2016 is hours away 
(on our side of the world).
Let's greet the New Year
with wonder and cheer!

Love ya all,
Su-sieee! Mac
The Husband
The Mama
Molly the Cat 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Jade Plants and a Rose


I didn't notice the good-luck jade plants growing next to the Mama's red rose bush by the patio until I started playing with this photo in Photoshop. Now, why did I think the jade plant in the front yard is the only one sporting white flowers? Silly me.

The red rose was what caught my eye the other morning when Molly the Cat and I went out to stalk a squirrel we saw tiptoeing along the fence. A bird distracted Molly from the squirrel. Not good hunters are we. Which is just as well. After all, what would we do with the squirrel had we caught it.  Fortunate squirrel.

From the Husband, the Mama, Molly the Cat, and Me, Su-sieee! Mac:   
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Getting Back the Meaning of Christmas


Back in 1990 (or 1991), when I was in my mid-30s, I decided to reclaim Christmas. To celebrate it. To enjoy it. Without commercialism. But, with meaning. With joy. With fun.

For years, until that moment, Christmas was something I went through. Ho, ho, humbug, ho, ho. Not totally. I enjoyed singing Christmas carols and I liked the sparkle-sparkle of the Christmas lights. And, I loved giving presents. So, you see, I wasn't a complete loss into grumpiness or miserableness around Christmas-time. I simply thought the spirit of Christmas was lost beneath all the excessive Buy! Buy! Buy!

I don't recall exactly when the light bulb went over my head, but it did, thank goodness. I didn't have to be depressed about Christmas being commercial. Bingo!

The first thing I did was make a fireplace to hang up Christmas socks and pin Christmas cards around. See the white sock? A yellow pterodactyl sat on top of the  sock. I put the space heater in front of the fireplace, so the First and Late Great Husband and I could imagine it was giving off heat.  Giggle.

I just remembered that we strung lights around our ficus tree. LOL

Birgit of BB Creations wrote that she's hooking up with the Christmas Joy Blog Hop, which ends today. After reading Birgit's cool Christmas memory, I was inspired to join in. To check out other Christmas posts, click here.