Holidays, M-P, Seattle, Washington

Happy Midsummer

Today several places in the Northern Hemisphere have the longest hours of sunlight of the year. This however can be taken to the extreme. On Summer Solstice, the North Pole gets 24 hours of daylight. Talk about sleep deprivation.

I have visiting Stonehenge during a summer solstice on my list of things to do. Not this year, but hopefully soon.

  • If you are in Seattle go to the Fremont Fair. This famous/infamous fair has a little bit of something for everyone.
  • Or attend a Native American ceremony.
  • Or go to a performance of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For luck, make sure you turn around three times clockwise after waking up on the morning of the Summer Solstice.

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Seattle’s Fremont Fair

http://www.fremontfair.org/
“The event, a celebration of Fremont’s “delibertas quirkas” (freedom to be pecuilar) culture”

Fremont is its own “Center of the Universe” within walking distance of downtown Seattle. At least what I consider walking distance. Most people would take cars.

The fair features the Seattle Art Car Blow-Out with over 75 “art” cars decked out in every manner of decoration. There’s a dog parade, solstice-inspired yoga, buskers of every conceivable type (chalk artists, musicians, jugglers etc.) and then there is the 2014 Solstice Parade.

The Solstice parade has marching bands, floats and all the usual cast of characters. It also has the famous or infamous (depending on how you look at it) Solstice Cyclists.

This is according to Wikipedia and I can say for a fact that this information is accurate:

“The Solstice Cyclists (also known as The Painted [Naked] Cyclists of the Solstice Parade, or The Painted Cyclists) is an artistic, non-political, clothing-optional bike ride celebrating the Summer Solstice. It is the unofficial start of the Summer Solstice Parade and Pageant.:

Or from this year’s Solstice Cyclists website http://www.solsticecyclist.org/

“The Painted Cyclists have long been a fixture of the Fremont Solstice Parade – an event created and produced by the Fremont Arts Council. The parade is a fantastic and whimsical celebration of the return of the sun, complete with larger than life puppets, floats, and street performers.

The Painted Cyclists engage and entertain the crowd with our boldness, bareness and enthusiasm. Join us as we welcome summer to Seattle with an outpouring of artistic expression, fossil-fuel-free travel, and fun.”

However you decide to celebrate the solstice, I wish you fun and adventure.

~lisa

Reliable Wikipedia on Solstice Cyclists – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice_Cyclists
Solstice data and more data – http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/SummerSolstice.html
Solstice traditions through the ages – http://www.medicaldaily.com/summer-solstice-native-americans-and-tradition-renewal-247028
Precise Solstice definition – www.thefreedictionary.com/solstice

Some fun FAQs I found for the Solstice Cyclists participants

Do I have to ride naked? Of course not, some cyclists chose to wear a little something. Try flesh colored undies for the ladies and speedos for the guys.

How long does it take to be painted? Depending upon the complexity of your design, painting can take from 45 minutes to 4 hours. If your design consists of a base coat with detail on top, you’ll need to leave time for the base to dry plus time for the whole thing to dry before we ride.

Will the paint come off? Eventually. Your best bet is lots of warm, soapy water, a washcloth, and a friend to scrub between your shoulder blades. Most paints come off in little flakes so I recommend using a hair snare in your drain to prevent them from mucking up your plumbing. In 2004, I discovered the miracle of “pressure washing”. I attached a spray nozzle to my garden hose, stood in the middle of my yard and turned the water on, adjusting the nozzle until the water was a concentrated jet. This essentially peeled the paint right off my body. Combined with some sea salt and Dr. Bronner’s and I was clean in a record 30 minutes! It’s probably not a bad idea to stand in a kiddie pool or on a tarp to keep the paint flakes out of your lawn. Last year, I experimented with dry scrubbing first. I used an old, rough washcloth to gently abrade the paint off and then lathered up and rinsed. Like a charm!

I’m a little, um, hirsute. Will my body hair affect my paint? You can definitely be painted over body hair although it can be a bit trickier to get an even coat. Body hair also makes removing the paint more difficult and more painful. Some folks get into the hair removal aspect while others chose to go au naturel. It’s up to you.

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E-H, Holidays

Father’s Day 2014

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano

Father’s Day acknowledges and appreciates the important role played by a father in raising the child.

Some say Father’s Day is a very old concept brought to the forefront of modern thought by the efforts of Ms. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Washington State, USA.

There is the archaeological story of a 4000 year old clay card given from a young boy, Elmesu, to his Babylonian father.

Ms. Dodd got the idea for Father’s day in a 1909 sermon on Mother’s Day. Her father raised six children on his own and she started her campaign to honor fathers as well as mothers.

In the United States, President Woodrow Wilson approved of the festival in 1916, President Calvin Coolidge also went on record in support of the holiday, but it wasn’t until 1966 that there was a Presidential Proclamation, made by President Lyndon Johnson, declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.

In 1972 Richard Nixon signed it into a permanent national observance. It only took 63 years for it become official.

I have been fortunate enough to raise two children with the world’s best dad. He has always shared equally in the responsibilities of childrearing. He has always challenged our children to be their best, always believed in them, and always been there for them.

I miss my own father and wish he was still here.

Don’t wait to tell your dad how much he means to you. Every year and all through the year. You never know how much precious time you will have.

So grab your neckties, your soap on the rope and those beautiful handmade gifts and let your dads know how much you mean to them.

Or better yet, remember this year Father’s Day falls on Nature Photography Day. Grab a camera and take your dad for a walk.

~ lisa

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North American Nature Photography Association http://www.nanpa.org/nature_photography_day.php
Father’s Day history http://www.fathersdaycelebration.com/

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Holidays, M-P

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an American national holiday that remembers all of the country’s war dead.

Remembrance

On this holiday people pay tribute to those who died in military service by visiting cemeteries and memorials, and many volunteers place an American flags on graves in national cemeteries.

Why Red Poppies?

This site has fairly loud music, but is the best in-depth description I have found on why there are red poppies on Memorial Day. http://www.cal-mum.com/poppy.htm

A more silent and general version of Memorial Day and red poppies can be found at http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=2. The following is quoted from this site.

“Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies.”

Poem extract by Moina Michael (1915), the founder of the red poppy tradition.

“We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.”

About http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=2 This site was created in 1994 to be a central point of information about Memorial Day in the United States of America, help restore its original intent, and to provide others a chance to share their feelings, pride, respect, and honor for those that gave their all. In the spring of 2009 the site’s original creator, David M. Merchant, turned it over to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) (SUVCW) for ongoing maintenance and upkeep. In 2014 it was redesigned by SUVCW webmaster Joshua Claybuurn.”

Thinking of and remembering all of those who gave their lives for our country.

~lisa

http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/23/us/memorial-day-fast-facts/index.html

http://myfivebest.com/five-fun-facts-about-memorial-day/

http://theworldwar.org/

Bridge over a field of poppy's

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Author, Books, Holidays, People

Happy Towel Day

Towel Day is observed every May 25 by fans of Douglas Adams and his famous book series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. I highly recommend this read to anyone who has yet to come across it.

Amazing, but true, on this day you are supposed to carry a towel throughout the day. The importance of towels can be found in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe in Chapter 3.

“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”

Swan with shades

“Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth …you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, Chapter 3

“More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value…any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with:” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe in Chapter 3

To  “know where one’s towel is” means to be in control of one’s own life.

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was a multi-talented man. Besides writing the best-selling Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe series, Adams wrote several other pieces including, but not limited to, three stories for the Doctor Who television series and a few sketches for Monty Python.

A fun set of factoids about Douglas Adams and his books: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130311/hitchhiker-author-douglas-adams-42-facts

For technophiles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_in_The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Towels

“The fictional universe of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams is a galaxy-spanning society of interacting extraterrestrial cultures. The technological level in the series is highly advanced, though often unreliable. Many technologies in the series are used to poke fun at modern life.”

Here’s to carrying a towel around with you today.

~lisa

Many thanks to my daughter, Alicia Hall, for the towel origami

Towel MonkeyBengal and monkey

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/05/celebrating-author-douglas-adams-its-towel-day/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9289617/Douglas-Adams-celebrated-by-fans-worldwide-on-Towel-Day.html

http://www.douglasadams.eu/en_adams_bio.php

http://douglasadams.com/news/

 

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Holidays, M-P

Happy Mother’s Day

Azalea

Happy Mother’s Day to Mothers Everywhere.

Celebrations of mothers have gone on from the ancient Greeks and Romans forward. The American holiday owes its initial concept to Julia Ward Howe, as she first proposed it in 1872.

Julia Ward Howe was a fascinating woman, activist, writer and poet, best known for writing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, but also for so much more. http://juliawardhowe.org/

The concept of mother’s day was then promoted and put into the public limelight by Anna Jarvis, considered the founder of the American Mother’s Day. http://womenshistory.about.com/od/mothersday/a/anna_jarvis.htm

For a complete Mother’s Day History see: http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-history.html

My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” -George Washington.

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George Washington did a fairly good job in praising his mother. Today I would like to praise mine.

A bunch of tulips

My mother is a most incredible woman, a woman who lived life to the fullest long before society said she could. She taught me to soar, to take risks, to be bold, and to explore the world. I love nothing more than to talk to her, share a walk, share a cup of tea, and listen to her explorations of the world around us. What we share is a treasure beyond measure. Times that I cherish, laughs that linger into the dark hours, and a sense that there is always someone who has my back, right or wrong, forever.

“A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” – Dorothy Canfield Fisher

I could spend several blog posts singing of my mother’s virtues and the love I feel for her, but today I will simply stop with what we all have in common: a profound love and gratitude for all the women, no matter who they may be, who have played the roles of our mothers.

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible” ~Marion C. Garretty

~lisa

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom Lily and the Bee

And for those of you who have procrastinated, this is a great site for those last minute ideas and poems: http://www.mothersdaycentral.com/verse/poems/

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