Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Secretariat (2010 movie)

"Taglines:The Impossible True Story"

"Penny Chenery Tweedy and colleagues guide her long-shot but precocious stallion to set, in 1973, the unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown."

"Housewife and mother Penny Chenery agrees to take over her ailing father's Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery -- with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin -- manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in twenty-five years."

(Above taken from here).

It seemed a bit of a slow starter, but it gets a bit more active after a bit, and becomes a pretty good, quite emotional movie, I think.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book: Fatal Inversion

By Barbara Vine

"A Dark-Adapted Eyefirst novel under the pseudonym Barbara Vine by the British author Ruth Rendellwon the MBA Edgar. This is the second, a mystery like all her works, transcending the genre. Evoked in beautifully ambient writing, the setting is a rural estate, Wyvis Hall, which Adam Verne-Smith inherits at age 19. Inverting the word "someplace," Adam names his eden Ecalpemos where he revels through a summer with four companions. The months drift by until a horrible event scatters the lotus eaters, and Adam sells the property. For 10 years, the former friends live secure in the belief that they alone know their terrible secret. Then the present owners of Wyvis Hall dig a grave for their dog in the pet cemetery on the grounds and unearth human remains. Making headlines, the news stuns the Ecalpemos conspirators, long since established as proper London citizens. The author virtually defies one to pause between incidents in the exquisitely controlled developments that peak in a marvel of irony that no reader could foresee."

(Above taken from here).

Where do I begin with this book? My thought when I got to the end was, "Wow!" But I couldn't decide if it was the good kind or the bad kind. It was a really good read, but I think some of the events may have touched upon a topic I didn't feel entirely comfortable hearing about in this context. That's a personal thing though, and with that aside, it really was a good book, and the ending caught me off guard, which is always a good thing in a mystery.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Twelve Tasks of Asterix

Les douze travaux d'Astérix (original title)

"When Julius Cesar fears, that he will probably never be able to defeat the gaulic village of Asterix and his friends, he has the idea of offering the Gauls a deal: if they are able to solve twelve tasks that he selected, he will hand over the Roman empire to them. If not, they have to submit."

(Above taken from here).

Since the IMDB clips for the Asterix movies are usually in French (the original language for the movies and books) and this means most of you are unable to understand them, I looked for an English one for this movie. I had no luck, but I found a teaser for "Asterix In Britain" - which I reviewed at some point earlier this year - so you can find it here (yes, it is in English) if anyone is interested in watching it.

Anyway, I love the Asterix movies... They're really funny! I am glad the versions I've been watching (DVDs belonging to my Dad) are translated in to English though. I don't think my French is good enough to follow a whole movie... My French language skills are quite limited.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Promised "proper" post

OK, let's see... Where to start? Hmmm...

Last weekend our fire alarm kept going off for some reason. We still aren't sure why. Nothing was on fire or burning or anything, and it's run by electricity backed up by battery power (and we know the electric was fine... We were watching TV). Everything seemed fine, so we just opened up all the windows to let air circulate and turned it off each time it went off. After a bit it stopped. We'd have called someone, but we already had someone coming on Tuesday to check it and the boiler (anual maintenance check), so we figured since it had stopped we'd leave it until then. It hasn't done it since, and the guy couldn't find any logical explanation for it. All we can come up with is that there was something in the air, and it quit because we opened the window and that "something" went out the window. Like I said though, it hasn't done it since, and he checked the wiring and everything, and it's fine. We don't know for sure what that was all about. He's as confused about it as us.

He's also as confused as we are about why the guys who installed the boiler last year put the pipes for it outside where cold weather will make them freeze (which was the issue we had when we had that really cold weather this past Winter).

***

We've got most things all packed up. There are a few items we just haven't gotten to yet, but mostly what's unpacked is stuff we use daily so can't pack until the last minute. We're packing up the things that we just hadn't gotten around to yet some time in this coming week, since then it will just be the "can't pack until the last minute" items that we have to pack when everything - the place being ours, and a moving date - is confirmed. In theory we "should" know by the middle of September (if not before) that we definately have the place and when we're moving in to it.

I do now know a lot more about the place - and really hope we get it, since it's in a great spot, and sounds like a perfect place for us - but, as I said, I'm not giving more details until all the papers are sorted and we know for sure they're happy for us to take it. Basically they need to check to make sure we have regular money coming in, make sure we're real people, and make sure we generally pay our bills.

I'm not sure if he understands what's going on, but Kero gets quite excited when we mention the upcoming move. We have told him about walks by the seaside, train rides, town being close enough that we can all go (instead of it being easier to just send Kelly), etc, so he might have grasped that at least. I just hope he's as happy about it all during the actual moving part!

***

I've finished the first of the blankets I need to knit up. I'll get photos for you soon. I should get a decent amount of knitting done during my first few days of being in the new place at least because we wont have internet for at least a couple of days (not sure how long... Depends how long it takes the phone company to sort it out).

I haven't made any new cards in the past week or so, but I will be making a couple this coming week that will be needed before the date when we should be moving or just afterwards. I figure I'll get all the cards I'll need between now and the end of October sorted, then I know I'm covered if we're a week or so later than hoped with moving, and I know I can focus on knitting projects and getting things unpacked and sorted for the first couple of weeks after we move.

***

I did decide to completely block the Facebook games. Apart from a couple of, "why aren't you helping me on the games?" type questions from one or two people there doesn't seem to be any issue for people, and it's LOADS easier for me to just go in and check what people are up to (which is all I wanted to be doing on Facebook). :)

***

I'm pretty much all caught up with that stack of movie and book reviews I had waiting on my dashboard to get posted. There are a couple still to post, but only a couple. Sorry for mostly just posting reviews lately, but between being busy with sorting moving plans and having all those reviews waiting to get posted... Well, it just seemed like the simplest and most logical thing to do. Like I said though, I've only got a couple more reviews that are waiting to get posted, so until I read and watch more stuff there will be a gap in review posting (well, other than those other couple, which will be going up some time in the next week). It probably wont be long before there will be more - I've started reading the Twilight saga, and I have a few other books waiting to be read, and there's bound to be a movie I haven't seen before on TV at some point in the not too distant future - but now that I'm caught up I can post reviews as I watch and read things again... YAY! LOL!

***

The weather's been pretty good here lately. It's been alternating between being nice and sunny some days and miserable and wet other days. It's easy not to mind the wet days when there are dry ones in among them though.

***

That's all I have to say for today. Except that my thoughts are with all who were in the path of the hurrricane that's tearing through the US. I hope everyone is safe!

*Hugs going out to any in need of them*

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Six Word Saturday: 27th August 2011

"Proper post coming soon... I promise!"

(Sorry... Was going to do a "proper post" today, but I've got a lot to do. Maybe tomorrow?)

***

Want to join in with six word Saturday? It's easy! All you have to do is choose six words to describe your week, or your life right now, then either leave your six word comment in the comments section of this post, or do a post for it on your own blog.

Six word Saturday is hosted by Cate at www.showmyface.com, so if you take part, please go on over there and put your name in the Mr Linky thingy. Thanks! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy anniversary Styxie And Ranger

Today is LadyStyx and her hubby (Ranger)'s wedding anniversary. So - despite not being sure if she will see this - I wanted to post a message on here to wish them both a very happy anniversary. Happy anniversary Styxie and Ranger; I hope you celebrate many more wonderful years together!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Guess what?

We might have a new home!

Kelly went to see it earlier. I wasn't going to say anything yet, but... *Shrugs*... Well, I just couldn't help myself... LOL!

Anyway, we have to sort out references, and as long as they're happy with them it's ours! :)

I'll give you more information when I know for sure it's ours.

I mean, technically it is ours now... We put the deposit down for them to hold it while we sort out references and such, and said we're accepting it and all that... But I'm sure you know what I mean by, "once I'm sure it's ours."

Happy birthday Amy

My brother, Wayne, has been going out with his girlfriend, Amy, for a few months now, and today is her birthday, so I figured I'd do a post to say, "happy birthday," to her. As is often the case, I'm not sure if she'll see this, but that's never stopped me before, has it? LOL! Anyway, happy birthday Amy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shrek Forever After

"Rumpelstiltskin tricks a mid-life crisis burdened Shrek into allowing himself to be erased from existence and cast in a dark alternate timeline where Rumpel rules supreme."

"A bored and domesticated Shrek pacts with deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin to get back to feeling like a real ogre again, but when he's duped and sent to a twisted version of Far Far Away -- where Rumpelstiltskin is king, ogres are hunted, and he and Fiona have never met -- he sets out to restore his world and reclaim his true love."

(Above taken from here).

Another fantastic Shrek movie with several funny parts, and a few sweet and emotional scenes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy birthday Holly

Today is Kelly's cousin Holly's birthday. I doubt she reads my blog, but... *Shrugs*... When did that ever stop me? LOL! Anyway, I wanted to wish her a very happy birthday, so... Happy birthday Cousin Holly!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Toy Story 3

"The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home."

"Woody, Buzz and the whole gang are back. As their owner Andy prepares to depart for college, his loyal toys find themselves in daycare where untamed tots with their sticky little fingers do not play nice. So, it's all for one and one for all as they join Barbie's counterpart Ken, a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear to plan their great escape."

(Above taken from here)

It was a good movie; really sweet! I hope they leave Toy Story alone now though - despite the fact I do quite like the movies - because I think this was a perfect note to end on, and it would be a real shame if they spoiled the lovely ending by making another Toy Story movie.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy anniversary AliceKay and Terri

Today is AliceKay and her hubby (Terri)'s wedding anniversary, so I wanted to wish them a happy anniversary. Happy anniversary AK and Terri; I hope it's a wonderful day filled with happy times and laughter, and that you get to celebrate many more years together.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Good Witch's Family

"The fourth in the feelgood family series sees 'good witch' Cassie facing a spell of trouble with the arrival of a troublesome, long-lost relative. Outwardly sweet but secretly sour, cousin Abby uses her own supernatural gifts to turn Cassie's family and the local community against her. So much for happy families!"

(Above taken from here).

It was just as enjoyable as the other two that I've seen from the series. In short, if you haven't seen this series of movies, you really should!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The car that wouldn't go (AED)

Mam: "Something's wrong with my car!"
Me: "What do you mean?"
Mam: "It wont go forward... Or backwards!"
Me: "Did you try starting it?"

She started the engine, and the car worked.

At least she had the decency to be embarrassed about it... LOL!

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

"In the age-old battle between cats and dogs, one crazed feline has taken things a paw too far. Kitty Galore, formerly an agent for cat spy organization MEOWS, has gone rogue and hatched a diabolical plan to not only bring her canine enemies to heel, but take down her former kitty comrades and make the world her scratching post. Faced with this unprecedented threat, cats and dogs will be forced to join forces for the first time in history in an unlikely alliance to save themselves -- and their humans."

(Above taken from here).

A pretty good movie, with some funny parts. If you liked the first one, you'll like this one. If you didn't see either yet... Well, you should watch them at least once.

And, before anyone asks, Kero slept through the movie, so I'm not sure if he didn't enjoy it, or was too tired, or - being asleep when it started - didn't even notice there was a movie with dogs in it on TV.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Furkid Thoughts: grooming and packages (LBE)

Hi humans, it's Kero here.

I had a grooming appointment on Monday morning, and when I got back Mami got the camera out to take some photos of me. Don't I look super handsome?


"Yeah, I'm super handsome!"


"It's exhausting being this handsome... I need a nap!"


"Or, maybe I'll nap here... This pillow looks like a great place for a nap!"


"What was that? Did I hear something?"


"I'm sure I heard someone!"


"Who's out there?"


"The door, the door... Someone's at the door!"


"Did I do good, Mami?"


WOW! Look at all the crafting goodies Mami got! Perfect for that card making thing she's started doing again. These will keep her busy for a while... Hope she remembers to stop playing with the stuff long enough to take me walkies!


For the benifit of anyone who wants to know, I took a few extra moments from my busy schedule of barking, walking, sleeping, playing with my toys, and eating my food and treats, and I got you a list of what's in the box. And here it is:

2 small pots of Tacky PVA Glue
1 Glitter 28ml Pot - Red
1 pack of Adhesive Stones - Gold
1 pack of Art Attack Fun Foam Shapes
1 small Plastic Craft Organizer (for sequins and things to go in)
1 reel of Everyday Ribbon - Satin Ribbon Gold
12 packs (all different) of 3D foam stickers
1 pack of Christmas Foam Adhesive Shapes
1 pack of Mini Buttons
1 pack of Adhesive Dew Drops - Silver
2 Polystyrene Balls (to make tree decorations out of)
1 Create Your Own Christmas Stocking kit
1 pack of Satin Buds - Lemon Rose
1 pack of Ribbon Bows
1 Acrylic Felt Sheet - Gold
2 packs of Ribbon Stickers - Little Paws

Like I said, she better find time to take me walkies still!

Oh, and my Mami says for me to tell anyone who's wondering... The stocking kit is for her to use to make a stocking for Gwydion. He hasn't got one, so Santa had to put his stuff under the tree last year, because Mami and Dadi forgot all about sorting one for him until it was too late... Bad humans! So now he'll have one for when Santa Paws comes again, which is how it should be!

But wait, there's more...

No, not for Mami, this stuff is for me!

A new set of bowls for when we go to the new house the humans keep talking about:


And a mat for them to go on (to protect the kitchen floor)... My old one got ruined ages ago, but my humans never got around to replacing it until now. Anyway, here it is:


"Thank you... I'll take that treat!"


There's another rawhide treat like that in my treat tub now too (it was also in the parcel). I think I also saw a couple of rawhide shoes!

Oh yeah, and we didn't bother getting a photo of it - because it's just a basic one, and exactly like the one you saw being used when I was being brushed during the last batch of photos I posted - but I also got a new brush. After all this time my brush is getting in a state... The bits that stick in it and are used to do the brushing (I think they're called bristles?) are falling out. So Mami got a new one for me ready for when we go to the new place.

"Now I'm REALLY tired... I'm practically falling asleep in this chair..."


After all the excitement, it's time for another nap, I think!

Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Happy birthday Jo

Today is the birthday of another family friend... Jo. She probably wont read this, but... Happy birthday Jo!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

3 cards I made

On Saturday, I made three more cards...

First, this flowery one:


Second, this dog themed one:


Third, this general animal themed one:

Devil (I) (2010 movie)

"In Philadelphia, Detective Bowden is still grieving for his wife and son, killed in a hit-and-run five years ago. When someone jumps from a skyscraper onto a truck, Bowden is sent to investigate. Meanwhile, five strangers are trapped in an elevator in the building where the jumper committed suicide. The communication radio in the elevator is broken but the guards, Lustig and Ramirez, observe the individuals via CCTV as events unfold. Tensions run high among those trapped, so Lustig calls the police and Detective Bowden assumes the case. Without being able to contact the individuals, he tries to work out who they are, but he can only account for four of them. Time is running out for the occupants of the elevator, as Bowden realizes he has to get them out quickly."

(Above taken from here).

If you like this kind of movie - the kind where the only thing you don't know for sure is what order people will die in, and how - then you will really enjoy this movie. If you don't... Well, then I don't think you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A rocket ship, and a tiger

I finished knitting the rocket ship I was working on:



I hope Emma's little brother likes it. Well, actually it's initially more important that Louise (their Mother) likes it, since the baby will still be really tiny when he gets his rocket ship. But I'm sure you know what I mean.

And I also finished knitting the snow tiger:


My Mam wanted a "white and black one, not an orange one," so that's why I made it as a snow tiger. I'm glad she wanted a snow tiger, actually, because I didn't have any orange wool, but had plenty of black and white. LOL!

The tiger was, I think, the most difficult knitting project I've attempted so far. I had to try and remember tigers, had no pattern to work from, and also had to swap and change between the white and black to get the striped effect (only once before have I knitted with two colours sort of at the same time... With Max's plane). It took me two attempts to get the head looking at least sort of tiger-like. Mam seems to like it though, so that's all that matters.

I've now started working on my next knitting project... Willow's blanket.

Letters to Juliet (2010 movie)

"An American girl on vacation in Italy finds an unanswered "letter to Juliet" -- one of thousands of missives left at the fictional lover's Verona courtyard, which are typically answered by the "secretaries of Juliet" -- and she goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter."

(Above taken from this page).

Probably not one the guys will enjoy, but in my opinion it's a pretty good movie that will send you on a bit of an emotional rollerrcoaster; ending with you grabbing for that box of tissues! That's what it did to me anyway!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Black And White Mystery Bird

There was a bird on our wall... It was driving Kero nuts, because the closed living room window was between him and the bird, and - as you may remember me mentioning - there is only one kind of animal Kero hates... Birds.

I know the bird would have been able to hear him from out there, but I guess it knew he was stuck indoors and it was safe, because it made no move to fly off. Not even when we pulled the net curtain aside to get these photos of it:




Not sure what it is. I know we get a lot of Magpies, and I think they're black and white, so it might be a Magpie? All Kero cares about is that it's a bird, it's on his property, and we wont let him go and chase it (he may not like birds, but we do).

Snow Falling On Cedars

By David Guterson

"This novel is set on San Pedro Island off the coast of Washington in 1954. Kabuo Miyamoto, a member of the island's Japanese-American community, is on trial for the murder of Carl Heine, a fellow fisherman. Heine's boat was found drifting one morning, with his body entangled in a net. While the death initially appeared accidental, bits of circumstantial evidence accumulate that seem to implicate Miyamoto.

Miyamoto's family was unjustly cheated out of some land by Heine's mother during the time the island's Japanese community was incarcerated in a "relocation camp" in California during the War. The dead man's traumatic head wound appeared suggestive of a Japanese "kendo" blow. Carl Heine's blood type was found on a wooden gaff on Kabuo Miyamoto's boat.

As the trial proceeds, the story of Carl, Kabuo, and what happened that night gradually evolves, as does the tale of Ishmael Chambers, the local newspaper reporter, who had a "charmed love affair" with Kabuo's wife when they were both adolescents, just before the Japanese families were sent away in 1942. It is clear, however, that this is more than a story of one man's guilt or innocence; it is a story of a community's fear and prejudice against the Japanese-Americans in its midst."

(Above taken from this page).

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it and enjoys mysteries!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The weekend's almost over, and...

About all I've been doing this weekend is working on some knitting, doing a little card making, packing some more stuff ready for moving, doing household chores, and walking Kero. That and watching a bit of TV (which I often do while working on crafts).

It amuses me how the days are filled with activity, and yet when I mention what I've been up to it doesn't seem like much. It's amazing how much time can be filled with doing crafts, doing housework, walking Kero, and packing.

Anyway, I hope you're having a fantastic weekend!

Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back

"Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back is a 2010 animated comedy film and sequel to the 2008 film Space Chimps."

"Space Chimps 2 follows Comet, the techno chimp who longs to be taken as a fully-fledged space chimp. Comet journeys to Planet Malgor where he bonds with the alien Kilowatt, and lives out his ultimate fantasy. However, it's time for Comet to prove himself when the feared alien ruler Zartog takes over Mission Control. Comet must show he has the right skills, and join fellow chimps Ham, Luna and Titan, to save the day. The original film saw a crew of resourceful chimpanzees blasted into outer space on a vital mission - now the adventure continues in 3D."

(Above taken from here).

I watched the first "Space Chimps" movie a little over a year ago, and I only thought it was an "OK" movie (as you will see for yourself if you read the review I just linked to). But when I saw this one was on, I figured I might as well watch it. Anyway, it turned out to be quite good. Not one that will make it in to my favourites, but better than the first one. It helps in a few scenes if you've seen the first one, but it isn't essential I don't think. Anyway, it's rare that the second movie is better than the first; in this case, however, I think it is!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How to Train Your Dragon

View the official trailer.

"Long ago up North on the Island of Berk, the young Viking, Hiccup, wants to join his town's fight against the dragons that continually raid their town. However, his macho father and village leader, Stoik the Vast, will not allow his small, clumsy, but inventive son to do so. Regardless, Hiccup ventures out into battle and downs a mysterious Night Fury dragon with his invention, but can't bring himself to kill it. Instead, Hiccup and the dragon, whom he dubs Toothless, begin a friendship that would open up both their worlds as the observant boy learns that his people have misjudged the species. But even as the two each take flight in their own way, they find that they must fight the destructive ignorance plaguing their world."

(Above taken from here).

Absolutely fantastic movie! If you haven't seen it, you really should! I've seen it about a dozen times so far, and I've enjoyed it every single time! It has some funny parts, and some emotional parts. You have to bear in mind though that the story is about Vikings, so there are a couple of, "Eww... Thanks for that!" moments. Thankfully not many of those though. But, seriously... I think this has to be one of the best movies I've seen recently. In fact... Maybe even the best I've seen recently!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Furry Vengeance

"Hoping to make enough money through an overseas employer to live comfortably, Real Estate Developer Dan Sanders manages to convince his son, Tyler, and wife, Tammy, to re-locate in a remote corner of Oregon. Tyler does seem content after he meets with lovely Amber, but Tammy is concerned about her husband when he near-hysterically claims that local creatures, including beavers, ravens, bears, fox, etc. have joined forces to sabotage his project."

(Above taken from here).

Seriously; it was awesome! Very, very funny, and definately worth watching!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy birthday Jean

Today is the birthday of a family friend named Jean, so... Happy birthday Jean! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Titmuss Regained

(The second book in the Rapstone Chronicles series)
By John Mortimer

"Leslie Titmuss is the anti-hero of "Paradise Postponed", portrayed on screen by David Threlfall. In this novel, John Mortimer continues the rise of the complaisant Titmuss, now married to a second unpleasant wife. The author has also written the "Rumpole" series of books."

(Above taken from here).

Sorry for the lack of information on the book, most sites seemed to want to group the trilogy together, and I just wanted the one book, because I haven't read the first one; I only read - OK, listened to - this one because it was in my "need to listen to" pile with a load of other audiobooks I'd been given. Anyway, it was pretty good, with a few plot twists to keep you on your toes, which - I'm sure you'll agree - is a wonderful thing to have happen in a book, and makes for an enjoyable read.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Current day to day life

A discussion on Facebook about how I could probably knit a lion has led to me knitting a white tiger for my Mam. I haven't quite finished it yet... I have another leg to finish knitting, then I need to sew the pieces together. I should be done with it in the next couple of days though. I've also finished knitting the little rocket ship I was knitting. I haven't gotten around to getting a photo of the rocket ship yet though. I might as well wait until I've finished the tiger and do them at the same time now. I'm planning on making some more cards this weekend too, so I'll probably just wait until I've finished those as well and sort the photos for the two knitted items and the cards at the same time.

***

It got humid here over the weekend, despite the fact the weather was alternating between being sunny and wet. The result was a couple of nasty storms. Not nearly as bad as some places have had (thankfully) but bad enough to knock our TV signal out, and send Kero under the bed (one of his two favourite hiding places, the other favourite hiding place being under Kelly's computer desk).

***

I'm finally making a good dent in the stack of reviews that have been queued up on my blogger dashboard waiting to be published. When I first started scheduling the reviews I had enough to fill about two months worth of posts just with reviews, but now I only have a couple of weeks worth of them waiting to be published. Yay! Of course, I also have a small stack of books I'm waiting to have the time to read, but at least now that I'm catching up with my reviews I'm getting closer to the point where when I'm posting a review for something I've watched, read or listened to, it will actually be from something I've watched, read or listened to recently, rather than stuff I was watching, reading or listening to several months back. LOL!

Speaking of reviews, Kelly finally got around to writing all the reviews he's been meaning to write, so he's set them up to be published on his blog every couple of days. If you're interested in what he's been watching - and his opinion on some of the movies I've reviewed that he's watched too - then you may want to go check those out, and keep an eye on his blog from now on. Also, if you follow his blog and comment, and he doesn't comment on yours... Don't take it personally. He's one of those lurker bloggers. You know? The ones who read your posts but you don't know he's read them because he doesn't comment on them. Half the time he even forgets to reply to comments on his own blog (I know for a fact he reads every single comment though).

***

We've recently been doing a lot of clutter clearing and packing in preporation for moving. We've got some things we're waiting for people to pick up and take away, some things we'll soon be getting rid of in some other way, and a stack of boxes full of things packed and ready to go. In this next week we're hoping to get to a point where we have everything we're taking that we don't need to keep out packed up, then we can spend the next couple of weeks getting the things that are going elsewhere to where they're going. Our plan is to have all that sorted by mid September (if not a bit before) so we can start asking about those potential places soon after that, and be moving around the end of September or start of October. Of course, whether things go exactly to plan remains to be seen, since things going exactly to plan rarely happens. But that's the plan anyway, so we'll see how things go.

***

And that's about all I have to say right now. I would have had a post about an outing with Mam and Carl, but we didn't end up going last Friday after all, so no outing means no post about an outing. And I'm afraid most of my time is spent doing the same things pretty much every day; the day is spent alternating between walking Kero, getting stuff sorted and packed, and working on crafts (in between household chores, obviously), and the evening is spent catching up on e-mails, blogs and Facebook posts. Oh, and sometimes I sleep too... Or try to, LOL! Lots of stuff to keep me busy, but not that much worth posting about.

Stay safe, and enjoy the rest of your day! :)

Astro Boy

"Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man's expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father who had rejected him."

(Above taken from this page).

I thought this was a really great movie.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Book: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

By C S Lewis

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis. Published in 1950 and set circa 1940, it is the first-published book of The Chronicles of Narnia and is the best known book of the series. Although it was written and published first, it is second in the series' internal chronological order, after The Magician's Nephew. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. It has also been published in 47 foreign languages.

Lewis dedicated the book to his god-daughter, Lucy Barfield."

"The story begins in 1940 during World War II, when four siblings--Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie--are evacuated from London to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who lives in a country house in the English countryside.

While the four children are exploring the house, Lucy looks into a wardrobe and discovers a portal to a magical world named Narnia. There she meets a faun named Tumnus. He invites her to tea in his home. There he confesses he planned to report her to the tyrannical White Witch but has thought better of it. Upon returning to our world, Lucy's siblings do not believe her story about Narnia."

(Above taken from this page... WARNING: Link contains spoilers).

Seriously, if you haven't read or seen one version or another of this one... Where have you been? If you haven't then you really need to! It's a fantastic book, and nobody should have to miss out on the oppertunity to read it!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Book: The Magician's Nephew

By C S Lewis

"You are about to enter one of the most wonderful places in all of literature: C.S. Lewis' land of Narnia. This is the book that C.S. Lewis intended to be the first in his landmark series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Here we are introduced to Polly and Digory, who are tricked by Digory's uncle Andrew into becoming part of an experiment that transports them into the adventure of a lifetime. After being hurled into the Wood Between the Worlds, the children encounter the evil queen Jadis, who accidently accompanies the children back to England and wrecks havoc on the streets of London. When Polly and Digory finally take the queen away from London, they find themselves lost in a place that will soon be known as Narnia. In this unforgettable story, C.S. Lewis shows us how the adventure began -- the glorious birth of the land of Narnia at the hand of its mysterious King."

(Above taken from this page).

A wonderful story; a must read for anyone who loves a story filled with magic and mystery!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Celebrating Lammas 2011 (FD)

So, for those who have been looking forward to reading it, here is my post about how Lammas went for us this year.

The lion kit didn't work out that well. First the glue with it was all dried up, so we had to use some of the PVA glue I have among the craft stuff I brought recently (good thing I brought that). PVA glue often takes some time to dry though, so we did a bit of it Monday, then continued Tuesday. Things went from bad to worse with the kit though. We followed the instructions to the letter, but when we put one piece in it jammed the mechanism in it, and when we went to pull it back out a vital piece of the mechanism snapped. We aren't 100% certain if it was our fault or not, but with the kit reduced to a pile of scrap timber pieces we were forced to admit defeat when it came to the craft kit. *Sigh*

Our feast and the bread and juice blessing I mentioned we would be doing were much more successful.

We had our sandwiches made with fresh bread, and this yummy apple pie:



And we made sure to set aside a piece of each of our sandwiches, a bit of apple pie, and some of the blueberry tea we had as a drink as an offering to Lugh, and any other Gods or Goddesses who may have been in attendance during our feast:


After the feast and the bread and juice blessing we put our offering outside, and I had just started setting up for doing the ritual for honoring Lugh, which I'd decided to do as a solitary ritual, when my Dad and Carl (my brother) showed up. They stayed for long enough to have a drink with us, have a bit of a chat, and for Dad and Carl to come with me to walk Kero, then they left. While they were here though Dad reported seeing birds helping themselves to our offering already. I told him to grab a photo, but by the time he actually mentioned it to me they'd noticed activity near the back door and flown off. Shame, because my camera was still on the kitchen counter... Maybe a foot away from where Dad was stood watching the birds.

Anyway, Dad also noticed the beginnings of my altar setup for the ritual I was going to be doing, so got curious. I had Kelly take a photo when I was done setting up, so perhaps when you see it you'll understand why he was so confused:


When Dad saw it the brailler (red typewriter type machine), knitting stuff, candle and altar tile were all that were on it (well, other than the cloth itself). He said he could understand the brailler, since that would be what I'd use to write stuff down if I didn't want to use the laptop, and the candle and altar tile... He definately understood those. But the knitting stuff really threw him. He was convinced it was going to be a long ritual and I was going to knit during slow parts or something. LOL! So I explained to him that: 1. It's not a long ritual, and 2. Even if it was, I wouldn't be knitting while doing it. I then went on to explain why I had knitting stuff on my altar. I will do the same for anyone still reading this:

The ritual is all about honoring skills and crafts, and asking for blessings where needed in aspects of them, so I needed items on there to represent my various skills and the crafts that I do. The brailler is my writing tool - as I already mentioned - since, being blind, I can't just use a pen, and the brailler - for those who are interested and don't know - is basically a form of typewriter for the blind, which writes in braille. The knitting (which, if you're interested, is part of the rocket I was knitting for Emma's little brother) is there to, obviously, represent knitting. I later added a reel of cotton and the little plastic needle container that has a needle threader in it for sewing, the scissors I recently brought for use with paper crafts, and the little tub with seporate sections in it for seporating sequins in to, which was there as a representation of card making, but could be another sewing representation too, I guess. I then obviously had the candle, and my altar tile. Plus, there's the plate with an offering just for Lugh in return for him listening to me, etc. And the lot is on a purple cloth, because it's the only altar cloth I have. I would have also added some representation of harvest time or something, but felt the altar was full enough of items. I mean, the brailler is so bulky that it ttook up a huge chunk of the altar (which is why the candle isn't in the centre properly as it should have been), so I think to add anything more would have made it way too crowded. As it was both the brailled out version of the ritual and the candle snuffer ended up being on the kitchen counter behind me since there was no room for them on the altar. I also totally forgot to put something on the altar to represent the things I make out of clay. I'd already done the ritual before I thought about it though, so it was a bit late by then. Funny thing is, I expanded the ritual a bit by also saying the poem I'd written early that morning, and clay creations were mentioned in that. Yet I still forgot to put a representation of clay creations on there. Well, the altar was probably full enough already. :)

So, that was our Lammas/Lughnasadh/First Harvest celebration for 2011.

Next year I'm hoping we're in a position to be making our own fresh bread, and also that we have a more successful attempt at doing some kind of craft kit or project together!

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)

"Balthazar Blake is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath. Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler, a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

(Above taken from here).

An absolutely fantastic movie, with some funny parts and some emotional parts; I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it yet!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Salt (2010 movie)

"Evelyn Salt is a CIA agent and highly respected by all, including her boss, Ted Winter. Out of the blue, a Russian spy walks into their offices and offers a vital piece of information: the President of Russia will be assassinated during his forthcoming visit to New York City to attend the funeral of the recently deceased U.S. Vice President. The name of the assassin: Evelyn Salt. Concerned about the safety of her husband, who she cannot contact, she goes on the run. Winter refuses to accept that she is a mole or a double agent but her actions begin to raise doubts. Just who is Evelyn Salt and what is she planning?"

(Above taken from this page).

I only watched it because it was on. It was a reasonably good movie; not what I'd expected. I actually enjoyed it more than I expected to. Thing is, I'm not a big fan of action movies as a rule, but the mystery of Evelyn Salt captured my interest enough that I ended up watching the whole movie. And - if I'm honest - actually enjoying it. I probably wouldn't watch it again though, because now I know the answer behind the mystery there isn't enough to keep my interest enough to have me sitting through all that stuff you see in most action movies (things like chase scenes and fighting scenes and such).

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Furkid thoughts: Kero's not-so-fun day

Hi humans, it's Kero here.

I've had a rough day, and I wanted to share it with you all.

When we went to go out for our walkies this morning we discovered it was raining again, so we got wet. But Mami said we were having a car ride in a bit, so I wasn't too upset. We went back inside and Mami did things like feeding Gwydion and such. And while she was just finishing up - and just after she told me she'd be getting me ready for the car ride in a moment - Mamgu showed up. I was really excited, but more so when Dadi got in the car too. Car ride with Mamgu and both my humans... Alright!

If I'd only known where we were going I wouldn't have been nearly as excited.

They took me to the vet!

My shots aren't officially due until next month, but they did them while we were there. The shots weren't the reason for the vet trip, the humans - including the vet - just agreed we'd do them while we were there to get them done so I "hopefully" don't have to go back for some time. Plus, I think Mami was hoping to get them done slightly early because they're due in September, and that's when we're hoping to do the moving house thing the humans keep talking about. I think I remember doing one of those a few years ago... If I remember right, they're stressful, and they mean stuff gets put in boxes and we go to somewhere I've never smelled before, which the humans then spend weeks convincing me is home now, until I finally give in and accept it as home, despite my confusion as to why we're actually there.

Anyway... Like I said, I had my shots, and I was a big, brave boy for my shot... Not so much as a whimper! And I got my full check-up, and the vet says I'm fine. I still keep being sick from time to time, so the vet told Mami I should be on dry food, but - as Mami explained to the vet - the reason I'm not is because I refuse to eat it. Mami tried me on dry food, but I hate the stuff. I will only eat certain foods, and dry food doesn't feature (I tip it out of my bowl, take the bowl to hit the humans on the shin with it, and insist they put something else in it... Something more to my liking). So the vet agreed with Mami that it's better to risk me having an upset tummy than for me to be starving because I don't like the stuff which would be better for me with my issue where I'm sick a lot.

Again, that wasn't why I was at the vet.

So, why was it that I went today? Well, I picked up one of those tick things. It was just above my left eye, and the humans couldn't remove it. They tried, but all that happened was I got upset and stressed, because it hurt when they even touched near the area. My humans knew the tick couldn't stay there, so the only thing they could do was to take me to the vet to get it removed (and Mami figured she'd try and get my shots done at the same time to save making two trips, and save a bit of money).

Anyway, they ended up putting a muzzle on me - twice, actually, because the first time I managed to remove it - then two vet nurses held me down while the vet removed the tick. It didn't want out, and it hurt so much that I kept trying to get away (I never tried to bite anyone, Mami just suggested the muzzle as a procaution, because she knew - from Mamgu and her attempting to remove the tick - that it hurt me a lot). I was so relieved when they finally got the nasty thing removed (whole).

It's a bit swollen and sore where the tick was, but other than that there are no lasting effects from having it atatched to me for the few days it was stuck there. Like I said, the vet gave me a clean bill of health (much to Mami and Dadi's relief).

Mamgu had to be somewhere else just after the time when my appointment was, so she just dropped us off at the vet and left, and we got a taxi home. We might have walked, but it was still raining, so we all agreed a taxi would be better.

I've spent most of the rest of the day sleeping off my not-so-fun adventure.

Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Movie: The Back-up Plan

"A romantic comedy centered on a woman who conceives twins through artificial insemination, only to meet the man of her dreams on the very same day."

"Zoe's a woman who has a hard time letting anyone into her life. She has a habit of pushing people away when they get close. She also wants to have a baby but because she has no man in her life decides to be artificially inseminated. Shortly after having the procedure she meets a guy named Stan whom she connects with. But she's still afraid to let him in..."

(Above taken from here... WARNING: Link contains a few spoilers).

I thought this was a pretty good movie, and enjoyed watching it. It wasn't one of the best I've seen recently, but it was pretty good, I think. Kero wasn't so keen on it, and spent the entire movie whining and barking, only to promptly curl up and go to sleep when the movie was over. I have no idea what that was all about, but despite that I did quite enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Happy birthday Ladystyx

It's Ladystyx's birthday today. I don't know if she'll see this, since I know she isn't on the blogs as much as she used to be. Still... Happy birthday Styxie! I hope it's a wonderful one for you!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Craft supplies found and craft items created

Mam found a few of my craft items, she says there may be more, but she found the items I most wanted, so that's good. I think it is, anyway.

I had a box full of card shapes... Dogs, cats, balloons, flowers, and other shapes... Some of the compartments were long since emptied, but there are still several shapes left in the box, as you can see from this photo:


And the sections no longer containing any shapes were just right to sort my new foam shapes in to, so now all my shapes are seporated, and all the sections of the box are full with a variety of card and foam shapes... Card cats, card balloons, foam snowmen, foam snowflakes, various actual shapes in both card and foam, etc.

The box has a pull-out drawer in the bottom of it, and in it I found these:


Beads in various sizes, sequins in various shapes, and some stickers. There were also some cards and envelopes, but I didn't bother getting any photos of them. They were all perfect additions to my craft supplies though! :)

The drawer is now full of cards and envelopes, and the sequins, beads and stickers are with my other sequins and such, awaiting the arrival of a box with lots of little compartments in it, which I ordered for putting all the sequins and such in.

Anyway...

I mentioned the other day that I had made a couple of cards. Well, here they are:


The taller, slightly narrower one was done using one of the cards among the items Mam found. The flowers are card flowers with bauble sequins in their centres, and the hearts and stars are also sequins.

The other card was made using a card from the pack I recently brought, with card cat shapes, a card heart, foam angels, and heart sequins.

The foam shapes and all the sequins were atatched using glue dots.

I also made this:



Yes, that's right... I finished Max's plane.

As you may have noticed - if you remember Michael's plane - I made Max's plane a little different to the one I made Michael. I hope he likes it.

I'm now working on a rocket, which is also a Christmas present for a baby. This baby will be only a few weeks old (at most about 6 weeks or so) when Christmas rolls around. They said it was OK to mention the baby after the 20 week scan, and that was a couple of weeks ago, so I can tell you about the baby now. Anyway, he's Emma's little brother. I'm making him a rocket ship for two reasons:

1. I don't really want to make another plane right now.
2. Max and the new baby will have regular access to each other's toys, so I thought they should have different toys.

Besides, everyone should have a rocket ship to play with at some point, and this way both Max and new baby get access to both a plane and a rocket ship, which can only be a good thing, right? ;)

I've got a whole list of projects to complete, including several more cards, a blanket for Willow (I've got a load of dark wool that I aquired - those of you who have followed my blog for a while may remember when I aquired a load of wool? I got it from Eleri, who used to live upstairs - so I'm making Willow a blanket with it to use it up, and at the same time to give her a new blanket), a blanket I want to make for Emma's baby brother, and a couple more presents I want to make for people. They all have to be done by the start of December, since some are needed before, and others need to get to people in time for the holidays. Hmmm... I better get crafting!

Story: Meagan's Lammas

By Kat Dyer

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Meagan. She lived with her mother Elizabeth, her father Michael, her brother Corwin and her cat Starweaver.

One day Meagan was helping her mother do the grocery shopping. They were buying ingredients to make bread. They got flour, yeast, and molasses. Meagan was very excited. She was going to help make the bread for her family's Lammas celebration. Meagan knew that Lammas was also called the 'Loaf Mass' by some Christians. It was a holiday to celebrate the grain harvest. She helped her mother put the groceries into the cloth bags and carry them to the car. Soon they were ready to go home and start making the bread.

"Mommy," asked Meagan, "can we make a loaf for Cindy and Mrs. Hanson?"

Elizabeth nodded, "I think that's a great idea! We're going to make a loaf for each of them, two for the coven and maybe a loaf for Nana and Gamma Lee and Granpa Scott. How many loaves will we need to make?"

Meagan thought and thought. She started to count on her fingers. "Hmmm," she said, "let's see, two and two is four and one is five and one is six. We need to make six loaves of bread to have enough for everyone."

"That's right!" said her mother, "and as soon as your brother gets home we'll start making them."

Meagan helped unload the groceries when they got home. She helped set out the ingredients for the bread. Then she decided to make cards to go with the bread until Corwin got home. She made a card for her best friend Cindy and Mrs. Hanson who lived down the street. She made a card for her Nana. She made a card for Gamma Lee and Granpa Scott. Corwin was still not home.

Meagan sighed. Her cat Starweaver jumped up into her lap and started to purr. "Gosh," she said to him, "I don't think that Corwin will ever come home!" She decided to make a card for Gwennie's new baby. Gwennie was in their coven and would be having a baby very soon. Michael had told Meagan that the midwife said that Gwennie's baby would probably be a little boy.

Meagan carefully chose a red crayon for fire. Meagan drew a red lion to stand for fire and the South. She drew a yellow eagle for air and the East. She drew a blue dragon for water and the West and she drew a green stag for earth and the North. Meagan stopped and looked at her card. She opened it up and put a silver Goddess on one side and a gold God on the other.

Just then Corwin came in the back door with their father. His face was pale. He had a white cast on his arm. Meagan jumped up from the table just as her mother came into the room.

"What happened!" Meagan gasped.

Elizabeth hugged Corwin tight. "Corwin fell from the tree he was climbing at the park and broke his arm. He'll have to keep the cast on for awhile but the doctor said that it was a clean break and should heal well."

Meagan put her hand on Corwin's good arm. "I'm sorry," she said, "will we still make bread?" Elizabeth looked at Michael over Corwin's head, "That depends on how Corwin feels, honey." Corwin sighed, "I think I'll be okay but I'm just gonna sit in the armchair and supervise."

Everyone helped Corwin get settled in an armchair in a corner of the kitchen. They made the dough for the bread and set it aside to rise. Meagan showed Corwin the cards she had made. "Hey, that's neat," her brother said, "I think I'll make a card for Gwennie and the baby later too. But right now I'd like to take my medicine and lay down."

Corwin went to his bedroom. Michael and Elizabeth were both doing other things while they waited for the bread to rise. Meagan felt all alone. She decided to make an extra special card for Corwin to help make him feel better. She used all her favorite colors. She took her time and was very careful. The dough still wasn't ready to cook.

Meagan looked at the timer. It was about to go off! She called her parents. "We're coming," chuckled Michael. Meagan jumped around the kitchen shouting, "It's time! It's time!" "Hush," said her mother, "we don't want to wake up Corwin. First we have to punch down the dough and let it rise again. We'll wake up Corwin just before we're ready to cook the bread." Meagan sighed, "How much longer?"

Elizabeth smiled and showed her the timer. Meagan sighed again. She had already made tons of cards. What could she do while she was waiting for the bread? She decided to make a present for the new baby and for Corwin. She went and got two jars from the recycle box. She cleaned them very carefully. She saw her father in the workshop and asked him to punch some long slots in the jars. "What are you making?" asked Michael. "I'm making a saving's jar for Corwin and one for Gwennie's new baby," said Meagan. "That's a great idea!" said Michael, "Why don't you go decorate the jars and I'll have the tops ready for you by the time you're done."

Meagan took the jars up to her room. She glued on sparkles. She used yarn. She set the jars aside to dry and went back to the workshop. Michael had just finished filing the slots smooth. Meagan took the lids up to her room. She took out her button collection. She very carefully picked out buttons to fit on the lids. She glued buttons all over the lids in a spiral design. She hid the jars away so that Corwin wouldn't see them if he came into her room. By the time she had gone back to the kitchen it was time to bake the bread.

Corwin was feeling a little better. Soon the house was filled with the delicious smell of baking bread. When the loaves were done, they set them out to cool. Meagan and Corwin decorated some paper to wrap the bread in for their friends.

Soon it was Lammas. They put the bread on the altar with some real grain that someone had brought from their farm. Meagan looked for Gwennie but she didn't come. Someone told her that Gwennie was working on having her baby. While they were in Circle they asked the Lord and Lady to watch over Gwennie and her baby. When Circle was over everyone came back into the house. Michael checked the phone messages.

It is a boy!" he shouted, "Little Arthur Linden born at 6:22 PM. He weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. Baby and parents are doing fine."

Everyone was very excited. Someone mentioned taking a present by their house. Meagan asked them to wait before they left. She ran to her room and got the card and the jar she had made. She also got the card and jar she had made for Corwin. Corwin saw the jars and asked her what they were for. "Well, one is for you and one is for Arthur for being born," she said, "since he's just a baby and won't care you can pick out which one you like best." Corwin took the jar that had blue and silver buttons on the top, "This looks like the night sky. Thanks Sis, this really makes me feel better." He gave her a hug. Meagan felt warm inside. Corwin had picked the jar that she had made while thinking of him. She gave the other jar to the grownup who was going by Gwennie's house. Everyone liked her present.

Meagan yawned. She told everyone goodnight and went into her room. She got ready for bed. When she got into her bed she found a piece of paper and a shell on her pillow. The paper was from Corwin and said "Thank you for being my sister." Meagan smiled and went to sleep holding her new shell. Her cat Starweaver came in and curled up at her feet. It had been a good day.

(Above taken from here).

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Legend of John Barleycorn

John Barleycorn is a character who symbolizes not only the harvest, but the products made from it as well.

In English folklore, John Barleycorn is a character who represents the crop of barley harvested each autumn. Equally as important, he symbolizes the wonderful drinks which can be made from barley -- beer and whiskey -- and their effects. In the traditional folksong, John Barleycorn, the character of John Barleycorn endures all kinds of indignities, most of which correspond to the cyclic nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and then death.

Although written versions of the song date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, there is evidence that it was sung for years before that. There are a number of different versions, but the most well-known one is the Robert Burns version, in which John Barleycorn is portrayed as an almost Christ-like figure, suffering greatly before finally dying so that others may live.

In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer cites John Barleycorn as proof that there was once a Pagan cult in England that worshipped a god of vegetation, who was sacrificed in order to bring fertility to the fields. This ties into the related story of the Wicker Man, who is burned in effigy. Ultimately, the character of John Barleycorn is a metaphor for the spirit of grain, grown healthy and hale during the summer, chopped down and slaughtered in his prime, and then processed into beer and whiskey so he can live once more.

The lyrics to the Robert Burns version of the song are as follows:

There was three kings into the east,
three kings both great and high,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn must die.

They took a plough and plough'd him down,
put clods upon his head,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on'
and show'rs began to fall.
John Barleycorn got up again,
and sore surprised them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
and he grew thick and strong;
his head well arm'd wi' pointed spears,
that no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter'd mild,
when he grew wan and pale;
his bendin' joints and drooping head
show'd he began to fail.

His colour sicken'd more and more,
and he faded into age;
and then his enemies began
to show their deadly rage.

They took a weapon, long and sharp,
and cut him by the knee;
they ty'd him fast upon a cart,
like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
and cudgell'd him full sore.
they hung him up before the storm,
and turn'd him o'er and o'er.

They filled up a darksome pit
with water to the brim,
they heav'd in John Barleycorn.
There, let him sink or swim!

They laid him upon the floor,
to work him farther woe;
and still, as signs of life appear'd,
they toss'd him to and fro.

They wasted o'er a scorching flame
the marrow of his bones;
but a miller us'd him worst of all,
for he crush'd him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very hero blood
and drank it round and round;
and still the more and more they drank,
their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
of noble enterprise;
for if you do but taste his blood,
'twill make your courage rise.

'Twill make a man forget his woe;
'twill heighten all his joy;
'twill make the widow's heart to sing,
tho the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
each man a glass in hand;
and may his great posterity
ne'er fail in old Scotland!

(Above taken from this page).

Legends and Lore of Lammas (Lughnasadh) (FD)

By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide

In many cultures, there are different legends and lore surrounding Lammas (Lughnasadh). Here are a few of the stories about this magical harvest celebration from around the world.

In Israel, the festival of Shavout commemorates the beginning of the harvest, as well as honoring the date that Moses received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. The final sheaf of wheat is brought to the rabbi for a blessing, synagogues and homes are decorated with flower, and a great feast is prepared for all to enjoy.

The festival of Onam is celebrated in India, and people dress up in their finest clothes and give food to the poor. Onam is celebrated in honor of King Mahabali, who was a ruler of Kerala. In one story, the god Vishnu approached Mahabali dressed as a beggar, and asked for land, which Mahabali gave him. Mahabli ended up buried under the earth by Vishnu, but was allowed to return once a year, symbolizing the planting of the seed and the subsequent harvest.

Thor's wife, Sif, had beautiful golden hair, until Loki the prankster cut it off. Thor was so upset he wanted to kill Loki, but some dwarves spun new hair for Sif, which grew magically as soon as it touched her head. The hair of Sif is associated with the harvest, and the golden grain that grows every year.

In the Shetland Islands, farmers believed that grain harvesting should only take place during a waning moon. They also believed this about the fall potato crop, and the cutting of peat.

At Lughnasadh, calves are weaned, and the first fruits are ripe, such as apples and grapes. In some Irish counties, it was believed farmers had to wait until Lughnasadh to start picking these fruits, or bad luck would befall the community.

In some countries, Lammas is a time for warrior games and mock battles. This may hearken back to the days when a harvest festival was held, and people would come from miles around to get together. What better way for young men to show off their strength and impress the girls than by whacking away at all the competition? Games and contests are also held in honor of Lugh, the mighty Celtic craftsman god, in which artisans offer up their finest work.

It's become a custom to give people the gift of a pair of gloves at Lammastide. In part, it's because winter is just around the corner, but it's also related to an old tradition in which landowners gave their tenants a pair of gloves after the harvest. The glove is a symbol of authority and benevolence.

(Above taken from this page).