Saturday, January 17, 2015


The wheel of the year has turned towards the first signs of spring! To our ancestors this as a great time of rejoice, for the long winter days were finely heading towards their end and the fertility of spring awaited. To us of the modern day, we can still relate to the change in the season, which is a great time to start planning things out for this year.
Traditionally in our resolutions are suppose to start January 1st, but let's be honest, no one isn't going to throw all that extra food from the holidays. Your resolution could be to exercise, however you may visualize yourself running in the park before work, but in the current state of the weather may put this plan on hold. Even if you're dreaming about exercising out doors or at gym, there no reason not to begin doing warm up exercise to prepare you for your goals.
Our ancestors understood this period of rest after rest and when restlessness sets in. Now that the holidays of the years past are over, it's time to put away all the holiday decor. Before you store the winter holiday items, maybe clean out that attic, closet, shed, garage, basement, extra room, etc... Empty out all the old food in the refrigerator, clean out the shelves and restock with healthier food. This is a time to put the dreams into reality. Farmers would often order seeds for their crops this time of year, now we try to make plans for our dreams and future. This is a time of renewal, so this is a good time for spiritual cleansing and nurturing. This is a time understanding that what is good for us is not the same as what we want. This is a time of embracing self control, self restraint and firmer form of self love.

While adults, struggling with worries of weight, money matters, relationships, and all that exist in our world, our children are not without potential of growing and learning.

Suggestions for young children

1. Cleaning and cleansing their room: if they are young, help them sort out items and teach your children how and where to put their stuff away.
You may want to use this this time to repaint walls, repair items, redecorate, rearrange furniture, rid yourself of old items, while collecting new. Teach your children how to cleanse their space to make it their own. Let the room symbolizes tranquility.

2. Eating Better: there are several ways to achieve this goal. One of the best ways is not to buy the wrong foods at the store anymore. I also strongly suggest cooking at home, as a family affair. Rather than make the same old items, dare to be different and try to learn another cultures recipe. Make sure to have lots of tasty and healthy snacks available.

3. Becoming better students: whether you have concerns or you simply feel this is something that deserves more attention, your child's education is very important and this is a great time to focus on issues, as well as praise accomplishments.
You may want to start reading with your child more, make plans for educational trips, look up a tutor, find other means to help your child learn. Simply being involved helps their odds. Look into online learning programs, as well as hand on activity groups as options in helping your child learn.

4. Achieve Milestones: it was around this time last year, I said "no more diapers"  and struggled with potty training for months.
A year later, my daughter is very much potty trained and all that dirty laundry was worth it. This is a good time to learn for your little one to tie shoe laces, dress themselves, go on a first sleep over or simply spending more time with peers than with their parents.

5. Chores: should be a part of your child's life as early as three. Cleaning habits are most effective when taught young. Approach the subject as a life lesson to ensure a cleaner and healthier life. You might want to make a chore list. Be fair!
Don't be sexist in the chores. Make sure both genders can cook, shop, clean, do basic car maintenance, mow a lawn, shovel snow, vacuum, do laundry, etc... these are important skills that will greatly benefit anyone.

6. Exercise: being stuffed up inside during the cold months can be rough on children. Best to find healthy ways to help expel all that pent up energy. This a good time to start exercising as a family. Maybe take up some yoga, learn to dance, help your kids get ready for a spring time sport and other physical activities to help your children stay healthy and fit.

7. Craft or Hobby to do together as a family or for the child to by his or herself. Life isn't all about being clean, healthy or smart, it should be fun. Keeping your child active with new crafts and hobbies will expand their interest and help them grow.

This Imbolc 
give you 
and your family 
a brighter New Year!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The ever changing Gods of 2015!

If you haven't read "A Personal note from the author," please do so first.
Many years ago, an idea was born. With that idea, came another idea. With each new idea, several more came with them. They multiply, for they were fruitful. Those idea's formed words and thoughts, developed concepts and those concepts embedded themselves into our culture. Our ancestors when dealing with theses ideas created some of theses ideas into gods and theses beings were able to translate to what they represent to the mortal world. The evolution of theses ideas is still an ever changing process and so too are the gods. Here are a few examples of my own analysis of theses now modern gods and goddesses.

For myself, it is important that the idea I'm looking to bring to my life should be obvious I've choose to uses video programs, (since television is now out of date) to show this modern interpretation of theses gods. Video is a fantastic medium that gives the viewer so much, from sight and movement, to sound and colour. Video has given us a way to see others in a realistic manner. From this medium, naturally gods and goddesses will take hold of it.

Hera to Peggy Bundy 

In ancient Greece and Rome, Hera represented housewives from ideal families. The refined image of marriage and respected motherhood. The truth was Hera marriage was awful and it brought out the worse in her. Fast forward to the 1980s and here comes Peggy Bundy (Played by Kate Sagal) from the hit sitcom "Married with Children ". Although her husband was no Zeus, Peggy like Hera, isn't happy with her marriage, but both are loyal to her their significant other. Credit to Al, he remains faithful to Peg, although both enjoyed going to strip clubs. Some people may become offended that I would compare Hera Queen of Mt. Olympus to Peggy Bundy, America's favorite couch potato. Lucky for me Peg can hold her own. She having married a shoe salesmen of minimum wage nearly thirty years ago, is a home owner. Time itself along with inflation has raised Peg's status to middle class by default. She is suppose to be lazy, yet her house remained clean. Her daughter is the embodiment of every single blond stigma, from being overtly sexually permissive to a level of stupid, one could label retarded.
 Yet her daughter manages to graduate high school and held several job's that were far better than most. (Who wouldn't want to be the Verminator?) Pegs son maybe considered unattractive in their world, but is above average intelligence, but he seems to condemned to the Bundy curse. Much can be said about Peggy, ex bad girl with a reputation she was proud of and born of hill folks. Peggy's life has never been easy, but she manages to rise out on top. She was doing what now refer as "Life Hacks" before there was a term for it. She manages to feed her spending addiction, yet the lights never go off at that house. She fines a way or even better get Al to do it. She is a symbol of a part of humanity, the difficulties people struggle through during a marriage. In ancient Greece it is Hera, but today its Peg. She reminds us that even when things aren't as you hoped, you can still figure out ways to get your neighbor to bake you cookies, while sitting down on your favorite yellow couch (thrones are uncomfortable!) watching Oprah, as the well trained dog picks up dirty clothes.

 Peggy Bundy has done Hera proud. 

Buddha and Mister Roger's

Although Buddha was a real person, a philosopher. Buddhism a philosophy, which develop the concepts Buddha symbolizes. These concepts cries out harmony, peace, balance in life, which has in fact defied itself.
Mr. Roger's a Presbyterian Minster, I'm sure also had no intention of being deified, has inconsequentially mirrored Buddhas concepts to several generations of children.

Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.”  Fred Rogers

He played a gentle soul, who never seemed to raise his voice. He believed in education, compassion and had a strong dislike for people insulting each other. Since Misters Roger's death, his concepts evolved into Daniel Tiger's from "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood." Daniel Tiger a preschooler little Tiger who lives with Mom and Dad in the Land of Make Believe. It has evolved even more, being that its animated it appeals more to todays preschooler. In the 1960s, Mr. Rogers had children of all races playing on his show and now one of the characters is a little girl called Miss Elaina, who comes from a biracial family. This very much reflects the peace and harmony Mr. Rogers projected all those years and still does today.

Mister. Rogers

The Crone AKA Sophia Petrillo
Old and wise, this ancient mother comes with many names, in many forms, but to me Sophia Petrillo (Played by Estelle Getty) from the hit sitcom the Golden Girls will always be my favorite fictional Crone. She images the quintessential Italian grandmother. Sharp, to the point, there is never any wonder to what is on her mind. She embodies so many peoples grandmothers, grandfathers, older relatives and loved ones of age. She is a hearth witch at heart Sophia, with her love of cooking, mostly Italian food. Making sharp wit remarks to her roommates and daughter, all while making some home sauce (in her cauldron) from scratch and pop a cheese cake in the oven. She can be a dream grandmother and the mother from Hell. Her impulsive and rambunctious mouth and actions can get her into a world of trouble or worse, "Shady Pines!" She makes a feisty Crone.
Yet no matter how much trouble Sophia gets into, her wisdom makes up for her heartache. She is the last mother, for she is motherless and is the next in line for death, she wears her matriarch as a badge of honor. She was the least vain and self conscious of the four and still managed to have a sex life. She loves her children, but is always critical, only because she believes they just need to realize their true potential. She is old fashion and can be mean. Yet in the end, she is a mothers of the past. She of a time we will never know and she still appreciates. We can only appreciate her situation, when it is our turn to live through Autumn of our life walking to the Winter lands. 

Shalom Estelle Getty!
Thank you
for portraying such a character!

War Gods, Try Wolverine!
War gods are always a favorite in mythology and today. Gods like Thor, Aeres, Morgan and heroes such as Odysseas, King Arthur, Wolverine, theses characters struggle incredible odds to achieve their goals.
A strong and dedicated solider, Wolverine was well trained to the dirtiest work for those with ill intentions. Armed with the power of fast healing and an unbreakable skeleton, Wolverine appears unstoppable in the face of his enemies. Giant Sentinels , corrupt governments, crazy ego manic trying to take over the world, none will stand a chance. His long claws that come out of his the back of hands are both intimating and aweinspring.  Even holding a replica of those claws can make even the weakest feel ready to fight.
 Yet Wolverine  is often plagued by turmoil, making him the tragic hero, often not getting the girl he wants or losing her in death. He is curse with near mortality and a loneliness only an immoral would truly understand. He symbolizes any fighter who feels alone and rejected by society. He often reflects soldiers have seen combat, may suffer from PTSD, may feel depressed, rage disorders and other psychology trauma.
Too much a killer to live in society, but not evil to enjoy the work he is so good at. One of his saving graces, is he is a protector.
When not under someone else control, he fiercely protects those who are not able to protect themselves. Whether it is monsters under the bed, the entrances of your front door or your left arm as a tattoo, Wolverine is a powerful protector.

 Just don't be a dick, 
he doesn't like that.

Your gods should be personal. They should identify with your life and what you hope to accomplish. When you see them, they cause you to pause and think about their meaning. Do not fear symbolism, even  new kinds. We are ever changing as a culture, society and species. 

Finding which gods talk to you can come in many angles. Be open to embracing a more modern view of the same old stories and keep the ideas growing. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Keeping Birthday's Special

Birthdays are always a great way to start off with a new year. Appreciating life one year at time. Most adults may roll their eyes as that time approaches, but for children, its a special time. It is their day to shine and during this self absorbed time period, they sparkle like the sun.

When giving your child a birthday party, the first thing you should focus on is where the party is going to take place.

Locations and their pros and cons.

Home: You might think this is the cheapest idea, but that depends on what you have to entertain the kids already, verses what you may have to rent, ie pony, clown, character appearances etc... can be pretty pricey.You also must make sure you have enough room or this is not an option.

However if you can you swing it, it gives you a lot of room to decorate and cook the way you or your child want.

Park/Playground/Beach: Children love fresh air and local community lands such as theses can be even less costly than your home. You may have to get a permit, especially if you want to save a location like the picnic area. However this will not apply if your party during unseasonable months.

 If you are in an area where the season change, it would be winter and if you are in the tropics that would be summer. Be prepared if mother nature starts raining. Make a rain date or have covering and other activities to do for the party.

Entertainment Location: Often the easiest route, but one you have least control and often they provides the least healthiest food. Having a birthday at restaurant/entertainment place, will mean no cooking, no clean up, just stand back and watch someone else run the show.

Though some places are flexible and will allow you for example to bring your own cake, which could cost extra. However if its in  your  budget and are willing to disregard a day of less quality food so your little one can go up and down an indoor slide, then this may be the right choice for you.

Libraries, Community Centers, Churches, YMCA's: Certain public options are available. Some Libraries will allow you to celebrate a kids birthday there.

Many Community Centers and even Churches will rent out a room for you to host the party, which is often cheaper than the entertainment places, but you will have to do your own decorating, take cook, cater or just get pizza and you are responsible for clean up.

Alternative to Parties

Trips/Travel/Vacation: Rather than throw a party, take a trip to Disneyland if you can, or go take a long car rid to go visit family and friends the child request to see. If your kid wants to see his friends at his or her old town for example, take the trip and arrange play dates with the kids.

Sometimes reconnecting is better than a party. Sometimes going to a place they have been drilled into wanting to see all their lives, such as amusement parks and other more promoted entertainment, birthdays can occasionally be switched with a trip.

An expensive outing with minimal to no friends attending. This will be more popular as your child grows older and definitely preferred by teenagers, offering an alternative to a party. Maybe theater tickets to see a play, flying lessons, go to the stadium to watch a game, a concert, etc..

An expensive gift in lud of any celebration. Large gifts such as car, an expensive toy the child heart is set on that cost more than you make in two weeks, or any other material item that would cost too much to provide and throw a party. However I suggest doing this the least of all. Even if you don't invite friends do try to honor the day, even with just a cake.

The Cake and Candle

The cake is rather an important part of this ritual. Home made cakes or cakes made a good bakery, really add a special touch for any birthday,(party or not.) It doesn't necessarily have to be a cake, but any kind of food often a dessert as gift to the person.

What is special about the ritual is that it carries the last spark of the persons former year, which they blow out, initially creating them a year older. To some this sounds silly, but to children, this is a serious part of the ritual. The ritual has its roots in pagan traditions, including the idea of the wish.

Birthday's aren't just for Children

Whether you are three years old or a hundred and five, your life does matter and should be celebrated. Be mindful of other peoples birthdays and try to make those days special for them. When your birthday comes along, even if no one seems to notice, make sure you do something nice for yourself.

Remember this year, make every Birthday count! 

Dedicated to my cousin who's Birthday already past!