I always find it extremely interesting to read about the Christian religion’s special days and discover how so often they incorporated the pagan holidays and customs into the Christian calendar.
I was reading in The Celtic Book of Days that today is Candlemas, the official end of the Christmas season. If you have not taken down your holiday decorations, today’s the day! According to Wikipedia, Candlemas may have been created as a Christian alternative to a Roman pagan holiday where believers walked the city of Rome with lighted candles. And modern Pagans believe Candlemas to be the Christianization of the festival of Imbolc, which marks the second quarter of the Pagan calendar.
As for Groundhog’s Day, it appears that possibly came to America via the Pennsylvania Dutch. Some countries watch for bears to come out of hibernation to check the weather, others watch wolves. Again, according to Wikipedia, the United Kingdom just watches the weather. If it is clear and bright, more winter; if cloudy and rain, winter will shortly be gone. London is having snow today, so I wonder what that means, other than a lot of traffic jams and cancelled air flights!
Here in the States it appears that Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter. Imagine that! I’d be willing to bet it will be all of six weeks in some areas of the country. I certainly hope it is not that here in Tallahassee, although they are forecasting more sub-freezing nights for the coming week. Ugh.
I had my first experience both with early voting and with voting in a large metropolitan area yesterday afternoon. Early voting was not an option in Alabama and the concept at first seems just a little odd. But hearing reports from locals that they normally wait in the voting line for several hours on Election Day (for a Presidential election) led me to seriously consider the idea. Since I didn’t know if Miss Munchkin would be home or not by Election Day, I opted to vote early and not take the chance of standing in line for hours with a toddler. In true unschooling fashion, with work and school schedules to consider, we all decided to do early voting and made it a family affair.
You would think that early voting would mean no waiting. After all, we’ve been able to early vote since October 20th. But on Wednesday (the 29th) it was announced that early voting hours and dates were being extended, since so many were turning out. So we were not surprised by the line outside the courthouse; at least, most of us were not surprised. We got in line about 2:35 p.m. and got done voting shortly before 4:00 p.m., so we were in line just a little over an hour.
All my life I have voted in rural areas where a turnout of 500 for a day’s voting was high. I easily remember election days that I voted at 1 in the afternoon and was number 50 for that day. So waiting in line for over an hour was a novel experience for us. It was a beautiful warm sunny Florida fall afternoon, though, so the wait was not unpleasant and certainly went more quickly because we all went together. The actual voting process was quite smooth, more efficient than any voting we did in north Alabama. And David got a shout out from the polling volunteers as a first time ever voter.
Funny, once I voted I almost expected that the campaign advertising on television should cease! Yeah, like that will happen! We did have an interesting conversation (while waiting in line) about the campaigning that was going on outside the courthouse. It was legal as they were outside the perimeter prescribed by law. One of the kids wondered if, in the event they received one of those robo-calls on their cell phone within the perimeter, if they could prosecute!
I have been voting in Presidential elections since 1980 and this is the first one in which there was not a Bush or Clinton on the ticket! Isn’t that weird?
Brrr! Boy, is it cold outside this morning. Penny (the dog) thought it was nice weather for a romp, but this gal doesn’t romp when the temperature is in the thirties and there’s a cold north wind blowing! I knew there would be a cold front blowing through from the way my legs were aching yesterday. That (the aching) doesn’t happen very often here in Florida, but often enough that I still know what it means!
It is cold enough this morning that I decided to cook up some oatmeal for breakfast instead of my usual yogurt, granola and fruit. I am not sure if yogurt will work in place of milk with the oatmeal, but I might try it. I usually use applesauce instead of milk, having become lactose intolerant over the three or four years. Mmm… that oatmeal sure smells good!
Miss Munchkin is still with her daddy and it is still blissfully quiet here. I am beginning to panic, though, as there is no way I am going to get everything done I wanted to do while she is gone. And then I decided that I had better do early voting, since I keep hearing stories from the locals about how long the voting lines can be during a regular Presidential election here in Tallahassee and I do not want to stand hours in line next Tuesday with Miss Munchkin in tow. Reports are that people are waiting in line here in Tallahassee several hours just for early voting, so I am not sure I should wait until the regular voting day.
My afghan project is coming along very nicely; I’m up to row 65. I will have to take another picture and post up here soon. I spent so many hours working on it over the weekend while watching football and racing that my eyes needed the rest yesterday. It is hard work having to refer to the pattern every few stitched and trying to refind your place each time you glance back at the pattern. The placeholder I have works well for keeping track of the line you are on, but not so well with your place on that line.
Oh, and I got my haircut last week! And I love it! It is much shorter, much less hair (she took a razor to it and then thinned it some), layered with bangs. I will try to get some pics up by the end of the week.
And now it’s time to eat that oatmeal and make a grocery list. Not that I want to go back out into that cold air, but we are out of milk, juice, eggs, yogurt, bread and I need some meat for supper. Sounds like the usual list we need each week.