Festive Lights

most of which have since been taken down 🙂

octa-mas

be-lighted trees

East York Civic Centre

close up East York Civic Centre

rainbow snake

a bit restrained

well strung tree

chez moi

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Frosty Invaders

I love these old school blow mold Christmas decorations. 

broom wielding Frosty

broom wielding Frosty that’s had it’s eyes done

candy cane wielding Frosty

shovel wielding Frosty in the rose hips

broom wielding Frostys in a tree

broom wielding Frosty aglow

broom wielding Frosty in the candy cane orchard

broom wielding Frosty

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A Christmas Mantle

Decades ago I decided our fireplace mantle piece was too boring at Christmas so I got out my trusty staple gun & a festive table cloth & covered it with fabric. It, to me, had a sweet old-fashioned almost Victorian feel to it which I loved. Stockings were hung to complete the scene. Over the year it became busier & the fabric has changed a few times – always something festive.

In the mantle clutter is an angel balancing a horn – the horn is from a set of four that my Dad had – each of us kids got one. The horn makes no sound 🙂 The cherub that holds it is from some yard sale a few years ago. 

The plastic tree once was eliminated but the light socket disintegrated. It is one of my Cape Breton work life souvenirs. It was given to me by one of my Famous Players co-workers & had been in her family for many years. The bead garlands are my own addition. Not so festive is the brass letter opener under it – it gets lots of use this time of year. Stacked along beside it are some gift boxes. The boxes nest inside each other & get un-nested every year for display on the mantle.

On the mantle by the wall is my Cock-of-the-walk. One of favorite kitch items, it spends most of year on the front hall table. It is mainly a rooster morphed into great clothes & human hands. I bought it up at a store east of Woodbine on the Danforth. It store is no longer there. Made of some resin, not plaster, it is beautifully hand painted. Dangling from one hand is a Starbucks ornament. The beads are my additions over the years.

Covering the mantle this year is fabric that I got at Fabric Land in Stratford a few falls ago. The previous mantle treatment was a more tradition poinsettia & holly print which I found too dark. The blue is more fun too. The tinsel swag & lights are more recent – the lights have four settings but I stick to the one glow that changes colours. We don’t need a light show. The fireplace works but it has been years since we’ve had gifts that deserved to be set afire. 

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French, German, Dutch

Next on the shelf is the first of 3 mp3 cd collections of French, German, Dutch etc music starting of with one of my favourite soundtracks from one of my favourite Roger Vadim movies – Barbarella. Jane Fonda is wonderful, though a Bardot clone, in this crazy mess of a movie. The music is lounge sweet & has absolutely no scifi tinges. I loved this music when I first saw the movie decades ago & when I got high speed was happy to hunt it down.

Here too is Plastic Bertrand: An 1. I have some of his other albums scattered though my French music collection. Fun, sardonic & odd. Some of his songs were repurposed by punk bands back in the day. Boudewijn de Groot: Nact en Ontij – glorious progrock electronica – a more rock version of Kraftwerk. Jane Birkin: Di Doo Dah – sweet French pop with an assist from Serge Gainsbourg.

Klaus Bloch: Extrem Musik a la Ping Pong – glorious progrock electronica – a fine version of Kraftwerk. Brigitte Fontaine est folle – psychedelic folk with charm & lyrics you don’t have to think about. Der Moderne Man: 80 Tage Auf See – punky punchy yet easy on the ears. Finally: Jean LeFennec: Phantastic – more psychedelic folk with charm & lyrics you don’t have to think about. All of these come 60’s/70’s and all (except Barbarella) reflect the influence of American pop music on European rock.

Mama Gre’loo

‘Rumba?’ Ped gave Jam a playful shove. ‘Where did you get that name from?’

‘Just came to me.’ Jam snapped his fingers. ‘A stroke of genius.’

‘Yeah along with ‘dat acc’nt mon’?’

‘Well, those guys had it coming. Snooping around here every night. Had to give them something they could enjoy.’ Jam began to wipe the green make up off his chin. ‘Did you see his face. Boy, looked like he was about to crap his pants.’

‘Yeah, but ‘Mambo.’ Good thing you didn’t give any of the others names.’

‘Good idea. You can be ChaCha. Pola can be Tango.’

‘I don’t feel right about it though. What if they …’

‘What? Tell on us? I can see them now at the Militia Office. These boys with red and green faces told us they would protect us from evil. That’d go over big around here.’

‘You did pick the red and green. Afraid of the blue and white.’

‘Ped this is for fun. I know enough not to cross the line. That would have been begging for trouble.’

‘Since when did that bother you?’

‘It doesn’t. Fear is an emotion I choose not to fear. But that doesn’t mean I’m an idiot either. Bad enough we used the right markings.’ He continued to rub at the make up around his eyes. ‘Is it all off?’

‘Sort of but I think you rubbed too hard.’

‘You too.’ He gave another playful hip shove that sent Jam sprawling. ‘You think the other guys got home okay.’ Jam stood.

‘Don’t they always.’

‘I don’t think …’

‘Then stop thinking. Let me worry about that. We’d have more fun if  you’d stop all that thinking. It’s not as if we are robbing the tourists, just putting a little of local fear into them. Get their imaginations going.’

‘It’s not all imagination and you know it.’

‘Yeah! So. It’s no fun to play in safe places. So this had a little more edge than the rag doll and pins routine. Gives them more for their dollar.’

‘I know. I spooks me. That’s all. Mama Gre’loo says we have to be careful with the forest spirits. This is the Season of Change and all things that start a change now must follow where it leads.’

‘You gotta stop listening to that foolishness. You sound like one of those tourists. You know?’

‘I know. Come on, let’s get that stuff all washed off so we can get home.’

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2018

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June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.

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Christmas Express

With NaNoWriMo over you’d think I’d get a bit of a breather. Well, think again. I plugged into the out-of-control sleigh ride known as Christmas – which I know is not a pc thing to call the Yule season. Christmas parties have become Holiday or Festive or Seasonal but the word ‘Christmas’ has become so culturally loaded it offends those not of the shopping or drinking persuasion.x01

As I posted around this time last year ‘Lights Delight’ http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Z5 I’m too dazzled by the flood of lights to notice the daily mass shootings in the USA. Actually I haven’t been able to ignore that – I’m mulling over a blog post about ‘toxic masculinity’ as I write this one.x02

I’ve spent the past few days getting my house festivated – lights up, tree up Thursday & decorated. My first Christmas card arrived while I was decking the tree – in it were a couple of gift cards – one of which was for iTunes 🙂 When in doubt give me iTunes or take advantage of paypal.me/TOpoet.xo3

I do the same things differently every year – ornaments go in different pots, not the same ones every year. Added more lights to the upstairs front windows. Shaped out the old light song he back steps for something more modern, but sadly not as illuminating but those colours are there all the same.x04

Burning cds for my friends – sharing some of the wild & crazy stuff I found to keep my fingers tapping through NaNo. I didn’t realize there was so much of it. As I’ve said in past posts when I flow with the season it moves a lot better around me. It takes less energy when I stop being a cynical prick & I am deeply grateful when it is over and I can get back to my real life.

samp02

Wooden Soldiers

I always wondered what happened

to those presents the magi brought

gold frankincense & myrrh

were they accepted refused lost

put away for a rainy day

because I don’t recall

Joe & Mary having a life of ease

while Jesus was growing up

did he ever ask about those presents

did he remember the magi

did he look at the myrrh

and think what the heck

how much gold

was there    a few ingots

a darling little ankle bracelet

did he play with the jars

of frankincense & myrrh were in

till they broke

 

and another thing

what happened to Lazarus

after he was risen from the dead

is his still wandering around

cursing the miracle

eager to sleep

to dream of being able to die

 

but mostly I wonder about the magi’s gifts

I don’t have any of my first xmas gifts

my first toy car

my earliest gift recollection

is of wooden soldiers

I must have been about four

I’d found them hidden away in a closet

under some towels

I wanted plastic ones & was disappointed

but I have no memory of unwrapping them

did my folks decide to teach me lesson and not give them to me after all

 

did Jesus have a memory

the smell of barns

did the sight of camels

make him wonder

where is my gold mom

is Lazarus playing with my wooden soldiers

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Lights Delight

I can’t say this luge lunge to Christmas is my favourite time of the year. One cannot avoid the season though. Sad events become even sadder in the face of the festive. Cynical grips about commercialism won’t stop that from happening. Humbugging is pointless. One can’t stop the this sleigh ride but I can chose how to respond to it.

gal07

My favourite part of the season is lighting. People do things to their homes that would make a drag queen blush. I take night walks to enjoy what people have done to their homes. The lights are, to me, the true spirit of giving.

They are there for anyone who takes the time to look. A free gift to me, I’m not the one paying their power bill. They get put up with the main thought being seen. Some people go overboard. TV has managed to turn it into a game show but most people don’t truly compete, they merely want to sparkle & share.

gal08

The lights are offered without judgments about who the seers are going to be. I doubt if the homeowners stand by the window making note of who looks, or stand ready to shut them off if that jerk up the street dares to even glance at them.

fence02

When I do my light tours I don’t judge – I like it all. Overdone, under done, doesn’t matter; not done – well not everyone gets into it, without the dark there is no contrast – such is life. My lighting isn’t all that spectacular – windows and such but it satisfies me to see it when I get home at night. My favourite lights here are the ones on our back porch – not for public viewing to the same degree as the ones out front. But I love looking at them at night & early in the morning. I’m sure the people in the houses along our laneway enjoy them too. Plus a few have started to do their own back porch lighting.

Lights delight.

samples

From a series of Dolly Dinty About Town

The Grinding

Festive readers, I am pleased to bring you a wrap up of the week-end’s events.  The highlight of which has to be the annual Lighting of the Trees. Held in several locations in the hills about Crab Apple Corners the horizon is illuminated by the first official rite of the season.

I choose to attend the ceremony at Hijil’s Farm – they had obtained two of the remaining stand of ancient red wood sycamores and had them flown in for the occasion. Trees so large they needed two helicopters to carry each of them.

The first flame was applied to them by our local Miss Pig Driver, Tanis-Lotus Flatly. The trees did us the great honour of being slow to ignite, but once they had been engulfed in flames the look of joy in the faces of the children was worth the wait.

Once these two trees were in flames, burning torches were taken to the sites where other trees were ready for the ceremony. The Great Maple at McCracken’s of Daw Hill was the next to be torched and quickly one could see similar fires all across the country side. Hijil’s Farm perched atop Green Bluffs gave us a splendid view of the various tributes to the season.

Once the first two trees had been burnt to cinders our parish Vicar Father Frank did The Grinding and was quickly joined by the other men who were of age, to participate in this ritual.

I was thrilled to be offered by my one and only Hank Grebly the fruits of his grinding. A jar filled with these delicate ashes and moose fat can sit proudly on any mantle piece. There will be enough here to guarantee me a year of fertility and good weather. After all, it only takes a pinch a day, tossed into the wind to catch the eye of the spirits for protection.

The carolling at St. Sufferer’s Cathedral was once again a thrill, especially now that the bells have almost been tuned. The climax of each verse is a ringing of these bells that echoes though our happy valley and shimmers through the fragrant smoke produced by the Lighting of the Trees.

xmasp

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