Sunday, December 23, 2012

~Wishing You & Yours Around the World....

                  Seasons Greetings ~ Happy Holidays

Nollaig Shona Dhuit,Feliz Navidad,Joyeux Noël,Zalig Kerstfeest,Frohliche Weihnachten,Milad Mubarak,Gézuar Krishlindjet,Sretan Bozic,Buon Natale,Merii Kurisumasu,Shuvo Baro Din,Zalig Kerstfeest,krist Yesu Ko Shuva Janma Utsav Ko Upalaxhma Hardik Shuva,Sretam Bozic, Hristos se rodi,Feliz Natal,Noëli Nziza, Joyeux Noël,Boas Festas,Hauskaa Joulua,Eftihismena Christougenna,Jwaye Nwel,Boldog Karácsonyt,Natal Mubarak, a Salamet Hari Natal,Buon Natale,Schéi Krëschtdeeg,Arahaba tratry ny Krismasy,Moni Wa Chikondwelero Cha X'mas,Monono ilo raaneoan Nejin,krist Yesu Ko Shuva Janma Utsav Ko Upalaxhma Hardik Shuva,Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar,Bon Pasco,Gledelig Jul,Maligayang Pasko,Wesolych Swiat,Boas Festas,Sarbatori Fericite,Noheli Nziza,La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou,Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal,Wilujeng Natal,Wang swietie Kresnetie,God Jul,Fröhlichi Wiehnacht,Sawasdee Pee Mai,Webale Krismasi,Veseloho Vam Rizdva, I'd miilad said oua sana saida,Nadolig Llawen,Krismas Njema Na Heri Za Mwaka Mpya,Cestitamo Bozic,etc....

Just a few ways to say Merry Christmas!Thanks for visiting my Blog...looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you in 2013!!!Be careful out there.... 

                              Much Love

                             ~ In 2013~

                  The Sage Book Whisperer~

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

~Considerations ~On Childhood~

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
         ~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities English novelist (1812 - 1870)~

Childhood refers to the period between infancy and adulthood_considered to start from birth. A time for play and innocence.Mark10:14

Infancy~Toddler~Childhood. At this stage children are learning through observing, experimenting and communicating with others. Adults supervise and support this developmental process of the child, which will lead to the child's autonomy.At this stage, a strong emotional bond is created between the child and the care providers. Mark10:14

Childhood_a time when most people believe that children should not have any worries,should not have to work_ life should be happy and trouble-free! Childhood should be a mixture of happiness, wonder,a time of playing, learning, socializing,learning about responsibilities and exploring. Worries of the world should be left to the grown-ups!Mark10:14

In Newtown,Ct. on Friday December 14,2012_the children(20) and teachers(6) lives were shattered as a result of the tragedy that morning...victims of something beyond comprehension. I was moved to tears then and when "The Voice" so lovingly lifted their voices to honor the fallen.Mark10:14

What are your childhood memories?
For me...It was the "Best of Times"...
The children of Sandy Hook Elementary..
12/14/12 will be remembered as..."The Worst of Times"...
Good and Evil, Wisdom and Folly,Light and Darkness...equally matched in Life's struggle.

~My Prayers go out to all the victims,their families,the Community, the Nation that mourns this tragic lost~ In time "this to shall pass"BUT_Never Forgotten!!!!!!!

~This To Shall Pass~
If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me
If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too
Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains
That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.
~Helen Steiner Rice~

Love & Peace~The Sage Book Whisperer





Friday, December 14, 2012

~This Week's~ErMG Moments~

It's ErMG!Friday_What's Up,Man?....
Christmas Gingerbread man at his Best_Baking.....Yum!

ErMG!...R.I.P._Ravi Shankar! Introduced to his "unique"music in the late 60's_Love it still.

If you've never heard his music_buy the CD "Live: Ravi Shankar at the Monterey International Pop Festival 1967".Here's a sample:
Beautiful Music,Beautiful Man...Beautiful legacy left behind in his recorded music and his daughter_Nora Jones...

ErMG!... Here's the Winner's this Week_

Ermahgerd!The 12 Best Memes of 2012 here:

Bathroom signs in different countries can be kinda tricky!Here's a little HELP!

This one is pretty mild_Be shocked at some other Bathroom Signs here:

Meet the Fokkens Twins and their PROFESSIONAL Career choice in Amsterdam...DAMN!

One is still going strong_one is struggling with positions(no pun intended) at this point!Read about it here:

Now,here's a Mother/Daughter Pair _aka_"The Sexxxton's"trying their hand at this Profession... in Tampa,Florida.

I imagine a phone message left..for the Fokkens twins:

Tampsters to the Amsters_Hey,Girls!..could use a little help,tips,let us hear from you girls,we're new at this!just sayin'

Another,Monica is at it question WHY? And,Who cares,your 15 secs of Fame are over...
The Saga continues_

Fifty Shades in the NEWS_"Woman to Divorce Husband because he won't RE-CREATE S & M Erotica"...Okay_people  we need some S & M Therapist to handle the fallout from
                                 ~ FiftyShade-itis~!

One of the Cute ones this week_ 4 year old male MODEL!!!!!!!!
Hudson Kroenig.....Remember that name!

No modeling Job needed here_No-brainer_UGLY Shoes_

No-brainer here_Beautiful Shawl_I want this!!!!!!Sold on Etsy's:

ErMG!...THE BEST! Burglar calls 911 to save himself from gun-wielding homeowner_right here in Texas!

Speaking of Florida ,AGAIN_And You Wonder Why People shoot other People so often these days! So very Sad! :-(

Really?You don't need to wonder after this one_

And,for all you folks that think the Government will take away your GUN Privileges_here you go:
Gotta say Damn AGaIN!

Love this NEW 2012 Business Term:YCDBSOYA. It’s meant to bring you to your feet and snap you to attention! It simply means – You Can’t Do Business Sitting On Your Ass-ets.
Interesting read:_

ERMG!!!!Last but not least! I'm working on looking like Tina Turner at 73 years young...

It's gonna be a tough road ahead for me.....LOL!!!!!

As a reminder.....ErMG!....

OOPS!The "S"Man caught me red handed_with a glass of red wine...pardon me _a couple glasses of wine! But that's cool because Santa & his Bud "Rudolph"just got busted_by the BOBBIES!

Careful out there...Until next time,ErMG! homemade Pizza is smelling really good_must go EAT!(4:51pm).

      ~Much Love & Peace~The Sage Book Whisperer~

Monday, December 10, 2012

~The Dance of the~!El Matador!

Let's begin here...The Running of the Bulls!Most famous running of the bulls is that of the seven-day festival of Sanfermines in honour of San Fermin in Pamplona,Spain.
Spanish tradition says the true origin began in northeastern Spain during the early 14th century. While transporting cattle in order to sell them at the market, men would try to speed the process by hurrying their cattle using tactics of fear and excitement. After years of this practice, the transportation and hurrying began to turn into a competition, as young adults would attempt to race in front of the bulls and make it safely to their pens without being overtaken.When the popularity of this practice increased and was noticed more and more by the expanding population of Spanish cities, a tradition was created and stands to this day.
     **********Animal rights groups protest against the tradition**********

I understand the tradition! But,I also get's a cruel way for the fellas to die! 

After entering the Bullring...the dance begins..

Indeed,it is a sight to behold! What I learned from researching for my "Christmas in Spain Party"about this "dance" was amazing! Indulge me,while I share.

In Spanish, the word torero describes any of the performers who actively participate in the bullfight. The main one who is the leader of the entourage and who kills the bull is addressed as maestro (master) and his formal title is matador de toros (killer of bulls) but the word "matador" by itself is not used in Spanish. The term torero encompasses all who fight the bull in the ring (picadores and rejoneadores). The other bullfighters in the entourage are called subalternos and their suits are embroidered in silver as opposed to the matador's gold.

           **********Bullfighting is considered a Performance Art**********

YES! The First Female Matador...CRISTINA SANCHEZ looks like the sort of Spanish woman you might see dancing Saturday night away in a Madrid discotheque. She can also_Dance with a Bull.....

Many male Matadors refuse to fight in the same bullring because of her gender. And,the fact that it's always been a male dominated activity! Her first bullfight was February 13,1993_she retired in 1999.

Types of Torero:
Matador de Toros
A matador de toros "killer of bulls" is considered to be both an artist and an athlete, possessing great agility, grace, and coordination. One of the most famous matadors was Juan Belmonte (1892–1962), whose technique in the ring revolutionized bullfighting and remains the standard by which bullfighters are judged. The style and bravery of the matador is regarded as being at least as important as whether or not he actually kills the bull. The most successful matadores used to be treated like pop stars,with a matching financial income, cult followings and accompanied by lurid tabloid stories about their conquests with women.

One of the most famous bullfighters in history was Manolete.He died as a result of injuries from a Bullfight in 1947. I watched this movie about his story_fascinating,loved it!

The American writer Ernest Hemingway aspired to be a matador. His novel and the movie "The Sun Also Rises" has autobiographical elements and includes bullfighting themes.Spain honored him by creating a stature in his image!

A picador is a bullfighter who uses a special lance called pica while on horseback to test the bull's strength and to provide clues to the matador on which side the bull is favouring.

They perform in the tercio de varas which is the first of the "three stages in a Spanish Bullfight".

The shape of the lance or pica is regulated by Spanish law to prevent serious injury to the bull which was viewed as cheating in the past. The bull charges the horses in the ring and at the moment of contact the picador lances the bull in the large muscle at the back of the neck, and thus begins the work of lowering his head. The picador continues to stab the bull's neck leading to the animal's first major loss of blood. During this time, the bull's neck muscles do fatigue, as a result of the bull charging the picador's horse and trying to lift the horse with its horns. This weakens the bull further and makes it ready for the next stage.

To protect the horse from the bull’s horns, the horse is surrounded by a 'peto' – a mattress-like protection. Prior to 1928, the horse did not wear any protection and the bull would frequently disembowel the horse during this stage. "Ole" seems to antagonize and aggravate the bull_in other words_it's on!

The banderillero is a torero who plants the banderillas aka (little flags). These are colourful sticks with a barbed point which are placed in the top of the bull's shoulder. Banderilleros attempt to place the sticks while running as close to the bull as possible. They are judged by the crowd on their form and bravery.Sometimes a matador who was a particularly skillful banderillero before becoming a matador will place some of the banderillas himself. Skilled banderilleros can actually correct faults in the manner in which the bull charges by lancing the bull in such a way that the bull ceases hooking to one side, and thereby removing a potential source of danger to the matador.

The decorations and elaborateness of the costume of the toreador's outfit is called in Spanish
traje de luces  meaning the "suit of lights".

                                         Present day Matador Israel Lancho

The Dance continues....

Pasodoble_Ballroom Dance
Pasodoble is based on music played at bullfights during the bullfighters' entrance (paseo) or during the passes (faena) just before the kill. The leader of this dance plays the part of the matador.The follower generally plays the part of the matador's cape, but can also represent the shadow of the matador, as well as the bull or a flamenco dancer in some figures. Its origin dates back to a French military march with the name “Paso Redoble.” This was a fast paced march, which is why this is a fast-paced Latin American dance modeled after the Spanish bull fight.

My favorite example of this dance comes from my favorite dance show (DWTS) & male dancer,Gilles Marini(French) dancing with Cheryl Burke(Latin)...

Bolero_Ballroom Dance
The bolero is a 3/4 dance that originated in Spain in the late 18th century, a combination of the contradanza_(based on African music popular in Cuba) and the sevillana_(folk music of Andalusia,Spain). Dancer Sebastiano Carezo is credited with inventing the dance in 1780.It is danced by either a soloist or a couple.A version of the Cuban bolero is danced throughout the Latin dance world under the misnomer "rumba". This came about in the early 1930s when a simple overall term was needed to market Cuban music to audiences unfamiliar with the various Cuban musical terms. Here's an example on DWTS_Gilles & Peta :

Other Traditional Dances of Spain:

Jota Aragonesa: This typical dance hails from the north of Spain, namely Aragón, and features a fast tempo as couples dance with their hands raised high above their heads playing castanets. Moorish influences are probable, as it is loosely attributed to a Moorish poet who was kicked out of Valencia during the 12th century.

Several couples join hands and dance in a closed circle in this traditional dance from Catalonia.

Danced in twos or alone along to the music of bagpipes, this traditional "Miller's Dance" is typical throughout Galicia and Asturias.

The zambra began as a Moorish dance, but with monarchs Fernando and Isabel's reconquista of Spain, the Moors were able to conserve the dance by adapting it to Spanish dance customs.

One of the oldest and most traditional dances of the history of Spanish dance, the bolero is a quick Spanish dance boasting sudden pauses and sharp turns.

At one point the most famous dance of Spain, the fandango is a lively, happy Spanish danced in two's.

Paso doble:
A quick one-step Spanish dance.

A passionate dance hailing from gypsies, flamenco is internationally famous.

Sevillana: Lively and joyous dance typical of Seville and reminiscent of flamenco that features four distinct parts.

*Various Sources for information_including "DK Eyewitness Travel_Spain"book.

For almost as long as man has existed he has used dance as a form of communication and personal expression. The Dance of the El the Bullring or Pasodobles on the Dance Floor illustrates...

~“Great dancers aren't great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion.”~

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

~The Essence of Christmas in Spain~

                                                     ¡Feliz Navidad!
  "Bienvenidos"_from North Central Texas!Join me... we explore the "Essence of Christmas in Spain".

Background:_Since 2001,I've given themed Christmas and Birthday parties.My amazing close "circle of friends"(about 8-10) attend_depending on various factors.That being said,a big shout-out to Karen(started a new job,YEAH!) & Amy( who lives in Tacoma,WA.area)_you were missed! Anyway,let's get this partee started!

Capturing "Christmas in Spain" was a hard one.After researching Spain,the many cultural differences_had me crazy!My objective in theme parties is to capture the country in Food,Music,Arts &Decor.Bottom line,I just juxtaposed a little of this and a little of that from all over Spain!

Food~Tapas Bar~

Tomato/Basil Pie &Artichoke Spinach Hot Dip(Jilly P's specialty),Tomato Bread & Garlic Pan-Fried Bread w/Chorizo(my specialty)...

..bowls of crusty bread & crackers,Octopus(Poulpe) in Garlic Sauce,Squid(Calmars)in Ink Sauce,Olives used w/antique "Toledo Olive Swords",pepperoncini, cherry tomatoes,pineapple w/mint,Cheeses from Spain included Roncal D.O.,Manchego D.O.,Mahon,Cabra Murcia al vino,Iberico,Goat cheese_served w/Jamon Iberico(true 'pata negra'Iberico Ham),Kobe beef slices,Pancetta,Kale salad,Kale & Gruyere au Gratin,Edamame Salad,pepper delights w/Proscuitto & Provolone cheese,Tomatillo Verde salsa,Latin Chipolte Red Quinoa Salad.Thanks Ladies for bringing some of your favorites!

Another_of my specialities_"Paella"_with authentic Bomba "Calasparra"rice,Spanish Saffron & Smoked Sweet Pimenton Paprika. Good source: 

Canas Rellenas con Chocolate (puff pastry wrapped around chocolate)..!HELP!

Roscos de Vino Cookies(cookies made with red wine)...!HELP ME,PLEASE!
Fig Cake with Almonds(good BUT plenty of fiber...careful!)
Dark Chocolate Negro + Marcona Almonds from Spain(ERMG!!!!To Damn good,Party in yo' Mouth_kinda good)!

Purchased most all authentic foods from this speedy great source_happy shopping!

The Star **********Getariako Txakolina*********
ERMG!!!!!!! My friend Jilly P. and I had been trying for two years to get this Wine!No luck_BUT_prior to my Amtrak Train Trip to Paso Robles Wine Country in October_I ordered from a supplier in California and had it shipped to my hotel for my arrival! I like to say_I traveled 3,790 miles to drink wine and buy wine. Note**This Wine CANNOT be shipped to Texas_something to do with Texas Laws...go figure that one!

Read about this "perfection" here:

The tradition in Spain_when served at the Tapas Bars_is to pour it "High" to create bubbles!
 Pour it "High" to drink in this fashion...
Even though ,I've been collecting Porrons..

We all decided we DID NOT want Wine all over us_so we Drank the old fashion way_~Several Glasses at a Time~!!!!

My goodness this wine is unlike anything I've ever had! We want a CASE!And,we want to go to the next Txakoli Fest in Boston area...

Other libations included_Ergo(Tempranillo Rioja 2009) ,Campo Viejo (Reserva 2005 Tempranillo) and Non-Alcoholic Sangria for my friend Joy! She did have a little tasting of Getariako Txakolina at _our tradition of using my toasting glasses to get the PARTY started!
         Long stemmed Red handled Toasting Glasses(far right).

BTW,Wine corks are made from the bark of the Cork Oak trees.The bark is stripped every ten years_Cork Oak Trees thrive in Extremadura and western Andalusia,Spain!

Here's my take on the"Essence of Christmas in Spain" via photos...enjoy!

Those are little Flags from Spain as ornaments_made from toothpicks from Spain!

       A hand carved fan from Spain w/The Bull_my Astrological sign_Taurus!

Old-fashioned 60's West Bend Aluminum Tumblers,Stirrers & Coasters(I collect them)!          


~The Music~
 Awesome-NESS....This played in the background_here's two of my favorite pieces...Check out Amazon ad in right column to buy!

Other music_Reflections of Spain,David Russell and Romantic Spain(Nouveau Flamenco).

Shout-out to those that came a little later_I failed to take photos_as I was "toast" by then from the Getariako Txakolina! The tradition is to take the group photo upon arrival_after that time-no telling what the photos may look like_so here's to you ladies....Joy,Jilly P.Shelly.,Bev,Amy,Karen.....LOVE Y'all!

~Each lady was given a Spanish Fan as a Guest Gift from me ~many gifts were given to each other...prizes as Jilly P. calls them_But the Greatest Prize of All...

  Was a beautiful Sunday SISTER Afternoon!

       ~The Essence of Christmas in Spain~

                ~Don't miss upcoming Blogs on_"All Things Spain" for December!~