Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Keep Calm and Get Your Irish On Party 2013"

Over the weekend that is exactly what we did! For the past couple of years, my friends and I celebrate all things Irish with one friend being the "Birthday Girl" around St. Patrick's Day. Also, it is a tradition I started many years ago to celebrate my husband's heritage as well. I armed myself with an Irish Cookbook _the one pictured _and learned how to make a traditional historical Irish Meal.

And added this book as well....

Now,there may be different dishes to feast on_But,the traditional Colcannon and Bacon are always on the Menu.This year it was Colcannon w/four different cheeses & Brussels sprouts instead of Kale,Lemon-Peppered Green Beans, a couple pounds of Nitrate-free Bacon,Herb cornbread muffins,Veggie Bowl(red,green,yellow peppers,tomatoes,celery & carrots)with a Heart of Palm Dip,Hummus Dip w/Pita chips,Castelvetrano whole green olives and a Cherry Lemonade...and WINE,WINE,WINE! Especially one called "Chicken Run Organic"...awesome! Dessert was East Texas Lemon TeaCakes & Fruit sorbet.While the Celtic music played _we were up to our usual antics_FUN! BTW_Heart of Palm Dip was a NEW dish for us,Delicious!

This was the settings:
2013_Keep Calm and Get Yo'Irish On"
                                                   Jilly P was the Birthday Girl

Here's a look at some of our other Irish Parties_take a look:

2009_Pam & Her Peeps Irish Party

We "Roasted " a friend as Ms.Artichoke,presented her w/ a handmade scepter and crown_because she made the same delicious Artichoke Hot Dip for EVERY party given!

Food:Potato,Bacon and Leek Pizza,Turkey Pepperoni,Swiss Chard Pizza,Green Goddess,Dip Artichoke Dip,etc....

2010_It's Hooley Time

                                         My Buds_Birthday girl in dark green blouse!

2011_Riggin'The Jig

Note: A couple of the regulars were out of town on this one_it's usually about 6 to 8 at any given time for Birthday and Christmas Parties.But we partied on.....

2012_Bacon Get Me Bodied

                                      We had a throw -down  on the food...MmmmGood!

                                      Love these Sister-Girls,they are my FRIENDS!!!!!!!!

So now the next party is my birthday party in May. Jill will Host again at her home. We're going Caribbean_yah mon,Jerk Chicken,Pigeon peas,Fried Frog Legs(not me!),Mambo & Limbo dancing,Reggae music,etc....Then,Christmas back at my home_we'll be doing "A Scandinavian Christmas 2013"_we are gonna be "Viking Women Goddess or Warriors" as in....
We always dress the part, enjoy the music ,food and decor from each country we visit! We've been to 10 countries so far...can't wait!!

Until next in the movie_

"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"1989
Ted:Bill, I think they want us to say something.
Bill: What should I say?
Ted: [shrugs] Make something up.
Bill: Be excellent to each other.
[room murmurs appreciatively]
Ted: Party on, dudes!

                ~Party On, Party On~


Friday, March 8, 2013

~Mums...The Word on "Mummers"~

When I met my husband 18 years ago,I became involved with learning about his ancestral homeland_ Ireland.He served as   President of the Ft.Worth Irish Association.I was delegated to help write the Newsletter.My kind of fun!!_I researched various aspects of the Irish Culture and participated in many community functions i.e. Annual N.Tx.Irish Festival,Celtic Heritage Festival,etc._as a Tea vendor with my business "Let's Talk Tea". I acquired then and to this day..."The Celtic Spirit".

Among the many traditions of the Celts_"Mumming" is one that dates back to pre-Christain,pre-Celtic,even early Bronze Age(4 thousand years ago!). To be sure, a "Mummer" is a person who wears a mask or fantastic costume while merrymaking or taking part in pantomime during any festive season_especially Christmas and Spring.

"The Book of Secrets" certified double-platinum in USA.Has sold more than 4 million copies Worldwide! AWESOMENESS!

Recently, I added the above CD/DVD combination to my collection of all things "Loreena McKennitt". I consider her my "Kindred Spirit".Her music/video takes one on a Soul searching journey.

The manner in which her music infuses the poetry and traditions of centuries pass of many cultures in _
Keats,Shakespeare,Sufism,Paganism,Religion,Christianity,Islamic_stirs the mind,body and soul.It is like unlocking the Secrets to the Universe_a wee vision of the Spirits that inhabit the World.Polish the mirror of your Soul...keep an open mind and learn! 

The Mummer's Dance seen here is a song on the CD/DVD:

"The mummers would arrive at the door at night or at the end of the day, they would knock and their Captain (as the leader of a troupe is called) would shout or sing out a request for permission to enter. As soon as such permission was granted the troupe entered the house and the performance commenced. They might not always be invited into a house as there would be times when it might be inappropriate to have a performance in a house, e.g. if children were asleep, or a sick person present, or if there had been a recent death in the family, or something else of such nature. The important point here is that what instigated the performance was not the payment of money - the buying of a ticket - but rather the audience, the people in whose house the performance would be given, saying "Yes, come in and give your performance". So the exchange of money was not the vital instigating moment for the performance - "The important moment is when the host gives permission to enter. That response is crucial because people generally had no idea who these mummers were, they only knew that they belonged to the local community". So folk drama is about consolidating the values of the community, about reproducing the local community and allowing it to continue. Therefore it has a political as well as social value.

This form of "Irish Folk Drama" includes not only Mummers _but The Wrenboys,The Strawboys and The Whiteboys Connection as you will learn from the above source.Folk drama is the oldest surviving form of theatrics.

Ancient pagan rituals for good luck and fertility from the gods included many festivals,dancing,animal disguises and feasting.
Mumming shows began as miming performances and eventually grew to become more. The term mummers derives from the Middle English word mum which means silent. Words were finally added, but the original stories were often partially lost through translation and retelling of the story. It is also believed that these plays were performed around the end of the year and during the harvesting season because it was intended to be a celebration of the death of the year and its coming again in Spring.

In modern day_Mummers' Plays_there is a central incident of a killing and the restoring of life.The principal characters are a Hero,his chief opponent,the Fool,a quack Doctor who provides a cure to the patient_restoration of Life!

But wait_there's the ever popular Annual Mummers Parade in Philadelphia.Pa. & other cities held each New Year's Day believed to be the oldest folk festival in the United States.Here's a couple of colorful participants!

                                                            "The Holy Rollers"

And...The Mummers Museum in Philadelphia

The fact that "Mumming" traditions still exist today_says much about passing rituals onward_generation after generation,etc.With the Rites of Spring,Ostara,Spring Equinox upon us...I find it fitting to share a wee bit of Celtic tradition with you.I love the way Loreena McKennitt uses the "Book of Secrets" to explore this ritual....bring this Celtic Soul into your Life via her music.

 ~Until next time,
"Blessed Be & Bright Blessings"~

Friday, March 1, 2013

~SageBook Whisperer~Book Review~

The ShamRocker says _it's Book Review Time.Here's a couple I thought I'd share_because my reading is a daily,ongoing affair.So,let's get to it!

Dicey Deere
Now,maybe you've not heard of her.Can't remember how I was introduced to her writings...but a friend gave me one of her books for a Christmas prize_it was on my Christmas List.I could not put this book down_

It's a page turner if you like "WhoDunnit Mysteries"!I loved it because it reminded me of another adventure with my main man_Hercule Poirot(Agatha Christie's fictional Belgian detective).It's a see-saw...maybe he did,no she couldn't have,aaah,I know....all to be surprised in the end.All the action takes place in Ireland_on the great Estates,the landscape,the people,their character,the food & drinks_AND Torrey Tuner_sleuth(an unknown to the community)_that's always poking her nose in police work and other people's business!BUT,she's always on target..I love her.Finished that one _ordered this one_
Read like a crazy woman through this second book!It was so good.I like the way the Writer brings "YOU" the Reader into the scheme of things....twist & turns,complicated plots,interesting characters,a new discovery on each page_Dicey Deere is skilled at throwing red herrings your way every time! So,she hasn't written very many books_ lives in an eighteenth-century whaler's cottage in Sag Harbor, New York. In May or October, she can usually be found at a bed-and-breakfast in Ireland.Not much on the Internet about her.BUT,SHE"S GOOD!!!!!!!!!! Ordering her other books...NOW.

Tracy Chevalier

Finally,got around to reading this one after viewing the movie of the same name a dozen times or more!I love this story line. Could it be my secret love affair continues? Read my Blog post here: 

Anyway,there was much more to love in the book.Tracy blends history and fiction into an artistic Old World Masterpiece,today!

Somewhat in the same vein as reading Susan Vreeland's_

I've considered reading it again and again.Art and the Human experience,throw in Vermeer and I'm in! Again,I've watched the movie called "Brush With Fate"several times_never ever get sick of it!

Ayana Mathis

My girlfriend was over during the Christmas Holidays for a "MOVIE DAY".We watched movies from 10am until 7pm with snacks in between,etc.What a day.So,she enticed me to read the first couple of lines from this book on her Kindle!Ah,I'm old fashion,I like to actually hold books that I read,underline,tag pages,,I don't have Kindle! Anyway...the first couple lines:

"1925.Philadelphia and Jubilee!"August said when Hattie told him what she wanted to name their twins."You cain't give them babies no crazy names like that!"Hattie's mother,if she were still alive,would have agreed with August.She would have said Hattie had chosen vulgar names;low and showy,"she would have called them.But she was gone,and Hattie wanted to give her babies names that weren't chiseled on a headstone in the family plots in Georgia,so she gave them names of promise and of hope,reaching forward names,not looking back ones."

Mmmm,this peaked my interest_so I purchased the book.Come to find out it was on Oprah's Book Club list.It was interesting but I got all tangled up trying to keep up with the 12 tribes_her children's lives.Philadelphia and Jubilee died as babies_Hattie had nine more,doesn't equal 12,right? I soon got the hang of it. It turned out to be a compelling story of the human spirit in the face of many trials and tribulations of life.

John Cleland(1709-1789)
I am almost finished with this one! And,I say that in a very light manner.First off,I was challenged by all the fuss over "Fifty Shades of Grey"_ 2011's erotic romance by British author E.L.James! This was the rage,the "it" thing last year...young women having a hissy fit,swooning over every details,with adult toys being in demand all over the country,probably world! I wrote this blog on the subject matter:

My contention was that Fifty Shades was NOT a new idea! This kinda stuff goes back ...way back,even during Biblical times. So,I challenged myself to read the MOST CONTROVERSIAL book of it's time in English Literature...I'm what you called ADDICTED TO READING...that's a good thing!Off I go with this little number _got the "Wordsworth Classics Edition",thinking Classic,maybe this will be a classy copy.WRONG! First page and throughout the book and ILLUSTRATIONS_as they are called,ah,well,maybe ,NOT_ that would make modern adult sites look like "an Immature First Love"!Seems the Privy Council of England charged the author with INDECENCY shortly after publication in 1749.I'm on page 169 of 203.I WILL BE SO GLAD TO FINISH THIS ONE! If I have to read another "highly descripitive" encounter of her jollies & follies,these living room parties where every couple present takes part to demonstrate their skills in ....Ima just have to say to myself_"Ma'am Step away from the book! Heck,I had a hard time finding a DECENT picture of the book without changing my blog to an adult site.ENOUGH said. Did I say_this book is EQUIVALENT to"Fifty Shades of Grey" ON POWERFUL STEROIDS X's 10!!

There_You have it...Food for thought on a couple Books to read or NOT!

Lots of fun coming in's time to get my Irish on....can't wait.See Ya!!