Winter Celebrations

Winter SeasonFor those of my readers in the Northern Hemisphere, tomorrow is the longest night (and shortest day) of the year, more commonly known as the Winter Solstice. It is a time of year that has led to the development of celebrations in almost every spiritual belief on the planet.

For those of us in the West, the most common celebration we encounter is, of course Christmas, but it is certainly not the only one, or even the most celebrated, around the world.

This world of ours is beautiful, diverse and ever-changing, filled with as many world views as there are people. It saddens me when I see people negating or belittling the beliefs of others. My purpose for this post is to showcase a small portion of the holidays and religious observances being celebrated around the world at this time of year (that being November, December, January), and hopefully knowledge will lead to understanding and, eventually, acceptance. Continue reading

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘’Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.’

I wish.  It sure as hell isn’t that quiet in our house, let me tell you. There’s no popping off to bed early, dreaming of sugar plums (whatever the hell they are) and waiting for good old St Nick here. No, here it’s all noise and bickering and chaos. Continue reading

Photo With Santa

Photo With Santa

I could not find my photo of Butterfly’s first Christmas, so here is a photo taken of myself (standing) with my siblings.

Recipe will be late

G’day everyone. Just a quick note that the coconut ice recipe will be late as I have run out of some key ingredients and cannot replace them until pay day. It will be posted as soon as I am able, however.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Top Ten Xmas Houses

Every year, families around the globe decorate their homes to reflect their excitement about the Christmas season, and every year the best of such houses are posted on YouTube. I won’t be writing about each individual house, as I think each video speaks for itself.

So sit back, relax, maybe sip some eggnog and enjoy my top ten list of Xmas houses, from ten to one: Continue reading

What is the Meaning of this?

CALVIN:
This whole Santa Claus thing just doesn’t make sense. Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery?
If the guy exists why doesn’t he ever show himself and prove it?
And if he doesn’t exist what’s the meaning of all this?

HOBBES:
I dunno. Isn’t this a religious holiday?

CALVIN:
Yeah, but actually, I’ve got the same questions about God.”

— Bill Watterson

Sleigh Bells in the Snow

Snow. It means so many things to so many different people. It speaks of magic and Christmas and the sound of children’s laughter; it speaks of cold and darkness and death. Continue reading

River Canyon Restaurant

Last year we had a bit of cash saved up and decided to go out for Christmas dinner instead of cooking at home. After looking around to see who was open, we ended up deciding on the River Canyon Restaurant in Parramatta. River Canyon is located at 96 Phillip Street in Parramatta, NSW and is best known for its buffet meals and live shows.

As with most restaurants, Christmas dinner is a bit pricier than the normal fare, but the cost is well worth it. The Xmas prices are tiered according to age as follows: Continue reading

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

christmas-carolers

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too–
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes–how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight–
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

— Clement Clark Moore

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/twas-the-night-before-christmas-by-clement-clarke-moore#ixzz3toyKX4B2

Top Ten Unusual Gifts

It can be quite difficult to get the perfect gift for that special someone. After all, everybody is into different things and, what one recipient might hate, another will think is the best gift they received this year.

While some people prefer traditional gifts like jewellery or books, others prefer their gifts to be a little more unique and that is what this list is all about. Continue reading

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Created with clker and paint.net.

The Sound of Falling Snow

Trigger Warning: Suicide

I never knew snow had a sound. Oh, I knew about the crunch it makes as you walk over it and the irritating nails on chalkboard sound of skis passing over the top. I have even heard the dull thud of snowballs hitting my brother once when we visited Charlotte Pass. Nothing in my life, though, prepared me for the near silent whisper of snowflakes floating gently to the ground, a sound so quiet it is almost felt rather than heard. Continue reading

Ho, Ho, Ho

  • If your left leg was thanksgiving, and your right leg is Christmas, can I come visit you between the holidays?
  • Remember, children. The best way to get a puppy for Christmas is to beg for a baby brother.
  • Interested in seeing the “North Pole”? (Well, that’s what the Mrs. calls it)
  • The 3 stages of man: He believes in Santa Claus. He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. He is Santa Claus.
  • What is the best evidence that Microsoft has a monopoly? Santa Claus had to switch from Chimneys to Windows.

Taken from : onelinefun.com

Christmas Checklist

The Christmas season can be loads of fun but, if you aren’t prepared, it can also be very stressful. Here is the ultimate checklist to help you stay on top of things and replace all that stress with relaxation and enjoyment. Continue reading

Top Ten Unusual Xmas Trees

xmas trees

Christmas trees are a fairly standard decoration in the home of anybody who celebrates that particular holiday, and how a tree is decorated says a lot about the interests of that particular household.

Some homes and businesses, however, take their unique sense of style a little further. Instead of worrying over little things like decorations, they prefer to allow the tree itself to speak for them. Continue reading

My Recent Life November 2015

Wet & WildFirst off, allow me to apologise for the fact that this is not the originally scheduled post about Hijab. I will still be posting on that topic; it has merely been postponed for a couple of months. I decided that, what with everything happening in my life right now, I just don’t have the time to do the topic the justice it deserves. Sorry to everyone who was wanting to read it, but I’m sure you would prefer to wait a while for a decent post than to have me post a sub-par blog on time, right?

So, what has been going on with me, myself and I? My life is not an exciting one, but it is mine, so it is what you are stuck with, I’m afraid. Continue reading

Update 29 November 2015

I have not completely caught up with the posts I missed, but I am getting there. The posts for the 18th, 19th & 23rd of November are now up:

Chocolate Crackles

Yasmine November 2015

Aging

Also, would like to apologise in advance but, due to all the catching up I have had to do, I have not been able to devote as much time to my research on Hijab. Therefore, my upcoming blog post on the topic has been postponed and will probably be published some time in February. Sorry to those who were wanting to read it.

Post Update 28 Nov 2015

I have begun writing the posts from the week I missed due to no internet access. Some of the topics have proved to be quite time-consuming, though, so I won’t be able to complete them all at once.

In any case, the posts from the 25th and 26th are now up:

The Suspected Wharfie

Awesome Anime Reviewers

Better

I knew this would happen. Granted I hadn’t expected it to be quite so soon, but I had expected it. And I told them. Repeatedly. I tried to warn them; tried to prepare them for this moment, but they refused to listen; refused to believe. I’m not so crazy now, though, am I?

I’m no longer the strange woman parents warn their children about; no more crossing the street to avoid me now. No. Now it’s “I always knew there was something to your theories, Mrs Kelly”, and “I never believed what they said about you, Mrs Kelly”. Oh no. The shit’s hit the fan and suddenly I’m the bees’ knees; queen of the hill; everyone’s best mate. Continue reading

Awesome Anime Reviewers

Anime Reviewers

Anyone who has ever met me will be aware that my two greatest obsessions are reading and Harry Potter. If you and I have more than a passing acquaintance, you will know that my third love (aside from family, of course) is anime.

Unfortunately, aside from a couple of Facebook friends (and my own children), I really don’t know anybody else who enjoys anime anywhere near as much. Oh, I know plenty of people who dabble. People whose experience of anime is limited to Pokémon, Astro Boy and the more popular Studio Ghibli films.

Now, I am by no means an anime aficionado. In fact, as much as I love anime, I still regard myself as a casual viewer. But with most people I associate having watched even less than I have, where am I to find new anime to watch?

I can find new titles by browsing the store shelves but, while reading the box will give me a pretty good idea of what the show is about, it really doesn’t tell me whether or not it is any good. With an extremely limited budget, I am fairly keen to spend my money on anime I will want to keep. This is where YouTube comes into its own. Continue reading

Apologies

I would like to apologise for the lack of posts this past week. I have been offline due to an unpaid bill. I am back online now though and I will add (and backdate) the missing posts tomorrow. I need to use this afternoon to catch up on all my emails and facebook is probably overloaded with messages by now as well. I’ll get those posts up asap.

In the meantime, why not check out my other blog Turning Pages?

The Suspected Wharfie

There was a certain wharfie on the Melbourne waterfront who was suspected of stealing. Each day he left the wharf where he worked, pushing a wheelbarrow filled with straw. So a police detective was detailed to watch him. The detective searched among the straw but found nothing; and yet he was satisfied in his own mind that the wharf labourer was engaged in pilfering of some sort. This went on, day after day, for two weeks.

Late one afternoon the wharf labourer dropped in at the Seamen’s Arms for a beer. The detective who had been detailed to watch him joined him at the bar counter and said, “Look here, I’m being posted to Bendigo, so you can talk freely. I promise not to tell anyone. I’m just curious. What are you stealing?”

“Well,” said the wharfie, “under the circumstances I don’t suppose there’s any harm in telling you. It’s wheelbarrows.”

— Bill Wannan’s Come in Spinner: A Treasury of Popular Australian Humour

Top Ten Harry Potter Ships in Fanfiction

Harry Potter Ships

This blog post may contain spoilers for various fandoms. You have been warned.

Fanfiction stories are a staple of any fandom. They allow fans to re-imagine all the parts of the original work they didn’t like or place their favourite characters in different situations. They allow fans to take their favourite scene and say things like “What if Snape collected Harry instead of Hagrid?” or “What if Pain left everyone dead?” and imagine how these tiny changes might affect the entire story.

Fanfiction stories also allow fans to combine their favourite fandoms. I have read stories where Cedric Diggory (Harry Potter) turned out to be Edward Cullen (Twilight). I have read stories where Vernon abused Harry while on a business trip to the States and Harry wound up in the care of Casey Novak (SVU), who turned out to be a witch. I have read stories where Harry somehow came in contact with the NCIS team, the Winchesters or the Avengers. All of these authors were able to create situations for these fandoms to interact without stretching the point of incredulity to breaking and all wrote excellent stories that were well worth reading. Continue reading