Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Belated Imbolc (She Sleeps...)

She sleeps, perchance to dream of Persephone's return...

I missed celebrating Candlemas (Imbolc) on February 2, but feel I should acknowledge it now. For those not familiar, I'm including an explanation from Barbara Walker's The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets:

"Candlemas was properly considered sacred to women and to the Goddess of Love. Among Celtic pagans it was the Feast of Imbolg, which stood opposite the great festival of Lammas in the old sacred year. Omens were taken on Candlemas Day for the new growing season, especially the weather." This is the origin of Groundhog Day.
Walker also writes, "St. Brigit's (a canonization of the old Celtic goddess Brigid) Feast day was the first of February according to the pagan calendar. It was called Oimelc, Imolg, or Imbulc, the day of union between god and goddess."

Symbolically, this fertilization is considered to coincide with, or represent, the germination of the seed, both literally and figuratively, as well the anticipation of new growth. So come on, people, plant your seeds and germinate some new ideas!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Suspenseful Tale of a Bipolar Week, or, Snow and Ice and Viruses- Oh My!

Well, the past week has been sort of bipolar, from good to bad, frustration to joy.
First, joy: the beautiful snow, plus a whole week off from school! I took my first real photos with my new camera, and had lots of fun watching the birds. It was great.
Then, frustration: my computer stopped working. It started with a notice from my anti-virus program, so I ran a complete scan. The next morning (last Monday, our first snow day), no internet. Then my battery backup surge protector stopped working, making a horrible screeching noise. Without going into boring details, I spent lots of time on the phone with the manufacturer, who finally decided to send me a new one.
Joy! The problem would be fixed! So I unplugged it from the battery backup and into the wall.
More frustration: I still could not get on the internet. After trying all the fixes my son knew, I called the internet provider. More large chunks of time on the phone later, they decide I need a new modem.
Joy: Another snow day, but we have a 4WD truck, so went and got the new modem.
Frustration: After installing the new modem, I still couldn't get on the internet. The anti-virus program detected 41 viruses. WHAT??!!! That's when I noticed the anti-virus system that kept popping up wasn't the one I had installed. Apparently, it was a virus/spyware thing that was taking over my computer like those creepy alien things in that movie.
I called my son (who had lost electricity due to the ice storm), for about the 10th time. We spent much time trying to get rid of THE THING, but to no avail. ARRRGH!!
Joy: More snow days, so I had time to do some artwork, seeing as how my computer was not working.
Frustration: By about Thursday, The cabin fever set in, yet the roads were still icy. My son thought he could download a program that would get rid of THE THING, and email it to my daughter, who lives down the street from me. She could then put it on a flashdrive and bring it over. The email didn't come through. My daughter had to work. She also had to do homework. She was cranky, and my kids decided that I was addicted to the internet. Ha! They couldn't live without it for ten minutes on a bet.
The cabin fever grew.
Joy: She finally brought it over on Sunday night.
Frustration: It would not install. We kept trying, and it just kept disappearing.
Joy: Just when we were about to give up, it installed. I started the scan, and went to bed.
More joy: Monday morning, it had run for over 5 hours, and seemed to have conquered THE THING. YAAAAAY!!!!
And even more joy: We have another snow day today!

Does anyone know what kind of bird this is? I think he's very cute.

Deep and profound lessons I learned from this experience:
1. Too much of a good thing (i.e. snow days) is not a good thing.
2. Neither is too much of a bad thing.
3. I really, really, really HATE computer viruses!
4. My kids are way smarter than me, as well as kind and patient.
5. Many things look very weird when covered in ice.