I finished up the summer season by preforming at one of my favorite events/venues, a large annual luau held in Puyallup.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that performance season is over (Halloween, Equinox, Solstice, First Night all fabulous fire opportunities), this was just the last hurrah of summer (and so much fun).
Photo below is courtesy of Sharon Uhlig of Third Eye Imaging… (I love how she captured the ring of fire)
I’ve added a couple of new toys tools to the mix, one of my favorites being the windfire rings (I just love something that I can toss into the air on fire 😉
Mickie Smith got some good video, so I was able to update my promo video. I still need to get someone to shoot video of the palm torch and levi wand and would like some video with the staff and hoop taken when it’s darker out (big thanks to Zach Ouellette for the video of those that I do have)
If anyone wants to give my YouTube video some love by watching it on the site and/or providing a link so that it moves up in the search engine rankings, that would be awesome.
Today is the day in which everyone claims to be “Irish” for a day. (Oh, did you know that St Patrick is believed to have been of Welsh descent?)
It’s a day where many of the self proclaimed Irish go out and drink too much and often behave like idiots. Much like New Year’s Eve, St Patrick’s Day is often considered “amateur night” due to the sheer volume of drunken idiots out getting their party on.
Like New Years Eve, it’s certainly not a night I’d be out on the road risking my life driving with the idiots, especially not on a night when I have things to do the next day.
And then there’s the big debate (OK, it’s a big debate in some circles) as to if the alleged “snakes” that St Patrick supposedly drove out of Ireland really refers to the serpent symbol favored by the druids as he helped (forcibly) covert the country to Christianity.
I know many good pagan folk that boycott the holiday because face it, driving the earth centered religion out of the land isn’t a very nice thing to do so why “celebrate” it? (Hmmm, sounds a bit like US Thanksgiving doesn’t it?)
I know many peace loving people of Irish descent who wear red to protest the blood shed by religious war in Ireland and do not participate in the activities.
I know other people who wear Orange on the day in support of Irish Protestants.
It’s not only a holiday in which people often over indulge, but it is one that has some serious social, political and religious issues attached to it.
I’m becoming a fan of the term “Irish Day” rather than “St Patrick’s Day”. Although I am of Irish descent (and Scots and Welsh among others) I am not Catholic (nor Christian) and the only “saint” I have any relationship with is Brigid who was a Goddess long before she was canonized, and her flame is still tended in Kildare Ireland. (Interestingly enough, by nuns)
I wear green, not to choose a “side” but because I don’t necessarily want to be pinched. (oh, and I’ve been told it looks good with my hair color) and because, hey why not appreciate it for the Americanized celebration it is.
I often run in the Tacoma and (bigger and crazier) Seattle St Paddy’s Day races, which are about community and tradition (and good healthy fun/earning one’s beer) and attend Celtic festivals in Seattle and Tacoma.
I’m going to celebrate “Irish Day” and let everyone else celebrate (or not) as they see fit. (much like I celebrate US Thanksgiving as a day to give thanks and share with friends rather than pretend that atrocities were not committed against the first nations people)
I enjoy Celtic music and a Guinness as much as anyone. Two years ago, I walked to my neighborhood pub to listened to some music, drank a Guinness (no sitting, it was standing room only), realized that it was too loud/noisy/crowded to talk to anyone or get another beer without waiting for an hour, went home early (did I mention that 5:00 AM wakeup call?) and and watched “The Secret of Roan Inish”
For the last two years, I decided to forgo the crowds and am instead hosting a small gathering of local friends & neighbors to drink Draught Guinness (the fun kind in the can with the C02 cartridge that looks so pretty in the glass) eat home cooked pulled pork (way tastier and healthier than corned beef) some live music and perhaps we will also watch “The Secret of Roan Inish”, a truly charming Irish tale.
I hope everyone enjoys this day and that they do so responsibly; please don’t drink and drive and risk your life or the life of some innocent person on the road.
I was super excited to host my first Hilltop Solstice instead of having it at someone else’s house or trying to cram people in that tiny apartment as I had to do for the last several years.
This was truly the best solstice ever, entirely because of the wonderful friends and neighbors who came to celebrate (32 people showed up, OMG that’s awesome)
I drug the fire pit out of the basement and set up the Yule log on the lower branches cut from the tree.
Of course, a huge log, even when surround by combustibles can benefit from the liberal application of tiki torch oil (citronella and cedar oil type).
And away we go…
It took several tries to get the first candle lit.
Once we got the light from the Yule log (comprised of a log gifted to me my by friend and neighbor Jim, a bit of last year’s yule log, a cutting of the base and some branches from this year’s tree, the piece of the pear tree that blew down in the wind storm a few weeks ago, holly, bay laurel, lavender, sage, mugwort, hawthorn berries and roses from my yard and ashes from the 13 indigenous grandmothers) we carried the “solstice light” inside the house.
I did the annual reading talking about why solstice is a sacred time for so many world traditions and the commonality they all share.
We then “passed the light” candle to candle around the circle (or rather an amoeba shaped circle that encompassed two rooms) while “The Christians and the Pagans” CD played. (singing, badly is not only allowed, but encouraged)
When all the candles were lit we raised them to symbolize the return of the light and the light we hope to bring into the world in the coming season.
Then while the CD played, we sang a joyful rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” and went back into party mode.
I made my traditional solstice Crab Rangoons and stuffed mushrooms
It was a fight to even get them out of the kitchen an on to the table. I was getting mugged trying to get out of the kitchen.
(although out of foucus, this picture cracks me up… I’m yelling “HOT” and Patricia looks worried that rangoons will fly)
It was a FABULOUS “Day After Thanksgiving Feast/Holiday Kickoff-Open House/Anti Black Friday Protest” last night with about 20 friends.
It is so wonderful to be able to do it in my own home again, instead of that crappy little apartment.
I’ll post more later, but in the mean time, here is a slide show of the photos, including the feast, decorations and some spinning practice on the new wheel. (because although Francine wanted to make me wait and learn to drop spindle first, she couldn’t resist the siren song of the wheel)
I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday as well.
The kitchen of course, is a disaster, but I’m happy and blessed to have friends to dirty it up for.
Recently, several friends have had some major stressors/challenges/sadness in their lives: injuries, relationship issues, job stress/unemployment, financial/mortgage problems and one friend who just had to put her beloved fur child (a beautiful dog) down because he had cancer.
When the girlfriends are sad, there’s only one thing to do.
Host a “Girl’s Night”.
Several years ago, I started this tradition as a night to drink wine and watch chick flicks.
It soon became apparent that movies were never going to be watched. One year, we went an entire year without actually watching “Under the Tuscan Sun”. It made it into the DVD player but was never actually played.
So we dropped the movies and just made it about eating, drinking and giggling (which is all we ever did anyway)
But since this was a difficult time for so many, I wanted to do something special.
Taking a cue from Sonja Silver who had been talking about tiaras and wanting an excuse to wear one, I went down to the party store and bought a bunch of the ones designed for little girl’s birthday parties. I also bought some shiny pink princess plates and matching napkins.
Who says that princess parties are only for little girls? Big girls like to wear tiaras too.
Kathy brought the fixin’s to make “Rachel Ray Basil Martinis”. It was “shake shake shake” baby… (never stirred stirred stirred)
Janice brought over a kit to make Tarantula Blue Margaritas which were also quite tasty
California Pizza Kitchen pizzas, fresh local salmon, salads, various cheeses and crackers and other treats made up a very tasty buffet.
Betsy brought a little friend (who laughed and rolled on the floor when his motion detector was triggered) along as well…
It was just what everyone needed; a chance to relax, unwind and talk smut in the kitchen.
“What happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen”
Here’s to girlfriends and getting to be a princess for an evening.
Of course, it always is. Despite what some “Johnny-come lately” detractors might say, the Tacoma art community is vibrant and filled with amazing people.
However, this particular event, was even better than usual. I attribute this to two main factors; first, it was at Speakeasy and 2nd, the 100th monkey tiles were SOCK MONKEYS. This was a total act of genius!
Seriously, what an ice breaker (s)…
“Show me your monkey!”
“Wow, you can tie it in a knot”
“Monkey? What Monkey?”
“Is that a monkey in your pants?”
“You want to know my connection to the art community? Check out my butt” (explanation below)
“Why yes Sonia, I will chase your husband across the floor to take a picture of the monkey on his back for your amusement”
“Why yes, I do like to play with my monkey”
“My monkey looks just like me? Really?” (most of us)
“Yes, I stuffed the whole monkey in my mouth eventually” (Steve Dunkelberger)
“Of course, you can spank my monkey Paul (can I take a picture?)”
Although, I already have my own icebreaker. At “the monkey” you put your name on the front, and your connection to the art community on your back. Well with my long hair, I can’t put a sticker on my back, so it goes on my backSIDE… “I take pretty pictures”. It’s a great conversation starter, gets my butt patted when I show up to have it applied and doesn’t get covered up by my hair.
I got to hang out with some of my super awesome friends that I met through Speakeasy/100th Monkey
Margie (a recent monkey who’s tile graces my end table and NOT as a coaster) and Cindi