May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It's a celebration of Spring. It's a day of political protests. It's a neopagan festival, a saint's feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday.
Beltane was a Celtic calendar feast ushering in the start of summer.
Some cultures, such as those found in India and Egypt, had spring fertility festivals. The Roman festival celebrating Flora, goddess of fertility, flowers, and spring, was celebrated from April 28 through May 3.
In medieval England, people would celebrate the start of spring by going out to the country or woods—"going a-maying"—and gathering greenery and flowers, or "bringing in the may." This was described in "The Court of Love."
According to the early Roman calendar, May was the third month. Later, the ancient Romans used January 1 for the beginning of their year, and May became the fifth month. May has always had 31 days.
Several stories are passed around to show how the month of May was named. The most widely accepted explanation is that it was named for Maia, the Roman goddess of spring and growth. Her name related to a Latin word that means increase or growth.
May is one of the most beautiful months of the year in the northern temperate zone. Usually the snow and ice are gone and the hot temperatures haven't yet arrived. The first garden begins to sprout in May and the wild flowers are blooming. The trees and grasses are turning green and beautiful. Many birds have built their nests, and the mother birds are sitting on the eggs, which will soon hatch.
I love scones of any type, but the old fashioned irish oat scones are one of my favorites. They freeze well, so bake a batch and have them on hand for breakfast on the go or for an afternoon tea treat. I just warm them in the microwave for 35-40 seconds (some microwaves vary in temperature so be watchful if you just want to thaw) and they taste as fresh as if you'd just baked them.
Ingredients: 1 Cup toasted steel-cut oats (see note)I use McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oats 1 1/4 Cup buttermilk 1 Cup whole wheat flour 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar 2 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 Cup chopped dried fruit or currants, dried cranberries, or dried blueberries (I don't put fruits in mine, I add 1 tsp orange or lemon rind instead) 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
Topping: 2 Tablespoons heavy cream 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate and set aside. Combine oats and buttermilk in a small mixing bowl. Let stand for 25 minutes. Combine flours, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and dried fruit. When well combined, cut in butter to make coarse crumbs. Add oats and buttermilk and stir to combine. Do not overmix.
Lift up the dough and gently pat it into the prepared pie plate, gently molding to make a neat fit. Using a floured kitchen knife, score through the dough almost to the bottom, making 12 small wedges. Combine cream and remaining brown sugar. Using a pastry brush, generously coat top. Place in preheated oven, and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and immediately cut through wedges.
Serve hot with butter and jam.
Yield: 12 scones.
Note: To toast steel-cut oats, place them in a preheated, 300-degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Return the oats to a tightly-covered container, storing in a cool spot.
I would like to thank you all for your well wishes. I appreciate them very much! I am feeling a bit better today and the Dr. claims I will be back to feeling myself as soon as this bacteria works it's way out of my system. I should be back to my normal blogging schedule soon!
May Day will soon be upon us and I would like to gift you with a bit of Irish lore regarding attracting bees to the garden.
It is said that if you gather foxglove, raspberry leaves, wild marjoram, mint, chamomile, and valerian on May Day, and mix them with butter also made on May Day, you will attract the wonderful little bees to your garden. You must boil your herbs and butter together with honey, then rub the vessel into which you would like the bees to gather, both inside and out, with the mixture. Place it in the middle of a tree, and the bees will soon come. Foxglove or "fairy fingers" is called "the great herb" from its wondrous properties.
So far at the cottage and the chores just never seem to end! Deep cleaning, planting, preparing to paint a few areas, and now to top it off, I've been stricken with a spring cold! Hopefully I will be rid of it soon and continue with the sprucing up of the cottage for the warmer months ahead.
Here is the homemade bathroom cleaner recipe I prepared to clean the cottage washrooms. I will also be wiping the baseboards with it.
1 tsp. Borax 1/2 tsp. liquid detergent (Dish Soap) 1/4 cup vinegar 2 cups hot water
Combine in a spray bottle and shake. Spray on counter surfaces, sinks, tubs etc. and wipe clean.
I have been finding myself a bit stretched for time of late, and for that reason I am doing a repost from one of my musings in 2009. I just love Victorian fans, and if you do too, I hope you enjoy my post!
Young ladies in the Victorian era were ruled by a strict code of behavior. The higher the social class the higher the moral standards (oh, if only that were true these days!)Life's ceremonies regarding everyday life, social situations and courtship were strict and exact. Ladies and gentlemen had little chance to interact except at the lovely and lavish dances. Even there,one had to be introduced, and even if introduced to dance, that didn't mean one felt free to converse when not dancing. What if no one introduced you, you ask? Even though they might not be speaking to each other, conversations were going on. Sometimes across a room, sometimes in a group. The lovely ladies always had a fan to cool themselves as well as for a communication tool. Read on to find out what they were saying with their fans. And to think the men these days think we are hard to read! Imagine them learning all of these signals: How to hold your fan and what it means: In right hand, open- You are too willing In left hand, open- Desirious of an aquaintance. In right hand in front of face- Follow me Fanning fast - I'm engaged Slow - I'm married In front of face, left hand - Leave me Right hand - Follow me Half open slowly shut - Kiss me or handle to lips- You may kiss me Twirling it on left hand - I love another Draw across forhead - We're being watched Placing fan behind head- Do not forget me Placing behind head with finger extended-Goodbye Closing it - I wish to speak to you Dropping - We will be fiends Open and shut sharply - Your are cruel Drawing across eyes- I'm sorry Drawing through hand - I hate you Drawing across cheek- I love you Held over left ear- I wish you to go. Rest on left cheek- No Rest on right cheek- Yes Twirling fan in right hand- I love another Presenting the fan shut- Do you love me? Touching a finger to the tip of the fan- I wish to speak to you Shutting a fully open fan slowly- I promise to marry you Hands clasped together holding fan open- Forgive me Covering left ear with open fan- Do not betray our secret Closed fan touching right eye- When shall we meet? If the fan was open slightly, the number of ribs showing conveyed the hour of their meeting. Hiding behind an open fan- I love you Fan near heart- You have won my heart.
Today is April 7th and it's hard to believe that time goes so fast. Is seven your favorite number?
This number deals with the activation of imagination and manifesting results in our lives through the use of conscious thought and awareness. Ruled by Saturn, seven can represent impractical dreaming, but with a deeper understanding of it's aspects, you can quite deftly utilize it's magical vibration to your own benefit.
If this is your lucky number, you are analytical, intellectual, focused, scientific and inventive, contemplative, meditative, spiritual and enigmatic. You are a seeker of truth and an accumulator of knowledge and wisdom.
You prefer working alone and you need space and privacy. You enjoy solitude, but you also likely to display your knowledge in public. You are an abstract thinker, you are self-oriented, a perfectionist and you possess great mental strength.
People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child - our own two eyes. All is a miracle. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I had a question regarding powdered laundry starch after my last post so thought I would let you know where you can purchase it if you are interested.
As the site notes: It leaves shirts and linens with a crisp, neat finish, but that's only the beginning. Argo laundry starch tackles a host of common household problems, from sunburns and diaper rash, to dirty pots and pans!
Comforts irritated skin Absorbs greasy spills Cleans stainless steel, aluminum and glass Reduces chaffing in shoes and rubber gloves An important ingredient in many craft projects Easily adjust strength from light to heavy, according to your preference
You can click here to go to the Lehman's site and purchase your own box now!
You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there. ~Casare Pavese
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Welcome! Please pour yourself a cup of tea and settle in and relax with me awhile. As you'll notice, I am captivated by ancient times, a soul misplaced in this modern day. I have a love for my ancestry and I believe people who grow up without a sense of how yesterday has affected today, are unlikely to have a strong sense of how today affects tomorrow.