How do you get a ship full of pumpkins into a wading pool of water?
Have a spooktacular time with JNW’s Halloween Challenge! Enjoy!
How do you get a ship full of pumpkins into a wading pool of water?
Have a spooktacular time with JNW’s Halloween Challenge! Enjoy!
Orange is another color that has been in the Crayola collection since they were first produced in 1903. It is known as Jack O’Lantern Orange in the “So Big” set and Jack-o-Lantern Orange in the “Halloween Crayons” series. In the “Techno Brite” series it was called Cyber Orange and Jupiter Orange, Shrimp and Solar Flare in the “Discovery” series. In the “Colors of Baltimore” series it was called Go O’s and Orange You Glad You’re in America in the “State Crayon Collection” and finally it was called Freshly Squeezed in the 110th Anniversary set in 2013. I love all the names for Orange in the collections!
I love Quebec City, especially in the Fall! There are colorful displays all around the city! How about this Jack O’Lantern Orange arrangement? For more lovely photos of Quebec City in Fall look HERE!
By 1969 Binney & Smith, owners of Crayola, opened an additional factory in Easton, Pennsylvania, where the crayons were produced. In 1972 they purchased the Cosmic Crayon Company in Bedford, UK and used its facilities for their European operations, calling it Binney & Smith (Europe) Ltd. That same year they also opened their Mexico operations calling it Binney & Smith Mexicol, S.A. Crayola was bursting at the seams!
This post is just one of many in the Color Your World: 120 Days of Crayola Challenge! Enjoy!
Burnt Orange has been in the Crayola collection since 1958. The best place on the earth, in my opinion, to see orange, of any shade, is Quebec, Canada! Oh, it is so much fun to be in Quebec City in the autumn! Well, anytime really, but it is SOOOO colorful in the fall. The city goes above and beyond the norm to dress up the city for Fall. Here are just a few pictures to get you in the mood for Burnt Orange!
This post is just one of many in the Color Your World: 120 Days of Crayola Challenge! Enjoy!
Spring time offers foods which are rich in history and symbolism. These foods can be broken down into three groups: 1. Food specifically related to Christ, such as ( lamb, for “the lamb of God.”) Easter was the time to start eating the season’s new lamb. 2. Food related to pagan rites of spring (eggs for re-birth) (ham for luck), (lamb for sacrifice) and (cake/bread for fertility) 3. Modern foods such as candy and the Easter basket.
Eggs are traditionally connected with re-birth, rejuvenation and immortality. This is why they are celebrated at Easter. In the early Christian times eggs were forbidden during Lent, so this made them bountiful and exciting, forty days later. They were dyed or decorated in bright colors to honor this celebration. Red eggs brought to the table on Easter Sunday symbolized life, and were given as emblems of friendship. Eggs with the pattern “XV” etched on them stood for “Christ is Risen”, a traditional Easter greeting. We hunt for eggs during an Easter Egg Hunt to identify with riches. Eggs were a treasure, a bounty of nature, and the treasures were deposited by hens in unsuspecting places. To find such a hidden nest was equal to finding a hidden treasure.
The word “Easter” came from the name for the anglo saxon goddess of light and spring, Eostre. Special dishes were cooked in her honor so that the year would bring fertility. Most important of these dishes was a tiny cake or small spiced bun. The association of protection and fertility, birth and re-birth, became a Christian tradition, especially in English society. During Tudor times, the English custom of eating spiced buns on Good Friday was established when a London by-law was introduced forbidding the sale of such buns except on Good Friday, Christmas and burials. Issued in 1592, the thirty-six year of Queen Elizabeth I, by the London Clerk of Markets the proclamation read: That no bakers at any time or time hereafter make, utter or sell by retail, within or without their houses, unto any of the Queen’s subjects any spice cakes, buns, biscuits or other spice bread except at burials or on the Friday before Easter or at Christmas, upon pain of death or forfeiture of all such spiced bread to the poor. A cross was etched or decorated on the bun to represent Christ’s Cross. “One-a-penny, two-a penny, hot cross buns”, was the call of the day. Superstitions regarding bread that was baked on Good Friday date back to a very early period. In England particularly, people believed that bread baked on this day could be hardened in the oven and kept all year to protect the house from fire. Sailors took loaves of it on their voyages to prevent shipwreck and a Good Friday loaf buried in a heap of corn kept away rats, mice and weevils. They also hung hot cross buns in the house on Good Friday to protect them from bad luck during the year and finely grated bread, mixed with water was sometimes used as medicine.
Bath buns, hot cross buns, spice buns, penny buns, Chelsea buns, ( hot cross buns sold in great quantity by the Chelsea Bun House in the 18th century) and currant buns; all small, plump, sweet, fermented cakes that are English institutions! Join me today as I bake my hot cross buns! To enjoy this recipe too see, Hot Cross Buns on the King Arthur Webpage ! My favorite place for baking needs! Happy Easter!
The new underground parking lot at Town Hall has been completed. There is now a lively garden area on top of the underground parking complex and it is the perfect spot to spend a fall afternoon! This year the focus of the park surrounds a sunken pool area, where a replica old sailing ship is moored among the fields of the harvest. Every year I can’t wait to see the adventure that awaits at Town Hall! Using the same props from year to year the displays created are always a new design. Hats off to all the workers and designers who make these displays possible! It is what sets Quebec City as the premier city in North America! Let’s load up the Harvest! Quebec City goes all out to decorate their city for Fall. What fun! Enjoy!
Carmel, Indiana, located in Hamilton County, just north of Indianapolis, is a paradise for the young and old. In 2012 Carmel was selected as the Best Place to Live in America by CNN Money Magazine and I totally agree! Until 1874, the town where Carmel now sits was called Bethlehem. In 1924, one of the first automatic traffic lights in the United States was installed at the intersection of Main Street and Rangeline Road. The signal that was installed was the invention of Leslie Haines and is currently in the old train Station on the Monon. Today, Carmel has become the unofficial roundabout capital of the World, due to the installation of over eighty roundabouts and demolition of seventy-eight sets of traffic signals! That is huge compared to the small town that I live in, Davidson, North Carolina, where we have three! The roundabouts are user friendly (once you get the hang of them) and places for beautiful landscaping design as well.
Carmel Arts and Design District promotes small businesses and local artisans and walking down Main Street there are fifteen bronze life-size sculptures, part of the “Man-on-the Street Series, created by J. Seward Johnson, Jr., “The Norman Rockwell of American Sculpture,” starting in the 1980s. These sculptures look so real and are placed in front of store fronts that depict their actions.
Walking past the storefronts in “Old Town” you come to a crosswalk where the sculpture of the policeman is. Look both ways here because the Monon Trail crosses this section of Main Street and is always busy with bikers, walkers, joggers, skate boarders, men and women walking dogs, families with prams, you get the picture, it is WONDERFUL!
The Monon Trail, completed in 2003, measures 10.4 miles from 10th Street in Indianapolis where it connects at 96th Street, to the 5.2-mile Monon Greenway in Carmel. Used more than 1.2 million times in 2005, this makes the Monon Trail one of the busiest in the nation. The inviting part of the Monon Trail in Carmel is the restaurants, coffee shoppes, shopping and the Carmel Farmers Saturday Market, to be found along the trail. One can walk, bike, or jog and stop along the route for a cuppa, lunch, or shopping and then return to the trail! Also, along the trail you pass lovely kept turn of the century neighborhoods sprinkled with the pastel cottage and arts and crafts style home. For the newbies there are new townhouses built within a few yards of the Monon Trail too. Just walk outside your door and here is the trail, the restaurants, the shopping! Who wouldn’t want to live here, is my question!
Carmel City Center is a one million square foot mixed use development located in the heart of Carmel. The Monon Greenway runs directly through the project. Here is the location for the Center of Performing Arts which includes a 1600 seat concert hall named “The Palladian” and the 500-seat theater named “The Tarkington” and a 200- seat black box theater. The large park located next to the city center is the location for the Carmel Farmers Market, so it is easy to get there on the Monon Trail on Saturday mornings or park your car in the covered parking garage just 150 feet from the Market. The Market, founded in 1998, is a growers and producers-only market with over sixty vendors. There are fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, jams and salsas, COFFEE, eggs, honey, plants and prepared foods. (like the Walking Waffle, one of my favorites) In addition there are cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and live music all in one place. All workers are volunteers and there is even a bike parking lot that is manned by local youth organizations so you can park your bike and go!
In 2007, a 24.5 million dollar water park and mega-fitness center was opened in the 55 million Carmel Central Park. You guessed it, situated right on the Monon Trail! The Outdoor Water Park consists of two water slides, a drop slide, diving board, a lazy river, a kiddie pool, a large zero depth activity pool Flowrider and a lap pool. The state-of-the-art fitness center consists of an indoor lap pool, a recreation pool with it’s own water slides, snack bar, gymnasium, 1/8 mile indoor running track and the Kids Zone Childcare Center. The building is connected by an elevated walkway over the Monon Trail, where the Carmel Clay Parks Department offices are located which has a banquet center and activity rooms that can be rented out. Carmel is truly one of the special small towns in the US and I hope you make it a point to check it out! It makes a lovely Weekend Getaway, or a week for that matter! Enjoy!
Every year, in early spring, when my garden is beginning to bloom, I tend my garden in the early morning hours, before it gets HOT and HUMID, sometimes still in my nightgown…….don’t tell the neighbors please! In the evening I curl up on the couch to watch my favorite British gardening detectives, Rosemary and Thyme. The gardening mysteries feature Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme, professional gardeners thrown together by a sudden death, who are forced to re-access their lives. Their friendship leads them to gardening ventures set in the beautiful villages and gardens of the English countryside. Being gardeners, they overhear secrets and dig up clues which lead them to solve crimes and capture criminals, and at the same time handle floral problems! The series ran from 2003 to 2007, but I watch the mysteries every year, one episode at a time and never tire of it!
Would there be a real place that mirrored the villages and gardens in the Rosemary and Thyme mystery series? I wanted to find a place where Miss Marple, from the Agatha Christie books, (the finest mystery writer of all time, in my opinion) would be settling down to tea with her cronies in the afternoon. They would be in the garden…….with the fragrance of fresh bloomed flowers…..sweet cut grass….. bees all a buzz…….
I found that delight in the villages of the Cotswolds.
For this adventure we are driving northwest from London, to our first stop, Chipping Campden, (population 2,206) in the Cotswold (meaning market) district of Gloucestershire. In the Middle Ages, Chipping Campden was the wool trading center, and High Street is lined with fine honey-colored limestone buildings built with Cotswold stone. The Market Hall was built in 1627 and the grand wool church, St James, in 1500. Local wealthy silk merchant, Sir Baptist Hicks, built the Almshouses and the Woolstaplers Hall in the 17th Century. His home, the Campden House, was destroyed by fire during the English Civil War, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Parliamentarians, but his descendants still live in the Court House attached to the site.
From the 17th century on, the village was known for the rural Cotswold Olimpick Games. Later these games became the Robert Dover Cotswolds Olimpick Games because the games were held in late May, on Dover’s Hill. One of the noted games was the sport of shin-kicking. (Hay was stuffed down pants to ease the blows) This game and others are still played today during the Cotswolds Olimpicks. Following the end of the games there is a torch-lit procession back into town, after the bonfire and fireworks display, and dancers take over the local square. The next day the Scuttlebrook Wake takes place. The locals wear fancy dress costumes and follow the Scuttlebrook Queen and her attendants into the village, with the Morris Men leading a decorated dray. Then there is dancing around the Maypole and the prizes for the games are handed out. The Morris Men (from “Moorish” dancers) were working peasant men, who wore shin pads, (a holdover from the shin-kicking games?) and are considered to be the original rural folk dancers of England. The current Morris Men of the Cotswolds, claim their lineage to the early dancers, only one of four teams in England who can boast this achievement!
In Chipping Campden we will be staying at the Bramley House B&B, not far from Dover’s Hill. It is a lovely double Cotswold stone cottage with an additional cottage overlooking the lavender garden. Jane cooked English breakfasts, made to order, and served it with cereals, yogurts and fresh pressed juices. She was also very helpful with choosing our sights of the day. We stayed several days, picking a new village everyday to explore! It is a gardener’s paradise! Enjoy!
For information about Bramley House see: http://www.bramleyhouse.co.uk/
We are walking quickly, in the direction of the drum beats, following everyone else. Families, children, the young and old all seem to be on a mission; follow the sound of the drums. The late afternoon breeze is filled with the scent of honeysuckle. Mass growth of the plant sweeps the doorways, covers the walls. You can smell it before you see it. When I come upon the blooms they are dripping with buzzing bees. There are large nosegays of flowers tied outside the shops and houses on walls and doors; their streamers gently swaying as if they too are in the procession.
Hanging from the rooftop windows are giant flags representing guilds or neighborhoods. Old women, arm in arm, softly chatter as they slowly make their way up the hill. We feel the festive atmosphere as we make our way to a street corner where a police officer stops us. We move to the front, in a narrow gap, as SB gets our camera ready. Between the edges of the towering buildings the narrow street is completely filled with spectators. The drums are coming!
We are witnessing the festival of the feast of Corpus Christi. It is by happenstance that we picked this week and month to be in Orvieto. I knew nothing of Festa del Corpus Domini before we arrived, but I am so glad we were able to be part of the celebration.
In 1263, a German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped in Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He was described as a pious priest, but one not quite believing that Christ was actually present in the consecrated host, as Catholics believe. While celebrating Mass he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started seeping from the host and trickled over his hands onto the altar and the corporal (the napkin looking thingy) The priest was shocked and at first attempted to hide the blood, but when it did not stop, he interrupted the Mass and went to the neighboring town of Orvieto, where Pope Urban IV was. The Pope immediately sent emissaries for an investigation. Pope Urban ordered the Host and linen cloth be brought to Orvieto bearing the stains of blood. Among the archbishops, cardinals and other church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and with great pomp, the relics were placed in the Cathedral of Orvieto. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the church. Once a year this scene is re-enacted when hundreds of people from Orvieto and neighboring towns gather in the streets of Orvieto. People are dressed as peasants, soldiers, crusaders, farmers and land owners. There is representation from the guilds, police, firehouses, nurses, missionaries, nuns, civic groups and women’s groups. The dignitaries follow the priests and cardinals as the relics are carried through the streets to the beat of drums. After the last person of the parade passes, the crowds fill in behind and make the walk to the cathedral where there is more pomp and circumstance before the huge tapestries and relics are carried back into the cathedral for another year. The parade goes on for over two hours with the celebrants walking over four miles through the narrow lanes of winding Orvieto. The drums echo through the streets and the music and singing from the Cathedral are played over loud speakers throughout the town. At the end of the parade the Mass is also heard over the loud speakers for those not able to get inside the huge cathedral. This entire scene is repeated the next day as well. It must take months of planning. I would love to know how many people work on all those costumes. They are so intricate, authentic looking and detailed. Where do you find that many cross-bows, jousting poles and swords? How many bouquets of flowers are made to decorate the streets? How many baskets of bread and grain are carried to the church? It is truly a festival for everyone and one I will remember forever. SB caught on video over four hours of the festivities. That is a long time to hold a camera up and stay steady as well. I want to thank him for that. I produced a clip of eight minutes highlighting the event. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
As we followed the crowds to the cathedral we took a break and ducked into a smaller church along the route. The entire center aisle of the church was covered in a beautiful design of flower petals. As the congregation of people walked over the petals to the black wrought-iron gate at the front of the church they picked up the petals to carry with them. I followed suite and then sat in a pew to watch. Behind the black tall gate were rows of nuns. As the guests recognized a nun there was hand reaching and hand holding through the gate and cries of joy to see each other. I had the feeling these nuns belonged to a cloistered group and this was a special day to see their relatives. Very young nuns sat on the steps at the sides of the altar behind the gate and called out to young children to come see them. It was a beautiful and happy scene.
After the Mass at the cathedral we decided to dine at a lovely restaurant complete with the wooden mosaic designs on the walls. It was around seven in the evening, very early by European standards to dine, so we were one of the first to get a table at Ristorante Maurizio. I am so glad we did because soon the entire restaurant was filled to capacity. The lights were dimmed and the candles lit, throwing a soft light on the flax and white colored table cloths and beautiful meal. It was an end to a perfect day.
Ristorante Maurizio: Via Duomo 76, Orvieto, Italy
It is early morning; sunny, warm, windless with bright blue skies and today we are leaving Cinque Terre. We snake single file down the hill, and flow through the tunnel hearing only the sound of “clickety-clack” as the suitcases bump over the rough pavement to the train station. We begin our four train adventure to La Spezia, Pisa, Florence, and then to Orvieto in Umbria. In Florence when we switch trains who do we meet? The Bag Handler approaches SB, takes one look at me and quickly turns away. (See blog “On to Florence”) At one of the many small town stops on our last leg to Orvieto an odd looking man boards. Short haired, clean shaven wearing floor length grey robe tied with a rope belt, he is covered in pale grey. Grey ash colored paste covers his hair, face and even his eyelashes, his hands. He walks slowly up and down the train aisle, as if wanting us all to recognize his presence. No one says a word, no words form on his lips. As he is ignored I am thinking, is this man a priest? Is he in some sort of penance? Can I take a picture of him, I think? No, that would not be right. What if he was a wayward priest? I want to ask someone who he is, but the travelers keep their noses in their papers or books or look away. At the next stop he departs the train. My eyes follow him into the crowd.
By late afternoon we step off the train and look up and up. Orvieto’s old town walls loom above us, touching nothing but blue sky and fluffy sheep clouds. It is warm and balmy and I begin to peel off my layers of clothes. I don my sunglasses as we hail a cab to take us to the height of the old village, to B&B Michelangeli, the apartment we have rented in Orvieto. Winding outside the steep fortified walls we climb higher and higher, it is rather like a top spinning and we are in the mist of it. Once inside the wall we criss-cross through small cobbled lanes and arrive at a dead end street.
This street is far from dead. On the old building walls are intricate wooden wall covering designs. They are beautiful. Why are they here? Who does all this woodworking? Another Pinocchio and Geppetto?
We ring the bell and a tall impeccably groomed Italian man greets us. He explains Francesca, his wife, is getting the children ready for the biggest festival of the year in Orvieto, and will greet us later. There is excitement in his voice as he tells us we do not want to miss the evening parade. He leads us next door, opening an eight foot high double wooden door to our apartment, right next to his home. We are so pleasantly surprised when we are given the grand tour of the apartment we will be staying in for five days. It is huge, but cozy. It is like a country cottage, only in Italy! It is lovingly cared for.
We remark about the beautiful wooden furniture and he explains his family has been the furniture and cabinet makers in Orvieto for centuries and all the furniture in the apartment is hand made by them in a shop right down the street. That explains the wood carvings outside the buildings, signs of the trade. We feel so fortunate to have picked this location and apartment, it is perfect. We hurriedly unload our belongings and following his instructions scurry out to the parade route.
The Streets of Orvieto
If you would like more information on Michelangeli B&B please contact:
Francesca at http://www.bbmichelangeli.com.
Via Saracinelli 20, Orvieto, Italy, Tel: 0763-393862
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