Monday, January 31, 2011

How Much Wood

A groundhog is the same thing as a woodchuck, which is a marmot. "Woodchuck" has nothing to do with chucking wood; it's derived from a Native American name for the animal, "wuchak." They are also known as land beavers, but my favorite name for them is whistlepigs.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Official NHL All-Star Game Earrings

Oh, no! The dilemma expands! Which earrings to wear to the All-Star Game? These official ones that I just picked up or the ones Clever Sign Chick designed?

Ice Skates

The NHL All-Star Game is not the only big ice sport event in North Carolina this weekend. The US Figure Skating Championships are in Greensboro. Since when is NC an ice sport mecca?

If I were going to the figure skating championships, I'd be wearing these ice skate earrings. Even though I'm not, I can still wear one of them in my third ear piercing when I attend the All-Star Game or other hockey games. The stick charm is probably technically meant to be a field hockey stick, but I've been known to wear it to ice hockey games, too.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hey, Now, I'm an All-Star!

My friend Clever Sign Chick helped me out with these earrings that I'll be wearing when I attend the NHL All-Star Game and related activities this weekend. The frames came from Michaels, and I made them into earrings. I have several interchangeable inserts appropriate for the All-Star Game.

In further explanation of the earrings shown, Eric Staal is the Captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, and he also happens to be the captain of one of the All-Star teams. If he doesn't manage to acquire fellow Hurricanes Cam Ward and/or Jeff Skinner while drafting his team, I may have to remove the "Team Staal" earring.

Chad LaRose is a Hurricanes player who unfortunately did not get elected to participate in the All-Star Game, despite a concerted effort on the part of locals.

The red and black square symbol is the same as the maritime flag that indicates a gale force warning. Two such flags indicate a hurricane.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy MiLK Day!

At last! I have MLK Day earrings!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

You Love Me for My Pink Cadillac

I purchased these earrings at Graceland sometime in 1994-95. They are pink Cadillacs with Elvis vanity plates. However, I lost the other one. :( After that, I used to wear crown earrings for Elvis's Birthday (Elvis being the KING and all). But it seemed odd wearing crowns for Epiphany, Elvis, AND Martin Luther KING Day. Fortunately, I've got other options for Elvis and MLK Day now.

Elvis's birthday is January 8. You'll see my other option tomorrow.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm Having an Epiphany

Epiphany is typically celebrated on January 6 and commemorates the visit of the three Magi to the baby Jesus. Eastern churches may use a different calendar and celebrate Epiphany on or near January 19. To them, Epiphany is a commemoration of the baptism of Jesus. The word "epiphany" derives from a root meaning "appearance." So it's like when the Son of God made himself known to the world.

I used to think January 6 was the Twelfth Day of Christmas; however, if you count, you'll see that it's really the thirteenth.

In Ireland, they sometimes call it Little Christmas because it was the date of Christmas under a different calendar. On January 6, you may safely take down your Christmas tree. If you did so before now, you've got bad luck.

The Irish may also refer to it as Women's Christmas. Traditionally, the menfolk take over the household chores on this day, while the women get together with friends and have a girl's night out.

I'm pretty sure I got the earrings shown in the photo on a trip to New Orleans and that they are meant for Mardi Gras. I think this is the third pair of crown earrings I've owned, but the other two broke. I also have several crown brooches. The reason I choose to wear these on Epiphany is, you know, crowns symbolize the Three Kings. The problem is, they probably weren't really kings, and there may not have been three of them.

The Gospel of Matthew simply says that "magi" came "from the east" and were following a star they believed would lead them to the future king of the Jews. (They were not originally looking for the messiah, but a king.) People have always just presumed there were three of them because they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

You might have heard their names: Balthasar, Melchior, and Caspar. These names appeared in a Greek manuscript 500 years after the birth of Jesus. But the Syrians think their names are Larvandad, Gushnasaph, and Hormisdas. The Ethiopians have Hor, Karsudan, and Basanater. The Armenians, Kagpha, Badadakharida, and Badadilma.

The word "magus" is part of the problem. It was used by Greeks to refer to a follower of Zoroaster, or to a practitioner of things they thought were associated with Zoroastrianism. So a magus could have been a member of the priest caste to which Zoroaster was born, it could have been an actual priest/astrologer from Persia, or it could have meant a charlatan (magician) or something like that. The King James version of the Bible translated the word to "wise men" when referring to the visitors from the east, but the same word is translated as "sorcerer" when describing two heretical characters elsewhere in the KJV.

It may be that people began to refer to them as kings because the same three gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) were given by another king (of Syria) at a temple to worship the god Apollo. In other words, it was apparently a kingly thing to do to worship a god by offering these gifts. Incidentally, frankincense was like a perfume, and myrrh was often used as an anointing or embalming oil. The purpose of gold is pretty obvious.

So, my earrings may be a very poor choice for today, as I'm not even sure if there's any real gold in them, and the Magi may not be kings at all, but rather astrologers. Maybe I should just wear stars! I've had an epiphany!