Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29th - Today is Leap Day

Today is Leap Day!

Julius Caesar (with help from his astronomer, Sosigenes) added Leap Years to the calendar in 45 BC. They discovered that there are actually 365.2425 days in a year and decided to compensate by adding one extra day to “Februarius” every four years. Under normal circumstances, a date that falls on a Tuesday one year will fall on a Wednesday the next year. However, in a Leap Year we “leap” over one day of the week, which is how this phenomenon got its name.

There are many traditions and superstitions associated with Leap Years and Leap Days. According to an Irish legend, women have the privilege of proposing marriage in a Leap Year, and any man that refuses must offer a gift in recompense. People born on a Leap Day are known as Leaplings or Leapers. Each country has to have a policy about when a February 29th birthday is legally observed in a non-Leap Year!

Leap Day comes around just once every four years, so take some time to celebrate this unique occasion!

So ladies, this is your chance to propose to the person of your choice - let me know the outcome if you do :-)


Monday, February 27, 2012

African American History - Remembering Gordon Parks

Gordon Roger Alexander Buchannan Parks: Born November 30, 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas.

He was stillborn -- no heartbeat, declared dead by the family doctor, and put aside for later burial. Another doctor in the delivery room had an idea, and immersed the newborn in ice-cold water. The shock caused his heart to start beating, and the baby was soon crying and healthy, and named for Dr. Gordon, who had saved his life. In the more than ninety years of his life, Gordon Parks became internationally renowned as a Photographer, Writer, Musician, Poet, Journalist, Motion Picture Director and Composer.

Parks grew up poor in Fort Scott, Kansas, and the youngest of 15 children. One of his early memories was hearing his all-black class told by their white schoolteacher, "You'll all wind up porters and maids." Following the death of his mother when he was 15, he left Kansas for Minnesota. Between bouts of homelessness, he earned rent as a piano player in a bordello. He also worked as a busboy, a Civilian Conservation Corpsman, and as his teacher had predicted, as a porter and later waiter on the transcontinental North Coast Limited.

In 1941, Parks met Ella Watson, a government cleaning woman, who became one of his most important subjects. His best-known photograph of Watson is American Gothic, 1942, today an icon of American culture. It shows a dignified woman posed like the farmer in Grant Wood’s 1930 composition, holding a broom and mop in place of the farmer’s pitchfork. Behind her hangs the American flag.

At 25, he bought a used camera for $7.50 and began working as a self-taught freelance photographer, focusing on everything from fashion to the effects the depression in Chicago's slums.

Parks chose to fight the poverty and racism of his past, selecting a camera as his principal “weapon.”

Parks was a close friend of Muhammad Ali, and godfather for Malcolm X's daughter Quibilah Shabazz. He was a co-founder of Essence magazine, and wrote a ballet called Martin, in honor of King.

By 1944, he was the only black photographer working for Vogue, and in 1948 he became the first black photographer at Life, the most prestigious magazine of its day for photography. Eventually Life sent him to France, Italy, and Spain, and stateside he became known for his photos documenting the civil rights movement.

He reported on segregation in Alabama in 1956, the growing Nation of Islam movement in the 1960s, and the assassination of Martin Luther King. In his spare time, he also directed a few low-budget films.

His art was about social issues such as poverty, race, segregation and crime. It also enhanced our understanding of beauty, nature, childhood, music, fashion and memory.

His autobiographical first novel, The Learning Tree (1963), and his subsequent autobiographies demonstrate that he had learned to value his parents' hard work, compassion, integrity, and capacity for hope as well as to fear the brutality and perversity of personal and institutionalized racism.

He attended and took photos at the Civil Rights March on Washington, 1963.

He died on March 7, 2006 (aged 93) in New York City.

I have always admired the works of Gordon Parks who recorded an accurate documentation in his writings, and black and white photography, which allows future generations to understand the truth about life and the history of the United States during his personal lifetime.


all photos by Gordon Parks

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reflection for the First Week of Lent

Reflection for the First Week of Lent

This is a day of new beginnings,
Time to remember and move on,
Time to believe what love is bringing,
Laying to rest the pain that's gone.

For by the life and death of Jesus,
God's mighty Spirit, now as then,
Can make for us a world of difference,
As faith and hope are born again.

Then let us, with the Spirit's daring,
Step from the past and leave behind
Our disappointment, guilt, and grieving,
Seeking new paths, and sure to find.

Christ is alive, and goes before us
To show and share what love can do.
This is a day of new beginnings;
Our God is making all things new.

In faith we'll gather round the table
To taste and share what love can do.
This is a day of new beginnings;
Our God is making all things new!

- Brian Wren
(A Lent Sourcebook: The Forty Days).

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread." He said in reply, "It is written: 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.'"
Matthew 4:1-4

From the Kirkridge Retreat Center - Bangor, Pennsylvania 18013

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Christian Tradition - Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent for Western Christian churches.
It's a day of penitence to clean the soul before the Lent fast.

Ash Wednesday services:

The service draws on the ancient Biblical traditions of covering one's head with ashes, wearing sackcloth, and fasting.

The mark of ashes:

In Ash Wednesday services churchgoers are marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes as a sign of penitence and mortality. The use of ashes is very symbolic.

"God our Father, you create us from the dust of the earth.
Grant that these ashes may be for us a sign of our penitence,
and a symbol of our mortality."
Traditional Ash Wednesday prayer

Anointing with ashes:
The minister or priest marks each worshipper on the forehead, and says remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return, or a similar phrase based on God's sentence on Adam in Genesis 3:19.

Symbolism of the ashes:
The marking of their forehead with a cross made of ashes reminds each churchgoer that:

Death comes to everyone
They should be sad for their sins
They must change themselves for the better.

The shape of the mark and the words used are symbolic in other ways:
The cross is a reminder of the mark of the cross made at baptism.
The phrase often used when the ashes are administered reminds Christians of the doctrine of original sin.

Where the ashes come from:
The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are made by burning the palm crosses that were blessed on the previous Palm Sunday.

From Palm Sunday to Ash Wednesday:

Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, so when the crosses used in the Palm Sunday service are converted to ashes, the worshippers are reminded that defeat and crucifixion swiftly followed triumph.

Using the ashes to mark the cross on the believer's forehead symbolizes that through Christ's death and resurrection, all Christians can be free from sin.


Lent is a way of paying attention to our own lives. We receive the sign of the cross on our foreheads to focus our attention on who we really are. In this way we remind ourselves that we are bound for death—and that we are bound to the death of Jesus Christ. Ash Wednesday and the whole of Lent provide a time to focus our attention on the mystery at the heart of the Christian life: that through death, the death of Jesus Christ, we have entered new life.

Turning to Christ means turning also to all our neighbors who suffer. According to Isaiah, fasting and praying that brings us to act on behalf of these neighbors is the fast that is acceptable to God.


The Season of Lent symbolizes 'Retreating Into the Wilderness with Jesus.'

Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. We skip Sundays when we count the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. This year Lent begins on February 22, 2012 and ends on the day before Easter.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Lent officially ends at sundown on Holy Thursday, with the beginning of the mass of the Lord’s Supper.


Why exactly do Christians gather on this otherwise unremarkable Wednesday?
With Ash Wednesday, we enter a time of Lenten discipline, traditionally a time of fasting and prayer in preparation for receiving or reaffirming baptism at Easter.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The History of Shrove Tuesday and Pancakes

The History of Shrove Tuesday and Pancakes

In England, based on a traditional Christian holy day. Every year at 12:30 p.m. on Shrove Tuesday, Spitalfields Market in London, runs riot with teams of four people running relays with frying pans and pancakes.

The season immediately before Lent is called Shrovetide. It is a time for confessing sins (shriving) with fewer festivities than the Continental Carnivals. Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as Pancake Day, but apart from the serving of pancakes and occasional pancake races and football matches little else of the Lent-related Shrovetide survived the English Reformation.

When I was a child growing up in England I remember that Shrove Tuesday was a fun day when we ate pancakes and the local schools would have pancake races in the athletic fields. I never connected it with a religious ceremony until I was an adult.

Actually, Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts: the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It's a day of penitence, to cleanse the soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before Lent begins.

Shrove Tuesday is sometimes called Pancake Day after the fried batter recipe traditionally eaten on this day, but there's more to Shrove Tuesday than pancakes or taking part in a public pancake race. The pancakes themselves are part of an ancient custom with deeply religious roots.


Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving that Christians used to undergo in the past. In shriving, a person confesses their sins and receives absolution for them.
When a person receives absolution for their sins, they are forgiven for them and released from the guilt and pain that they have caused them. This tradition is very old. Over 1000 years ago a monk wrote about it in the Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Institutes.

Shrove Tuesday celebrations:

Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it's the last day before Lent a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren't allowed in Lent. Giving up foods: but not wasting them.

The need to eat up the fats gave rise to the French name Mardi Gras ('fat Tuesday'). Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday as they were a dish that could use up all the eggs, fats and milk in the house with just the addition of flour.

The origin of pancake racing:

Pancake races are thought to have begun in 1445. History recalls that a woman had lost track of the time on Shrove Tuesday, and was busy cooking pancakes in her kitchen.
Suddenly she heard the church bell ringing to call the faithful to church for confession. The woman raced out of her house and ran all the way to church; still holding her frying pan and wearing her apron.

Going for gold in the pancake Olympics:

One of the most famous pancake races is held at Olney in Buckinghamshire over a 415 yard course. The rules are strict; contestants have to toss their pancake at both the start and the finish, as well as wearing an apron and a scarf. The race is followed by a church service.
Since 1950 Olney has competed with Liberal in Kansas, which holds an identical race, to see which town can produce the fastest competitor. (Pictured above)


According to Christian beliefs, Lent commemorates Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness, and observant Christians mark this period by fasting. So Shrove Tuesday was cleverly invented to use up the ingredients that were given up for Lent - milk, butter and, particularly, eggs - which may not be eaten again until Easter.

Customs and celebrations:

In other parts of the world, Shrove Tuesday is marked by quite different celebrations. In New Orleans, and other parts of the United States, for example, it's celebrated with the Mardi Gras, and in Rio de Janeiro with the equally raucous carnival.

So, if you are attending local Mardi Gras celebrations have fun tonight!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

African American History Month - Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is fondly remembered for her part in the Civil Rights Movement.

Rosa Parks Timeline

Feb. 4, 1913 - Rosa Louise McCauley is born in Tuskegee, Alabama to James and Leona McCauley.

1932 - Marries Raymond Parks, a barber from Montgomery, Alabama. Raymond is a member of the NAACP.

1934 - Receives her high school diploma after her husband urges her to do so.

Dec. 1943 - Ms. Parks joins the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP and is elected secretary to its president, E.D. Nixon. She later says of this: "I was the only woman there, and they needed a secretary, and I was too timid to say no."

Dec. 1, 1955 - She refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man when the bus driver orders her to do so. She is arrested and fined $14.

Dec. 5, 1955 - Ms. Parks stands trial and is found guilty of breaking the segregation laws. This leads to a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system organized by Martin Luther King, Jr.

1957 - After receiving threats and losing her job, Parks and her husband move from Alabama to Detroit.

1977 - Her husband, Raymond, dies of cancer.

1980 - In honor of the 25th anniversary of her bus stand, The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools establish the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation.

1987 – Ms. Parks founds the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.

1992 - Publishes her first book, Rosa Parks My Story.

1995 - Speaks at the Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

1999 - President Clinton awards her the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

2000 - The Rosa Parks Museum and Library opens in Montgomery, Alabama.

Oct. 2004 - In Detroit her landlord decides to let her live indefinitely in her apartment without having to pay rent.

Oct. 25, 2005 - Ms. Parks dies in Detroit at the age of 92.

Oct. 30, 2005 - She Became the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, Washington D.C.

Nov. 2, 2005 - Rosa Parks is buried in Detroit with the bodies of her husband and her mother.

2006 - Statue of Rosa Parks placed in National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green –Winter Chores

Going Green

Now that winter is here and the temperature has dropped we close our windows tightly and the furnace clicks on, and next thing that happens, we are living in a polluted atmosphere.

Here are 10 easy, simple things you can do to keep the air quality pure and safe in your house this winter.

1. Empty your refrigerator tray. It gets overcrowded in there and the refrigerator fan blows that moldy, smelly air right into your home.

2. Dust your heaters. When the heat comes on, the smell from the dust on the heating units is not good.

3. Check for foreign objects in your heating elements. Often small children can drop small items and plastics into the heating units and next thing you know, everyone is wondering what that strange smell is. Burning plastic is toxic!

4. Clean your oil burner. A dirty furnace does not function as well and can emit more harmful carbon monoxide and other undesirable compounds.

5. Clean chimneys. Prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

6. Devise a compost system. When the windows stay closed, molds in the air from fermenting compost can become a problem. Be sure to empty your kitchen compost every day.

7. Be alert to out gassing. New products and activities like painting will have more of an effect on your indoor air quality now that the windows are closed. You may want to air new carpets or upholstered furniture before putting them in your house. If you’re painting, be sure to provide plenty of ventilation, and choose non-toxic paints.

8. Steam-clean your carpets. Get rid of dust, dust-mites and other noxious things so you won’t be inhaling them with every step you take.

9. Choose your candles wisely. Petroleum-based and lead-wick candles contribute significantly to dangerous levels of indoor air pollution. Buy (or make) candles made from beeswax, soy, or vegetable oils, lead-free wicks, and pure essential-oil fragrances.

10. No kerosene space heaters, EVER! They are lethal. If you need extra heat in a room, consider one of the freestanding electric heaters filled with oil that radiate clean heat.

To my friends who live in warmer climates only some of these suggestions apply to you, however, don't forget to control your thermostat to avoid your air conditioner working overtime. You will save on your energy bills.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy St. Valentine's Day to My Readers

Yesterday I went shopping at a local grocery store. I was startled when I entered the store and a very handsome young man dressed in a tuxedo with a red bow tie greeted me. The entire entrance way was filled with hundreds of red roses, bouquets and heart shaped balloons. There were racks of Valentine’s Day greeting cards and a jazz musician (also dressed in a tux) was playing sweet sentimental love songs on his clarinet.

A long line of men, with sheepish grins on their faces, were holding flowers waiting to have them wrapped with red ribbons and bows. It did not stop at the entrance way. This store had become so creative I had to chuckle. There were rib steaks and trays of shrimp shaped in perfect heart forms. Fruits were carefully carved into the shape of hearts. Any kind of cake and tart that you could conceive were heart shaped and let’s not talk about the shelves of chocolates, soft fluffy toys, etc, etc.

Today across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday?

The history of Valentine's Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery, but we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young single men, who then became his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine became friends with a young woman — who may have been his jailer's daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. He also gained the reputation of ministering to those who were in prison with him,

That note started the custom of exchanging love notes on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship.

When I was walking around the grocery store I found myself feeling a little sad that this day that was set aside to express love to others seemed to be lost in advertising and an attempt to get the customers to spend their money (lot’s of money).


1 John 3:11 ‘The message you heard from the very beginning is this: we must love one another.’ And verse 18 ‘My children, our love should not be just words and talk; our love must be true love, which shows itself in action.’


We need to treat others with kindness. It means to go out in our daily lives and treat people the way we want to be treated. Actions do not have to cost a single penny – kindness is meaningful if it is done with love.

Wishing all of my readers a Happy Valentine’s Day


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The NAACP Celebrates 103rd Anniversary Today

1909 - 
On February 12th The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded by a multiracial group of activists, who answered "The Call," in the New York City, NY. They initially called themselves the National Negro Committee.

Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villiard, William English Walling led the "Call" to renew the struggle for civil and political liberty.

Here are just a few of the actions taken by the NAACP in the first ten years. I am reminded of the courage that it must have taken to stand up against racism and injustice in those very turbulent times.

1910 - 
In the face of intense adversity, the NAACP begins its legacy of fighting legal battles addressing social injustice with the Pink Franklin case, which involved a Black farmhand, who unknowingly killed a policeman in self-defense when the officer broke into his home at 3 a.m. to arrest him on a civil charge. After losing at the Supreme Court, the following year the renowned NAACP official Joel Spingarn and his brother Arthur start a concerted effort to fight such cases.

- President Woodrow Wilson officially introduces segregation into the Federal Government. Horrified that the President would sanction such a policy, the NAACP launched a public protest.

- The NAACP organizes a nationwide protest D.W. Griffiths racially-inflammatory and bigoted silent film, "Birth of a Nation."

1917 - 
In Buchanan vs. Warley, the Supreme Court has to concede that states can not restrict and officially segregate African Americans into residential districts. Also, the NAACP fights and wins the battle to enable African Americans to be commissioned as officers in World War I. Six hundred officers are commissioned, and 700,000 register for the draft..

- After persistent pressure by the NAACP, President Woodrow Wilson finally makes a public statement against lynching.

- To ensure that everyone, especially the Klan, knew that the NAACP would not be intimidated, the annual conference was held in Atlanta, considered one of the most active Klan areas.


I have highlighted only the first ten years, however, the NAACP was instrumental in
making many, many more changes over the past century.

Today, one hundred and three years later, there are still people who take the time to fight against injustice and who have the courage to stand up for basic human rights.

The National NAACP along with its 1,700 branches nation wide will host anniversary celebrations and observances in their local communities.

I am a proud Life Member of the NAACP and currently attend the Buffalo, New York Branch. I encourage anyone who may be reading this to consider joining.

To contact the organization

Thank you to those early organizers who had the courage to stand up and speak out.



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

African American History Month - Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth - Abolitionist, Women's Rights Advocate

The following reminiscences were recorded by Frances Gage who was in attendance at The Ohio Women’s rights Convention, Akron Convention, Akron, Ohio, May 1851.
"There were very few women in those days who dared to "speak in meeting"; When, slowly from her seat in the corner she rose. She moved slowly and solemnly to the front, laid her old bonnet at her feet, and turned her great speaking eyes to me - I rose and announced "Sojourner Truth," She stood nearly six feet high, head erect, and eyes piercing the upper air like one in a dream. At her first word there was a profound hush.

Ain’t I a Woman?

That man over there say a woman needs to be helped into carriages
and lifted over ditches and to have the best place everywhere. 

Nobody ever helped me into carriages
or over mud puddles or gives me a best place . . .
And ain’t I a woman? 

Look at me. Look at my arm! I have plowed and planted
and gathered into barns and no man could head me . . .

And ain’t I a woman?

I could work as much and eat as much as a man–

when I could get to it–
and bear the lash as well

And ain’t I a woman?

I have born 13 children and seen most all sold into slavery
and when I cried out a mother’s grief none but Jesus heard me . . .

And ain’t I a woman? 

That little man in black there say a woman can’t have as much rights,
as a man cause Christ wasn’t a woman

Where did your Christ come from?
From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with him!

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down,
all alone together women ought to be able to turn it
rightside up again.


Sojourner Truth - Born: (c. 1797-1883)

Born one of twelve children, Isabella Baumfree in Ulster County, New York, she was freed by the New York State Emancipation Act of 1827 and lived in New York City for a time.

Around this time she had a life-changing religious experience and became a devout Christian. On June 1, 1843 she took the name Sojourner Truth which she felt God had given her and she assumed the "mission" of spreading "the Truth" across the country. She became famous as an itinerant preacher, drawing huge crowds with her oratory (and some said "mystical gifts") wherever she appeared. She became one of an active group of black women abolitionists, lectured before numerous abolitionist audiences, and was friends with such leading white abolitionists as James and Lucretia Mott and Harriet Beecher Stowe. She also became involved with the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Some amazing statistics for a woman in the 1800’s – especially a woman of African descent:

- Before freedom she was sold three times: 1806, 1808, 1810

- She had five children -- Diana (c. 1815); Peter (c. 1822); Elizabeth (c. 1825); Sophia (c.1826) and Hannah who died in infancy. (Some controversy came about her ‘Ain’t I a Woman’ speech. In it Sojourner is quoted as having 13 children. Historians today primarily agree on five.)
- She filed and won a lawsuit to secure the return of her son, Peter, who had been illegally sold into slavery in Alabama from New York (1827-28).

- With the outbreak of the Civil War she raised money to purchase gifts for the soldiers, distributing them herself in the camps. She also helped African Americans who had escaped to the North to find habitation and shelter.

- In 1844, she joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry in Massachusetts. Founded by abolitionists, the organization supported women's rights and religious tolerance as well as pacifism.

- In 1853 she met with Harriet Beecher Stowe in Andover, Mass.

- She owned three homes in all. Northampton, Mass. (1850), Harmonia village outside Battle Creek, Michigan (1857) and College Street, Battle Creek, Michigan (1867).

- In 1864, Sojourner was employed by the National Freedman's Relief Association in Washington, D.C. She worked diligently to improve conditions for African-Americans.

- In 1865, while working at the Freedman's Hospital in Washington, she rode in the streetcars to help force their desegregation. (90 years before Rosa Parks claimed her seat on the bus.)

- 1871 - Frederick Douglass signed her Book of Life while she was making rounds for freedom in New York.

- In 1872, she returned to Battle Creek and tried to vote in the presidential election, but was turned away at the polling place.

- She actually had an audience with two Presidents of the United States in the White House. Abraham Lincoln (1864) and Ulysses Grant (1870).

Age and ill health caused her to retire from the lecture circuit, and she spent her last days in a sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan. When she died on November 26, 1883, her last words were, "Be a follower of Jesus."

She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan. Her grandsons, Sammy Banks and William Boyd, and her daughters, Elizabeth Banks Boyd and Diana Corbin are buried in the same plot. Despite her hardships she had managed to keep her family together.

Illiterate all of her life, Sojourner’s courage and candid, homespun way of speaking against the evils of slavery and the denial of women’s rights made her a major presence in her day. She still stands preeminently as the only woman of color who gained a national reputation on the lecture platform in the days before the Civil War.

A woman of courage and tenacity who believed she had God on her side.
Her life is a testimony that she did.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Full Moon in February 2012- The Snow Moon


Clouded with snow 
The cold winds blow,

And shrill on leafless bough 

The robin with its burning breast 

Alone sings now.

The rayless sun, 
Day's journey done,

Sheds its last ebbing light 

On fields in leagues of beauty spread

Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark, 
And spark by spark, 

The frost-fires kindle, and soon

Over that sea of frozen foam 

Floats the white moon.

- Walter de la Mare

February Full Moon

During my lifetime I have lived in several different countries. There were times when I felt homesick and far from home, however, there was always one comforting thing for me. I would gaze at the moon and know that wherever I was that my family and loved ones could also be looking at the same moon. There was always a sense of connectedness , especially when the moon was full.

Because the February moon is most often associated with snow, we look upon it as a time for new beginnings, a time for renewal, youth, mending a broken heart or making way for a new love as the signs of winter begin to fade.

This moon brings us the opportunity to toss out that which is old and useless both metaphorically and physically.

Metaphorically, it is time to let go of emotions or of people that bring stress and negativity to your life.

Physically, this is a time for cleaning and discarding to make way for the spring (Spring Cleaning most likely derived from this tradition). If you are a pack rat, clean your closets and donate items and clothing. Your generosity may give another person a chance to make a new beginning. Or maybe it’s your body that needs cleaning. This is a good time to start a healthy diet or to lose weight.

Full moon is a lunar phase that occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. The Moon is then in opposition with the Sun.

Because the month of February has only 28 days (or 29 in a leap year), there have been a few occasions during which this month has been without a full moon. In particular, there was no full moon in February 1866, 1885, 1915, 1934, 1961 or 1999.


Full Moons are traditionally associated with temporal insomnia, insanity (hence the terms lunacy and lunatic) and various "magical phenomena" such as lycanthropy. (Belief that human beings can be transformed into animals.)

Psychologists, however, state that they have found no strong evidence for effects on human behavior around the time of a full moon. How many of you agree with that statement? Personally, I feel that there is a definite energy that is abound during a full moon and that the body is receptive to this. Many report a change in emotions and temperament during this cycle.

Full moon names:

The traditional English names for February's full moon is Wolf Moon.

The name given by Native Americans in the northern and eastern United States is Snow Moon.

Heads up tonight to view Natures gift to us.