25 October 2010

Pumpkin soup

This is one of my favorite fall foods. I make it often for guests and at events. It is always a hit and I even get requests for it.

Pumpkin Soup

1 large onion, chopped
one pound of bacon, chopped
two 29-ounce can of pumpkin
2 cup water
3 cups apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cubes chicken bouillon
2 apple, chopped and unpeeled

crystallized ginger chopped, to taste

Sauté onion and bacon lightly in large pot. Add pumpkin, water, apple cider, brown sugar, chicken bouillon, apple, and crystallized ginger to the pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Stir frequently.

14 October 2010

Cats... mysterious creatures

History has been full of stories linking cats to the bizarre and unusual. People love them, hate them, worship them, call them tools of the devil, keep them as familiars, and generally don't know what to really think of them. They are loving companions, yet proud individualists. Even as I type this, a cat has come and sit on my lap and is watching me type, purring away.

Here are a couple of personal stories involving cats...

One of the cats tripped me out the other day. I was sitting on the porch when Sheba walked up and under my chair. I reached down to pet her, there was a loud thump, I looked down, looked at the railing, looked all over the porch and yard... no kitty anywhere, after hunting for about 5 minutes I sat back down, 10 minutes later... thump and Sheba launches from under my chair onto the railing. Blink what the heck?

When I was about 12 years old I came home from school and plopped down on the couch. My cat was sitting near by and I swung my arm toward the TV and told the cat to turn it on... well it walked up to the TV, bit the nob and pulled. Sadly I freaked out a little. I loved that cat, but it never again showed quite so much understanding of what I was saying.

I had one cat that always joined me when I did religious rites. I would not bring him or do anything to call him. Sometimes I wouldn't even see him that day and then he would show up for ritual.

So are they smarter then we often give them credit? Do they know secret things about the working of the universe that we have yet to discover? I have had friends tell me about their cat that would pick catnip and plant the sprigs so more would grow... Cats that herd other cats to go on hikes with their human family... cats who mysteriously escape being locked in a room... a cat that somehow threw a machete across the room and nearly hit someone...

There are thousands of books on the cats in art, history, magic and culture. What is this fascination. All I know for certain is that even though I have a few scars from playful kitties, I love them.

04 October 2010

Looking at the local to worship the whole

Some have argued that Pagans worship the creation and not the creator. While that may be true in a sense, I think it is more akin to looking someone in the eye when you talk to them. You may only be looking at the face, but in the back of your mind you know there is a whole person beyond just that face. There is more to the body and a mind hidden behind that which is obviously present.

So yes we may gather in a forest glade and honor the spirit of the woods, the stream, the air and that which is within ourselves. However that local focus is also honoring distant lands, distant stars, an entire universe beyond that seen by the eye and the very spirit of the entire universe.

03 October 2010

Books, TV, Movies and remakes

I want to rant a little about people complaints about books being messed up when made into movies and tv shows or when a movie is remade. I think people need to let go of their obsession with things remaining the same and look at it all as what it is... storytelling. Part of the fun of both storytelling and listening to stories is that there is always little differences in when the same story is told. Maybe its only a slight difference in the emphasis of words, the changing of an adjective or even just the sound of a different persons voice saying the same things. Think about sitting around a campfire listening to a master storyteller tell your favorite story. It so easy to hear that same story told a hundred times around the campfire, but record that story and you may only listen to it a dozen times for the rest of your life.

Books, TV and movies are different media and have different rules of timing, setting and just generally how they come together. No matter how true you want to be to one source, translating it into another changes it a little. Ever actually read a book from movie without pictures or seeing the movie? You will find that the images you create in your mind still won't quite match the movie and you can find that you're disappointed with what they did with the movie. lol Its simply the nature of the mediums.

My opinion is that if they do a good job on the storytelling, then its good. When I read a book I let it define the nature of its world and as long as it doesn't break the rules it sets up, it has succeeded in doing one of its fundamental jobs. So to do I believe that when a story is retold, I should let each new retelling have some flexibility in its story. Some core part should be kept in each retelling of course. For instance keep the characters natures intact and put them in slightly different situations and see what they would do. That's just good storytelling. Now there may be things I don't like about remakes, maybe they chose to keep the parts I wasn't into and got rid of the ones I like. Well the storyteller gets to pick and choose how to tell the story. We may not like every telling, but its the mystery of the telling that makes it fun.