Thursday, September 25, 2008

Autumn Equinox-Harvest Home Festival

"To the ancients, this was a sacred time. The Irish saw this time of year as the Waning of the Goddess. From the Summer to the Winter Solstice, they would hold festivals for the God ­ who was seen as a dark, threatening being. To the Goidelic Celts, the spring was the time of joy in the rebirth of the Goddess. To Brythonic Celts, however, this was the time of the death of the God (the Sun or the Grain God)."

Known around the world by many things, it is a time of checks and balances, a festival of Harvest Home, when day and night are of equal length. It is also a time when we acknowledge what we have learned through the year and decide how we will use it. It is in the sharing of these lessons, experiences that we can begin to grow. Only by this sharing can we receive the feedback that builds confidence and unity.

I love this time of year, though I knew it was the day when night and day were equal, I had never thought about the idea that it was about balance. I celebrate this time of year by visiting a local apple orchard and picking apples, as well as gathering all of my fall foilage to decorate my mantle and my home. Part of that decor is the sweet grass, woven from the native prairie grass of Tatanka, a wonderful memorial to the Native American Buffalo. run.

It is a reminder to me of the importance and longevity of history and our respect of all things , including the earth.

At LIT, we celebrate the diversity of readers, writers, and the magic of history! How do you celebrate the coming of autumn?



Genella deGrey said...

Amanda -

Autumn is my favorite season.
Everything feels so cozy this time of year. It makes me want to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of soup.

Oh, yes. And I just LOVE Halloween!

To celebrate the season, I decorate. I love the gothic spooky decorations, flickering candle light - and Jack Skellington. I can't get enough of him.

One of my dark secrets is that I leave the gothic items up all year. Tim Burton would love my decor.


amanda mcintyre said...

There is rumor of a cold snap coming our way next week! I'm so excited!!
Oh, another Jack Skellington fan! Or is it a Tim Burton fan? (Fav Burton movie Edward Scissorhands)

I also adore the movies Hocus-Pocus and Practical Magic, this time of year! *grin

It's true, I go into a squirrel-like mode every fall--gathering for the winter, I guess! Soups, casseroles, stews! Acorn squash, yum!

Here is a dynamite recipe for a great nutty tasting bread that is perfect for your fav soup!

Combine 3 cups SELF-RISING flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 can of beer(room temp is best)

Mix and spoon into loaf pan. Bake at 400* for about 40 minutes.
With butter or honey right from the oven...serious autumn delight!!

Seems like the fall is a wonderful time for traditions, doesn't it?
I'd love to hear more! If anyone has a historical note to add about Autumn, would love you to share that also!

Genella deGrey said...

OK, yes. Tim Burton.
Be sure to see his short stop motion animation film, "Vincent"

That one has a special place in my heart.

I have it on my myspace if you want to see it. Scroll down and it's on the left-hand side toward the bottom.


Kristina Cook said...

LOL, Amanda--my mom always made 'beer muffins' (pretty much the same recipe, only in muffin form) when I was growing up, and they're one of my all-time favorites.

Reading your post just made me think how much I miss a 'real' autumn. Lately, here in NYC, we have two seasons--summer and winter. Basically, one day you turn off your air conditioner and turn on your heat. One day, the leaves begin to turn colors, and a few days later, the trees are all bare.

I really miss the gorgeous autumns we had in suburban Atlanta! Always makes me think of football games, pep rallies...those cool, crisp days when the sky is a bright, almost-surreal blue and the slightest chill is in the air; when you need just a light jacket, or a poncho to stay warm.

The oaks and hardwood trees would oh-so-gradually change color before dropping their leaves into big, colorful piles--yet there was enough evergreens and kudzu to keep things from looking bare.

Wow--I really DO miss those Atlanta autumns!

amanda mcintyre said...

Genella, I LOVE that Vincent video! I am a huge Edgar Allen Poe fan and I just scrolled down your list of movies, nodding with joy!
I love that pic of the knight on the chair-wow!
and I actually sent the pic of the "meeting on the Stairs" as a sample of my erotic historical Tortured.(only done in a Spice-style mode)

you site is very fun to visit!

Kristi-muffins???? I hadnt thought about that! I have made them into teeny loaves to giveaway with green pepper jelly and cream cheese at Christmas.

I've never seen kudzu before , always wanted to see some. Does it change colors?

oh see, I always think of Autumn in New York--but your big claim to fame there has GOT to be Christmas!

I do love autumn here in Iowa. It's Homecoming here this week and Friday night lights coming up Friday night (Both twins play in the marching band, but during games, one plays football and does only the contests.)

The leaves here are turning-rather slow this year and more orange and yellows than red like some years.

I am toying with the idea of building a firepit in the gravel at the side of our drive and putting up some benches.

Doncha feel like humming "Kum by yah?"(sp?)

Coming up ...I'm going to share the secret recipe of Cracker Barrel Restaurant's Fried Apples!!!

Is there anything Celtic about porking out for the autumn fest?

oh--and how does one get the little avatar to work on comments???


Kristina Cook said...

Oh, man....I LOVE Cracker Barrel's fried apples!!! Do share!

As to the avatar, you have to set that in your main Blogger or Google account. When you sign in, go to your 'profile' or what you, and you can upload a picture there for your avatar.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Autumn is my fav season, too. One of my favourite things is to go for an evening walk in the crisp air, listening to the dry rattle of the leaves above me, and smelling the scent of someone lighting a fire in their fireplace. It's made especially atmospheric and perfect if the moon is a harvest moon.
I also make my new year resolutions this time of year. My parents did as well. It might be that Celtic/Scottish thing, about the 'out with old and in with the new'..the death of summer and birth of darkness.
In my house, when the kids go back to school, and the routine begins once again, it just feels like the right time of year to begin afresh.

Our Thanksgiving here in Canada takes place the second Monday of October, so it's always a pretty time of year to celebrate.

We also celebrate Autumn by going to the apple orchard, too, and then we stop at a roadside stand out in the country and have a drink of mulled cider, and a still warm sugar donut. We usually sit on the hood of the car, dressed in warm sweaters listening to the rustle of the dried cornstalks that haven't been harvested yet, while downing a few donuts that melt in your mouth. It's one of things my daughter talks about with such love as soon as she goes back to school. She can't wait for October, and the 'donut outing'.
I think it's so nice, that in a world of iPods, and Disney vacations and all sorts of expensive 'must haves' that the kids can still appreciate a Sunday drive, and the simplicity of a shared family afternoon.

Genella deGrey said...

Amanda - I'm so glad you liked "Vincent" :) And thanks for the compliment about my ‘space.

As for the seasons changing here in Southern California, well, all year around the color of the foliage tends to be an ugly yellow-green-brown. Yuck.

I have to go to the interned to see pix of real season changes. Lol

Did someone mention fried apples? :D Hook us up, girl!


Genella deGrey said...

interned ???

That should read, 'internet.'

I blame flying fingers.


Karin Tabke said...

I grew up on the east coast and loved the colors and crisp air of autumn. In Nor Cal we get the change but it's slower and not nearly as vibrant, so my season of choice has changed to Spring time. It's stunning.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Karin, thanks for stopping by and welcome!

I have been to North Carolina, and found it beautiful, as well as Virgina.

I'm a Cannuck, that lives in, what other Canadian's call the banana belt of the country! lol! Still blizzardy and miserably most of the time, and we've been known to hunt easter eggs in snow drifts! lol!

Again, welcome!

Karin Tabke said...

Thanks for the welcome, Charlotte!and so glad you enjoyed MASTER OF SURRENDER. :)

amanda mcintyre said...

Your "donut outing" sounds like a wonderful way to spend an autumn afternoon! I can almost smell those donuts! Yum!

I've never been to the east coast, (one of my goals is Maine in autumn!) I go to the Internet to check it out LOL

Karin , your book sounds fantastic. I read an excerpt somewhere a few weeks back (Romance Designs, maybe?) and just the opening, thought-wow, this looks juicy!!
But its on my must-have list to be sure.

Tell us what Spring is like where you are? And did your little "sanctuary" on your website come with your abode, or did you build that! It's gorgeous!

Genella , honey--you have the OCEAN!!! I keep trying to convince my hubby that I am seriously landlocked! So we trek up to northern Minnesota each fall, along the Superior shore and he lets me absorb the aura!( I am an avid Great Lakes shipwreck/lighthouse fan) I know weird....LOL

Are you near the sea? Oh can't be far-certainly closer than Iowa!

Its a balmy 83 here today. The Homecoming parade went great, I'm picking the straw from my jeans, and preparing to go watch Friday Night lights at the stadium *grin*

This is a kind of special time since HOmecoming is the anniversary of my first date with my hubby--yep, high school sweethearts.

Check out the fried Apple recipe coming up !


Genella deGrey said...

Amanda, here in Westwood (where our offices are) you can see the ocean along the horizon from my boss’s window - we're on the 22nd floor - and he has a very cushy office. :)

I grew up going to the beach - but I'm kinda over it now. I mean, it's nice to look at, but I understand that some parts are dangerous to swim in due to pollution. Too many people - who don't know how to use trash cans and/or bathrooms - have moved to Los Angles. Sad, but true.

I'll trade you my dirty ocean and over-population for your change of seasons, friendly, polite people and clean air any day.


Karin Tabke said...

Amanda I'm in the Bay Area Northern California, and when Spring hits, it hits hard. Our rainy season is in the winter time so when the temps begin to inch up and the sun shines it's an instant bouquet. The hills come alive from the winter rain and poppies grow everywhere, it's beautiful. We have a plethora of birds who nest in every nook and cranny. In fact our last family just flew the coop. A pair of doves nested in the pavilion overlooking our pool. We have raccoons, coyotes, possum's, hawks, the same pair of ducks who like to hang out in the pool every spring, partridges, humming birds who are in a constant frenzy with all of the hibiscus in the yard, blue belly lizards who wait patiently in the rocks on the koi pond for a dragon fly to come by, colorful king snakes, and well, sometimes I feel like I'm in the animal kingdom And my sanctuary was my husband's baby. He designed it from the grass up and oversaw the construction. It took three years to complete but was well worth the wait.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Karin, it's stunning, and I completely envy you being able to write with surroundings so beautiful. You lucky girl. Makes my study look rather pitiful!!!

So, do you dream up those hunky knights beneath the pavilion???

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Karin, it's stunning, and I completely envy you being able to write with surroundings so beautiful. You lucky girl. Makes my study look rather pitiful!!!

So, do you dream up those hunky knights beneath the pavilion???

amanda mcintyre said...

Genella, that is so sad to hear.
I can remember visiting the northern Calif/ Oregon coast when I was young. The impact of that time and place literally opened my eyes to the world of possibility.

I hope to meet you one day. Will you be attending the RT convention by chance in Orlando? (April 2009)

Karin, your dh is extremely gifted and yes it sounds a bit like wild kingdom where you live...must look up a blue belly lizard! LOL

ok, as promised...Cracker Barrels Fried Apple recipe-the beauty of this is that 1) is quick 2) goes with about any meal as a side or 3) can be used as a topping for ice cream (serious yum) and refrigerated for later.

1/3 cp Butter(oleo) melted
1/2 -3/4 cup of sugar(white)
2 TBSP corn startch
1 1/2 cups water
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
4-6 Golden Delicious Apples(cored, sliced,leave on peel)

IN a large skillet, melt butter. Add sugar and corn starch. Mix well then add sliced apples-cover and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes until apples are tender.
Stir occassionally. That's all there is to it!

I haven't tried it, but I imagine it would make a good base for a cobbler as well.

and on that note...I shall retire...

Be well and have a great autumn weekend!

amadna mcintyre said...

Testing to see if the avatar thingee works LOL