Sunday, December 4, 2016

Two Celebrations! The 2nd Sunday of Advent AND National Cookie Day!

Today is The Second Sunday of Advent! Last Sunday, November the 27th 2016, which was The First Sunday of Advent, began the new liturgical year with The Season of Advent.

I wrote about this fact in a blog post and mentioned that, "according to Holiday Insights: 'Advent is a holy season in the Christian calendar. It is the beginning of the liturgical calendar. It is a very special time, as Christians wait and prepare for the coming of the Lord, Jesus whose birth we celebrate on Christmas. While Santa Claus' arrival is a big big event, we must remember Jesus' birth on earth is much bigger, and the real cause for Christmas. In the early days of the church, Advent was a time of prayer and confession. Today, Advent is more a time of preparation and expectation of the coming of the Lord.

"'The Advent Wreath is an important symbol of Advent of the season. It usually sits on the dinner table and is a constant reminder of the holy season. The wreath is of German origin and consists for an evergreen wreath, and four Advent candles. Three candles are purple and one is pink.

"'The lighting tradition- On the fourth Sunday before Christmas (the first Sunday of Advent), the first Advent candle is lit at dinner and a short prayer is said. The first candle is lit each night along with a short prayer. On the second Sunday  of Advent, a second purple candle is lit. On the third Sunday the pink candle is lit. Finally on the fourth Sunday of Advent, just a few days before the birth of Christ, the final purple candle is lit."

The first two images atop this blog entry feature my Advent wreath as it appeared on the Second Sunday in Advent during bygone years, while the third picture features how it appeared on the vigil (eve) of this year's Second Sunday in Advent.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Week After T'giving

I generally don't use the term, "Throwback Thursday," but there is always a first time, and after all, today marks a week since the holiday known as Thanksgiving was celebrated. The video posted atop this blog post is one I found on You tube and it features one of the bands that marched down the streets of NYC in the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The view that can be seen here is from a vantage point that is much further south than from where I viewed the parade.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday's Wisdom: "....a time to mourn"

My father died twenty-one years on this day of November 30th in 1995, which was the Monday after Thanksgiving. In any event, from the moment I first knew him, as evidenced in the image above featuring one of our earliest encounters, I loved him dearly. And I'm told that he was very excited about my coming into the world, which is demonstrated, to a certain extent in the following picture.

The image features him with my mother and was taken a little under a month before I was born. In it he's comparing his belly to hers! My dad had a great sense of humor as well as a quick wit, and he often put a spin on the lyrics of songs, which is a fact, I've written about in prior entries here on Blogger, including one that I published six years ago on November 29th 2010.

In the aforementioned post, I wrote that, "Most people when recalling my father's antics will remember him for having his own takes on "Top-40" music hits. For example, with the song, "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden," the lyrics go,"I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden . . ." but my father's take on it was,"I beg your pardon, I never farted in your rose garden . . .

"As for the once-upon-a-time hit song,"Bad Moon Rising," the lyric-line is,"There'a a bad moon on the rise". My father's version? "There's a bathroom on the right." And with Paul McCartney's, Band on the Run, where the lyric-line,"band on the run" repeats over and over again, my father's rendition was,"band with the runs."

"My father's sense of humor, and apparent relationship with songs, remained with him throughout his life. Even at the very bitter end, when he had hoped to be out of a hospital where he had been for treatment due to severe consequences of emphysema, he recorded a tape giving Louis Armstrong "a run for his money".

"In the tape, my father expresses what the doctors had hoped to do: have him out of the hospital the Monday after Thanksgiving. Sadly that was not to be, as he was still in the hospital the "Monday after Thanksgiving" and declining quickly: dying that week after Thanksgiving instead," which was on November 30, 1995.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday's Truths Week Twenty: My fauna, flora, and insect themed postcards have been selling at M&M!

It's time for another Tuesday Truth! Nineteen days ago, here on Blogger, I made an announcement that Steve Mohr, the sole proprietor of More & More Antiques (an exquisite shop on the UWS in NYC), had made the decision to sell my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards. In that announcement, I stated that "... Steve Mohr's place has been there for over twenty-five years. Mohr's vast knowedge of antiques, coupled with an excellent eye for spotting unusual and interesting collectible pieces, guarantees a fun experience to anyone who goes there.

"In addition to offering unique collectibles, More & More Antiques has wonderful items for the home, especially for the various holidays. The way in which the shop's owner, Steve Mohr, displays them is magical! I confess that his talent in positioning the whimsical figurines (which he sells during the various holiday seasons) has inspired a number of the "stories" that I've written for hometalk.

"Steve's displays, as well as the helpfulness of Nancy Nelson Mancini (who works there), have been the inspiration (whenever figurines are involved) for entries here on Blogger (as well as tumblr and Facebook) that have to do with New Year'sThree Kings DayValentine's Day, Saint Patrick's Day, EasterHalloweenThanksgivingChristmas, and any patriotic holiday."

In any event, I'm grateful that Steve has not only decided to sell my cards, he has also placed them in a "prominent" position (on the countertop where one pays for purchases) in his shop! The photograph atop this blog entry features how my postcards look in Mohr's store.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Three Days After... Photographs & Musings: Macy's 2016 Thanksgiving Parade Part Two-B

Welcome to the conclusion of my coverage re my experiences with the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. If you follow this blog, then you know that every day from November 15th 2016 through the eve of Thanksgiving (November 23rd 2016), I provided posts with cool information regarding the participants (mostly the character balloons and novelty balloons). And on Thanksgiving Day, as well as the day after, my blog entries were centered on what took place during this year's parade. Today's blog entry will be my last one for the 2016 year of this particular event.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Day After... Photographs & Musings: Macy's 2016 Thanksgiving Parade Part Two-A

It's the day after Thanksgiving, a day that has long been called Black Friday, which is a topic that I've written about in bygone years here on Blogger. However, within this blog post for the day after Thanksgiving  or Black Friday, I will not be covering that subject. Rather, I will fulfill my promise that I made in yesterday's entry, which was that I would continue my coverage of the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Part of what I state in the aforementioned blog post is that two brand new characters have been rendered into Macy's balloons, and yesterday they made their debut in this venue! Those characters are Trixie the Dog as well as the Dreamworks Trolls. They can be seen (in the images posted atop this entry) making their way down the streets of NYC with trees from near by Central Park as their "back drop.

As you can see the features of Trixie the Dog as well as her tag (top image) are almost as as big as a traffic light! In any event, you can also see that both character balloons are "flew" much lower than usual this year. This often happens during windy connection or near to the starting point of the parade, which is where these pictures were taken.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I LOVE A PARADE! Photographs & Musings: Macy's 2016 Thanksgiving Parade Part One

Well, well, well, after my many blog posts during the pre-Macy's 2016 Thanksgiving Parade, it finally happened today, and it certainly did not disappoint! What a treat it was to witness the good man, Charlie Brown, lead the entourage of Macy's balloons down Central Park South in NYC! Charlie had a make-over for this year's Macy's Parade, which allowed him to have his kite!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tomorrow's The Parade!

Sponge Bob, the popular Macy's ballon pictured above, is here with me to announce that the 90th Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will take place in NYC tomorrow! I began blogging about this event on November 15th 2016, with an entry where I included photos of various Macy's balloons including one with Woodstock riding on Snoopy; and ones rendered in the likeness of Thomas The Tank, as well as Spider Man. From what Sponge Bob tells me, Spider Man will not participate this year.

Wednesdays Wisdom: It's good to be with helmet and hose.

Folks are doing a number of things in response to the result of the 2016 presidential election, and most of those actions seem to be demonstrating or signing petitions.

Others are attending retreats to gain perspective, as well as to cleanse and renew their spirits. One such retreat was held on November 12th at Corpus Cristi Church in Manhattan. The retreat had been planed long before the political angst occurred in NYC (and throughout the world), but perhaps that was providential.

In any event, the retreat I am referring to was sponsored by the NYC Chapter of The Thomas Merton Society. The theme of the retreat was In Everything Mercy: Thomas Merton and Pope Francis on the Merciful Heart of God. 

Christopher Pramuk led the event, and all the while, attendees had the pleasure of Thomas Merton smiling upon us, albeit from the vantage point of being in a painting by James Nally, which can be seen atop this blog entry.