All Hallows’ Eve – Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has a very safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Y’all know I love holidays in general, but the magic of Halloween has always placed it at the top. I also love that it kind of “kicks off” the other holidays of this time of year, making it even more special to me.

So, for today, I’m here to give a brief history of Halloween, as well as a few traditions!

“Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.”

Following Halloween is All Saints’ Day on November 1st and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd.

 

Now for some traditions!Soul Cakes

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead.

In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.

In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)

Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband.

Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces.

Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.

Happy Labor Day!!

Happy Labor Day!

Fun fact: Most people don’t really seem to know when the “No white after Labor Day” rule first began. While it isn’t a rule that has 100% logic behind it, it doesn’t completely not make sense either. White is a cooler fabric, which is needed (especially pre-AC) in the summer. Likewise, you wouldn’t wear wool or other winter fabrics in the summer, even if it was a cool day. Just like no pajama pants in public, some rules are about respect for others, and this rule is about dressing appropriately for the season.

Fun fact #2: In the South, white is reintroduced at Easter. Northern etiquette (where it stays cooler for longer) generally doesn’t show white until Memorial Day.

Personally, you will not see me wearing white jeans until next year. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject! Thank you for reading!

Why I Won’t Be Advertising For Amazon Anymore

Guys, I’m pretty disappointed with the customer service Amazon has given y’all and me. Most of y’all are local. Most of y’all I’ve met. So, Amazon has decided the easy thing to do would be to not count y’all’s clicks or purchases. They only want to count clicks from people I don’t know. The refuse to give the “criteria” for how they’ve determined that y’all are “close friends” (their words, not mine). They also said that most of the clicks aren’t from “new customers” and that existing customers didn’t hold “the same value.”

I sent them a question about an item that I had posted when it had a price change for one of you. It didn’t alarm them. Therefore, I cannot, in good faith, continue to do any advertising for this company. I do not, of course, wish them any harm, but they’ve made it clear they believe they are too big to fail and that they aren’t concerned with a customer’s bad experience. I’m so sorry.

A Fox Is Getting Married

Living in Texas, I’ve just accepted (and actually appreciate) that our weather has bipolar tendencies. It will be burning hot one minute; the next, rain will be pouring down in buckets. I actually like the unpredictability and think I may get tired of always knowing what the weather would do if I lived elsewhere. This quick change of pace also has allowed many foxes to get married. What? Let me explain.

I’m not exactly when, but I remember throughout my childhood hearing that when it rained while the sun was shining, a fox was getting married. Foxes have always interested me, and I think they’re beautiful and sly. In my imagination, they would be dressed up, like humans, getting married under dewy trees while the sun gleamed through the branches. They would be sheltered from the storm but not its beauty.

As I got older, the rain-while-the-sun-is-shining phenomenon also, apparently, indicated that the devil was beating his wife. This one seems to be more widely known, but I still prefer the mystery of mine much more.

Do you have any sayings for it rainy while the sun shines? I’d love to hear them!

Note: This picture wasn’t taken (clearly) while it was raining, but it started about 20 minutes after I took it! You never know what you’ll get with Texas weather, and I love that!

The Big Mayo Debate

I have always been a mayonnaise girl. Well, mayo on turkey, mustard on ham. Anyhow, not just any mayonnaise girl. A Hellman’s girl, through and through. Good mayonnaise is so loved in our family that I actually gifted (as an adult) Hellman’s mayo to my granny one Christmas. She liked practical gifts, and my aunt had recently found a good deal on Kraft mayo. My granny thought it just wasn’t the same, and I happen to agree with her.

My husband, though, loves his Miracle Whip, and he’s attempting to corrupt our babies into also liking it (I can’t bring myself to say love). Apparently, when I was young and naive, my mom would make her deviled eggs from Miracle Whip, and I guess I didn’t hate them. 😉 Oh well. Edited to say: Miracle Whip is definitely not mayonnaise by any stretch of the imagination! It’s a spread or something. I’m not quite sure what…

Over the years, though, the debate has grown from Mayo vs. Miracle Whip to Hellman’s vs. Duke’s. I actually keep both mayonnaises at my house. Duke has a tang to it that is a bit too similar to Miracle Whip for my tastes most of the time. I do like it on burgers. Hellman’s is nice and smooth. It is perfect for any sandwich made on white bread. I also tend to prefer it in my macaroni salads.

So, readers, today is the day for YOU to decide: Duke’s or Hellman’s? Cast your vote in the comments! Thank you for reading! 🙂