Sunday, October 28, 2007

Who *IS* Jack and other Halloween trivia

Ever wonder why we carve up pumpkins for Halloween?? Here is one answer I found from the Yahoo Q and A pages:

"Pumpkin carving, like Halloween, came from the Celts. The carved pumpkin with a light inside was supposed to ward off evil spirits. The celts however, not having pumpkins, had to use their smaller, less tasty (and much harder to carve) cousin, the turnip.
Carved pumpkins/turnips are sometimes called Jack o' Lanterns from the ancient Irish legend. Jack was a smart, lazy, gambling, selfish lad who, when he died, was not even accepted into Hell. Instead, the devil gave him a pumpkin/turnip with a burning coal inside to light his way as he wandered round the earth."

Apparently, the whole Halloween thing originated from an old Celtic tradition, where children dressed up as fairies and went door to door begging for treats (and performing tricks if they did not receive any). As an old Pagan tradition, the Catholic Church borrowed it for a Feast of it's own, making it the eve before All Saint's Day. It migrated to our shores with Irish immigrants, was hijacked by Americans and turned into another excuse for retailers to make moola.

It used to be a night reserved mostly for kids, but over the past couple of decades as become a major adult event...with just as many costumes and party stuff aimed at the older crowd as it is towards children.

I think it is interesting that many Christians today believe it to be a "demonic" cultural event, given that it had some religious roots in Europe. A recent survey reports that 55% of conservatives will allow their kids to "trick or treat" compared with 76% of liberals.
Ok, it *did*have a connection to "spirits and witches" being particularly effective on this day in old Celtic lore, but it also has a Christian tradition attached to it, also...

from Wikipedia:
"It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions,[2] until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 to November 1. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints"

As a child, growing up, it only meant having to come up with a suitable costume and getting great candy! Heck, there was even one house on my block that gave out quarters!!!! (his was visited many times, over and over! lol) My own costume choices back then were "gypsy", "ghost", "witch" and Dad's white dress shirt over jeans. (not sure what that was supposed to be, but I thought it was cool!) Unfortunately, I was a klutz in the dark and usually managed to bung my knees up tripping on my costume over some neighbors low wall or something and I'd go flying, along with my candy bag!!! I really loved Halloween night back then. Our neighborhood was FULL of kids, we all knew each other, and all the neighbors, and went in groups to each house all around our long block.
Later, as a pre-teen, my Aunt Beverly and I would dress up as witches, decorate her house and put on an elaborate evening for all the little trick or treaters! Great fun! We had to end it when it got out of control with truckloads of kids from across town arriving in droves...we just could not keep up with the demand for candy and the sheer numbers of little ghosts and goblins at the door! That was WAY before the commercial "haunted houses", so I guess we were ahead of our time.

(sources: Yahoo, Wikipedia)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Irritating Security "letters"

Why do some people use those irritating security "letters" that one has to type into a form before their comment will be posted to someone's blog??? I hate those things.

I don't use any security moderation for my comments, and no one posts anything on my blog that is terrible.

Maybe, because no one reads my stuff? lol

Deer Me...It's that time of year again

From mid-October through November is the deer rutting season, which also means that the Bambi's are on the move more than usual. Since I've hit two of them in the past few years, it is a particularly stressful time for me to be out traveling the highways. I read in today's paper that last year there were over 9,000 vehicle/deer accidents in Kansas. It says that is a 4% increase over the previous year. Isn't that just wonderful? NOT! I'm already seeing them on the side of the road when I am driving home in early evening from the dog shows. Coming up through the southern counties of Kansas on my way home from Oklahoma, I try very hard NOT to drive at night. The past two weekends I've driven home through that part of my trip about around dusk, arriving home a bit after dark. I am white knuckled during that 2 hour part of my trip from Woodward, Ok to home.
My only other alternative, which I sometimes take, is to delay coming home until the next day after the shows, which means extra added expense for me to find a motel in which to wait out the darkness and drive more safely in the daylight.

Is there an answer to this menace? More hunters being able to take more deer each season? I dunno...I just know that they are over-populated in rural counties near me, and probably other parts of the country, as well. If you don't think they are dangerous, consider that there were 3 fatalities in Kansas last year due to deer/auto accidents on the road. Another 229 people were injured.

We need a foolproof gadget that we can install on our cars that will keep them from running towards us. Deer whistles are minimal in my opinion. We need something more that technology can provide. Can't someone invent such a device??? They'd make a ton of moola if they did!

In the meantime, get out there and bag your limit...and save a life of some motorist, save zillions in insurance claims (both health and auto), and control a population that is more of a threat to most of us than we realize. Besides, venison is wonderful when prepared correctly. Venison sausage is the very BEST!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Message Board

I have realized that over the past few weeks, that my blog, and my daughter's blogs have become sort of "message boards" for each other, in that we post what is going on in our lives, therefore, keeping up with each other sans telephone calls, emails that need to be answered, etc.!lolol
So, in that light..

I'm leaving today for Enid, Ok for show, girls...home on Sunday night. I'm carrying 9 poodles. Two of them have the shits. More than you wanted to know?? hahaha I figure if Lynn can tell us she is going to go change a "poopy diaper", I can discuss my dogs' bowel movements!!

Lee received his "Black Knight" costume yesterday in this large box. He tried it all on, and I laughed my arse off!!!! It comes complete with the arm that falls off and this huge sword...he was quite pleased with it!

ok, gotta go get dogs ready to leave or else I won't get outta here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Right Stuff

With horror stories of puppy mill rescues and arrests of whomever runs these places whereby adult dogs and puppies are kept in horrid conditions...little food, not enough water or shelter, etc. it has caused me to feel the need to rant about those "hobby" breeders, who consider themselves "above the puppy mill" and on par with the serious show breeder/exhibitor. Mainly, I'm referring to new so-called breeders, that purchase dogs from others, either as puppies or adults, and begin a "breeding program" with absolutely NO idea what they are doing. They usually take excellent care of their dogs, limit their numbers, but breed every bitch they own as much as they can.

These people think that because they've attended a few dog shows, and maybe even been lucky enough to obtain a championship on one or two of their dogs, that they have the "right stuff" it takes to actually contribute through their litters, to their breed, or preserve what is already there and not go backwards, as far as whatever backwards might mean.

Nothing could be further from the reality of the dog world. It takes YEARS of being involved with mentors in your breed, studying the health issues and pedigrees, type and structure before one can call themselves a serious "breeder". The dogs produced by a guardian of the breed are consistent and exude breed type, temperament and health. Anything else is just "fluff", produced by helter-skelter happenstance and luck.

Those that don't put in the time and effort to be mentored, end up leaving the breed in worse shape than they found it, and if we are lucky, they leave it BEFORE any real damage is done.

The hallmarks of the non-serious "show breeder" are evident by putting great emphasis on selling puppies as pets and occasionally as a show prospect. There is a lack of commitment to seeing that each puppy produced gets into a GOOD home. Some of these types of breeders are only in it for the money, all the while fooling themselves that they are in it for the "right" reasons.
They produce as many litters as they can, without appearing to do so as to not attract too much criticism from the fancy, only select bitches that can produce as high a number of puppies in each litter (more money from puppy sales, ya know), and rarely if ever keep a dog as a pet for life...not having any real emotional attachment to any of the dogs they own and breed. They also breed to the latest "big winner" or dogs from a successful breeding program, hoping to capitalize on this success, without regard to whether or not the match-ups are actually going to be good ones or not. Some of them are really hung up on having the highest number of "champions" in their pedigrees, as this really sounds and looks good when selling those pups!

In my book, there is very little difference between the puppy miller and these fool's gold breeders. They aren't the "real deal". They may have beautiful websites that say all the correct things, but underneath all that is the heart of a sales person..ready to make the next sale to the puppy buyer.

To do it right, it takes study, commitment, sweat, tears, heartache, loss and passion. It takes LOVING the dogs, putting them first before all else. If a person does not have any of these, than they should get out of it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Lee and Halloween

When Lee was a baby toddler, I thought it would be so cute to dress him up in one of those "little pumpkin" costumes, you know..the ones that you stuff with tissue paper to plump out with this cute little "leaf hat". Well, he HATED it!!!!!!!!! I took him to a neighbor's Halloween party with his new costume and he sulked the entire time. I had "ruined" him with that darling little pumpkin outfit! For his entire youth, he never would put on another costume. Oh, he would like to go out and get the candy all right, just not attired in some clever outfit.

Then, a few years ago, I was shocked when he started scrounging around on Halloween for some "character" to portray. He would make up a "costume" from whatever he could find around the house. Then a year or so later, he went to second-hand shops to gather his costume stuff. NOW....and this is what slays me....he ORDERED this years costume online and spent HOURS searching for one!!!!!!!!!

He announced a couple of nights ago that he was getting the Black Knight costume from the Monty Python show!!!!! I about peed in my pants!!!!!! What a transformation from this little kid that HATED to "pretend" at Halloween to an all out "costume lover".

He's going to a party in his new costume. I'll have to be sure and get a pic of him...and post it.

The picture above is of Lee one Halloween a few years ago, when he was "Clyde" to his friend "Bonnie". The next pic is of him as a party recently.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Lee's Birthday

No, I'm not talking about Gen. Robt. E. Lee, but my son, Lee Lydick Griffith! We had a small dinner party for him last night at home, with King Ranch Chicken, one of his favs. When asked how old he was going to be today, he replied "23"! lol How funny that someone not even out of his "20's" yet, feels the need to reduce his actual age. Of course, that is fine with me, as it makes ME younger!

This birthday finds him in good shape, with a new job which he likes and makes more moola.

I want to get him a new mattress to replace his 75 yr. old one! Yes, that is right..his mattress is at least 75 yrs. old!!! It belonged to his grandfather when he was a kid. I think it's time it was retired.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Charlton Heston

Funny, I was thinking about Charlton Heston this past weekend. Not sure why he popped into my mind, but I made a mental note to see if there was any updates on his condition lately. Just so happens when I was in the grocery store today, there was an article on him saying something about his "last days". I thought, OH MY...IS HE DEAD??? Well, after scanning the net, I can't find any news of his death, BUT he is dying, I am certain. He's had Alzeimer's for about 5 years now, or at least since he announced he had symptoms of this disease. The tabloid said he was to the vegetative state now. This isn't official, but is probably true.

He has been one of our finest actors, ever. Who else could have played Moses??? or Ben Hur??? or El Cid????? or countless other larger-than-life characters???

What an awful disease.