August 2021

~~ a calendar quindecim

by tkbrown

Cooking, Canning, and Freezing

Summer gardens: a season to reason
all the unlimited health benefits
of choosing this fruit--or maybe that one.
Some folk are 'hip' to the pre-prepped meal kits.
Me? I like fresh, homecooked recipes best--
to mingle flavors of  fresh fruit salad
top with cream, a drop of honey--let rest,
then serve and enjoy, jolting those taste buds
with a pleasure never known anywhere
except right here in the heart of my home.
Creating recipes for health to share
with those stopping by while out on a 'roam.'
Improving my health is ever the goal,
the purpose of chosen nutrient' role
while pouring enrichment upon my soul.

The freezing, the canning, the cooking too
pleasantly providing a stock of food--
colorful and tasty in varied hue--
antioxidants known to boost the mood.
Fruit butters, jams, preserves, and pie filling
in pretty jars with labels to be viewed--
just the item for homemaker billing--
show the little lady to be quite shrewd.
Pickled okra, beans, cucumbers, and spiced pears
give 'tang' to salads, make sandwiches sing,
sauté corn, sprouts, and asparagus spears
can 'grace' any table with special zing.
Fritters of fruit and vegetables too,
multigrain breads of the homemade venue--
stretching the budget with flavor to view.

The bliss of fruit butter or jam on bread
makes breaking the fast such a special fare,
casts festive glow upon a morning spread,
can be a unique gift to those held dear.
Frozen peppers, tomatoes, onions, herbs,
and mushrooms forging umami cuisine,
making taste buds sing: "oooh, la, la--superb,
this is far better than e'er has been seen."
Foods out of season cancel-out cravings,
providing nutrition throughout the year
to meet needs and curb unhealthy ravings
and fuel 'a body' in active gear.
Eating colors of the rainbow each day
can rev your system and reduce the fray--
reducing medical costs 'down the way.'

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Photo Above: by Nadine Primeau @Unsplash.com.

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July 2021

~~ a calendar quindecim

by tkbrown

The Heat of July

July arrives with a sweltering heat,
bringing depressions, storms, torrential rains
to southern states--historical repeat
of bygone seasons with their hurricanes.
The Pacific northwest with record highs
installs rolling outages in Spokane;
while California's veins are parched and dry,
volcanic lava is Hawaii's bane.
Will the northeastern states escape the wrath
being spewed midst July's incoming days,
or will birds there need water in each bath
just to survive heated summertime rays?
We can hope the burn of the scorching sun
by end of month will be seen on the run
as the virus and it leave room for fun.

The new virus variant taking hold
is putting a chill on planned summer fun.
The worldwide spike is becoming quite bold
but not cooling us down via "chill" pun.
The play on words is easier to take
than the virus or heat of July days
typically graced with vacation break
which may slip past us due to viral frays.
While choosing to break with normal routine,
keep a thought to health for others and you;
use sense and caution, keep enjoyment clean
to prevent a new surge when summer's through.
Don't forget the healthy ways you have learned,
practice safe sunning so you don't get burned,
and you'll enjoy home more when you've returned.

Predictions border on dire once again
from many health pros for the months ahead.
Each new variant sets off a new spin
as the vaccines work to capture the spread.
As return to work seeks to create new norms
of work from home and higher rates of pay
we will surely see new variant swarms
in spite of cares we take along the way.
With schools restarting in-person classes,
students will be busy with music, sports,
and studies galore requiring passes
for halls and busses engaged for transports.
Don't store safety precautions on a shelf,
actions are not protected by an elf
negating practicing safety yourself.

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Photo Above:

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May 2021

~~ a calendar quindecim

by tkbrown

‘Claim to Fame’

As April showers vie for claim to fame,
May looms on encroaching horizon
in garb of eminent poetic bloom
gracing halls of hearth and loam--high mountain
and deep vale, glen, dale, and wandering trail.
The celebrations of blessed motherhood,
the rhythm and beat of the graduate march,
the encroachment drives a summertime mood
boasting slushes and teas soothing the parch
with hydration resisting sun and heat.
Thoughts of vacation and a break from school--
perched, poised, prompting from edge of seat--
fuel visions of fun in a cool pool.
Coronavirus still lurking around
means concern for safety needs still abound
as May emerges beautifully gowned.

Will schools break for summer in month of May,
or will Covid steal summer away too?
As parts of the world put numbers at bay--
lowering the toll, skittering the skew--
day to day life tries to stage a return
of health and wellness at school, work, and home.
Other countries are struggling to quell the grind
viral death takes on economic gloam
with numbers climbing and boggling the mind.
Help will be sent and, none of it too soon;
but it will not lighten the weight of grief--
of losing loved ones and misery strewn
by an unwanted crasher with morbid motif.
How long must we wait just longing to see
"normal" events, wondering what will be,
till this evil virus will set us free?

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Photo Above: by Gerd Altmann @pixabay.com.

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Calendar Quindecims — September 2020

by tkbrown

September is a  time to look ahead
planning completion of special projects,
mapping special meals for the holidays,
budgeting gifts, shopping, buying no rejects
while looking at winter travel options.
Safety, facemasks, verifying inspects
upon arrival; social distancing guides
for compliance, and monitor prefect,
fees for each fractured crime come into play.
Each will effect memory time collects,
trying to normalize every aspect.
Ads for Christmas appear early this year,
already here as if adding some cheer,
and carols will play when the day draws near.

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Image Above: by Lena Helfinger @ pixabay.com.

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Calendar Quindecims ~~ August 2020

~~ by tkbrown
Icicle memories. . . . long forgotten,
reappear to form a fave smoothie slush.
Hmmm. What flavor is your preference, then?
Mango-Peach is mine, fruit fresh from the bush.
Temperatures rising -- higher, higher:
Will relief ne'er wind itself down a spell?
A dip in the pool would be fun favor
but for the numbers of spiking unwell.
Back to school for children has been the rule
'ere COVID-19 called, gave us a stutter.
Now, Christmas may visit 'ere back to school
gets off the ground midst inclement weather.
"The Best Laid Plans . . ." John made to go awry
with choice visiting far beyond the sky.
We here on earth are afraid to ask, "Why?"

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Photo above by: Alexander Mils @ Unsplash.com.

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Calendar Quindecims June

by tkbrown
Vacations, picnics, and honoring Dad
are bits of fun we are wishing for now,
but gloom and doom hover, keeping us sad,
longing for days with wild oats to sow.
Summertime is wont to be filled with fun,
pleasure-filled hours for yon sweet memories,
for loving anew, basking 'neath warm sun,
taking advantage of sea surfing waves.
How long 'til normal waltzes through the sand,
enjoying family as we once did . . .
strolling through the park, walking hand-in-hand,
dining-in sans limiting safety bid.
Covid-19 has changed the way of life,
taught us to search out the oboe and fife,
enjoying quiet, paint with palette knife.

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Image: 'Chasing Waves' - Saona Island; Dominican Republic
Photo by: Kamil Kalbarczyk @Unsplash.com

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Calendar Quindecims May

by tkbrown

Commonly, ye old merry month of May
presents flowers from April's cool showers,
abundant sunshine in place of drab gray
skies brings us early harvests from forests,
vegetable gardens, berry patches
and herb gardens' aromatic promise
of summer. Bringing the dinner tables
to life with vivid visual vibrance
of color and ambience--much the same
as do our thoughts and memories of yore
tickle taste buds with mouth-watering fame
of delectable favorites and more.
All of these treasures in much more subtle
fashion as COVID-19 doth frazzle
nerves, events beyond our home-fire easel.

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Photo by: Akemy Mory on Unsplash.com

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~~ 29 February 2020 ~~ Leap Day and Leap Year

by tkbrown

What is Leap Year, Leap Day? Why do we have them?

Prior to the establishment of the Julian Calendar in 45 B.C., there were no Leap Days or Leap Years. When Julius Caesar implemented the current calendar, he added ten days to the 355-day year in the Roman Calendar. He also changed the date of New Year’s Day from March 1 to January 1 and added a leap day every four years.

The Roman Calendar embraced a ten-month, 355-day year based on the lunar cycle. Each month had three phases: Kalends, or the ‘new moon’ coincided with the first of the month; Nones, defined by the first quarter-moon occurred on the fifth or seventh day of the month; Ides, the first full moon designated either the 13th or the 15th day of the month. Then, with the next Kalends, a new month began.

New Year’s Day in the Roman Calendar occurred on March 1 instead of the Julian Calendar’s January 1. The New Year’s Day Celebration, however, occurred on March 15th (during the first full moon) instead of March 1st (the actual New Year’s beginning day). The full moon probably made partying more enjoyable by increasing visibility. Celebrations included food, music and other festivities.

Then came the Gregorian Calendar with skipped days and relived days to really confuse things. First introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII — for whom it is named. According to http://www.timeanddate.com, it is the most widely used Calendar around the world. Catholic countries adopted the calendar quickly with Spain, Portugal and Italy Leading the Group. It has been adopted by the international standard for Representation of date and times, (Hocken, 2017).

Protestant countries were leery of adopting the new calendar, fearing it to be a way of silencing the Protestant movement. Two hundred years after it was introduced, an Act of Parliament declared it to be the new Calendar for England and the (then) colonies, and the date immediately changed from September 2 to September 14, 1752, (Hocken, 2017).

Hocken on http://www.timeanddate.com quotes Benjamin Franklin, who “famously wrote about the switch in his almanac. ‘ . . . And what an indulgence is here, for those who love their pillow to lie down in Peace on the second of this month and not perhaps awake till the morning of the fourteenth.'” (Quoted by timeanddate.com from Cowan, 29; Irwin, 98).

“Orthodox countries followed the Julian calendar even longer, and their national churches have still not adopted Pope Gregory XIII’s calendar,” (Hoken, 2017).

Leap Year and Leap Day come with heaps of folk-lore attached. Leap Year, commonly known as an open opportunity for the woman to propose marriage to her love, does not encourage marriage that same year. It is supposedly unlucky for couples to marry during Leap Year.

Tell me what YOU think!

Sources:

Hocken, Vigdis. (14 November 2017). “Leap Day Customs & Traditions.” Time and Date AS. (28 February 2020). https://www.timeanddate.com/date/leap-day-february-29,html.

Hocken, Vigdis. (14 November 2017). “The Gregorian Calendar.” Time and Date AS. (28 February 2020). https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/gregorian-calendar.html.

Calendar Quindecims – October 2019

           — by tkbrown

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October
October brings cooler days and colder nights
blanketed with red and yellow,
crimson and orange — color sights
to deck the hills, welcome bellows
whence we fan the flame on cold nights.
Bonfires and hayrides, fun for all,
caramel apples and smores bites
fill tummies midst those dunking calls.
Bobbing for apples, ghoulish frights
are all part of October fare;
fall festivals and frightful dights
round out the Trick or Treat scare.
Then as the month comes to a close
we pull out our warm winter clothes,
wear a scarf to cover our nose.

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Photo above:
Fall Apple Harvest -- Portland Monthly @ google.com.

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Calendar Quindecims – September 2019

by tkbrown

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September
The waning days of September
bring memories from days of yore,
of growing-up, learning the ways
employed by those living before.
Comforts not thought to be quite new
by those who enjoy them today —
were considered luxury then
and wood heaters merely cliche.
Summer ends with fall equinox,
cooler nights bring welcome relief,
people start thinking to months ahead
when holidays will seem too brief.
Time will become holiday blur
as days and nights begin to whirr —
and suddenly appears New Year.

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Photo above:
Fall Foliage Homestead -- by Matthew Pla @ Unsplash.com.

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