Candlemas Day

Shubenacadie Sam, Nova Scotia’s groundhog, did not see his shadow today. According to tradition this means we’ll have an early spring.

However, down in Pennsylvania, Puxsutawney Phil did see his shadow. It’s weird that spring will be in Canada before it arrives in the USA.

This is an ancient Christian celebration dating back longer than I’ve been alive. Known as Candlemas Day, it marked the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year while spring equinox is when there is an equal amount of daylight as there is night time. Today, we’re right smack in the middle. You might have noticed that it’s light for just a bit longer than it was at the same time a month ago.

Anyway, clergy would bless candles and then pass said candles out to the people. The superstition was as true back then as it is today. If there is sun we’ll have six more weeks of winter and if it’s cloudy then spring will come early. Sometime later, the Germans introduced the hedgehog into the prediction. If their hedgehog saw his shadow then we’d have more bad weather, a second winter.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again

When the German then migrated to the New World they brought their lederhosen and traditions with them. However, due to a lack of hedgehogs in Pennsylvania, they switched to groundhogs.

In 1886, just 110 years after the US declared their independence, a newspaper by the name of Punxsutawney Spirit, printed the first news of Groundhog Day to be observed. The next year, The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob.  The editor of that paper declared Punxsutawney Phil to be America’s whether forecasting groundhog.

Wikipedia lists 26 prognosticators. Thirteen saw their shadow and predict six more weeks of winter. For those you who struggle with math, that leaves thirteen others who are predicting an early spring. I guarantee at least half of the 26 are right.

Technically, we have 6 more weeks of winter no matter what the groundhogs and hedgehogs say.



It’s So Green

Ask me what like about home and my first answer would be family and friends. My second answer would be the land. Here it is the second week of May and people are out mowing yards, the trees all have leaves, the flowers are colorful, and the bumble bees are buzzin’. Back home the spiders are so tired of the cold they’re building webs in the living room (I’ll post a pic later. I don’t have access to that photo at the moment). The grass is still brown, though the snow is gone, mostly – enough to see the grass, anyway. The trees don’t even have buds yet. The crocuses are out so it won’t be long. Back home, Mother Nature hasn’t quite woken up yet. It was warm one day so Crash thinks it’s summer and come home from school with his coat in  his backpack. The world here is green! Look at the fields of green!


Fields of Gold? Nope, Fields of green.

But right now I’m headed to Camden Yards to watch my Orioles! Whooo hoooo! Go O’s!

Where am I?

Hi ya folks! Took a bit of hiatus there. Finished with the month long challenge in April and took a bit of time away from the blog. I’ve still been visiting a bit here and there (if I missed you let me know and I’ll come see you, too!). Life has gotten a bit crazy at house. Crash and Bang are seriously testing our parenting skills. Not to mention our sanity and patience. But more on that later. It’s still in draft form.

The trampoline is set up so that’s been going wide open. Shoes come off when they get on the trampoline and they don’t go back on. We’ve arrived at barefoot season. I sort of enjoy the black feet. Now I hear, “Dad, come jump with us! Dad, come launch us! Dad, will you popcorn us?”. Yes, yes, and yes. Most of the time. The ice and snow in the sandbox has finally thawed so the diggers are back in action.

To my readers in Australia, enjoy the fall. It’s my favorite season. It always provides perfect weather for running! I was explaining to Crash that while it’s getting warmer here, it’s getting colder there. He was amazed, naturally.

L is not for …


L is not for lawn. It’s still 90% buried in the snow.

L is not for lawnmower. Sure, it might be spring. But here in Atlantic

No lawn here. Nothing to mow... move along now.

No lawn here. Nothing to mow… move along now.

Canada, Mother Nature likes to be temperamental. The snows didn’t start until February this year. Last year, it started in November and lasted until April. We got the same amount of snow as last year, just

over a 3 month period instead of 6. So I won’t be needing the lawnmower for another month.

L is not for ladybugs. See the above and you’ll understand why.

L is not for lucky or lottery. We won’t be winning it any time soon. Our last ticket had 2 out of 25 numbers. Not even close. Not even on the same continent as close.

L isn’t for any of that stuff. Here’s what it could be for…

L is for laughing. Who doesn’t like to laugh? Especially during ticklefests. Bang likes to crawl and lay on our lap and tell us, “run and tickle”. No need to chase him, he’s in our lap. So we tickle away until he tells us to stop. Then tickle again. Then stop. Then tickle again and on and on and on goes the game. Tickle me, don’t tickle me.

L is for lefties. Both boys are lefties. Crash eats, writes, and kicks with his left. This makes life interesting because this causes some of his numbers and letters to be backwards. No matter how much we practice with him 5’s, 6’s, S’s, g’s and a few other random letters still come out backwards when he writes. Bang will be the same because he does everything lefty; eat, write, throw, hit, and kick. Weird, because both DW and I do everything with our right.


L is for loud. If it’s not their voices it’s their crashes and bangs. If it’s not their crashes and bangs it’s their games. If it’s not their games, it’s their music for their “dance party”.

L is for leaches. That’s what our two boys are. That’s how they get so much energy. They leach it off their mother an I. That would explain why we’re so low on energy and they’re so high.

Bang on the snow bank

Bang on top of the snow bank this morning

My parents are going to be making a trip up this summer. They’re thinking of coming in August. I’m thinking this would be the best time because the snow should be gone by then. Even the boys are sick of the snow and they’ve loved winter and being outside. Now Bang wants a giant vacuum to suck up all the snow and make it summer. I don’t blame him.

K is for…


Kinetic energy.

n. Energy that a boy possesses by virtue of being in motion. (changed slightly from the actual definition)

I’ve written about it before and I’m going to write about it again because it’s that true. My kids contain boundless amounts of kinetic energy. Be warned, there’s a fair chance I’ll write about it again on Saturday.

I swear they never stop moving unless they’re staring at a screen. They wouldn’t stop moving for hours if we let them. They love to be in motion. Running around the house, running up and down the stairs, throwing, hitting, and climbing, they are go go go.

Usually, they love to be outside, but we are still buried in snow (one drift is till as high as the picnic table). Both boys are sick of it and ready for spring and barefoot weather. Bang wants a giant vacuum to suck up all the snow to make it spring. Once the snow is gone and warmer weather is here, it will be tough to get them back inside. We will be running, swimming, kayaking, skipping rocks on the lake, playing soccer, baseball, Frisbee golf, Geocaching, bike riding and jumping on the trampoline.

They wake up at 6 or 6:30 ravenous and ready for breakfast. That gives them enough energy to go until snack time and lunch time and snack time and supper time and bedtime snack. I’m scared to think of how much they will eat when they get older! Perhaps if I stop feeding them they will stop moving. Nah. I would rather have them eating and moving.

I run so I have enough energy to keep up with them. If there were a way to bottle their energy, especially that boost of energy they get at bedtime, someone would be filthy rich. I don’t know about your kids, but mine slip into hyper mode when they get tired. Therefore, if bedtime isn’t timed properly, getting them to sleep could potentially take hours.

Last Thursday and Friday nights we stayed in a hotel and both night the boys didn’t fall asleep until 10 pm. Both mornings they were awake by 6:30 or 7. I would have thought they would have been tired and sluggish. Nope, they were still go go go, albeit, a bit crankier than usual. Bang napped for about a half hour on the way home. Crash refused. If I wasn’t driving, I would have slept the entire way.

How kinetic are your kids and what do you do to keep up with them?