Posts Tagged ‘chinese new year’

The Year of the Rat.

When I was having babies, I planned their birth announcements around the Chinese Horoscope. Arwen is a Rat. Levi is a Tiger. I am, quite against my will and better judgment, a Monkey. I hate monkeys. Hate is a strong word and I reserve it for things I wish God had never created: monkeys, earwigs, cockroaches, silverfish. I don’t mind spiders, snakes, or cobwebs, but I really dislike monkeys. Maybe it has to do with the Wizard of Oz (I was ten before I could sit through the scenes with the flying monkeys), but I think it has more to do with the woman who lived across the street from my childhood home: her name was Jackie and she had a Gordon Setter and a spider monkey for pets. The monkey nearly bit my sister when it got loose. The Gordon Setter nearly bit me once, but it was really my fault and not the dog’s. I never forgave the monkey.

But I digress. If Chrystal had been born to me, I would have done a themed card around her Year, too: Sheep (or Lamb).

My husband is a Rooster. My dad is the most envious of all: he is a Dragon. 1928. My mom was a Monkey. She hated monkeys almost as much as she hated chickens. (I once wanted to buy her a parakeet for Christmas. I was nine and it was really a gift for me but I thought she would be excited. My dad, who was helping me shop, wisely advised me that while my mom liked to bird-watch, it was not the same as really liking birds in the house or chickens. My mom never visited me after I got my first parrot – not because of the bird, but she would have made a point of staying elsewhere because of the bird.) My father in law is a monkey and he is probably the only person I know who truly fits that Year (I do like my father-in-law, but from a distance. He lived with us a short while and I still love him.) My mother-in-law is a Rat.

I say all of this because I am not yet a grandmother. Arwen, the Rat, told her unborn son that he could not be born until after the Chinese New Year, because she did not want him to be a Pig. She wanted him to be a Rat. Arwen’s husband is an Ox. I don’t think he cared which Year his son was born in.

Murphy is a Pig. I just added that because he has been gardening. Again. I don’t want to talk about his gardening.

Anyway, it is the New Year and my grandson can join us now. It is the Year of the Rat.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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January is over. Well, almost. Groundhog’s Day is on Saturday. That’s a nice, mystical day. I did a quick study online on the history of the day and was amused to find it was celebrated long before there was a groundhog with the cumbersome nomer of “Puxatawny Phil” attached to him. That comforts me: I rather resent that some east coast mammal can tell me whether or not I am going to have six more weeks of winter in the western portion of the USA.

We’re going to have around six more weeks of winter, regardless. March 20 marks the next equinox. You just can’t win.

I put my wildflower seeds in the freezer, to give them a good chill. I collected them in zones where a hard freeze is a certainty: it is not a certainty in zone 8, where I live. I’ll pull them out of the freezer and start them this weekend and next. Probably next: I have a couple baby showers to attend this weekend, one of which is in my own living room. That is, we will have a baby shower *if* Baby Zephan agrees to wait to be born. As of today, he was busy nestling his little head in position and Arwen was miserably uncomfortable.  I don’t remember that feeling because neither one of my kids burrowed into position until just prior to birth and well into labor. It sounds as if Zephan is not going to do anything weird like Arwen (who wrapped up in her umbilical cord and couldn’t drop) or Levi (who was posterior until I was 9 cm and we turned him): he’s turned right and his little head is right where it needs to be.

Maybe he will be a Groundhog (or is it a Hedgehog? Sam is German and Arwen’s roots are vaguely German: Presley is a Germanic name derived from Pressler)? The Irish in me rebels. Oh, heck, the Scots in me rebels. How dare he give in to his German roots? Oh, heck, he  could be born on Feb 2 and still appease the Scots & Irish: Imbolc. Kind of fascinating to see where my people come from, religiously and otherwise.

(Actually, he will be a Rat: the Chinese Astrological Sign for his year of birth is the Rat. His mom is a Rat.)

Not all of us are anticipating a baby or worrying about the length of winter. My co-gardener (the one I currently am angry with over his indiscriminate “pruning” of my tree peaonies) wishes winter would never end and that much more snow would fall. Murphy is of good strong German heritage. He’s hoping for more winter. He loves snow.  4.jpg

Yeah, he’s turning into a handsome puppy. He’s not as hairy as I thought he would be, but he’s got nice lines.

I haven’t told him that I planted some aroid bulbs, but I noticed he’s been digging where I planted other bulbs last autumn… Darn this dog! He thinks he is a Master Gardener. Or maybe he thinks he is invincible. Did I mention he chewed a wood glue stick the other day? Into tiny little pieces. I don’t think he ingested any.

He’s been loving the snow that we’ve had this past week. He will be disappointed if the groundhog sees his shadow. He’s a Pig, by the way. That explains everything.

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