Sunday, December 30, 2018

2019: China's Year of the Pig

"Pigs have a beautiful personality and 
are blessed with good fortune in life."

2019 is the year of the PIG in Asia. Over there, it's a beautiful thing.
However, let me pause a moment to express my gratitude for being born under LAST YEAR'S sign? 
Let's face it, DOGS (mine, especially) are so much cooler than pigs.
 I've just never been big on pigs. 
The only mural I've ever accepted, which featured this animal, was for a BBQ place. 
This image is what I painted on the men's room. 
(There were more, including a flying pig and a burlesque sow for the ladies' room). 
The t-shirts sold by the place had this on the back:
"PETA: people who enjoy tasting animals."
That's what pigs are: food that I love but shouldn't eat too often.
Born to be food.
But China, or at least, the emperor who started all this, didn't see it that way.
While, according to that link I posted earlier, pigs showed up late to the emperor's party,
and so became the 12th zodiac symbol, they remain symbols of wealth.

Born in 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, or 2007?
Have a chubby little piglet due to be born in 2019?

According to the pig zodiac sign, you're born to be rich and enjoy the good things in life!
Each year has a slightly different fortune associated with it, so have fun and check it out.
As 2018 ends, and 2019 begins, it seems like a good idea
to leave behind what we don't want in our lives and reach for what we want.
Most Asian countries celebrate the new year based on the lunar calendar,
but Japan celebrates it when we do. Also like Europeans and Americans,
it's customary, through out all of Asia, to drink--A LOT. Not just on New Year's Eve,
but during the week leading up to the new year.
There are other customs, which make a lot of sense, however,
which I kind of wish EVERYONE would adopt.
After gathering for a customary feast in the home of their birth with family,
people close their doors for up to a week. Why?
The dawn of the new year should be greeted with a clean face.
Businesses, schools and homes get thoroughly CLEANED and repaired: おそじ。
This seems to be a particularly honored tradition in Japan,
which is why I'm posting the following image and typed
the Japanese word for "to clean" as "osoji" in hiragana.

How cool would it be, in the year of the pig, if we each start our new year by doing something like that?
CLEANING, organizing and so forth, to give 2019 a fresh new face, and make way for good fortune!
Here's wishing you a prosperous, healthy and happy 2019:
The Year of the Pig!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Punkin Patch in North Logan

Autumn is in the air, here in Logan, UT.  This is the time of year that lots of people carve pumpkins, cook and can veggies and fruit. Want a good place to find fresh pumpkins and squash at a GREAT price? This is it.  Take 2200 N to 800 E right after you've crossed into N. Logan, and go left.  You'll see a huge variety off to your left, piled up on the sidewalk, in front of a cute little white house.  Picked locally, everything's fresh.  
I keep finding so many reasons why!
To get there, drive East on 2200 N. in N. Logan and turn North on 800 East. 
The place is surrounded by trees and fields...this is why Logan still feels rural, 
despite our dramatic population increase in the past 2-3 years.

This cute little white house has offered this Punkin Patch for at least 10 years, 
because that's when I first found it.
Linus would love this place:
Such a big variety of pumpkins and squash!
Did you know there's such a thing as a "flat" white pumpkin? 
...or what's called "pink" and "blue" pumpkins, too?
These are huge "blue" pumpkins.
Prettiest varieties of acorn squash, sweet pumpkins for baking, spaghetti squash...
Now that I remember where this place is, I'll get more produce there.
There aren't very many places anymore where payments are made using the honor system. 
 There's a red metal box to drop cash or a check in. 
Recently, they've made Venmo an option, too.   
This isn't actually unusual in Logan.  
Despite it's recent dramatic growth spurt, 
Logan maintains a small town atmosphere of trust and friendliness.  
I liked Cache Valley when I visited 15 years ago, and as time goes by, 
the reasons why just multiply!