Culture

Native American Heritage Day

Actually, all of November (since 1990) is Native American Heritage Month and the day after Thanksgiving is the specific day declared as a holiday in recognition of that heritage. I bring this up since although I am 99.7% of European ancestry, there is a 0.3% trace of “Indigenous American” and “Broadly East Asian” in my DNA report. This ratio of trace ancestry is corroborated by the segment of my Ancestry tree shown below.

Fourth through Sixth Level Great Grandparents

This tree segment shows my 4th Great Grandfather J. S. Conaway, his parents and grandparents. My Native American Ancestor is simply shown as “Choctaw Wife” and I have not been able to find any more information about her other than what is shown. Mathematically, that works out to be that I am likely 1/256th Native American. To be recognized as a Choctaw Tribal Member, however, I would have to have at least one Great-Grandparent that was a full-blooded Choctaw. I’m not even close.

If the 1/256th ratio is true, then I have four times the Native heritage than does Senator Elizabeth Warren, so-called “Fauxcahontas,” who misrepresented herself as being of sufficient Native ancestry when applying for special college enrollment perks while being only 1/1024th Native American.

Damsel also has DNA results showing her Native American Ancestry, but we have as yet to trace her lineage in as much detail as my family tree. One of her sisters has that detail, but we can’t directly access it yet. We do know that one of her Great-Great Grandmothers was at least part Native American.

So, even though it is in greater vogue to call this day “Black Friday,” We reach out to our Native American cousins and wish them all a Happy Native American Heritage Day.

Thanksgiving Day 2022

The Holiday Season is upon us again and we are rapidly getting in the mood to celebrate with all the accompanying festivities. The first order of our holiday festiveness is to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with all the appropriate feasting and borderline gluttony. We are currently preparing the Smoked Breast of Turkey entrée and several side dishes for today’s dinner.

We are thankful on this day for our feast and for the hands that prepared it. We are thankful for those who serve and are on duty on this day. We are thankful for our neighbors, our family and our friends. We are thankful for those who read these words. May the Lord bless and keep them all in His grace.

So, if you’re celebrating and feasting, enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

UPDATE: Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner comprised of Smoked Turkey Breast, Dressing, Mashed Fauxtatoes, Gravy, Green Beans and Baked Squash. Ice Cream over a Pumpkin Muffin for Dessert.

Samhain Celtic Cross-Quarter Feast

Samhain is the cross-quarter day that marks the halfway point between Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice. The day was traditionally considered to be the “end of summer” by ancient ancestors in northwestern Europe and the British Isles. Samhain is observed worldwide by Wiccan and Pagan cultures*.

Damsel and I both have had our DNA tested by two of the popular on-line Genealogy entities and their conclusions are that we both have significant branches in our family trees that trace back to the areas where this holiday and other cross-quarter events were and are celebrated. We have traces of DNA from other parts of the world, but our European ancestry is very much in the majority.

So, since it is a feast, then feast we shall. Our “feast” consisted of traditional corned beef and cabbage with turnips, brussels sprouts and carrots. “Traditional” in the case of this meal means that it traces back to our Irish American ancestors; the dish would have been pork, potatoes and soda bread with trimmings back in the old country. I read that pork was too expensive for poor immigrants and that corned brisket filled the entrée role. We choose turnips rather than potatoes because of the lower carbohydrate count. I don’t notice the difference.

So, wherever you are and whatever your traditions, we hope you enjoyed the weekend and maybe got to feast a bit.

Image excerpt above taken from the Archaeoastronomy website.

* Disclaimer — we are neither Wiccan nor Pagan but celebrate the feast because of our heritage. Of course, we celebrate Christian events as well when they come up.

Lughnasadh – Gaelic Cross-Quarter Feast

Although our ancestors and some of todays Wiccan/Pagan communities may have celebrated the first harvest feast on the first day of August, according to Archaeoastronomy.com, the actual cross-quarter of Lughnasadh occurs on August 7th of this year. Therefore, Damsel and I will be feasting on the actual cross-quarter day, August 07, 2022. A traditional Irish dinner is planned with Corned Beef and Cabbage and some Irish-inspired sides.

Disclaimer: We celebrate these festivals because of our ancestry (which is partially traceable to Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland, among others) and not that we are Pagans or Wiccans – we are of the Christian Faith and are patriotic to the Republic of the United States of America. It’s the Gaelic tradition and novelty that interests us (as well as the Feasting).

There is more about the Lughnasadh feast at Wikipedia:

Lughnasadh or Lughnasa is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. In Modern Irish it is called Lúnasa, in Scottish Gaelic: Lùnastal, and in Manx: Luanistyn. Traditionally it is held on 1 August, or about halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. In recent centuries some of the celebrations have been shifted to the Sunday nearest this date.

Lughnasadh is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Samhain, Imbolc and Beltane. It corresponds to other European harvest festivals such as the Welsh Gwyl Awst and the English Lammas.

Lughnasadh is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and has pagan origins. The festival itself is named after the god Lugh. It inspired great gatherings that included religious ceremonies, ritual athletic contests, feasting, matchmaking, and trading. Lughnasadh occurred during a very poor time of the year for the farming community when the old crops were done and the new ones not yet ready for harvest.

In other news, we have been having some work done on the RV. I’ll post about that later. Also, I found a WordPress blog theme that will work for us (with some mods). I will be bringing that theme online within this week, so be prepared for those changes evolving over the next few days/weeks/months.

Mise Èireannach

The title is Gaelic for “I Am Irish.” While that assertion is partially correct, both the wife and I are descendants of Scots, Irish, Welsh and English for the most part with traces of Native American and other (mostly) European ancestors. With all that disclosure out of the way, we will identify as Irish this week when we celebrate the cross-quarter feast of Beltane, about halfway between spring equinox and summer solstice.

Modern cultures that recognize Beltane typically celebrate on May Day (01 May), but the actual cross-quarter doesn’t occur until the fifth of May which is coincident with “Cinco de Mayo,” but since we have no Hispanic ancestry that we could find, we’re going with the Celtic celebration. However, due to our busy and crowded schedule as retirees, we have to postpone the festivities until the weekend (of May 07/08). Weekends are when we usually celebrate midweek holidays.

So, we will celebrate Beltane by having a traditional Irish dinner entrée of Shepherd’s Pie. Damsel found a simple recipe for “upside-down” shepherd’s pie, so we will be preparing it that way. We may also indulge in an Irish Cocktail at that time.

Sunday the 8th is, of course, Mother’s Day. Most of us retirees will wish our heavenly Mom’s a happy day in Heaven. Our Sunday meal will be Grilled Tri-Tip roast with braised cabbage and asparagus.

Cheers and Happy Cinco de Beltane to all the Mothers and Others out there.

Spring Begins in the Northern Hemisphere

solstice-spring.jpg

Grand Octal Image via archaeoastronomy.com

Today marks the first day of spring North of the Equator. The graphical “Grand Octal” image above shows our planet as of today, passing through the Vernal Equinox portal in its orbit around the Sun. The other portals depicted have special meanings as well, dating back to primitive people whose cultures would depend on knowledge of the position of Earth during the year.

Here in our little patch of Arizona, we have been enjoying occasional spring-like days since February, as well as some not-so-warmish days and nights. Checking with our weather history on this day (courtesy NWS), we find that our forecast high of 65°F will be below the average 78°F temperature for this first spring day while we will be slightly above the record cool for this date (61°F) and well below the record high (92°F). I guess Global Warming has yet to catch up with us.

During these times of the overblown fake news media and democrat demagoguery (but I repeat myself), forecasting doom and gloom, we’re doing fine. We have things in stock, as we always do, that keep our household up and running with all our needs covered. Since we maintain two households on the premises (house and motorhome) there is plenty of everything available until all the bull$#!t blows over.

We hope everyone who reads this has planned accordingly and wish you comfort, safety and good health. We pray for these things.