Sunday, April 13, 2014

National Library Week

This week (April 13-19) is National Library Week. Visit your local library. Make sure that your library card is valid. If you don't have a library card, get one. You can borrow more than just books. Libraries have CDs, DVDs, ebooks, video games, and audiobooks. Your library probably maintains at least one social media account. Follow it/them to keep abreast of events.

Fun Facts
Did you know that many libraries have interlibrary loan agreements? This is a way to borrow books outside of your local system.

The proprietary Dewey Decimal System is still used to classify library materials. First published in 1876, its last revision was issued in 2011. DDS caters to an Anglo-American view which prompted some libraries to adapt the Book Indusry Standards and Communications (BISAC) system used by commercial bookstores.

The Library of Congress, housed in 4 buildings, is opened to the public but only high-ranking government officials may check out materials. It is also the world's largest library.

You can get a degree in Library Science / Library Technology.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Maryland Day

The Ark & the Dove, the two ships that
brought Maryland's first settlers
Today marks the 380th anniversary of the first time that settlers landed on what we now know as Maryland (Terra Mariae). Maryland was named for Queen Henrietta Maria was the wife of Charles I and a devout Catholic. The reason for Maryland's establishment as a colony was freedom for Catholics to practice their religion without persecution. Charles I of England granted the charter in 1632 to George Calvert but his son Cecil Calvert executed it after his father's death.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Maryland Flag Day

Maryland's state flag was officially adopted on March 9, 1904. The black and gold quadrants are the coat of arms for the Calvert family. The red and white quadrants are the coat of arms for George Calvert's maternal family, the Crosslands.

The protocols for the state flag are here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

What do Unitarian Universalists believe?

This post is a sort of answer to Adrian's post, a fellow UU. So you may want to read his before reading mine.

What do Unitarian Universalists believe? Before I started on my path of searching I had never heard of UU. The simple answer lies the 7 principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association; all non/beliefs are welcome. Historically, the two separate parts of UU are part of liberal Christianity. Since the merge in 1961, UUs who express Christianity as their primary belief system are a minority*. Note that there are some Unitarians and Universalists who are separate from Unitarian Universalists.

Adrian says on his blog:
If I could believe in whatever I wanted, I would believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God the Father Almighty up in Heaven, that He is my Lord and Savior, and that He came to Earth, suffered, died for my sins, and rose from the dead to offer me eternal sanctuary with Him now and at the end of days. Why would I want to believe these things? Because that's what most of my family believes; and because I don't like conflict, I don't always enjoy being on the outside of the in-group (it gets lonesome here), and life in the United States of America might just be a little less rife with tension if I believed as many others claim to believe.
Amen!! Sometimes I think for a millisecond of trying to be a Jehovah's Witness again. But I can't. I've eaten from the tree of knowledge. I cannot unlearn what I've learn. I believe what I must. If my current beliefs have flaws, then I will change them. I'm sure there are Christian UUs but they accept me and I accept them.

For a time I was reluctant to consider myself a UU. After 30+ years in the JW cult, I was reluctant to identify as part of a group. However, I craved fellowship. UU is the best of both worlds. It is so important for me to retain my own beliefs, to search for God/dess (or not) on my own terms.

Is UUism for you? That depends. If you are looking for instruction from the pulpit, then no, UUism may not be for you. UU caters to the searcher, to the open-minded, to the ones who want to learn. Some folks want to be told what to do; they need clear directions and an instruction manual. Keep in mind that each congregation is autonomous. UUA has ideas for religious education, sermons, dedications, holiday celebrations, etc., but congregations are under no obligation to follow them. Each congregation chooses its own order of service. One of my tweeps wrote that he visited a UU congregation and although everyone was nice, he was turned off by the prayers. My congregation sings hymns, plays secular music, and doesn't do prayers.

Collectively, Unitarian Universalists believe all sorts of things. Maybe that's why I still say I'm Pagan if asked about my religion. It's somewhat easier to explain Paganism than UUism. I'm definitely not embarrassed about being a UU like I was when I was a Jehovah's Witness.

If you are UU, do you identify as such or do you identify as your primary belief system? How would you answer the question, what do UUs believe?


*For the life of me, I can't remember where I read this. If you can help me out or if my statement is incorrect, please let me know.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Happy Winnie-the-Pooh Day!



Happy Winnie-the-Pooh Day! I celebrated by watching A Very Merry Pooh Year and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Here are the words to the WTP theme song:

Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood,
Where Christopher Robin plays.
You'll find the enchanted neighborhood,
of Christopher's childhood days.

A donkey named Eeyore is his friend.
And Kanga and Little Roo.
There's Rabbit and Piglet.
And there's Owl.
But most of all Winnie the Pooh!

Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh,
A tubby, little cubby all stuffed with fluff.
He's Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh,
A willy, nilly, silly old bear.

Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh,
A tubby, little cubby, all stuffed with fluff.
He's Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh.
A willy, nilly silly old bear.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Pagan Blog Project - Birthday

The first birthday I celebrated was my thirty-somethingth. I told my husband that I was really disappointed at not having a Sweet Sixteen so he got me a cake with 16 candles. Jehovah's Witnesses are quite hypocritical about birthdays. They celebrate wedding anniversaries yet the anniversary of one's birth is frowned upon. The reasons they cite have to do the Pagan trappings and the only two birthday celebrations mentioned in the bible, both of which called for beheadings. Many Christian sites tell of the Pagan origins of birthdays. Since Pagan is an umbrella term, it is difficult to tell just where these origins actually came from.

So for a long while I never cared much for my birthday. Not celebrating it was just a habit. A passage in the Satanic Bible changed my mind.
Aren’t you happier about the fact that you were born than you are about the birth of someone you have never even met? Or for that matter, aside from religious holidays, why pay higher tribute to the birthday of a president or to a date in history than we do to the day we were brought into this greatest of all worlds?
Despite the fact that some of us may not have been wanted, or at least were not particularly planned, we’re glad, even if no one else is, that we’re here! You should give yourself a pat on the back, buy yourself whatever you want, treat yourself like the king (or god) that you are, and generally celebrate your birthday with as much pomp and ceremony as possible.

Wow, how profound! Yes, it's okay to be selfish that one day out of a year. Do you, boo! 

Traditional birthdays usual consist of cake, candles, and gifts. The number of candles is equal to the age of the person. However, if Great Grand-Nana is turning 95, you may want to get number candles. After the birthday person is sung to, the candles on the cake are blown out. The birthday person makes a silent wish first. If she tells the wish or if all the candles aren't blown out on the first try, the wish may not come true.

Since we measure the tropical year by the sun, one's solar return is the correct marker to increment one's age. Solar return is when the sun appears at the same place in the sky at one's birth. This would solve the problem of when leap year babies should celebrate their birthdays.

How can you make your birthday more magical?
  • Gift yourself some jewelry with your birthstone.
  • Go to www.astro.com and generate a chart for your solar return.
  • Create a special ritual to use only on your birthday.
  • Every 19 years the sun and moon are in (roughly) the same place as they were at your birth. This birthday should be super special!