Star Light, Star Bright

Actually seeing the stars tonight!

After many days of much needed rain, the gloomy grey cloud cover cracked open this afternoon and the sun shone onto our soggy part of the world.  Joyfully.  Warmly. There was great rejoicing.

The maintenance guys also came by and fixed our heat.  Yay heat!  Much appreciated, guys!

Overall, it was a lurvley afternoon and evening.  Still nomming on the ribs that Mum decided would be Christmas dinner this year, my fridge currently full of leftovers.

What did you guys have for Christmas dinner?  Traditional, modern, or an eclectic mix just your own?

I have a friend whose family picks a country at random every year, and then does traditional foods of the chosen country for Christmas dinner.  Great idea, but not going to happen here with only 1 person to cook!  😛

Today’s blogging will be, instead of food, about stars and imagination, and heavenly bodies 🙂  I know I have one, it’s just hiding behind the cookies!

Today is the birthday of German astronomer Johannes Kepler.

He was born in Weil der Stadt, Württemberg in 1571, and intended to become a theologian.  He was sidetracked when he read Copernicus’s Six Books Concerning the Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs, in which Copernicus posits that the planets revolve around the Sun, not the Earth.

Kepler saw Copernicus’s theory as evidence of a divine blueprint for the universe, and set out to prove the theories through scientific observation. Over his lifetime, Kepler came up with three laws of planetary motion stating:

1.  That the planets travel in elliptical orbits around the Sun.

2.  The planet (Earth) moves faster during the portion of its orbit that is closest to the Sun.

3.  A description of  the mathematical relationship between the distance of a planet from the Sun and the length of the planet’s orbital period.

Pretty genius stuff for the Middle Ages.  His contemporaries were busy wiping out cats…because they helped witches communicate with the Devil.  Never mind the cats (good kittehs) killed rats, and held the plague at bay.  Irony, right?

Kepler was also the father of modern optics. He had poor vision himself, as a result of a childhood case of smallpox. He was the first scientist to describe the mechanics of vision in the eye, and developed lenses to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness.

He also explained how both eyes work together to produce depth perception.

Good to know, right?

Back in the Groove

Finally the thanksgiving madness is over.  It seems I have a week or two until the Christmas madness begins.

This is the time of year that I’m actually happy to have a VERY small family.

Hubby, Rat Boy and I traveled last week to Hubby’s family reunion.  For me, it was more like a “meet the greater part of his family” week.  I felt like I was in a Pauly Shore movie at times.  🙂

I had a massive meltdown the week before we went, wanting to impress with my mad kitchen skillz.  Instead I promptly turned into my mother…who does not go into the kitchen except to clean after Dad cooks!

I exploded turnovers.

I created the cracked surface of Mars instead of pie crust.

I baked cranberry muffins that could be considered deadly weapons.

We journeyed for 7 hours to the designated location.  It was totally worth it, though.  Hubby has a wonderful family.  🙂

Did I mention that I hadn’t met most of them until now? ( I had met 2…we shared turkey and tofurky with 20!)

After all was said and done, we had a fantastic feast, thanks to Hubby’s tribe.  And I got to see sea turtles in rehab, go to the beach, and fly kites.  Overall, it was great!

After another 7 hour drive it was time for some pizza 🙂 and then a shopping excursion yesterday with Mum.  Today I restock the kitchen, and might even be able to remember how to cook something edible!

Hope everyone had a fabulous Turkey Day!  And that nobody sprayed you with pepper spray if you were brave enough to go shopping on Black Friday!  😛

Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day was established at the end of World War II, when a new German government took office after the defeat of Hitler’s Nazi regime.  The purpose of Veteran’s Day is a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

This is a day to honor our troops, both in peace and war.  A day to remember why America is free.  A day to know that only because of those who are called to duty for whatever reason, we are free.

Thank You to the men and women who served, and to those still serving.

Thank You to the families out there who serve alongside our service members.   We don’t think enough about the sacrifices these families make to support our troops every single day.

When you’re out and about today, take a moment if you see someone in uniform to thank them for their service.  It means a lot every day, but especially today.