December 12-Virgin de Guadalupe. A Nahuatl Mother bridges worlds.

Considered the hardcore start of the holiday season, December 12 aptly starts off with Virgin de Guadalupe. Appearing to Juan Diego on December 9, 1531, on the Hill of Tepeyac,  (now a suburb of Mexico City)   Mother Maria spoke to Juan in his native Nahuatl language (said to be the language of the Aztec empire.) the maiden identified herself as the Virgin Mary, “mother of the very true deity” and asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor.  This was one helluva task for Juan but he went to big wigs of the still new Catholic Church  in the part of the world and they told him to bring back a miracle or GTFO.  He tried to avoid the next progress meeting with Maria and took another route home.  But She being of magical multi-locational abilities found him and asked why Juan didn’t come to Her in the first place?

“¿No estoy yo aquí que soy tu madre?”
(Am I not here, I who am your mother?)


Being a reasonable project manager, She miraculously healed Juan’s Uncle then  told Juan to go back to Tepeyac Hill and bring back the flowers blooming there. Juan remarked it was December and doubtful anything was growing butfollowed her instructions because, orders.   Castilian roses, not native to Mexico,  were blooming there.  Good choice, Juan!

“The Virgin arranged the flowers in Juan’s tilma, or cloak, and when Juan Diego opened his cloak before archbishop Zumárraga on December 12, the flowers fell to the floor, and on the fabric was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.”

The cloak still exists in the church on the hill Our Lady asked Juan Diego to  build.



It’s a fascinating story and there are old documents from the Catholic Church of the meetings and the cloak is a puzzler much like the Shroud of Turin.  In recent years the Virgin of Guadalupe has been made Empress Saint of the Americas and she resides over issues that seem more convenient for the Church than for what she was asking.  The Nahuatl religion was folded into Catholicism.

She brought blooming roses in December and healed a dying man.  She made the leaders of the Church take orders from a 56 year old dirt farmer.  As far as saints’ stories go, this is pretty, sweet, funny.  No disembowlments or burning at the stake.  Maybe Mother Maria really was the original Nahuatl  deity finding a way to help her people go into the inevitable Catholic Church takeover without blood and suffering.



Lady in the Lake-Christmas Style

The 1947 film “Lady  in the lake” is not a Christmas movie but a story set during Christmas.  Robert Montgomery, his first time directing, had decided to take the Raymond Chandler style of Marlowe’s first person narrative and transfer that to a first person camera.

We see what Marlowe sees. Particularly him reaching for a glass, a doorknob, the arm of a lying two-timing dame who would just as soon kiss ya as kill ya.  

It’s irritating but being film noir, it becomes another comical edge of the mystery.  Raymond Chandler hated it and film critics called it a novelty that quickly wore off.   

The opening credits are Christmas pretty.  Each screen is a card a lovely female hand pulls off  to reveal the next one. After the last card is removed…the noir surprise.

What was finally revealed under all those cards?

Ultra Violet. Pantone’s color of 2018

From the 2017 trend of “Millennial Pink” Pantone climbs  higher on the light spectrum with a blue based purple they’ve named  Ultra Violet.

Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive with critics saying everything from “Ultra violet being a royal purple for the common man” to “it will usher in the second coming of Jesus Christ.”  Pantone, in part, says, “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us to the future. Inventive, imaginative.  A complex color for a complex time.”

Ultra Violet is a fine color and it has a surprising number of colors it plays delightfully with, almost as many as a solid neutral.  This gives it staying power wether used as a whimsical accent or a different, yet instantly familiar look for an entire room.  Purple is tricky color but Ultra Violet does have an interesting balance of blue and red.

Shop Pantone.

The limited edition Formula Guide and Color Guide (165 and 215 dollars) are loaded with paint chips of co-ordinating colors and inspirations galore on how to use them. ( I’ll let you in on that before the year is out. Merry Christmas to me present.). It’s hard to tell exactly what color you are getting if you are  looking at it on a computer screen.  Pantone does offer reasonably priced color swatches.

iPhone Pantone app.

Base app is free. The whole shebang is 30$.  This would be good if you are going by the numbers.  I’ll let you know how close the swatch and the app compare.

Paint a wall, wear a scarf, tat your skins, wherever you need  color Pantone’s Ultra Violet is one that will last beyond  one year of glory.

 Ultra violet, if we are to be science-y, cannot be seen. Ultra means beyond, so beyond violet which is the last color on the spectrum that can be perceived with the naked eye.  Science’y Ultra Violet is fascinating. It  sterilizes dental tools or causes skin cancer. It lights up your day-glo posters.  It has a myriad of helpful uses and deadly consequences.  For good or ill, this is one crazy ray.   Wikipedia Ultra Violet.

Johnny Hallyday Farewell.

Johnny Hallyday has passed at age 74.  His version of Hey Joe might be my favorite song ever.  He started recording in the late 1950s and continued until just recently. He stayed his own kind of current. He was his own era.  From start to finish, Johnny gave us a memorable performance.  Farewell Johnny, until we all meet again.

Advent Day 4: The photography of Miss Anastasia at Christmas

A favorite. Miss Anastasia. Can be found in all the expected social media Casablancas.

Я обожаю бортовые журналы ? там часто можно найти интересные места, шикарные отели и рестораны?? Только что вышла из самолета Москва – Казань и мне очень понравилась статейка про елочные игрушки в декабрьском журнале Аэрофлота. Надеюсь они не против, что я перепечатала текст для вас? ?До 19 века рождественские ели украшали яблоками, орехами и выпечкой. ? Первые стеклянные игрушки появились в 1848 году, когда ими заменили неуродившиеся в тот год яблоки. ?Первая электрическая гирлянда была зажжена в 1895 году на елке в кабинете президента США. ?В СССР ДО 1935 года новогодняя елка была под запретом как пережиток буржуазного прошлого. ?Первые советские игрушки изображали героев нового времени: полярников, пограничников, летчиков, а животные были в пионерски галстуках. ?Уже в 1937 году появились игрушки с изображениями Маркса, Энгельса, Ленина, Сталина и других. ?Во время войны елки украшали металлической стружкой, перегоревшими лампочками, орденами, медалями и погонами. ?Строительство хрущевок послужило выпуску маленьких пластмассовых елочек и мини-игрушек к ним. ?После выхода на экраны фильма «Карнавальная ночь» все игрушки в виде часов стали показывать без пяти двенадцать. ?Самая дорогая елочная игрушка стоит £82.000, на шаре из белого золота инкрустировано 1500 бриллиантов и 188 рубинов. ?Некоторые ликеро-водочные заводы Великобритании выпускают елочные шары с завинчивающейся крышкой – внутри 50 мл джина/водки или виски.

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Dec 1-Open up those advent calendars

December 1.  Kicking off with Spangler Candy Canes and new Starbucks cup.  The desert days are still warm but the nights are cooling.  It won’t feel like Christmas til the big sweaters come out.  A wool beret.  Hot tea instead of iced in the new cup.