A Few of My Favorite Things – Pins

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After reading Madeleine Albright’s book about her pin collection, and spending the rest of the day on Thursday photographing a few of my pins to post here in the next few weeks, I thought I would share a couple of my favorites. Favorites come and go, and they’re not all here, but these…these are special.

Some of my favorite things: Clockwise: Gold Butterfly with Rainbow Stones. This was my mother’s. I think I probably gave it to her, and then got her entire butterfly pin collection when she died. This one is just bright and beautiful like she was. Blue stone Celtic pin. This was a birthday present from my college roommate when I joined her in England for three weeks of traveling. I think she gave it to me when I first arrived. I believe we were on the shuttle train going from the airport to wherever she was taking me. I remember it came in a bright red envelope. Star Trek 50th Anniversary Pin. One of my Gishwhes friends procured this for me at a convention and sent it after I begged for it to commemorate not only Star Trek, but my 50th birthday as well. Hard Rock Cafe pin from Manilla Philippines. My husband got this when he was in the Philippines for a work trip. It has two butterflies, which I love, and it’s green – my favorite color. It is one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received. Safety pin in pink and purple with a Mom charm made for me for Mother’s Day by my daughter. I think this was in kindergarten. The initial “K” that I received from my class as a student teacher. (c)2017

These are my two most recent pins. On the left is a Christmas tree which I found at Cracker Barrel, and really thought it would look great on my jacket for Christmas. On the right is a family piece that belonged to my mother-in-law’s sister. My daughter was given some of her jewelry to look through and keep, and she thought that I would like this one because green is my favorite color. (c)2017

Fandom Friday – Wayward Sisters

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​I have talked, here and other places, about my perceptions of the differences of being a fan and being in a fandom. Those of us in fandoms take things just one step, maybe ten steps further, and for each us it happens in varying degrees and with a variety of participation.

Of all the fandoms that I’ve participated in, I would say that the biggest part of my fannish heart belongs to the Supernatural family, or #spnfamily or abbreviated further as #spnfam.

They are the kindest, most compassionate people who volunteer their time and donate their money to just causes and people in need with their only reward the thankfulness for letting them be a part of it.

From Misha Collins’ Random Acts charity to Jared Padalecki’s Always Keep Fighting campaigns to Jensen Ackles’ raising money and awareness for Down’s Syndrome, and he and his wife (along with the Padaleckis and Collins’ and the rest of the Supernatural and CW folks) raising an incredible $400,000+ for hurricane relief – Stronger than Storms.

They’re supportive.

They’re encouraging.

They’re inspirational.

In addition to the charitable works, Misha’s Scavenger Hunt, Gishwhes, which just finished its final year, the depression awareness, self-harm help, and suicide prevention Always Keep Fighting campaign, a small group of vocal women created a group based on the women we admired of Supernatural.

I say “we” but I was not part of the initial germ of an idea; I joined with other fans in supporting the concept of Wayward Daughters, which became Wayward Daughters Academy. The use of the word “wayward” is a nod to Kansas’ song, Carry On Wayward Son, the unofficial theme of Supernatural. The concept was the the wayward orphan girls on the show would live with Sheriff Jody Mills, and hunt monsters. It’s a nice idea, and the fans loved it. And Kim Rhodes loved it. As well as Brianna Buckmaster, who plays Sheriff Donna Hanscom, and as more orphans arrived on the show, and more kick it in the ass female characters arrived, it grew.

And it grew.

It became a hashtag. #waywardaf

It became a charitable campaign through Creation Stands, now known as Stands.

It morphed into sisters instead of daughters; not biological sisters, but a family of choice.

And now, we fans have realized a wonderful dream: a possible spin-off show starring Kim and Brianna as well as Kathryn Newton (Claire Novak) and Katherine Ramdeen (Alex) and a few other young women.

Their pilot is called a back door pilot. They will have an episode in Sueprnatural’s Season 13 giving us a glimpse of what a Wayward Sisters show would be like, and if it gets enough viewers and potential fans, it’s a go.

I am so excited!

Girl Power!

The future is female!

This is the perfect year for this opportunity.

In addition to a sidebar in this week’s Entertainment Weekly, the Ladies of Supernatural have produced a calendar, sold through Stands for charity. All proceeds will be going to the Jacmel Children’s Center in Haiti.

It’s more than twelve months of pretty pictures; it is also life advice from an amazing grup of independent, empowering, bad ass, wayward af women!

Click picture to buy calendar. (c)Stands, 2017. Pin above used from Kim Rhodes Twitter. (c)KimRhodes, 2017

42/52 – Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright

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Madeleine Albright was born in 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia and after living in the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, her family applied for asylum and emigrated to the United States in 1948, becoming a US citizen in 1957.

She received a Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a PhD from Columbia University. In 1993, she was the UN Ambassador to the United Nations, and in 1997 became the first woman to serve as Secretary of State, continuing until 2001.

In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

As many women in government and the political fields, she is often judged or at the very least has had her fashion sense scrutinized by the public and the media. Does anyone remember conversations about Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits?

For Secretary Albright, she was often seen wearing pins. So many pins of all shapes and sizes, colors and styles. I can relate. I have my own collection of pins, ranging from plastic holiday pins to show off as a teacher to fandom as well as pewter pieces and place name souvenirs from trips I’ve made.

Unlike mine, her pin collection was put on display and she wrote an accompanying book to go along with the collection’s display. I’ve recently read it, and was fortunate to see many of Secretary Albright’s pins, at least in picture form. I enjoy sharing this with her.

Below the cut, I have included many of photos of my own pins in a variety of groupings.The photos are in no particular order of importance. It’s just how they were imported onto the site.

Every time I went to post this since Tuesday, I came across more pins that I wanted to share, so instead of editing this again, I think I will post pictures of more pins next week in its own post.

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Healing: Near and Far

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​One of the wonderful things about visiting a place steeped in saints is finding a new one; an unheard of one, at least unheard of by me. When I mentioned to our cousins about traveling to Wales to pilgrimage at my confirmation saint’s holy well, he immediately scoffed. “Ach, why ya goin’ there? We’ave one just up the road; that way, then left.”

When we returned from Wales, we indeed went right up the road and discovered a place of quiet beauty, spirituality pressing down from the clouds and whispering through the grass of the graveyard. Set between a field of sheep and a tremendous lake – Lough Neagh – and just below the ruins of an old church was the holy well of St. Olcan.

St. Olcan was a contemporary of St. Patrick. It is said that Patrick found Olcan as a baby with his deceased mother. He became a disciple of Patrick’s and founded the Armoy Monastery in Antrim, very near where his well stands today. After travels to Rome and Gaul, he was ordained by Patrick and became the first bishop in Ireland. Another story is that his mother was Patrick’sw sister, but of course, there’s no real way to verify that. Patrick did have a warm spot for Olcan, having taken him under his wing, becoming his mentor and in addition, gave to him some of the relics of Sts. Peter and Paul that had been in Armagh.

St. Olcan’s feast day is June 29, which corresponds with the pilgrimage to his shrine between May Eve and June 29 and the day that the water has risen so far that the amber pebbles overflow onto the land, making them easier to access. Pilgrims would come during that time for three consecutive days, walking the stations, bathing in the well, and praying for healing.

L-R: Holy water from St. Olcan’s well, two pebbles from the well and one stone from the Cranfield Church. (c)2017


Olcan blessed the well with healing properties.
The rising water brings the stones, and swallowing a pebble protects one from drowning, women in childbirth, and having them in homes protects them from fire and burglary.

I was told to bring a rag or some sort of cloth, dip it in the well, and wash the area on my body that needed healing. Then I was to tie the rag onto the tree (where there were dozens of other rags), and when it deteriorated, my affliction would be healed. While some holy wells are meant to drink, I’m not sure that this is one of those wells. Certainly, the directions do not include drinking or ingesting, and when I collected some for my ailment, it was brownish and had sediment floating in it. By contrast, the two other wells I visited were much cleaner and were meant to be drank.

He is also said to be buried at the church on the hill above the well. What’s left of the Cranfield Church is the ruins of a 13th century church, but that church was built and stands on the site of an earlier church.

Saint Olcan’s Well and Shrine on the shores of Lough Neagh adjacent to a sheep farm, just below the ruins of Cranfield Church. (c)2017


One of the things that amazed me about this church, and really many of the medieval buildings that I’ve visited is the sturdiness. Most are without roofs, and Cranfield was no exception, but the walls stood tall; sturdy. I am a toucher, and I ran my fingers along the cold stones, and leaned through window spaces and on walls to get just the right pictures at just the right angles, and I never felt unsafe.
Today, I was reminded of St. Olcan and his Holy Well when I attended my parish’s semi-annual  Anointing Mass. It was well attended. There is Scripture, music, a blessing and the anointing of the oil of the infirm and receving the Eucharist. There is also a community lunch. Today was turkey and mashed potatoes. I could eat turkey and mashed potatoes every day. I find the camaraderie and the fellowship of the meal as well as the coming together of our community just as healing as the prayers and the anointing.

Clockwise: From the anointing mass: Turkey luncheon, Music: I Know That My Redeemer Lives, Ornament table favor. (c)2017


Tomorrow, I will post pictures of St. Olcan’s well and the Cranfield Church. For now, take a few moments, and just be with your thoughts or no thoughts. Take a few breaths, and recharge. Don’t forget to exhale.