In the stars

November is in the stars

I am re-posting my iP blackboard for November because this month is so special that it must be celebrated in as many ways as possible!

Vincent Van Gogh once said, “When I have a terrible need of – shall I say – religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.”

His painting of Starry Night Over the Rhone captured the river banks of the Rhone in Arles (France). The day and night skies of Provence hold sentimental value for me. The area was the destination of a self-guided bike tour in summer 2007. There is no better way to travel!

November has a bit of a reputation as a drama queen. It adds a chill to the wind, strips the trees bare, plays peek-a-boo with the sun. It definitely makes you work for its love. November demands that we show strength and it puts our limits to the test. November calls for longer nights, warm knitted wraps, and a big stash of Vitamin C.

Ursa Major was all the rage back in the day (second century, apparently)…and ever since. Shakespeare wrote about it. Van Gogh painted it. But Zeus created it. Or so the story goes. Ursa Major a.k.a. The Great Bear a.k.a. Callisto was a follower of Artemis (you will remember her as the huntress and protector of children) in Greek times. Callisto unadvisedly and later regretably was seduced by Zeus and either (stories differ here) Hera (Zeus’ wife) or Artemis (having demanded a vow of chastity from her followers) exacted her revenge by transforming Callisto into a bear.  It wasn’t until Arcas, Zeus and Callisto’s love-child, attempted to hunt his mother down (unbeknownst to him since she was a bear) when Zeus averted the tragedy by tossing them both up into the sky. And lucky that he did.

I believe that some things are written in the stars. Not everything. But some things. Nearly eight years ago this upcoming January, I met an adorable guy in the basement of the Students’ Administrative Council building at the University of Toronto. We became fast friends, spent years enamoured with one another and now on January 01, 2010 will be getting married.  It may have taken eight years but it’s possible that somethings are just meant to be. We wanted to make every element of our wedding meaningful so this November we will be hand forging our own wedding bands with the help of The Devil’s Workshop.

Pomegranates are beautiful fruits and a special treat to be found in November. I love how they look like they are topped with a crown and that the goodness is in their seeds.  They are relatively new and trendy here in North America but have long been a part of cuisine in other parts of the world. And I don’t just mean juice. They are used in sauces, pastries, dips, relishes, glazes, wine and more.

Toward the end of November is a special little event known as my birthday. I have always loved celebrating birthdays – anyone’s, not just mine. I like that it forces you to reflect on and re-write your life. This year, I am piecing together a time capsule. My 28th year will mark a new chapter in my life and a decade from now, I want to re-discover those people, places and things that meant something to me today. Any good birthday includes cake and this year I have requested a special vegan cake from LPK’s Culinary Groove. Yum!

A happy twinkly November to all!

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