A simple shot to end this project... Black Eyed Peas for the New Year.
Eating Black Eyed Peas on New Year's Day is a tradition dating back to the time of the Civil War, here in the U.S. - and much earlier in other parts of the world. It is thought to bring prosperity and luck in the coming year.
For our family it has been a tradition to eat them every New Year's Day for well over a decade now. We cook them up in a spicy Southern dish known as "Hoppin' John".
We've only missed eating them on New Year's Day once - in 2003. That year turned out to be the single-worst year in our family's short history. We lost a beloved family member... had a car accident which resulted in our car being totaled... bought a new car, only to have the engine die a few months later... our daughter got very sick with a major stomach bug that lasted over a week, then got sick again during the summer... I suffered three (yes three) concussions during the course of the year... and - to top it all off, we had a fire in our house on Hallowe'en night which destroyed 95% of our belongings and kept us out of our home for several months until all of the damage could be restored.
New Year's 2004 we made sure we all ate a double-serving of Black Eyed Peas... and went on to have one of our best years ever!
We haven't missed another year since!
So... tonight I'm wrapping up my 365 Project for 2010 with a simple shot of the Black Eyed Peas I'm about to cook up in a big pot of Hoppin' John - while wishing for a prosperous 2011.
Day 365... the final day of my project... and I can't tell you how incredible it feels to have gotten through this entire project without missing a single day and without having to "cheat" at all! It has been an amazing journey and an amazing year! I can't wait to see what the next one brings!
There's a "Level 3 Snow Emergency" in Danbury in effect until tomorrow morning. That means we're not supposed to leave our house unless it's an emergency. Police have been instructed to pull-over and ticket anyone driving... then tow their car.
Lots of snow already... and it just keeps coming and coming and coming.
But that's OK! We have hot cocoa... and lots and LOTS of COOKIES!!!
Christmas night... driving home after a wonderful day. Stop off to a little work-yard I know of to see "The Big Guy" himself... looking out into the night... waving to the darkness.
As the headlights of our little car illuminate his antique body, I climb a gravel hill and snap a few photos.
Then it happens... I jump down and end up taking a tumble... while gravel cuts into my palms... the side of my arm... and my leg. Stinging pain, I stand up and laugh at myself... snap a few more photos of Santa and get back in the car to head home.
This ceramic Christmas Tree is one such tradition for my family. Made by my Grandmother... it has been part of my family's holiday decor since before I came along. I remember playing with its star topper as a child... and for the past half-dozen years or so it has been part of my own home's holiday decor.
I just finished grinding up Frankincense and Myrrh to use as incense for tonight's Yule Ritual.
The aroma fills the house as music fills the air.
Life is good!
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UPDATE (09/21/11): MY PHOTOGRAPHY IS ON TV!!! This image is used in the History Channel documentary "The Stoned Ages", which is about the history of drug use. About 17 minutes in to the documentary they use this photo while talking about the use of Frankincense in Ancient Egypt.
The show's producers contacted me last month requesting to use the image... and I had to sign a form granting them permission/rights to do so for this documentary only. In exchange I get placement in the end-credits. I wasn't sure if they'd actually use it or not... but I'm watching it now - and it's there!!! :-)