As a teenager, I remember playing different games with my friends trying to figure out what our futures held. We used drawn games like M*A*S*H to figure out if would live in a mansion with Devon Sawa and our 9 kids or shack with the nerd from math class and a dog. We would also spend hours making cootie catchers that would need folded and unfolded to reveal a fortune or compliment. Sometimes we would even use our necklaces as pendulums to divine a message from a board we had written before class started. This was long before I knew what pendulums really were or understood that these practices could be a form of magic casting. To us, these were just games to pass a boring class or to play during a sleepover. Recently though I have learned about games that are similar that are played around the world.
Welcome to the new year! Hopefully, you all had a great New Year's Eve with lots of celebrating with friends and loved ones. Jeremy and I stayed home and had a quiet evening in with the cats. We are homebodies and were in desperate need of a recharge. I don't know about y'all but Jeremy and I have a few traditions that we do every year to make sure we start the new year off on the right foot. Some of these you may have heard of but some of them you may not have.
While researching my previous post about Krampus and Knecht Ruprecht, I was surprised to learn that there are a couple of Christmas or Yule witches in Europe. The two main witches I came across were as different as night and day. Reading their stories made me think of the line from Wizard of Oz "Are you a good witch or are you a bad witch?"
Earlier this year, before Jeremy went off to recruiting duty, we thought that he would be sent to Germany for recruiting duty instead of central Illinois. It seemed to make sense that with us already OCONUS that the military would save money by sending us to another OCONUS location. Sadly, it was not meant to be. But before we found out for sure, you better believe I researched the heck out of Germany, its culture and its traditions.
For New Years Jeremy and I decided that we would stay in and celebrate with the cats. It had been a busy holiday for us and we wanted some down time to ourselves. For dinner Jeremy made a seafood feast of fish, shrimp, and crab. It was really delicious. I love how we have such a variety of fresh seafood out here. Jeremy has been using the opportunity to learn how to break down a fish properly. We watch shows like "Worst Cooks In America" or "Hell's Kitchen" and he has actually learned quite a bit from the shows. I'm so proud of how far his cooking skills have come.
Back in April, Jeremy, Marcus, Charrleen and I went to the town of Tsuwano in Shimane Prefecture. We had heard about a festival that was going on there that we really wanted to check out. It was a Yabusame festival. Yabusame is a horseback archery tournament and the yabusame course in Tsuwano is the last remaining original one in Japan.