And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. - John 10:22-23
Hanukkah, also known as Feast of Dedication or Feast of Lights, is a winter feast that we are never told directly by God to celebrate. Yet, in protestant Bibles, we can find two places where it is celebrated.
Jesus apparently seems to be participating in John 10. We also see this feast being celebrated in 2 Chronicles 7 when Solomon dedicates the newly built temple to God.
But wait a minute!
According to tradition, Hanukkah wasn't created until after the Maccabean Revolt, some 400 years after Solomon's rein.
What was the Maccabean Revolt?
Around 2nd century B.C., the Greeks came into Israel and desecrated the Temple by setting up an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs on it. The Jews were so outraged by this that a terrible war broke out, lots of people died, the streets ran red with blood, and the Greeks got kicked outta Dodge... er.... Jerusalem.
As soon as the Greeks were out of the picture, the Jews cleansed the Temple and RE-dedicated it to the LORD. They simply re-did what Solomon had already done.
Some time after that, the "Feast of Dedication" became a traditional celebration and is associated with the Maccabean Revolt to this day (I guess Solomon had enough cool stuff credited to him already - he didn't need a memorial day).
There really aren't any rules when celebrating Hanukkah, though there are a few traditions. The only old tradition my family and I observe on Hanukkah is the lighting of the Menorah. You can read about that, and other things we do on Hanukkah, at my mom's blog post here: Feasts of the LORD - Dedication 2015.
A friend shared a fun little video on Facebook of puppies howling. As I watched it, I noticed my mom's little dog looking at me and my laptop funny. So, I grabbed a video camera, set my laptop down, and played the video individually for several of our dogs. It was a really fun experiment!
My sister's Golden Retrievers were very interesting to observe. Her females paid no attention to the video, whereas her male, Merlin, showed a great deal of interest in it. This is curious because all 3 of the females are wonderful mothers and take excellent care of their puppies. We were sure they would have some reaction to the crying puppies. Why they did not react, but Merlin did, is a mystery to us.
Pistol, my mother's little dog, was apprehensive about the crying puppies, as you will see in the video. I don't know if their crying was what upset him the most, or if it was the fact that they were inside a "magic box" (the laptop).
Merlin was also pretty confused by the "magic box".
Pilot's reaction was, by far, the funniest I think. I have no idea what to make of his expressions, but it was hilarious!
Anyway, I'll let you watch the video now and see it all for yourself. Enjoy!
This animal lovers link up takes place every Monday and lasts until Friday (well, unless this hostess forgets to post it, which has happened). If you have a blog post that has anything to do with animals, please share it here! The rules (listed above in the picture) are really basic and easy to follow. So don't be shy! Link up some of your animal lover blog posts and keep an eye out for next week's Pets & I Critter Hop!
As I've been editing book 2 of Tales of the Wovlen, I've also been chopping out unnecessary scenes. The reason for this is the same reason for "deleting" scenes in a movie: the movie is shorter, the story flows more smoothly and the action keeps rolling. It just makes the overall experience for the audience better.
The only difference between a movie and a book is that one can't generally buy or sell a book of deleted scenes, whereas, with a movie, you can purchase the "directors cut" or "extended edition", or get a DVD with special features and deleted scenes. This fact makes if very painful for an author of books. We are cutting pieces of time and effort off our darling, and no one will ever see them. Ultimately, this is for the greater good of the book. Deleting scenes will keep critics happy and fans will never know what they're missing. But it still hurts.
Thankfully, though, there is a solution: I can share these deleted scenes with fans via my blog!
As a special treat, I am going to share one such scene with you today (even though, as of today's date, the book isn't published yet).
This deleted scene comes from Chapter 3 of The Dragon's Due, book 2 in the #TalesoftheWovlen series. As you will be able to guess by reading it, Keegan, our beloved hero, is already getting on everyone's nerves. Saul, Alia and Brainna express their frustration over the situation, and Walneff tries to put it into perspective for them.
The reason I cut this scene out is because it took away from Keegan and the overall sullenness of the chapter. I really liked it, because it lightened the mood, but the mood change is jarring and I don't think the reader needs any help getting things into perspective. They are in Keegan's head most of the time anyway, so they will either resonate with his attitude or they will identify with Saul who is asking "Can I just punch the snot out of Keegan now?"
Without further ado, here is the deleted scene - Frustrations.
Alia cleared her throat, dipped a spoon into a pot over the fire and stirred the contents. "I think it's safe to say I'm also growing very tired of Keegan's attitude." She said, which put Saul back into his flustered mood.
"He’s acting like he is the only one who has suffered through anything!" Saul huffed, pacing angrily "He does not seem to realize we have also suffered the loss of our friends and family, we are being hunted by the same beasts as him, we are as displaced in this world and as involved in all of this prophecy mess as he is!" He kicked a broken tree branch against a tree.
Walneff sighed. “Saul, try to understand how Keegan is feeling right now. He has learned that, because of his existence, hundreds of people, his friends and family, were tortured and murdered. He has also learned that thousands of people now depend on him to fulfill his part of prophecy. How would you react if your shoulders were suddenly saddled with the responsibility of saving an entire land from an unknown enemy? How would you hold under the realization you had been destined to become the savior, and later on king, of your people? What would your feelings, your reactions be when you learned everything in your past made your future, and the future itself depends on you and the choices you make?” Walneff watched as Saul’s face fell and grew somber.
The tall man uncrossed his arms and lowered them to his sides. He opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it.
Walneff dipped his chin, keeping his eyes on Saul’s face. “More than you can understand is resting itself on Keegan’s shoulders right now.”
Saul nodded. “I- I know,” he scratched the back of his head again “I hadn’t thought of it… not in that way.”
“The least we can do is to be patient with him and support him in any way possible.” Alia said, sorrow caressing her face. “I should have been the most understanding of all. I am his sister.”
Walneff nodded with a gentle smile before reaching into his cloak, pulling out his pipe, and filling it. “Wisely said, Alia, my dear.” he stooped down to the fire and pulled out a smoldering stick to light his pipe with “I might add, none of this is an excuse for Keegan’s sore behavior. And, I must also confess, I too have grown weary of it.” He puffed on his pipe and lowered himself to sit on a log “His grumpy behavior really has been putting a damper on my generally cheerful demeanor, and that makes my bones ache.”
Saul grinned as he looked at the old man with a raised eyebrow. “Cheerful demeanor? I believe Keegan would disagree, even if he were in a good mood. He thinks you're always grumpy.”
Walneff looked up at Saul and his diamond blue eyes twinkled with mischief. “Does he now? How interesting! Because I have the exact opinion of him.” The girls giggled, causing a grin to turn up the corners of Walneff's mouth, his eyes sparkling all the more. "Ah, well, I heard a saying once that could be applied to this situation I suppose: 'it takes one to know one'." The girls giggled again and Walneff continued to puff on his pipe in silence.
When people write a fantasy story, they usually coin it as “Medieval Fantasy”. Although Medieval Fantasy is a sub-genre of Fantasy, it is a very broad one. Most Fantasy - stories, movies, or games - is Medieval Fantasy. There are several other sub-genres in Fantasy that help break up the mass. Most people do not know what sub-genres there are or what books are in them. Many times, one book can fit into two or more sub-genres.
There are too many to list and explain in one blog post, but I thought it would be helpful to make a list of the popular sub-genres in Fantasy and mention a couple of books in each of them.
Contemporary fantasy (also called Urban Fantasy when set in a city) is set in contemporary times and contains supernatural elements. Books in this sub-genre would be Dragons in Our Midst, Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson & the Olympians.
High Fantasy is set in an entirely fictitious world and have characters, themes, and a plot of epic stature. Books in this sub-genre would be Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, & Tales of the Wovlen (Hey! I can dream, right?).
Historical Fantasy is a rather broad sub-genre where fantasy and historical fiction blend together. Most historical fantasy is set before the 20th century and contains fantastic elements. Branching from historical fantasy is Arabian Fantasy, Celtic Fantasy, Wuxia, Classical Fantasy, and Steampunk.
Heroic Fantasy is set in a fictitious world and chronicles the tales of heroic characters. The Chronicles of Narnia would be in this sub-genre.
Sword and Sorcery (S&S) commonly overlaps with Heroic Fantasy. It is generally characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent conflicts with small elements of romance present. Examples of this sub-genre would be Conan the Barbarian, The Heroes of Ravenford, and Dungeons & Dragons.
Dark Fantasy is the combining of fantasy with dark and frightening themes, often combining elements of horror. It also broadly refers to various works that have a dark and gloomy atmosphere about them. The Dark Tower series and perhaps even Dracula could be put in this sub-genre.
Fairytale Fantasy is when motifs and plots from folklore are used heavily throughout the story. Books in this genre would be Stardust, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and the Charming Academy Series.
There are a lot of things going on at my house right now, so today's Pets & I Critter Hop is going to be short.
A lot of people who come onto our farm are amazed to find that we have Peacocks.
I love our peacocks, and all their qualities and quirks. But some people find those same qualities and quirks annoying.
Peafowl are nosy, wanting to get in on everything that happens around the farm. They're good watch dogs, letting us know when something is amiss with the animals. In the Springtime, they get really loud and holler about every little thing. That makes me feel like I am living in a rich palace, surrounded by exotic birds, but for other people, it's a conversation stopper. The rest of the year, though, the peafowl are nice and quiet, which is what they are in this video.
I hope you enjoy watching them interact with each other.
Oh, by the way, a group of peafowl is called a muster. Just a bit of trivia for you today.
Have you ever witnessed a dog get hit by a vehicle? Or trampled by a horse? Have you ever been in a situation where you found yourself thinking "If my dog just understood what I was saying, I could save him."?
I know I have been in all three situations, plus some. None of them ended well. That is why I have made a big deal about drilling my dog, Pilot, on three simple commands: Come, Whoa (stop), & Down.
Suppose Pilot is hiking with me off leash (as he often does) and he unknowingly strays toward the den of a wild animal. I can say "COME" and he will obey me right away, leaving the territorial wild animal with big teeth and innumerable horrific deceases alone. This works the same way if he is out of the yard and the UPS truck pulls into our drive unexpectedly.
The "Whoa" command works in a similar way.
There have been times when we are walking down an old dirt road and Pilot and I are on opposite sides. If a vehicle comes down the road toward us, I can tell Pilot "Whoa" and he'll stop, sit down and not move until I give him the okay to do so. This allows the vehicle to pass us both safely.
Down is another important one, where I live. Sometimes, the places we hike have horses or cattle. Most cattle, especially those with babies, do not like dogs. If the cows grow concerned with Pilot's presence, I can simply tell him "Down". As soon as his head disappears beneath the grasses, the cows settle down and eventually move away to greener pastures. This works for horses and stray dogs as well, and keeps fights at bay.
One other command I am trying to teach Pilot is "RUN AWAY". Sometimes, that's about all one can do when faced with an angry cow, horse, or certain kinds of wildlife. The thing is, though, I want him to run AWAY FROM ME. He tends to run to me and hide between my legs when things get heated. That causes.... *cough*.... problems. Especially when we are both running for our lives.
How do you teach these commands?
There are tons - TONS - of videos on YouTube on how to teach your dog the "down" and "come" commands. So I won't even try to explain those to you.
Whoa, or stop, is a little more complicated.
The first time I needed such a command was when I'd just brought Pilot home. He was playing in the farm yard one day, saw me, and started running toward me like a crazy happy dog. Sitting right between him and I was an angry hen with a bunch of tiny baby chicks. In an effort to stop a catastrophe from happening, I ran forward, put my hand out like Iron Man, and screamed "WHOA DOG!"
He stopped instantly and looked at me like "Oh no! What did I do?", and the flustered hen was able to shuffle her chicks to a safer part of the farm yard.
From then on, I started actively teaching the "Whoa" command to Pilot. I started out by calling him toward me. When he was just a few feet away, I jumped toward him with my hand out and said a loud, firm "Whoa!". When he stopped, I'd wait a second before calling him to me. Then I would throw a super big party for him with lots of treats and praise until he came to realize that "whoa" was not a harsh, mean word. As he got better, I started stopping him further and further away from me, and making him wait longer and longer for the release. Now, he's pretty much a pro.
Now, I will say that I haven't tried to actively teach this to any other dogs yet. I guess this technique would work with just about any dog, though, since it is a natural reaction to freeze if someone jumps and yells at you.
If the dog was a small or very gentle mannered dog, though, I'd take a softer approach to teaching the "whoa" command. Otherwise, it might scare them away, not make them freeze.
Watch Pilot Demonstrate
Here is a very short YouTube video of Pilot demonstrating his "Life Saving" commands. Enjoy!
The Pets & I Critter Hop!
The Pets & I Critter Hop (PICH) is open until Friday at 11 PM central time.
If you have a blog post about a pet, wildlife, farm animals, pet item review, or even a review of a book about animals, please link it up to "The PICH" below! If you know a blogger who has a few blog posts about animals, tell them to link up a post or two. If you know a blogger who knows a blogger who makes animal related blog posts... well, yeah, you get the point.
Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning that if you click a link and purchase a product through it, I receive a small commission which helps me provide free junk for you to read and buy treats for my doggie. If you require more information about this, please read my Disclosure Statement.
DoggyLoot has been one of my FAVORITE websites for a few years now. Some of my most used and loved dog products have come from them, and at a fraction of the price. If you want to keep an eye out for good deals on toys, chews, bowls, leashes, collars, mats, and unique items that you can rarely find anywhere else, then DoggyLoot is the place to go. They rotate their deals every week/month, so if they don't have anything that interests you this week, then they might next! I love that.
Value Pet Supplies is another one of those places where you are bound to find a good deal. At first, they are overwhelming, because they have a TON of stuff. But, if you are looking for something specific, then VPS is bound to have it. Did I mention that they have a whole section dedicated just for stuff that is made in the USA? Also, they have a dog section, cat section, bird, small pet, fish, and reptile section. So they are definitely all around pet friendly.
Etsy has also become one of my new favorite places to shop for pets. You can find pretty much anything on Etsy if you look hard enough. Etsy makes it easy for me to find small dog businesses here in the USA.
If you like your dogs to wear pretty and unique collars, Etsy could become a serious addiction for you that may require medical attention. You don't have to search far to find a dog collar to fit every mood, every season, and every fandom that you have ever loved. You can also find bandannas, bow ties, flowers, and special dog tags to match each collar that you get! It's madness!
And that's not all that Etsy has to offer: beds, crates, houses, custom bowls, clothes, jackets, costumes and just about anything else you can imagine for every kind of pet there is! I've even found stuff just for pet pigs (which, to a farm girl, that's kinda weird).
If you want, you can follow me on Etsy and watch my "Pet Items" favorites (which I linked at the top). I favorite a lot of cool pet items and stick in that list, so if you watch it, I may find something that you like!
Capturing Couture is another place that I have recently come to be acquainted with and like. They mostly sell really pretty and well made items for photographers. Items such as bags (I want one!), straps, lens savers, and the like. But they also have a pet section where they offer cute reversible dog vests, dog beds, cutsie collars and leashes. If you like chic stuff then they would probably tickle you and your dog's fancy!
Instagram has come up several times in my past blog posts. If you take a lot of pictures of your pets, make friends with other pet enthusiasts like you, or you just like to look at pictures of other people's furkids, then Instagram is the place to hang out at. The only problem I have with it is that it is an app. I can't use it on my computer. This causes troubles for me, sometimes, because of where I live. A lot of times, my data and cell service are non-existent.
If you are on Instagram, look me and Pilot up! We love to show off our pictures.
MyPaws is for those who are either really crazy or really desperate to socialize with other pet people like them. In my case, I'm both crazy and desperate, thus why I joined it. It's basically like Facebook for pets. The "hoomans" post "status updates" for their pets, and the only "human interaction" that takes place is in the forums, which are full of helpful and kind people. MyPaws is not an app and does not have an app yet (so guess which age groups use it most?). It is predominately used by dog owners, but there are a few cats and other critters on there as well. It is a great way to find other pet owners in your same area/state, and connect with others from out of state, or even out of country. Unfortunately, for me, there are only two dogs from Oklahoma who are semi-active on it; Pilot and one other doggie. Go figure.
If you are crazy/desperate enough to join MyPaws, be sure to send Pilot a friend request!
If you ever go to Oklahoma City and want to bring your pooch along, then I suggest looking at this website: The Dog Dish Magazine. The section "Dog Friendly OKC" is especially helpful. I live in Oklahoma and make a trip to the city at least once a year, and I didn't even know about all the pet friendly places in OKC! Pet parks, I knew existed, but wineries? Restaurants? Seriously? Wow. That's awesome.
They also have health, wellness, and training articles, dog related news, wag-n-brag section, and lists of upcoming dog related events.
If you live in the OKC area, you can get the magazine! Like, the real paper version. You can read all about it on their website.
Do you and your pet have a favorite website or app that you visit all the time? If you do, share it with us in the comments!
In the meantime, if you are a blogger, and you have a blog post about your pet, wildlife, farm animals, pet item review, or even a review of a book about animals, please link it up to The Pets & I Critter Hop below! If you know a blogger who has a few blog posts about animals, tell them to link up a post or two down below. If you know a blogger who knows a blogger who makes animal related blog posts......... yeah, you get the point.
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
Grab a Button!