16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Squares #6, #9 & #15: Bodhi Day, Yaldā Night & Newtonmas

Tasks for Bodhi Day:  Perform a random act of kindness.  Feed the birds, adopt a pet, hold the door open for someone with a smile, or stop to pet a dog (that you know to be friendly); cull your books and donate them to a charity, etc. (And, in a complete break with the Buddha’s teachings, tell us about it.)  –OR– Post a picture of your pet, your garden, or your favourite, most peaceful place in the world.




Tasks for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book in one night - in the S. Hemisphere, read a book in a day. –OR– Grab one of your thickest books off the shelf.  Ask a question and then turn to page 40 and read the 9th line of text on that page.  Post your results.  –OR– Eat a watermelon or pomegranate for good luck and health in the coming year, but post a pic first!.




Tasks for Newtonmas: Take a moment to appreciate gravity and the laws of motion. If there’s snow outside, have a snowball fight with a friend or a member of your family.  –OR– Take some time out to enjoy the alchemical goodness of a hot toddy or chocolate or any drink that relies on basic chemistry/alchemy (coffee with cream or sugar / tea with milk or sugar or lemon, etc.).  Post a picture of your libations and the recipe if it’s unique and you’re ok with sharing it.



I've been looking forward to this task. As some of you may know, I spent Christmas with friends again this year, and much like last year I was tasked with two things: dessert and making the mulled wine.

While I am rather proud of my "alchemical" skills in the mulled wine department, making desserts (or any other fancy food stuff) is always a bit of a challenge. This year it didn't help that my oven went on strike and my plans for making a chocolate tart from scratch went a bit awry. I ended up having to buy a ready made pastry case. Not bad but not what I intended. The result was still lovely - and I maintain that I was right to deviate from the original recipe by using only a fraction of the butter and substituting the single cream for brandy cream. 


Below are the results of both my efforts this year: 



(Btw, we did not use the ready made mulled wine in the picture, we made the mulled wine from scratch using a rather tasty, full-bodied red Zinfandel.)


Lastly, I am doubly pleased to tick off the task for Bodhi Day, too. Although I usually do get involved with charitable efforts throughout the year, the run up to the holidays seemed to have involved some rather specific efforts ... but I really don't want to write about them. 

Instead, I am going to share a picture of a pet - my friends' dog, who is one of the most awesome and cuddly dogs I have ever met - in one of my favourite, most peaceful places in the world. 


Granted, Mr. Pip (the dog) is not very visible in the picture, but we all had a brilliant walk in the country this morning, trying to walk off some of the side-effects of both the mulled wine and the chocolate tart. It would have been a longer walk, but at some point we remembered that there was a joint of beef in the oven which needed to be taken out...

It was that kind of morning.