Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year "Ladies' Law"

This morning I'm looking for something fun to share with you about "Leap Year".

Yes, I know this is a blog for Harter House Supermarket and should be about food, but when I found this bit of information, I really wanted to share it with you.

I know several young maidens who may want to take advantage of this time-honored tradition!

Ladies’ Law in Leap Year
by Taraya

Postcard from 1908, depicting a sneaky female catching herself a man in leap year

Are you a young maiden just wishing your man would finally pop the question? Has the handsome lad down the street caught your fancy, but seems completely oblivious to your pining affections? Not a problem, ladies! Today is leap day, which makes 2012 your lucky year.

American culture was, and still is, a stew of different traditions carried over from the homelands of dozens of cultures. One of these fabulous traditions, stemming from the British Isles, was that of the “ladies’ law” of leap year. This newspaper from February 1888 explains the rules of this female-favoring year:

It's "ladies' law" in leap year! An 1888 newspaper gives the scoop.

Not only may a woman propose to a man in a leap year, but there’s a bonus for her if he refuses. The same article goes on to explain that any man who turns down a woman seeking marriage in a leap year must compensate her with a new silk dress. Provided, of course, that she show off a little of her scarlet petticoat, just to be sure her intentions are clear.

A man's penalty for refusing the offer from a gentle lady

Traditionally, the material compensation for a refused proposal varied. In thirteenth-century Scotland, supposedly, the required recompense was anything from £1, to a kiss, to the previously mentioned silk gown. In Denmark, the uncooperative man must present twelve pairs of gloves. And in Finland, the disappointed lady must be given enough fabrics to make a skirt. The risk of receiveing proposals all year long was too great for some men, with such weighty fines demanded of them if they refused. So, in many cultures, the “ladies’ law” was restricted to only one twenty-four hour period: leap day.

As it finishes off, the nineteenth-century column offers one last bit of encouragement:

Take your chance while you can

…And don’t forget to wear your red petticoat!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Visiting Busiek State Park

Busiek State Park is located off Highway 65, at mile marker 27.2, between Springfield and Branson, Mo. Busiek is a state Forest and wildlife area.

We decided to hike the trails on a beautiful sunny, and relatively warm, winter day. This was not my first time to Busiek, but I had never hiked the trails before. There are maps provided at the start of the trails. The maps are extremely helpful and we got better at reading the map as we followed the trails.

We started our hike this day on the east side of highway 65. We followed the RED Trail along the creek past campsites. (Camping is allowed by permit only through the Southwest Regional Office at 417-895-6880)

The hiking trails were easy to follow. Markers or paint on trees continually marked the trail we were traveling.

Crossing the creek might have been a challenge keeping my feet dry, but the water today is not too high and I can easily walk across on rocks or tree limbs that have been placed across the creek. Of course my husband has water-proof boots and treks through the water easily holding my hand for balance as I cross on the rocks.

After we crossed the creek, the terrain got more challenging. We are headed uphill now. It is beautiful and quiet. This is SO MUCH more enjoyable than walking on a treadmill.

When we get to the top of the hill, finally, we are amazed to find a family cemetary just outside the Busiek Park boundary area. We've hiked about 30-45 minutes, I think, to get to this point.

What a beautiful day!
Now we get to head back down the hill.

The trail meanders across the top of the bluff And we come to a fork in the road. We aren't ready to head back yet so we take the YELLOW/RED trail to see where it leads us.

There are other people out today. Up ahead I see two people on horseback. I love riding horses and I'm thinking now that I need to call my friend Kim Turner and ask her to please bring her horses and let's ride these trails by horseback. Oh, how ideal that would be!

We visit a bit with the two ladies on horseback and then notice that they had stopped to look through another very old cemetary. Do you find old cemetaries interesting? I find myself imaging the life they lived right here on this land a hundred years ago. James L. Dye, son of James and Mary, born 1917 and died March 6, 1920. Mary L. Dye was born 1877 And Died Feb. 27. 1920. Two-year old James died little more than a week after his mother passed. Gladys Dye born 1912, died 1913 and Glen Dye, born 1914 and died 1916, both children of Henry and Nora Dye.

We continue walking a ways and decide it's time to take a break now. We've brought along some cheese and crackers that we purchased at Harter House Supermarket in Springfield, before we headed to Busiek and also a bottle of Colver Mead that we purchased yesterday at 7C's Winery in Walnut Grove. What is Mead wine? Simply, it is wine made from honey. Clover Mead is a sweet white wine made from Clover Honey. Clover Honey is made from bee hives in Clover Fields.

Now we're ready to finish our hike. We're headed back down the hill. We have studied our map and we know right where we are. We are back down to the creek now. I have to cross the creek again, but I manage to cross again still keeping my feet dry.

Last thing today, before we head home, I want to see the firing range where target shooting is permitted everyday except Monday. It's been a lovely day. We've been here about 3 hours in all and I can't wait to come back and hike the trails here on the west side of Highway 65.

Time to relax and enjoy the end to our wonderful day. We're having lamb chops with Jalapeno jelly and Irony Pinot Noir from Harter House.