Monday, March 2, 2015

Sheep, Goat , Ram ~ Lion or Lamb

Country French Ceramic Sheep

The  New Lunar Year  began

February 19, 2015 and goes through  February 7, 2016.


Is it the Year of 

 the Sheep or Goat or Ram?

Chalkware Sheep ~ Desvres Goat ~ Wisteria Vintage Urn

The Chinese character Yang can be translated

to mean goat, sheep, or ram in English.

Antique Toy ~ Boerne Antique Show

Sheep are considered auspicious animals.

Those born in the Year of the Sheep

are kind, trusting, helpful, and peace loving.

Detail of Trenton Road Farmyard, Gail Packer

The Legend of the Chinese Horoscope
Reprinted from with permission

"The origins of the Chinese Zodiac go back a few thousand years.  According to the myths, a long time ago, Buddha decided to call all the animals on earth.  Only twelve came: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Goat or Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Pig.  

Quimper Spill Vase with Breton Crest

In recompense, Buddha assigned each of animals a year on the cycle affirming that children born in that year would acquire the personality traits of the animal assigned to that year.  

Antique Sheep ~ Boerne Antique Show

In order to decide their order in the Chinese Zodiac cycle, the animals held a very exciting race.  The first one to cross the river would be granted the first year, the second to come in would be the second animal in the cycle, and so on.

Detail of Transfer War ~ Nancy's Daily Dish

The strong, hardworking Ox was in the lead.  Suddenly, the clever Rat, jumped on the Ox's back, he did not even feel the little thing getting a free ride.  At the last second before reaching shore, the Rat jumped on land, winning the race!  The Ox came in second, the Tiger third, and so it went . . . the happy-go-lucky Pig took his time and came in last . . . and the Chinese Zodiac and its twelve signs were born.

Detail of Wood Wall Art Print,  JB Brunley

Born in the Year of the Sheep

Those born in the Year of the Sheep are kind, tender, and sympathetic.  Sheep are creative and elegant, and because of their softer side, they are symbolic of peace and harmony.  Empathy comes naturally to sheep; their happiness is derived from other people's happiness.  They avoid confrontation, are good-hearted, and will always look after everyone else first.  

Concrete Lamb in Burlap Wreath ~ Boerne Antique Show

A steady path, generosity, and keeping the peace are this year's mantra."

The primrose, one of the few things 

blooming in my winter garden

is a lucky flower for those born in the

Year of the Sheep or Goat.

Lucky numbers are 3, 4, 9.

Lucky colors are green, red, and purple.

Glided Dapper Animal Plates,

When I spotted these adorable plates on the

West Elm website, I dashed off to our local store.

Based on paintings of real animals by artist Rachel Kozlowski, 

then dressed to impress with gilded adornments, 

these plates are the perfect touch

of whimsy for a celebration.

Glided Dapper Animal Plates,

As luck would have it, 

I was too late for a complete set, 

but I did come home with the 

gentlemen owl and ram.

The dapper Ram was my inspiration to celebrate 

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival.

Just a simple tray waiting for

Chinese take-out for tonight's dinner.

Chopsticks at the ready.

I've ordered a very auspicious goat dish.

 San Yang Kai Tai  ~  Three Goats Bring Wealth

Everyone knows Chinese food

comes with a fortune cookie,

but I'll have a white chocolate lamb for dessert.

I'll leave the fortunes to these sticks ~

Chien Tung, Chinese Fortune Sticks.

It's still a damp, cold day here.

I thought this special winter candle 

would add warmth to our meal.

It's made to look as if it were

woven of fine wool.

Johanna @ Silber and Rosen 

sent it to me as a gift.

Isn't it charming?

I placed a golden sheep on my desk.

I'm hopeful the peaceful critter will bring 

good luck to my Mah Jongg game.

Punkin's Patch, photos used with permission

"Sheep are wonderful reminders to us to slow down 
and enjoy the warm sun on our faces, 
meadow flowers in bloom, 
and soft cushions of green under our feet."

If you want to visit a real sheep farm, stop by 

Punkin's Patch where you'll find a variety of

these darling creatures at Equinox Farm in Kentucky.

Punkin's Patch, photo used with permission

Meet Mira. 

You can read more about her here.

March comes in like a lion,

and goes out as a lamb.