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Ruby Tuesday – On The Farm! November 30, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Ruby Tuesday!.
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One season ends and another begins as our Tilted World hurtles along its path around the sun.  The harvest is in, and it’s time to turn the standing corn stalks into silage.

Meet Massey Ferguson, or “M.F.” as the corn snidely refers to him:

By the looks of ol’ Massey, he’s earned their enmity over many a season.

This shot was taken around 4pm, as the shadows lengthened and the temperature dropped into Sweatersville.  Soon the barn lights will come on; a farmer’s day is longer than we now have light for:

The (extended) Thanksgiving season is a fitting time to remember the folks who make it all possible by rising early and gettin’ back in late so we don’t have to.

Thanks, folks.

And thanks also to Mary over at Work of the Poet for hosting this Ruby meme!


Dinner With TCR: Thanksgiving Edition. November 30, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR, Love and Death.

I was doubly blessed to have Thanksgiving twice this year, firstly on The Day with my neighbors, Frau B. and Muz Lu(mena.)  That was as “traditional” as it gets, sitting around the wood cook-stove chowing on a big stuffed turkey and a week’s worth of veggies, slow-cooked to perfection.  The wine flowed, the company was wonderful, and I’m still full from it.

Thank you, Ladies!

Then this Saturday we had a Family Reunion here at Chez Runt, with Pagan Sphinx, our two daughters and our new daughter-in-law.

It was so, so nice.

Dinner started with a coconut-curried butternut squash soup with a dollop of yoghurt and a pinch of cilantro:


Then a tomato and mozzarella salad with fresh basil, kalamata olives and red onions from my garden, spritzed with balsamic vinegar:


And a main course like you’d figure, to paraphrase Jonathan Richmond – turkey, dressing (by request,) mahogany rice* with dried cranberries, mashed turnip, little organic golden beets, and from my garden, kale with fresh garlic and baby Brussels sprouts:


Champagne courtesy of Pagan Sphinx.  🙂

And of course, pie. Pagan’s Pumpkin Pie, to be precise.  With coffee:


It was a really nice day, with lots of love being felt and shared.  My daughters are growing up and going their own ways, and it’s not that often that we all get together.  And our daughter-in-law is coming into our lives just in time to move away after graduation, which makes me sad.  She’s really nice, and the obvious love between her and Elder Progeny is something I’m most thankful for.  Sure is gonna make watching them move across the country a lot easier to take.

And SG2, who is very much out of town these days, is such a good buddy to me when she’s here – thanks, Gurrrl!!

Much love to you all, and to any who read this.

*  Oh, and Tengrain asked about the mahogany rice.  I’ve been using this stuff, Lundberg Black Japonica:


…from Lundberg Family Farms, a neighbor of yours, Ten (well, an hour north of Sacramento.  It ain’t China, is what I mean.)  They’re into sustainability and natural farming, which is admirable at least.  I’ll bet you can get it locally.  ‘Tis guuud!

It’s Thanksgiving, And I’m Thankful. November 27, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.

Thankful for this chance to focus my attention away from the evils and troubles of the world, onto the blessings.

And those blessings are headed by my two wondrous daughters, Meredith and Ursula, without whom my life would have no meaning.    Whether you heard the 1970’s admonition to “teach your parents well” or not, that’s what you’re doing.  And I’ll never be able to thank you enough.

I’m thankful for an ex-wife who has become one of my dearest friends as we co-parent our daughters on their journey to become independent women of the finest kind.  Thank you, Gina.  The years of loving you will always stand as the high point of my life.  I wish you every happiness in your current relationship; that’s one very special guy you’ve got there.

And I’m thankful for the community of friends who come by here regularly to check in, offer me support and appreciate me as a player in the life we share.  You validate me when I’m unsure, you support the delicate structures which I build from my emotions and offer as my vision of reality.

Thank you all, and Every Blessing to you.

– Ralph

Winged And Dangerous November 23, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: ,

They got away before I could get their picture, but I swear.


There were four of them, jogging across the road in the snow-filled dusk.

I didn’t recognize them, and around here we recognize everyone, whether or not we know their names.

Foreigners, I’d say. With long beards. Looked like trouble, and just in time to desecrate an American High Holy Day, Thanksgiving.

They hunkered down in a hedgerow as I passed; then, when they realized I intended to stop, they took off running.

All except the biggest one, musta been the leader. He fell back, taking up the rear, and with a defiant sneer (I hadn’t realized beaks could do that) he raised a wing and gave me the feather.

If those Damned Democrats get elected, these bastards are gonna eat us alive.

The Church Of All That Exists November 22, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, Politics and Society.
Tags: , , , , ,

Those of you who’ve had the poor judgment to spend any amount of time here probably know that I’m a Recovering Catholic. I was reared in an over-the-top Catholic home, went to church and Sunday school, said my prayers before bed and Loved Jesus.

But a schism developed when I was a teenager. I had learned about too many Crusades, too many Inquisitions. I saw too much money flowing inexorably upward, from the frayed pockets of The Poor to the Gilded Basilicas of the Vatican. There was too much dogma, too much hypocrisy, too much disregard for Earthly suffering, too much finger-pointing, too many distortions.

There was too much othering.

Even back then, this was important to me, not as a concept with a word attached, but as a visceral feeling of something-not-quite-right.

So I left the Church and wandered in the wilderness, coming to rest before too long in the strong arms of Mother Earth and the warm light of Father Sky. I wrapped myself in Nature, and found it to be a tapestry woven of All That Exists, with nothing superfluous and nothing lacking.

And I saw that it was good.

I’m happy to say that I’m not alone, here in the Church of All That Exists. I’m rubbing elbows with all the good people who now live or ever have lived, and all the flawed people who ever strove to be good. People of peace and love and vices, people of empathy and compassion and countless human failings. The living and the dead, the children of the future, the Ancient Forgotten Ones.

The Peacemakers are here, not in perfection, but in intent. Siddhartha is here, teaching about letting go of the material world, and about having respect for all living things. Gandhi, with his bullet hole, is here; his wife has forgiven him. Dr. King is here, still advocating for social and racial justice, though it astounds him that so many still cannot see.

He’s listening intently, sadness in his eyes, to the contrite tales of nineteen young Muslims who learned to fly, but not to land, because they believed their God demanded that of them, that they give their lives for social justice, as had Martin two generations before. I feel them struggling beneath the weight of the innocent souls surrounding them, asking “Why? Why me?”

There is no right answer, at least not a clear one. The Church Of All That Exists ask only about intent.

“What were you thinking?

“Were you giving of yourself, or were you taking from those with less?”

The Lion is here, lying down with the Lamb in its jaws, doing only what it must to survive. There is no evil in its heart, no malice in its mission.

But not all who live, not all who do, not all who take will be welcome here. The Rumsfelds who sit at a safe distance as they send their neighbors’ children off to die for the profits of the already rich will not be here. The Hitlers who categorize and contain and exterminate for the attainment of their own goals will not be here. The Cheneys who sneer at the pitiful poor who are ground into dust by their For-Profit-War-Machines will not be here. The Phelpses who revel in the suffering and deaths of others who are not like them will not be here.

Nor is my tenure here certain, guaranteed, preordained. My love of All That Exists is not enough. To stay here, to live and die and remain in this place, I must own it, embrace it, commit to it, to the air and the water, the rocks and the trees, the lion and the lamb, and the people. Caring is a necessary first step, but it’s trying to make a difference that makes my bed here.

There are many different paths to this understanding. Some have frescoed ceilings and gilded statuary; others have the humble trappings of a neighbor’s house. Some have choirs and pipe organs; others have the deep stillness of the Silence of Friends.

Mine has a dome of stars, patient and serene, with thin clouds scuttling by, their edges back-lit by a waxing moon. Mine has the low moan of wind over the surrounding hills, and nearer, the rattle of beech leaves refusing to fall. Mine has the bracing cold of hoar-frosted moss, crisply crumbling beneath my knees, penetrating my jeans with an awareness of this world as I bow down to my Mother Earth, humbled beneath my Father Sky, asking for a way to make a difference.

I know it won’t be easy, but on this Thanksgiving Eve, I’m grateful to The Church Of All That Exists for teaching me that I must try.