Saturday, November 28, 2009


Flush with victory and vengeance for their father’s death, they listened eagerly as Mordal laid out his new plan.
After being stuck for two months, I finally finished yesterday the chapter I had begun so long ago. Whew. Also began the next chapter. I feel ready to engage the tale again and just hope I have time and focus to go forward. Way too much on my plate of late.

To my delight, the princess has continued to come into her own. In the first two books she was mostly a victim; now she emerges as a strong protagonist and I'm loving it.

This is the sort of thing I don't know when I begin a tale and learning it makes story-telling such a satisfying adventure.
“Is it ever really over? Do dreams stop and memories disappear? Does our past drop away never to haunt us again? If it were only so, but I do not think so."

--the BB


No No Keshagesh - Buffy sings again

Ghost Dancers

Cree Indian folksinger Buffy Sainte-Marie has a new album, Running for the Drum. She has not stopped singing for justice. Here is "No No Keshagesh." As I read at Meteor Blades' post:
The lead song is called "No No Keshagesh." In her native tongue, Keshagesh means "greedy guts." "It's what you call a little puppy who eats his own and then wants everybody else's."
--the BB

Bomb Causes Derailment of Russian Train, Killing 26

Published: November 28, 2009

MOSCOW – A luxury express train carrying hundreds of passengers from Moscow to St. Petersburg derailed on Friday night after a bomb detonated on the tracks in a rural area, killing more than 25 people and injuring more than 100 others, officials said.

The force of the crash crumpled parts of the train, propelling several of its 14 cars well off the rails, trapping passengers in smashed compartments and scattering luggage into the nearby woods. People on the train, called the Nevsky Express, perhaps the most illustrious in Russia, reported a scene of panic and devastation.

Mapko asked prayers last night and I saw the NYT article this morning. As he wrote:
Twenty-five persons have died in a derailment of a Russian train. Please remember them, their loved ones, and the injured survivors in your prayers.
Additional analysis from BBC:
Richard Galpin, BBC News Moscow
This statement has to be extremely significant. It's come from the head of the main internal intelligence agency, Alexander Bortnikov. He's saying very clearly that it was a bomb, a home-made device containing the equivalent of 7kg of high explosives
BBC also puts the number of dead now at twenty-six.
Deliver your servants, O Sovereign Lord Christ, from all evil, and set them free from every bond; that they may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitations; where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

--the BB

Friday, November 27, 2009


11/25/09 DOD:
Army Casualty Identified
Spc. Jason A. McLeod, 22, of Crystal Lake, Ill., died Nov. 23, west of Pashmul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with mortar fire. He was assigned to the 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

11/24/09 DOD:
Army Casualty Identified
Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Pucino, 34, of Cockeysville, Md., died Nov. 23 in Pashay Kala, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group of the Maryland Army National Guard in Glen Arm, Md.

11/24/09 DOD:
Army Casualty Identified
Sgt. James M. Nolen, 25, of Alvin, Texas...assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C...died Nov. 22 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

11/24/09 DOD:
Army Casualty Identified
Pfc. Marcus A. Tynes, 19, of Moreno Valley, Calif...assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C...died Nov. 22 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

11/23/09 DOD:
Marine Casualty Identified
Lance Cpl. Nicholas J. Hand, 20, of Kansas City, Mo., died Nov. 22 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Staff Sgt. John J. Cleaver, 36, of Marysville, Wash.; and Sgt. Daniel A. Frazier, 25, of Saint Joseph, Mich. died Nov. 19 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when a suicide car-bomber attacked their unit. They were assigned to the 782d Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.


DOD identifies Army casualty
Sgt. Briand T. Williams, 25, of Sparks, Ga., died Nov. 22, in Numaniyah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bad math

If Republicans want it: fifty votes plus one gets you a big tax cut.

If Democrats want it: sixty votes isn't enough to provide health insurance to every American, plus you have to give Lieberman a pony.
--via bluegal at C&L

What's wrong with this scenario?

--the BB

Social protest

If only present-day Americans were not so apathetic and timid that they gave up the most basic rights enshrined in our Constitution almost without a fight just because Dick Cheney sneered at them and muttered something about national security -- if only they showed some spunk and dared break social conventions and get uppity in the cause of personal liberty rather than that of corporate perquisites from time to time-- now that would be something to be thankful for.
--Juan Cole

If you'd like to know what this has to do with cross-dressing and American history, read the whole article here. Yes, this is a Thanksgiving post.

--the BB

Thanksgiving Day 2009

Padre omnipotente y bondadoso, te damos gracias por los frutos de la tierra en su tiempo, y por la labor de quienes los cosechan: Haznos fieles mayordomos de tus dádivas abundantes, que recibimos para la satisfacción de nuestras necesidades y el alivio de los menesterosos, para gloria de tu Nombre; por Jesucristo nuestro Señor, que vive y reina contigo y el Espíritu Santo, un solo Dios, ahora y por siempre. Amén.

Y a la vez:

Grandfather, Grandmother, Sacred One,
Creator of heaven and earth, Giver of life,
We are here before you,
Hear us!
Thunder Beings, Medicine Bear,
Waters where the Sun goes down,
We are here before you,
Teach us!
Buffalo upon whom the People depend,
Land of Snows and Winter Gales,
We are here before you,
Strengthen us!
Rising Sun and fresh Breezes,
Elk Nation, Seeds of all Beginnings,
We are here before you,
Fill us with life!
Ripening Time, Plant Nations,
Winged Cousins, Sheltering Trees,
We are here before you,
Nurture us!
Round circle of the Sky,
Father Sun, Sister Moon, Star Nations,
We are here before you,
Shine upon us!
Mother and Grandmother Earth,
Crawling and Burrowing Clans, all Grasses,
We are here before you,
Sustain us!
Great Circle of all Beings
And all Powers who serve the Sacred One,
We are here before you,
Behold us!
Gathered with All Our Relations,
Holy Creator of All Things,
We are here before you
To praise you!

Creator, we give you thanks for all you are and all you bring to us for our visit within your creation. In Jesus, you place the Gospel in the Center of this Sacred Circle through which all of creation is related. You show us the way to live a generous and compassionate life. Give us your strength to live together with respect and commitment as we grow in your spirit, for you are God, now and forever. Amen.

--the BB

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Because we might just want to use them....

Does anybody else find this offensive, embarrassing, and immoral?
Washington (CNN) -- The United States won't join its NATO allies and many other countries in formally banning landmines, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said during his midday briefing Tuesday.
"This administration undertook a policy review and we decided our landmine policy remains in effect," Kelly said in response to a question. "We made our policy review and we determined that we would not be able to meet our national defense needs nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we sign this convention."
Russia and China have not signed either.
--the BB

Monday, November 23, 2009

Heart thread - 11/23/2009

Let us begin with some thanksgiving.

David@Montreal writes:
Mam just called to tell me that Frank [David's cousin] just called to report he is doing much better!
He's been into the hospital three times in the last ten days for day surgeries, but he's finally clear of both the pneumonia and c-difficile.
He specifically asked Mam to pass along his love and thanks to 'the Giants' 'please tell them ( and Mam says this is where my very butch cousin got real teary) tell them, they make all the difference in the world.'
Carol also came on the phone and wants you to know, you have no idea the difference you've made. Said she never felt alone or abandoned, no matter how scary or wild it's been at times.
Frank's doctor's are still shaking their heads, amazed that he's doing so very well with only a 9/10 genetic match. And that's when he tells them about the Giants, and Mam says he remembers most of you by name.
Not out of the woods yet, I'd ask your continued prayers for both Frank and Carol, but tonight there much to give thanks for. Full-voiced Hymns of Praise please!
Aping Shakespeare's Henry at Agincourt, I said Non nobis and Te Deum. Let us give thanks. And keep praying for Frank and Carol and all who love them.
Psalm 115 Non nobis, Domine
Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
but to your Name give glory; *
because of your love and because of your faithfulness.
Let us also keep David in our prayers:
the job hunt.... well if I'm not 'too experienced', I've got 'too many decades in management for anything less', or the experience is 'too diverse' as they skip over the unsalaried decade of fulltime AIDS service. and then there's the elephant in the room- my being sixty-one years old.
i have no doubt a true answer is in the making, but your prayers would be appeciated.
i keep applying, something's got to happen.

love always-always Love

From "the big, brave Mimi who could" we hear this:
The cataract surgery is over, and all went well. As I was waiting in pre-op to be sedated, I began to fret and get anxious. I gave myself a good talking to, saying (to myself), "You've been through this surgery before, and you can do it again." I answered myself, and said, "Yes, I can!" At that moment a picture of "The Little Engine That Could" popped into my head, and I began to say over and over (to myself), "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can". I calmed down immediately and stayed calm until I was sedated and wheeled into the operating room. The surgeon kept up a running commentary about what he was doing, and I stayed calm throughout the procedure and found the experience fascinating and completely different from the surgery on my left eye. I'd guess that the doctor did the commentary through the first surgery, but I was too freaked out to notice.

Thanks be to God, the medical staff, and to all of you who prayed and sent love and good thoughts my way. I had my little miracle with "The Little Engine That Could". I read the story to my children and my grandchildren. One of my grandsons liked to hear the story over and over. I'd go up to three times and then say, "Enough! Another day."
We continue to remember Gary in his time of sorrow and to pray for the repose of our sister, Roseann.
From Gary at Facebook [via Mimi]:

Funeral Services for Roseann will be held at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Conway, AR, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Her ashes will be interred in a Hellman's Mayonnaise jar (per her request) in the St. Peter's Columbarium followed by a "Farewell" party in the Parish Hall. All are welcome to attend. Roseann's... life was guided by the scripture from Matthew 25:40: "I tell you this, Anything you did for one of my brothers, however humble, you did for Me." She loved this song and it will be played at the funeral.

"Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison, Moondance
For Eileen and her husband and the healing of memories.

+Rowan (Bishop of Play, not Cantuar)'s best friend Samantha has gotten her golden tail from Jesus. Let us pray for Rowan and Lindy and Lindy's mom and all who miss Samantha.

Joy to Chris and Lily and blessings on their marriage.

For the LGBT community of Uganda in mortal danger. For all who speak up on their behalf.

For continued healing for Dan and for Mother Sandra.

For the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in the South Valley of Albuquerque. For the handful who are the heart of this new venture and the vast web of those who uphold us in prayer. For me, that I may listen to the Spirit and follow where I ought.

Lisa has asked our prayers for missioners en route to the Diocese of Lui in the Sudan and for the people of Lui.

For universal health care in United States of America and for every step that leads us toward it.

For nations torn by war or civil strife.

For those this night whose hearts cry out for love and find no answering cry.

A Prayer for Deliverance
O God, your glory blazes with the light of love and justice, your righteousness and your mercy flow together as one mighty stream: May we who beseech deliverance from violence, oppression, and degradation be purged within of their roots--of fear, envy, powerlessness, anger, resentment, the lust for revenge and the desire to hurt--and of the blindness and willfulness which beset our best intentions; that we may not act with violence, neither oppress nor degrade any of your creatures, but may strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being; for Jesus' sake. Amen.

--the BB

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Practical advice for this week

You gotta love cooking advice like this. It is from Sam Sifton's Diner's Journal, The New York Times Blog on Dining Out.

Let’s start at the top. DO NOT BRINE A TURKEY THAT IS GOING TO BE FRIED. The first time I went to a turkey-fry we made that mistake, my friend Manny and I, the two of us amped on beer and adrenaline, redneck in the extreme. We put the brined turkey into the superhot peanut oil, which almost instantly converted the excess moisture the bird had been given by the brine into steam. The steam, caught inside the bird, exploded the breasts off the carcass and sent them hurtling skyward on a plume of boiling oil. It was a fairly intense couple of seconds. DO NOT BRINE A TURKEY THAT YOU ARE GOING TO FRY.
"It was a fairly intense couple of seconds."

The voice of experience carries authority.

--the BB

Quick, before I forget

Tomorrow Mimi goes in for cataract surgery in her right eye. She is being very brave and the previous round went well, but prayers for peace of mind, a safe trip to and from NOLA, and very successful surgery would not go amiss.

I am putting this up right now because I am so scattered poor Mimi was going to have to remind me and she has enough to do.

A blessing for Mimi and anyone else who needs a blessing this evening:
May God the Father bless you, God the Son heal you, God the Holy Spirit give you strength. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body, save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country; where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen

--the BB

May flights of angels sing you to your rest

Gary posted this on Facebook:
Roseann's Spirit shed its mortal shackles at 8:45 p.m. Saturday. She would want you all to know that she went quietly and painlessly thanks to the loving care of the Hospice staff. She would want all of you to know that your expressions of love and well-wishes these last weeks made her passage much easier and that she loved and cherished you all. Somewhere tonight a new journey began.
We have all heard or read of a "holy death." Roseann has shown us all what that can look like. Here are recent segments from her blog.

Tomorrow night at 6 I will be blessed to have my last eucharist before I'm given final rights. I am so happy and excited about this. It looks like we'll have over 100 people here which means our tiny house will have to use front porch overflow. I can't wait to celebrate with people I love. Sharing the body and blood is the ultimate meal of love. I can't begin to explain the peace and love of God surrounding me and Gary. You are all a part of that. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Love, Roseann

I believe that I am living in a state of grace at this moment. I could write pages on how this feels and how it affects my perception but I am far too inarticulate to give it justice. My spirit feels so light and blessed. Thank you all for everything.


Friends, I enjoyed, rejoiced and celebrated HE in a way that is still giving me the chills. I felt so much love and I was able to return that love. I will always be grateful. I could feel you all with me and if love were a color this house would still saturated.

Thank you all for your presence in my life. Thank you, thank you.
What a blessing Roseann has been to us, even if we have only known her "virtually." I did speak with her on the phone many months ago during one of her hospitalizations. Such a sweet voice. Such a fighting spirit. And such grace when the time came.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory. May Gary be upheld and comforted. May his body find healing. May love ever abound.

--the BB