Saturday, May 09, 2009

Hearts and flowers - updated

The Mother's Day Proclamation of Julia Ward Howe (1870)

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
Then there is the story of Anna Jarvis:
Anna Jarvis was born in the tiny town of Webster in Taylor County, West Virginia. She was the daughter of Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. The family moved to nearby Grafton, West Virginia in her childhood.

On May 12, 1907, two years after her mother's death, she held a memorial to her mother and thereafter embarked upon a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday. She succeeded in making this nationally recognized in 1914. The International Mother's Day Shrine was established in Grafton to commemorate her accomplishment.

By the 1920s, Anna Jarvis had become soured on the commercialization of the holiday. She incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association, claimed copyright on the second Sunday of May, and was once arrested for disturbing the peace. She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against the holiday. Both died in poverty. Jarvis, says her New York Times obituary, became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said, "A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment!"

Anna Marie Jarvis never married and had no children. She died in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
Having cleared the decks at least somewhat of temptations to treacle....

I want to thank my birth mother, whoever and wherever she may be, for bringing me into this world. (If you should chance to read this, blessings upon you!)

I want to thank Hallie Safford Strid who was working as a nurse's aide in St. Agnes Hospital, Fresno, and who took me home on Mother's Day 1946 - the only mother I have known.

I want to honor Anne and Lois, my ex's mom and stepmom who also loved me and whom I love.

I rejoice in Mary of Nazareth, Mother of Jesus and Mother of believers, and in Dame Julian, who has been a spiritual mother to me as well.

A final touch (and thanks to Susan Russell who introduced me to this):

PS: A shout out to my den mom, Doris, in Oakland!

Happy Mother's Day, y'all!

--the BB

Probably the nicest thing one could say of John Boehner

h/t to Al Rodgers

--the BB

Update on my family

I got an e-mail from my sister and also talked on the phone with Jay's brother today.

Iva writes:
Brought Jay home last night. Lots to learn and seems a bit overwhelming right now. I am not as young as I used to be! His numbers are better. 211 this a.m. and 367 before lunch. He gets long acting insulin twice a day and the other on a sliding scale before meals and at bedtime.
The laser surgery on the twins went well. This is a new procedure for pre-term babies that helps prevent detached retina later on.

Jay's brother was reinstated at his job (a different story and a long one) and now we are praying that budget cuts don't affect Glen.

Here are some vintage and recent shots, mingled.

My nieces and nephews. Front row L to R: Kazan, my mother's dog, nieces Paula and Jannita. Jannita is the grandmother of the twins. Paula is also a grandmother. Back row: my nephews Glen, Jay, and Burt.

Here are Granduncle Glen and his partner Julie visiting the twins at Stanford.

Here I am with nephew Jay (back when I had a full head of brown hair - and tacky polyester pants).

Here are Glen and Julie at Jeremy and Katie's wedding last September, flanked by Glen's kids (some of my other grandnips), Steven and Morgan.

And here we have Jay along with Jannita's stepson and older brother of the groom, Joe.

Here is my cousin Bessie who shares her birthday with me, hugging her grandson Dallas. Isn't she beautiful? She has always had the sweetest soul (and comes from a carnival family - never underestimate these these sweet senior ladies, folks, not that any of you would).

Many thanks for the prayers that have come from all over. I told my sister we have a lot of love coming our way.
--the BB

A pleasant sabbath day

Today I slept in, did a bit of reading and blogging, took the car in for its biennial smog check so I can renew the registration, shopped for necessities, then planted green beans and petunias. It was then too hot to continue. More reading and blogging and napping (yes, +Maya, I pay attention to the better bishops). Before sunset I headed back out to the yard where I just planted the bed you see below.

Left to right: "Husky Cherry Red" cherry tomato, sweet basil, serrano chile, sweet basil, and "Better Boy" hybrid tomato. I would love to have some heirloom tomatoes though those are hard to find if you don't raise them from seeds. Anyway, now all I have left for tomorrow are two squashes and some red petunias.

Tomorrow I assemble my birthday present to myself, a charcoal barbie. I invited the neighbors from across the street, who are really nice folks, for BBQ tomorrow. Tri-tip, Louisiana hot links, potato salad, guacamole and chips, and either watermelon or fruit salad. Hmm, I might bake cookies as I have dough in the freezer. It's really an excuse to clean the kitchen and get all the stuff off the dining room table.

Summertime (emotionally) and the livin' is easy....

(Well, ignoring the various joints that now hurt from shoveling, hoeing, and bending over.)
--the BB

I got roses for my birthday

Ina Maka provided wonderful roses for my birthday. Here are some pics from the back yard this afternoon:

The last is a shot of Texas sundrops and sage, not roses, but these have survived the most amazing neglect.

Thanks, Mom!

*Ina Maka = Mother Earth in Lakota
--the BB

All shall be well

Lord God, in your compassion you granted to the Lady Julian many revelations of your nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek you above all things, for in giving us yourself you give us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

OK, I'm a day late in mentioning, honoring, remembering Dame Julian of Norwich. Yesterday was a bit busy. I was born on her feast day, 8 May 1946, and so was caught up in partying. Nice way to end a work week, I dare say.

Raised a Baptist, I knew nothing of Julian for many years but was delighted to learn about her and read the Shewings. Intriguingly, there was always something about me that believed, and still believes, that all shall eventually be well. Granted, in the near term I may be skeptical, but I have been blessed with an abiding long-term faith. And a charism of joy. (Well, most of the time.) So even if I did not know about Julian in my earlier years, I believe there is a link.
"From that time I desired oftentimes to learn what was our Lord's meaning," she wrote, "and fifteen years after I was answered in ghostly understanding: 'Wouldst thou learn the Lord's meaning in this thing? Learn it well. Love was his meaning. Who showed it thee? Love. What showed he thee? Love. Wherefore showed it he? For Love. Hold thee therein and thou shalt learn and know more in the same.' Thus it was I learned that Love was our Lord's meaning."
The icon depicted above hangs in the chapel at CDSP and I was present the day it was dedicated. [A very Protestant version of icon dedication, I still harrumph. I wanted clouds of smoke, showers of holy water, and sacred smelly oils, but they said some words.] It is my favorite icon of her. When one sits with it one is drawn into contemplating the cosmos as object of God's love.

My thanks for the kind wishes on my natal festivity (which I usually celebrate for about a month, as I believe all cumpleañeros should). And Jane R is just a pup.

The Birthday Boys

Here is yours truly with Paddington, my official teddy bear (though there are other teddy bears in the family), and Zotney, my anteater. Yesterday was their 30th birthday. Zotney was a present from my ex and Paddington a home-made present from his sister. We were all so young then! And we still are. P-Bear is wearing his tie-dyed Berkeley T-shirt from last year's road trip, authentically purchased on Telegraph Avenue where the 60s live. Zotney, btw, will see God as he is the only one of my kids who is truly pure of heart (and very devoted to Our Lady). This is a morning-after photo taken ten minutes ago. We seem to have survived celebrating last night at their other Daddy's house.

--the BB

Flammis acribus addictis

If you are familiar with Santa Barbara, California, the fire map below is truly terrifying. IT has a post that sums up the situation well. It concludes:
Those of us who have lived through wild fires know the horror of the blood-red sky, the ash like snow covering all the surfaces, the eye-watering, throat-searing, acrid taste of smoke that you can't escape. So do what you do, people, for the firefighters and residents and all the people in Santa Barbara. Because it doesn't much matter whether you are a conservative or a liberal, straight or gay, when the flames of hell come roaring down the hill.

Jesusita Fire in Santa Barbara - LA Times map
As of 10:45 p.m. Friday: Five-miles of flames now stretch north of Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Montecito, driving more than 30,000 residents from their homes. Evacuation warning areas were repeatedly extended today. Firefighters worried that flames would get into canyons and head toward populated areas. Acres burned: 8,600. Estimate: 80 homes damaged or destroyed.

Source: County of Santa Barbara, Cal-FIRE and Los Angeles Times reporting

h/t to IT at Friends of Jake

A modest proposal - updated

I have a suggestion that might prove highly salubrious for the Anglican Communion. Since moratoria are so very popular, here's mine.

All primates will stay home and shut the fuck up on all matters, orally or in writing, in public and in private, with the sole exception of preaching on Micah 6.8 and the New Commandment, until Lambeth 2028 [sic].

The time they save may be profitably spent in meditation and in community service.

This moratorium applies to their ghost writers.

Superglue may be applied where needed to assist them with this discipline.

I believe this suggestion has much to commend it and I anticipate that, if followed, it might lead to an explosion of grace and the sanctification of the faithful.

In an e-mail to a friend I included these comments:
I will be even-handed and include +Katherine with the rest of them as part of our gracious sacrifice for the larger good. Of course, +Rowan's book production would be cut off for almost two decades but surely he has enough royalties from his past efforts. Think of the trees saved!

My proposal would also help reduce the Anglican carbon footprint by ending all that jetting about the globe to plot. They could still froth at the mouth but only at home and in silence.
[Note: I think the PB is fabulous, but we have to play fair and this seems in the spirit of that voluntary fasting she encouraged.]
--the BB

Friday, May 08, 2009

Fire season - updated

The Jesusita fire burns in the foothills above Santa Barbara
(Keith Cullom/AP Photo)

Like 'A Blowtorch' Santa Barbara Fires Run Wild
ABC News - ‎41 minutes ago‎
By SARAH NETTER and STEPHEN SPLANE The fire doubled in size Thursday and has now consumed more than 2700 acres. At least 11 firefighters have been injured.

God of the cosmos, we recognize afresh that we are but part of the vast web of creation. Have mercy on those in danger, relieve those consumed with anxiety, guide those seeking to preserve lives, sustain those battling fires, and help us to live in harmony with the world that is our home. Amen.

UPDATE - From the comments, Boocat expands our awareness and intercessions:
Pray for the Red Cross and its Disaster Action Teams. These are the volunteers who open and operate shelters, operate feeding routes with ERVs, and work relentlessly around the clock during such disasters. Make a donation if you can. The Red Cross Disaster Funds, both Nationally and locally are currently stretched to the limit.

--the BB

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Heart thread - 05-07-2009

I am reasonably certain it was my mother who used to say, "If it isn't one thing, it's another."

As reported below, things went well with Clara and Olivia last evening.

Here is the news from my sister this evening: My eldest nephew, Jay, who is four days older than Jane R (i.e., just celebrated his birthday), is in the hospital. Blood sugar of 1090. Yes, one thousand ninety. It is down in the 200s today, but it appears we may have just learned of diabetes. All but one member of his father's family had it, so it is likely. Jay also has Williams Syndrome - and is the most loving and beloved member of our family. His mom wrote, in a second note: "He is such a good patient! He thanks everyone who comes to stick and draw blood." I ask your prayers for Jay's health and for his mother Iva's rest and stamina. Between Jay and the eye surgery last night for the twins, she is way overtaxed.

Also for someone going through an extremely difficult spot, physically and emotionally. She knows who she is and so does God, so we can leave this as prayer for Anonyma.

MP continues to hold so many before us so we may hold them before God. Do stop by and offer prayer for the lot. (Here and here and here.)

For all the rough spots Roseann and Gary have been going through, Mimi has some better news:
From Roseann to Sue:

I'm on my way home as soon as they get the papers all together. Dr K determined it was bronchitis instead of pneumonia. I'll stay on the feeding tube until I get my strength built back up.

This is a wonderful day. I want to be home. I love all of you and appreciate the prayers and kind thoughts.

Love, R
Today we have rejoiced in the natal festivity of la Contessa (Jane R).

We are also giving thanks for FranIAm's spectacular grades at school (and interceding that she not get all puffed and proud on us now). Way to go, Frannie! We are very proud of you!

Traveling mercies for the ministering Margaret.

I am giving thanks for Diane's post on gratitude.

For the people of Pakistan with all the turmoil and tensions there - for peace and stability.

For the people of South Africa as President-Elect Jacob Zuma is sworn in Saturday.

For all those threatened by the fires in Santa Barbara (and other areas, as fire season begins). I work for the Forest Service these days, so am very aware of sending people all over to fight fires.

For all those affected by swine flu - and other ongoing widespread health threats such as malaria.

For all the places in the world torn apart by war or civil strife, including Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, eastern Congo, etc.

For restoration of the rule of law in the United States.

Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their glory: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth. Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life. Send us honest and able leaders. Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice, and oppression, that peace may prevail with righteousness, and justice with order, and that men and women from different cultures and with differing talents may find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, whose fatherly care reacheth to the uttermost parts of the earth: We humbly beseech thee graciously to behold and bless those whom we love, now absent from us. Defend them from all dangers of soul and body; and grant that both they and we, drawing nearer to thee, may be bound together by thy love in the communion of thy Holy Spirit, and in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

--the BB

Sorry, but I gave up years ago

When are we going to admit the party's over? That the marriage is already dead? That those who have not listened for the past four decades are highly unlikely to begin now?

Can we just put the Anglican Communion down as mercifully as we might a suffering animal and be done with it?

At some point one stops cooperating with those who do not recognize one as a full human being.

So, anent their opinions and delicate feelings...

...and haven't for quite some time

Now, having acknowledged that I gave up on the Anglican Communion (because, as I see it, it is more concerned for its own preservation than for the Gospel), I suppose I need to add that I have not given up on the Gospel, or the potential for surprise within the human heart and the unpredictable workings of the Spirit. I am therefore not without hope. I just no longer invest energy in worrying about the future of the communion. If it becomes a Church on the Roman model instead of a Communion on our historic Anglican model, then I really don't want any part in it.

I also think I will stick with my collective noun of a pestilence of primates.

Since I have, all my life, been someone who believed that our incarnate nature requires institutions as realities of social organization (in other words, I have not been inclined to an anti-institutional stance), this indicates how deeply disgusted I am with everything that has been going on in the AC since Lambeth 1998. Yes, there are the MDG but we aren't talking about them very much, are we?

Oh, an aside: Many have been saying that the Baptismal Covenant suffices. I agree, but what lots of folks do not realize is that it was developed in our BCP and is not commonly shared throughout Anglicanism. Despite its ancient roots and biblical foundations it is one of our modern innovation thingies. Shocking, I know.

--the B (how do you really feel?) B

Baby Surgery

Brief update
The girls had their laser eye surgeries last night. Clara was first and then Olivia. Katie said it went fine. At 12:09 a.m. they were both sleeping soundly. More pictures and updates later today. God bless you.

--Hoff Hoopla

Just so you know, this is a form of laser surgery that evidently is done commonly nowadays for pre-term babies. The doc who specializes in it goes from place to place to do it, which is why it was done in the evening yesterday. Many thanks for all the lovely prayers and good wishes.

--the BB

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Update from David@Montréal

Prayers for Frank and Robert

From today's e-mail:
OK My beloved Prayer & Practice Giants,
We've come to the tough part with my beloved cousin Frank. they've managed to wipe out his immune defense system and last night the genetic transfer occurred through the Hickman catheter in less than an hour. The technical transfer appears to have gone quite well as the nausea and shivering lasted less time than anticipated. Frank has yet to eat, however.
Unfortunately he's also received what could be a life-threatening bacterium, and having identified it they are giving him an antibiotic which is so strong the body can only tolerate four treatments before the kidneys are terminally impacted.
Frank is feeling very vulnerable at present, to quote Carol his wife and my friend, 'tears are always close to the surface', and if you knew what a dynamic, active person Frank is, you'd realize just how vulnerable he's feeling.
Apparently the polar fleece blanket I made him arrived today and was cause for another round of tears- especially the part of my letter which spoke of the Love beyond his wildest imagining which is always with him ( and we all know where I learnt that, don't we?)
At least a couple of you also apparently did your own research and sent Frank cards or letters to the hospital, as Carol tells me he received mail from 'friends of David'. Thank-you whoever you all were, but it's your prayer and practice I'm calling on right now- make that begging.
But for anyone else wanting to write to Frank, it's

Frank Davies
Vancouver General Hospital T1543
Jimmy Patterson Wing
Leukemia Bar BMT Unit
Vancouver BC
V5Z 1M9

The results of Robert my neighbor's first double dose of gamma therapy left him pretty wasted, but the blood work results are much better than the doctors expected and Robert is giving full credit to 'that gang of yours, David.'
What is particularly beautiful is the generosity of a young couple of neighbors who have a car and drive Robert to and from the hospital.
Yesterday evening, he actually brought his dog out for a walk and we sat in my garden and talked for some time of what he's experiencing with this re-occurrence of his leukemia.

[Lightly edited]
Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve your sick servants, and give your power of healing to those who minister to their needs, that they may be strengthened in their weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Celebrating the Canon to the Extraordinary

This one is for my girl (I use the term deliberately, if not advisedly), Jane R.

HB, babycakes! Yer still a pup.

--the BB

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Prayer request from my sister

Tomorrow [Wednesday] night a laser eye specialist will be doing surgery on both girls. This person flies in at night and will be doing the surgery at 8:30 or 9:p.m.

Please pray for good results.

O God, you have taught us through your blessed Son that whoever receives a little child in the name of Christ receives Christ himself: We give you thanks for the blessing you have bestowed upon this family in giving them these children. Confirm their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to bring these children to love all that is true and noble, just and pure, lovable and gracious, excellent and admirable, following the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

For Doctors and Nurses

Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
--the BB

Spectral strip show

The Dems stripped Senator Arlen Specter of his seniority. Speaking only for myself, it couldn't happen to a more infuriatingly unreliable blowhard. Let him earn it.

--the BB

Exposing the basic premise

Maha follows up her terrific article on “Why Is There an Economy?” with "What Is the Purpose of a Health Care System?" Here are some tidbits:
If you pay close attention to right-wing arguments against national health care, you notice the underlying assumption: The purpose of a health care system is to support a profitable health care industry. For example, regulations that mandate insurance companies insure people with pre-existing conditions are bad, because they are bad for business.

On the other hand, if your underlying assumption is that the purpose of a health care system is to provide health care to people who need it, you must be a liberal.

There’s nothing wrong with profits, and those nations that have the best health care systems as measured by cost per capita and results tend to have mixed public and private systems. It’s not just the government pulling the whole load; there is still a place for private enterprise. But those nations with the most cost-effective health care systems have the crazy idea that the purpose of a health care system is to provide health care. Radical.

Let's face it. Theoretical conservatism is about preserving what is good from the past and cherishing continuity. (This has a great deal of appeal to me.)

Actual conservatism is about preserving the power of those already in power and further enriching the wealthy. It has almost always been thus, whether we are discussing an aristocracy, a corporatocracy, or any other of the kleptocracies.

Today's GOP is entirely about this "actual conservatism" and all the rest is a facade, including cultural wedge issues, flag, mom, and apple pie. While we DFHs celebrate creation and sensuality, the actual conservatives are obsessing about sex, usually the sex someone else is getting or paraphilia (can we say "Diaper Dave Vitter" children?). One wonders whether the stockpile of phallic weapons is in inverse proportion to, well, you can finish the sentence. Can you believe we are returning to the theme of Janet Jackson's tit?

The picture on the right is where our judicial system needs to focus. The picture on the left is to distract us from obscene profits, inhuman practices, and the true degradation of the American spirit. The "wardrobe malfunction" is an example of bad behavior in a world where there is seriously evil behavior. I doubt that a single American child was corrupted by that breast exposure, though many may have been excited. I suspect, on the other hand, that greed, torture, and amorality have twisted millions and turned them from what is true and kind and worthwhile.

OK, I'll crawl down off my soapbox. I do recommend Maha's post.

--the BB

Monday, May 04, 2009


05/04/09 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Staff Sgt. William D. Vile, 27, of Philadelphia, Pa. is now listed as DUSTWUN from this same incident. He is assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

05/04/09 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Spec. Ryan C. King, 22, of Dallas, Ga. He was assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

05/04/09 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. James D. Pirtle, 21, of Colorado Springs, Colo. He was assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; and

05/04/09 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers, and one soldier as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN). The action occurred May 1 near the village of Nishagam, in Konar Province, Afghanistan...

4284 - updated with photos

May 01, 2009
DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
The following Marines died April 30 while supporting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq:

Sgt. James R. McIlvaine, 26, of Olney, Md.
James, you are the best husband anyone could have ever asked for. Im honored to have spent the last 10 years with you. I will love you for all eternity, you are my world and my everything. Thank you, for everything. You are my Hero.

Staff Sgt. Mark A. Wojciechowski, 25, of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sgt. McIlvaine was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Staff Sgt. Wojciechowski was assigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

May 01, 2009
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty

Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler J. Trahan, 22, of East Freetown, Mass., died on April 30 while conducting combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq. Trahan was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit Twelve in Norfolk, Va., and was deployed with an East Coast based Navy SEAL team.

Following in his family's footsteps as a third generation serviceman, Tyler Trahan ranked in the Top 10 of his high school graduating class where he was a National Honor Society member and the star quarterback and captain of his high school football team. After his 2004 graduation from Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School in Rochester, Tyler attended Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne. Shifting gears in May 2006, Tyler enlisted in the Navy where he graduated from boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois, in July 2006. Tyler's scholastic accomplishments were capped when he was asked to carry The Golden Sword, an honor bestowed on the leader of the graduating class.

Two other deaths on May 2 are pending notification.

Update: reports that Sgt. Loza died April 10, 2009, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., six weeks after falling ill in Iraq. His death was not announced by the Department of Defense until Saturday, May 2. The military said that Sgt. Loza became ill on March 17 in Radwaniyah, Iraq, but other details of his illness and subsequent passing were not released.
Sgt. Christopher D. Loza is survived by his parents, Amelia Nava and Martin Loza; his college sweetheart and wife, Kristena Torres, and their 4-year-old daughter Iliana Alyse Loza.

Photos courtesy of IGTNT

For all who now soar the heavens and those who weep below: Josh Groban - You Are Loved

A little taste of Eden before bedtime

The two photos here - the bearded iris above and the fountain in the walled garden below - are clearly not of my place. They are where I spent yesterday afternoon and evening. Actually, in the late afternoon I was sitting outside watching the fountain and very much enjoying my libation.

The family photo is fine for family enjoyment but not crisp enough for publication here, so I will spare us all.

We watched several species of birds, including a roadrunner running along the top of the wall shown here.

Today on the way home I picked up two kinds of tomatoes, two kinds of squash, a serrano chile, and green beans that I hope to plant in a few days. It is finally warm enough to risk planting them. My friend Bill will keep an eye out for Japanese eggplant at the nursery in his neck of the woods. I am not trying as many different vegetables as I did two years ago. I suspect these will be more than enough to keeep me busy, along with the roses, vines, and fruit trees.

When I got home and was unloading the car I saw a lovely lizard in my driveway. Tiny little thing with lovely subtle colors, extremely muted shades of rose pink and indigo mingled with lots of subtle grays.

Y'all know what to do with the prayer requests at OCICBW and Wounded Bird.

And now to bed. Sweet dreams, my frisky lizards.
--the BB

Funny, isn't it? In MY world torturers do not fare well.

The cousins eyed each other warily throughout the brief ritual, Black Lion and Silver Stallion metaphorically circling as they engaged in casual conversation.

Another chapter completed - a very brief one - as the dynamics of the principality shift. The plague years took their toll, of course, and too much responsibility has fallen too quickly on the younger generation as they try to rebuild their world.

A second cousin has been invested with his county, invested by the same despised relative. Now to explain the genesis of the assassination that triggers the war, an assassination that has nothing to do with ambitious claimants to the throne, though they will take advantage of it. It will be a very personal and non-political action. And then: How quickly can we devolve into our bestial worst?

Btw, there will be no more torture under the regime that follows the war. (Now, where did that theme come from? Oh yes, that's right! I thought of Cheney/Bush while writing the first volume of the Chronicles. There will be happier, more hopeful days at the end of volume three.)

--the BB

Sunday, May 03, 2009

No dinner photos....

... such as the CR provides but tomorrow evening I will post photos of the garden where I listened to the fountain, watched the birds, enjoyed the vegetation, and became very mellow. (Well, three drinks before dinner on a stomach that had eaten very little all day will do that.) And, if it turned out all right, a family pic as well.

Deviled eggs (in abundance so we did not have to hold back, yum!) and chips and dip beforehand, then barbecued brisket, baked beans, potato salad, and finally pecan pie. Nothing prepackaged, canned, or frozen--all from scratch.

--the BB

This little piggy went to market... - Updated for contrast

... and this little stray sheep stayed home.

I wrote, I weeded, I finished watering the yard, I sprayed Roundup where no weeds or anything else should be growing (but not in the back yard where my gardening is basically organic).

When push came to shove this seemed preferable to dragging my ass to church. Every once in a while I need a holiday and there you have it.

(Yes, knowing I would hear a conservative bishop preach did have something to do with it.)

The yellow rose above is a photo taken today.

A very lush flame seedless grapevine

The Blaze climbing rose

Looking toward the southwest corner

Update: the southwest corner in January

Looking toward the northwest corner

And now for a shower and off to party with family some more!
--the BB