Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rest in Peace, Blanco

Today we buried the best cat in Christendom. Aged somewhere between 13 and 18 years old, Blanco has been with us for 12 years. None of us can really remember Life before Blanco…

Blanco involved himself in every possible aspect of our lives. He was always benevolent, always sociable, always kind to smaller creatures. Our pet doves, our pet mouse, and Marcel the bunny were all nose touching friends to Blanco, who would reach through the bars on the dove cage and pat his little feathered friends on the head.

Head-butting was Blanco’s greeting of choice, and he would approach in a kind, Kingly fashion to touch foreheads with new people and animals. He liked to lie on the couch, reaching down and gently petting the dogs who lay on the floor.

Blanco loved board games and always participated, whether you wanted him to or not. He was certain that the board and pieces had been specially laid out as a lovely resting place for himself. He would lie down in the middle of the proceedings and positively beam his pleasure and general goodwill.

Blanco would rather have fallen from a cliff than to pierce flesh with his impressive claws, but he often used them to grab your clothing in order to get your attention, or move you to where he wanted you to be. He showed them to Tweek, Dot, and their seven litter mates only once, when they came bounding up to him en masse. He raised his paw, claws extended, as if to say, “Careful, children!” He never again threatened any of them, but they had the utmost respect for him.

At his peak, Blanco outweighed Benny, the Chiweanie, and was certainly taller. They were fast friends, playing together and sharing warmth.

Blanco cared for his adopted special needs brother Scooter, grooming him, because Scooter didn’t understand how to groom himself. He was always, concerned, compassionate, cheerful and forgiving.

He had an understanding of shared responsibility with Scipio, the Alpha Male dog, and they always greeted each other pleasantly.

Blanco’s decline was fairly rapid. He succumbed to an evil cancer which consumed his intestine and colon. He never lost his love for visiting us and being close to us. He had lost a great deal of weight in the last three weeks and had been acting “older” for a couple of months, but blood work indicated there was no involvement of his kidneys or liver…yet he continued to ingest less and less, and his doctor suspected cancer. She told me she thought there was a mass in his abdomen, and that in order to know more she'd have to perform surgery. Although he was failing physically, Blanco's cheerful and charitable spirit never waned. Even when forced to take nasty tasting medicine, he merely made a little mad cat face and blew spit bubbles...

This morning the doctor opened him up to determine whether he could have a few quality weeks or even months by removing the mass---however, besides the hideous tennis ball sized mass of twisted tissue and ugly veins at the top of his intestine, most of the lymph nodes in his intestine were already hard and the cancer had moved all the way down to his colon. Seeing the damage made it obvious that there really was just nothing to do---extending his life would have been cruel and selfish.

Seguin and I had held him and talked to him while he went to sleep for the surgery, so we euthanised him rather than waking him up. His last feelings in this life were of drowsiness and lots of love.

Forrest buried him out by the orchard fence.

We will miss him a lot.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My wonderful Husband...

I left my house yesterday—voluntarily, I might add—and accompanied Dennis to the Raytheon Fellows Banquet. I had Seguin waiting in the wings in case I chickened out at the last minute, but I made it, since Forrest was there to drive me…I was so proud of Dennis. He is now a “Principle Fellow”, which, from what I gather, is rather cool beans. They read his accomplishments and I was interested to find out how much he’s done about which I know so little. Bless his little heart, he’s just been quietly making that odious commute to work everyday—up to a hundred miles each way, and he’s been a good father and husband and still found time to excel at his job. I was thinking of my grandmother the other day, who was also crippled both physically and emotionally—in some ways much moreso than I—and I realized that the only difference between us is that I have a good, kind, supportive husband, and she did not…

I’m very proud of Dennis. I can’t say it enough. We’ve always known how wonderful he is, and it was nice to see him get some official recognition in addition to our familial fondness.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wampyrs? Oh, COME ON!!

I don't watch South Park very often any more, but last week was hilarious. I love the Goth Kids---I suppose I relate to them, and they seem to be the only people in South Park who are in any way connected with reality...Now come the "vampire" kids. Not REAL vampires, as they point out when they feel threatened, but kids in black clothing from Hot Topic and PLASTIC TEETH, who neither smoke nor drink coffee... The Goth Kids' solution to the vampire invasion is hilarious---try to catch the re-run if you missed it the first time.

The heir apparent to pre-adolescent creepy angst, "Twilight" features a super innocent but intelligent young girl paired up with a pretty, pale vampire "boy" who is actually 90 years old. Well, something had to take up the Harry Potter slack now that that series is winding down...So this guy crawls in the window for cuddles with the girl. He's 90, remember? but of course they don't have sex, because that would relieve the tension that is so necessary for the entire chemistry of the thing, don't you know...insidious crap.

I have some problems with the whole vampire myth, anyway, at least as presented by Stoker, an apostate Catholic who tries with mixed success to pit some snazzy Catholic prayers and sacraments against Count Dracula, but misses the point about the grace BEHIND the sacraments, and I freely admit that I don't have enough interest to bone up on all the rules and regs for vampirism, but I tend to agree with author William Biersach regarding these gruesome undead. It is ridiculous to imagine that a human could be bitten and converted to another species or life form which would live forever unless "freed" by a stake through the heart---at which point the soul would NATURALLY fly straight to heaven because "MY god would never send anyone to hell!". If vampires exist, they are merely the bodies of the damned, animated by demons. Human souls go either to Heaven, Purgatory (and thence to Heaven), or to Hell when they die. They don't hang out and drink blood. A vampire, really a devil, would not be "relieved" and "freed" by the stake, but franticly protesting its return to hell. Not even demons want to be in hell.

At any rate, they are of hell, and not at all romantic, and children should not be encouraged to pretend to be vampires. Or even ALLOWED--upon pain of grounding.

Unfortunately, "Twilight" will be a gigantic success, because most people are utterly stupid.

My own pick for "best" Vampire movie would be "Shadow of the Vampire" starring John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe. Heck, that's creepy right there...put those two guys together with Christopher Walken and Steve Buschemi and you've just cast the four horsemen of the Apocolypse...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Poem. by me.

Thanksgiving Prayer

Each day should be Thanksgiving, Lord, but oftentimes we find,
The praise and thanks we owe to you are somehow left behind.
We come to you on bended knees in time of stress or need,
For every want of family or friends, we humbly plead---

And you hear us, Lord! And grant us every good that we desire!
Giving Peace and Understanding even when the answer’s “No.”
So today of all days, Father, let us send our praises higher,
And Thank you for the Graces that you constantly bestow:

Father, thank you for the Soldiers, for the men who stand today,
Prepared to give their lives in lonely outposts far away.
For soldiers’ hearts mysterious who hear the call to arms,
Protect your martial angels, Lord, and keep them all from harm.

And thank you for the Cowboys, keeping faith with freedom, Lord,
Fighting predators and weather for the cattle that they tend.
With the humble creed of Chivalry, according to your Word,
May they see your Glory, Father, in the creatures and the land.

And thank you for the Fathers all, whose shoulders bear the load
Of caring for the daughters and the sons that you’ve bestowed.
Lord, strengthen them as they go out into the dragon’s lair,
Keep their eyes upon the cross and give them comfort, not despair.

For Mothers, then, we give you praise, who serve so faithfully,
Humbly and obscurely, guiding souls toward Your Light.
Whose tears and sacrifices only You will ever see,
Give them Joy and Peace, Dear Jesus—hear their prayers by day and night.

We thank you Lord, for virgin hearts whose prayers fly Heavenward,
And for Priests uncompromising, who recall us to thy Word.
And for children, Lord, for little maids and strong and gallant boys,
Lord make us truly thankful and mindful of these joys.

For Soldier hearts and Cowboy hearts, and for all creatures living,
For undeserved Grace we give You praise on this Thanksgiving!
Be with us in the coming days and help us, Lord, prepare
The manger for your coming and the will to find you there!

Syler Womack 2004

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My biggest mistakes...

I catch a lot of heat from things that are merely the result of birth-order dynamics. To wit, my youngest is a Youngest: the Baby of a Large, Belligerent Southern Family...

She's remarkably mature in regard to most things, but she loses all credibility when she falls apart at the seams, which usually happens when her sibs are present, and then I get phone calls about how horrible she is---with implications that it's all my fault.

It isn't. Get over it.

She also lost a lot of credibility over her love for, and subsequent grief over, a psychopath. And that WAS my fault. Because I trusted her emotions and judgment more than my own---because I am in awe of the incredible graces owned by devout cradle Catholics...I failed to use my Veto. It is my fault.

But I've been no less guilty with the others---they just don't remember---except for that dear first-born who was, from the beginning, frankly graceless. "...a heart of gold, A lad of life, an imp of fame...and from heart-string I love the lovely bully..."

But all the rest of you---I've had far too much respect for you, and far too little sense of my own awful responsibility. I'm so sorry. It was cowardly and prideful, and if you'd had a better mother, much of your sorrow could have been avoided.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving stuff...

From the book I made for my children:

Regarding Womack Family Thanksgivings---

Kids---this is intended to be a guide, not a mandate. If at any time you wish to vary from it, or even to ditch the whole thing in order to accommodate personal preference or the tastes of your spouses, you should do so with a free and happy heart! Traditions are wonderful and fun, and tie us to our past, but traditions such as holiday feast menus should never become oppressive. You will be no less "Southern" or "Catholic" or "Texan" if you do things differently---and what else matters anyway? I stress this because I was not given these options myself----I had to "rebel". So I am liberating you from the start!

We've always had blueberry muffins for breakfast on Thanksgiving, and I started that tradition---I don't remember when or why. If you like it, keep it up. Homemade muffins are fun, but mixes are fine, and I have often used them when short of time. I don't see any reason in the world why you couldn't just as well purchase the muffins ready-baked and then microwave them for a few seconds. Have fun watching the Macy's Parade!

I put my turkey in the oven the night before, in my big covered roaster, and let it slowly cook all night. I start it off at 400 degrees for about a half hour, then turn it down to 200 for the rest of the night. I usually put it in about 10 p.m., then turn it off about 5 am. The result is NOT a pretty turkey, but a tender and delicious one never the less. If you want it picture-perfect, you must sacrifice some of the tenderness and follow Martha Stewart's instructions. Never salt your turkey before cooking---although my grandmother did---for it dries it out. You may put salt inside it, however. Remember---I've always done a huge turkey, about 22 pounds---so if you do a smaller one, adjust cooking time accordingly. For a 10 pound turkey, start it off at about 10 pm on 350 for about an hour, then turn down the oven to 200 and set your alarm for 4 oclock and get up and turn it off! Go back to bed and get up again when you're ready to eat muffins and watch the parade.

As you are getting your turkey ready for the oven, you will, of course, wash out the cavities. Inside the larger cavity, you'll find the neck. Put that in a medium sized saucepan. Inside the smaller cavity, you'll find a packet containing the liver and gizzard. Add those to the neck, cover with plenty of water, and simmer gently for an hour before you turn down the turkey. Go about your business and just keep an eye on it. At the end of the hour, put a lid on the pan and push it to the back of the stove. You will use the broth for gravy in the morning. The gravy is about the last thing you'll do, but I'll tell you about it now. Simply remove the "innards" from the broth. Give the neck to someone to eat. It needs salt, but it's really good. IF YOU LIKE bits and pieces in your gravy, chop up the gizzard and add it back to the broth. Heat to simmering again. Put about 3 tablespoons cornstarch in a fruit jar, add about a cup of water or some chicken broth, and shake. Pour the dissolved cornstarch into the simmering stock and there it is: gravy. Salt and pepper to taste.

Nanaw (remember Nanaw? Jeb and Bentley's maternal grandmother?) used to forget to take the packet of giblets out of the turkey. It never failed, and retrieving the horrid looking glob at the table used to be a yearly tradition. I do not recommend it. She also put orange juice and marshmallows and cinnamon in her sweet potatoes. I don't recommend that either, being a sweet potato purist.

Since you are cooking the turkey all night, you cannot "stuff" it with dressing---the stuff would go bad and give you food poisoning. You may, however, mix your dressing the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator all night, as we've always done. Basically, here's the dressing recipe:

---you know how carefully I measure things :
three pans cornbread
1 loaf white bread
2 cups onion, chopped---no, you cannot leave out the onion and expect it to taste like dressing
1 to 1 ½ cups celery, chopped, MOSTLY LEAVES
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons salt
a teaspoon pepper
about 3 or four tablespoons sage or poultry seasoning or a combination of both----you have to taste for correctness
melted butter

Let everybody help taste, because it's more fun that way. Grandpeggy always used milk in her dressing, and 2 sticks butter. (I kind of like broth instead of milk—especially for the Christmas dressing). Just keep adding the milk until dressing is the right consistency---sort of like thick cooked oatmeal. I sometimes use a combination of milk and chicken broth, but you can do whatever you like. When you are ready, put the dressing in a big pan and pour lots of the juice/grease that has cooked out of the turkey over it. Bake it for an hour or so at 350---that should be long enough if you use a big flat pan like a pyrex. You may want to add more Turkey juice as it bakes, for you don't want it to be dry.

Candied sweet potatoes can be done the day before thanksgiving and reheated. This frees up your oven, and I think it's the best way because you don't want to rush candied sweet potatoes. Open several cans of sweet potatoes. You'll probably want lots. Drain them, and fish them out one by one, slicing them very thin into a heavily buttered big pyrex dish. After you have a layer of sweet potatoes, throw in several large chunks of butter and about a half cup to a cup of sugar. Continue layering thus until the pan is full. Pour in water up to the top of the sweet potatoes and bake in the oven at 350 up to all day until the potatoes are candied. The longer the better, but you want them sort of syrup, not completely dried out. The potatoes themselves should acquire a sort of transparency. If you have any questions, ask Stuart, as she does it best.

Cranberries---I think those canned ones are NASTY. Buy a package of fresh ones and follow the directions. You can do this several days ahead and refrigerate. Your Grandaddy Blake would only eat Cranberry JELLY, right out of the can, in a can-shaped blob, which he would slice in little round slices. Not my favorite way, but you might like it.

Stuffed celery: Wash celery and cut into three-inch chunks. Mash cream cheese and add enough miracle whip to make it malleable. Add a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped pecans. Dry the celery and stuff. Best done thanksgiving morning. Good job for novice helpers.

Don't forget the olives!

Choose a green vegetable that you can live with and add delicious ingredients sufficient to offset any healthy side effects. Sometimes we do broccoli wth cheese sauce, sometimes that green bean casserole with the French's onion thingies on top. Just whatever you like is fine! But I know Chisum and I wouldn't really be satisfied without

Martha's Squawk Casserole
I don't know why we call it that, but I'm not going to change now.
4 medium yellow squash, cut in large chunks
3 medium zuchinni, cut in large chunks
2 large carrots, grated
1 large onion, chopped
1 large jar chopped pimiento
8 oz. processed cheese spread, melted
2 tablespoons canned jalepenos, chopped
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 chicken boullion cubes, disolved in 1/4 cup boiling water
1 pan cornbread (Mix or home recipe)
Arrange squash in greased 4-quart pan, sprinkle carrots and onion over squash. Mix pimiento, chees, jalepenos, sour cream, soup, and dissolved boullion cubes in large bowl and pour over vegetables. Crumble cornbread over top of casserole and press down gently. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour .

Use the same criteria for the Jello salad. We've always used the Blueberry jello salad with the cream cheese and pecans, but there are plenty to choose from.

Blueberry Jello
2 small pkg. Grape jello
1 ¼ cup boiling water
1 small can crushed pineapple with juice
1 can blueberry pie filling
dissolve jello in water, add next two ingredients and chill
8 oz sour cream
¼ cup sugar
8 oz softened cream cheese
beat together until creamy and smooth. Spread over set jello. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Don't forget the pies---

Pie Crust

2 scant cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
Mix flour and salt with fork. Into a pyrex measuring cup, measure the oil, then the milk on top of it. Don't mix them up! Dump oil and milk into the flour at the same time and lightly mix together with a fork—just until it holds together. Roll out between wax paper.

Sweet Potato Pie Thanksgiving 2001

Unbaked pie crust
3 cups baked mashed up baked sweet potato. NOT CANNED
2 eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup canned evaporated milk—straight—don't add water.

Puree in food processor until smooth.
Bake in 9" pie shell at 400 til done—about 45 minutes.

Kentucky Derby Pie

Crust: 2 scant cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
Mix flour and salt with fork. Dump oil and milk into the flour at the same time and lightly mix together with a fork. Roll out between wax paper.

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick melted butter
6 or 12 ounces chocolate chips (semisweet)
1 cup broken pecans
1 tsp vanilla
Beat eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla together---add butter. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into pie shell and bake in 325 oven for about an hour.

Pecan Pie

3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup Karo, light or dark
1 cup pecans
Mix together and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. reduce to 350 and bake about 25 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. (always takes me longer than ten minutes).

Food may be consumed before, during and after The Game. Gig'em.***

Saturday, November 1, 2008

liberal "tolerance"

"Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions."

Thus spake that early twentieth genius, GK Chesterton, and never has it been more true or more relevant than today.

A man of conviction will not tolerate certain acts, words and even expressed thoughts. That is, he will not sit idly by and say nothing. He may refrain from arbitrarily challenging every wicked thing he encounters, but don't ask him how he feels about something if you don't want to hear it stated plainly. And if you are possessed of the popular insanity which dictates that any disagreement with your whim is a personal attack, then prepare yourself to lose your feel good.

A man of conviction will NOT, however, discard friends, family, or even acquaintances simply because he disagrees with them, no matter how vehemently. The man of conviction will instinctively love the sinner even as he hates the sin. He will realize that his acquaintance or friend is a unique person regardless of his misinformation and will be the same person when and if he corrects his metaphysic, only better, and ultimately happier. The man of conviction would no more reassure a friend re his wrong theology than he would urge him to ignore a cancerous tumour simply because his friend feared surgery.

This is in STARK CONTRAST to the modern liberal to whom "tolerance" is a shallow mantra! My family has recently experienced the hateful wrath of two such "tolerant" erstwhile friends. Their practice of tolerance runs thus: Declare that you hate "racists", conservatives and true Christians (nominal Christianity is okay). Declare that it is wrong to discriminate against anyone based on color or creed or behavior---and discrimination means whatever *I* say it means. Declare that no one has the right to disagree with you and that, if they do, they are intolerant and must be cut off.

These people are quite capable of ending long friendships based on a word. They are vicious, self-centered and their reason for hating people with convictions is that convictions make them uncomfortable. Professing convictions will make you their hero, but actually carry through with your convictions and they will turn and rend you. Eschew them. Regardless of how close you think you are to them, they will cut you off in a heartbeat and with total dispassion if you dare to gainsay them or if you become in any way inconvenient. Find yourself a good, passionately right or wrong friend who will stick by you no matter what.

Friday, October 31, 2008

More Feasts...

These next three are from by The Feast Day Cookbook by KATHERINE BURTON & HELMUT RIPPERGER. I think I accessed this at the EWTN site, but it was years ago...

November 1: All Saints' Day

THIS DAY, formerly known in England as All Hallows and in France called "Toussaint," honors, as its name implies, all the saints canonized and uncanonized, known and unknown. Long ago the church bells rang for most of the night before All Saints' Day to praise the saints "risen in their glory." Everywhere patronal and family saints are especially remembered. It is a feast to give them praise rather than to ask favors of them, a day for praising them to God rather than asking them to remember the living to Him. The observance of this feast merges into the next, which is All Souls' Day, so that by evening it has become the eve of the day of the dead. On All Souls' Eve the graves in Hungary are lighted with candles and decorated with flowers. Indeed, the custom of visiting the cemeteries and adorning the graves of relatives and friends with wreaths and bouquets prevails in most Latin and Central European countries. In Czechoslovakia, and in Belgium, there is an old tradition of eating special cakes on All Souls' Eve. In many old English towns, maids still go "souling" on All Souls' Eve, that is, singing for cakes, and one hears such ancient ballads as: Soul! soul! for a soul-cake! I pray, good misses a soul-cake-- An apple or pear, a plum or a cherry, Any good thing to make us merry, One for Peter, two for Paul, Three for Him who made us all.

Soul Cakes

1 yeast cake
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 cups flour
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 lb. Butter
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Dissolve the yeast cake with 1 teaspoon of sugar in the lukewarm water and let it stand in a warm place. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the milk which has been scalded and slightly cooled and then add the yeast. Sift the flour with the salt and cinnamon and add to the mixture, kneading for a few minutes. Place in a bowl and allow it to rise in a warm place to double its bulk. Shape the dough into round buns and bake at 375 degrees F. for about thirty minutes or until lightly browned. Originally, these cakes were shaped like men and women and were given raisins or currants for eyes.

November 2: All Souls' Day

After the feast in honor of the saints in heaven, comes the day of praying for the dead, particularly for members of the family, so "that they may quickly attain to the fellowship of the heavenly citizens." As we have said, many of the observances of this day take place on the eve. In the Old World, superstition was more observed than doctrine and lights were set in windows to guide the departed back to their homes, and food was placed beside a candle or lighted lamp on the table to await them. In Brittany, where belief in the supernatural is intensified on this night, the people, dressed appropriately in black, hurry home after vespers to talk together about the departed, speaking of them in low tones as if at a funeral. On the table with the best cloth are placed plates of bread and cheese and mugs of cider for the refreshment of the departed ones. As the living sit whispering together, they hear, or think they hear, in creaking floorboard and empty benches about the table the movements of the ghosts who have come to rest that night in their former home. And knowing that the saddest of all are the homeless dead who roam about the countryside on this one night of the year permitted them on earth, it is a custom of Celtic people to set food and drink on doorstep and window sill, so that homeless spirits too may have a share. In Italy, and especially in Sicily, good children who have prayed for the dead through the year are rewarded by having the "morti" leave gifts, sometimes cakes, none the less welcome because they have been made by the hands of mundane bakers. Especially good are these "Fave dei Morti," and as fine a reward for a pious child as was the "Pretiolium" or pretzel of the Middle Ages.

Fave dei Morti (Beans of the Dead)

1/4 lb. Almonds
butter, size of a walnut
1/4 lb. sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
1/2 lemon peel, grated
Pound some of the almonds (unblanched) with some of the sugar in a mortar, and then rub through a sieve. Continue this process until all of the almonds and sugar have been used. Any of the mixture remaining in the sieve should be pounded again until it is fine enough to pass through the sieve. Work this paste with the flour, butter, cinnamon, egg, and lemon peel until the whole is quite smooth. When done, roll into long thin rolls; divide into small pieces and shape them to resemble a broad bean. Bake on a greased tin at 350 degrees F. for about twenty minutes or until light brown. Though soft at first they will harden when cold.

In Poland on All Souls' Day vespers are sometimes sung in the churchyards, and alms are given to the poor who in return are expected to offer prayers and petitions for the dead of the donor's family. Lighted candles are placed on the graves. In Spain every theater gives a performance of the famous play "Don Juan Tenorio" and thrills anew to the drama of the wicked lover who is dragged to hell by the ghost of the fair damsel to whom Don Juan proved unfaithful. The "Dia de Muertos" is an occasion so important in Mexico that its observance lasts for several days. Several days before, on October 30th, the souls of dead children are said to revisit their homes and spend the night. They are welcomed with flowers and food in gourds, as many gourds as there are "angelitos"--souls of dead children expected. And in the doorway of homes are placed chocolates and cakes and a lighted candle for those children who have no one to remember them. On the Day of the Dead, Mexican crowds stream into the cemeteries long before daybreak, bearing flowers, candles, and food. Breads, candies, and cakes have been made in the form of grinning skulls with eyes of shining purple paper, of little chocolate hearses [emphasis mine] and coffins and funeral wreaths. With picnic gaiety the families group about the graves in the cemeteries, everyone laughing and enjoying the fine fiesta and sharing the food they have brought. And as in Spain, in the evening the whole village repairs to see the perennial drama of the faithless Don Juan and his luckless lady.

Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead)
1 yeast cake
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
6 eggs
5 cups flour
1/3 cup orange blossom
1 teaspoon salt water
1 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup anisette
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and let it stand in a warm place. Sift the flour with the salt. Taking about half the flour, add the yeast, mix well, and allow to rise in a greased bowl in a warm place until double in bulk. Cream the butter with the sugar; add the egg yolks and the orange blossom water. Then add the remaining flour, the milk and anisette. Mix well and knead for a few minutes. Then add the egg whites, one at a time, kneading after each addition. Finally add the fermented dough and beat and knead until thoroughly mixed. Allow it to rise in a greased bowl in a warm place until double in bulk. Knead once more and divide into two portions. Remove a bit of the dough from each portion, enough to form two "bones." Shape the dough into round loaves and moisten the tops with water. Place the "bones" in the shape of a cross on each loaf and bake at 375 degrees F. for about fifty minutes or until done. The loaves are usually covered with a light sugar glaze when baked.

November 3: Feast of Saint Hubert

Born in the 8th Century, St. Hubert is the patron of hunters, and is a saint greatly honored in France and Belgium. Saint Hubert lived a full life. He became bishop of Tongres and traveled through his huge diocese on horseback and by boat, preaching and building churches to the glory of God. He was the friend of the great of his day--Pepin of Heristal and Charles Martel among them--and also of the poor. In particular his heart went out to prisoners, and he would secretly place food for them before their dungeon windows. As he died he said to those about him, "Stretch the pallium over my mouth for I am now going to give back to God the soul I received from Him." In parts of France and Belgium there has long been a custom of holding stag hunts on Saint Hubert's Day, and the hunters gather before the chase for Mass and the blessing of men and horses and dogs. After the hunt is over, those taking part gather for a bountiful breakfast consisting of fish, meat, salad, cheese, and dessert. Naturally the meat is venison of some sort, and the salad may well be one of dandelion greens.

Venaison Roti (Roast Venison)

If the venison is young, it does not need marinating; otherwise marinate several hours or even overnight. For the marinade use
1 pint of vinegar,
1 pint of red wine,
several bay leaves,
4 shallots,
2 sliced carrots,
1 lemon cut into thin slices,
some freshly ground pepper,
and a handful of juniper berries.
Carefully remove the skin from a loin of venison without tearing the meat and wipe it with a damp cloth. Lard the loin symmetrically with bacon (not larding pork). Dust with salt and pepper, cover liberally with butter, and roast in a hot oven for one hour, basting almost continuously with the butter in the pan and 2 cups of sour cream. Remove the meat to a hot platter; carefully stir 1 tablespoon of flour into the pan, then add a cup of hot stock, cook for several minutes, and strain through a fine sieve. (Though not orthodox, a leg of lamb may be substituted but in that case marinate for several days.)

Pissenlit au Lard (Dandelion Greens with Bacon)

Wash the dandelion greens carefully to remove all grit and dry thoroughly in a salad basket. Cut up 1/4 pound of lean bacon into dice and fry over a slow fire until very crisp. Add 3 tablespoons of tarragon vinegar to the bacon grease and season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour, while hot, over the greens, mix well, and serve at once. I’m actually not sure one can find dandelion leaves in November…

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What's Wrong with the World, and Why I hate Old People

[The discussion herein is explicit.]
What's wrong with the world, apart from the "Protestant Reformation" and the failure of the Hierarchy to Consecrate Russia to Our Lady, is screwing. Rampant, indescriminate screwing. Screwing without attachment, without commitment, without consequence. Screwing, indeed, without striving and without even caring about whom we screw.

Sex was never intended as a casual passtime.

The entire splendor and solemnity surrounding the Wedding ceremony and the elaborate bridal garments stems from the fact that these two people are going to live with each other and have sex with each other and no one else, and SUPPOSEDLY that they, and at the very least SHE, have/has never had sex with anyone else!

Western history has been shaped by two things: War, and Who Won Which Woman. "Four things greater than all things are: Women and horses and power and War" opines the narrator in Kipling's Ballad of the King's Jest. At the end of the poem he amends his statement to: "Two things greater than all things are: the first is love, the second is war." Which makes sense since horses certainly fall into the category of War and power comes from either War, or Who Won Which Woman.

May I digress? Of course, I may---It's my blog. In more intelligent ages, princesses and other ladies of privileged birth were raised to be Queens. They did not expect to receive---they expected to give. They expected to be supportive of the old man to whom they were married. They expected to assume responsibility not only for his House, but in a very real sense, for his subjects. They expected to lose their figures to childbearing. They expected to be self-sacrificing, dignified, courageous, charitable, chaste, pious, generous, and somewhat taken for granted. Self-pity used to be considered a fault...What planet were Di and Fergie from, anyway? My pre-adolescent daughters were shocked at their ignorance and self-indulgence. How did Diana become a sainted martyr? Which leads me back to my original theme...

No doubt liasons were formed which contained no affection and did no more than ally two kingdoms, but how many dynasties and kingdoms and indeed civilizations have risen or fallen because of one woman's ability or inability to bear sons for the king? What lies concealed between a woman's legs---NOT easily accessible, interestingly enough---was not INTENDED to be accessible. It was INTENDED to be a well guarded holy of holies accessible to one man and one man only and for the purpose not only of pleasure but of creating life and extending the very civilization.

There were reasons why whores and loose women were eschewed: not only did they spread disease, they caused young men to waste the precious seed needed to establish kingdoms and families. And the reason we are in such a mess today is because good women, what few there are, tolerate the whores.

It isn't FAIR that it is the woman's job to maintain domestic morality. But, by Heaven, that's the way it is. Or was. And all our screaming for equality only meant that we wanted out of our responsibilty. We stopped trying to bring our husbands and brothers up to our level and demanded to be let down to theirs. We stopped trying to live as God demanded and started demanding our share of the orgasms, as if that were the only thing that mattered. We traded secure and loving families, reverence for life, respect for our gender, societal stability and Heaven itself for Our Share of the Orgasms. The horrendous divorce rate, abortion rate, suicide, murder, drug use and ruin are our just rewards.

Sex, and heirs which are the fruit of sex, used to be the good man's reward for courage, fidelity, physical prowess and all the other virtues required by Chivalry. Now, however, sex is free. Why strive? And men DON'T strive anymore. They buy their wives, as they buy power, not with excellence but with money. And when the wife no longer pleases, there is no reason not to replace her.

And that is what's wrong with the world.

I hate Old People because they are the most ridiculous and damnable players in this universal tragedy. They have lost their Faith and have nothing to cling to but medical science and the promise of longevity. They think that having "sex", or what passes for sex---clumsy contact between artifically stiffened flacid penises and profusely lubricated withered vaginas---means they are young. No. It means that they are simply old, without any of the grace and wisdom that should be a part of their advanced age. They complain about the younger generations and their ignorance, but they teach nothing because they are too busy trying to hang on to a stage of their life which ended with their fertility. There is a reason that their parts no longer naturally engorge and become wet. God is telling them to move on.

A recent Simpson's episode included a pharmaceutical "commercial" which exactly illustrated this sad phenomenon: "Sorry, Jimmy, I can't go fishin' with you! Grandma and I are gonna go have Old People Sex! Thanks, Jamitin!"

Next month, Grandpa will be bitching about the fact that little Jimmy doesn't know how to bait a hook. Grandpa should be spending more time casting nightcrawlers into the murky depths and less time, well, never mind. Use your imaginination.

I'm sickened by our society's inability to value anything beautiful or fine or holy. I think this is why my agoraphobia gets worse with every day that passes. I just don't want to know what's out there.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hanging Palin in effigy

It's not a hate crime. It's in very poor taste, but people have been hanged in effigy throughout history, with no ill effects to them.

It ISN'T a hate crime. What one resents, however, is the hypocrisy of the Left. Can you IMAGINE the hue and cry if Obama were hanged in effigy?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

IQ challenged skin-heads

I knew it was going to start, and I told you so. I didn't know WHERE or HOW, exactly, but I knew that the ruling elites were offering us a "choice" of vomit soup or turd sandwich in this election in order to foment race wars. And today the top story is Teenage Mutant Skinhead Murderers who say they intended to kill 88 Negroes and BEHEAD---BEHEAD, mind you, BE-FREAKING-HEAD 14 more before shooting Obama. And all while wearing white tuxedos. Charming young grotesques. I would thoroughly love to slap them upside their little bald white trash heads, again and again until they squalled and blubbered. And a fat lot of good it will do to put them in the damned prison system where they can become even more thoroughly skinhead and stupid. Oh, forget it. I'll rant about prisons some other time.

But I say again, like the sorrowful, angry old fat mother that I am, I told you so.

Earlier in October, I wrote in my blog at MySpace:

I wonder what our Elite Masters are up to with the "choice" they've given us this time? I remain convinced that the entire election process is nothing more than a ploy to keep us all busy...so apparently some of us are getting wise, and now they have to come up with bigger and more spectacular "consequences" and "secrets" to keep us interested.

I have to admit the Obama-Ayers connection is at least interesting. Ayers is one of those cowardly mad bombers whose goal is not to change but to terrify and subdue. A man may bomb a building because he either loves it and abhors its desecration, or because he hates its purpose and wants to stop what's taking place within. That's why we can love the character "V" in the film, "V for Vendetta". However, what if he were a man who simply wanted to call attention to himself and his cause by killing as many people as possible? Then we would have, NOT the masked and sophisticated V, but Barak Obama's buddy, Bill Ayers---a man who is on the loose for no reason except that the law he so despises let him go on a technicality. O! for a Judge with scrotal circumference! [Somehow, I doubt the skinheads will get off on a technicality as Ayers did, nor should they.]

Obama's terrorist connections, which are by NO means limited to Ayers, certainly should give us pause---and, if "democracy" were on the level, they should motivate us to make sure that SOMEONE else won. [not to mention Obama's mind-boggling lack of qualification for the job.]But if this whole system is on the level, then why isn't there a major investigation going on? The potential criminality here isn't something the media and mob rule ought to be deciding.

But it's all part of the manipulation process. Now that we are getting a sufficient number of low IQ illegals into the country---look, I'm not being mean. Most of them failed in their own country and are the products of generations of squalor. They are converging on us like mice to cheese. I like mice. But now that we are getting enough of them to do the clods jobs, the gods can afford to decimate the middle class with race wars.

That will likely be accomplished to one extent or another regardless of who wins. Same script, different actors, just like always.

In September I wrote: ...

the race agitators of all colors and creeds will hit the streets and the news programs, and stupid people on every side will start hurting each other. The elites won't care, because they will not be in harm's way, just as they don't care what happens in Iraq and Afghanistan because their lives are not on the line. I realize McCain's new VP candidate has a son on the way to Iraq, but she is not among the elite. McCain is barely on the edge, and the Obamas are deceiving themselves if they think they are part of the ruling class. Any and all of those people are interchangeable and expendable, tools used to keep us confused. What a terrific scam they are pulling off! No matter what happens, it's YOUR FAULT! Whether you voted or didn't vote, it's YOUR FAULT! There is no accountability in a democracy, except the poor benighted voters.

I'm just sayin'...I TOLD YOU SO!

And in the interest of spreading my angst around, I'm republishing a blog I did on McCain (I don't care about "Fair and Balanced". This is MY blog, these are my opinions. McCain is an unprincipled, opportunistic jerk who abandoned his wife when she became less attractive and is now practicing serial polygamy with a wealthy younger woman):

McCain has been recently quoted as saying that it is not in his makeup to conduct a fighting campaign (although he tells his supporters that they must stand up and fight for him) and that he would rather "lose gracefully" than win by means that are uncharacteristic.

I could respect "I'd rather lose gracefully than win by means that are treacherous, or dishonest"---but uncharacteristic? If it's uncharacteristic for him to be able to fight face to face, I guess it's a good thing he chose to fight from an airplane. I suppose taking on another jet is less personal that shooting the guy that just ran into you in an urban combat setting.

My daddy fought in Korea. He was always saddened remembering the faces of the North Koreans he shot when they met on a narrow mountain road—almost near enough to touch. It was apparently "uncharacteristic" for Daddy to kill a man while he was looking into his eyes—even if that man was drawing down on him and preparing—reluctantly or not—to dispatch him to his Creator. But in the circumstance of absolute necessity, fighting not only for himself, but for his fellow soldiers in his jeep and ultimately for his duty as an American Soldier, Daddy killed the Koreans. Face to face, with deliberate blood-splattering thuds as the bullets from his M-1 hit home, again and again, Daddy killed them, not because he was a killer but because he had to.

John McCain accepted a commission when he accepted the nomination of his party. It is his duty to fight the necessary fight—ALWAYS excepting treachery or dishonesty—in order to win. The fact that saying unpleasant truths while looking at Obama in a debate is not COMFORTABLE for Senator McCain does not excuse him from his duty—and you would THINK that anyone who spent so much time as a POW in Vietnam would know that. It appears that the Senator doesn't seriously view Obama as the enemy---which raises the question, "Why not?"

It has been proven that Obama has NUMEROUS ties to socialist radicals, domestic and foreign. Obama is a Right-wing Loony Fringe Conspiracy Theory Scenario Dream-Come-True. Obama is the Thing we laughed about—the Thing that could never happen.

A friend of mine, the editor of a conservative e-magazine, wrote to me this weekend: "I can't think of this guy as anything except a foreigner, and it infuriates me that he should hop, skip and jump over American blacks, who can trace their lineage back to 20 and 30 and 40 generations of American grandparents, on both sides. How can a Kenyan, named Obama, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii (a foreign country, no matter what anyone says), become President of this country?"

I've given it a lot of thought, and I believe that in order for the "masters" to find a dark-complexioned man willing to stand as their puppet for the annihilation of our system, they HAD to go outside the system itself. Conservative American blacks are too patriotic, and liberal American blacks too self-interested to participate in a national coup that will alter everything. Make no mistake, Barrack Obama is not an American black man. All of his American genes are white. He cannot claim "African-American by association" if he isn't willing to be labeled "Radical by association".

But the question is, or should be at this point, Why doesn't McCain recognize Obama as the enemy? Of course, you know what I think: I think they are working for the same puppet masters. I think that the result will ultimately be the same, regardless of who is elected. There will be some minor changes in the script, and that's all.

Marcus Aurelius wrote: "Say to yourself as a Roman and as a man to do what you must with a perfect and simple dignity, for a feeling of freedom, and affection and justice. And give yourself relief from all other thoughts."

The only thing we can do is keep our hearts and minds firmly on our families and friends, and on God. He, at least, is eternal and merciful. Do your duty in all things. Duty is ours, Consequences are God's.

Kyrie Eleison

Monday, October 27, 2008

Seven years ago, I put together a book of recipes and traditions for my own children. I used sources from all over the net, never thinking to try to credit them all, for I never really intended the book to go outside my own family. However, I think we need traditions. So I'll be publishing the monthly chapters of my book here on my blog. If you find something you wrote in it, let me know and I'll give you thanks and tell everyone. :)

October 27: Juan Seguin, Hero of the War for Texas Independence

"A victim to the wickedness of a few men... a foreigner in my native land; could I be expected to stoically endure their outrages and insults?" he wrote in 1858. "I sought for shelter amongst those against whom I fought; I separated from my country, parents, family, relatives and friends, and what was more, from the institutions, on behalf which I had drawn my sword, with an earnest wish to see Texas free and happy."
In honor of Col. Juan Seguin, let’s serve:
Puerco Pibil (Slow-Cooked Pork)
· 5 T. annatto seeds
· 2 t. cumin seeds
· 1 T. whole black pepper
· 8 whole allspice berries
· 1 t. cloves
· 2 habanero peppers
· 2 T. salt
· 8 cloves garlic
· 1/2 c. orange juice
· 1/2 c. white vinegar
· 5 lemons, juiced
· 1 shot (1 1/2 oz.) tequila
· 5 lbs. pork butt
· banana leaves
grind the dried spices (annatto, cumin, black pepper, allspice, and cloves), thoroughly mince the habenero peppers, after removing the seeds
1. combine orange juice, vinegar, lemon juice, tequila, dried spices, minced habenero, salt, and garlic in a blender. Liquify.
2. cut pork into 2 inch squares, place in a large ziplock bag, and fill with the marinade
3. let marinate for at least twenty minutes (overnight is fine, too)
4. line a 9" x 12" pan with banana leaves, pour pork & marinade in, cover with more banana leaves, cover tightly with foil
5. cook at 325 degrees F. for four hours and serve over rice.

October 28: Feast of Saints Simon and Jude

Not very much is known of either of these Apostles, except that Simon was called "the Zealous," and Jude was the brother of James the Less, and that they preached and were martyred in Persia. Over the years great devotion has grown up around Saint Jude as the Saint of the impossible. As prayers to Saint Anthony restore lost articles, so prayers to Saint Jude restore or revivify the most difficult of spiritual causes for persons, or groups, or nations. Saint Jude has proved a powerful patron in more than one instance, for example in the case of the City of St. Jude in Alabama, founded to aid materially and spiritually the Negro race, and which has well fulfilled that mission. Saint Jude might make a fine patron for the United Nations, over endowed with material patrons, but sadly lacking in those of the spirit. Regarding popular celebration of the feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude, there has arisen some confusion through the centuries. In Italy a "foletto," which translated, means holy goblin, was often confused with Saint Simon because of a similarity in names, and Jude was confused in people's minds with Judas. Another reason for the confusion is that the feast of these saints comes so close to All Hallow's Eve that it partakes a little of its traditions. From the old association with goblins and witches and feasts of the dead, there has come down to us a cake often eaten in Scotland and England in honor of Simon and Jude. In Scotland, it is known as a Dirge Cake, in England as a Soul Cake, and the recipe is on November 2nd, the feast of All Souls.

October 31: All Hallows' Eve

A soul! A soul! A soul for a soul cake!
Come save a soul for a soul cake!
One for Peter and two for Paul
And three for the Good Lord who saved us all.

Put your hand in your pocket and draw out your keys
Go down to the cellar and draw what you please!
Give us cakes and ale and good strong beer
And we’ll come no more souling until next year!

The old English custom of "soul-caking," or "souling," originated before the protestant revolt, when poor singers went about on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, November 1 and 2, to beg for cakes in remembrance of the dead. The souls were prayed for, the poor folk fed, and everyone gained a great deal.
Allhallows e'en, or eve, a night of pranks and fun , was celebrated with games and treats. Young people bobbed for apples and told ghost stories.
When you, my children, were very young, and I was very young and impressionable as well, we lived in an all-protestant neighborhood where most of our neighbors went to “worship” at least three times each week. About 30 years ago, anti-Halloween hysteria was high amoung these folks. Skeletons, monsters, all manner of “Halloweenish” symbols were carefully cataloged and their ties to satanism documented. Many little audio cassettes by former “satanists” made the rounds, and, of course, hidden amoung the condemnations of Halloween was much finger pointing at the Holy Catholic Church…
I’m rather ashamed of the fact that I succumbed to the general alarm at the time…and rather gleeful that my temporary solution was to dress you all as saints, which was fun, and at least as horrific to many of my neigbors as the skeletons and pirates had been…
Of course, as the years went by and I contemplated things like the Gargoyles atop the Cathedrals (much lamented by the anti-halloweeners) and the Chapel of Bones in Portugal, I realized that every generation goes through these things and I decided bones and monsters were not going to draw you into the devil’s web---after all, most of your forefathers are bones, and many would have done better to have had a monstrous exterior and a pious soul. I truly loved your saint costumes (remember Forrest’s tonsure? That’s dedication!) but I loved the Halloween of 1992 when you boys dressed as Clinton, Bush and Perot---complete with huge cardboard ears for Crockett. I loved Stuart’s “legally blond” costume, and Siggy’s Axel Rose, Robert Smith and even last year’s pirate…I don’t find it at all odd that none of you has ever had a desire to dress as a witch or vampire, for we eschew things which are intrinsically evil. But the ado about Halloween will probably strike you as well when you are young parents---I’m not going to worry about your decisions. Halloween for me will always be night of fun when we can visit the neighbors in town, stroll around in the twilight, admire the kids’ costumes, and look forward to The Great Pumpkin...
Here is a recipe for Soul Cakes, which differs somewhat from the one given forAll Souls…

Makes 12 to 15 2-inch soul cakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground fresh if possible
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground fresh if possible
1/2 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of saffron
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup currants
For the Glaze:
1 egg yolk, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the flour, the nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Mix well with a fork.
Crumble the saffron threads into a small saucepan and heat over low heat just until they become aromatic, taking care not to burn them. Add the milk and heat just until hot to the touch. The milk will have turned a bright yellow. Remove from heat.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon (or use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment). Add the egg yolks and blend in thoroughly with the back of the spoon. Add the spiced flour and combine as thoroughly as possible; the mixture will be dry and crumbly.
One tablespoon at a time, begin adding in the warm saffron milk, blending vigorously with the spoon. When you have a soft dough, stop adding milk; you probably won't need the entire half-cup.
Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead gently, with floured hands, until the dough is uniform. Roll out gently to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a floured 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can and set on an ungreased baking sheet. You can gather and re-roll the scraps, gently.
Decorate the soul cakes with currants and then brush liberally with the beaten egg yolk. Bake for 15 minutes, until just golden and shiny. Serve warm...with ale. And good strong beer.

In Ireland, Tyrone, Cavan, and other counties indulge in boxty dishes on Halloween, and also in many verses about them. One runs: Boxty on the griddle, Boxty on the pan, The wee one in the middle It is for Mary Anne. Boxty on the griddle, Boxty on the pan-- If you don't eat boxty, You'll never get your man. And another: Two rounds of boxty baked on the pan, Each one came in got a cake in her han'; Butter on the one side, Gravy on t'other Sure them that gave me boxty Were better than my mother. These boxty dishes include boxty dumplings and boxty bread and boxty pancakes (for the latter see Shrove Tuesday).

Boxty Bread

1 lb. raw potatoes
1 lb. cooked potatoes
Wash and peel the raw potatoes and grate them onto a piece of cheesecloth. Then squeeze them out, catching the liquid in a dish which must be allowed to stand so that the potato starch may settle. Mash the cooked potatoes over the raw, and season with salt. Pour off the potato liquid carefully; then scrape up the potato starch at the bottom of the dish and add to the potato mixture. Work in enough flour to make a good dough and knead for a few minutes; then roll out, cut into cakes, and bake on a hot griddle.

Boxty Dumplings
Use the same ingredients and follow the same procedure as for Boxty Bread. When the dough has been kneaded, instead of rolling it out, form into small balls the size of an egg, drop them into boiling salted water and cook them for forty- five minutes. Serve with a sweet sauce.

In Scotland a special cake is made, and charms wrapped in paper are stirred in before it is baked. These are the usual ring, button, thimble, and coin, with the addition of a horseshoe for good luck, a swastika for happiness, and a wishbone for the heart's desire. In England, as also in the United States, it is a night for feasting before an open fire, on cider and nuts and apples, and was formerly known as Nut Crack Night. Far back in history runs the list of games played on that night, many of them still popular, such as bobbing for apples in a tub of water, or trying to take a bite from one swinging on a cord.
Familiar is the sight of the small boy coming home with a bag full of edibles--candies, cakes, nuts, gum, enough for several meals--and a good stack of pennies. Grown-ups, whose duty for the evening seems to be to provide the handout, might spend their own evening by making it a Nut Crack Night. Sitting before a bright hearth fire, they can feast cider, apples and nuts. And soul cakes, and boxty.


This is my first post, and I have no time at the moment to say anything at all...I intend to repost some of my previous blogs from other sites--perhaps I'll get to do that today--but this is a test.