Tag: Group Writing

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Last weekend I traveled to my mom’s house for a visit. The only thing unusual about this was the fact that it was the first time I’d seen her in more than a year; it was the resumption of a long-standing tradition, a tradition that the pandemic had suspended. Today (May 14) is my birthday, […]

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There are lots of open days in the month of May. Stop by soonest to add your blooming ideas, nipping my next disco post in the bud. There are two major monthly Group Writing projects. One is the Quote of the Day project, now managed by @she. This is the other project, in which Ricochet members claim […]

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May Garden Memories

 

My mother’s garden has been a feature of every place we called home. Once my parents settled into the home where they retired, almost the entire yard became gardens, with each section planted so that there would be something happening throughout the year in the Pacific Northwest. What follows is a small sampling of photographs from the past decade or two. 

My folks had a significant portion of a concrete patio ripped out shortly after they took ownership of their house, leaving a covered patio off the family/TV/media room and enough uncovered space for Dad’s charcoal grilling. Much of that uncovered chunk was turned into a tiered potted garden, with a variety of colors and shapes of foliage. Yes, that is a greenhouse/garden shed in the left background. We kids put the garden shed together one summer early on, from a prefabricated kit. It has stood going on three decades of rain and wind. The orientation lets Mom start plants in the late winter, so she, with the assistance of her undergardener (Dad) can get them into the ground at the earliest safe date.

May 9: A Day to Remember My Father

 

A few days ago a post about Great Courses reminded me that one of the Great Courses had led me to the Blasket Island Writers and then to a visit to the Great Blasket Island on 1 May 2019. I had recently written a post on it for another forum and thought I should polish it up a little and post it here as a May topic. It would be easy, and I would get it posted on time. Unfortunately, after I had already committed to writing a post for May 9, I remembered that I had already done that topic here.

What to do? What to do? May 9 is a big holiday in Russia, marking the end of the War in Europe. Here in the United States V-E day is May 8, but the time zone difference made it May 9 in Russia. But I don’t have anything to tell about that topic, other than to note that a young woman vlogger from Russia was recently complaining that International Woman’s Day had degenerated from a celebration of progressive Feminist Ideals to a generic celebration of women and femininity, and Victory Day (May 9) had degenerated to a generic masculine men’s day.

A Day in May

 

Janet on our wedding day.

It was a day in May, 43 years ago. I did not realize it at the time, but it would be the most important day of my life, save for the day I entered my life. Not because it was the best day of my life, or the happiest day. Rather it was the day that led to the best and happiest days of my life and equally inexorably to the saddest and worst day of my life.

On May 7, 1977, I married my spouse of over 40 years, Janet. Longtime members of Ricochet might remember her as Quilter.

Member Post

 

There are lots of open days in the month of May. Stop by soonest to add your blooming ideas, nipping my next disco post in the bud. There are two major monthly Group Writing projects. One is the Quote of the Day project, now managed by @she. This is the other project, in which Ricochet members claim […]

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Montana Journal Entry: May 12, 2008. My daughter A. was six and made Mother’s Day memorable for me–but not in the way she expected.  It dawned on me how much A. delighted in celebrations of any sort when she was a chubby toddler, not two yet. We were at a friend’s birthday party and the […]

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Starting today, we are in the month to celebrate the god Tezcatlipoca (months are 20 days in the Mayan/Aztec calendar). California public schools are decolonizing the curriculum by having students sing songs of praise to that particular Meso-American god.  We must ask ourselves: Is this just an innocuous multicultural lark? An Establishment Clause violation? The […]

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May Day Down by Law

 

ConstitutionMay 1st, May Day, is formally recognized in the United States as Law Day, not Workers Day, and certainly not International Workers Day. We successfully rejected the left’s class warfare agenda for a century because of the reality of American law, grounded in our foundational law, the Constitution of the United States of America. Because of our reasonable reliance on a system of laws, not men, we observed that economic status was not fixed from birth, so the weeds of envy could not take deep root on American soil. That is why the left both set about subverting our system of law and creating a different basis for division, hate, and envy.

The effort to make May Day a class-based workers holiday was driven by the early socialist movement:

In 1889 an international federation of socialist groups and trade unions designated May 1 as a day in support of workers, in commemoration of the Haymarket Riot in Chicago (1886). Five years later, U.S. Pres. Grover Cleveland, uneasy with the socialist origins of Workers’ Day, signed legislation to make Labor Day—already held in some states on the first Monday of September—the official U.S. holiday in honour of workers. Canada followed suit not long afterward.

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This May we will play off of three or more meanings of “May” and “day.” Ricochet members, founding or first time subscribers, AND especially the reticent or keyboard shy, are heartily encouraged to join in our group writing project this month. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge […]

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A Bit Vogon the Details: A Punny Thing Happened On the Way to This Post . . .

 

‘Hail, Poetry, thou heav’n-born maid!
Thou gildest e’en the pirate’s trade.’ 
– The Pirates of Penzance, Gilbert and Sullivan. 

It strikes I that one thing that April showers in their munificence have not yet brung is bad poetry. (“What about that pizza post?” That’s different, that weren’t poetry, that was parody – see? “A likely story,” says you. On with the motley, says I— Ooh, a rotten tomato – all contreebutions to the com-post pile gratefully received – thankee, thankee, ladies and gents.) What we needs here is poetry such as would make a Vogon space-invader blush. Come on, now, I knows you has it in you – I’s seen it before – be it  bad limericks, lurgid lyrics, or a haiku that’d move a samurai to kami your kaze

Quote of the Day: Seen By One

 

“The lover sees this plain woman crowned with the light of heaven. She walks in beauty. Her eyes are windows to Paradise to him. Her body, every inch of it, is an incarnation and epiphany of celestial grace. In her he finds the ecstatic vision that his heart has sought. All this passionate intensity […] is not illusion. [….] The lady is as glorious as he sees her to be. It has been given to him who loves her, to see the truth about her. The rest of us bystanders, mercifully, have not had our eyes thus opened, else we would all go mad. It would be an intolerable burden of glory if we all saw unveiled, the splendor of all other creatures, all the time. . . . We cannot bear very much reality.” — Thomas Howard

In The Evidential Power of Beauty, Fr Thomas Dubay makes the following claim. Who knows you best? Almost invariably, the answer is the person who loves you most. Love is interested. Love digs deep.

Group Writing: Odds and Sods

 

April brings, if not so many showers lately, then seeds to be sown – and I’ll get to them any day now, really I will: Dahlia seeds and all sorts, lamenting the cold spell we’ve been having, have taken to asking me confidentially, wouldn’t I rather sow them in pots on a nice warm windowsill instead?

It also brings digging to be done and roses to be planted – old roses, nice old roses, good old roses with fine-sounding names – like Gloire de Dijon (a golden apricot-yellow climber) and Star of Waltham (a rich open red).

It brings pots and seed trays and things that need washing (I’m getting there, I’m getting there).

April Showers Bring: Pimento Cheese Sandwiches (and the Masters)

 

The American South was my home for 42 of my nearly 54 years (so far) on this earth. In those aforementioned years, I don’t remember ever not knowing about (and understanding the importance of) the Masters and the sacred institution that is the Augusta National Golf Club. For a true Southerner, attending the Masters is, if not a rite of passage, definitely a bucket list item. That’s probably also a true statement for any avid golf fan.

Since I’m not a true Southerner — now, that’s not to say I don’t have a lot of Southern qualities — 42 years is a long time, am I right?! It was inevitable that I adopt at least some Southern traits. But I digress… As a Damn Yankee™ northerner by birth, I always assumed a forgiveness of sorts for never (ever) caring about golf. Yes, golf courses are (usually) pretty beautiful, and Augusta’s course is second to none. See the photographic evidence below:

April Showers Bring . . . Godzilla?

 

Godzilla 1954What could possibly go wrong here? Japanese scientists, with the approval of government officials, will dispose of radioactive waste water from the decommissioned nuclear power plants at Fukuyama by dumping it in the Pacific Ocean. This is not from the Babylon Bee, nor is it a belated April Fool’s story. It is a tale of our time, playing on our distrust of asserted expertise and asserted public interest. The power of the story also depends on a belief in zero risk options, indeed of magical cake that all may enjoy while continuing to have. Oh, and the story has deep international cultural significance.

I ran across the story through InfoWars, hosting a ZeroHedge column. So, trust but verify. Strait Times? Check. Business Insider? Check. The Sun? Check.

The cooling water that has been accumulating at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan will be released into the Pacific Ocean after it has been treated to remove all harmful radioactive substances, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet decided yesterday.

April Showers Bring . . . Woke Weatherproof Styles Ad

 

Amazon April front pageIt is perfectly natural for retailers to pitch products to the season or occasion. We should especially expect on-line retailers to pitch rain gear in April. So, the presence on Amazon’s homepage of two boxes, “Men’s weatherproof styles” and “Women’s rain-ready styles,” is unremarkable. We have also come to expect the leftist virtue signaling, in the form of the latest approved intersectional hashtag and special emphasis on Black Lives, showing that they Matter to Amazon. Yet, what are we to make of the visual presentation of how Amazon thinks a black man should look?

The top right image is a Amazon screen capture from the evening of 11 April 2021. There is a web page wide top banner advertisement that rotates. The advertisement you see is for an Amazon Prime original series, Them, with each season intended to tell a tale focused on African Americans, and apparently on white people as racists.

Them‘s first season is grounded in the historical reality of the second Great Migration (1940-1970). This was the second wave of the Great Migration (1910-1970). American blacks moved from rural areas to inner cities and from the old South to the North and West. Walter Mosley set his Easy Rawlins private eye series in Los Angeles, with the series starting in 1948. If you have not read any of the series, you likely at least recognize the Denzel Washington movie based on the first novel, Devil in a Blue DressSo, Los Angeles is a good setting for a series set in the 1950s, as well as convenient for the video/movie industry.

April Showers Bring Unfinished Tales

 

The above is an unfinished illustration that I was working on a while back for my story serial Once Upon a Spinning-Wheel (under the putative title of Said a Whiting to a Snail well, we’re already safely Through the Looking Glass, so what’s to lose?). The operative word here being ‘unfinished’.

Earlier this morning, it snowed properly for a good hour or so (April brings showers of snow – see, you knew I’d bring it back to the monthly theme), which in my corner of the world is a bit unusual these days, sadly – and it got me to thinking about unfinished projects, things I’d like to do, and things of that kind.

The Promise of Blossom

 

I think I mentioned that it’s cold here at the moment (well, coldish), and the blossom on the trees is just coming into bud:

But the star-gold of the forsythia still lights up the garden regardless:

Member Post

 

April showers bring…more than just May Flowers.  April is a month many people love to hate, because it brings Taxes.  I seem to remember, from the Christmas story, that Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem because the Romans declared that all the world “should be taxed”, and the rule was that everyone had […]

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Group Writing: Snow in April

 

We’ve grown in some ways sadly unused to snow in April in my little corner of England, but in the recent cold spell, there’ve been moments here and there when the sky has let loose a little fluttering of snowflakes just to remind us it could, if it wanted to. So there.

It reminds me to be cautious for the time being in my ongoing program of feeding and encouraging the budding plants in my garden at home, not to set too much young growth going to be nipped by a sudden frost. So I redirect my energies (as do the plants) in biding out my time, and thinking what I can do undercover to prepare for the dawning spring.

In boxes somewhere, I’ve got seed potatoes and dahlia tubers who I’m sure would be glad of some attention. A tin box somewhere else holds seeds crying out to be sown in pots under glass – marigolds and helichrysums (or strawflowers – glorious annual flowers that resemble nothing so much as living jewels on tall green stems – and that deserve to be much better known), heleniums (or Sneezeweed, so I’m informed in some places) and Michaelmas daisies – promising peace and colour in the glow of summer.