Beltane - A Celtic Cross-Quarter

beltane.pngThis 5th of May, 2021, Verna and I have decided to skip the traditional “Cinco de Mayo” and celebrate “Beltane” instead. The Cross-Quarter day (midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice) of Beltane, an ancient Celtic day of importance, occurs on May 5th this year according to the “Grand Octal Clock” which can be seen at the Archaeoastronomy.com website.

So, to celebrate the Celtic First Day of the Summer Season, we will be preparing a traditional Irish dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage along with some boiled vegetables. I know, we just had that on March 17th for St. Patrick’s Day, but we like to have this meal more than once a year.

I discussed our Irish Ancestry in a post on St. Patrick’s Day last year. I also have English, Welsh, Scottish and some other mixed Northern European heritage along with a couple of Italians and one Choctaw great6th grandmother. Doing the math, that Indian ancestor qualifies me for Native American heritage benefits four times greater than Senator Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren. Of course, I wouldn’t do that - I’m not a Democrat.

So, since neither Verna nor I have any Hispanic Genealogy, we will probably be more inclined to celebrate Beltane than Cinco de Mayo in the future on May the 5th. That being said, we will still, of course, indulge in Tex/Mex Cuisine from time to time.

Happy (Insert Your Preferred 3/5 Celebration Here) to you!

Comments off

Remembering Kate on Her Birthday

Morro Rock

We remember our Mom, Kate, on more occasions than just her birthday, but today she would have turned 101. She passed from us in September of 2013 and we still miss her.

The image above is of Morro Rock in the California town of Morro Bay. It’s a charming place to visit and the rock is where Kate wanted her cremains to be distributed. We can’t see the rock without thinking about Kate. She always told us how much she loved that place on the Pacific Coast west of San Luis Obispo, CA.

Image courtesy of Verna taken 24 July 2009 at Morro Bay. Click on the image to enlarge.

Comments off

Spring Cactus Flowers

Cholla Cactus Flowers Beavertail Cactus Flower

We have been getting spring cactus flowers for a couple of weeks now, but today is the first day with contrasting yellow flowers. We’ve had all pink ones in the yard until the two Cholla flowers (left above) opened today. The Beavertail flower on the right is one of many open on various beavertails in our xeriscape. Click on either image to enlarge.

Comments off

Smoke Alarm Batteries

Smoke Alarm

We’re actually over a year late in doing this but today we replaced the 9 volt smoke alarm batteries in the six units installed in our house. During the night, Verna (and the pups) heard the mild ‘peep’ from the bedroom unit which indicates a low battery condition.

(Image: Office Smoke Alarm)

So, we got out fresh batteries and the ladder and did the replacements one by one. Since the alarms always manage to make a lot of ear-piercing noise during the process, we locked the dogs up in the Motorhome (A/C on) for the duration of the replacement. From previous experience, we know that the dogs would have gone crazy with the alarms intermittently sounding.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Comments off

Easter Sunday 2021

cross.jpgToday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will be conducting an in-home Easter service wherein Communion will be taken in remembrance of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross.

Image at right borrowed from the Patriot Post’s “Resurrection Day Meditations” webpage. Click on the image to visit.

Later, we will have a Sunday feast consisting of smoked turkey breast with trimmings similar to, but not exactly like, Thanksgiving Dinner. I will be multi-tasking in the morning between conducting services and attending to the smoker. Damsel will similarly be engaged in preparation of the sides for our glorious feast. We’ve done smoked turkey on several occasions and they always turn out very good.

We wish everyone a very Happy Easter Day and hope that you enjoy the celebration as we shall be doing.

Comments off

Black-Throated Sparrow

Black-Throated Sparrow

I was in the backyard yesterday with my camera* and caught this photo of one of our migrant visitors to the seed feeders up on the little hill out there. I think it is a Black-Throated Sparrow. We don’t see many of these and only do see them when they are either headed south in the fall or north in the spring.

From All About Birds:

A medium-sized sparrow with a large, round head, conical seed-eating bill, and a medium length tail. Larger than a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, smaller than a Horned Lark.

Most striking feature is the face pattern: neat gray bordered by 2 strong white stripes and a black triangular throat patch. Upperparts are grayish brown and the underparts are a paler mix of cream and white. The tail is dark with white spots on the corners. Juveniles look like adults but lack the black throat patch and have faint streaks above and below.

Hops on the ground, pecking for seeds and insects, and makes short low flights between shrubs. Often perches in trees and shrubs giving quiet calls.

I might add that they also visit the seed feeders in people’s back yards.

* Camera: Canon EOS REBEL SL1

  • COPYRIGHT © BOB POOLE
  • 1/400 Sec
  • F8
  • ISO 100
  • Focal Length 135mm

Click on the image to enlarge.

Comments off

Weekend Cooking

Grilling with InsetsLike most weekends, this one featured some delicious food. Yesterday, we were treated to Chicken Jalapeño Popper Casserole and today we had Grilled Beef Tenderloin (Filet Mignon) Steaks with “Broc’n'Mock” (Mac’n'Cheese without the mac) and Bacon Collard Greens.

Image: I’m at the grill on a 70° Wickenburg day with insets showing steaks and one of the dinner plates. Click on the image to enlarge.

We generally have Keto-friendly fare with an eye on low sodium content. This weekend we might have had more cheese than necessary, but there was plenty of green and white veggies to compensate. You will seldom see us with no (or too few) vegetables or salad and that’s a good thing.

We have yet to finalize next weekend’s menu (Valentine’s weekend) but you can almost always see what we’re thinking on the Food Blog. I’m sure Verna and I will come up with something wonderful.

Comments off

« Previous entries