Celebrating the Autumn Equinox with Honeymoon Mead


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The word “honeymoon” originated from the tradition of giving newly weds a moon’s supply (month’s) of mead on their wedding night. This sweet mead is balanced by a delicate oaking in bourbon. Complex & rich in taste. – From the website of Rohan Meadery

 

 

MEAD: An alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains or hops.  The alcoholic content ranges from about 8% to more than 20%.  The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverages’s fermentable sugar is derived from honey.  It may be still, carbonated, or naturally sparkling; dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.  Mead was produced in ancient history thoughout Europe, Africa and Asia. (Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago Husband and I took a day trip to Rohan Meadery, a small meadery situated between the south central Texas towns of La Grange, Round Top and Fayetteville.  We enjoy visiting wineries but had never been to a meadery and did not know that Texas has seven meaderies of which Rohan Meadery is the oldest.  There is a modest tasting room where we sampled five each.  We found most to be too sweet for us, but we did find that the Honeymoon mead was quite good –  smoothly semi-sweet yet dry but with a hint of something stronger.   The meadery has its own bee hives and chickens range freely.

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Our alter set to celebrate the Autumn Equinox this evening.

While in the area we also visited the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center  and the Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites  Just outside of La Grange is where the Chicken Ranch, made famous by the movie “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds, was located.  Apparently the descendants of the Germans and Czechs that settled in the area in the mid-1800s were fairly tolerant of prostitution at the time.

May you find peace and light as we begin another season and embrace the beauty and possibilities of each day.  Cheers!

equinox

 

TALES OF THE BLUE INDIGO


My WordPress stats tells me that my last post was over two months ago.  It is probably the longest that I have gone without posting at least a quote or photo.  I confess that I have tried to keep up with many of the blogs I follow, but I know I have missed many good posts.  That will be my loss!

My goal for this year, as confided to Loren Rhoads of Cemetery Travels:  Adventures in Graveyards Around the World, was to finish a piece that I started several years ago and abandoned because I could not figure out who the murderer was going to be or what the motive would be.  Perhaps I don’t multi-task as well as I used to because I couldn’t seem to post regularly and finish my writing project.  Many bloggers manage write books and still post every day.  I had to choose to solve my murder and finish my novella-sized project, “Tales of the Blue Indigo,” although it does need a bit of polishing .  At least I can go on to other writing projects like another incomplete one I titled, “North Beach.”  Right now I am now sure what I will do with any of my writing.  Perhaps I will combine them into a collection in my other blog, Tales of the Blue Indigo, that only has one post  just published but I would be happy to have you visit.  The first post is a rather long story titled, “Sug.”  I would welcome feedback!

Here is the opening paragraphs of chapter one of my completed writing project,“Tales of the Blue Indigo.”

            Joe T. suspected that the old man had brought him along on the ride only to

open and close the gates…then he saw the snake.

     Will McNally, an old man at sixty in the eyes the young Joe T., stomped a worn

cowboy boot down roughly on the brake. The blue Chevy pickup stopped like an

obedient quarter horse as the dust it had been kicking up behind caught up with it

and started settling down on top of it.  The two cow dogs riding in the back stood       

with their front legs on the side of the pickup bed and began barking as McNally

opened the door and jumped out of the truck like a roper off a horse at a rodeo.

     “Buster, Lady! Shut up!” he growled. The dogs went silent as their owner crept

around the back of the truck like some Comanche in a raiding party.

Joe T., grateful for the air conditioner blowing in his face, could only stare ahead in

creeping fear as the rattlesnake dragged its heavy body out of the thick brush and

across  the gray dust and ruts of the dirt road. He jumped in his seat as McNally’s

face, tanned and lined as a fine cigar, appeared in the passenger window as his hand

motioned for Joe T. to open the window. With shaking fingers he pushed the

automatic button as the tinted glass glided down silently. McNally had left the truck 

running , its humming diesel idle was the only sound to compete with his pumping 

heart.  The heavy heat drifted into the truck and the cool air floated out.

     “That’s a big son of a bitch,” McNally whispered, “just watch – maybe you’ll

learn a new trick. Here, take my hat. Be quiet and stay out of my way no matter what

happens,” he warned as he took off his tan felt Stetson to reveal wavy silver hair with

remnants of black that had once been the majority.

BRIDGEWALK: DON’T LOOK DOWN!


 

CCC bridge

Photo from Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper

“Here we go!  We can do this,”  I declared confidently.

I  took the lead as Daughter and I started up the narrow path that would take us over the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel on the Harbor Bridge.  We had decided it would be fun and  challenge our slight feat of heights to join the monthly Bridgewalk.  The route starts at Heritage Park in Corpus Christi, goes over the bridge to North Beach and back to Heritage Park.  Driving over it was nothing new as we both live in Portland and must drive over it to get to Corpus Christi.  What a fun way to spend Mother’s Day morning – a three-mile walk together!

There were walkers ahead of us and walkers behind us.  On the left was a concrete barrier and three lanes of traffic.  To the right was high open iron railing  and below  was the ship channel that widened out into the bay and eventually the Gulf of Mexico and far away ports of the world.   The sky was slightly overcast but we would have a great view at the top.  I had visions of mother/daughter selfies to post triumphantly!

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What the walkway was like

As we walked (it seemed like climbing to me) higher and higher and the wind picked up, panic set in like a stone.  Could I really do this?  I reached for the rough and dirty concrete barrier and my hand hovered over it as I walked as if it would somehow ground me.  Don’t look down!  Don’t look down!  One foot in front of the other.  Don’t stumble!  Keep your eyes on the person in front of you!   The wind was stronger now.  Eighteen-wheelers whizzed by from behind as if inches away and seemed to make the bridge rattle.  Drivers of pick-up trucks sounded their horns as they passed in recognition of the walkers.  I somehow felt like a refugee fleeing the city in fear or part of some death march.  Was Daughter still behind me?  We were not talking and I was not looking back.

The path leveled out as we were beneath the overhead structure of the bridge which made me feel a little more secure, but I was not looking at the view and a selfie was out of the question.  No word from Daughter behind me.  I trudged on and gratefully started the descent  to North Beach.

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Daughter getting ready to go back over the bridge

At the bottom Daughter was right behind me as we stopped for a sip of water provided by the organizers.  Then under the bridge and back to the other side for the return trip.  We could do this!  We did it once we could do it again!  It was a bit easier going back but I continued to let my left hand hover over the concrete barrier and look straight ahead.  On this side of the bridge were Whataburger Field, Hurricane Alley,  ships docked for loading and unloading and the refineries in the distance further up the ship channel.

As soon as we reached solid ground again we hugged with cries of, “We did it!”

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We did it!

Husband was waiting to pick us up.  “I saw you and waved to you both ways,” he said, “but you never looked up.”

“No,” we confessed, “we could not look down!”  We could laugh at ourselves now.

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Husband was there to pick us up.

Harbor Bridge  will be replaced in five years so we wanted to walk it now.  The new one  will allow for larger and taller ships.  Ground will be broken this soon for the new one.  It will be my third bridge.  As a child I remember driving with my parents over the drawbridge, Corpus Christi Bascule, on our way to North Beach.    I hope to see my third bridge and may want to walk over it and will certainly drive over it.  Cheers!

Bascule bridge 2051

The old Bascule Bridge that I remember. Vintage Postcard from my collection

Bascule Bridge raised to allow ship to pass. New Harbor Bridge towers above it.

Bascule Bridge raised to allow ship to pass. New Harbor Bridge towers above it. The drawbridge was later torn down. From my postcard collection.

Design for the new Harbor Bridge

A conceptual image of the new harbor bridge as seen from Whataburger Field.

MONDAY MADNESS: Writing on the Bathroom Wall


Restroom symbol

Men/Women
Boys/Girls
Cowboys/Cowgirls
Lads/Lassies
Roosters/Hens
Dudes/Chicks
Guys/Gals
Gents/Ladies

As humans we share the need to relieve ourselves and  must resort to seeking out public facilities when away from home.  What is a normal function has become controversial.  One state, North Carolina, has passed HB2 requiring people to use the restroom (in certain public entities)that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate.   Conservative Republicans and activists in Texas  are urging the Texas legislature to pass something similar in the next session nine months from now.   Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick agrees and has declared that it will be a priority;  Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has promised his support.  It seems some cisgenders are afraid to share these bio breaks with transgenders.  Why?

One argument is that men should not be allowed in a women’s restroom because they might attack/rape women and girls.  There is  no evidence of dangerous predators pretending to be transgender in American bathrooms  What about their safety?  Dressed as a female, are they expected to enter a men’s restroom and feel safe?  Are the cisgender males who are pushing the issue the ones who are afraid but cover up by claiming they are only protecting women and girls?  Women can and do stand up for themselves.

Things have been working fine so far without government restroom rules, and transgenders have been using the facility of their choice without any fuss.   Transgenders are ordinary people with careers in  business, government, broadcasting, fashion and movies; they are students and volunteers; for those in the military, policies are changing too.  Some transition young and some later in life.  Passing unnecessary legislation simply stigmatizes them, makes them feel that they do not belong and harms the entire LGBT community.

While I don’t fully understand gender dysphoria, it is real and important to those who experience it.  I also believe that ignorance, fear, bigotry and even hatred drives some of these attitudes against transgenders.  Perhaps some are pushing this for their own political and personal ambitions while fueling prejudice, fear and suspicion.

Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality in Texas expressed his feelings this way, These proposed gender-police laws are a solution in search of a problem, and actually it’s pandering and it’s dangerous.”   I AGREE!