C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year 2018




It's been a happy but tiring week here - M.P. and I had our little Christmas ham and other goodies last Monday, then spent the rest of the week preparing for the big feast yesterday, when we hosted his four grown children, their spouses, and his three little grandchildren, ages 4, 2, and 3 months, who were adorable - and full of pep even when the older generations were dragging.

Needless to say, today we slept in, and awoke to discover the outside temperature in the 20's - it won't be above freezing again until Wednesday, but fortunately there is no snow or ice in the forecast. As it is, even with the thermostat cranked up, we can't seem to get the inside temperature above 60, but that's bearable with flannel shirts and pants. M.P. has already begun cooking our New Years' dinner for tomorrow, a fine mess of gumbo 'zerbes and the hambone from last week, plus of course blackeyed peas and baked sweet potatoes and corn muffins, so the kitchen is toasty warm.

I had intended to end the year with a thought-piece on old times, new times, and the dismaying state of the world at this point in history - oh, but I really don't have the psychic energy for all that, and besides, you fellas surely have your own memories, hopes, and fears to contend with already. But sometimes grace happens just when things are darkest, offering light and a way out - and meanwhile life goes on.  Whether the present time is to our liking or not, we must all simply make the best of things, and do what good we can, great or small, for ourselves and those we love, and do it with cheerfulness and courage if possible. I guess I really have nothing more to say than that.

All good wishes to my truckbuddies for health, wealth, and happiness in 2018, and a world at peace.


Friday, December 29, 2017

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Queen's Christmas Broadcast, 2017

Embed from Getty Images

Doesn't she look marvelous? Even at 91, God bless her.

This year's broadcast, recorded earlier this month at Buckingham Palace, marks the 60th anniversary of the Queen's first televised Christmas message in 1957.  Before that, she broadcast on radio, as did her father and her grandfather, King George V, who originated the practice in 1932.




And here is the first televised message, broadcast live by the Queen in 1957 from Sandringham, her country house in Norfolk:




In 2015, the BBC produced this fascinating documentary outlining the history of royal Christmas messages:




From our little hacienda here in Texas, where M.P. is hard at work conjuring up our holiday feast, I wish all my truckbuddies around the world a very merry Christmas.

The Christmas cactus blooms every year right on schedule, as you can see.

As promised last week, here is a slightly better exposure of the front of the house.

Simple but charming, isn't it?  All due to M.P.'s careful, persistent work, which your Head Trucker simply hasn't the patience for.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday Drive: O Come, All Ye Faithful


As sung by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge:




The Virgin of the Lilies, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1899.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas

M. P. loves to light up the house for the holidays, and wanted to do it three weeks ago, but the weather did not cooperate, so he went at it piecemeal.  It takes longer than you might think to wrap those trees from bottom to top, and to line up everything just so, inside and out.  At last, however, he finished up at sundown on Sunday, and here is a pic to show the results of his labors - a bit overexposed, so I will try to get a better shot soon, just for the record.

Click to enlarge.

Over the weekend, he also smoked a ham, which had been sitting in his homemade curing solution for weeks, and a couple of cornish game hens. The hickory wood gave it all a lovely taste.  And today Amazon delivered a big box of little presents I had ordered, so that was a relief - you never know with mail order if or when things will arrive, despite all their promises.

So our holiday preparations, modest as they are, are proceeding nicely, and I hope yours are too, loyal readers.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Drive: Once in Royal David's City






I post this series every year in loving memory of my late husband Cody, a master organist and choir director, whose greatest glory was playing sacred music in church, especially his Christmas concert.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Love Wins Down Under


Embed from Getty Images

December 7 will be remembered fondly by our Australian brothers and sisters as the day Parliament passed the Marriage Amendment Bill 2017, legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the southern continent -- the last large English-speaking nation to do so.  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered the bill in person the next morning (remember, they are twelve hours ahead of us) to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who promptly gave Royal Assent to the bill, making it the law of the land from December 9.  Same-sex marriages contracted by Australians in foreign countries will be recognized in law from that day forward.  Following the standard one-month waiting period, gay weddings on Australian soil can begin on January 9.



Only four members of the House of Commons voted against the bill; many conservative members simply abstained or absented themselves from the chamber.  The picture below dramatically shows the overwhelming majority of members sitting on the "yes" side, while the "no" side is practically deserted.  The galleries burst into applause and song when the Speaker declared the bill passed.

Embed from Getty Images



The change in the law is a happy conclusion to the long struggle for marriage equality in Australia, which has its share of right-wing fanatics and zealots; you can read the history of the struggle at Wikipedia.

Australia is now the 26th nation to embrace same-sex marriage. The Pew Research Center gives a global summary of same-sex marriage laws here.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Drive: Impossible; It's Possible

Even when all the world seems dreary, dark, and hopeless, sometimes a miracle happens for those who believe.  Julie Andrews and Edie Adams show how in the marvelous 1957 television production of Rodgers' and Hammerstein's Cinderella:






Friday, December 1, 2017

Waitin' for the Weekend







In Memoriam: Jim Nabors, 1930 - 2017

Jim Nabors in 2008

Jim Nabors, a good-hearted Alabama boy with an amazing baritone voice, who made it big in Hollywood playing aw-shucks Marine private Gomer Pyle, has died at age 87 at home in Honolulu.

I well recall hearing - with great disbelief - that rumor back in my high school days that he and Rock Hudson had gotten married.  It was just too silly to take seriously:  I mean, really -- those two, obviously straight as a board?  They didn't fit the gay stereotype at all.  It was to laugh.

But little did I know that both Nabors and Hudson really were gay.  Sadly, Hudson died of AIDS in 1985, but Nabors lived a long, full, happy life with his partner of 40-plus years, Stan Cadwallader, happily running a macadamia nut farm on Maui and doing the occasional singing or acting gig.  The couple were married by a judge in Seattle in 2013, shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington state.

Nabors kept his private life private, and there's nothing wrong with that.  I suppose his modest, gentle style of humor is quite incomprehensible to the frenzied children of this harsh and vulgar age, but I remember his character fondly.  May he rest in peace.




In this clip from Gomer Pyle, USMC, Nabors displays his big, beautiful singing voice:




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