|Thanksgiving traditions, Football, and the first signs
of Old Man Winter.
I can think back in that hollow cavern that houses my brain, and my ever increasingly forgetful memory, and recall with such fond memories, of past Thanksgivings. My family and our family traditions when I was a child growing up, are of some of my most fondest memories. With all the specials on about the JFK assassination this past week, I remembered the Thanksgiving holidays before and after that fateful day.
We all dressed up for the holidays back in those days.
And my father and all my uncles and aunts did the same long before the kids started coming. This photo below is one that I had not seen before this year. My cousin Maria had it in her collection. It's a photo from the early 50's of my late grandmother, my late uncle, and my late father. This photo was taken at my grandmother's home.
That woman could not speak a word of English, but boy could she cook. She was amazing. Truly amazing.
She took all of her recipes to the grave with her. My mother was also an excellent cook. And she did the same. Took all of her special dishes to the grave.
Man what I wouldn't give to be able to sit down at my grandmother's table again on Thanksgiving and dig in with the whole family. And same with my mother's home. I'd give almost anything.
Traditions on the holidays are special. If you have any in your families, I would strongly suggest you keep them going. Once they stop and fade away, they never come back. And they become just that. Memories. Some black and white photos of another time.
The last fun Thanksgiving in Virginia. Thanksgiving 2004. The very next year Jerry (Grampy) passed away. And just like that, another family tradition
was over. God we all miss going to Virginia for Thanksgiving. Those were some of the fondest memories for us.
I have since created new traditions here in my home.
And they are sort of a throwback to the original Thanksgivings. How's that? Well, I actually go out and harvest my own birds during the Autumn months of October and November. My friends and I have been harvesting birds for the last 30 plus years or so. My son Max has also joined in the tradition.
The photo above is a dish called Grouse fingers. It is a recipe that my good friend Rich Appel has come up with. Grouse fingers are the fine slices of the sweet white breast meat from the Ruffed Grouse. They are prepared with secret ingredients, and we use a sweet wild berry sauce to dip them into. And they are to die for. And yes my friends, they have become a favorite in my home.
We find Grouse with the help of this dog's incredible nose. This is Gunny Patch. He is a 3 year old German Short Hair Pointer. And this dog can hunt. He has become somewhat of an expert in the upland bird department. He finds, points, and retrieves the birds we harvest.
Oh no, is this true? Ralph is a hunter? Yes. I've hunted my entire life.
But here's the other side of this story. You too are hunters. How is that? Well, the only difference between you and me is this. I use a shotgun to harvest my birds, while you use a shopping cart. That's right. You push your shopping cart down the meat/poultry aisle and pick out the bird of your choice.
But here's another fact. If I miss the bird I am shooting at, that bird keeps flying. If you drop the bird out of the poultry casing, you simply bend over and pick it back up.
"But I'm not killing the bird Ralph!" I have heard you all say.
True, you did not kill the bird in your hand, but you are 100% responsible for that bird being in that shrink wrapped container. You are 100% guilty of that bird being force fed 24-7 with the lights on. You are the reason why, that bird is waiting for you on aisle number 7. The Meat packing factories are catering to you. You are a hunter.
But what if you're a vegetarian? Well...
If you wear leather. Or have any kind of leather in your home, or in your vehicle. You are the REASON why that animal died. You don't think for one moment, that all the domestic birds, and beef, die of natural causes do you? Think about that, the next time you drive thru Mickey D's and grab a Happy Meal for little Timmy in the back seat.
You are the reason why the chickens, turkeys, and cattle all perish.
I suppose I should invite a few Native Americans to my home this Thanksgiving, but I don't know of any in the area. If I did, I would have them over, and I bet they would love the birds and vegetables that I have personally harvested this year. Because, that's how I roll on the day of giving thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Including you wacky vegetarians!
All kidding and snarkiness aside. I am truly thankful this year.
First and foremost, I am so thankful that my youngest daughter Noelle has returned after 4 months at school in South Carolina. Hard to believe she has been gone that long. It was so nice to see her after all this time. And it was an absolute joy
to see her with her niece Avery for the very first time.
She has been looking forward to seeing and holding Avery ever since she was born. And I will attest, that they have instantly bonded.
How could they not? Her older sister Gabrielle have been close ever since Noelle was born.
I was happy to see the meeting take place, and even happier to document the meeting.
I am Thankful and blessed for the love and support of my family. My wife and three kids. I am thankful for the good health my immediate family has. I am thankful for my friends and clients. I am thankful for all the good there is in this world.
I am thankful for mending of old wounds. For making up for lost time with family and friends. I am thankful for the time spent with those who mean so much, and those who may not have much time left. I pray for the healing of loved ones. My sister Evamarie, my good friend and fellow Marine George Masten.
I am thankful for my loving and friendly pets.
I am thankful and proud of my fellow veterans. I am thankful and still amazed at the ocean and her wonderful gifts to us all. I am thankful to all the readers of this weekly blog. It is truly humbling to know that you still check in every week to read this weekly babble of a blog.
I am thankful for my fellow surfers and my fellow photographers. Especially Ed O'Connor.
In short, I am thankful that I am able to still wake up each day and face the challenges that lie before me. I love life and all that life has to offer. I know it sounds sappy. But it's true.
I am Thankful on this day of giving thanks.
And Lord, I will REALLY be thankful if the Patriots beat the Denver Donkeys today. Though I know the weather is a major factor, I hope and pray that our boys in the Red, White, and Blue can put a stomping on the Denver Donkeys. Though I still have soft spot in my heart for Wes Welka, he is wearing the dreaded orange Donkey suit and must now be considered an enemy of the Patriots Nation.
Today will not be a day for throwing the football (now watch all the scoring today come via passes from Brady and Manning) it will come from the ground. From the Grunts carrying the ball. And we have a squad of men who can carry that load. Let us hope and pray, that the running backs run hard and true today. And they cross the goal line many times. In fact, let them cross the goal line more times than the Denver Jack Asses do.
Lord give us more thanks today with a victory. Amen.
Now for Some Of My Weekly Global Observances
OK so the world has changed again. The whole IRAN Nuclear deal this week makes for some uneasy times. Especially in Israel. Should we allow Iran at the table? Should and can we trust them? I don't believe we can. Their track record proves otherwise. And Israel is not about to sit back and watch Iran develop Nuclear weapons. They simply won't allow it.
So what does that mean? Well, it means that Iran better keep their hands where we can see them. If they don't? All bets are off. The Iranians know this. They know that one false blink or move, could result in a preemptive strike from Israel. And who can blame them? The good allies of Israel are not about to sit back and watch Iran become the masters of their demise.
These are interesting times we live in.
And now for my weekly humiliation of Khalid Sheik Muhummed (KSM). I know that the Terrorists do not celebrate Thanksgiving in GITMO. But that doesn't mean I can't make shit up. Hell, this is what photoshop is all about. I must mess with KSM. I must.
So once again, let's all take a minute, and enjoy the weekly humiliation of the mastermind terrorist who killed 3,000 innocent civilians on September 11th, 2001.
Note to self. Must pick up an oven roaster pan
at Home Depot this week.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tom Eggers November 23rd, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mike Morin November 27, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ben Ginsberg November 28, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nora Vasconcellas November 28, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Alana Hickey November 28, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Alex Reola November 28, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY John Grady November 29, 2013!
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