Two more days of “BITTER”

Monday January 8, 2018 is forecast to bring temperatures above freezing, do I hear an “Amen?” Melanie Dickie’s Poem speaks to the present so well.

What a cold January day.
 The frost lies on the ground like a blanket.
 Not even the determined woodpecker
 has come out to tap his unloved song on the house. 
All is quiet in this small town.
 The blackbirds pick at the unturned dirt
 hoping to find some kind of food. 
The sun pokes its head through the clouds 
and cast a light on the frost-bitten earth.

Melanie Dickie

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WORDS READ REVIEW – 2017 / HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King

2017 is quickly coming to a close as is “The Broker” by John Grisham. I read a lot, novels, history, info journals, geography magazines and newspapers, just to name a few. Since I use my blog, been doing this since 2008 and my journaling, been doing that daily since September of 2014, I’m doing the book review for those I leave behind to have some kind of an idea of my reading likes. I should probably include the TV as we now get Amazon and Netflix streaming thanks to Bloosurf. Yesterday we binged on “The Crown.” Visual History Reading I like to call it.

If you are a follower and happened to view https://elfidd.com/2017/08/08/must-be-the-russians/ a while back, August 8, 2017 to be exact, I was damning Bloosurf. http://www.bloosurf.com/Residential-Services Something wonderful happened several weeks ago when I could not get on WordPress. I left a message and a real live person by the name of Charity called me back. Shortly there after the problem was solved. I am now an extraordinary advocate for Bloosurf. If you have line of sight to one of their towers, check them out. A technician will come out and see if your location is suitable for the service. Should something go wrong, just give Charity a call, the issue will be resolved.

So back to the reading list. I pulled out a copy of Chesapeake by James A. Michener in the beginning of the year. I wanted to reference some history material. I’m sure I’ve read the entire book at least five times. It’s really lots of short stories, if you’ve never read it, live on or near the bay, it’s a must read. That book alone had a lot to do with herself and the Rooster relocating to the Eastern Shore of Maryland when we left Connecticut. My goodness, that will be thirty years ago come June. Prior to the move to Connecticut we lived on the northern bank of the bay in Cecil County Maryland so we were already acquainted with the Callinectes Sapindus

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“Travels with Charlie” a John Steinbeck book was consumed last winter by the fireplace. Our well over 100-year-old home is much cozier when reading if your close to  the fireplace, especially when the temperature drops below 20 f. Charlie was a Poodle who had a great personality. My companion is a black Standard Poodle named Ben who doesn’t shed. Don’t want fur around, get a Poodle.

“The Death of Santini, The Prince of Tides” and a scan through of  “The Lords of Discipline” by Pat Conroy were consumed. Conroy passed away in March of 2016, I consider his passing a great loss. The fact that Herself and the Rooster lived once in Beaufort, SC as did Conroy and his wife Cassandra King, a novelist in her own right, especially endeared me to Conroy. I’ve often thought we should have gone three states further south when I retired. I just love the Low Country and its Spartina Marsh Grasses.

“The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown was passed on to me by daughter Kathryn. It’s about nine Americans from the University of Washington and their quest for gold in the 1936 Olympics. Thank you Kathryn

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U. of Washington Athletics

Herself gave me “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. it is Cheryl’s venture along the Pacific Coast Trail from Southern California to Oregon. Herself has always wanted to hike all or part of the Appalachian Trail. She does have a crazy Irish friend who just might escort her on some local parts of the trail. The Rooster will provide ground support on that venture should it happen.

“The Art of Manliness”  written by friends of my son, Art and Kate McKay.
This book contains a wealth of information that ranges from survival skills to social skills to advice on how to improve your character. Whether you are braving the wilds with your friends, courting your girlfriend or raising a family, inside you’ll find practical information and inspiration for every area of life. (Amazon)

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John Grisham’s “Racketeer” & “Rogue Lawyer” and Steven Hunters novel “Havana” were all Novels consumed this past year.

“Boone” a biography by Robert Morgan – This rich, authoritative biography offers a wholly new perspective on a man who has been an American icon for more than two hundred years—a hero as important to American history as his more political contemporaries George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Extensive end notes, cultural and historical background material, and maps and illustrations underscore the scope of this distinguished and immensely entertaining work.
(Amazon)

“Working The Edge” by Melvin R. Gudknecht

Mel (aka: Tiny) back in our high school days was a guard on the same football team I played on, the Levittown HS Gryphons. We both had careers in law enforcement, he on the federal level, me with the state. Everybody has a story. This is Mel’s story–a true story.

Amazons lead into Mel’s story reads as follows: From 1978 to 1998, the United States Justice Department took on the mafia and corrupt unions using all available tools and even enhanced some old laws–a new agency and new laws. It was open season on organized crime and labor racketeers.

A letter to the president of the United States effectively launched the Office of Labor Racketeering and Organized Crime with a bag of tools, which included the RICO statute, the Inspector General Act, organized crime bill, Presidential Commission on Organized Crime . . . and a hundred agents.
After James Rydal Hoffa, president of Teamsters International, disappeared in 1975, there were no definitive answers as to what happened for years.
Still today, there are unanswered questions to the mystery, like, where is the body? I was put into an unrelenting position to find out.  Thanks for sharing old friend.

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Newspapers I read are “The Washington Post,” The Baltimore Sun,” “The Hartford Courant,” “The Wall Street Journal” and “The Salisbury Independent.” I’ll even look at ‘Drudge” from time to time. Years ago I worked with Matt Drudge’s father in Social Services. His father created http://www.refdesk.com/ I have ‘Google News” set up to multiple categories, much of it Population Health based, I do a lot of research for my daughter who works in the field. If you’ve followed my Blogs for any length of time you know my son in-law is a world traveler with the Department of State. (Where in the World is Jeff Berthiaume?) Jeff almost always brings English Language newspapers back from the various cities and countries he’s in. You learn a lot by reading how others think of us. And all those newspapers piling up, I grill with charcoal, how do you light your fires?

I’ve traveled via Canada to England and also visited Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi this year by Air Canada and American Airlines and have consumed their literature and propaganda as well. I try not to bring them home however, herself gets a bit upset and I get that look!

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Multiple doctor and dentist visits give us great reading also. It seems there is always a “National Geographic” story I never get to finish. I’d most likely grab a cup of coffee and return to finish a story if they didn’t have those “No Food or Drinks in the Waiting Room” signs.
No reading list would be complete if I failed to mention “Elements of Style,” (Fourth Edition) . Strunk and White’s definitive text and classic manual on the principles of English language read by millions of readers. The 18 main topics are organized under the headings, “Elementary Rules of Usage,” “Elementary Principles of Composition,” “A Few Matters of Form,” “Words and Expressions Commonly Misused,” and “Words Often Misspelled.” (Amazon) I’m forever pulling this little gem out as it’s always close by. I wish I had paid more attention to Ms Bass back in HS English class.

Another reference book I must mention is “American Whiskey , Bourbon & Rye,”  A Guide to The Nations favorite Spirit. This was a gift from my eldest daughter who I’ve been know to make a Manhattan for from time to time. William Faulkner once said, “My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.” To view some other quotes on whiskey check out https://firstwefeast.com/drink/25-whiskey-quotes-from-famous-drinkers/
I’m getting ready to start “Stephen King / On Writing,” A Memoir of the Craft. I must thank herself for putting this one in my stocking hung by the fireplace with care. I’ve rearranged my office and I’m ready for 2018. I only need a rug for the floor to bring additional warmth to the room.

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Where it all comes together.

Happy New Year everyone, after the night’s festivities curl up with a book. I guess I found the time to read in 2017.

Happiness is ... reading before you fall asleep.

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Editors Note: prior to switching to WordPress a few years ago my Blog was written on thefidd.blogspot.com – Past Blogs can still be found there and from time to time I make a post or two on that site.  Thanks for visiting “As the Rooster Crows”

 

 

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This past Thursday nourishment was once again the order of the day in our tiny village, you just gotta love those Lions. It was the Fire Company Auxiliary who’s turn it was to do the serving and the villagers all added sides to the staple of fried chicken provided by the Lions Club. As you will be able to see from the pictures, there were plenty of sides. The Auxiliary and the United Methodist Women share these event tasks. I must mention that a number of the ladies are both Auxiliary and United Methodist Women.

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If your not a member of either, the recruiting door is always open, just contact one of those individuals who are always there.

The hungry gather to await the dinner bell.

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Once again Scott McCurdy has set up his trains to entertain all. Scott would be the big fellow in the background chit chatting. Santa and Mrs. Claus were also in attendance to the delight of the young ones.

 

The table is prepared, no one went home hungry.

 

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Ms Sue Malone rests her legs after doing dishes. That would be herself congratulating Ms Sue on a job well done. Ms Sue was a founding member of the Fire Company Auxiliary, herself has been a member for the past 29 years.

Since it’s charter the organization was known as the Ladies Auxiliary. I finally had to put my foot down last year and get them to drop the Ladies from the organization. It seems they could not find a lady willing to take on the Treasurers job some years back, would you believe ten? Herself was President at the time and the Rooster was drafted. No one has stepped up to volunteer for the position yet, so Auxiliary it is. They treat me well so I can’t complain, as you can see I’m well fed.

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Today’s sponsor

Once again a big thank you to the Lions Club and all who brought the bounty to the table. Merry Christmas one and all. Don’t forget the cookies and milk for Santa.

 

The Days, They Will Get Longer Now

Manhattanhenge      (NBC photo)

Herself, who likes the shorter days, shall not be enthralled with this day I assure you. Oh she of the belief that when it is dark one goes to bed and as the sun rises so does one’s self. Do not even get her started on her opinion of Daylight Savings Time, what a waste of time that is. (No pun intended)

Several years ago we were blessed with the opportunity to spend time in Ireland in the town of Kilkenny on this very short day. Herself had become the American mother of sort for a son (we shall call him Eddie) of Ireland. This of course was quite appropriate as her maternal roots travel back to County Donegal on the Emerald Isle. Herself and this lad of the land of the green spent a number of years together behind bars. Herself’s sentence was 23 years, he is still serving his sentence but is obviously off for good behavior at the moment. We are both envious of their present geographical location.

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theRooster, Kilkenny, IE December 2015

Of late we have been following our adopted family on Face Book as they are in Kilkenny as my fingers hit these keys. I mention Ireland because of Newgrange and its ancient history and the relationship to The Winter Solstice.

I share with you Bill Ervolino’s most recent article on this shortest day.

 

The winter solstice — also known as Yule, Midwinter, the Shortest Day of the Year and the Longest Night — occurs at 11:28 a.m. ET Thursday.
But this short, little day with the great many names also may be the worst day of the year, according to astrologers. The reason? Saturn.
Apparently, the sun will appear to pass in front of the constellation Capricorn hours after Saturn does likewise. This will cause both of these orbs to line up for the first time since 1664, according to London astrologer Neil Spencer, who writes for The (London) Observer but first wrote about the alignment on his blog.
He insists that starting something new on this day is “ill advised” and will have long-term consequences. And anything you try to do Thursday will be more difficult than usual, take more time and be more frustrating.
► Tuesday: Thursday’s winter solstice marks the longest night of the year
► December 2016: Winter solstice: It only gets better from here
► December 2015: Monday’s winter solstice marks the longest night.

Perhaps that’s why the president probably won’t sign the tax bill Thursday — that and Congress has its paperwork to process — even though Spencer said the establishment, patriarchy, big business and property will be front and center in the cosmos.
Toss in all that holiday traffic — it is a gridlock alert day just about everywhere, according to Inrix, a company that analyzes transportation data — and it may be a good idea just to stay home.
“Saturn in Capricorn is a very useful placement, denoting one tough individual, but on a macro level, it doesn’t promise much in the way of fruitful change.”
Neil Spencer, astrologer
“Patience will not be a priority, especially if we are told that we ‘have to’ (do something) by our superiors,” Lunar Living astrology website says. “We may be perceived as (in)subordinate. Be ready to deal with the repercussions of the rebellion.”
Yet you can take solace in the winter solstice celebration at Newgrange in County Meath, Ireland, which is being streamed live to the world from 3:30 to 4:15 a.m. ET Thursday.
The entrance to the monument, which has a retaining wall made of quartz cobblestones, is aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice. As the sun comes up between 8:30 and 9:15 a.m. in Ireland, sunlight pours in through an opening in the roof (called a “roofbox”) and floods the chamber with light.
News shows likely will carry some of the footage. After you watch it, you might want to get back under the covers.
Follow Bill Ervolino on Twitter: @billerv

 

Wreaths Across America

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Our daughter, a retired Air Force Major and her husband a former Air Force Staff Sergeant recently assisted in placing wreaths on deceased Military cemetery plots in Salisbury, MD. Perdue Farms, with Salisbury, MD their corporate headquarters, recently posted the following article on their web blog. With our son and I and many other family members having served in the military since the 1860’s I felt it fitting to re-post what Perdue does for those who served.

To all who served, thank you. To all who are honored with wreaths, may you rest in peace.

Wreaths Across America Escort to Arlington Coming to Salisbury, Md., as Part of Perdue’s War Veterans Memorial Wreath-Laying Ceremony

November 2, 2017

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Perdue truck drivers participate in the 2016 Wreaths Across America wreath-laying ceremony at the Wicomico War Veterans Memorial at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury, Md. Perdue will conduct a similar ceremony at the memorial site on Dec. 14.
Wreaths Across America Escort to Arlington Coming to Salisbury, Md., as Part of Perdue’s War Veterans Memorial Wreath-Laying Ceremony
November 2, 2017
Salisbury, Maryland (Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017) — The annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) escort to Arlington National Cemetery will stop in Salisbury on Thursday, Dec. 14 to join Perdue Farms and its truck drivers in a public wreath laying ceremony.
The ceremony, part of the WAA mission to Remember, Honor and Teach through the laying of remembrance wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as nearly 1,300 additional locations across the country, will be conducted at 3 p.m. at the Wicomico War Veterans Memorial in front of the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. The public is encouraged to welcome the WAA convoy to Salisbury and attend the ceremony, which will include the placement of seven ceremonial wreaths at the War Memorial by Perdue drivers, who are veterans themselves. The convoy is expected to arrive at the Civic Center parking lot by 2:45 p.m.
“When you think of the thousands of people who are serving in the military all around the world and the sacrifices that they and their families are making at this time of the year, the ability for us to help share and show respect for that sacrifice is really important, especially for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and are memorialized at Wicomico War Veterans Memorial, is really important,” said Jim Perdue, chairman of Perdue Farms.
The Salisbury Wreaths Across America stop is one of approximately 12 visits to schools, veterans’ homes, monuments and communities along the East Coast that the convoy will make during its weeklong journey from Harrington, Maine, to Arlington, Va. On Saturday, Dec. 16, the convoy will be met in Arlington by thousands of volunteers who will place wreaths for the individuals who served to protect the freedoms of our country, ensuring no one is forgotten.
The wreaths’ journey to Arlington has become a tradition in itself, allowing locals along the route to share in the emotional and educational experience as the WAA convoy passes through their hometown. This year, the WAA escort to Arlington will consist of 10 tractor-trailer trucks and approximately 175 volunteers, including Morrill and Karen Worcester, Wreaths Across America founder and executive director, respectively, American Gold Star Families, active and retired military members and Patriot Guard Riders. Perdue driver Rodney Abrams, a Marine Corp veteran, will lead the convoy from central Delaware to Salisbury.

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“Wreaths Across America exist today because of the individuals and communities across the country like that of Salisbury who, like my husband who started bringing wreaths to Arlington 26 years ago, want to do something to show their gratitude,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “Placing a wreath is a simple gesture, but people coming together across the country to Remember, Honor and Teach, is what makes us all a part of a larger community of Americans.”
Since 2007, Perdue drivers have delivered more than 150,000 wreaths for Wreaths Across America. This year, Perdue drivers will deliver more that 25,000 wreaths to cemeteries from New York to Florida as part of National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 16. Their journey will include deliveries to the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, the United States Military Academy West Point Cemetery in New York, and Arlington National Cemetery.
“Perdue Farms and Perdue Transportation drivers, many of whom are veterans themselves, have been supporting the Wreaths Across America mission for more than a decade. We are very proud of our drivers and of their own military service,” said Perdue. “The care, attention and commitment our drivers give to the mission and their payload is impressive.”
Built in 2002 entirely with donations from the community, the Wicomico War Veterans Memorial honors those with a home of record in Wicomico County who lost their lives while defending the nation and our freedom. The names of 191 men from World War I to present day are displayed on bronze plaques on a brick wall with the words “Here we mark the price of freedom.” Flags from each branch of the military, the POW/MIA flag, county, state, and U.S. flags are flown around the clock to complete the memorial.
The Memorial not only publicly honors our fallen, but it also provides a visible remembrance for family members to visit and know that others appreciate their sacrifice. Public ceremonies are held at the Memorial each year on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
About Perdue Farms
We’re a third-generation, family owned, U.S. food and agriculture company. Through our belief in responsible food and agriculture, we are empowering consumers, customers and farmers through trusted choices in products and services.
We focus on continuously improving everything we do, constantly learning, and sharing those insights across different production methods. That innovative approach is driving change throughout the company and onto farms. This continuous advancement is leading us toward our vision of becoming the most trusted name in food and agricultural products.
The PERDUE® brand is the number-one brand of fresh chicken in the U.S., and Perdue AgriBusiness is an international agricultural products and services company. As we approach our 100th anniversary in 2020, our path forward is about getting better, not just bigger. We never use drugs for growth promotion in raising poultry and livestock, and we are actively advancing our animal welfare programs. Our brands are leaders in no-antibiotics-ever chicken, turkey and pork, and in USDA-certified organic chicken. We’ve increased our support for the family farm by creating new markets, including specialty crops. Through agricultural services, we give farmers more options for the acre, including conversion to organic production and products and services that increase the sustainability of conventional agriculture. Learn more at www.perduefarms.com.
About Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies each December at Arlington, as well as a hundreds of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. For more information, to donate or sign up to volunteer, please visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.

www.perduefarms.com.

I can only hope the Rooster does not wind up in a Cryo Purdue wrapper. Merry Christmas one again everyone.

Merry Christmas

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From the Rooster and his flock, a very Merry Christmas from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Herself, kids and a grand or two are making cookies on this Sunday a week before Christmas eve. My server, Bloo Surf is pulling one of it’s becoming frequent non functioning days. So, I travel the 3.5 miles to eldest daughter’s home and steal some bits of her band width.

Net neutrality, be damned the poor forgotten rural settlers. Seems my net is in neutral most of the time. I’d settle for a slow 2nd gear now and then on a semi regular basis.

Yesterday afternoon we joined a family that owns a large commercial nursery for a festivity that has gone on for a number of years. The invitees car pool to the nursery and then get to ride in a bus, car or P/U truck to gather festive greenery from the wild to take home for household decorations. The fact that we had a heavy wet nine inches of snow a week ago made the gathering quite easy. So many trees and bushes were relieved of branches that the pickings were easy.

If you need to learn the hows and whys of Holiday greenery check out funflowerfacts.

At one time during our outing we walked the grounds of Green Hill Church, built in 1733. Herself and the Rooster lived in and managed a farm dating to 1733 also. The bricks in the church and the home we lived in came from the same source back in the day.

Herself among the grave markers and the church as it sits today on the banks of the Wicomico River. https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/PDF/Wicomico/WI-2.pdf

Once the gathering was finished we (30+) invitees returned to the home of the nursery owners for some fine Mulled Cider, soup and sandwiches all finished off with home made cookies. Thank you Sylvia and Harrison for your friendship and generosity.

I slept well last night with all the fresh air and good food. Calories be damned, it’s Christmas.

A Day of Infamy

Just about this time last year I was sitting in a Starbucks enjoying a coffee and their Internet connection while waiting to meet my granddaughter, I got into a conversation with a Salisbury University Student. Herself has all kinds of words to describe my verbal engagement with others. She considers herself anonymous, me, I’m the opposite. My previous interaction in the Birmingham, Alabama car rental return line is a perfect example.

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It was early December when I was in that Starbucks and 12/07/1941 always comes to mind this time of the year. I was not born until two years later, but the history of the events at Pearl Harbor are forever etched in my Cerebral Cortex. What happened at Pearl Harbor was taught in History class when I went to school. My father fought in the war that followed, ending in 1945. I was a war child and now there are few who fought in that war left to tell their story.

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I don’t remember my exact words but I’m sure I said something like “any thought on what tomorrow is in our history?” He looked up at me with a blank look on his face, “Pearl Harbor Day” I say in a questioning tone. A no clue look on his face at my ice breaker. I’m sure he was not happy to be torn away from Twitter, Snap Chat or Instagram. I was later happy to learn he was studying for a Civil Rights History class, was from the western shore, that’s the other side of the Chesapeake Bay and was a Junior at SU.

The old who, what, why. where and when had kicked in. Sometimes I just amaze myself with what I remember. I’m pretty good at establishing place and time when I hear a song from the 50’s and 60’s also. Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was the #1 song on this important day, I’m not that old that I remember that though.

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My point as I seem to be rambling along is: this young college student told me he was not familiar with, nor was never taught anything about Pearl harbor in school. We spoke further about geography and there was a lot lacking on that front also. I’m just amazed where our education system has gone. I’m happy he elected a history class in Civil Rights, there is hope. The young man later admitted that he had heard of Pearl Harbor through the movie but had no idea of the date.

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To all who lost their lives on that day, I remember and I Honor you.