Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy New Year

Blooming 'White Christmas' Schlumbergera
with Tanis' Winter Solstice Haiku
For some (I BE-ing one, another Sandy Lagno Rose's 
interspecies communicator
as well as Tanis my baseball buddy aka Rose's Auntie T) 
the Winter Solstice is the beginning of the new year. 
This shortest day and longest night was celebrated this 
year by an event not happening since 1554.  Did our 
cloudiness allow you to see the lunar eclipse?  We here 
at MuRefuge were fortunate to catch periodic glimpses 
all of which was absolutely awesome thus beginning our 
new year with a silent celebratory bang, a bang not 
jarring for our Rose who does not like fireworks or any 
loud bangs whose source is not known to her. 
November, 2010 Full Moon as view looking East from our Bridgeport "home"

Following in Dewitt Jones' tradition of CELEBRATE WHAT'S RIGHT 
I'd like to celebrate some of this year's meaningful events for 
me and the lovely BE-ings in my life.  The most monumental event 
was Dwight and my 23 year celebration BE-ing together, aka 
wedding in Bridgeport this past November.  The pictured above 
Full Moon provided light for my girlfriend driving from the Reno 
airport South on Hwy. 395 throught the treacherous Carson Valley 
and windy Walker River Canyon.  More about those fabulous two+ 
weeks in the Eastern Sierras in this blog's next post.

Just this past Friday MLB network announced their Greatness 
in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards. Most Dependable? Ichiro, 
of course, said co-host Harold Reynolds.  Ichiro is my very 
favorite baseball player ever and was the only position player 
in Most Dependable Player category. Then there was the heart 
tugging Dallas Braden's embrace with his grandmother on 
Mother's Day after pitching a perfect game chosen as the 
Moment of the Year.  Josh Hamilton, the Texas Ranger's 
outfielder, was chosen the Player of the Year with his shortstop 
teammate, Elvis Andrus, honored as the Defensive Player of 
the Year.  Of course, the Giants walked away with a whopping 
five GIBBYs: Lincecum - Postseason Most Valuable Player, 
Wilson - Closer of the Year, Posey - Rookie of the Year, 
Bochy - Manager of the Year and Sabean (the longest-tenured 
general manager in the Major Leagues) - Executive of the Year.  
I rooted for the Rangers during the World Series BE-ing a fan of 
Ron Washington and Josh Hamilton fan, preferring American 
League Baseball.  All said however, I can and do appreciate 
well played baseball.  And I cheer when players with integrity 
and BE-ing character honored . . . no matter their affiliation.

And then there's all the wondrous BE-ings who supported 
my first year of talks/tours here at MuRefuge.  First and 
foremost is Jenny Blaker of the Cotati Creek Critters who is so supportive 
of the process here at MuRefuge.  

Then there is Vickie Rodriguez, my very own, very best 
cheerleader who attended every one of the talk/tours 
as well as assisted me in ready for each one with her 
delightful, incredible enjoyment of weeding.  Overflowing 
gratitude to you Vickie!  

And Rosolio Nava, who mows and weed whacks always 
attentive to my choice of what is in need of trimming, is truly 
a find.  Thank you cannot begin to express my feelings.  
He is also the muscle behind the almost completed rebuilding 
all of our vegetable beds. 

AND to each of you who attended the talk/tours  
inspite of unseasonable weather for several I want to express my 
deepest thanks!  Of course, I cannot leave this arena without 
expressing my heartfelt appreciation for all of Dwight's support 
as well as the photos he has taken, organized and assisted my 
learning of his digital camera and iPhoto.  How would we BE 
without each other in our lives?

My 96 year old mother departed her physical form in October.  
She has been ill for some years.  Her spirit has now joined 
my stepfather's and my brother's.  I miss them all. The gift of 
their passing is remembering impermance is the cycle of 
physical form.

There are friends and acquaintances who are doing "good work".  
You can visit their web sites:
Harmony creates the most beautiful organic fabric and has an 
equally beautiful blog. Please check out

At you not only can access what 
plants they have for sale but helpful lists for transforming one's 
garden into a whole ecolgy.  The energy of their place is healing, 
the staff incredibly helpful in answering diverse questions about 
gardening and their plants

From I order seeds for native plants.  
The web site is filled with lovely pictures and useful information 
about getting started with natives.  The owner, Judith Larner Lowry, 
has written several riveting books as well a blog.

And then we have a proactive development in Rohnert Park . . . 
who would have thought!  
Sonoma Mountain Village (SOMO) is the first community in North 
America endorsed by the prestigious international One Planet 
Communities Program.

Last but not least, for those of you who are pre-, peri-, post- 
menophausal a fellow RN and Certified Enneagram Teacher 
has a well written, informative blog with her own absolutely 
stunning photographs.    I encourage you to check out 
Lynette Sheppard's site

For our Winter Solstice New Year celebratory lunch Dwight 
and I made a tasty dessert. 

Oranges with Pomegranate Seeds:

  • 6 organic navel oranges (purchased from one of my favorite vendors Twin Peaks)
  • 1 organic lemon (I prefer Meyer's also purchased from Twin Peaks)
  • 1 large pomagranate (pick out the one that feels the heavest, of course, organic preferred)

  • 3 organic peppermint tea bags

  • 1/3 C. organic maple syrup (1/2 C. if the oranges aren't very sweet)
  • 1  2 inch organic cinnamon stick
  • a dozen organic whole cloves
  • 8 to 12 whole organic cardamon seeds

Score the whole pomagrante in quarters then tear open under water in a very large bowl filled with cold water.
Pomagranate juice STAINS!  Gently tease the seeds out of the rind.  Throw away the rind and the seeds will
sink to the bottom.

Place half the seeds in a serving bowl, the other half squeeze the seeds with your fist or wooden spoon you don't
mind getting stained.

Peel one of the navel oranges and a Meyer's lemon with a potato peeler.  Chop, I use our handy Chinese cleaver,
into desired bits, I like mine smaller and the author of the original recipe (located in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone) likes hers quite large.  Punge for 10 seconds into boiling water then strain.  Also, peel the remaining oranges then slice and quarter, adding them to the pretty serving bowl with the pomagranate seeds.

In a small saucepan add 1 C. water,  maple syrup, spices and citrus peel from above then bring to a boil, remove from heat and add the tea bags, cover for 15 minutes.  Pour this over the sliced oranges and pomagrante seeds in the pretty serving bowl.  Add the pomagranate juice.  Let set at room temperature for several hours to allow the flavors to merge.

I am looking forward to your comments of gratitude, thankfulness at this time of rejoicing in the Winter Solstice New Year.

keep laughing
even when it's not funny

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