Friday, December 12, 2014

To Autumn by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Goals for Next Week

     Daily Bible Reading

     10 Minute Exercise
     Healthy Breakfast and Snack

Quilting: Finish Block #2

     Wartime Britain by Juliet Gardiner 
     Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow by Jan Pol
     Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho

     Oven BBQ Chicken, Beans, Coleu
     Sausage, GMP, GB
     Baked Fish, Carrots/Thyme, Corn

     Lunch with PWBC
     Handel's Messiah (Houston Symphony and Chorale)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Around Oak Meadows

We went to the Kimball Museum in Fort Worth for my birthday. There was a wonderful exhibit of Impressionist portraits. It always amazes me how rich my life is. Who would have thought I would ever see paintings by Van Gogh or Rembrandt or Monet. My parents' generation never had the opportunities that we have today. 

More good news: the meadowlarks arrived followed today by the arrival of the goldfinches.  We have been expecting the little goldfinches because they usually arrive right around my birthday. And what a precious birthday present they are. Joe immediately put out the thistle feeders. I have no idea where they spend the rest of the year, but I am so glad they spend the winter with me. They will have all the fresh water, thistle, and sunflower seed they want. 

One not so good thing happened. I was scammed. Really. I was working on my Mac and suddenly the screen froze and a pop-up said that Apple had detected a security breach and gave a number to call and like a total dope, I called. An hour and $199 later, my Mac was back. But thanks to my dear daughter, I learned that it was a scam. Joe called the credit card company and canceled the charge and they are sending us a new card. Then I called the real Apple Support and we went through my computer and cleaned every trace of the scam out. My Mac is clean now and I have learned a lesson. Ack!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Around Oak Meadows

Around Oak Meadows

December already! Friday is my 67th birthday! Amazing! I have now lived longer than either of my parents. Other than my dratted CMT, I am in good health which is such a blessing. 

Finally, we got the 10 Italian door pictures hung.  These are pictures that JMM took when we were in Italy in 2001. I was really surprised because he doesn't usually notice things like that. All of our early vacation pictures that he took are of rocks or outcrops. Even our trip to Israel is mostly rocks. Anyway, I had him print out the 10 door pictures and went to Hobby Lobby for mattes and frames (which we bought on sale for 50% off).  I laid them out on the bed in a nice pattern and JMM hung them for me. I think they turned out rather well. 

Modest progress on monster quilt. It is all basted and ready to quilt. The kittens find it fascinating and are in the middle of it.  I think Henry will develop into a good quilting partner because he doesn't mind my moving him around.

We went to see The Barber of Seville which was a live broadcast of the New York Metropolitan Opera. It was OK but was nowhere near as good as Carmen last year.  I think JMM wants to see The Merry Widow in January. 

I am hooked on The Hunger Games series.  We saw Mockingjay Part 1 and it was excellent.  I am so disappointed that we have to wait a whole year to see Part 2.  Well, if I made it through the Harry Potter series, I can wait a year for Mockinjay Part 2. 

Reading:  Wartime Britain by Juliet Gardiner is excellent but 600 pages long so this will take a while.  Almost finished with The Last Kasmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly; I have never read anything by her but I think I have a new detective series to get addicted to. 
And finally, Call the Nurse by Mary Macleod; it is about a community nurse on the island of Papavray off the west coast of Scotland.  All I can say is that they are made of sturdier stuff than I am. In reading about the cold and wind and rain,  I had to go get a quilt and the heating pad. 

Thanksgiving was nice and very low key. JMM and I made the turkey and dressing.  The only disaster was I tried to make mashed cauliflower and I couldn't get it as smooth as I wanted; it was good but lumpy.  We had our traditional pecan pie from Goode Co. for dessert. Daughter, son-in-law, and their ancient cocker spaniel were our only guests.  Everyone was relaxed and enjoyed good food and a nice visit. 

Christmas decorations are in the process of being put up. I have decided to put out the crèche in spite of the kittens; this is going to be interesting.  I don't put up a tree anymore but dear daughter has all the ornaments from when she was growing up and she likes to have a tree at her house. My decorations take about 2 hours to put up; if I could walk, it would take about 30 minutes.  We are going to the Houston Symphony and Chorale performing Handel's Messiah and that will definitely get my Christmas spirit going. 

And that's the news from OakMeadows where the people are all retired and serve as concierges to the 4 cats. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

December Menu

December Menu

Blueberry Bran Muffins

1. Fish, carrots, corn
2. Chicken and Snow Peas
3. Beef and Barley Soup
4. Texas Roadhouse
5. Out of town
6. Leftovers
7. Good Co Seafood (for my birthday)
8. Slow Cooker Farmhouse Chicken and Corn Chowder
9. Beef and Bok Choy
10. CB Hash
11. Leftovers
12. Gringo's
13. Bacon sandwiches, Oven Fries
14 Schlotzsky's
15. Shrimp Jambalaya
16. Oven BBQ Chicken thighs, Beans, Cole Slaw
17. Sausage, GMP, Green beans
18. Leftovers
19. Olive Garden
20. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
21. Schlotzsky's
22. Fish, Carrots, Corn
23. Chicken Noodle Soup
24. Cutlets, GMP, GB
25. Christmas Ham
26. Leftovers
27. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
28. Schlotzsky's
29. Tuna Salad Sandwiches
30. Chicken-Rice Bake
31. Roast, Carrots, GMP

When Death comes by Mary Oliver

When death comes 
like the hungry bear in autumn; 
when death comes 
and takes all the bright coins 
from his purse to buy me, 
and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes like the measle- pox; 
when death comes like an iceberg 
between the shoulder blades, 
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, 
what is it going to be like,
 that cottage of darkness? 
And therefore I look upon everything 
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, 
and I look upon time as no more than an idea, 
and I consider eternity as another possibility, 
and I think of each life as a flower, 
as common as a field daisy,
 and as singular, 
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
 and each body a lion of courage, 
and something precious to the earth. 
When it’s over, I want to say: 
all my life I was a bride 
married to amazement. 
I was the bridegroom, 
taking the world into my arms. 
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder 
if I have made of my life something particular, and real. 
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, 
or full of argument. 
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Goals for Next Week

     Daily Bible Reading

     Weight Watchers

     Blocks #1 and #2

     The Last Kashmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly
     Call the Nurse by Mary Macleod 
     Wartime Britain by Juliet Garfield

     Bean and cheese quesadillas
     Baked fish, carrots/thyme
     Chicken and Snow Peas Stir Fry
     Beef and Barley Soup

     Hang Italian door pictures

     Kimball Museum in Fort Worth