Monday, December 31, 2012

Miss Buncle's Book by D.E.Stevenson

Miss Buncle's Book

Miss Buncle who lives in the quiet English village of Silverstream needs money. It is 1934 and her dividends are simply not coming in adequate to pay her meager bills. She considers her options and decides to write a book.  She thinks she lacks imagination and must write about what she knows. And what does she know?  Her neighbors and the people of Silverstream.  So she writes a thinly disguised novel about the people of her village.  A veritable tempest in a teapot is set off in the village. Its a pleasant story which nourished my love of English village life. 


This morning I finished reading the Bible in a year chronologically. Our church had challenged us to do this. I have read the Bible in a year before but never chronologically. It was a real blessing and I learned so much! I especially appreciated the emails from others sharing their struggles and blessings as we all read on together. As we read on this last morning, " 'Surely I am coming soon.' Amen. Come Lord Jesus. The grace of Lord Jesus be with all. Amen."

Friday, December 28, 2012

Goals for Week Ending 1/5/13

1. Complete Read  the Bible Chronologically in a Year--done!!
2. Continue cutting out next quilt top using leftover fabric--done
3. Continue Weight Watchers 26 points per day--done
4. Finish Block #15 on quilt--done
 5. J.C.Penney's--done
6. Reading
     Miss Buncle's Book by D.E.Stevenson--finished
     The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff
     The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker--finished
7. Cook 4 dinners--done
10. Order JMM's birthday present--done. I hope it gets here by the 10th.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

12/27/2012 Three Things that Made Me Happy Today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Hot baked potato with butter and cheese for lunch. 

Didn't have to go anywhere!

Cold weather makes my cats soooo affectionate

Monday, December 24, 2012

Going over the fiscal cliff--Good.

The fiscal cliff

It looks like there will be no grand bargain. Perhaps, there will be some minor deals that will allow things to muddle along for a while. Perhaps there will be no deal at all and the economic ball will start rolling downhill, gathering speed as it goes. 
If we do "go over the cliff," JMM and I will pay more income tax. I'm not thrilled with the idea but the fact is that we can afford it. We won't miss any meals or go without heat. We'll do some economizing but we will be just fine. This is certainly not the case with many, many people. We could end up right back in recession with its attendant increase in unemployment. 
That being said, perhaps going over the cliff is not such a bad thing. We are deeply in debt and by going over the cliff, we will increase revenues and decrease expenditures. Yes, I know, everyone will be screaming about the increase in their taxes and the cuts in services.  But what I wonder is: Where were these people when we started a totally useless and totally unfunded war in Iraq and proceeded to dilly dally with nation building in Afghanistan?? Because we have no draft and because we borrowed the money, the idea that war costs nothing and doesn't have anything to do with them seems to have been the prevailing sentiment.  Well, here's news, folks: War is expensive and we are about to start paying, every last one of us. And even if our tax rates double or triple, we won't be paying near what the men and women who will spend the rest of their lives without their arms or legs or with their minds forever damaged. 
I'm truly sorry that so many people will be hurt by the coming economic cliff and I am under no illusion that we have learned anything. We are about to start paying for our silence about Iraq and Afghanistan. Let us hope, pray, and vote so that our leaders will never again march us into another war. 


"When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart."
The words are by Howard Thurman, an African-American minister, civil rights activist and author, who in his time met Gandhi and influenced Martin Luther King Jr and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Goals for the week ending December 29, 2012

1. Continue Read the Bible Chronologically in a Year--done
2. Continue cutting out next quilt top using leftover fabric--done
3. Continue Weight Watchers 26 points per day--done (mostly)
4. Finish Block #14 on quilt--done
 5. Take van in for CV boot replacement--done
6. Reading--done
     Miss Buncle's Book by D.E.Stevenson
     The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff
     The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker
7. Cook 4 dinners--done
10. Finish January budget--done

Birds seen at OakMeadows 12/16-12/23/2012

Bluejays--Good to see these coming back after being nearly wiped out by West Nile virus.
Turkey vultures
Rufous hummingbird (this straggler needs to get a move on it if he's going to migrate this year.)
Collared doves
Mourning doves
Canadian geese (fly over)
Eastern phoebe

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Giver by Lois Lowery

This young adult fiction is set in a utopian future. It is very good but I must read the next book in the series as the ending to The Giver leaves much just hanging..

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12/19/12 Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Finished a good brain fluff book: The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber. 

I had a $50 gift card from and I had a very pleasant hour spending it on books for my Kindle. 

Texts during the day from my husband and daughter. Love them so much!

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber

When you pick up a Debbie Macomber novel, you know that while trials may abound, in the end, love will overcome. One doesn't read a DM book for great intellectual stimulation but for soul nourishment. This was an especially well written poignant story of loss and guilt, of forgiveness and hope, of coming home. Good for a cold winter day under a quilt with a cat and a cup of hot tea.

Monday, December 17, 2012

12/17/12 Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Clementines--if peeling and popping sweet juicy little clementine pieces in your mouth doesn't make ya smile...

My cat threw up on the tile instead of the carpet...

Garmin. Love it! It speaks, I obey and we end up where we are supposed to be!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

The beautiful music at church this morning

We received 3 1/2 inches of rain. Showers of blessings indeed. 

Downton Abbey. Will Anna and Bates ever find happiness???

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Seeing my daughter strong and healthy and happy. 

Shrimp creole. 

Good books. I am reading The Scarlet Pimpernel and finding it surprisingly good.  

Goals for the week ending Saturday, December 22

1. Continue Read the Bible Chronologically in a Year--done
2. Continue cutting out next quilt top using leftover fabric--done
3. Continue Weight Watchers 26 points per day--I did not track my points this wee so I don't know if I did or not.  Must track next week. 
4. Finish Block #14 on quilt--only about 1/2 way finished. Will finish next week. 
 5. Take scooter in for repair. ...again--done. It is staying in the shop while they order and installed another whatsit..
6. Reading
     The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy--finished. Better than I had anticipated.
     The Man who Saved the Union by H.W.Brands--finished. Just excellent!! S interesting and so well written!!
     The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker
7. Cook 4 dinners--not done. Too lazy to cook.  :(
 8. Christmas cards --not done. Maybe next year...
9. Finish January budget--almost finished. All that really needs to be done is to print it out with a few more changes. 

What can be done?

Like everyone else, I am trying to sort out what I think and feel about the terrible school shooting in Newton, CT yesterday.  The only thing I can say is that there is too much violence and too many guns in America today. But just is there is too much of these, there is too little of other things.  There is too little love and compassion, there is too little gentleness, and too little peace and calm. I cannot change anything but myself. All I can do is remove as much conflict, anger, and violence from my life as possible and let my life speak gentleness, kindness, and peace. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

This time it is Connecticut

Way to go NRA! 27 more people that, according to you, guns didn't kill. ( Remember guns don't kill people, people kill people.)
Back in the dark ages when I was growing up (1950's) the NRA was for people who went deer hunting. What progress we have made.
Somebody made those guns and somebody sold them and IMHO, they, the NRA, and their puppets in Congress have as much of the children's blood on their hands as the deranged man who shot them.

(Don't bother leaving idiotic comments about the Second Ammendment unless you mention the part about "the well regulated militia."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

I didn't sleep well last night so I took an after breakfast nap. Ah, the joys of retirement. Eat your heart out, worker bees! LOL!!

Beautiful day. Clear, cool, low humidity. 

No cooking day. Took 2 containers of veggie soup out of the freezer and toasted some sourdough bread. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

The housecleaners came today. It is so nice to have a clean house while spending the day quilting and reading.

Seeing how happy my cats are on the warm electric blanket. I only know they are alive because they change positions every couple of hours. 

Listening to beautiful music--Mozart's Clarinet Concerto--while quilting.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Winter has finally arrived and both the temperature and the humidity are comfortable. 

I located Rep. Pete Olson's office easily and registered my concerns quickly & easily. 

We have the Christmas electric candles in the windows and they look so cozy. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

A lovely lunch with my dearest husband, daughter and soon to be son-in-law.

A Sunday afternoon nap

I finished reading The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watching in Nature by David Haskell. Reading the words was like pouring soothing oil on my naturalist's soul. Lovely. 

The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature by David Haskell

Beautiful, just beautiful.  The words convey both the beauty of nature and the love the author feels toward his chosen mandala.  In addition to the affection expressed, the author has a good grasp of the general science of the area. I was quite surprised to learn how little I knew about the relation between roots and fungi and about life below the leaf litter.  Very interesting, very well written. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

A good night's sleep last night.

The smell of mulch. JMM brought home a load of mulch yesterday but didn't have time to unload it so he left it in the closed garage over night. Love the smell of mulch. 

Bacon sandwiches.  (Ever notice how many of the things that make me happy have to do with food??)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

The repairman came out and fixed my old, old scooter. It was my first scooter and has served me well for almost 10 years. It is old and rather banged up but now that the whatsit is fixed, it still gets me around. 

My sweet cat Bandit. He  curled up in my lap, purring, and forced me to just stay put and read while he slept. 

Beans and rice and kielbasa sausage for dinner. I would have made a pan of cornbread to go with it but I couldn't get up and disturb the cat.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

I weighed in at Weight Watchers and had lost 1.8 lb. 

My roses are blooming and I brought in 4 beautiful white roses blooms.

I finished reading O Pioneers by Willa Cather. Such a wonderful book!

Three things that made me happy yesterday

We got 2 inches of rain yesterday. I opened the back door just to hear the beautiful sound. 

All the lovely birthday wishes I received from family  & friends. 

My sweet husband had a work from home day. 

Weight Watchers Report

Slowly she goes...

This week I lost 1.8 lb. total lost 25 lb. weight 149.6 lb. finally under 150!  14.6 lb. to go. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

It was very foggy this morning and I love the mysterious light shining through the fog. I took the camera and took some photos of the dew jeweled spider webs. 

Folding clothes warm out of the drier. The heat feels so good on my old stiff fingers.

Mozart. Clarinet Concerto.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Three things that made me happy today:

I love getting text messages from my husband and daughter during the day. It makes me feel loved and close to them. 

We have some Eastern Phoebes and they make such  a pleasant peeping song. 

I love Subway sandwiches turkey breast on wheat bread, mustard, no cheese, spinach instead of lettuce, and all the veggies except no jalapeƱos.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Winter Garden

Gardening in the summer here on the Texas Gulf Coast is an exercise in frustration, aggravation, and heat exhaustion. I am not saying that I don't develop seasonal amnesia each spring and plant a doomed summer garden, I get the seed catalogues and have visions of a beautiful, bountiful summer garden.  About the only thing that truly thrives in our summer heat and humidity is okra.  Other than okra, what the heat and drought doesn't do in, is feasted on by one insect or another. 
Which brings us to the winter garden on the Texas Gulf Coast.  Greens- collards and turnips, kale, bok choy, and spinach.  Sugar snap peas are dependable.  All these do very well over the winter.  
The Burpee catalog is currently staring at me. It is to me what catnip is to my cat.  Silly cat, silly me. Maybe just a few tomato plants,  have to try some climbing beans, and cucumbers!  Carrots and squash. Oh dear!