Friday, August 30, 2013

New Clothes

New clothes

When I was growing up in Galveston, shopping for clothes often began in the fabric store. My mother was a wonderful seamstress (as was her mother) and many happy hours were spent looking through the big pattern books--McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick, and Vogue.  Then we would find just the right fabric-- type of fabric, weight, color, and pattern.  Finally we would pick out the notions--zipper, buttons, interfacing, and trim.  I still remember carrying the fabric in a white paper bag out of the store. My mother always washed the fabric in cold salt water to make sure the color was set and that the fabric wouldn't shrink. 
I would carefully iron the fabric and the paper pattern pieces.  Sometimes the pattern would need to be altered slightly for a better fit. I learned how to place the pattern on the fabric with the grain of the fabric going the right way so that the finished garment would hang correctly.  My mother gradually let me take over cutting the fabric and sewing the straight seams. By the time I was in high school, I was a fairly competent seamstress but nowhere near my mother's skill. She made evening dresses and she even made my going away suit when I was married. (It was a gorgeous Vogue pattern.)
After the garment was finished, we carefully folded up the pattern pieces and put them back into the pattern envelope. Then all the fabric scraps would be rolled up together and put in the scrap bag to be used on the next quilt top that we would piece from scraps.  I loved seeing pieces of fabric from my skirt or nightgown being part of a new quilt. 
While it wasn't as quick as going to the clothing store to buy ready made clothes, the whole process was enjoyable and there was much excitement and anticipation as we would see our idea come into being. Good memories!

Goals for Next Week

Goals for Week Ending Saturday, September 7

     Make appointment for grandfather clock repair
     Make September Budget
     Block #12
     Clean out back garden
    The Rule of St. Benedict by St. Benedict of Nursia
     Unbowed by Wangari Maathai
     Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
     The Priory by Dorothy Whipple
     4 dinners

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama,
     I am writing to you in the hope that you will not intervene in the Syrian civil war. There has been enough blowing things up in Syria without our adding to the misery. Even if we knew who the bad guys were, our intervention would bring unintended consequences which would escalate the situation. I urge you to avoid any actions which would involve us more deeply in that terrible quagmire. 

I have also sent similar letters to both my Senators and my Representative. If you oppose U.S. intervention into the Syrian civil war, let your President, Senators, and Representative know! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Goals for Next Week

Goals for Week Ending Saturday, August 31

     Make appointment for grandfather clock repair--still not done. No excuse. Will be done next week!
     Finish painting plant stand--FINALLY DONE!!!
     Make September Budget--Ack! Not done. Must be done next week!
     Block #11--Done. 
     Clean out back garden--partially done. It has been too hot to do it all at once. I will do more on it next week but probably won't finish it. 
     Centennial by James Mitchner (audio cd)--finished. Loved it!!
     The Africa House by Christina Lamb--finished.  It was OK. 
     Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
     The Priory by Dorothy Whipple
     4 dinners--done. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stuff and The Queen of Versailles


The other evening I watched The Queen of Versailles on a Netflix DVD. Briefly, it was about a very wealthy family who was building the largest single family home in America when the economic bottom fell out from under them in 2008. 

My reaction was how much I wished I could get in there and sort all those messes out. There was so much clutter that needed clearing out and organizing. Piles of papers and piles of clothes and piles of stuff everywhere. 

They ate junk food with as far as I could tell, no attention to nutrition, meal times, or common table manners. I would love to put them all on a schedule and a budget. 

There were  8 children who were completely directionless. All they knew how to do was consume. They certainly had the money to make a contribution to the world but it is hard to imagine they will do anything worthwhile. 
I can't identify with them at all but still I felt sorry for them. 

After watching it, I googled their name and read that their business was coming back and that they had recommenced building the 90,000 SQ. ft. house.  Apparently, no one learned from the experience. 

Then I did a thorough housecleaning and balanced my checkbook. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


1000 people killed in Egypt; 100,000 killed in Syria; 40 or 60 or 100 killed in Iraq or Pakistan in a day.   The military takes over from the Islamists or the Islamists take over from the terrorists or vice versa.  And my reaction?Turn off the radio.  I am fleetingly sorry that people in various places and in various circumstances lead horrible lives.  But I just don't want to listen to it. Is that sticking my head in the sand? So be it.  

I have supper to cook, a garden to weed, books to read, a house to keep, and budget to live within.  I feed the birds and squirrels and raccoons. I give to my church and its various good deeds. I try to be kind to the people I live with and come in contact with. I reduce, reuse, and recycle. And that's about it for my making the world a better place.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

One Hundred Best Movies

One Hundred Best Movies

We don't have cable or satellite television but we do get movies through Netflix.  A while back I came across a list of the 100 best movies. They were listed in alphabetical order and I thought it would be fun to slowly watch my way down the list even though I have seen almost all of them at least once. 

I started off with Amadeus and Apollo 13 both of which were enjoyable.  I didn't care for the madcap acting in Arsenic & Old Lace and couldn't stand the overly dramatic Ben Hur. 

Becket is coming next.

What movies would you have me add to the list of all time best movies?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A little flower power

It has been Hot and Dry this year but we have still had lots of beautiful flowers here at OakMeadows.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Goals for the Week

Goals for Week Ending Saturday, August 17, 2013

     Finish budget--done. 
     Make appointment for grandfather clock repair
     Finish painting plant stand
     Block #9--done. 
     Clean front porch--done. 
     Repot succulent--done. 
     Centennial by James Mitchner (audio cd)--in progress. 
     The Africa House by Christina Lamb--in progress. 
     Tales from the Underground by David Wolfe --Finished. Excellent!!
     Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns--coming from library. 
     4 dinners--done. 
     Museum of Fine Arts 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Raspberry-Walnut Muffins

Raspberry Walnut Muffins

1 cup fresh raspberries, clean & halved if large
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
Dash of salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Cinnamon sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Grease and flour a 12 cup muffin pan. 

Rinse and drain raspberries. 

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. 

In another smaller bowl, whisk milk and egg.  Add the milk and egg mixture to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter.  Mix lightly to combine, just until ingredients are moistened. Batter will be somewhat lumpy. 

Sprinkle raspberries and nuts over the batter and gently fold into the batter. 

Spoon into the prepared muffin pans. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on tops if desired. 

Bake 18-21 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. 

Cool on wire rack for 5-10 minutes before removing muffins from pans. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013


“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” 
― Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Searching for Sugarman

Never heard of Rodriguez? Me either.  Google Sixto Rodriguez or better yet listen to his songs on You Tube. But then watch the DVD Searching for Sugarman on Netflix. Wow!! I was blown away by his music. The Bob Dillon that you never heard until now. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Goals for Next Week

Goals for Week Ending Saturday, August 10, 2013

      Meeting with Fidelity 11/6/13 @ 4:30--done
     Make appointment for grandfather clock repair--still not done. Ack!
     Finish painting plant stand--still not done. Ack!
     Block #8--done. 
      Keep up with watering--done.   
     Centennial by James Mitchner (audio cd)--I am on CD #27. 
     Spiritual Ecology by Thich Nhat Hahn--Finished. 
     Tales from the Underground by David Wolfe--Finished. Excellent!!
     Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss--didn't finish, just wasn't interesting. 
     The Priory by Dorothy Whipple--This still hasn't come from
     4 dinners--done. 
     Make appointment for annual physical--done. 9/11/13 at 1:30. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What the Heck Is Going on with NPR??

Until about 3 years ago our local NPR station was classical music with Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace daily.  About 3 years ago, KUHF made the change to all news/talk. Well, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven.  Diane Rehm, Talk of the Nation, On Point, and others that were just down my alley.  It was too good to last. 
KUHF seems to have taken a stupid pill or something. Here's a list of some of the stupid pop culture programs that they are presenting now:
     The Dinner Party
     Ask Me Another
     Says You
It's like an audio People magazine.  And they completely canceled Talk of the Nation.  
What the heck is going on??