Saturday, October 31, 2015

November Meditation

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

     Mother Teresa

Friday, October 30, 2015

October Poetry

From Timesweep

There is only one horse on the earth
and his name is All Horses.  
There is only one bird in the air
and his name is All Wings. 
There is only one fish in the sea
and his name is All Fins. 
There is only one man in the world
and his name is All Men. 
There is only one woman in the world
and her name is All Women. 
There is only one child in the world 
and the child's name is All Children. 
     There is only one Maker in the world
     and His children cover the earth
     and they are named All God's Children. 

Carl Sandburg

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Goals: November 1 - 6, 2015

1. Texas Butterfly Festival Saturday through Tuesday. 

2. Monthly lunch with P&W&C&B. 

3. Dreaded time change. Ack!

4. Mammogram. 

5. Work on quilt borders. 

6. Reading
     The Last Founding Father by Harlow Unger. 
     Deep South by Paul Theroux. 
     Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Around OakMeadows

Water ponding under the live oaks.

Around OakMeadows

Hurricane Patricia was the main event this week.  Rainfall totaled 9.5 inches. Lots of wind but no damage.  The cats were most unhappy that their favorite napping spot on the sunny back porch was wet. 

I've been quilting away on the baby quilt--working on the borders now.  And now I'm beginning to plan the next one.  

Reading: The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny was really good. All her Armand Gamache mysteries are excellent.  I couldn't put it down until I finished it. Joe and I are really enjoying reading aloud to each other Deep South by Paul Theroux. It got off to a bad start but once he got into the trip and the people he met, it was much improved.  Still reading The Last a Founding Father: James Monroe by Harlow Unger. It is well written and full of things that I didn't know. 

Cooking: I have begun Tuesdays With Dorie. It is an online cooking group that bakes its way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan.  The group votes on which 2 recipes to make each month. Then everyone makes it and discusses any problems and finally posts pictures of their finished creation. 

We are going to the Texas Butterfly Festival in Mission, TX next weekend.  We went last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Joe is taking a class on Macro butterfly photography. I am doing Butterfly Basics again because it was so much fun last year to go around the National Butterfly Center with an expert and learn all about the beautiful butterflies.  The National Butterfly Center is amazing. It has acres of plants that provide food for the caterpillars and nectar for the butterflies.  I have never seen so many butterflies at once in my life.  I just hope the weather cooperates again this year.  

Monday, October 26, 2015

November Menu

November Menu

1. Texas Butterfly Festival
2. Texas Butterfly Festival
3. Baked Fish, Carrots/Thyme, Corn
4. Chicken Rice Bake
5. Steak, GMP, GB
6. Leftovers
7. Out
8. Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Toast
9. Shrimp Jambalaya
10. Slow Cooker Chicken
11. Meatloaf, Sweet Potatoes 
12. Leftovers
13. Out
14. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
15. CB Hash, Cream Style Corn, Salad
16. Tuna Salad sandwiches
17. Oven Fried Chicken, GMP, Coleslaw 
18. Slow Cooker Beef
19. Leftovers
20. Out
21. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven fries
22. Macaroni and Cheese
23. Shrimp Scampi
24. Slow Cooker Chicken
25. Cutlets, GMP, GB
26. Thanksgiving
27. Leftovers
28. Corpus Christi - Birding
29. Corpus Christi - Birding
30. Corpus Christi - Birding

Saturday, October 24, 2015

October Meditation

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.  

     John Donne

October Poetry


Fall sets fire
To the tips of trees,
And fans the flames
With an icy breeze. 

John Frank

Friday, October 23, 2015

Goals for October 25-31, 2015

     Daily Bible Reading
     Sayings of the Desert Fathers

     Sit and Be Fit 5 times
     Healthy Breakfast 6 times
     Water daily

     Baby Quilt

     Deep South by Paul Theroux
     The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy
     The Last Founding Father by Harlow Unger
     The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penney

     Spaghetti and Meatballs 
     Oven Fried Chicken
     Slow Cooker Beef Stew
     Dutch Apple Pie

     Fall Home Heating Inspection
     House Cleaners Yea!!

     Lunch with P&W&C&B
     Texas Butterfly Festival

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October Around OakMeadows

Sometimes I can be totally irrational. Take my van for example. My van is a Honda Odyssey named Penelope.  I bought it new in 2004 and it now has right at 185,000 miles on it. I have taken care of it like it was a member of the family following the recommended maintenance exactly for all these years. And it has transported me without fail for all these years and all these miles.  But the time is coming when I will need to trade it in because we want to take 2 long road trips next year and I just don't trust it to make the trips without blowing a gasket or axel or something. But it is heart wrenching to me and I feel sooooo bad about sending it to the scrap yard or worse to someone who wouldn't take care of her.  What an idiot I am!

This morning I decided to make peanut butter cookies. They would have been better if I'd had some chocolate chips to add but I didn't. 

I have been very unhappy with the lack of Monarch butterflies that we have had this year.  But we seem to be doing a bit better with the fall migration.  I counted 7 Monarch caterpillars on our milkweed bed and I know there were at least that many in the back where I couldn't see them.

I have

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October Cooking - Applesauce Raisin Spice Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup oil 
1 3/4 cup applesauce 
3 eggs
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9X13 inch pan with nonstick spray. 
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices into a large bowl. 
Add applesauce, oil, and eggs bearing at medium speed for 2 minutes.  
Stir in raisins and nuts.
Turn into prepared pan and bake 40 - 44 minutes. 
Cool before frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1 8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. box powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Saturday, October 17, 2015

October Meditation

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

   Albert Camus

Friday, October 16, 2015

October Poetry


What's down in the earth
comes forth in cold water,
in mist at night, in muttering 
volcanoes that ring oceans
moving strangely at times. 

And in autumn all the fields
witness forth; power there
where roots find it, rooms
delved silently and left
for the dark to have. 

Up and down all highways
weed flags proclaim,
"Great is earth our home!"
as we slip our hand
into winter's again. 

Great is earth our home. 
Great is the sky. 
And great are weeds in the fields. 
We celebrate earth and air 
as we sing in the wind. 

William Stafford

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Goals for the Week of October 18-24


     Daily Bible reading
     Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Quilting: Quilt borders of baby quilt. 

     Deep South by Paul Theroux (JMM and I are reading this aloud to each other each evening.)
     The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy
     The Last Founding Father by Harlow Unger
     The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penney (Coming from the library; I finally made it to the top of the wait list!)

     Saturday -- Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
Sunday -- Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Toast
Monday -- Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Tuesday -- Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Sausage & White Beans p.55
Wednesday -- Spaghetti & meat sauce 
Thursday -- Leftovers
Friday -- Out
Peanut Butter Cookies

     Clean front porch and put out autumn decorations (Even though it has been 90+ degrees every day this week...)

     Start setting things out for trip to the Butterfly Festival
     Monday-- Mani/Pedi
     Friday -- Mammogram (Ack!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson

Few Oranges and No Eggs by Vere Hodgson

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this diary of Vere Hodgson who was a social worker living in the Notting Hill Gate area of London during WWII. Her account of the Blitz, and life in London during the War is a fascinating account of the everyday lives of ordinary people. The diary is full of detail about the lack of sleep, the difficulties of traveling, the lack of food (particularly fruit and eggs, hence the title), the responsibilities of being a fire-watcher during air-raids, and the toll that the uncertainties of life took on the population. Her circle of friends is wide, and includes her family in Birmingham (where she visits as often as she is able). The diary brings the experiences of Londoners in those uncertain times vividly to life. If you are interested in the British home front during WW II, this is a book not to be missed. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Around OakMeadows

 I finished reading through the Bible. It has taken a long time but I was in no hurry. Tomorrow I start with Genesis again. I think from here on out I will read books alternately from the Old and New Testaments. Since the Old Testament has so many more chapters than the New, I will read through the New Testament more than once while reading the Old. That is fine because I am in no hurry.

My 12 year old cat, Bandit, is missing.  JMM let him out at 4am this morning and he has not shown up since. This is most unlike him. He comes in for breakfast at 6am when I get up and then curls up on the bed for his morning sleep. (Never mind, he came home after dark. I think he was closed up in my neighbor's garage.)

We went to see The Martian.  Once again Matt Damon needs rescuing.  This time he is left behind on Mars during an emergency evacuation. The crew think that he is dead. How he survives until he can
be rescued and how he is rescued makes for an exciting (if predictably) movie.  A bag of popcorn is
fine but no super sized drink because you won't want to miss anything by taking a bathroom break.

I finally finished Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson. At 590 pages, it has taken a while.  I'll have a review up tomorrow. Paul Theroux's Deep South is going much better now that he is finally writing about his travels in the Deep South.

The quilt is going incredibly slowly. But I just can't make my fingers go anywhere near as quickly as they used to.  There really isn't any hurry though. No babies on the horizon (that I know about anyway.)

I had my annual physical and while I am generally fine, there are some problems that need to be dealt with. 1. I have developed an umbilical hernia probably from when I had a cold and was coughing constantly for a month last spring.  Anyway, it will be a day surgery to fix it.  2. My blood pressure is up and I need to lose weight--no surprise there. 3. Mammogram due. 4. Waiting for blood work results on lipid/cholesterol levels.  Aging requires maintenance!!

I don't know if I have ever mentioned that my husband and I do much of our cooking together.  I make the menu and grocery list.  He does all the chopping of vegetables.  I set everything up in preparation for cooking. He cleans up while I am cooking.  We also work together in getting everything into the Slow Cooker which I use about once a week.  I have a neuromuscular condition that makes it difficult to stand for very long so I really need the help, but more than that it's more fun and more companionable.

My Father died in 1972 and my Mother died in 1975.  With part of my inheritance, I bought a lovely grandfather clock in 1976.  We have always referred to it as our Bicentennial clock.  The clock is now almost 40 years old and while we have had it cleaned and serviced several times, it has kept perfect time for all these years. Until a month ago, when it stopped.  The company which I bought it from in 1976 is still in business and sent a repairman out to look at it. The main gizmo is worn out and a couple of minor gizmos a badly worn. Many dollars to repair, replace, rebuild. But to me the clock is a special piece of history and worth every penny.  I should have it back, good as new before Thanksgiving.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

October Cooking - Beef and Bok Choy Stir Fry

1 lb. beef steak (top round, flank, or sirloin)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 head Bok Choy
4 carrots, sliced diagonally
2-3 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional, I usually skip these)
1/4 cup oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/4 cup water

Prepare Cooking Sauce
Stir together 3/4 cup water, 4 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, and 2 tablespoons cooking sherry. Set aside. 

Cut the beef with the grain into 1 1/2 inch wide strips; then cut each strip across the grain into 1/2 inch wide slanting strips. Place in bowl with soy sauce and garlic.  Let marinade for at least 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile separate Bok Choy leaves from stems.  Wash both thoroughly. Slice stems diagonally into 1/4 inch pieces. Set stems and leaves aside  separately .

Place wok over medium heat. When wok is hot, add sesame seeds and stir until golden (about 2 minutes); remove from wok and set aside.  Increase heat to high. Add 2 tablespoons oil to wok; when oil is hot add Bok Choy stems and carrots. Stir fry for 2 minutes; add water, cover, and cook for 2 minutes; add Bok Choy leaves, cover, and steam for 2 more minutes until leaves and stems are tender to bite. Remove from wok and set aside. 

Pour remaking 2 tablespoons oil into wok. When oil is hot, add meat; stir fry until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Return Bok Choy to wok. Stir cooking sauce and add to wok, then add sesame seeds. Cook, stirring until sauce thickens.  Serve with rice. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October Meditation

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop from you like leaves of Autumn. 

     John Muir, The Mountains of California

Friday, October 9, 2015

October Poetry


Along the shady forest floor
As summer's long days wane,
The mushrooms pop up, wearing hats
To shed the autumn rain. 

John Frank

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Goals for Week October 11-17

     Daily Bible Reading
     Sayings of the Desert Fathers

     Sit and Be Fit 6 days
     Water 24 ounces / day

Quilting: Baby quilt

     Deep South by Paul Theroux (Read aloud with JMM)
     A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd
     A Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson
     The Last Founding Father by Harlow Unger
     I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

     Shrimp Jambalaya 
     Chicken Marsala, GMP, Spinach
     Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
     Pork Chops, Baked Sweet Potato, Spinach

     Order bulbs

     Annual physical

Wednesday, October 7, 2015



I guess whatever was wrong at Blogger got sorted out since my blog is back from the nether world.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October Around OakMeadows

This photo is Henry when he was a baby.

Around OakMeadows

We went to our Ball High School Class of 1965 Reunion over the weekend and it was wonderful. It was like coming home to family. Everyone was so glad to see each other. There was so much laughing and talking and hugging. Classmates came from all over--2 came from Canada, California, Arizona, and all over Texas.  One of the nicest things was the directory so that we can email or Facebook with each other and with those who weren't able to come.  It was sobering to look at the In Memory Of wall and see those young, smiling faces who are no longer with us. I think it made us all the glad to see each other. 

Good movie: Sicario. Definitely worth at least a Netflix view when it becomes available.  

The quilt is going much more slowly than I hoped. But life just got in the way! Maybe I will be able to put more time in on it this week than last. 

I have three books going right now:
     Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson. It is her diary of life in London 1940-45. It has been a great read.  Day to day life by an ordinary person in extraordinary times.  
     A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd. A Bess Crawford mystery. Very good. 
     Deep South by Paul Theroux.  When he actually writes about the people and places he sees, it is wonderful. Unfortunately, he crams so much superfluous verbiage in between the actual travel writing that it is irritating.  My high school English Comp teacher, Mr. Hall, would require a re-write with a note at the top, "Wordy, tighten it up, and for Pete's sake, get to the point!"
Did you know that we have a National Butterfly Center? Well, we do and it is located in Mission, TX right on the Rio Grande. Each year there is a Texas Butterfly Festival at the Center. JMM and went last year and had a great time. We are going again October31-November 2. JMM is taking a Macro-photography class. I am taking Butterfly Basics again because I had such fun doing it last year. Then we are both doing the evening class on Moths.  If the weather will cooperate, it should be great. I have never, ever seen anywhere near as many butterflies in one place. 

JMM had his annual physical and the doc started him on Lisinopril 10mg daily.  We had the prescription filled at the local CVS--> $6.50 for a 90 day supply so no complaints on the price. I just have to watch him for any adverse effects--BP too low or a persistent cough. My annual physical is next Monday 

Just the usual cooking and cleaning and napping with cats around here. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October Cooking - Chicken-Rice Bake

110 1/2 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 10 oz. package frozen mixed vegetables 
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs

In a large bowl stir together the first 5 ingredients. Place mixture in a 9X12 in pan which has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Place chicken thighs in mixture and sprinkle with paprika. 
Cover tightly with foil and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 

October Poetry


Songbirds hushing
Maples blushing,
Rivers rushing--
Fall is here.  

John Frank

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October Meditation

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. 

     L.M. Montgomery,  Anne of Green Gables

Friday, October 2, 2015

Goals for Next Week

Stuff to do:

Sunday: Bandit to mobile vet to get immunization 
Monday: Joe to M.D. for annual physical
Tuesday: Meeting with C.Y. at Fidelity for annual financial planning
Wednesday: Closet project
Thursday: Call Awesome Paws for Nov. 1. 

     Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson
     A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd
     Deep South by Paul Theroux


     Baked Fish, Carrots/Thyme, Cabbage
     Chicken-Rice Bake, Salad
     Steak, GMP, GB
     Blueberry Bran Muffins
     Peanut Butter Cookies