Friday, May 25, 2018

Around OakMeadows


We went to see RBG. It is about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned so much about her.  I so well remember the bad old days when women couldn’t go to medical or law school, when women had to have their husband’s signature to buy a car or take out a loan, when abortions were done In unsanitary conditions by unqualified people. So much of what we take for granted today is due to the work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I am in awe of her exercise routine.  And I share her appreciation of opera.  I was touched by the crack in her voice when talking about her mother’s death when she was only 17.  An excellent movie, well worth seeing. 

I have been terribly upset about the policy of separating children from their parents as they cross the border into the U.S. seeking refuge.  But other than letting my elected officials know that I think this is an abomination and working to get people with more humanity in positions of authority, it seems that there is nothing I could do.  However, I have decided to go to the Refund Services of Texas Amazon Wishlist and purchase things on the wishlist for them. It’s not much but it is something.  

“The more time we spend on the Trumpian soap opera, the less likely we are to know where we are or what we should do.” David Brooks, NYT

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May Poetry

The gods are less for their love of praise.
Above and below them all is a spirit that needs nothing
but its own wholeness, its health and ours.
It has made all things by dividing itself.
It will be whole again.
To its joy we come together --
the seer and the seen, the eater and the eaten,
the lover and the loved.
In our joining it knows itself. It is with us then,
not as the gods whose names crest in unearthly fire,
but as a little bird hidden in the leaves
who sings quietly and waits, and sings. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
Please vote no on Gina Haspel as CIA Director.

Thank you note to Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA):
Thank You for your public condemnation of Sec. Carson’s plans to triple rents on poor families. I (and many Americans) share your view that we are called to care for our neighbors. Thank you for speaking up for our country’s most vulnerable. Name, State.
Address: 2021 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 309, New Orleans, LA 70122

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Sent email to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I am writing to ask that you call for Scott Pruitt to step down as Administrator of the EPA and join the 39 senators and 150 representatives who have already done so. l support leaders who spend taxpayer dollars responsibly and protect environmental health. Thanks.

Sent Thank You note to Reps. Mia Love (R-UT) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): Thank you for co-sponsoring the bipartisan ASPIRE-TPS Act of 2017. It is part of the American tradition to grant longtime visitors a path to legal, permanent status. Thank you for showing your support for people receiving TPS and their families.
Address (ML): 9067 South 1300 West Suite 101, West Jordan, UT 84088
Address (IR-L): 4960 SW 72 Ave, Suite 208, Miami, FL 33155

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Email to Rep. Pete Olson:
I’m writing to oppose the proposed SNAP work requirements. You must understand how many hours of work, verification, and mandatory appointments it takes for the average hungry American to qualify for SNAP. The Farm Bill (H.R. 2) draft adds additional requirements to report work and hours. 1 in 8 Americans relies on SNAP. These changes will take food out of the mouths of children, elderly people, and people living with chronic illness. Please do not approve the Farm Bill with new hurdles for work requirements intact. SNAP should be a snap.

Thank You note to Bryan Stevenson (founder of Equal Justice Initiative):
Thank You for creating the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and its twin organization, the Legacy Museum. I support your mission to confront the racial atrocities of the past in order to create paths toward racial reconciliation. Congratulations and thank you for your important work.
Address: 122 Commerce Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
Im calling to express my deep concern about HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s plans to triple rent costs for 4.7 million of our nation’s most vulnerable families. His proposal would disproportionately affect seniors, families with children, and people with high medical expenses. I want my tax dollar to support my neighbors in need, so I am asking you to oppose Carson’s plans and stand up for our vulnerable citizens.

Sent Thank You note to Mandy Manning: 
Congratulations on the recognition of 2018 National Teacher of the Year! I was touched by your decision to share with the President letters from your immigrant and refugee students. Your dedication to your students and your message of connection over division is an inspiration to us all.
Address: ℅ Ferris High School, 3020 E. 37th Ave., Spokane, WA 99223

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

I’m calling about ICE, the only law enforcement agency with a detention quota. With ICE detention costing $134 per day per bed, people who pose no risk to the public can be monitored at much lower expense to taxpayers outside of these facilities. The bed quota enriches private prison operators without making us safer. I am requesting that you work to end this mandate that warehouses legal asylum seekers. Thank you.

Sent Thank You note to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT):
Thank you for holding Kirstjen Nielson accountable for false information linking immigrants to terrorism. In a time when voices advocating for truth are few, I appreciate your choice to press this issue. Thank you.
Address: 199 Main Street, 4th Floor, Burlington, VT 05401

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Called Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I am outraged at the inhumane practice of separating children from parents at the border—including those legally seeking asylum protection. I am asking you to do everything in their power to stop this practice that hurts children.

Sent Thank You note to Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA):
Thank for advocating for humane treatment of families immigrating to the US. What ICE is doing to parents and their young children is unacceptable, and I appreciate you pressing Kirstjen Nielson to change this policy.
Address: 10 North Post Street, Suite 600, Spokane, Washington 99201

The Fern House at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

June Menu

June Menu

1. Out
2. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries 
3. Slow Cooker Chicken 
4. Baked Fish, Potatoes, Coleslaw 
5. Chicken-Spaghetti Casserole 
6. Steak, GMP, GB
7. Leftovers 
8. Out
9. Macaroni and Cheese, Corn
10. Schwan’s 
11. Tuna Salad
12. Oven BBQ Chicken, Beans, Coleslaw 
13. Schwan’s 
14. Leftovers 
15. Out
16. Scrambled Eggs, Schwan’s Sausage and Potatoes 
17. Slow Cooker Beef
18. Baked Fish, Potatoes, Coleslaw 
19. Oven Baked Chicken Tenders, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach 
20. Pizza
21. Leftovers 
22. Out
23. CB Hash, CSC
24. Schwan’s 
25. Fried Shrimp, FF, Coleslaw 
26. Schwan's 
27. Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad 
28. Leftovers 
29. Out 
30. St. Wieners, Corn

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Imperfect People I Admire

Imperfect People I Admire

Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter
Paul Farmer
Barack and Michelle Obama 
Bill McKibben
Emma Gonzales
Jon Katz
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Bob Waldrop 

My parents 
Eleanor Roosevelt
Martin Luther King
Margaret Sanger
George Marshall
George Washington 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis 

I thoroughly enjoyed following Odyssa (Jen’s trail name) as she thru hiked the Appalachian Trail solo. She started in Georgia and ended in at Mt. Katahdin, Maine. She made friends, enjoyed hiking alone, learned how to take care of her body so that she could continue the journey. I will tell you one thing, I could never ever have dealt with the weather, cold rain, snow, thunderstorms or the physical challenges of climbing, dealing with clouds of biting insects, or running out of food or water on the trail. In spite of and sometimes because of the challenges, Odyssa found peace and joy and grew mentally, physically, and spiritually as she completed the 2100 mile trail. A really good read. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Around OakMeadows

We went to the Dallas Botanical Gardens today.  We left Angie at the vet to be boarded overnight so that we could leave before 6am. It is a 4 1/2 hour drive but once you leave the Houston traffic, it is a lovely drive.  We stopped at McDonald’s to get breakfast. The gardens are beautiful, beautifully laid out and immaculately maintained. Several areas had fountains and small waterfalls and the flowers were spectacular. Lots of huge trees.  JMM took photos so I just enjoyed the beauty and the peace.  

RBG is showing at the River Oaks and although I want to see it, i don’t want to see it enough to drive through all that traffic, find a non-existent parking spot,in the heat, and deal getting to the theater. So I hope it will come to my local AMC or perhaps it will be available for streaming eventually. 

I got my Dutch Churn and Dash Quilt back and to tell the truth, I don’t like it. The blocks look messy and cluttered.  I think this is the only quilt that I have ever made that I really didn’t like.  Sometimes I pull my hair out and rip things apart and start over again but I am always rather pleased with the finished product.  Now I don’t know what to do with it. I had planned to give it to my niece, Brenda, but I feel awkward giving something that I don’t like to someone that I do like. Decisions, decisions. 

I finished reading To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear. It is Maisie Dobbs #14 and I think it is one of the best. Perhaps it holds my interest because it is set in England in the opening days of WW II during the evacuation at Dunkirk. I anticipate at least 5 more books set during WW II.  I’ve started Becoming Odyssa which is about a young woman hiking the Appalachian Trail. So far it is really good. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

đŸ”¥Resistance Every. Day. đŸ”¥

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Sent emails to Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I would like to encourage you to choose only high-quality, ethical nominees to serve our country. Andrew Oldham, nominee to the Court of Appeals, supports restricting voting rights, women's health care, and immigrants' rights. Gina Haspel’s past human-rights violations should preclude her from serving in the CIA, much less as its director. EPA Director Scott Pruitt has proven a poor choice for his cavalier spending of taxpayer dollars. I ask that you be discerning as each vote comes up in the Senate. Thank you.

Thank you note to Azadeh Shahshahani:
Thank You for work through Project South and advocacy for America’s detained immigrants. Your legal work, investigations, and writing are shedding light and helping liberate our neighbors. Thank you for your tenacious leadership. We stand with you.
Address: Project South, 9 Gammon Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Email to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
April 10th was Equal Pay Day, the average date it takes for women in America to make the same wage as a white male in a year (99 extra days!). It takes even longer for Black women, Native women, and Latina women to make the same level of pay. In fact, Latinas are the farthest behind. At only 54 cents on the dollar for the same work, their Equal Pay Day is Nov 1st. I am writing to ask you to co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1869/S. 819) so that equal pay can be a reality for all. Thank you.

Thank you notes to 4 Republican Senators:
Thank you for voting for the bill (S. 1735) that protects special investigations of the president. It must be difficult to do something your party finds threatening, so I especially appreciate your leadership. Thank you for your service to our democracy.

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
Call: Your 2 senators—red or blue (look up).
I’m calling in support of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 1917). This bipartisan effort would reduce racial disparity in sentencing, decrease the expense of ineffective mandatory minimums, and increase judicial discretion in sentencing non-violent drug offenders. It also allocates funding for effective programs that reduce re-offending. Please co-sponsor S. 1917 and urge the Senate Majority Leader to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

(Never thought I’d ever write a Thank You note to Jeff Sessions but these are strange times.)
Thank You note to Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
Thank You for not canceling legal-rights clinics for people detained in ICE facilities. I value treating immigrants with basic respect, and your decision is a step toward that goal. Years from now, our nation will be judged by its treatment of peaceful people seeking asylum in our country.
Address: U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Thank You note to Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD):
Thank You for signing into law three bipartisan gun control bills that protect the citizens of your state. I especially appreciate you supporting a compromise that respects the 2nd Amendment while making people safer. Thank you.

Called Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I believe that kids brought here as children are Americans. The president promised not to target Dreamers, but we have started deporting them and tearing them from loving families. This is unacceptable. I want you to be proactive in offering young people a path to citizenship, to prevent deportation, and to bring a vote on the Dream Act (H.R. 3440/S. 1615). We must protect these valuable members of our communities. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

San Antonio Botanical Gardens

Last week we drove to San Antonio Botanical Gardens. Wow! What a gorgeous garde

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

What do I value?

What do I value?

“How we live our lives speaks as loud as what we say we believe, if not louder. How does my life reflect my deepest values?” 
Awakening the Soul: A Book of Daily Devotions, edited by John C. Morgan

I read this in my daily devotional and it got me to thinking, “What are my deepest values?” So I made a list. I’m sure I’m forgetting some.

Being debt free

How would you answer, “What are your deepest values?”

Sunday, April 29, 2018

April Thoughts

The mind is everything. What you think you become. Buddha

April Poetry

"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
-  Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 

Plans for the Week of April 29 - May 5, 2018

     ADG and Church
     Daily Devotions 
     Daily Meditation 

     No sugar
     1 Liter Water per day

     Cut out strips for lattice
     Call about Dutch Churn and Dash quilt 

     Grant by Ron Chernow (JMM and I are reading this aloud to each other.)
     A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey (This is so different from what I thought it would be and so far it is excellent.)
     The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (I haven’t started this one yet.)

     CB Hash and CSC
     Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach
     Chicken-Rice Bake
     Fried Shrimp, FF, Coleslaw 

     đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day. đŸ”¥
      Plan trip to Dallas Botanical Gardens 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Called Rep. Pete Olson:
I’m calling about The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). I can’t understand why Mick Mulvaney would dismantle an agency that protects consumers from fraud and abuse. S. 2155 passed in the Senate, and I’m counting on you to vote against its passage in the House. Thank you.

Thank you note to Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL):
Thank you for supporting Americans with disabilities. I appreciate your clear, joint letter (with 42 other senators!) to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Thank you for working to protect the Americans with Disabilities Act and block a vote on the ADA Educational and Reform Act (H.R. 620). And welcome to the world, Maile Pearl!
Address: 230 South Dearborn Street, Suite 3900, Chicago, IL 60604

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Wrote to State Department:
Address: Office of Public Engagement: PA/PL, Rm. 2206, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20520
In this country, all people may worship free of discrimination. The Administration's nominee to lead the UN International Organization for Migration, Ken Isaacs, has made comments that vilify Muslims. His ability to be impartial toward our neighbors is in question. I am writing to request that Ken Isaacs’ nomination be withdrawn. Thank you.

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Sent postcards to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
 I’m concerned about new barriers to our neighbors receiving food assistance. I want you to reauthorize SNAP without decreasing benefits—and without adding work requirements or drug-testing requirements. With the Farm Bill up for debate next week, it is urgent that you advocate so that the poorest Texans can eat. Thank you.

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Sent email to Rep. Pete Olson:
I am concerned about the US Dept. of Health and Human Services division, the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom,that condones discrimination against our own citizens. Denying medical treatment is unconscionable and risks our neighbors’ lives. Providers who discriminate should not receive government money. I would like you to co-sponsor H.R. 5123 a new bill that abolishes this department. Thank you 

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Sent postcards to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I am concerned about the Department of Justice forcing quotas on immigration judges. Tying performance to the number of cases means that people may not have a fair trial. Please make a public statement in support of due process and basic decency toward immigrants. Thank you. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Visit to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Tx

It was a windy day and not ideal for photographing butterflies but we enjoyed seeing a nice variety.
Cloudless Sulphur 
Common Mestra

Red Admiral 

Black Swallowtail 

Hackbury Emperor

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April Poetry

"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."
-  Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant

Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean

Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean

This is not an easy read and if I’d read it before the 2016 elections, I probably would not have finished it and just chalked it up to a rather paranoid conspiracy theory from the left.  But is is impossible not to see what is actually happening. 

MacLean gives a history of the development of the radical libertarian movement.  But what is libertarian to most Americans is not what it is to the operatives from the octopian labyrinth of Koch-funded organizations. So let me clear that up right away. Their idea of liberty is an economic Darwinism with no restraints on the accumulation of wealth by the few without even a nod to democracy or majority rule. Any attempt to tax other than for maintenance of order and national defense in not to be tolerated.  So what are some of the public/governmental activities that should be abandoned?

1.) Public education should be abolished.  Instead, private education for those who can afford it. For those who can’t afford it, too bad. Same for college and university levels. No government subsidies. Besides, higher education just leads to unrealistic expectations. 

2.) Public Health. No kidding—no government regulation for safe drinking water, safe working conditions, no CDC, no NIH.

3.) Government regulation of anything. 

4.) Flat tax. No graduated income tax. 

5.) No Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. Privatization of all retirement plans. No employer contribution to retirement accounts.  Not enough saved for retirement?—Too bad. Get sick?—Pay or die. 

6.) Most importantly, they want to amend the Constitution to effectively limit democracy and make it impossible to respond to the will of the people. 

The list goes on.  If you want a real life example of life under what the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, ALEC operatives are stealthily foisting on America, check out a book on life in Chile under Pinochet. (And be sure to learn under whose auspices the Chilean Constitution was written.)

I would never have believed this was possible, but all I have to do is look around at the current cabinet members to see that it is not just possible, but well under way. 

Hard to read but a must read. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I’m concerned about efforts to turn back the clock on the Americans with Disabilities Act. H.R. 620 is now in the Senate and would burden people with disabilities with fighting for their right to access public spaces. It is wrong, and I want to make sure that you will not support this bill. 

Thank you note to Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL):
Thank you for calling for Scott Pruitt’s resignation. I agree that his actions—including accepting a lobbyist’s condo at a token cost—are unethical. Thank you for breaking with your party to stand up for ethical behavior.
Address (IR-L): 2206 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Address (CC): 1404 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I'm calling to voice my support for common-sense gun reform. I am eager for you to take meaningful action to address gun violence. I would like two things. One is for you to oppose S. 446 which weakens protections from gun violence. Two, to oppose Howard Nielson for a lifetime seat on the United States District Court.. Thank you.

Thank you note to Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA):
Thank you for supporting equal pay in the workplace. Thank you for signing into law bills to close the gender pay gap, and to make it hard for employers to cover up workplace sexual assault and harassment. Thank you!
Address: Office of the Governor, PO Box 40002, Olympia, WA 98504-0002

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I’m calling to oppose the judicial nominations of Kyle Duncan and Thomas Farr. People hostile to equal rights and voting access don’t deserve lifetime appointments. Should these nominees come to a vote, I expect you to oppose them. Thank you. 

Thank you note to Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ):
Thank you for opposing National Guard deployment to the Mexican border, and pressing against the diversion of funds from the defense budget to border infrastructure. This is both fiscally responsible and commendable. Thank you.
Address: 411 N. Central Ave, Suite 150, Phoenix, AZ 85004

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Letter to Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General:

I stand with the many Americans—Democratic and Republican—calling for increased scrutiny over a Sinclair-Tribune merger. Americans deserve independent local broadcasting. Thank you. 
US Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20530-0001

Thank you note to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell (D-WA):
Thank you for your letter to the FCC opposing the merger of Sinclair and Tribune. I appreciate your support of truly local news and encouraging an investigation into Sinclair’s practices. Thank you!
Address (PM): 950 Pacific Avenue, Ste. 650, Tacoma, WA 98402
Address (MC): 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3206, Seattle, WA 98174