Friday, December 14, 2018

Around OakMeadows

                                 The kittens are exhausted from creating so much mayhem. 

This morning I took my quilt top, backing, and binding to the quilt shop for machine quilting. I’ve already started on the next one which will be a very simple block quilt. 

I finished my antibiotics for the UTI. Hope never to go through that again. 

The kittens are darling and have been of some help in getting over the loss of my darling Duffy. I think what threw me was how totally unexpected his death was.  2018 was a dreadful year for the cats in my family.  First, we had to put Misty (age 13) down, then we had to put Bandit (age 15) down, and finally Duffy died so unexpectedly of an acute asthma attack. So now we have 3 cats Henry, Buster, and Iris and our dog, Angie. 

Reading: The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days by Jonathan Alter. It is excellent!! 

Tomorrow we are going to the New York Metropolitan Opera production of La Triviata which is being live streamed to our local AMC theatre. We saw Carmen last year this way and it is like having the best seats in the house. And during intermission, they show what is going on backstage. Amazing. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Good Fiction I Read in 2018

2018 Fiction — I only have 4 and 5 star fiction because if I don’t think it’s good, I don’t finish it. 
My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray. 
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. 
To Die but Once (Maisie Dobbs #14) by Jacqueline Winspear. 
A Rising Man (Sam Wyndham #1) by Abir Mukherjee. 

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
When We Found Home by Susan Mallery 
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon (Commisario Brunetti #27)
Fall from Grace by Danielle Steele (My one per year DS)
Year One by Nora Roberts
Powerless: The Year the Lights Went Out by Suzanne Goldring 
Beartown by Frederick Backman 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Around OakMeadows

My darling Duffy 

Around OakMeadows 

Well, December has certainly had some unpleasant surprises. First, my darling cat, Duffy, died unexpectedly of an acute asthma attack. I knew his asthma was getting worse and we had just that morning taken him to the vet and gotten his medication. But shortly after we came home from the vet, he had an acute attack and could not move air in or out of his lungs. We were with him when it happened.  I will miss his sweet head rubs for the rest of my life.  

Then yesterday I suddenly developed a urinary tract infection. I was fine in the morning but by 2pm, I was in the ER with horrible bladder spasms and urine bright red with blood. It has been at least 20 years since I had a UTI and I certainly hope it is 20 more before I have another. I got an antibiotic injection, ceftriaxone, a prescription for 7 days of cephalexin, and 2 days of phenazopyridine. I am feeling much better today. People are crazy for longing for the good old days; I would have died a miserable death from this without antibiotics.  

Wednesday was my 71st birthday. Let’s hope the rest of 71 is less stressful.  

We have 2 new kittens from the shelter. The male, Buster, is 2 weeks older than the female, Iris. They play together and cuddle up to sleep together which is so sweet. They are both orange tabbies. I couldn’t bear to get a black kitten because I would see my sweet Duffy every time I would look at him. The new kittens are a balm to my grief. 

We are in for a weekend of rainy, stormy weather.  I am glad JMM and I don’t have to be out in it but am worried about DD and DSIL who have to be out on the road this weekend. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The 10 Best Books I Read in 2018

The 10 Best Books I Read in 2018

Of the 53 books I read this year, these are the best:

Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph Ellis. 
My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray. 
Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship by Jon Meacham 
The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in An American Classroom by Helen Thorpe. 
Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family’s Quest to Save the Land by Scott Freeman. 
Eisenhower: Soldier and Statesman by Stephen Ambrose. 
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass. 
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. 
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Plan for America by Nancy MacLean. 
A Higher Loyalty by James Comey. 
To Die but Once (Maisie Dobbs #14) by Jacqueline Winspear. 
The Man Who Climbs Trees by James Alfred. 
A Rising Man (Sam Wyndham #1) by Abir Mukherjee. 
Grant by Ron Chernow. 
FDR by Jean Edward Smith. 

You didn’t really think I could get it down to just 10, did you???

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Sent postcards to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I am concerned the recent report by Amnesty International which found that the current administration has separated more children from their parents than previously reported. To date, at least 200 children are still separated from their families. Our government is concentrating unaccompanied teens into expanding tent camps in Texas. As a taxpayer, I’m furious. As a human being, I’m horrified. I expect you to work to end these policies and show basic human decency in our immigration process.

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Submitted to
I oppose a policy refusing citizenship to families who use or have used public assistance.
The “public charge” rule would prevent people from working and supporting their families.
The “public charge” rule would deny people over age 61 a future.
This regulation would violate my state’s right to provide benefits to families in short-term crisis and increase federal intrusion into local issues.
Immigrants strengthen our communities and our economy, contributing billions in taxes.
I want my tax dollar to support and show decency toward aspiring Americans.
Even the Department of Homeland Security found the rule change could have serious public health and other consequences.
The proposal itself lists many negative consequences to the country as a whole, including several related to public health.
I do not want this rule to be implemented.

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Thank note to Fr. Ruskin Piedra:
Thank you for your spirit in action to provide immigration legal services in Brooklyn since 2003. Your persistence in the face of the current administration is admirable and courageous. Thank you for your work. 
Address: 545 60th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220

đŸ”¥Resistance. Every. Day.đŸ”¥

Thank you note to State Senator Nikema Williams (D-GA):
Thank you for standing with your constituents to insist their votes be counted, and for enduring arrest. Your principled bravery in the face of injustice is a beacon for all who believe in equality.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Around OakMeadows

I love PBS and one of my favorite shows is Nature. The most recent program was on Squirrels. Did you know that there are over 300 species of squirrels? Tree squirrels, ground squirrels, flying squirrels. A squirrel’s teeth never stop growing to counter the wear and tear of their diet. A red squirrel’s teeth grow about 8 inches each year. Chipmunks can stash up to 7 nuts in their flexible cheek pouches.  Fox squirrels can bury up to 9000 nuts per year.  Flying squirrels can glide up to 150 feet which is half the length of a football field!!

I spent a good bit of time today straightening out of electrical and water accounts.  We have them on autopay to our credit card. For some unknown reason this month’s charge went to a previous card number and not to the current card. No idea why. The water bill was easy to correct and pay online. But the electric bill was complicated because the company is updating their website. I had to completely reregister but once that was done, I was able to pay and get that cleared up. Tomorrow I have to contact the septic system company because I was notified that the disinfecting mechanism needs repair. No idea what this will cost.  Last of all I got the bill for our property taxes. I’ve got the money and it will be good to have it paid for the next year. 

Angie is just about completely over her bout of kennel cough. She only coughs when she is excited which is every time the walker from Awesome Paws comes. She needs a bath. I need to make an appointment for her to be groomed; it will probably be after Thanksgiving.  

Not much progress on the quilt top. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph Ellis

Passionate Sage

Commitment to principle somehow necessitated unpopularity for John Adams, and the fullest expression of his best energies occurred in singular acts of passionate defiance.  For Adams, virtue demanded a level of disinterestedness and a purity of public spiritedness that derived its compulsion from psychological imperative which seemed to require isolation and unpopularity as evidence of its authenticity. 
Adams believed that there is no one principle which predominates in human nature so much in every stage of life as the passion for superiority. Every human being compares itself with every other around it and will find some superiority over every other. 
Adams was obsessed with interior integrity, not with the external rewards that mastery of appearance could bring. Humility, piety, self-denial, and other habits were not just means to an end for him, but the ends themselves. 
Adams suggested that most enduring political, social, and economic transformations were evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Successful revolutions such as the one he helped lead in America, were merely the final and most visible stages of what was a long process of preparation. The only kind of progress Adams truly trusted came gradually, moving at an evolutionary pace that allowed institutions to adjust and expectations to remain under some modicum of control. 
In his political thinking, Adams did embrace two of the central tenets of the liberal tradition: the doctrine of popular sovereignty, that is, the notion that political power ultimately derives from the people; and the principle of equality before the law, the view that justice is blind to the class, race, or gender of the accused. In these two areas, Adams was a liberal. 
Adams warned Jefferson that individual freedom and social equality were incompatible ideas, that ignoring their conflict only assured the triumph of the privileged. Adams insisted that government needed to play an active role in managing national priorities; that it was not, as Jefferson seemed to believe, only and always, a source of oppression. 
An excellent book which explores the principles of government which two hundred years later we are still debating.