Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Whiz of hummingbirds

I have no idea what a group of hummingbirds is called but a "whiz" of them seems quite appropriate. These weeks of late summer mean the hummingbirds are gathering here on the Texas Gulf Coast getting ready for their fall migration to South and Central America. It also means that we refill our 3 hummingbird feeders very frequently. (I've never believed all the news items about how much sugar Americans eat because the numbers are bound to be skewed by all the sugar used by those of us who have hummingbird feeders...LOL). No matter how many feeders we put up, the little jewels spend all their time chasing each other away. I have also learned that they are curious--this morning my husband was eating cereal on the porch near one of the feeders and one little fellow came down almost face to face to check out who was too close to his feeder. I'll try to post a picture but they are really too fast for me. Darling little flying jewels!!
We are in the process of greatly expanding our butterfly / hummingbird garden. It is too late to be of any use to this year's birds but I hope to attract more next year. We have had great success with salvia for the hummingbirds; so much more salvia will be going in. Butterfly weed, Mexican heather, and that dratted Bee Balm are all going in the new area too. (I call it that dratted Bee Balm because it is so invasive but the bees, butterflies, and hummers love it so I just have to keep whacking it back.) Spanish lavender does well here although the English lavender does not; the bees love it and so do I.
That's what's going on around here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Missing Bloggers

First it was JW and now Morrison. I miss you guys and hope life is treating you well.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Healing, I think

My on-going GI problem has been decidedly better this week and with this improvement has been an improvement in my mood and outlook. After all the doctors, MRI, CAT scan, changes in diet, and medication, it seems that time is being the healer. I am convinced (although I have no proof at all) that all this was brought on by a long time food allergy. As soon as I stopped the food my allergy symptoms vanished but by the time I put the clues together, I am conveninced that my GI tract had been damaged. I doubt that things will ever go back to what they were before but there is enough improvement and I now know how to cope with the remaining symptoms. With this improvement and coping skills, I am not so paralyzed with depression. One day at a time.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Niece

is 57 years old and is newly diagnosed with cancer. It is in her lungs and brain. She has started radiation and will follow with chemotherapy. She is being treated as an outpatient. What concerns me is that she lives far away from any of her family and there is no one to take care of her during the radiation and chemo and afterwards. Her husband has CHF and is in poor health himself. I suggested that she come to MD Anderson here in Houston for treatment but she adamantly opposed this. Since I can't go there and she won't come here, I am thinking of seeing if she will let me hire a home health assistant to come to her home a couple of hours a day.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Good Things about August

1. Sunflowers and zinnias are a riot of color
2. Too hot to cook means salads and melons
3. The Perseids meteor shower
4. Planning the winter birding trip
5. Getting wet in a pool, river, or lake
6. Summer reading

"Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn."

- Michelle L. Thieme, August's Crown

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

America Goes Dark

is the title of Paul Krugman's column in yesterday's NYT.

It's an excellent article on how cities are literally turning off the streetlights to save money, how teachers and policemen are being laid off, and roads & bridges falling into disrepair. We are all aware of how strapped for money state and local governments are because they are caught in a bind between The Great Recession and the requirement to balance their budgets. I go along with him up to a point. He focuses on the need to increase taxes on the richest 2%. Fine, OK, go for it, increase taxes on the richest 2%, let the tax cuts expire. We will pay more in taxes but we'll survive. What I don't understand is his completely skipping the elephant in the room--What if we weren't funding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? What if that money was available for lights and education and roads or research for cancer? We are pouring borrowed money into a neverending sinkhole. What's next--Yemen, back to Somalia??
Because we are borrowing the money to pay for the war and have no draft, we feel none of the need to bring these wars to an end.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I have been watching the PBS series Liberty! about the American Revolution. What makes it so special is that it is taken from letters and documents of the time. The beauty of the language and writing is in such stark contrast to the vast verbal wastland of today. We certainly have the quantity of writing, texting, blogging today but are in sore lack of quality. I wonder if historians of the future will be so overwhelmed with the volume of communication today that they will just conclude that we really didn't have much of consequence to say at all.
Anyway, the series is great and I learned so much.