Monday, December 31, 2012

Miss Buncle's Book by D.E.Stevenson

Miss Buncle's Book

Miss Buncle who lives in the quiet English village of Silverstream needs money. It is 1934 and her dividends are simply not coming in adequate to pay her meager bills. She considers her options and decides to write a book.  She thinks she lacks imagination and must write about what she knows. And what does she know?  Her neighbors and the people of Silverstream.  So she writes a thinly disguised novel about the people of her village.  A veritable tempest in a teapot is set off in the village. Its a pleasant story which nourished my love of English village life. 


This morning I finished reading the Bible in a year chronologically. Our church had challenged us to do this. I have read the Bible in a year before but never chronologically. It was a real blessing and I learned so much! I especially appreciated the emails from others sharing their struggles and blessings as we all read on together. As we read on this last morning, " 'Surely I am coming soon.' Amen. Come Lord Jesus. The grace of Lord Jesus be with all. Amen."

Friday, December 28, 2012

Goals for Week Ending 1/5/13

1. Complete Read  the Bible Chronologically in a Year--done!!
2. Continue cutting out next quilt top using leftover fabric--done
3. Continue Weight Watchers 26 points per day--done
4. Finish Block #15 on quilt--done
 5. J.C.Penney's--done
6. Reading
     Miss Buncle's Book by D.E.Stevenson--finished
     The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff
     The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker--finished
7. Cook 4 dinners--done
10. Order JMM's birthday present--done. I hope it gets here by the 10th.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

12/27/2012 Three Things that Made Me Happy Today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Hot baked potato with butter and cheese for lunch. 

Didn't have to go anywhere!

Cold weather makes my cats soooo affectionate

Monday, December 24, 2012

Going over the fiscal cliff--Good.

The fiscal cliff

It looks like there will be no grand bargain. Perhaps, there will be some minor deals that will allow things to muddle along for a while. Perhaps there will be no deal at all and the economic ball will start rolling downhill, gathering speed as it goes. 
If we do "go over the cliff," JMM and I will pay more income tax. I'm not thrilled with the idea but the fact is that we can afford it. We won't miss any meals or go without heat. We'll do some economizing but we will be just fine. This is certainly not the case with many, many people. We could end up right back in recession with its attendant increase in unemployment. 
That being said, perhaps going over the cliff is not such a bad thing. We are deeply in debt and by going over the cliff, we will increase revenues and decrease expenditures. Yes, I know, everyone will be screaming about the increase in their taxes and the cuts in services.  But what I wonder is: Where were these people when we started a totally useless and totally unfunded war in Iraq and proceeded to dilly dally with nation building in Afghanistan?? Because we have no draft and because we borrowed the money, the idea that war costs nothing and doesn't have anything to do with them seems to have been the prevailing sentiment.  Well, here's news, folks: War is expensive and we are about to start paying, every last one of us. And even if our tax rates double or triple, we won't be paying near what the men and women who will spend the rest of their lives without their arms or legs or with their minds forever damaged. 
I'm truly sorry that so many people will be hurt by the coming economic cliff and I am under no illusion that we have learned anything. We are about to start paying for our silence about Iraq and Afghanistan. Let us hope, pray, and vote so that our leaders will never again march us into another war. 


"When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart."
The words are by Howard Thurman, an African-American minister, civil rights activist and author, who in his time met Gandhi and influenced Martin Luther King Jr and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Goals for the week ending December 29, 2012

1. Continue Read the Bible Chronologically in a Year--done
2. Continue cutting out next quilt top using leftover fabric--done
3. Continue Weight Watchers 26 points per day--done (mostly)
4. Finish Block #14 on quilt--done
 5. Take van in for CV boot replacement--done
6. Reading--done
     Miss Buncle's Book by D.E.Stevenson
     The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff
     The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker
7. Cook 4 dinners--done
10. Finish January budget--done

Birds seen at OakMeadows 12/16-12/23/2012

Bluejays--Good to see these coming back after being nearly wiped out by West Nile virus.
Turkey vultures
Rufous hummingbird (this straggler needs to get a move on it if he's going to migrate this year.)
Collared doves
Mourning doves
Canadian geese (fly over)
Eastern phoebe

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Giver by Lois Lowery

This young adult fiction is set in a utopian future. It is very good but I must read the next book in the series as the ending to The Giver leaves much just hanging..

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12/19/12 Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Finished a good brain fluff book: The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber. 

I had a $50 gift card from and I had a very pleasant hour spending it on books for my Kindle. 

Texts during the day from my husband and daughter. Love them so much!

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber

When you pick up a Debbie Macomber novel, you know that while trials may abound, in the end, love will overcome. One doesn't read a DM book for great intellectual stimulation but for soul nourishment. This was an especially well written poignant story of loss and guilt, of forgiveness and hope, of coming home. Good for a cold winter day under a quilt with a cat and a cup of hot tea.

Monday, December 17, 2012

12/17/12 Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Clementines--if peeling and popping sweet juicy little clementine pieces in your mouth doesn't make ya smile...

My cat threw up on the tile instead of the carpet...

Garmin. Love it! It speaks, I obey and we end up where we are supposed to be!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

The beautiful music at church this morning

We received 3 1/2 inches of rain. Showers of blessings indeed. 

Downton Abbey. Will Anna and Bates ever find happiness???

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Seeing my daughter strong and healthy and happy. 

Shrimp creole. 

Good books. I am reading The Scarlet Pimpernel and finding it surprisingly good.  

Goals for the week ending Saturday, December 22

1. Continue Read the Bible Chronologically in a Year--done
2. Continue cutting out next quilt top using leftover fabric--done
3. Continue Weight Watchers 26 points per day--I did not track my points this wee so I don't know if I did or not.  Must track next week. 
4. Finish Block #14 on quilt--only about 1/2 way finished. Will finish next week. 
 5. Take scooter in for repair. ...again--done. It is staying in the shop while they order and installed another whatsit..
6. Reading
     The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy--finished. Better than I had anticipated.
     The Man who Saved the Union by H.W.Brands--finished. Just excellent!! S interesting and so well written!!
     The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker
7. Cook 4 dinners--not done. Too lazy to cook.  :(
 8. Christmas cards --not done. Maybe next year...
9. Finish January budget--almost finished. All that really needs to be done is to print it out with a few more changes. 

What can be done?

Like everyone else, I am trying to sort out what I think and feel about the terrible school shooting in Newton, CT yesterday.  The only thing I can say is that there is too much violence and too many guns in America today. But just is there is too much of these, there is too little of other things.  There is too little love and compassion, there is too little gentleness, and too little peace and calm. I cannot change anything but myself. All I can do is remove as much conflict, anger, and violence from my life as possible and let my life speak gentleness, kindness, and peace. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

This time it is Connecticut

Way to go NRA! 27 more people that, according to you, guns didn't kill. ( Remember guns don't kill people, people kill people.)
Back in the dark ages when I was growing up (1950's) the NRA was for people who went deer hunting. What progress we have made.
Somebody made those guns and somebody sold them and IMHO, they, the NRA, and their puppets in Congress have as much of the children's blood on their hands as the deranged man who shot them.

(Don't bother leaving idiotic comments about the Second Ammendment unless you mention the part about "the well regulated militia."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

I didn't sleep well last night so I took an after breakfast nap. Ah, the joys of retirement. Eat your heart out, worker bees! LOL!!

Beautiful day. Clear, cool, low humidity. 

No cooking day. Took 2 containers of veggie soup out of the freezer and toasted some sourdough bread. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

The housecleaners came today. It is so nice to have a clean house while spending the day quilting and reading.

Seeing how happy my cats are on the warm electric blanket. I only know they are alive because they change positions every couple of hours. 

Listening to beautiful music--Mozart's Clarinet Concerto--while quilting.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

Winter has finally arrived and both the temperature and the humidity are comfortable. 

I located Rep. Pete Olson's office easily and registered my concerns quickly & easily. 

We have the Christmas electric candles in the windows and they look so cozy. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

★ Three things that made me happy today★ 

A lovely lunch with my dearest husband, daughter and soon to be son-in-law.

A Sunday afternoon nap

I finished reading The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watching in Nature by David Haskell. Reading the words was like pouring soothing oil on my naturalist's soul. Lovely. 

The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature by David Haskell

Beautiful, just beautiful.  The words convey both the beauty of nature and the love the author feels toward his chosen mandala.  In addition to the affection expressed, the author has a good grasp of the general science of the area. I was quite surprised to learn how little I knew about the relation between roots and fungi and about life below the leaf litter.  Very interesting, very well written. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

A good night's sleep last night.

The smell of mulch. JMM brought home a load of mulch yesterday but didn't have time to unload it so he left it in the closed garage over night. Love the smell of mulch. 

Bacon sandwiches.  (Ever notice how many of the things that make me happy have to do with food??)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

The repairman came out and fixed my old, old scooter. It was my first scooter and has served me well for almost 10 years. It is old and rather banged up but now that the whatsit is fixed, it still gets me around. 

My sweet cat Bandit. He  curled up in my lap, purring, and forced me to just stay put and read while he slept. 

Beans and rice and kielbasa sausage for dinner. I would have made a pan of cornbread to go with it but I couldn't get up and disturb the cat.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

I weighed in at Weight Watchers and had lost 1.8 lb. 

My roses are blooming and I brought in 4 beautiful white roses blooms.

I finished reading O Pioneers by Willa Cather. Such a wonderful book!

Three things that made me happy yesterday

We got 2 inches of rain yesterday. I opened the back door just to hear the beautiful sound. 

All the lovely birthday wishes I received from family  & friends. 

My sweet husband had a work from home day. 

Weight Watchers Report

Slowly she goes...

This week I lost 1.8 lb. total lost 25 lb. weight 149.6 lb. finally under 150!  14.6 lb. to go. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Three things that made me happy today

It was very foggy this morning and I love the mysterious light shining through the fog. I took the camera and took some photos of the dew jeweled spider webs. 

Folding clothes warm out of the drier. The heat feels so good on my old stiff fingers.

Mozart. Clarinet Concerto.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Three things that made me happy today:

I love getting text messages from my husband and daughter during the day. It makes me feel loved and close to them. 

We have some Eastern Phoebes and they make such  a pleasant peeping song. 

I love Subway sandwiches turkey breast on wheat bread, mustard, no cheese, spinach instead of lettuce, and all the veggies except no jalapeƱos.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Winter Garden

Gardening in the summer here on the Texas Gulf Coast is an exercise in frustration, aggravation, and heat exhaustion. I am not saying that I don't develop seasonal amnesia each spring and plant a doomed summer garden, I get the seed catalogues and have visions of a beautiful, bountiful summer garden.  About the only thing that truly thrives in our summer heat and humidity is okra.  Other than okra, what the heat and drought doesn't do in, is feasted on by one insect or another. 
Which brings us to the winter garden on the Texas Gulf Coast.  Greens- collards and turnips, kale, bok choy, and spinach.  Sugar snap peas are dependable.  All these do very well over the winter.  
The Burpee catalog is currently staring at me. It is to me what catnip is to my cat.  Silly cat, silly me. Maybe just a few tomato plants,  have to try some climbing beans, and cucumbers!  Carrots and squash. Oh dear!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No Thanks, not for me

Black Friday, crowded malls, frenzied consumers, junk food, more crap, packed parking lots, packaging, plastic bags, credit card debt, rude people, pervasive/invasive Christmas Muzak, traffic jams, crying children, buy, buy, buy, spend, spend, spend, stuff, stuff, stuff. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns

The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns

JMM and I watched this PBS presentation of Ken Burns' documentary about the Dust Bowl years in the Central Plains 1930-1940.  If you missed it, I encourage you to watch it either at the PBS website or on DVD.  It is excellent.  Most of us are familiar with the basic facts that the farming practices of the time, the cyclical droughts and winds of the area combined to produce dust storms for a number of years.  But seeing the pictures and hearing the interviews with people who were there and lived  through it made it real.  There were years where less than 10 inches of rain fell on land that had been plowed from horizon to horizon.  The native grasses had been scoured from the earth leaving the top soil bare and easily blown by the strong prairie winds.  The dust storms came four, five, and six times a month for months on end and no one knew when or if it would ever end.  I am amazed that anyone survived in those conditions and just as amazed that only 25-30% of the population left; I would have thought anyone and everyone would have left.  The soil and water conservation policies that were implemented through FDR's New Deal stabilized the soil enough that when the rain did return, crops could once again be grown. However, the farmers learned to irrigate crops using water from the Ogallala aquifer and are rapidly depleting it.  

Which brings me to the thought that kept coming to mind over and over while watching the 4 hours of this show.  We are doing the same thing on a global scale by pumping millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Just as the farmers of the plains destroyed the native grasses and reaped the whirlwind of the Dust Bowl so will we reap the devastation of climate change.  Are we so tremendously stupid that we think this will all go away?  The people of the Dust Bowl faced starvation and watched their children die of dust pneumonia. What will our children and their children face as the very climate of our entire planet warms?  As we watch the oceans produce less food? As we watch ocean levels rise? As population pressures increase? As fresh water becomes scarce?  I don't know but there is a time of reckoning coming. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weight Watchers Report

I have been rather remiss about posting my weight loss saga but I have not abandoned the program.  This week I lost 0.8 lb.  total lost 24.2 lb.  weight 150.4 lb.  setting the pace for the world's slowest weight loss.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I am so tired of the Israelis and the Palestinians

I remember when I decided that Prince Charles and Diana deserved each other.  I feel the same way about the Israelis and Palestinians.  It is time to stop the "He hit me first!" "No, he started it!"  Perhaps if the U.S. would stop funding both sides and offer money only for days of peace.  You make steps toward peace you get dollars, no peace no dollars. 
I'm just not interested in how horrible either side is.  To me they are both behave just abominably. Much like Charles and Diana. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Goals for Week Ending Saturday, November 17, 2012

1. Continue Read the Bible Chronologically in a Year 
2. Start cutting out next quilt top using leftover fabric
3. Continue Weight Watchers 26 points per day
4. Finish Block #10 on quilt
5. Dr Chao appt.
      Mammogram Part II appt. 
6. Reading
     South Riding by Winifred Holtby
     The Man who Saved the Union by H.W.Brands
     The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature by David Haskell 
7. Cook 4 dinners
8. Take scooter in for repair

Did pretty good last week.  Didn't make my 4 dinners but I was sick one day and JMM wanted to eat out a couple of times and I'll never say No to that. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Way to Go Republicans!

Keep choosing candidates who were selected by your Tea Party primaries. Be sure they insult immigrants and have little knowledge of basic reproductive biology.  It is always helpful if they think it is a good idea to let basic industries go bankrupt and that half the nation is a bunch of whining victims.  Don't forget to do away with the EPA and/or FEMA. Show how much you care about the health of your fellow citizens by promising to repeal any baby steps toward the provision of healthcare to everyone. Keep up the good work! Thanks, The Democrats

Monday, November 5, 2012


One of the more disappointing aspects of aging is that I no longer sleep as well as I used to.  What makes it so unsatisfactory is that I was once a world class sleeper. I could nap with the best of nappers.  I enjoyed sleeping and dreaming.  I happily anticipated bedtime.  Alas no longer. I wake frequently all night every night. It doesn't matter if I nap during the day or not or if I go to bed early or late.  I remember my aunt telling me one morning that she hadn't slept all night. I didn't believe her then, I thought she must have slept and just didn't remember it.  I believe it now.  I had a sleep study done 3 weeks ago and have an appointment with the sleep doctor to get the results next week.  I have some Lunesta but I am rather hesitant to take it regularly.  How I would enjoy a good night's sleep!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Goals for week ending Saturday, November 10,2012

1.  Continue Read the Bible Chronologically in a Year --done. 
2. Start cutting out next quilt top using leftover fabric--in progress. 
3. Continue Weight Watchers 26 points per day--done. 
4. Finish Block # 9 on quilt--done. 
5. Haircut--done. 
6. Reading
     South Riding by Winifred Holtby--in progress. 
     The Man who Saved the Union by H.W.Brands--in progress. 
     Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton--didn't finish, didn't care for it at all. 
     A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd--finished. Very good. 
7. Cook 4 dinners--cooked very little. Sick one day and JMM wanted to eat out a couple of times and I will never say No to that!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Social Security & Medicare

Yesterday I signed JMM up for his Social Security to start when he reaches his full retirement age of 66 next January.  It took about 25 minutes online.  I will do the same for me when I turn 66 in December, 2013.  I have no qualms about drawing Social Security because we have paid into the system for 50 years in Joe's case and about 30 years for me.  We would probably have more money if instead of paying into SS, we had invested the money in a long term growth fund and if we had done that, what we didn't use could be passed on as an inheritance.  But that wasn't the case and I do think SS is necessary. Not everyone will save for their retirement, some because they are frivolous, but most because they simply can't.  Ill health, intermittent employment, and just plain bad luck make it difficult for so many to save for retirement.  So God bless Social Security and long may it survive the Paul Ryans of the Congress. 

Now we come to Medicare. We both enrolled in Medicare when we turned 65.  We only signed up for Part A as JMM is still working and we have health insurance through his employer.  I truly dread when JMM retires and we have to try to figure out the Medicare maze.  Do we get a Medicare Advantage Plan, will they still be available? How about a crystal ball to figure out which prescription drug plan would be best for each of us for the next year? It is useless to try to figure it out until just before he retires because Congress may overhaul the whole thing.  I know that Medicare is rife with fraud and I know that it is unsustainable as it is currently structured but I do hope that Congress doesn't throw the baby out with the bath water.  I guess, as Miss Scarlet said,  "I will worry about that tomorrow."

But I just have to add that if we hadn't muddled into two unfunded wars and numerous interventions and if we weren't so dead set on giving tax breaks to multimillionaires, we might have enough money to take care of the poor, sick, and elderly, properly educate our children, and adequately maintain our infrastructure.  But alas, it was not so. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

7 An Experimental Mutiny against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

Many of us have realized that our lives are filled with excess and have sought to live a simpler, saner life. Jen Hatmaker was astonishingly shallow if she was accurately portraying her pre-7 life.  She chooses 7 areas of her life, food, clothing, spending, waste, media,possessions, and stress of her life to radically limit for one month each. By these limitations, she thinks that she is more closely following Jesus teachings to care for the poor.  Each month was a different area of emphasis and brought her more awareness of her life choices.  Now this is where I am not sure I am as enamored with the book as the majority of others who have read it. It was a temporary experiment, a learning experience, almost a game because at the end of the month,  that month's experiment was over and it was on to the next area.  I have to wonder if there was any permanent commitment to any of it.  I hope she doesn't go back to the shallow, spend and waste of her previous life. I suppose we will have to wait for her next book to find out. 

Thought for the day

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
~ Albert Einstein

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I have been made obsolete...and it is fine by me!

For 40+ years, when JMM and I travel, I am the navigator, the keeper and interpreter of the map.  Mostly we have ended up where we intended to go, sometimes not exactly according to plan.   My services as map reader and navigator are no longer needed because JMM purchased a Garmin. Garmin expertly guided us from Logan Airport in Boston, to Portsmouth, NH,  to Freeport, Maine, on finally right to our hotel in Bar Harbor. It was amazing!  In 0.2 miles turn left on whatever and sure enough in 0.2 miles whatever is right there for you to turn onto. And the lovely little screen which tells you in which lane to be! Well, that little feature would have forestalled many an unpleasant comment from JMM when I used to point out to him our exit, just as we were passing it by.  This is one piece of technology that I really like!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hay Quaker: Home Folks ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Hay Quaker: Home Folks ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder: “As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which...

Hay Quaker: Rest, Peace and Liberty ~ Elizabeth Fry

Hay Quaker: Rest, Peace and Liberty ~ Elizabeth Fry: "I want less love of money, less judging others, less tattling, less dependence upon external appearance. I want to see more fruit of the ...

Hay Quaker: Rest, Peace and Liberty ~ Elizabeth Fry

Hay Quaker: Rest, Peace and Liberty ~ Elizabeth Fry: "I want less love of money, less judging others, less tattling, less dependence upon external appearance. I want to see more fruit of the ...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where does the time go?

I seem to have misplaced today. First it was morning and now it is dinner time.  I did go and have my annual mammogram but that only took two hours including driving, parking, and waiting time. So where did the rest of the day go. It's not like I got carried away reading or quilting and certainly not cooking because as I said it is dinner time and I had to call JMM to bring home grilled chicken sandwiches from Whataburger.  If anyone finds my missing day, please let me know-- I really could use the time...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Goals for the Week Ending Saturday, October 20, 2012

1. Continue Read the Bible Chronologically in a Year 
2. Exercise 5 days
3. Continue Weight Watchers 26 points per day
4. Finish Block # 7 on quilt
5. Have mammogram
6. Reading
     South Riding by Winifred Holtby
     Love Does by Bob Goff
     52 Small Changes by Brett Blumenthal
7. Cook 4 dinners
8. Dental cleaning
9. Get ready for trip to Maine

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Fallacy of Hope

JMM and I have been watching the old Kenneth Clark Civilization series.  I think this is the 3rd time I have watched it. Last night we watched the segment The Fallacy of Hope which covers the period after the Age of Reason and the Romantics and goes through the French Revolution and Napoleon. I was rather uncomfortable watching it partly because I love the Age of Reason and the Romantics so much. But as I gave it more thought, there was more to it than that. Yesterday, while listening  to Living on Earth on NPR, I was appalled to hear people in coal country ranting about abolishing the EPA. Here these are the very people who would be most harmed by the ending of environmental regulation so afraid that the switch to cleaner energy would cost jobs in their area that the harm to themselves and the environment means nothing.  Watching the madness of the mob in French Revolution very much reminded me of the angry crowd calling for less regulation and more freedom. 
The Fallacy of Hope seems to be appropriate for how I feel about hope for the environment these days.  Will we stop pouring carbon into the atmosphere before we make the planet uninhabitable? There are those who say that we have already passed the limit but even if we have not, when will we stop? I suppose to keep from sinking into depression, it is best to focus on the things that I can do. We have our little 4 acres (which I might add we recently had certified by Texas Parks & Wildlife as a certified Wildlife Habitat ☺) to care for and we are active members of the Nature Conservancy of Texas. Little but at least something.

01:10 PM

Saturday, October 6, 2012


‎"Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind." ~ Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

First Do No Harm

First, Do No Harm

I think that I would do well to use this as my measuring rod.  For many years I was a hospital pharmacist and the phrase, First Do No Harm was well known in the medical community.   But I'm not thinking of it in that aspect alone. There are, of course, many applications but I am considering these 3 today:

Environment--I can consider my actions and the amount of harm I do to the earth and the living creatures in it.  In terms of CO2 emissions, do I need to make that trip in the car and if I do is it worth the harm that it causes.  Do I need that new hot air popcorn popper? I eat popcorn and the microwaveable bags are both unhealthy and result in extra packaging waste. Does that make up for the manufacturing, shipping, packaging, and electricity that is used in a new hot air popcorn popper?  Winter clothing has been on my mind recently. I have lost 24 lb. and have another 20 to lose.  My winter clothes are too big, should I pay a seamstress to alter them or should I donate them to the Goodwill and buy new? At this point, I am leaning toward alteration since the pants are good quality LLBean pants.  That way someone is given employment for their skill and no new product or packaging and shipping is involved and therefore less harm is done to the environment. 

Personal health--I can consider my actions and the amount of harm or good that I am doing to my own or JMM's body.  What we eat and how it is prepared is mostly my responsibility.  Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, eating vastly less sugar, and being mindful of portion sizes has resulted in weight loss and less harm to my body.  Our health care system would be much less overburdened if everyone would do less harm to their bodies by stopping smoking, eating only real food in moderate portions, limiting alcohol to wine with a meal, turning the television off & getting off the couch, and spending some quiet time in nature.  I think this would at least do no harm. 

Interpersonal relations--I think we have gone too far in feeling free to express ourselves.  I think kindness and gentleness in dealing with one another would result in less harm being done to our family, friends, acquaintances, and other drivers on the road. 

Maybe I won't be able to do no harm but perhaps I can do less harm by being mindful of my own actions.