Thursday, June 30, 2016

Around OakMeadows

Around OakMeadows

Brexit. Who would have thought it would actually pass?  Makes me nervous that Trump might actually pass/win.  I guess things will sort themselves out but it will take time and things will be in turmoil in the the meanwhile.  I doubt it will make an improvement in anyone's circumstances. Too late now.  Henry VIII would never have stood for it. 

Yesterday was my husband's last day of employment.  He retired from full time work 2 years ago but has continued 2 days a week since then.  He is 69 years old and has worked since he was 12 so it is high time he retires.  He has so many interests that I can't imagine he will be bored.  

Quilting is progressing at a snail's pace.  But then everything I do is at a snail's pace.  At least there is some progress on it.  

I have 2 really good books going now. The Barbary Plague by Marilyn Chase is about the bubonic plague outbreak in San Francisco in 1900-1905.  I didn't know there had ever been an outbreak of plague in the U.S. Several hundred people died but it was hushed up as being bad for business and tourism, which I suppose it would have been. 
The other is Old Filth by Jane Gardam. FILTH is an acronym for Failed in London, Try Hong Kong. It is fiction about the waning days of the British empire.  So far, it is quite interesting.  

Hot and humid. 94.4 degrees on the back porch.  The rose moss is thriving in the heat as is the plumbago.  The milkweed has stopped blooming. The barn swallows pulled a sneak nest of babies on the back porch. I had no idea there was another brood coming but there are at least 3 babies in the nest.  No Monarchs but several swallowtails and a couple of Gulf Fritillaries. The cats are comatose most of the day, as is only sensible in this heat.  

That's all the news from OakMeadows where the cats all eat Fancy Feast and the people are having leftovers. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

July Menu

July Menu

1. Slow Cooker Beef
2. Leftovers
3. Out
4. Baked potato, Veggie tray, 
    Rudy's BBQ
5. Macaroni and cheese 
6. Shrimp Jambalaya 
7. Fruited Chicken Salad
8. Steak, GMP, GB
9. Leftovers 
10. Out
11. Baked potato, Veggie tray, 
      Bacon sandwiches, Oven fries
12. Corned Beef Hash
13. Shrimp Jambalaya 
14. Chicken 
15. Slow Cooker Beef
16. Leftovers 
17. Out
18. Baked potato, Veggie tray, 
      Bacon sandwiches, Oven fries
20. Tuna salad sandwiches, Veggie tray 
21. Slow Cooker Chicken
22. Beef
23. Leftovers 
24. Out
25. Baked potato, Veggie tray, 
      Bacon sandwiches, Oven fries
27. Cod chowder 
28. Fruited chicken salad 
29. Spaghetti and meatballs 
30. Leftovers 
31. Out

June Meditation

"But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine." -  Thomas Jefferson 

June Poetry

"So sweet, so sweet the roses in their blowing,
So sweet the daffodils, so fair to see;
So blithe and gay the humming-bird a going
From flower to flower, a-hunting with the bee."
-  Nora Perry, In June

Friday, June 24, 2016

Goals for Week June 26 - July 2, 2016

     Daily Bible Reading 
     Prayer by Richard Foster

     Track calories on LoseIt app
     Exercise DVD 

     Scrap 9-patch

     The Barbary Plague by Marilyn Chase
     Old Filth by Jane Gardam

     Seafood Pasta
     Fruited Chicken Salad
     Spaghetti and Meatballs 
     Make appointment for carpet cleaning
     Tickets for Summer Chills

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Blooms Around OakMeadows

The Life of Birds by David Attenborough

The Life of Birds by David Attenborough 

What a gorgeous, delightful, educational book!  Every chapter in this book is a delight to the eye and to the mind.  From the first chapter chronicling the evolution of birds to the last chapter on environmental challenges facing birds, the book is informative with stunningly beautiful photographs.  The book is broken into chapters following the life cycles of birds in the myriad varieties.  I just can't begin to express how much I enjoyed this book and how much I learned. A really good read.  

Around OakMeadows

We have had two nests of fledglings fly this week.  I gripe a lot about the mess they make on the porch but watching those babies learn to fly is about the sweetest thing I've ever seen.  So far this year we have had 16 swallow babies fly.  I don't think they will raise a third brood.  So I can get my porch cleaned off finally. 

House of Pies is a diner in Houston that JMM just loves.  He always gets their BLT and a slice of Coconut Cream Pie.  So TandC met us their for a late lunch for Father's Day.  So nice to visit with them.  

The mass murder in Orlando has stirred talk of gun control...again.  But the fact is that we don't want sensible gun laws enough to do the necessary work.  We are in the 
mess we are in because we have elected the people we have elected.  Simple as that. We elected them and we keep re-electing them.  In order to 
change the laws, we must change the legislators at both the state and national levels.  That's the only way it's going to happen. And we (I include 
myself in this too) are not willing to attend our county and/or state political party meetings, we don't canvas neighborhoods, we don't man voter 
registration drives, we don't man phone banks, we don't donate to candidates who will support rational gun laws.  Until we do the necessary 
work, nothing will change and the next mass murder is going to happen. 

And on that unhappy note, that is all for now from OakMeadows where the cats are all spoiled and so are the people. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Turkey Meatball and Escarole Soup - Slow Cooker

I have a new cookbook checked out from the library. It is The Italian Slow Cooker.  This is the first recipe that I have tried from it. If you don't want to use escarole, spinach or Swiss chard works just as well. 

Turkey Meatball and Escarole Soup

3 large carrots, chopped
10 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 pound escarole (half head) washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 pound ground turkey
1 small onion, minced 
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

In a large slow cooker, combine carrots and broth. Stir in escarole.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. 
In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, onion, eggs, bread crumbs, cheese, salt, and pepper.  Mix well and shape into 1-inch meatballs.  Carefully place the meatballs into the soup. Cover and cook for 4 hours more, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot, sprinkled with cheese.  

Toasted, buttered sourdough bread is perfect with this.  

June Meditation

"Friends are the sunshine of life." -  John Hay

Friday, June 17, 2016

June Poetry

"I'm glad I am alive, to see and feel 
The full deliciousness of this bright day, 
That's like a heart with nothing to conceal; 
The young leaves scarcely trembling; the blue-grey 
Rimming the cloudless ether far away; 
Briars, hedges, shadows; mountains that reveal 
Soft sapphire; this great floor of polished steel 
Spread out amidst the landmarks of the bay. 

I stoop in sunshine to our circling net 
From the black gunwale; tend these milky kine 
Up their rough path; sit by yon cottage-door 
Plying the diligent thread; take wings and soar-- 
O hark how with the season's laureate 
Joy culminates in song! If such a song were mine!"
-  William Allingham, On a Forenoon of Spring

Just a thought

I am wondering if all the money that is being raised for the next election is just a total waste of money.  I don't think there is anything anyone can say or do that will change anybody's mind.  Really, if you are going to vote for Trump, there is nothing anyone could possibly say that would make you decide to vote for Hillary.  And the same for Hillary.  What on earth could make someone who plans to vote for Hillary change their mind and vote for The Donald?  Is there anyone out there who is undecided?  Will months and months a spewing garbage at each other help anyone make up their mind?  What if all the billionaire contributions are of absolutely no effect?

Goals for Week of June 19-26, 2016

     Daily Bible Reading
     Prayer by Richard Foster

     Track calories on LoseIt!
     Exercise DVD


     The Barbary Plague by Marilyn Chase
     Old Filth by Jane Gardam

     Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
     Meatloaf, Sweet potato, Corn on the cob 
     Baked fish, Carrots, Asparagus 

     New 4th of July wreath for front door

     Father's Day with T&C at House of Pies
     Monthly lunch with P&W&C&B 
     Rosetta Stone -Spanish

Tuesday, June 14, 2016



I need to lose weight.  I weigh 182 lb. which is by far the most I have ever weighed.  I found an app, LoseIt, which essentially tracks your calorie intake.  You put in your height and weight, your goal weight, and how much you want to lose per week.  It calculates what your daily calorie intake per day should be.  It is a free app although there is an upgrade you can purchase.  As far as I can see, the free portion is fine for me.  You track what you eat and it calculates your calorie count. There is a recipe builder where you enter the ingredients and their amounts and the number of servings and it tells you how many calories per serving. This will be great for me as I can use my time tested/husband approved recipes.  I can either modify the recipe or take the calorie hit.  I started Monday.  Let's hope I lose a pound by next Monday.  

Saturday, June 11, 2016

June Meditation

-  Pam Brown 

A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely." -  Pam Brown 

Friday, June 10, 2016

June Poetry

"Wisteria woke me this morning, 
And there was all June in the garden; 
I felt them, early, warning 
Lest I miss any part of the day. 

Straight I walked to the trellis vine. 
Wisteria touched a lifted nostril: 
Feelings of beauty diffused, to entwine 
My spirit with June's own aura." 
-  Ann McGough, Summons

Goals for the Week of June 12-18, 2016

     Daily Bible Reading
     Prayer by Richard Foster

     Exercise DVD 5X
     Water 32oz. daily
     Healthy Breakfast

     Scrap 9-Patch

     The Life of Birds by David Attenborough 
     About Face by Donna Leon

     Pancakes and Sausage
     Tuna Salad Sandwiches
     Chicken Tenders, Baked Sweet Potato, Asparagus
     Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff, Noodles

     New 4th of July wreath for front door
     Get rid of almost dead ponytailed palm on front porch and replant with rose moss

     Housecleaners come Monday! Yea!
     6 month dental cleaning Tuesday

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Interesting Critters around OakMeadows

Just Kidding About This One!

Around OakMeadows

Although I was a Bernie supporter, I am happy for Hillary. She's certainly put the years of work into it.  I will be voting for her in November.  One thing I will not do though is listen to any of the horrid things that the Republicans will be saying about her. (In all honesty though, I won't be listening to anything about The Donald either but that is because I just can stand anything about him.) 

I listened to Fresh Air last night and Terry Gross interviewed Jeffrey Rosen about his new book, Louis Brandeis: American Prophet.  It sounds so interesting! I added it to my GoodReads To Read list at #92.  There are just so many interesting books to read. 
Speaking of reading, I am still in David Attenborough's The Life of Birds.  Even if the book weren't well written and interesting, the gorgeous pictures would make it worthwhile.  My current book of fiction is About Face by Donna Leon. It is a Commissario Brunetti mystery. 

I'm still piecing my Scrap 9-Patch.  I can't do any more on Starz until my DD comes over to help us layer it. It is just too unwieldy for me to manage. Then I can get it basted and start quilting on it.  

I've bought theater tickets for the Alley's Summer Chills production of Agatha Christie's Spider's Web.  They do a murder mystery every summer just for fun.  I'm looking forward to it.  I am also looking forward to The Book of Mormon which is coming in January, 2017. 

Lots of cooking.  JMM and I made Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup; it is so good and nutritious and low fat/calorie.  It is so nice to have several bowls of it in the refrigerator for quick lunches.  Other cooking: Shrimp Jambalaya and Chicken Cacciatore.  What did we have for dinner this evening?? Burgers & Fries.  LOL!!

The rains have let up and the Brazos River is down about 5-6 feet.  We have never seen it so high before.  Now if it just won't rain for a week or two, we can get dried out! My yard looks like a jungle! The mosquitos have been light so far but will probably be out in the bazillions in a few days.  

There are still at least 6 Monarchs twirling around the property. I haven't seen any caterpillars in the last couple of weeks.  The milkweed has recuperated from being eaten down by the earlier caterpillars, so there is plenty for them now.  We have a fresh nest full of baby swallows pooping all over the front porch.  All I can say is that it is a darned good thing they are so cute when they are learning to fly.  

That's about it for now. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

June Meditation

"Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit." -  Aristotle

Friday, June 3, 2016

June Poetry

 The quiet stars came out, one after one;
The holy twilight fell upon the sea,
The summer day was done." 
-  Celia Thaxter