Thursday, September 29, 2016

Around OakMeadows

Around OakMeadows

Oh my, what glorious weather--cooler and very low humidity! I have been waiting for this since May!  

I found someone to machine quilt my quilt top for me. It should be ready soon after we get back from our trip. I hope this works out so that I can still have the fun of designing and making the tops and she can do the quilting on her machine for me. We shall see. 

I couldn't watch the debate. From the reports the next day, it seems that Hillary did quite well and for that I am glad.  The state of Texas allows seniors over 65 to vote by mail and that is how JMM and I vote.  He received his vote by mail ballot yesterday so I should get mine today. I just want to get them filled out and mailed back in ASAP and put this awful election behind. 

My SIL came home from rehab Wednesday. Slowly she is getting back her strength and general liveliness. What an ordeal she has been through. West Nile Virus is serious!

We did not see one single Monarch last week!  However, we have had a wide variety of others: Gulf Fritillaries, Queens, Little yellow, Longtailed skipper, Ocola skipper, Lyside sulphur, Cloudless sulphur, and Sachem. When we get back from our trip, I am getting an early birthday present of a pair of butterfly binoculars. These have a closer focal range of about 6-8 feet which is perfect for butterfly watching. 

Speaking of our trip, we leave early on Saturday and drive 10 hours to Birmingham, AL. JMM has a couple of geology stops along the way. The next day we drive another 10 hours to Charlottesville, VA. I noticed that the Shenandoah National Park is quite near so after we have seen Montpelier, Monticello, and Mount Vernon, we will see SNP. I hope the fall foliage is nice while we are there. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


"I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand, shadowless like Silence, listening
To Silence."
-   Thomas Hood

Monday, September 26, 2016


"The scarlet of maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
to see the frosty asters like smoke
upon the hills."
-   William Bliss Carman  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Goals for Week of September 25-October 1, 2016

    Daily Bible Reading
     Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

     Exercise DVD
     2 Fruits daily

     Nothing to work on

     Strangers in their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild 
     Miraculous Abundance by Charles Herve-Gruyer 
     A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

     Seafood Pasta
     Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
     Spaghetti and Meatballs 

     Autumn Decorations 

     Get everything ready for MMM trip (Montpelier, Monticello, and Mount Vernon)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Around OakMeadows

My quilt top that will be machine quilted for me. 

I found someone to machine quilt my quilts! I'm going to meet her and take the tops to her Sunday afternoon. That is one problem solved. 

We've had only 3-4 hummingbirds at a time so far and almost no Monarchs. We had so many Monarchs this spring that I was really expecting more. Not happy about this. But we have had other butterflies: Common buckeye, Phaon crescent, Soldier, Sachem, and Gulf Fritillary.  

My SIL is in the rehab center. According to her daughter, she is still very lethargic.  We are going to take her lunch on Friday.  We are bringing pizza and Paul and Wendy are bringing drinks.  This is going to be a very long recovery. West Nile Virus is really serious. 

I've been binge watching Grey's Anatomy.  I had never seen it. Really over the top in some areas but interesting in others.  My daughter suggested binge watching Modern Family after I finish.  

Lots of good reading.  I'm almost finished with The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humbolt's New World  by Andrea Wulf. What an extraordinary man!  I finished The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  It was OK but I had very little sympathy for any of the characters. 

It has been GawdAwful hot here. 102.2 one day and 95+ all week. And humidity!  September is my least favorite month because while I'm thinking autumn, the weather is usually GawdAwful hot. Ack! Usually October brings some cooler temperatures. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

October Menu

October Menu

1. Road Trip to Virginia
2. Road Trip to Virginia
3. Road Trip to Virginia
4. Road Trip to Virginia
5. Road Trip to Virginia
6. Road Trip to Virginia
7. Road Trip to Virginia
8. Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Toast
9. Slow Cooker Chicken
10. Shrimp Jambalaya 
11. Chicken-Rice Bake
12. Cutlets, GMP, GB
13. Leftovers
14. Out
15. Macaroni and Cheese 
16. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
17. Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Veggie Tray
18. Chicken and Snow Peas Stir Fry
19. Pizza
20. Leftovers
21. Out
22. Pancakes and Sausage
23. Slow Cooker Beef
24. Seafood Pasta
25. Fr. Stir Fry
26. Spaghetti and Meatballs 
27. Leftovers
28. Out
29. CB Hash
30. Out - House of Pies
31. Potato-Leek Soup

Sunday Musing

In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil.  And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November."-   Rose G. Kingsley, The Autumn Garden

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday Poetry

I have come to a still, but not a deep center,
A point outside the glittering current;
My eyes stare at the bottom of a river,
At the irregular stones, iridescent sandgrains,
My mind moves in more than one place,
In a country half-land, half-water.
I am renewed by death, thought of my death,
The dry scent of a dying garden in September,
The wind fanning the ash of a low fire.
What I love is near at hand,
Always, in earth and air."
-  Theodore Roethke, 
The Far Field    

Friday, September 16, 2016

Goals for Week of September 18-25, 2016

      Daily Bible Reading
      Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

      32 oz. water each day
      Healthy Breakfast
      Exercise DVD daily

      Find quilter to quilt Starz quilt

     The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
     Miraculous Abundance by Charles Herve-Gruyer
     The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
     A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
     The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

     Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder
     Tuna Salad Sandwiches
     Chicken Parmesan

     Clean all doors and door frames 

     Make hotel reservations for Virginia trip 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Around OakMeadows

A quilt I made several years ago 

I would like to remind everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using repellant and dressing appropriately when going into mosquito infested areas. (And here on the Texas Gulf Coast, that is everywhere.) My sister in law just got out of 7 days in ICU where she was diagnosed with West Nile Virus.  She will spend 2-3 weeks in rehab after she is discharged from the hospital later this week. If all goes well, in 4-6 months she will probably be fully recovered.  WNV is nothing to mess around with. Protect yourself. 

I have been putting off working on my latest quilt while I made up my mind what to do. It has become apparent that I can no longer hand quilt. My CMT has progressed to where it is more frustration than enjoyment. So I am going to find someone with a long arm sewing machine to do the quilting.  While I enjoyed hand quilting, my main pleasure was always the design and creation of the quilt top itself. I think Quilter's Emporium keeps a roster of people who do machine quilting. We shall see. 

The hummingbird migration is underway here.  We are not seeing the great groups that we have had in the past but there are 3-4 everyday at the feeder.  No Monarchs at all right now, but Gulf Fritilaries, pipevine swallowtails, unknown skippers, and sulfurs.  Joe helped me ID a lovely White-tipped black moth. Still have not been able to ID the moth that feeds on the plumbago every evening just after the sun goes down. 

I finished The Beauty and the Sorrow  by Peter Englund. It was excellent. I am back to reading The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humbolt's New World by Andrea Wulf. His travels through South America are just incredible. Excellent so far.  

We are planning a 7 day car trip to Virginia the first week in October. Earlier this year I read an excellent biography of James Madison and decided to visit his home at Montpelier.  Since we've never been to Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello, we will go there too. And while we're in the neighborhood, Mount Vernon is just down the road, so we'll go there too.  Montpelier, Monticello, and Mount Vernon--> our MMM trip.

I will be so very glad when this horrible election campaign is over.  I hope Hillary wins so that I never ever have to see or listen to anything Donald Trump says again.  I am thoroughly embarrassed by him and everything his deplorables stand for. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund

The Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund

What an amazing book! This is a work of nonfiction telling the stories of about 20 real people who took some part in World War I, the Great War, the War to end war.  These are not the generals or kings or great leaders; there are no maps with sweeping arrows showing fronts and strongholds.  These are the little people who were in the trenches, the fledgling airplanes, the dreadnoughts, the nurses, and the doctors.  These are their stories told from meticulous research of their letters and journals telling of their trials and triumphs from France to Germany to Russia to Mesopotamia to Africa.  I felt as if I knew them personally and was amazed at what they survived.  It is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day

My father was born in 1909. He left home at age 15 and went to sea. He told me that the seamen were treated like animals.  That was before the union.  Master Mates and Pilots Union.  I was born in 1947 and while I was growing up, I had no idea how much I owed to that union.  Thanks to it, my father earned a wage that supported our family in a decent lower middle class lifestyle. My father had a stroke in 1964 and his union paid his medical insurance until the day he died in 1972.  So, happy Labor Day and thanks for so much we now take for granted. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Breakfast Muffins

Blueberry Bran Muffins

I usually have one of these for breakfast each morning so I bake a double batch (36 muffins) and freeze them. They are high in fiber, low in sugar (1 teaspoon honey per muffin), filling, and very tasty. 

2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups wheat bran (not bran flakes)
1 cup blueberries or raisins
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine buttermilk, egg, honey, and oil. Stir together flour, bran, baking soda, and baking powder.  Add to liquid ingredients. When thoroughly mixed, gently stir in blueberries. Pour into muffin pans which have been sprayed with Pam.  Bake at 350 degrees for 21 minutes. 

Sunday Mediation

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.

Anne Frank