Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Around OakMeadows

Around Oak Meadows

I am finally about 95% over my cold.  Still have some sinus drainage and cough but I feel better, can sleep at night, and have my energy back. Well, at least more energy.  

We have been to see two movies recently.  We saw Arrival first.  I thought it was well done and appreciated the lack of blowing things up.  It presented the problem of communication with aliens and our human reaction to them in a very thoughtful manner.  Amy Adams was just perfect.  The second movie was Fantastic Beasts and it had enough things being blown up for at least two movies.  JMM like it more than I did; I was ready to leave about 45 minutes into it.  YMMV. 

Thanksgiving was quiet with just JMM and I.  We cooked our turkey and dressing, corn, and sweet potato. JMM spatchcocked the turkey and it was okay but I prefer it cooked in the roaster. The sweet potato didn't get cooked because I had it in the little oven and JMM unplugged it not realizing that I had the sweet potato in there.  Oh well.  Pecan pie for dessert.  JMM did all the cleaning up and putting away as I was just exhausted.  

I am reading two really good books: The Hidden Life of Trees  by Peter Wohlleben and The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump  by Sandra Hempel.  I will try to finish them and get reviews up next week. Both are excellent.  

I took my Scrap 9-Nine Patch quilt in to be machine quilted.  I'm not in any hurry to get it back and I know she is busy with things that people want finished before Christmas so I don't anticipate getting it back until after the first of the year. The baby boy quilt is almost cut out and I am looking forward to getting to work on it.  

We've had record warm weather here but a cool front is supposed to move through today.  We still have Monarchs in the milkweed and lantana beds.  I don't think we've ever seen them this late. Lots of Queens, Gulf fritillaries, and Cloudless Sulphurs.  We may take a drive down to Galveston Friday to do some birding if the weather is good. 

Going to lunch today with a group from the neighborhood.  We are all retired and like to get together about once a month.  

That's about it from OakMeadows where the cats eat Fancy Feast and the people are still eating leftovers.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

December Menu

December Menu

1. Leftovers
2. Out
3. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
4. Pancakes and Sausage
5. Baked Fish, Carrots/Thyme, Corn
6. Chicken-Rice Bake
7. Steak, GMP, GB
8. Leftovers 
9. Out
10. Stuffed Wieners, Corn
11. Slow Cooker Chicken
12. Shrimp Jambalaya 
13. Chicken Tenders, Beans, Cole Slaw
14. Pork Roast, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach
15. Leftovers
16. Out
17. Corned Beef Hash, Cream Style Corn
18. Schlotzsky's
19. Tuna Salad Sandwiches 
20. Chicken Parmesan 
21. Pizza
22. Leftovers
23. Las Vegas
24. Las Vegas
25. Las Vegas
26. Las Vegas
27. Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Toast
28. Seafood pasta
29. Spaghetti and Meatballs 
30. Leftovers
31. Out

Friday, November 25, 2016

Goals for the Week of November 27 - December 3, 2016

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

     Healthy breakfast 
     32 oz. water daily
     Exercise DVD daily

Quilting -- I am finally going to get the baby boy quilt cut out!

     The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump by Sandra Hempel
     The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

      Veggie Soup
      Tuna Salad Sandwiches
      Chicken Casserole
      Spaghetti and Meatballs 

     Take down autumn decorations
     Put out Christmas decorations

     Finally get over this aggravating cold.
     Make donation to Food Pantry 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016



Half a century ago when my husband and I were dating, we had Thanksgiving dinner with my family. It was the traditional turkey and dressing. It was the dressing my mother made every year and that's what dressing was to me.  Afterward, I asked Joe how he liked the turkey and dressing.  After much evasion, he finally admitted that he liked his mother's dressing better. I was sure that I was going to marry him in spite of his not knowing what proper dressing was.  So the next year we had Thanksgiving dinner with his family.  Oh my, my future MIL really did make a dressing that was way better.  I never got the complete recipe from her because she didn't make it from a recipe, she just put it all together and it was just perfect.  So here is the recipe for the dressing closest to hers that I have ever found. 

2 pans of cornbread 
2 pounds sausage (Owens regular)
4 cups chopped celery
3 cups chopped onion 
1 cup chopped bell pepper 
1/4 cup dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed savory
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon salt (or less if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can chicken broth
3 eggs, slightly beaten

1. Make cornbread, 2 pans. 
2. In a large skillet, brown the sausage. Lift out with a slotted spoon. 
3. In the pan drippings, sauté celery, onion, and bell pepper, until tender--about 8 minutes. 
4. After cornbread has cooled, crumble it into a very large pan. Add sausage, vegetables, savory, sage, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.  Gradually, add broth and eggs, tossing and mixing thoroughly.  
5. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes to form a nice brown top. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Just checking in

I've had a cold this week and really felt miserable.  Maybe the shock of the election weakened my immune system.  I am slowly getting better. Glad we are not planning a big Thanksgiving.

Goals for the Week November 20-26, 2016

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

     Healthy breakfast 
     32 oz. water daily
     Exercise DVD daily

Quilting - cut out top for baby boy quilt

     The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump by Sandra Hempel

     Tuna Salad Sandwiches
     Chicken tenders, Beans


     Monday- Mani/Pedi
     Tuesday- Housecleaners
     Thursday- Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 12, 2016

November Meditation

“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.” 
 Maurice Switzer

Friday, November 11, 2016

November Poetry

                                     I'm Thankful for You

                              Thanksgiving is the appointed time
for focusing on the good in our lives.
In each of our days,
we can find small blessings,
but too often we overlook them,
choosing instead to spend our time
paying attention to problems.
We give our energy
to those who cause us trouble
instead of those who bring peace.
Starting now,
let's be on the lookout
for the bits of pleasure in each hour,
and appreciate the people who
bring love and light to everyone
who is blessed to know them.
You are one of those people.
On Thanksgiving,
I'm thankful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!

By Joanna Fuchs

Goals for Week of November 13-19, 2016

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

     Weight Watchers 
     32 oz. water daily
     Exercise DVD daily

Quilting - Make top of Baby Boy Quilt

     The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump by Sandra Hempel
     Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

     Tuna Salad Sandwiches
     Slow Cooker Chicken with Sausage and White Beans
     Macaroni and Cheese
     Cutlets, GMP, and GB


     Lunch with P&W&C&B 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 

Another reason to thank my daughter: She was reading this book and accidentally left it at my house when she went to her home.  I decided to give it a try and am so glad that I did. It is a real jewel.  
Ove is a widower who has always believed that right is right and wrong is wrong and following the rules is not negotiable.  His plans are totally upended when new neighbors back a trailer into his mailbox and flower bed. Ove is convinced that any competent adult male should be able to back up a trailer, so obviously the male partner of the new neighbor couple is an incompetent fool.  Fortunately, the pregnant wife is made of sterner stuff and the fun begins. Each time Ove is all set to carry out his plan, he is stymied by neighborhood necessities. 
It's a lovely book, a really GoodRead. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November Around OakMeadows

Around OakMeadows 

Well drat, The Donald won and Hillary lost and the Republicans hold both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  So The Donald should have an open path to implementing his programs and policies.  It will be interesting to see in 4 years if the people who voted for him are any better off or any less angry than they are today. We shall see. 

It was an overcast day so very few butterflies were out.  We've been trying to track down a source of Blue Mist Flower plants (not seeds) as we have learned that the blooms are very attractive to bees and butterflies. JMM checked at Enchanted Gardens and they said they will have them in the early spring, February or March.  I want to rip out the lantana and replace it with the Mist Flowers.  

JMM took Misty and Bandit to get their shots and he said that he had a time getting Misty out of her carrier but Bandit just strolled out when the cage was open, got his shot, and strolled back in.  Cats are so individual.  

Went to lunch today with DD and DSIL at Pappadeaux for their good seafood.  It was kind of a going away lunch since she leaves for Washington on Friday for an 18 month assignment.  Goodness, I am going to miss her!

I am so pleased with the fabric I have for my next quilt. It is going to be a baby boy quilt. I am going to try to get it cut out tomorrow.  

Reading two really good books: The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump by Sandra Hempel and Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.  

That's about all the news around OakMeadows where the cats eat Fancy Feast and the people eat leftovers.  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Plans for Next Week

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

     Healthy breakfast 
     32 oz. water daily
     Exercise DVD daily

Quilting -- Cut out baby boy quilt

     Early Warning by Jane Smiley
     The Tree by Colin Tudge

     Shrimp Jambalaya
     Oven BBQ Chicken, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw
     Beefand Bok Choy Stir Fry


     Take cats for immunizations
     Lunch with DD

Saturday, November 5, 2016

What a day!

And it started out so nice, so ordinary.  JMM went out to do some watering in the garden and in the process of moving a hose, his hand brushed against an asp.  These are small little caterpillars of a moth which are covered with rather long beige hairs.  These hairs are barbed and contain a toxin that causes a really painful sting which generally lasts about 1-2 hours.  So when he came inside we did the recommended first aid - wash the area, use tape to try to remove any remaining hairs, Benadryl, ibuprofen, and ice.  We knew it would hurt for an hour or so and then that would be that. Only it wasn't. It was just the beginning. Over the next 3 hours, his hand turned red and swelled greatly. But that wasn't the worst of it. Instead of a burning, stinging sensation, he said it felt like the bones in his hand were being broken and the pain was all the way up to his armpit. At 3pm, I called the nurse at our doctor's office and she recommended taking him to the ER.  So off we went to the ER.  They gave him an injection of toradol and oral prednisone and Pepcid. When the pain didn't get any better, they gave him morphine.  Gradually the pain lessened somewhat and he was discharged with prescriptions for prednisone, Pepcid, and Norco. His sleep last night was rather broken but by morning the pain was gone and the swelling has slowly gone down today. We both think that the prednisone is what is clearing it up.  What a day we had!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Butterflies from our trip to the Lower Rio Grande Valley

November Around OakMeadows

Around OakMeadows

JMM and I had our annual physicals last week. We are both in good health. My blood pressure has been elevated over the past year so I am starting to take lisinopril 10mg daily. JMM has been taking it for a couple of years.  I am so thankful that we are both in good health and that we have access to good healthcare.  

We are still having very warm weather -- up to the mid 80s -- and lots of butterflies.  We didn't go to the annual Texas Butterfly Festival in the Lower Rio Grande Valley this year. We had just come back from our trip to MMM in Virginia and I am not a good traveler. Anyway, we will go next year.  Here it is the first of November and I counted 8 Monarchs in our garden today. 

I've got my fabric and pattern for my next quilt.  It is for a little boy. No boys on the way that I know of but it will be nice to have one ready.  

I finished reading Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly. I was all prepared not to like it because I don't like him but the last one-third of the book was so good and I learned so much about the Russian invasion of Manchuria.  I also liked his treatment of Harry Truman and Douglas MacArthur.  Anyway, it was worth reading.  Currently, I am reading The Tree by Colin Tudge (non-fiction) and Early Warning by Jane Smiley (fiction); both are pretty good so far. 

The only interesting thing I'm going to cook this week is a Lemon Bundt cake with a lemon glaze.  The rest of the cooking is just the usual.  

Upcoming travel plans include Christmas in Las Vegas to see some shows and maybe do some birding. There's a trip to London in the spring.  We've talked about a midwinter Caribbean cruise but that isn't definite. 

That's all the news from OakMeadows where the cats nap in the sunshine and so do the people. (Joy, joy--only one more week of election stuff!!)