Monday, May 29, 2017

June Menu

June Menu

1. Leftovers 
2. Out
3. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
4. Slow Cooker Chicken
5. Baked Fish, Carrots/Thyme, Cole Slaw
6. Chicken-Rice Bake, Salad
7. Steak, GMP, GB
8. Leftovers 
9. Out
10. Mac and Cheese
11. Pancakes and Canadian Bacon 
12. Shrimp Jambalaya 
13. Chicken and Snow Peas Stir Fry
14. HB Pie
15. Leftovers 
16. Out
17. Scrambled Eggs, Canadian Bacon, Toast
18. Slow Cooker Beef
19. Tuna Salad
20. Oven Baked Chicken Tenders, Sweet Potato, Salad
21. Pizza
22. Leftovers
23. Out
24. CB Hash, CSC, Veggie tray
25. Veggie Soup
26. Schwan's Popcorn Shrimp, Schwan's Oven Roasted Veggies
27. Oven BBQ Chicken, Beans, Cole Slaw
28. Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
29. Leftovers 
30. Out 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Days to come

On this Memorial Day let us pause to think of those who are still living but will be maimed or killed in the coming years and decades in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, et al. Let us think of all the children who will spend their lives without that parent so that the government in Afghanistan stays in power. Let us think of the widows and widowers who lost the love of their life so that Libya and Somalia are free of despotism. Let us think of the parents who will bury a child in pursuit of democracy in Iraq.  Let us carefully consider and count the cost of what we are doing. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

May Thoughts

People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celcbrative, convivial and occasional, whereas among us, it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other. 

Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Around OakMeadows

Around OakMeadows 

We have a new family member. She is a little 8.8 pound part Maltese who (I believe) was dumped in our subdivision. She was dirty and in need of a haircut but very friendly and very people oriented. I found her in the street by the mailbox and she willingly came inside for food, water, and a bath. We took her to the vet the next day and found that she has been spayed and has a chip. We contacted the chip company's register and got 2 phone numbers and an address. All attempts to contact them failed as the phones were not working and the house was empty. She is a sweet, happy little girl and we are so pleased to have found her. The cats...are not so pleased...

Last night we had a bad storm move through. Although we didn't lose any shingles off the roof, we had quite a bit of tree damage. JMM has been out all morning with the power saw cutting up broken limbs. The huge acacia and one of the elms were badly damaged. The big oaks were not harmed.  The wind was as bad and maybe a bit worse than during Hurricane Ike. And we had some pea sized hail. But all is well and just a bit of cleanup is needed. 

That's about all the news from OakMeadows where the people are happy with the new dog and the cats are thoroughly p.o.

Monday, May 22, 2017

June Cooking - Salad

Grilled Peach and Apricot Salad with Spinach and Prosciutto
(Serves 4)

1 bunch baby spinach
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
4 peaches, halved
4 apricots, halved
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Crusty bread for serving

1. Heat the grill to medium-high. While the grill heats, tear spinach into bite sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice. Cut prosciutto into bite sized pieces and set both aside. 

2. When the grill is hot, brush peaches and apricots very lightly with vegetable oil. Grill cut side down, until deeply caramelized, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate. 

3. Toss the spinach with the dressing and feta. Add the prosciutto, followed by the still hot peaches and apricots, letting their juices seep into the spinach. If there are any juices left on the plate, add those too. Enjoy with crusty bread. 

May Cooking - Salad

Shaved Asparagus with Burrata, Radish, and Cucumber
(Serves 2)

8 ounces asparagus 
6 ounces radishes, thinly sliced
6 ounces cucumber, finely diced 
4 ounces Burrata
Microgreens for the top
Crusty bread, for serving

Lime vinaigrette 
1 tablespoon White balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 stalks garlic ramps, minced  
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Snap off the bottoms and tips of the asparagus. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the spears lengthwise. 

2. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, and lime zest. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Stir in the green garlic and season with salt and pepper. 

3. Divide the asparagus, radishes, and cucumber between two plates. Dollop the Burrata, drizzle the vinaigrette, and scatter the microgreens. Serve with crusty bread. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

May Thoughts

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testament of Hope

Resistance. Every. Day.


Email to Senators Cornyn and Cruz: Please sign the FY 2018 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Dear Appropriator letters. These programs amount to more than $210 million in federal funding for libraries and protecting them has never been more necessary.

Thank you note to Senator John McCain for opposing the firing of James Comey and for advocating for a select committee to investigate 45. 

Thank you note to Senator Patty Murray for stating the obvious: It matters to have women at the table regarding healthcare. 

Called Rep. Olson, Senators Cruz and Cornyn opposing the new, federal Commission on Election Integrity as an unnecessary huge waste of taxpayer money. 

Wrote note to Senator Mitch McConnell reminding him that 51% of the population is female, 37% is non-white,19% has a disability, and 3% is LGBT. A healthcare committee of all white males could harm those excluded from the conversation. 

Wrote a thank you note to Senator Susan Collins thanking her for her work on alternate healthcare plans and for reaching out to moderate Democrats. 

Registered my opposition at the EPA website to allowing any tolerances to the toxic chemical chlorpyrifos because it is a neurotoxin and causes birth defects. 

Sent thank you post cards to Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Susan Collins for voting against the repeal of methane gas emissions protections. 

Sent thank you to Senator Lisa Murkowski for supporting an independence investigation following the firing of FBI Director Comey. 

Sent a thank you to Senator Mike Lee for questioning the value of A/G Sessions plans for tougher sentencing for drug-related crimes. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

May Poetry

Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume:
There's crimson buds, and white and blue,
The very rainbow showers
Have turned to blossoms where they fell,
And sown the earth with flowers."
-  Thomas Hood

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Goals for the Week of May 21 - 27, 2017

     Spiritual Reading 

     Exercise DVD daily
     32 oz. water daily

Quilting -- Finally finish Scrap Quilt top
                Pick up Sampler Quilt

     I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
     The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck 

     Scrambled Eggs, Canadian Bacon, Toast
     Veggie Soup, Sourdough Toast
     Tuna Salad Sandwiches
     Schwan's Chicken Pot Pies
     Cutlets, GMP, GB

     Clean garage windows and blinds
     Put up summer door wreath
     Finish planting corner garden

     Lunch with P&W&C&B 
     Duffy to vet
     Angie to groomer

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg

Two years ago, while on vacation in Mexico, Sheryl's husband, Dave, unexpectedly died while exercising.  Suddenly, she was a widow with two young children. This book is really two books. It is the story of how she worked through the fog and the grief with the help of family and friends. It is also about how we, as a friend, as a community, as an organization, can support each other in times of overwhelming tragedy and the ensuing grief. 
It is definitely a book worth reading because at some time, we all are buffeted by the hard winds of life

May Poetry

The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings."
-  Joyce Kilmer, Spring

Friday, May 12, 2017

Resistance. Every. Day.

I called the White House message line and expressed my disapproval of the unconstitutional executive order allowing religious organizations to endorse and donate to political candidates 

I sent a thank you to Mike Pence (never thought I'd do that!) for leaving Planned Parenthood in the omnibus budget bill. 

I sent a post card to Paul Ryan's home address shaming him for the AHCA. 

Called and left voice mail for Senators Cornyn and Cruz to support an independent investigation of the Trump campaign ties to Russia. 

Called Rep. Pete Olson's office to urge support for independent investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia. 

Wrote a note to Sec. of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to oppose his plans to make school lunches less healthy. 

 I wrote a note to HUD Sec. Ben Carson stating my support for safe, clean, adequate housing for all citizens and that I was appalled to think anyone, much less the Secretary of HUD, would find anything less acceptable. 

I called again today the offices of Senator Cruz, Senator Cornyn, and Rep. Olson to urge their support for an independent investigation into the Trump campaign ties to Russia. 

I wrote a thank you note to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) for publicly opposing the revised ACHA plan, that would "severely harm the health and lives" of her constituents. Putting people over party makes a great leader.

I tried to contact Senators Cruz and Cornyn but could not get through. Nevertheless, I will persevere and continue to call. 

May Goals

     Spiritual Reading 

     Exercise DVD 
     Salad for lunch 3x

Quilting -- Finish Scrap Quilt top

     I Contain Millions by Ed Yong
     Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
     The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

      Macaroni and Cheese, Corn
      Pancakes and Canadian Bacon 
      Popcorn Shrimp and Oven Fries
      Chicken Parmigiana 
      Schwan's Beef Stir Fry


     Resistance Every Day

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Around OakMeadows

Around OakMeadows 

I made a dreadful mistake when I didn't insist on my daughter becoming a veterinarian. To make a long story short the cat at the vet today cost $970. Yes, he is worth every penny of it but still, if I had a daughter who was a veterinarian, she would most likely have given me a price break. Cat is recovering nicely but we are exhausted. 

My quilt top is progressing very slowly but I am pleased with it so far.  I hope to finish it up this week. 

I have 3 good books going right now: Option B by Sheryl Sandberg, I Contain Multitudes  by Ed Yong, and Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. They are all very different but very good.  

The Orange One fires the FBI Director who is investigating him. Hmmm .

That's all the news from OakMeadows where the cats are resting and recuperating and so are the people. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

May Cooking -- Lemonade Muffins

Lemonade Muffins 
Makes 12 muffins These tender muffins get a bright kick from frozen lemonade concentrate, giving them a wonderful, if very sweet, flavor. Don’t use sugar-free brands, made with artificial sweeteners, or the muffins won’t rise very well. 
Nonstick spray or paper muffin cups 
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
 1/3 cup sugar 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 large egg, at room temperature 
¼ cup buttermilk (regular or low-fat) 
One 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed 
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 

1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. To prepare the muffin tins, spray the indentations and the rims around them with nonstick spray, or line the indentations with paper muffin cups. If using silicon muffin tins, spray as directed, then place them on a baking sheet. 
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside. 
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk until well blended. Whisk in the lemonade concentrate, melted butter, and lemon zest until smooth. Stir in the prepared flour mixture until moistened—do not overmix. 
4. Fill the prepared tins three-quarters full. Use additional greased tins or small, oven-safe, greased ramekins for any leftover batter, or reserve the batter for a second baking. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the muffins have lightly browned, flat tops and a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out with a crumb or two attached.
 5. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Gently rock each muffin back and forth to release it from the tin. Cool them for 5 minutes more on the rack before serving. If storing or freezing the muffins, allow them to cool completely before sealing in an airtight container or in freezer-safe plastic bags. The muffins will stay fresh for up to 24 hours at room temperature or up to 1 month in the freezer. 

Lemon Glazed Lemonade Muffins: Top the cooled muffins with Lemon Drizzle. 

Limeade Muffins: Substitute limeade concentrate for the lemonade concentrate and lime zest for the lemon zest. 
Raspberry Lemonade Muffins: Gently fold ½ cup raspberries into the batter just after adding the flour mixture. 
Strawberry Lemonade Muffins: Hull and thinly slice 8 large strawberries (about ½ pint). Add them along with the lemon zest. 

Lemon Drizzle 

Makes about 1/3 cup, enough for 12 muffins 
Acid keeps sugar from crystallizing, so the lemon juice in this recipe keeps the sugar in a semi-liquid form. It’s perfect for drizzling designs on the tops of baked muffins. 
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 

1. Stir the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth. Set aside for 15 minutes to firm up a bit. 

2. Drizzle approximately 1 teaspoon on top of each cooled, baked muffin. Alternatively, dip the cooled muffin tops into the drizzle, allow all the excess to drip back off, then turn the muffin right side up and allow the drizzle to set.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

May Thoughts

The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive. 

John Green

May Poetry

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his Heaven— 
All's right with the world!
  Robert Browning, The Year's at the Spring

Friday, May 5, 2017

Goals for the Week May 7-13, 2017

     Spiritual Reading

     Get DASH Diet plan book and plan
     Drink 32 oz. water daily
     2 Fruits daily

Quilting -- Finish Scrap Quilt top 

    Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman 
     I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
     Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
     Bacon Sandwiches
     Schwan's Chicken Lo Mein
     Baked Fish, Carrots/Thyme, Corn
     Schwan's Beef and Veggie Stir Fry
     Oven BBQ Chicken, Beans, Cole Slaw

     House Cleaners

     Everyday Resistance

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Resistance

What I have been doing:

I called Pete Olson's office to express my opposition to the healthcare bill that is being rushed through before CBO results are made public.

 I sent a thank you note to ChiefJustice Roberts for the concerns he raised over stripping naturalized citizens of their citizenship for trivial matters. Every day Resistance.

I called the office of the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, to express my opposition to the recently signed Executive Order allowing resource extraction (mining, drilling) from our National Monuments. The phone number is 202 208 7351. Leave a message. (Texas has several National Monuments including the flint quarries and the Waco Mammoth Monument.)

I joined my local group of Indivisible.  We are going to our Congressman's local office next week to sign his register and leave messages for him. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Around OakMeadows

My best friend Kathleen and me, about 1957. 

It just makes me smile: Diane Rehm is getting married. I loved her morning program on NPR.  Her husband of 50+ years died about 2 years ago of Parkinson's Disease. She is 80 and her fiancé is 77. Congratulations and much happiness to them.  

Speaking of NPR. I hate the twice yearly pledge drives. Our local NPR station makes it doubly irritating by having each pledge drive last for 9 days. Of course I understand that they need to raise money but really 18 days a year is just over the top. Well, I finally figured out a satisfactory work-around. I listen on my phone via the internet to WAMU in Washington or WBUR in Boston. I could listen to NPR One (kind of like Pandora for NPR junkies). Oh, and yes I do give to my local station!

We went to the McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park and the Cockrell Butterfly Center this morning. The weather was perfect and we thoroughly enjoyed both. As usual, Blogger won't let me post photos but as soon as I can, I will get some photos up. It was glorious. 

I joined our local Indivisible group. I don't know what I can do above my ongoing emails and phone calls. We will see. 

And that's all the news from OakMeadows where the cats are are still shedding and Roomba has to be emptied every other day.