Monday, July 31, 2017

In the Hospital

I am being treated for  small bowel obstruction and gastritis. I haven't had so much fun since childbirth. Anyway, I will be back soon, I hope.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July Cooking -- Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus

Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus 
This recipe comes directly from The Splendid Table and is indeed splendid. 
This recipe works best with 1/2-inch-thick spears. Work quickly when tossing the asparagus with the egg whites, as the salt will rapidly begin to deflate the whites.
  • 2 pounds medium-thick asparagus, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (11/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon honey
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Using fork, poke holes all over asparagus. Toss asparagus with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let stand for 30 minutes on paper towel–lined baking sheet.
2. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup Parmesan, panko, melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in bowl. Transfer half of Parmesan mixture to shallow dish and reserve remaining mixture. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites with honey on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg white mixture into 13-by-9-inch baking dish and toss asparagus with egg white mixture. Working with 1 spear at a time, dredge half of asparagus in Parmesan mixture and transfer to baking sheet. Refill shallow dish with reserved Parmesan mixture and repeat with remaining half of asparagus.
3. Bake asparagus until just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and continue to bake until cheese is melted and panko is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Transfer to platter. Serve.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

July Thoughts

The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today” 
― Francis of Assisi

Saturday, July 22, 2017

July Poetry

"A break in the heat
away from the front
no thunder, no lightning,
just rain, warm rain
falling near dusk
falling on eager ground
steaming blacktop
hungry plants
turning toward the clouds
cooling, soothing rain
splashing in sudden puddles
catching in open screens
that certain smell
of summer rain."
-  Raymond A. Foss, Summer Rain

Goals for the Week of July 23-29, 2017


     Healthy Snacks

Quilting -- Scrap Quilt

     A Thousand Days by Arthur Schlesinger
     Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life by Sari Nusseibeh
     The Underground Railroad by Colton Whitehead

     Saturday -- Scrambled Eggs, Canadian Bacon, Toast
Sunday-- Subway
Monday-- Baked Fish, Carrots/Thyme, Corn on the Cob
Tuesday -- House of Pies 
Wednesday -- Spaghetti and Meatballs 
Thursday-- Leftovers 
Friday -- Out  

     Lawn maintenance 
     Autumn Door Wreath

     Frida Kahlo Exhibit

Friday, July 21, 2017

Around OakMeadows and

Around OakMeadows 

It is peach and melon season! Nothing better than biting into a juicy fragrant peach or a slice of icy cold watermelon. I love peach pie or peach jam but the fresh fruit is best of all!!

I am bereft. My darling swallows have left for their Central American home.  We watched them raise 20+ babies this year. If you have never watched baby birds gather up their courage and learn to fly, you have really missed a treat. While it will be nice to be able to clean off my porch, I will miss their chatter and their graceful flight until next spring. 

I learned this week that a dear friend from high school days has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.  I don't know what stage it is but in general, mesothelioma has a very bad prognosis. He and his wife have been married almost as long as JMM and I. Such a difficult road. 

That's about all the news from OakMeadows.  I'm still upset about the idiotic border wall but I understand that their is a legal process underway to stop it. As John Muir said, You shouldn't have to fight your government to protect the land. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Just when you think it can't get any worse

That orange bastard in the White House is staking out the beginning of the idiotic border wall right through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and my beloved National Butterfly Center. I didn't believe it until I saw photos of the stakes at the Butterfly Center and then read about it in both the Texas Observer and LA Times. I suppose the Trumpophiles think it will solve the immigration and drug problems and if he says it, they will knock themselves out believing it.  Unbelievable. Horrible. That despicable, disgusting man and his party. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

šŸ”„Resistance. Every. Day.šŸ”„

šŸ”„Resistance. Every. Day. šŸ”„

1. Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz and urged them not to support the current Senate Healthcare Bill. 

2. Sent postcards to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I am worried and upset that the US is detaining young children for years because their asylum status is contested. America should be a place of refuge.  It is inhumane to lock up endangered children. Will you please follow Sen. Casey’s lead and advocate to Sec. Kelly for their release pending court decisions? Thank you. 


Sent emails (voicemail full) to Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
     Hi. I’m concerned about cuts to services for kids in special ed programs. I believe we have a responsibility to fully support all learners. The Senate healthcare bill strips Medicaid funding which currently covers essential tools, staff, and screenings to give these kids a fair chance. I oppose the bill for many reasons, but this one is critical. 

Sent Thank You to Senator Elizabeth Warren for her words of encouragement on Samantha Bee's show. 

šŸ”„Resistance. Every. Day.šŸ”„

Called Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I’m calling to express my concern for recent news about the hacking of US power plants. With Russia’s election hacking last fall as well, I’m concerned that our president and members of congress are not taking these threats seriously. I support strong sanctions against Russia to address these forms of foreign aggression? Thank you.

Sent postcards to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I am confused about why Ivanka Trump posted a photo of herself and Jared Kushner on twitter saying, “We...are looking forward to productive discussions at the G20 Hamburg Summit!” Aren’t discussions the president’s job? Why are the president’s unelected daughter and son-in-law doing the president’s job? This makes the US look like a banana republic.  

šŸ”„Resistance. Every. Day. šŸ”„

Email Pete Olson:
 I am writing to express deep concern for H.B. 2936. This bill attempts to expedite logging up to 30,000 acres--an area the size of Disney World--without considering environmental impacts. I’m concerned it empowers timber companies at the expense of public input, judicial review of projects, and Endangered Species Act protections. I oppose this unethical bill and want you to do the same. Thank you.

šŸ”„Resistance. Every. Day.šŸ”„

1. Signed online petition supporting continuation of protection of DACA students.  

2. Sent email to Texas Secretary of State, Rolando Pablos, shaming him for his blatant efforts to deport DACA youth. 

3. Sent thank you postcard to Senator Lindsey Graham for speaking out about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russians and for his tenacious grilling of FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray. 

šŸ”„Resistance. Every. Day.šŸ”„

Sent email to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I understand that funding for a $2.1 billion border wall is in the 2018 budget. I want to be clear that I will never, ever support this. I want my tax dollar to support things like schools, bridges, medical care, public housing, and food stamps, not a border wall. Especially since a wall won’t solve the drug trade problem, violates sacred Native lands, and puts 93 endangered species at risk. 

Sent postcards to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:

Sent Thank You to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for posting the EPA's deleted climate science data. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

July Cooking -- Best Skillet Turkey Burgers

Skillet Turkey Burgers

1 1/2 pounds (93 percent lean) ground turkey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
4 hamburger rolls

Mix the turkey, butter, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper together. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions. Shape into 1 inch thick burgers with a 1/4 inch indentation in the center of each. 

Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Place the burgers in the skillet, indentation side up and cook until bottoms are dark brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers over and continue to cook until light brown, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to cook until Center is completely cooked, about 7 minutes. 
Transfer burgers to buns and top as desired. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

July Thoughts

Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” 
― Francis of Assisi

July Poetry

"O Earth, that hast no voice, confide to me a voice!
O harvest of my lands! O boundless summer growths!
O lavish, brown, parturient earth! O infinite, teeming womb!
A verse to seek, to see, to narrate thee."  
-  Walt Whitman

Friday, July 14, 2017

Goals for Week of July 16-23, 2017


     Exercise DVD
     Healthy Breakfast

     Borders on Scrap Quilt

     A Thousand Days by Arthur Schlesinger
     News of the World by Paulette Jiles
     Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life by Sari Nusseibeh
     The Underground Railroad by Colton Whitehead
     Saturday -- Coney Islands
Sunday-- Pancakes and Canadian Bacon
Monday-- Schwan's Fish, FF, Coleslaw 
Tuesday -- Chicken Parmigiana 
Wednesday -- Whataburgers 
Thursday-- Leftovers 
Friday -- Out  


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Around OakMeadows

Today is a cooking day. 

1. Tuna Salad. JMM did all the chopping while I set things up for making #2. Then I put the mayo and sweet pickle relish in, stirred it, up and taste tested it. 

2. Bundt poundcake. This is actually dessert for tomorrow when DD is coming to visit. I bought some strawberries which JMM will chop up tomorrow and whipped cream for strawberry shortcake. 

3. Spaghetti and Meatballs. All the prep is done. 

Aren't the crepe myrtles gorgeous!! The blooms are covered in bees too! I think this is the most blooms that we have ever had on them. 

I finished Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. 
What an excellent book! She has the double gift of an inquiring mind and the ability to communicate. I like loved the parts about her life and her struggles with life and mental illness and academia.  I loved her thoughts about plants and people and life on earth. 

I'm glad that she has a family and a dog and Bill and tenure. And I will plant a tree this year. 

All cats, dog, and people are very thankful for our air conditioner these days. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

July Thoughts

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” 

― Francis of Assisi

July Poetry

"I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
And I have loved you all too long and well
To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring.
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime."
-  Edna St. Vincent Millay, I Know I am But Summer to Your Heart

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Around OakMeadows

It is July so it is expected to be hot and it certainly is. I suppose I should be glad it isn't as hot as it is in various other places around the world. 129 degrees in Iran. I can start my yearly countdown to cooler weather: 97 days. 

I didn't set out any of my Independence Day decorations this year as my heart just wasn't into celebrating America. I daily watch in dread of what djt will say/do today.  So far the USA has not started a war with North Korea but it looks like that is what he is itching to do. In addition to Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. 
I have been so embarrassed by the treatment of refugees, that I sent my monthly $125 charity donation to Refugee Services of Texas. They also have an Amazon wishlist so I bought a Burmese-English dictionary. 

In addition feeding the birds, we also feed our resident raccoons. One is blind and gets around by patting the ground. He knows his way around to the food and water in the birdbaths. I'm pretty sure his nest is under the bottom fronds of our big Canary Island palm.  He seems to know our voices and doesn't mind our presence unless we are unusually loud.  He certainly has courage, persistence, and fortitude.  

JMM and I read aloud to each other each day. We are currently reading A Thousand Days by Arthur Schlesinger which was published in 1965. As special assistant to the president, Arthur Schlesinger witnessed firsthand the politics and personalities that influenced the now legendary Kennedy administration. It is so interesting. We just finished reading about the Bay of Pigs in 1960 and we are still fumbling around in our dealings with Cuba.  Next up our fumbling and stumbling into Indochina and we all know how well that ended. Excellent. 

I am trying to get completely off sugar. So far the longest I've gone without it is 36 hours. This morning I forgot and put grape jelly on my biscuit. Starting over. 1 hour sugar free...

šŸ”„Resistance. Every. Day.šŸ”„


Sent an email to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke opposing the removal of the Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Bear from protection

šŸ”„Resistance.Every. Day.šŸ”„

Sent emails to Rep. Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz about the increased levels of violence against Americans who are Muslim, Jewish, or Sikh and requesting that they give media attention to their opposition to this.

šŸ”„Resistance.Every. Day.šŸ”„

 Sent postcards to Rep. Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
      We are concerned about discrimination against Muslims immigrating to the US and the SCOTUS ruling. We are asking you for two things: 
1. To extend the definition of family to include grandparents, fiancĆ©/es, aunts, uncles, nephews, and nieces. 
2. To pass stronger anti-discrimination and sanctuary resolutions so that liberty and welcome may prevail.

šŸ”„Resistance. Every. Day. šŸ”„

Sent email to Rep. Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I am very concerned about the Supreme Court's recent decision to use taxpayer funds for church expenses. I do not want our country to abandon its longstanding constitutional protection of separation of church and state. I oppose government funds going to any house of worship. 

Sent postcard to NRA: 
I am very concerned about the Supreme Court's recent decision to use taxpayer funds for church expenses. I do not want our country to abandon its longstanding constitutional protection of separation of church and state. I oppose government funds going to any house of worship. 

Sent Thank You to Senator Mazie Hirono
Thank you for speaking out against the senate healthcare bill. Thank you for using your position for good. Wishing you a thorough recovery. (She has recently had surgery.)

Monday, July 3, 2017

July Cooking -- Gazpacho


3 large ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and chopped coarse
5 cups tomato juice
1 onion, minced
1/3 cup sherry vinegar 
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley or cilantro 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until finely chopped, about 12 pulses.  Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse the bell peppers and cucumbers until finely chopped, about 15 pulses. Add to the bowl with the tomatoes.  Stir in the tomato juice, onion, vinegar, garlic, Tabasco, and 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into chilled bowls and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro and a drizzle of oil if desired. 

Can be garnished with chopped pitted black olives, chopped avocado, or garlic croutons. 

Serves 6-8. Can refrigerate for up to 2 days. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July Thoughts

All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” 
― Francis of Assisi, The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Poetry

"Mosquito is out,
it's the end of the day;
she's humming and hunting
her evening away.
Who knows why such hunger
arrives on such wings
at sundown? I guess
it's the nature of things."
-  N. M. Boedecker, Midsummer Night Itch