Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Post Harvey

No rain and blessed sunshine, blue skies, and puffy white clouds.  Thank goodness we have prevailed over the interminable rains of Hurricane Harvey.  We received a total of 34 inches over 4 days. We did not get any water in the house and it didn't really get out of the drainage ditch in our front yard.  We were without electricity for about 20 hours but the heroic linemen restored our power Saturday about 4pm and it never went out again. I have been very concerned about the Brazos River which was at first to crest at 59 feet which is 3 feet higher than the levees which contain it. But at last report, it will crest Friday at 56 feet.  There may be some spillage but nothing that would affect us.  
I have not been able to get to a grocery store and really haven't needed to. We went to HEB on Thursday and bought the usual week's groceries.  I have been able to keep us fed using that and my pantry since then. And I have enough to last until my usual Saturday morning grocery shopping. The key was not losing power for long and keeping my frozen food useable and being able to cook.  It would not have been so easy if we had lost power for the duration.   
The afternoon, I called and found out that Chili's in Rosenberg was open until 6pm. So at 4pm we went to Chili's for dinner.  I was so glad and thankful that I could get out and enjoy a meal out!! Everyone there was asking each other about their house and if they had any damage.  
I was sinking into a mild depression yesterday before the rain stopped. The sunshine helped and the trip to Chili's helped to pick me up.  I hope to sleep tonight and be more energetic tomorrow.  We shall see. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August Thoughts

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” 
― Rachel Carson

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Bye, bye Harvey

We live up the Texas coast about 175 miles north of Corpus Christi so we were spared the strong winds.  We got about 8 inches of rain in the first 24 hours.  It is still unknown what path the remains of Harvey will take and more rain is likely. The creeks and the Brazos River are way up but as far as I know, none are at flood stage. (That may change as more rain falls.) We lost power very early (8pm). It was restored at 4pm. Since we didn't open the refrigerator or freezer doors at all, I don't think we lost any food but I will check tomorrow. I hope we are finished with hurricanes for this year but you never know.

Friday, August 25, 2017

August Poetry

And the living is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high

Oh, your daddy's rich
And your mama's good lookin'
So hush little baby now
don't you cry

One of these mornin's
You're gonna rise up singin'
Then you'll spread your wings
And take to the sky

But til that mornin'
Ain't nothin' can harm you
With your daddy
And your mammy
standin' by."
-  George Gershwin and Dubose Heyward, Porgy and Bess   

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Around OakMeadows

Around OakMeadows

I have recently discovered Hoopla through our library. I can check out up to 6 items per month directly onto my iPad. They have books, audiobooks, movies, and television programs.  I mostly use it for audiobooks. So far I have listened to 3 audiobooks through Hoopla: French Kids Eat Everything, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and White Trash. It is so convenient and I love listening to audiobooks.  Check to see if your library uses Hoopla. 

We had only about 50% of the sun blocked during the eclipse. Our daughter traveled from D.C. to Nashville to see the total eclipse.  

I am gradually getting all the books back on the shelves. Both of us are not just bibliophiles but borderline biblioholics so in 49 years of marriage, we have collected quite a few books. When we had the carpet removed and hardwood put in two weeks ago, we had to take all the books out of the bookcases in order to move the bookcases. Now we get to sort them out and put them back. Some are like old friends who have traveled a lifetime with us.  One of those old friends is my original copy of Jane Goodall's My Life with the Wild Chimpanzees which I think I got in about 1968. 

The hummingbird migration may be just beginning maybe a week or 10 days earlier than usual.  We currently have 3 Ruby-throated hummingbirds.  I have 2 more feeders to put up as soon as I see a few more. I can't tell if the Monarchs are beginning to come through or not as we have had Monarchs all summer.  Quite a few Gulf Fritillaries and Giant Swallowtails.  

It appears that we will be in Afghanistan, et al. for another 16 years because no one seems to have the gumption to declare victory and bring the troops home. So we will continue to waste lives, limbs, and money in one cesspool after another.  At one time, we had civilian control of the military (which I happen to think is a very good idea) but now we don't even pretend that our military is under elected civilian control. 

That's all the news from OakMeadows where the cats, dog, and people are ready for cooler autumn temperatures.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

September Menu

September Menu

1. Out
2. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
3. Slow Cooker Chicken
4. Baked Fish, Carrots, Coleslaw 
5. Chicken-Rice Bake
6. Steak, GMP, GB
7. Leftovers 
8. Out
9. Mac and Cheese, Corn
10. Pancakes, Canadian Bacon 
11. Shrimp Jambalaya 
12. Chicken and Snow Peas Stir Fry
13. HB Pie
14. Leftovers 
15. Out
16. Scrambled Eggs, Canadian Bacon, Toast
17. Slow Cooker Beef
18. Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Veggie Tray
19. Schwan's Chicken Lo Mein
20. Pizza
21. Leftovers 
22. Out
23. CB Hash, CSC
24. Veggie Soup
25. Schwan's Shrimp, Potatoes, veggies 
26. Schwan's Chicken Pot Pie 
27. Spaghetti and Meatballs 
28. Leftovers 
29. Out
30. Coney Islands

Sunday, August 20, 2017

August Thoughts

But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.” Rachel Carson

Friday, August 18, 2017

September Goals

1. Finish putting books back on shelves. 

2. Labor Day BBQ with family. 

3. Yard cleanup.

4. Housecleaners.

5. Start new quilt top. 

6. Reading
      A Thousand Days by Arthur Schlesinger
     John Adams by David McCullough
     Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen

7.  Cooking
      Saturday -- Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
      Sunday-- Schwan's Chicken Stir Fry
      Monday-- Baked Fish, Carrots, Coleslaw 
      Tuesday -- Chicken-Rice Bake
      Wednesday -- Steak, GMP, Peasn
      Thursday-- Leftovers 
      Friday -- Out  

August Poetry

"There's a time each year
That we always hold dear,
Good old summer time;
With the birds and the trees'es
And sweet scented breezes,
Good old summer time,
When you day's work is over
Then you are in clover,
And life is one beautiful rhyme,
No trouble annoying,
Each one is enjoying,
The good old summer time."
-  Lyrics by Ron Shields, In the Good Old Summertime   

Goals for the Week of August 20-26, 2017

     Daily Meditation 

     Fruit Daily
     Salad x 3
     Stay cool

     Finish Scrap Quilt  top

     A Thousand Days by Arthur Schlesinger 
     John Adams by David McCullough 
     The Storied Life of A.J. Fickry by Gabrielle Zevin
     Saturday -- CB Hash, CSC
Sunday-- Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup
Monday-- Tuna Salad, Veggie Tray
Tuesday -- Oven BBQ Chicken, Beans, Coleslaw 
Wednesday -- Steak, GMP, Peas
Thursday-- Leftovers 
Friday -- Out  

     Put away 1 box of books each day


🔥Resistance. Every. Day. 🔥

"It happened because it was not stopped by ordinary people." Hannah Arendt

Called Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz to express my satisfaction that efforts to repeal the ACA failed and to express my hope that they will act responsibly to fix the ACA to provide the best healthcare for all Americans. 

Sent a Thank You to Mayor Rahm Emanuel for preventing Chicago police from serving in immigration enforcement and for filing suit against threats to withhold public safety grants from sanctuary cities. 

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

1. I tried to find out when my 3 MoCs will have a Town Hall meeting. The best I could come up with was to be put on a waiting list for Rep. Pete Olson to be called but when and where are unknown. Senator Cornyn's mailbox was full as usual. I talked to a real person at Senator Cruz's Houston office where I was told to check his FB page which I did while I was still talking with the real person and told him there was no schedule of events or appearances on his FB page. He then told me to leave my name and phone number and I would be contacted. Right. So I gave up and decided to attend Beto O'Rourke's event in Pearland on Saturday morning. 

2. Sent a thank you to New Haven's Mayor Toni Harp
for affirming that New Haven respects people no matter where they come from -- and for offering sanctuary to asylum seekers like Marco Reyes Alvarez. Your courage and leadership help your city live up to its name. Thank you.

3. Sent email to White House: Resign or be impeached. 

4. Sent email to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz: Impeach Trump Now!

🔥Resistance.Every. Day.🔥

Sent email to Rep. Pete Olson:
I know you are in recess, but I’m calling ahead about the budget negotiations coming up next month. Specifically, I'm deeply concerned about what I'm reading about ICE raids, detention center conditions, border patrol abuses, and deporting peaceful, vulnerable people to dangerous cities. Our treatment of immigrants amounts to sanctioned, taxpayer-funded abuse. Please know that I want you to cut funding to the deportation machine, and vote no on any bill that funds this abusive system. I want a respectful path to citizenship for our country’s 11 million undocumented people. Thanks.

Sent emails to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
Stop the madness in the Middle East. Get us out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and anywhere else we are wasting lives, limbs, and tax money. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August Thoughts

“In nature nothing exists alone.” 
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August Poetry

"Blessed be the Harvest,
Blessed be the Corn Mother,
Blessed be the Grain God,
For together they nourish both body and soul.
Many blessings I have been given,
I count them now by this bread.
Guardian of the East, I pray for your indulgence.
Hear me now as I request your aid in the cycle of life.
As your winds blow through fields of ripened grain,
Carry loosened seeds upon your back 
That they may fall amidst the soil
That is our Mother Earth."
-   Lammas Ritual    

Friday, August 11, 2017

Goals for the Week of August 13 - 20, 2017



     Put borders on scrap quilt 


     A Thousand Days by Arthur Schlesinger 
     John Adams by David McCullough 
     The Storied Life of A.J. Fickry by Gabrielle Zevin
     Saturday -- Scrambled Eggs, Canadian Bacon, Toast
     Sunday-- Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Sausage & White Beans
     Monday-- Baked Fish, Carrots/Thyme, Corn on the Cob
     Tuesday -- Chicken-Rice Bake
     Wednesday -- Steak, GMP, Peas
     Thursday-- Leftovers 
     Friday -- Out  
     Finish putting everything back

     Movie: An Inconvenient Sequel
     Follow-up with Dr. Shah

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Around OakMeadows

I am rereading David McCullough's John Adams. I just finished his The Spirit of America  and found it so uplifting that I decided to reread his biography of John Adams. 

Every day I feel a little bit better. I still have very limited energy and appetite but there is no pain and little feeling of distention.  

The flooring installation has begun. The plan for today is to move furniture, pull out the carpet, and level the floor where needed. 

That's all the news from OakMeadows where the cats are not pleased with the flooring chaos, the dog loves the flooring installers, and the people are just trying to live through it all. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August Thoughts

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Saturday, August 5, 2017

August Poetry

"As for me, I know nothing else but miracles, 
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, 
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, 
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water, 
Or stand under the trees in the woods, 
Or talk by day with any one I love, 
Or sleep in bed at night with any one I love, 
Or watch honey bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon... 
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, 
Or of stars shining so quiet and bright, 
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring... 
What stranger miracles are there?"
-  Walt Whitman 

Goals for the Week of August 6 - 13, 2017


     Eat good food
     Rest when tired

     Not going to happen this week. 

     A Thousand Days by Arthur Schlesinger
     Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life by Sari Nusseibeh

     Eating from freezer

     We are having the carpet removed and hardwood flooring installed this week. Chaos will reign. 

     Survive flooring chaos. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Around OakMeadows


Around OakMeadows 

It has been quite a week! Last Saturday I wasn't feeling well and as the day went on felt worse and worse. By 3pm we decided that I should go to the doctor. But by the time I got to the doctor's office, I was in such misery that they said I should go to the ER.  I had a CT scan which showed a small bowel obstruction.  I was admitted and spent the next 24 hours in a morphine and Zofran haze.  It was decided not to do surgery but to rest the bowel and let it resolve on its own. Gradually the pain and nausea decreased and I was able to eat clear liquids, then full liquids, and finally a soft diet.  I was discharged Tuesday evening. I can't imagine what I would have done without JMM to help me.  He took care of me, going home to take care of animals and the house.  What a relief it was to come home to my own bed and shower and to have all my dear animals to love.  Recovery is taking longer than I would like, but I am a little better each day.  

Next week chaos will reign here at OakMeadows as we replace all the carpet with hardwood flooring.  The flooring installers will move the furniture but we need to move everything from the bookcases, the storage pantry, the closet floor.  I have been moving a little every day and JMM is moving all the books from the bookcases. I am so looking forward to getting rid of the carpet and having clean hardwood instead.  

My friend, George Black, died of mesothelioma. He was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed.  I cannot imagine the shock and grief that his wife, Sherry, must be going through right now. I will not be able to attend his memorial service at First Lutheran Church in Galveston next Thursday. I will send a memorial gift to an organization he helped to establish to bring music to the underprivileged children of Galveston.