Sunday, April 29, 2018

April Thoughts

The mind is everything. What you think you become. Buddha

April Poetry

"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
-  Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 

Plans for the Week of April 29 - May 5, 2018

     ADG and Church
     Daily Devotions 
     Daily Meditation 

     No sugar
     1 Liter Water per day

     Cut out strips for lattice
     Call about Dutch Churn and Dash quilt 

     Grant by Ron Chernow (JMM and I are reading this aloud to each other.)
     A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey (This is so different from what I thought it would be and so far it is excellent.)
     The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (I haven’t started this one yet.)

     CB Hash and CSC
     Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach
     Chicken-Rice Bake
     Fried Shrimp, FF, Coleslaw 

     🔥Resistance. Every. Day. 🔥
      Plan trip to Dallas Botanical Gardens 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Called Rep. Pete Olson:
I’m calling about The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). I can’t understand why Mick Mulvaney would dismantle an agency that protects consumers from fraud and abuse. S. 2155 passed in the Senate, and I’m counting on you to vote against its passage in the House. Thank you.

Thank you note to Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL):
Thank you for supporting Americans with disabilities. I appreciate your clear, joint letter (with 42 other senators!) to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Thank you for working to protect the Americans with Disabilities Act and block a vote on the ADA Educational and Reform Act (H.R. 620). And welcome to the world, Maile Pearl!
Address: 230 South Dearborn Street, Suite 3900, Chicago, IL 60604

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Wrote to State Department:
Address: Office of Public Engagement: PA/PL, Rm. 2206, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20520
In this country, all people may worship free of discrimination. The Administration's nominee to lead the UN International Organization for Migration, Ken Isaacs, has made comments that vilify Muslims. His ability to be impartial toward our neighbors is in question. I am writing to request that Ken Isaacs’ nomination be withdrawn. Thank you.

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Sent postcards to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
 I’m concerned about new barriers to our neighbors receiving food assistance. I want you to reauthorize SNAP without decreasing benefits—and without adding work requirements or drug-testing requirements. With the Farm Bill up for debate next week, it is urgent that you advocate so that the poorest Texans can eat. Thank you.

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Sent email to Rep. Pete Olson:
I am concerned about the US Dept. of Health and Human Services division, the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom,that condones discrimination against our own citizens. Denying medical treatment is unconscionable and risks our neighbors’ lives. Providers who discriminate should not receive government money. I would like you to co-sponsor H.R. 5123 a new bill that abolishes this department. Thank you 

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Sent postcards to Rep. Pete Olson and Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I am concerned about the Department of Justice forcing quotas on immigration judges. Tying performance to the number of cases means that people may not have a fair trial. Please make a public statement in support of due process and basic decency toward immigrants. Thank you. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Visit to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Tx

It was a windy day and not ideal for photographing butterflies but we enjoyed seeing a nice variety.
Cloudless Sulphur 
Common Mestra

Red Admiral 

Black Swallowtail 

Hackbury Emperor

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April Poetry

"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."
-  Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant

Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean

Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean

This is not an easy read and if I’d read it before the 2016 elections, I probably would not have finished it and just chalked it up to a rather paranoid conspiracy theory from the left.  But is is impossible not to see what is actually happening. 

MacLean gives a history of the development of the radical libertarian movement.  But what is libertarian to most Americans is not what it is to the operatives from the octopian labyrinth of Koch-funded organizations. So let me clear that up right away. Their idea of liberty is an economic Darwinism with no restraints on the accumulation of wealth by the few without even a nod to democracy or majority rule. Any attempt to tax other than for maintenance of order and national defense in not to be tolerated.  So what are some of the public/governmental activities that should be abandoned?

1.) Public education should be abolished.  Instead, private education for those who can afford it. For those who can’t afford it, too bad. Same for college and university levels. No government subsidies. Besides, higher education just leads to unrealistic expectations. 

2.) Public Health. No kidding—no government regulation for safe drinking water, safe working conditions, no CDC, no NIH.

3.) Government regulation of anything. 

4.) Flat tax. No graduated income tax. 

5.) No Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. Privatization of all retirement plans. No employer contribution to retirement accounts.  Not enough saved for retirement?—Too bad. Get sick?—Pay or die. 

6.) Most importantly, they want to amend the Constitution to effectively limit democracy and make it impossible to respond to the will of the people. 

The list goes on.  If you want a real life example of life under what the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, ALEC operatives are stealthily foisting on America, check out a book on life in Chile under Pinochet. (And be sure to learn under whose auspices the Chilean Constitution was written.)

I would never have believed this was possible, but all I have to do is look around at the current cabinet members to see that it is not just possible, but well under way. 

Hard to read but a must read. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I’m concerned about efforts to turn back the clock on the Americans with Disabilities Act. H.R. 620 is now in the Senate and would burden people with disabilities with fighting for their right to access public spaces. It is wrong, and I want to make sure that you will not support this bill. 

Thank you note to Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL):
Thank you for calling for Scott Pruitt’s resignation. I agree that his actions—including accepting a lobbyist’s condo at a token cost—are unethical. Thank you for breaking with your party to stand up for ethical behavior.
Address (IR-L): 2206 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Address (CC): 1404 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I'm calling to voice my support for common-sense gun reform. I am eager for you to take meaningful action to address gun violence. I would like two things. One is for you to oppose S. 446 which weakens protections from gun violence. Two, to oppose Howard Nielson for a lifetime seat on the United States District Court.. Thank you.

Thank you note to Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA):
Thank you for supporting equal pay in the workplace. Thank you for signing into law bills to close the gender pay gap, and to make it hard for employers to cover up workplace sexual assault and harassment. Thank you!
Address: Office of the Governor, PO Box 40002, Olympia, WA 98504-0002

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I’m calling to oppose the judicial nominations of Kyle Duncan and Thomas Farr. People hostile to equal rights and voting access don’t deserve lifetime appointments. Should these nominees come to a vote, I expect you to oppose them. Thank you. 

Thank you note to Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ):
Thank you for opposing National Guard deployment to the Mexican border, and pressing against the diversion of funds from the defense budget to border infrastructure. This is both fiscally responsible and commendable. Thank you.
Address: 411 N. Central Ave, Suite 150, Phoenix, AZ 85004

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Letter to Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General:

I stand with the many Americans—Democratic and Republican—calling for increased scrutiny over a Sinclair-Tribune merger. Americans deserve independent local broadcasting. Thank you. 
US Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20530-0001

Thank you note to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell (D-WA):
Thank you for your letter to the FCC opposing the merger of Sinclair and Tribune. I appreciate your support of truly local news and encouraging an investigation into Sinclair’s practices. Thank you!
Address (PM): 950 Pacific Avenue, Ste. 650, Tacoma, WA 98402
Address (MC): 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3206, Seattle, WA 98174

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

May Menu

May Menu

1.  Chicken-Sausage Casserole 
2. Cutlets, GMP, Peas
3.  Leftovers 
4.  Out
5.  Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
6.  Slow Cooker Chicken 
7.  Baked Fish, Potatoes, Corn
8.  Oven BBQ Chicken, Beans, Cole Slaw 
9.  Roast and Veg
10. Leftovers 
11.  Out
12. Macaroni and Cheese 
13. Pancakes and Canadian Bacon
14. Tuna Salad
15. Chicken Parmigiana 
16. Schwan’s 
17. Leftovers 
18. Out
19. Scrambled Eggs, Schwan’s Sausage and Potatoes 
20. Slow Cooker Beef
21. Baked Fish, Potatoes, Cole Slaw 
22. Schwan's 
23. Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
24. Leftovers 
25. Out
26. CB Hash, CSC
27. Schwan’s 
28. Fried Shrimp, Oven FF, Cole Slaw
29. Schwan’s 
30. Pizza
31. Leftovers 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Around OakMeadows

Duffy helps piece the Scrap 9-Patch Quilt top 

Around OakMeadows

We received our vote by mail ballots for the Democratic primary runoff.  How I love vote by mail!  Texas only allows a few categories of people to vote by mail but fortunately for us, those over 65 can.  I knew who we would be voting for in the runoff for Congressman and for Governor but I had not done any research on the Texas state Senate position. As far as I could tell, either of the women would be fine but I ended up choosing the women who mentioned her activism with Planned Parenthood.  Onward, to the Midterms in November.  

I’m making steady progress on my Scrap 9-Patch Quilt top. I have the 25 9-Patches made and pressed.  Next to cut out the strips for the lattice. I may need to buy some muslin for it but I will first use up the pieces of muslin that I already have.  Honestly, it seems that I haven’t made a dent in my fabric stash bin. 

We are going to the lower Rio Grande Valley Monday and Tuesday to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, TX and then to the Botanical Garden in Corpus Christi. I want to see the Butterfly Center one more time before it is bisected by that monstrosity of a wall which that horrid man in the White House is having built.  

I have several good books going right now.  JMM and I are reading aloud to each other Grant by Ron Chernow. It is excellent but since we only read 5 pages a day, it is taking a loooooong time to get through it.  From the library I have Adventures among Ants by Mike Moffett. So interesting. Makes me want to dig out my magnifying glass and go watch ants.  

It is a cool, breezy, sunshiny day today. Spring seems to be here for certain.  The barn swallows are nesting and I’ve seen a couple of hummingbirds and the first batch of Monarch caterpillars are chowing down on the milkweed that JMM has planted.  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

April Thoughts

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. Omar Khayyam

April Poetry

"Keep your faith in beautiful things; 
in the sun when it is hidden, 
in the Spring when it is gone." 
-  Roy R. Gibson

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


One of the surprises of aging for me is finding myself smitten by beauty.  Sunrises and sunsets, trees, butterflies, mushrooms.  I know it’s been there all along but the thing is I now have time to savor it, to sit and stare.  

It isn’t just the beauty of natural things that whack me upside the head. There is music. I’m taking a Coursera class from Yale University on Classical music and I’m spending hours with Gregorian chant, with Bach and Mozart and just now Beethoven.  To hear it and feel it and ride the emotional waves of it is to be immersed in audible beauty. 

We’ve been able to take trips to museums to see beautiful works of art and again to have the time to really look and think and admire.  

And then there is the beauty of words. It has been a couple of years now that Mary Oliver has been part of my world.  I’d never had much use for poetry until I found her work and it was like a wonderful oil poured into crevices of my mind. So I decided to give poetry a chance and I’m still wandering around making beautiful discoveries of poetry. Maybe I just wasn’t ready for it before now.  

Speaking of the beauty of words, I’ve dug out the old King James Bible to read Psalms. And I’ve ordered an Anglican Book of Common Prayer for the beauty of the service. 

Anyway, I suppose if one is to be surprised, it is wonderful to be smitten by beauty. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Around OakMeadows

Chinese Fringe Tree in full bloom. 

     We are inching our way into Spring, two steps forward, one step back with showers in between. Today was very cloudy and looked like rain all day but nothing but an occasional light drizzle. Tomorrow is supposed to be much cooler.  We shall see.  

     I finished piecing the top for my Dutch Churn and Dash quilt and took it to the Quilter’s Emporium for Karen Shively to pick up and do the machine quilting. So after we came back from Luby’s, I picked out the scrap pieces for my next quilt which will be a Scrap Nine Patch.  You know with all the Scrap Quilts I have made, it still seems like I haven’t made a dent in my leftover fabric bin.  Really, I’m reminded of Elijah and the widow’s oil.  

     We went to Luby’s for a late lunch today.  I remember how we would go to Luby’s in downtown Galveston; I just thought that was the height of elegance even with organ music in the background.  

     I have been very upset about the federal government since the last election in 2016. The thing that has me upset today is their determination to destroy the EPA and the regulations that are designed to clean up our environment and protect endangered species.  It is incredible to me that our government has been so degraded.  

I am listening to The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It is about the Dust Bowl years in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. It is incredible how we destroyed the grasslands and paid for it with the Dustbowl.  

Sunday, April 8, 2018

April Thoughts

Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:

- I shall not fear anyone on Earth. 
- I shall fear only God. 
- I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. 
- I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. 
- I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Plans for the Week of April 8-14, 2018

     Meditation Daily

     32 Oz. Water Daily

     Make 25 9-patch blocks for next quilt

    Grant by Ron Chernow 
     Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean
     The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes
     At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider

     7. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries, Veggies 
      8. Schwan’s 
      9. Tuna Salad Sandwiches 
      10. Oven BBQ Chicken, Beans, Coleslaw 
      11. Veggie Soup
      12. Leftovers 
      13. Out
      Spring Wreath on Front Door
      Never ending garage clean up


April Poetry

"The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!   
Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The Plowboy is whooping-anon-anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
The rain is over and gone!"
-   William Wordsworth, March

Thursday, April 5, 2018

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Thank you note to Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI):
Thank you for sponsoring legislation that protects kids from discrimination in school. LGBTQ youth are at a much higher risk of suicide, and this legislation sends a clear message they are okay just the way they are. Thank you!
Address: 30 West Mifflin Street, Suite 700, Madison, WI 53703

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I’m calling to ask you to reject Mike Pompeo, nominee for Secretary of State, and Gina Haspel, nominee for CIA Director. Both are unfit. Mike Pompeo’s history of anti-Muslim sentiment is un-American, and Gina Haspel’s Thailand torture past is an affront to basic human decency. When the time comes to vote, I’m counting on you to do the right thing and reject both.

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Thank you note to Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee:
Thank you for who speaking against President's Trump ban on transgender persons serving in the armed forces. I agree with your statement that anyone willing to lay down their life for the country should be welcomed to the military. Thank you.
Address: 733 Federal Building, 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I am concerned about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. The House has unanimously passed legislation reforming the Congressional Accountability Act, and all 22 female senators, Democrat and Republican, are asking for support. I urge your support in moving this legislation forward.

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Thank you note to Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA):
Thank you for ensuring workers keep their tips by adding a rider that amends the Fair Labor Standards Act as part of the omnibus spending bill. I appreciate your advocacy for hard-working Americans. Thank you!
Address: 2988 Jackson Federal Building, 915 2nd Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98174

🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥

Thank you note to Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC):
Thank you for supporting secure elections. Your work to include $380 million to improve election security and protect voting infrastructure is an incredible act of statesmanship. Voting is vital to a healthy democracy. Thank you.
Address: 2000 West First Street, Suite 508, Winston-Salem, NC 27104

Thank you note to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): 
Thank you for standing up for election integrity and condemning the president for congratulating Vladimir Putin on his election win. Your legacy is a treasure to our country. Thank you.
Address: 2201 East Camelback Road, Suite 115, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Plans for 2018 — March Update

What I really spend my time doing. (My  daughter’s dog, Lucy.)

Plans for 2018 — March Update

1. Learn to make Sourdough Bread. Nothing done. 

2. Learn to make something with Butternut Squash. (Mostly this means learning how to  get into it.) — Nothing done. 

3. Make 2 Scrap Quilts and 1 from new material. — Finished 1 Scrap Quilt and 1 new fabric quilt.  

4. Read 52 books — 16 books read. 

5. Trips:
     A. Trip to NYC
     B. National Butterfly Center 
     C. National Gallery — Done. 
     D. Pawhuska, OK to see PW’s Merc

6. Home Improvements — Nothing done. 
     A. New Stovetop 
     B. New living room furniture 

7. Expand Butterfly garden — JMM is currently working on this. 

8. Work on Political campaigns for House and Senate — Continuing 🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥 and sent contribution to Beto O’Rourke for Senate. 

9. Self Improvement — on track. 
     None. I’m fine. 

April Thoughts

Change your thoughts and you change your world. Norman Vincent Peale