Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Plans for 2020

So many times the old saying, “She plans, God laughs” is all too appropriate but what the heck, let’s make some plans:

My number 1 priority this year is to get my BP down by losing weight. I am doing this by cutting out as much sugar as I possibly can. I’ve already cut out my morning orange juice and my daily Coke. I saw in yesterday’s NYT a 7 day Cut Out the Sugar Challenge which is essentially what I was doing anyway.

Plans for Home Improvements:
     Have house power washed
     Refinish my 1961 sewing machine cabinet
     Have master bathroom toilet re-sealed
     New cat flap
     Remodel small bathroom????
     New adjustable bed and bedside tables
     New back porch chair
     New door wreath
     Have windows cleaned
     Have LadyBuggy (golf cart) fixed

Read 26 books

Try 12 new recipes

Travel plans are very uncertain since my last attempt was such a disaster.

I want to make 4 new quilts.

I want to contribute to and possibly help with Sri Preston Kulkarni’s Congressional campaign. (Other than voting and his campaign, I plans to studiously avoid anything to do with Politics, namely the Presidential election where I will vote for any Democrat that is nominated.)

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail

The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail

The dedication of this book reads, “This book is dedicated to the future generations of all species. know that there were many of us who did what we could.”

I found this book very fitting to read after The Unihabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells because after knowledge comes grief. The author takes us from the Arctic to the Amazon to the Everglades and tells us what is already happening and what is most likely to happen within our own and our children’s lifetime. I challenge anyone to read this book with the wrenching grief of what is being lost. 

The last paragraph of the Conclusion:
“While Western colonialist culture believes in ‘rights,’ Indigenous cultures teach of ‘obligations’ that we are born into: obligations to those who came before, to those who come after, and to the Earth itself. When I orient myself around the question ‘what are my obligations,’ the deeper question immediately arises: ‘From this moment on, knowing what is happening to the planet, to what do I devote my life?’”

Friday, December 27, 2019

Around OakMeadows

Aren’t these clouds beautiful!!

Good morning! I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday season!  We had our usual quiet Christmas! Our daughter and SIL made the most delicious Spaghetti Bolognese, salad, and White Chocolate Bread Pudding and invited us over. I am in awe of their cooking. Daughter did not inherit a cooking gene from me because I don’t have one. Lovely evening taking the dogs for a walk around the lake while digesting the Bolognese and coming back for the pudding. 

I have to have a New Year’s Resolution this year. Normally, I don’t do them but this year I must lose weight in order to get my blood pressure down. My father had high blood pressure and had a stroke and I certainly don’t want that. So my first step is eliminating my morning orange juice and my daily Coke. That will cut 2100 calories per week. My basic problem is sugar—I love it....but not enough to have a stroke over. So the main diet emphasis is on cutting the sugar.  Exercise is rather limited for me as I have to remain seated, so my new best friend is Mary Ann Wilson of Sit and Be Fit. Also there is a Chair Yoga and Chair Tai Chi which I want to look into. 

That’s about all the news from OakMeadows for now. Have a safe and happy New Year.  

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Ten Best Books that I Read in 2019

According to Goodreads, I read 44 books last year which is almost 1 per week. That sounds about right since I read mostly nonfiction. Here’s what I think were the best of the 44. BTW, my To Read list is as long as ever hovering around 50 books. I will probably die with 50+ books in my To Read list.

The Ten Best Books that I Read in 2019

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Becoming by Michelle Obama 
The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Rightful Heritage by Douglas Brinkley 
The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes
The Once and Future World by J.B. MacKinnon
Pay Attention for Goodness Sake by Sylvia Boorstein
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall  

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Amity and Prosperity by Eliza Griswold

Amity and Prosperity by Eliza Griswold 

This is one of those books that I simply had to force myself to finish. Not because it was poorly written, uninteresting, or unimportant but because it infuriated me and I feel so helpless and hopeless about the problems and processes described.  It is utterly incomprehensible that we as individuals and as a nation and inhabitants of the one and only place we have to live continue to befoul and destroy the very systems that give us life. This particular book chronicles the contamination of the water supply of 3 families in the western Pennsylvania towns of Amity and Prosperity by hydraulic fracturing.  As if that weren’t bad enough, the very agencies which were supposed to protect the people proved inadequate at best and in the control of the very entities they were supposed to be monitoring and regulating. It is not an easy read but it is excruciatingly important. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Happy Birthday to Me!!

I recently turned 72. I have more than enough stuff so I always prefer no more stuff.  We celebrated with my daughter and SIL with burgers and fries on their patio and watching our Houston Texans  football team get trounced once again. SIL makes bacon cheeseburgers to die for and daughter makes chocolate chip cookies that are really the best I have ever tasted. Such a pleasant afternoon.

I’ve seen two movies lately that I would highly recommend. One is Knives Out which we saw at our local AMC theater and the other is The Irishman which I saw on Netflix. Both are worth seeing. IMHO.

It is warm enough that I am wearing shorts today but a cold front is moving through tonight. It will probably blow most of my beautiful butterflies further south to the Rio Grande Valley.  However, the good side is that the hawks from colder climes will be moving into our area and JMM love to go driving the back roads and seeing how many hawks we can identify. Our favorite is the small kestrel. So beautiful.

That’s about all the news from OakMeadowz for now.

Saturday, December 7, 2019


Painted Lady


I don’t know what is going on but we are having more butterflies now than we had all summer. Our Blue Mist is still blooming prolifically which is attracting butterflies and bees.  I have no idea how much longer we will continue to have them.  It is such a pleasure to go out and just watch them.
Today we saw:
     Gulf Fritillaries
     White-checkered Skippers
     Pearl Crescent
     Little Sulphur
     White-tipped Black Moths (Many)
     Fiery Skippers
     Common Buckeyes
     Painted Ladies



Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A Beautiful Day

This is the time of year that makes living here on the Gulf Coast in July, August, and September worth it.  We are having lows in the mid 50s and highs in the low 70s.  My idea of perfection. And we have so many butterflies on the prolifically blooming Blue Mist. Just today we saw a White Checkered Skipper which is actually more common further south.  Such a pretty little butterfly!!

I am studiously avoiding all news of the impeachment proceedings. Since there is nothing I can do to have any influence on it, I see no purpose in following it. All that would do would keep me upset. Just inform me after it is all over which way it went. I’ve been a Liz 2020 fan for a long time but even there, I’m not following the race for the nomination because the fact is that I’ll vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is.

Domino’s Veggie Pizza for dinner. Lovely day.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Around OakMeadows

Library Books

As you can see, I’ve been to the library. If you can read the titles you know that I’m looking into Cooking and Quilting. I have a goal next year to make one new recipe each month; I think it is nice to change up the menu a bit. The quilting books are to inspire me to use some of my fabric stash by making some scrap quilts. 

We went to see Knives Out today and it was very enjoyable. One of the pleasures of retirement is being able to go to movies on weekdays when it is not crowded at all. We even had hot dogs and popcorn.  

Yesterday we had our annual physicals. No real issues—I still need to lose weight and my BP is still moderately high. I will stay on my same dose of Lisinopril for BP and Myrbetrig for overactive bladder. JMM gets to decrease his dose of Lisinopril and stop the niacin but he is needs to start tamsulosin for his urinary problem.  On the whole, we are doing quite well for 72 year olds. 

The weather has been a bit cooler which is a welcome relief. I watch the news about the heavy snow in the northern states and am thankful that I don’t have to deal with it. We are still having butterflies (a few Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, Queens, and today a pair of Common Buckeyes) on our Blue Mist.

That’s about all the news from OakMeadows where the cats are super affectionate with the coming of cooler weather and the people are stuck in the recliners with sleeping cats on their laps.