Thursday, October 27, 2011

Emily Morgan and San Antonio

We are back from our trip to San Antonio this past Sunday through Tuesday.  We stayed at the Emily Morgan hotel.  It was very nice and so beautiful.  Our room overlooked the courtyard of the Alamo.  That gave us some chills thinking about the battle of the Alamo 175 years ago.

Emily D. West was a free woman of color who was born in New Haven, Ct.  She signed on with James Morgan to be the housekeeper at his hotel.  She took the name Morgan as many did who were indentured. 

According to legend she caught the eye of Santa Anna, the Mexican general who won the battle of the Alamo.  According to one source I've read in the past few days she was a Texian spy and had gotten word to Sam Houston's army about where Santa Anna was.  The battle of San Jacinto, where Santa Anna was, only lasted between 18 and 45 minutes according to some sources.  I'm wondering who had the stopwatch.  After the battle of San Jacinto Emily West Morgan wanted to return to the US, and who could blame her.  However, her papers showing she was a free woman had been lost at San Jacinto.  She asked a Mr. Moreland to ask for a replacement passport for her to be able to return to New York.  This time period was before the Civil War.  The legend goes that she is "The Yellow Rose of Texas".

Will post some pictures when we get them downloaded from the camera.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Ultimate Waterslide

I saw this over at Kate's and wanted to share it with my couple or three readers. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!  Really.

This is something else!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall plants and food

Fall is a great time of the year.  The mornings are crisp and cool, and after the heat of the past summer, it is very welcome.  As soon as the weather cooled down to 90F we headed out to the local nurseries and bought yellow mums and ornamental cabbages.  This past week we bought a flat of 50 pansies.  They look perky for this season and will make it through the winter. 

I'd thought the past winter was a mild one, but my cousin reminded me how her water pipes had frozen when the temperature was below freezing for a week, actually 100 hours.  However, I will give her the entire week since her water pipes were frozen.  She used to live in Alaska and so has better coping skills about freezing weather than we do.  She didn't like it one little bit I can tell you that.  I would have flown to Jamaica or something, but she stuck it out and managed well heating water for baths and all.

This fall I am planting ornamental peppers and hoping they will return next year.  We used to have a whole flower bed of them where we used to live, but for some reason I haven't been successful at this house.  Maybe I didn't work hard enough at getting them to flourish.  You can eat the ornamental peppers, but it isn't recommended.  They are really hot.

Time to make dinner for us.  Ham and scalloped potatoes sounds really nice with some broccoli.  Yum!
It is supposed to get much cooler after Tuesday of this coming week.  Maybe it will get cool enough to make cornbread.  Double yum!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Science Class for Today

You may recall from a Mechanics course that the period of a pendulum is proportional to the square root of the length of the line suspending the weight - i.e., the longer the pendulum, the slower it swings.

Harvard students built a device with a series of 15 pendulums in a row, each one slightly longer than its neighbor, then set them in motion and filmed the result.

The resulting patterns in this short video are quite fascinating to watch.

The above words were from an email sent me from a good friend. I don't know if he wrote them or not, but he could have.

Cooking Class or the Turkey Testicle Festival

This is something I had no idea about.  Who would have thought to deep fry these, and you fry them until they float.  Who knew.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It's Raining It's Pouring...

Hello heavy rain!  Overnight we got 4+ inches of cold rain.  Our pool is nearly running over and hubby just got back from checking the overflow tube.  He said there is a lot of water pooled around the tube so it is not draining like it used to do. 

It rained so much last night the baseball playoffs were postponed.  They resumed play around midnight and the score remained the same as it was before the rain delay: 3 to 2. The Texas Rangers won the first game against Detroit.  It is up in the air if they play the second game today.  Unbelievable!  We have been in the middle of the most severe droughts ever and now it is pouring rain in time for the baseball playoffs.  Go figure.

This morning there was a small geyser of water coming from the street and running toward our neighbor's house.  My husband called the water department and they are here now repairing.  The guys from the water department had a bullhorn and said we would have low water pressure for 4 to 6 hours.

My cousin and I were planning to go to lunch and then shopping for plants today, but I'm thinking  it isn't going to happen.  We are getting rain!, so all outdoor activities need to stop, at least for a while.  A nap curled up on the sofa with something snuggy sounds too good to be true, and I can do that since a shower would take forever at this time!

I can't believe this!  Rain and cool weather at the same time!  Oh yes, it is raining in Austin for the first time in a year and they have flash flood warnings.  How about that!

When it rains a LOT like this is promised to do, we say God got all our prayers at once.  I don't know if that is true, but whatever caused this lovely rain: Thank you!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goodbye Steve Jobs. 

While reading some of the co-founder of Apple's quotes this morning I saw he used the word "grok".  I hadn't heard that word in decades.  Back in the '60s it was a phenomenon and means to completely and totally understand something or someone.  Robert Heinlein coined the word in his book Stranger in a Strange Land written in the 60s.

Grok is a word used by computer geeks now to mean they completely understand how their program works.  That is how the Iphone was developed.  Simplicity and understanding.

Rest in peace, Mr. Jobs.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What Has Happened to Plain Old Common Courtesy

We didn't watch the Republican debate and missed what happened. A soldier who asked if openly gay service people would be allowed to serve now that "don't ask don't tell" has been instated was booed. Why didn't any of the Republican candidates rebuke the audience? Why didn't the audience allow the soldier to ask a question without being bullied?

The right wing has gotten so out of control they think any bad behavior is just ok. President Obama was called a liar during his State of the Union speech. Members of Congress twitter during Presidential speeches.

An anti-bullying bill has been signed by New Jersey's Chris Christie (R) that is said to be the toughest in the nation, but is opposed by social conservatives. 

I just don't understand when the rudeness began and why has it been tolerated for so long.  I'm hoping for a return to social kindness again.  Or at least some tolerance and crabbing in private.