Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Thunder Rolled and Rolled

Glug glug....we got rain finally.  It is like this all the time.  We have drought and we have all prayed for rain, and some get out their rain sticks, etc. and finally God hears our prayers all at once and sends a gully washer to us.  Our backyard was a small lake this morning.  It rained from about 5pm last night until about 10am this morning.  We are still in a drought and have a flash flood warning today.  The usual places have flooded and there are cars in the flood waters.  When my husband was still working there was/is an area that floods behind the building.  It is very hazardous and one year a woman was washed from her car and has never been found.  So, the slogan of "Turn Around-Don't Drown" is true. 

Have you ever noticed how the rain comes in a deluge when it finally comes?  I don't know if it is just a normal re-establishment of the norm, but it is odd to me.  It is wonderful, but sort of odd.

Got my eyes checked yesterday and have found a competent ophthalmologist finally, I think.  I take plaquenil for rheumatoid arthritis and it can cause some very serious side effects in eyes.  He gave me a couple of things to "tape on your refrigerator" and I was instructed to check my eyes each morning.  He calmed my anxiety about the drug and he has studied the patients who take it for over 30 years.  That was a relief.  I'll go back to pick out new frames next week.  My eyes were dilated and it was not the right time for eyeglass shopping.  I couldn't see anything and the rain was starting.

Last night's rain had constant rolling thunder in it for a very long time.  My husband and I don't remember ever hearing it thunder just like it did last night.  He and I just looked at each other when we were leaving the doc's office.  I hate having to get new glasses, but it is a part of living.  I love seeing and people watching and reading very much.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


There is hope for the younger generation.  They are funny as everything! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Exceptional Rudeness and Citing Works

Anthony Bourdain, a globe trotting chef, must be taking lessons in manners from Kanye West.  Kanye West ,you remember,  the guy who came on stage to interrupt Taylor Swift's award speech, and was just mean to a sweet young woman. Well, anyway Paula Deen has announced she has type 2 diabetes and will make commercials for the drug company. Chef Bourdain made some hateful tweets about the whole thing.  Chalk this up to yet another rude human making rude remarks.  Paula Deen knows her recipes aren't diet food and all, but they are southern cooking.  And, I think it is mean spirited to be rude to her about having diabetes.  I don't know, but it seems cruel to make fun of people who are handicapped or different in some way.  I'd never make fun of Chef Bourdain about his self admitted past drug abuse.  It just doesn't seem right...or a helpful thing to do to make fun of his problems.

I had diabetes for a while when my doctors had me on an enormous amount of predisone.  Checking my sugar levels and having to use insulin was not a fun time.  When I was able to discontinue the prednisone my levels returned to normal.  Thank goodness! Diabetes is a wretched disease and causes dreadful things to happen to eyes and feet for instance.

Oh yes, someone commented to me about the links I put in my posts.  I do that to let you all know where I got the information about  whatever I'm talking about since my information mostly comes from the news or some source outside of my little world.  I try to find very safe and authoritative sites to either provide further information, or to let you know where I heard about whatever I 'm talking about.  If I write about something that isn't in my little sphere of knowledge, then it has to be noted whose intellectual property is being used.  We learn about that in high school when we write our first term paper and I think that is what the deal is with Wickipedia and the blackout.  It says on this website about Wickipedia going black today:

"But while the move is most definitely a grand stand, will it do anything more than force students to do their homework early – and perhaps even reintroduce printed reference sources to the digital generation?"

If you missed the blackout or just didn't really know what it was about here is a link to The Las Angeles Times for more and understandable information.

SOPA-Stop Online Pirating Act
PIPA-Protect Intellectual Information Act

I hope people do start citing where the heck they get some of the information they post, and it is just the right thing to do.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Squirrels In My Life

It is a cold rainy day in Texas, and this afternoon I thought it time to post some of the pictures I've talked about in the past.  My husband  is one character I'd promised, but got busy and the pictures are on another computer I don't use that much these days.  Here he is:

He is my one true love, and is the best man I've ever known. Which is a good thing since we are married.

I see the sweet potato plants were still thriving on this date in the middle of November. They perished with the first freeze.  We didn't have a freeze this year until late.  There are a bunch of dianthus in the flower bed and some in a pot by the backdoor.  I saw they were blooming like everything when I came in from meeting with my knitting group last night.  Most times we leave through the garage and I miss the action by the backdoor.  I'm finding there are a number of cooler weather plants that flourish around here.  The ornamental cabbages are so pretty now, too.  However, I digress.

Another thing I'd said I'd post about was the squirrels and their feeders.  They have entertained both of us so much, and anyone who is here while they are eating.  However, when we came home from Houston from visiting with our daughter over Thanksgiving the bird feeder had been savaged and was tilted over and nothing left to eat. 

My cousin had told me she had bought a squirrel feeder and they just loved it so much and her squirrels didn't bother her bird feeder at all.  I was skeptical, because we have had squirrel invasions in the past on the bird feeders.  This fall we bought a new bird feeder and a squirrel feeder, too.  The one for the squirrels is mounted on the tree with a hinged lid the squirrel has to lift to get to the feed.
I found one very similar to this one at WalMart and we put it up on a sweet gum tree by the rock garden.  The Plexiglas front, on ours, can be turned over so the feed will run out onto the wooden tray via a cutout in the "glass", if we decide it would be better as a bird feeder.  It was out on the sweet gum tree for a good long while before the squirrels figured the thing out.  When I looked at it the other day while filling it the top has been gnawed and the top of the Plexiglas, too.  Looks to me that if the little thing figured out the flip top box part it would have gone on for the corn and seeds in it. 

The "bird feeder" is closer to the house and pretty much anymore the birds eat the seed from under the tree or on the patio.  There is rarely any in the feeder for long.  "Gordo" the squirrel, my name for "him", will keep at the bird feeder until there is nothing left in it.  He is an acrobat, too.  Below he is stretched out from the tree trunk to the bird feeder and he then goes back to a sitting position to eat the seeds in the comfort of the fork of the tree.

Hard to see but he is stretched out to the bird feeder
I couldn't find the picture editor to draw a circle around him, but you can make out his head by the feeder

empty bird feeder
My cousin's squirrels must be a more polite bunch

He has gotten everything out of the feeder at this point and licked the plate clean

Even though these squirrels are a pain at times, they have kept us laughing at them.  One day there was a young squirrel that was much smaller than the two or more adults. It got into the box of the squirrel feeder and was eating away in peace. One of the larger squirrels came to get a snack and sat on top of the box. The little one sat up causing the larger one to move up with the lid. This went on for a while before the older or at least larger one left. Probably to come up to the easier feeder. The one on the gum tree farther out in the yard makes a clacking noise when the squirrel is opening and letting the lid fall after he gets the corn and seeds from it. I'm sure my neighbors are so happy we bought this thing. Either that or they are wondering what on earth that clacking noise is. It will go away when it gets to be warmer and the food supply for the squirrels is abundant again. The neighbors will think it is some sort of a new winter phenomenon.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lunch With The Matriarchs

Today my cousin's daughter is heading back to her home in the Pacific Northwest so we all met for lunch.  I hadn't really thought about it much, but my sister, her mother, my cousin, and my sister in law I have become the matriarchs in our family.  My other sister is so busy with work and all we rarely get together outside of the Christmas party my brother and sister in law throw every year.  It is a sort of daunting task to be the repository of all things of interest (read the good parts) of our family history.  We each have a part we grew up with and know about.  I'm 10 years older than them, so I know some different things like what was going on before they were born and while they were toddlers.  And I remember the other little one who died.  She was born the same year they were to another cousin of mine, but so sadly she didn't live.  Her mother was heartbroken and I felt sorry for her, but really didn't know how to help her with the grief.  Well, this is a topic for another post.

The four of us had lunch and then pulled out the Scrabble game.  The restaurant was empty except for a few others after the lunch rush.  We are all avid players.  I can't get my husband or much of anyone else to play the game with me, though.  We played along until there was a challenge on a word and we would not allow my sister to play the word "mo", because it isn't a real word. At that point my cousin got her phone out and downloaded the Scrabble dictionary app.  It took a little while to download and we played on while it was doing so.  After some fiddling with it, she checked on another word and it was ok.  Then she checked the "mo" word and lo and behold it was a word in Scrabble.  Who woulda thunk.  We were like a bunch of old ladies playing mah jong or something in the old days, even though the youngest is twentysomethingish.  While we were playing I was thinking about what relationship my cousin's daughter would be to me.  It isn't as straightforward as some relationships.  My cousin's mother was raised by my grandmother so her grandmother was my aunt and my grandmother was her great grandmother. We simplify it by just being cousins.  This may be one for the family tree maker.

Speaking of the family tree maker I got on a roll New Year's day and found a "huge" number of my husband's ancestors.  Fortunately I'd talked to his parents about the family members they remembered before they began to not remember very much at all.  It was how I knew it was the right tree that had been posted and that made it so much easier.  Finding my maternal grandmother's family has proved to be a challenge.  I'd found her parents in one of the census rolls, but could not get any other information about her father.  On New Years I did find his draft card from WWI online.  It didn't tell me a whole lot and the writing could have been a lot clearer, but it was his I'm sure.  When I talked to my daughter she was all like "Well, how come I didn't know about this?" and "You should get a family tree made out." She didn't know, because she never expressed any interest in the genealogy I've been doing for years and the family tree when it is printed takes up many pages and would be sort of garish taped together and put on the wall.

I guess that is part of what being a matriarch is about.  We know stuff, but the younger ones have to ask.  Otherwise we don't know what to tell them or what they need or want to know.  So, if there is an aunt or a grandmother or mother in your life ask those questions and find out about your family.  You never know when the source of the information might no longer be available to ask.

The afternoon was such a pleasure with my beautiful second cousin twice removed and her mother and my sister.  All the women in my family are smart, strong, and good lookin' and the very definition of matriarch:

1.A woman who is the head of a family or tribe.

2.An older woman who is powerful within a family or organization.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The First Ladies Gain The Respect of Veterans Groups

I was so upset when NASCAR fans booed our First Lady at the race in Florida when she and Dr. Jill Biden were there to bring about more public awareness of the difficulties faced by our veterans and their families.  It was incredible to me they would be so rude and I wondered what would have happened if someone had publicly booed Nancy Regan. Anyway, today there was an article from US News about how our veterans think Mrs. Obama is the best first lady ever.  They feel she is sincere and she and her colleague, Dr. Jill Biden, have formed an alliance with companies to hire returning veterans called Joining Forces.  Veterans groups say they have never had such backing from the White House, ever. 

You can read about their work on behalf of the military families here.  I hope those individuals who thought it their best behavior to publicly harass Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden, read about their work and feel ashamed.  It probably won't happen because they are busy reading and passing on the hateful emails that sometimes come to my inbox from people I consider friends and who I thought were kind and polite people.  It is shameful the "overly righteous right" takes part in half truths and outright lies about our country's leaders.  At least it seems that way from the emails that have come to my inbox.