Friday, January 21, 2022

Estate Sale-ish

  

Last week my sister and I picked up a past habit and went to a semi-local estate sale. 

 We used to go these sales regularly but then

The Plague happened.

And all the sensible people stayed indoors and away from crowds.  When things got a bit better and we sensible people decided we could get out, properly masked and able to social distance, my sister and I found our schedules had changed and the estate sale outings pretty much stopped.

However this one caught my attention as the Ringmaster of the 3-ringed circus called an estate sale advertised this as a “re-do, everything must go, two days only, sale, sale, sale!”  Both sister and I were free and off we went. 

This particular sale was being held in the thriving metropolis of Edna, TX – about an hour’s drive.


With a population of 5499, Edna is the gateway to 11,000-acre Lake Texana, which covers the site of Texana, Texas.  (Yes, they flooded Texana, Texas, a ghost town near Edna. The community was one of the earliest Anglo-American settlements in the state. The town flourished as late as 1880, but when the railroad bypassed the town, it rapidly declined. The site now lies under the Lake Texana reservoir.)
 


Now, sister and I made one mistake, that being we thought we knew where we were going.  And, no, as it happened, we did not.  I don’t know that we would have gone if we knew what to expect because Siri led us here . . . .


Look carefully between all the brush and you’ll see the house.  Up close and personal, it looks like it’s about to fall down.  I’m thinking the insects, rodents, and other undesirable things are holding hands and that’s why it’s still upright. 

My guess is the house started as a typical four room house from the 1920’s.  Then, it just “growed like Topsy”.  Windows look into rooms.  Rooms open into rooms.  At some point, someone then divided the rooms into smaller rooms using cheap wall board.  Sister and I decided – perhaps a boarding-type house for people with no other place to go??  Maybe.  Local brothel?  Possibly.  Old folks home?  Gods I hope not.

We walked around outside for a few minutes (some enterprising person had mowed a path around the 3 out buildings (a term used loosely for falling-down-lean-to-shacks) and peered in.  Pass.  All were full of junk - rotting wood and rusty stuff.  You couldn’t even get in without climbing over said rotting wood and rusty stuff.  We saw a couple digging up bulbs from the weeds out back. Hmmmm - bulbs.

Brave souls that we are, we headed to the house itself.  Ohmigod it looked like a tornado hit the place and then someone ransacked it.




Surprisingly there were people looking through the piles of godonlyknowswhat and carrying things out for purchase.  And, I expect they paid a pretty penny for whatever as the ringmaster of that horror show was charging out the wing-wang! 

We did walk back outside for a bit and, here’s the sign of a true gardener –


carefully pulling up narcissus and iris out of the hard-as-rock dirt and weeds (yes, that’s my sister).

And, then we drove back to big W.  An interesting outing.

We are having winter now (it’s an overcast damp icky day of 35 degrees) and I’m going to move to the sofa, get my blanket, a cup of hot tea and turn on mindless tv!


 

21 Jan 2022

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Adventuring

  

We haven’t been Adventuring much lately.  Well – winter and all.  Plus my Adventuring friend moved from a Wharton suburb to a Houston suburb.  (It’s a bit of a drive to get there).  However, this past week I drove over and we went to Kleb Woods, which is a nature preserve right in the middle of the city!  Who knew! 

Kleb Woods was originally a family farm established in the 1840’s.  It remained a farm in the Kleb family until in the 1960’s.  When great grandson Elmer inherited the property, he pretty much stopped farming and let the place go back to nature. 


He planted trees and set it up as a preserve for animals and birds.  Unfortunately, he never concerned himself with mundane things like – paying taxes – and the county started making “forced sell” noises.  Elmer’s problems attracted a lot of attention and ultimately the property was donated to the county as a Nature Preserve, with Elmer allowed to continue living there until his death. 

It’s lovely there, even this time of the year.  We’ve already planned to make another trip there in March or April when our world is green again.  In the meantime, here’s a few things I saw


Throughout the preserve, there are markers naming trees and plants.


I got closer to see what this one said –


It made me laugh – 


yes, thank you, I have a large brush pile in the yard!


Mushroom farm


There’s a very nice learning center


filled with all sorts of interesting things.

We spent a couple of hours walking the paths and generally enjoying the world.  It was a nice adventure.  A relaxing day.

Then, when on the way to lunch, we passed this –


The entrance gate was open so we drove in and made a slow circle around.  This is the Từ Bi Quán Âm Đạo Tràng Buddhist Temple.  It is the First Vietnamese Buddhist Temple in Cypress was founded in 1994.  The name means – “The spirit of Buddha is of great loving kindness and compassion, saving all people by any and all means. The great compassion of the spirit is empathetic; the spirit is ill with the illness of people, to suffer with their suffering.”




It is a lovely place and you could feel the peace when driving in. 

May every living being,
Our minds as one and radiant with light.
Share the fruits of peace,
With hearts of goodness, luminous and bright.

15 Jan 2022

Monday, January 10, 2022

Early January News

  

So far, this new year has started off interestingly.  Like, for instance . . .

I saw a formula to help you determine your tarot guide card for the coming year. 
This is my guide card –


For those unfamiliar with the tarot, it’s not as ominous as it may seem.  It represents rebirth, change, regeneration, the feeling you have been given a new outlook on life and a fresh attitude.  There is, of course, some darkness to the card – the “new outlook” may occur after some near-death experience.  Funnily, this card represents the element of Water and I am a water sign.  I have several decks of tarot cards and I used a different deck to do a three card spread.


The death card showed up in position 3.  Hmmmmmmm.  

The other day started gray and foggy in the very early hours.  I opened the door to step out onto the porch and –


Daryl teleported from I-don’t-know-where to outside-on-the-porch and disappeared down the stairs into the fog.  Aarrrgh!

First thought was the charge after him.  A dark gray cat disappearing into heavy fog at 6AM – yeah, no, not doing that.  It was so humid that the water droplets hung in the air like not falling rain.  You’d get wet bumbling into them rather than them falling on you.

FINE!  Stay out!  You won’t like being wet and chilly! 

And, with that I walked back inside and shut the door.  He didn’t stay out long.  An hour or so later I walked out and called him and he came trotting up the stairs ready to go back inside.  Wet, chilly, and very full of himself.

Today is Plough Monday.  (yes, I had to look it up)


It is the traditional start of the English agricultural year. While local practices may vary, Plough Monday is generally the first Monday after Epiphany, 6 January.  The day traditionally saw the resumption of work after the Christmas period in some areas. The customs observed on Plough Monday varied by region, but a common feature was for a plough to be hauled from house to house in a procession, collecting money. They were often accompanied by musicians, an old woman or a boy dressed as an old woman, called the "Bessy," and a man in the role of the "fool." 'Plough Pudding' was the food for the day and is a boiled suet pudding, containing meat and onions. It is from Norfolk and is eaten on Plough Monday. 

The traditional start of the agricultural year?? Hmmmmmmm.  Must be the reason the hind part of my brain (the lizard part) has started nudging me. 


Time to get out the planting tools.  Time to buy dirt.  Time to look at plants.  Time to make the planned for herb bed.  Time, Time, TIME.  Fortunately, the reason part of my brain is in control and very forcefully reminds me that this is only JANUARY (early January at that) and we still have another month of potential chilly weather.  Please note – I did not use the “F” word (no, not that “f” word – the other one denoting icy temps and such).  No need to confuse anyone out in the universe into thinking that’s a desirable option. 

That’s about all the useless stuff I know for this past week – news notwithstanding.  I figure everyone can read the news so I don’t need to post about it. 

Just one more thing -


 

10 Jan 2022

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Stuff and Nonsense

 

Win – ring


That’s the kind of weather we’re having here.
A combo of winter and spring all occurring within a few days.
30 degrees on Sunday,
28 degrees on Monday, and
70 degrees on Tuesday.

My plants are very unhappy.  They’ve been experiencing Spring since October.  Everything was happily blooming.  Now, they look pretty pitiful.  Ah well.


In an effort to keep various plants from freezing, I covered them.  Not totally sure that really does any good.  But today, I uncovered everything.  Spoke comfortingly to each one (Grow DAMNIT!  Or I’ll jerk you out of the ground and throw you on the burn pile.)

Change, Change, Change

Something has happened here while I was out of state.  When I left big W, at least 88% of shoppers were still wearing masks.  Not perfect but good.  When I got home, maybe 20% are wearing masks.  I’m pretty sure I’d have heard if there had been a total cure of Covid and all its derivatives – even in the badlands of New Mexico.  Make it a part of your inner self!  Wear a mask!


Useless but Interesting Bits

Today is Earth to Perihelion Day. (yeah – I had to look it up)


The Earth is closest to the Sun, at its perihelion, about two weeks after the December solstice and farthest from the Sun, or at its aphelion, about two weeks after the June solstice.

Today is also Trivia Day.  So, here we go – Did You Know?

The hashtag symbol is technically called an octothorpe.
It’s been said that nearly 3% of the ice in Antarctic glaciers is penguin urine. (who, do you think, measures that?)
Baby porcupines are called “porcupettes”.


Routine

Last night I went to yoga – first time in nearly 3 weeks.  I must give credit to my daughter that I was able to do any of the poses (she and I walked – every day)

 

ok, not that one

or that one

BUT! I could do this one!  Yay!

And, bonus – nothing hurts today.

And, that’s all I got –

 

Colors
by Shel Silverstein

My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are greyish blueish green,
But I'm told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it's silver when it's wet.
And all the colors I am inside
Have not been invented yet.

4 Jan 2022

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Observations – again

 

I was off visiting my daughter and son-in-law over the holidays.  They live in Albuquerque, NM.  Both granddaughters were able to be there so, I got to spend quality time with everyone.   Albuquerque is a very nice city – smallish and easy to get around. 

A few fun facts –

At an elevation of 5314 feet above sea level, Albuquerque is the highest metropolitan city in the US.
According to weather bureau records going back over 50 years, Albuquerque receives 77% of all available sunshine.
Every October Albuquerque is host to the world class Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in which over 800 hot air balloons participate.


It has a charity that helps find homes for prairie dogs.
Albuquerque's success as a city is largely attributed to the fact that it's on Route 66.


They have things there we don’t have here - - - like mountains,


The Sandia mountains are called that because they turn a lovely shade of

watermelon in the evening.

They also have Roadrunners.  A species of fast-running ground cuckoos with long tails and crests. They are found in the southwestern and south-central United States and Mexico, usually in the desert. Although capable of flight, roadrunners generally run away from predators. On the ground, some have been clocked at 20 mph.

This is a “Where’s Waldo” photo only it’s “Where’s the roadrunner”.



My daughter and I spent much quality time walking around her neighborhood.  It’s a nice area and I always see picture-worthy things.


Totally cool, right??  A big giant saguaro cactus planted right in the front yard. 

Except, that one’s a fake.  Saguaro cactus don’t grow there.  Still pretty cool as a yard decoration.


These little free book stands are all over her neighborhood.  Lots of mystery and romance reading goes on. 

Then we came across this yard – Yard Art Supreme!




Not too far from her house is the Paseo del Bosque Trail where we did some serious walking.  It’s very pretty and runs along the Rio Grande. 


Weather was perfect while I was there – upper 50’s during the day, mostly sunny, very chilly at night.  It waited until I left to turn windy and snow.  It was a lovely, wonderful, happy visit. 

but, it’s nice to be home

2 Jan 2022


Saturday, January 1, 2022

2022!

 

and
A HAPPY NEW YEAR
to all!!


And, why Black-eyed Peas?  Well, one southern legend credits the "lucky" reputation to the Civil War. According to the story, Union troops ignored black-eyed pea gardens when raiding Southern farms, as they regarded them as feed for livestock (hence the nickname cowpeas). With no other crops to eat, Southerners relied on the untouched black-eyed peas to get them through the winter and were lucky to have them. 

Tradition in Spain says 12 grapes or raisins eaten just before midnight (one at each chime of the clock) will bring good fortune for all 12 months of the year, as long as you finish all 12 before the final stroke!  

 Because of their deep emerald color (think money), hearty greens like kale, spinach, and collards are believed to bring wealth (and of course health!) on New Year’s.

 Be sure to include a garnish of parsley as it will ward off evil spirits.

 A stir-fry of unbroken noodles is a tradition believed to bring good health and luck in the New Year. Those who can eat at least one long noodle without chewing or breaking it are said to enjoy the longest lives and best luck of all!  

 One last one - cornbread, because its color is similar to that of gold, is traditionally enjoyed by those hopeful for a prosperous year.

 No food interest?  Well, maybe First-Footer is your choice (the first person to cross the threshold after midnight on New Years Day).  Traditionally the preferred First-Footer should be a dark-haired man.  Women, or men with fair hair were thought to be unlucky. The unluckiness of fair-haired men is thought to stem from the Viking invasions, while a fearfulness of women may stem back to the notion of the Cailleach, a crone goddess of winter and death who took the form of an old woman who, should she come knocking, would undoubtedly mean peril for those inside.

You just never know what works.  Myself - I've got my black-eyed peas and cornbread all ready.

It appears 2022 is tossing out a surprise for us already.


We have been experiencing spring here – well since summer ended in November.  However tonight it’s supposed to get pretty damn chilly with a freeze forecast tomorrow.  Then we go back to spring.

Have a good day –
relax, read, watch mindless tv, wear a mask if you go out!
A happy, prosperous, healthy, safe wish to all.

1 Jan 2022