Thursday, February 23, 2023

Sometimes …


Do you ever watch a video or see someone do something and think

Poof!  I could do that!  How hard can it be? 

Yeah, me too.  In the part of my brain where lives my 20-year-old self (well, nowadays maybe 30-year-old), a little voice will pipe up and say – Hey! You could do that!  Give it a try! 

Fortunately the 75 year old part of my brain says – Are you kidding??  No you cannot do that!

And, I usually listen to the current age speaking.  That said, the other day, at our outreach organization, Hesed House, a new class was being offered.

Cardio Drumming.  Two options – high intensity and low intensity. 

Now, if you’re not familiar with cardio drumming, “cardio drumming is, at its core, high-intensity drumming, that incorporates sufficient movement to be a whole body workout while remaining fun enough for anyone to do it”. 

OK, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it.  Because of limited space and equipment, participants had to register.  No prob-lem-o!  Went to the website and signed right up.  I’m in pretty good shape so, yes, signed up for the “high intensity” option.

Then, I did the number one bad thing …. I looked up cardio drumming on the internet.

So, here’s the thing, there are many things you should never query the internet on – health related problems, relationship problems, yoga, or CARDIO DRUMMING. 

I looked at a YouTube video. 

Scared the bejesus out of me!  Complicated steps, hands doing one thing, feet another. 

I can’t do that.  Maybe I just won’t go (but you did make a reservation, says the responsible brain).    FINE!  I’ll go but I’m standing on the very back row ‘cause the rooms going to be full of 20-somethings and I’ll be the only old person there and I’m gonna flub it BAD probably fall down on my fanny and get lots of pitiful looks and and and…….. 

Actually, it was none of that.  There were only four others, the youngest being maybe 40-ish and the instructor kept it pretty simple.  It was fun.  Plus I liked all the music and knew the words to most of the songs.  And, you get to hit a big ball with sticks!  How great is that!  

In the NEWS department ----- I’m gonna be a great grandma!  My oldest granddaughter (the one that got married in September) is pregnant!  Yay!!  Baby is due in August.  Everybody is thrilled and excited!

Not much else.  Still dealing with weird weather February.  Yesterday it was 85°F.  I surely hope that does not mean it’s going to hit 95° in March and then 100°+ on April 1st.  We already did that last year.  Don’t need to do it again.

23 February 2023

Wednesday, February 15, 2023




All of the above can happen in a single day!

Well . . .  okay . . . . we frequently have weird weather but February tends to be the most annoying.  And, here’s a thing – the people that live here (myself, sigh, included) seem to forget that it’s weird weather month.  I’ve known this month to be cold (as in 20°F – which, as far as I’m concerned is just wrong) for days on end OR nearly 80° for the same number of days.  I know several backyard farmers that will plant their tomatoes in February to get a jump on fruit production time AND only have to cover new plants with a bucket if the temps drop a bit.  All this is leading up to the next several days which will range from lows at 60° (tonight) to low 30’s to 60° all in four days. Ugh.

Just a few Month of/Week of/Day of tidbits –

Beat The Heat Month.  Ok, I had to look that one up.  Has nothing to do with living somewhere hot and going to a very chilly place in February (although why anyone would want to do that is beyond me – yes, I know brother – skiing but that’s beyond my understanding too).  It has everything to do with spaying or neutering your cat or dog.  Spaying and neutering your pet and/or neighborhood (aka feral) cats/dogs in the winter will help avoid kitten/puppy season and stop the reproductive cycle before it really begins.  This is a good thing.  Many communities have organization that will work with local vets to offset the cost for ferals and help to socialize them for adoption.

National Condom Month and National Condom Week.  According to the ASHA (American Sexuality Health Assoc), “The idea of this holiday is to sensitize American adults to the benefits of condoms and how condoms can substantially mitigate many sexually related mishaps (most commonly unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections and diseases).  

National Mend A Broken Heart Month.  Yep, what you’re thinking.  As lovebirds gear up for Valentine’s Day celebrations, those who are single or nursing a broken heart naturally feel left out. While heartbreak is difficult to deal with at any point in time, it’s especially difficult when everyone seems to be celebrating the month of love and romance. National Mend a Broken Heart Month is a celebration for such people. Instead of dwelling on sadness and wallowing in self-pity, the month encourages us to go have fun with friends and family, find joy in the small things, and share our love with everyone we are fortunate to call friends.”  

Pull Your Sofa Off The Wall Month.  Another holiday I haven’t heard of – “is a celebration you can’t afford to miss. Understandably, we are all in favor of a plan that entails cleaning beneath the furniture. Discover why we are so enthusiastic about getting your couch off the walls, and learn some tips on how to do it right."  Has to do with cleaning behind/beneath the sofa.  In case you didn’t know, there’s a “history of Pull Your Sofa off the Wall, a timeline starting in 2000BC through 1800’s, and a list of FAQs.  There is a website and everything - who knew??!!

TODAY is also

National Gumdrop Day
.  Gumdrops came into official being in the 1850’s and while we think of them as the dome shaped, sugar coated, chewy candy, like many things this candy has evolved to include all the “gummy” things.  Bears, worms, and, yes, hamburgers

World Hippo Day
.  “Did you know that before 1909, scientists placed hippos in the same group as pigs? Despite their outward similarities with pigs or wild boars, hippopotamuses are closely related to whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Hippos are semiaquatic mammals that are native to sub-Saharan Africa. They are herbivores and can weigh up to 2,000kg, making them the third-largest land mammal after elephants and rhinos.”  

Remember The Maine Day.  At 9.40pm on the night of 15 February 1898 the United States battleship Maine, riding quietly at anchor in Havana harbor, was suddenly blown up, apparently by a mine, in an explosion which tore her bottom out and sank her, killing 260 officers and men on board.  The consequence of this was the Spanish-American War of 1898.  It was a singularly unequal contest and after Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders took the San Juan Heights above Santiago, the Spanish government sued for peace.  A treaty was signed in December and Spain lost its last colony in the “New World”.  So endith the history lesson.

Susan B. Anthony Day.
  1820-1906.  Champion of temperance, abolition, the rights of labor, and equal pay for equal work, Susan Brownell Anthony became one of the most visible leaders of the women’s suffrage movement.

That’s all I got for today.  Oh goodie – it’s fixin’ to get windy.  And cold.  Again.

15 Feb 2023

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Queries, Observations, and Bullfrogs


Yes, I know – an odd title – so I’ll start with the ‘Bullfrog’ part first.

My mornings, like most, have a specific pattern.  I get up early (usually before 6am), get dressed, go to the kitchen to feed the Demanding Demon Duo.  Then I just sort hang around the kitchen in order to make sure Daryl doesn’t inhale his food and then push his brother away and eat his food also. 

Yesterday morning, I got up, dressed for yoga, fed the DDD, and while waiting on them to finish their breakfast I put away dishes washed the night before.  My usual actions include putting away the dish drainer also – holding lightly to the sink counter, I swing down to a squat, open the cabinet, hang up the dish drainer and swing myself back up.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.  YESTERDAY, as I went down to a squat, I lost my grip on the counter, lost my balance and slammed into the chopping block. 

Then I tumbled sideways onto the floor.  And THEN, I clasped the back of my head, curled into a ball on the floor and cried for several minutes. 

When I sat up, I glanced at my hands, which were

yep, covered in blood.  Glanced at the floor – yep, big puddle of blood.  Okay.  I KNOW head wounds bleed a lot.  Doesn’t mean your brains are leaking out.  However when it was MY blood, I was more than a bit worried.  Not just an owie. 

First thought was to stick my head under the faucet and wash it off.  My second thought was maybe I needed to get a little help.  What time is it?  7am.  My sister should be awake.  So I called and in a surprisingly wobbly voice said – “could you come help me?”  She’d be right there.  A few minutes later she walked in and found me sitting at the table holding a bloody dish towel to my head. 

Okaaaay well probably I should go to the emergency room for a couple of stitches.  This was the bullfrog first thing in the morning (eat a bullfrog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen for the rest of the day).   


1  Going to the emergency room is a PAIN IN THE PATOOTIE.
2  The Wharton hospital ER was not busy – one other patient.
3  The Wharton hospital ER was cold as in freezing cold (you’d think they’d keep it warm because, you know - - - EMERGENCY ROOM). 
4  We were there for FOUR hours and one cat scan before the ER doc did anything.
5  For scalp lacerations they do not use sutures.  They use STAPLES.  As in a hand-held stapler.  AND, they do not deaden the area to be stapled.  (Just takes a second, the doc said).  Cha-ching, Cha-ching – hmmm, needs one more – Cha-ching.


Then they gave me 2 tylenol and sent me home.

I certainly hope your morning started off a little better.

I went to Albuquerque this past Christmas to see my daughter, two granddaughters and son-in-law.  As always, it was a wonderful visit and I had a very nice time. 

Just a little side note here: 

Albuquerque is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico. Its nicknames, The Duke City and Burque, both reference its founding in 1706 as La Villa de Alburquerque by Nuevo México governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdés. Named in honor of the Viceroy of New Spain, the 10th Duke of Alburquerque, the city was an outpost on El Camino Real linking Mexico City to the northernmost territories of New Spain.  Located in the Albuquerque Basin, the city is flanked by the Sandia Mountains to the east and the West Mesa to the west, with the Rio Grande and Bosque flowing north-to-south. Like Denver, Albuquerque is a “mile high” city – actually it’s a little higher than Denver by some 30 feet. 

The weather there tends to be very cold during the winter months (of which December is one).  However, this winter, December in my part of TX was considerably colder (low temps in the TEENS – as in 16 degrees F) and in ABQ the weather was fairly mild.  Of course, I missed the severe cold because I was in ABQ.  When I left Wharton everything was green and growing.  Trees still had leaves.  When I got home, everything was brown and dead.  I’m still not sure on a few things just how dead they are – you know – dead but will come back from the root or dead dead pull up and throw away.  Time will tell.  A N Y W A Y (sidelined off the subject of xmas in ABQ)

One of the things I got in my xmas stocking this year was this

Wool Dryer Balls.
  Never had or heard of them before BUT according to the interne

1 reduces drying time
2 reusable

3 eco-friendly
4 lasts up to 500 washes
5 a healthy, chemical free alternative to dryer sheets and PVC dryer balls.
6 naturally softens clothes
7 reduces static cling and wrinkles
8 and, BONUS POINTS!! my dryer doesn’t have a buzzer to announce when it’s finished.  BUT, now when the ‘Tha-thud, Tha-thud’ stops, I know the dryer is finished!  

I love them. 


How do you know when they’re “used up”, when the 500 dryer times are done?  Do they just collapse into a bit of fuzz? Does a little flag pop up and day “done, time for new balls”?  I’m sure inquiring minds want to know.  If I figure it out, I’ll share the info.

In the meantime .......

Have a good day all!

26 Jan 2023

Friday, November 11, 2022



Today is Veteran’s Day in the USA, Remembrance Day in other countries and Armistice Day is others still.  It is the day we remember, appreciate, and thank those that have been in the Armed Services.  Those that served to keep us safe.  So, today, the eleventh month, on the eleventh day, at the eleventh hour, stop for a moment to say thank you.  I’ve had many men and women in my family that have served, so my thanks and love go to all, both living and not –


Son, Mike
Son-in-Law, Greg
Nephew, Arron
Cousin, Allen

Husband, Michael
Father, Jack
Father-in-Law, Hugh
Uncle, HA
Uncle, John
Aunt, Mary Ellen
Uncle, Kenneth
Grandfather, Garnet

All the others stretching back
long through time


11 Nov 2022

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Weather and Stories


We had two whole days of Fall last week!  Cool days, chilly nights.  Actually, I think today and tomorrow we’re going to have two more.  Of course, in between, we’re back to summer.  I never think of Fall as a season for us.  I think of it more as the “Get Dressed a Minimum of Three Times During the Day Season”.  You know, very chilly in the morning so long pants, long sleeves.  Warm up by 10am, change shirt - short sleeves.  Hot by 2pm, change pants - shorts. 

We actually got rain during the wee morning hours today.  Don’t know how much – according to the rain gauge – barely any at all.  Even though the bird baths filled up, the ground was dry when I got out this morning.  Of course, could be the ground sucked every drop up.  Probably though, we didn’t get much.

And, that’s all the weather I know.

Story #1 – The Little Tree that Could

Long, long ago
in a galaxy

A number of years ago, a good friend asked me if I wanted a fig tree.  Hers had popped out a baby (a branch laying on the ground had taken root).  Well sure, I said.  Next time I’m in your part of the universe I’ll pick it up. 

Just a quick side note here – I actually don’t like figs.  They’re mushy.  But – there are a lot of people out there that do like them so I figured getting rid of any fruit would be pretty easy. 

As it happened, I was able to pick up the little tree a few days later.  I brought it home to my already tree filled yard and planted it in one of the few “sorta” sunny places left.  Gave it water, fertilizer and it did terrible.  It started growing sideways in an effort to get more sun.  Ugh.  Not good.  When it got to be about 2ft tall and almost parallel to the ground, I asked my sister if she’d be interested in a fig tree to plant on her mostly treeless property across the street.  Sure she said.  And so I dug it up and took it over to her house.  It lived in the container for a while and finally was planted.  It did not thrive and grow big.  The property over there doesn’t have much soil.  It does have heavy black clay and then a layer of gravel and then more clay.  But the plucky little fig didn’t die.  Then, one day, a decision was made to put my house on that property and during all the house prep/move, the little fig tree got run over by heavy machines and/or big feet.  My sister discovered it, broken and sad looking.  She dug it up and put it back in a container.  That winter, we had a long cold spell (the year the TX Electric Grid failed).  The little fig, in its container, got pushed aside and forgotten.  My sister discovered it frozen and possibly dead.  Then, in the spring, the little fig popped up a stem with a leaf.  It was brought back to me and I planted it close by where I could pet it and give it some attention.  So now it’s about 3ft tall.  The other day, while watering it, I saw this –

Little figs!  Now, in case you didn’t know – fig trees can produce figs early in their growth, however they have to be 3-5 years old before they’ll ripen the fruit.  And, while this one is over 5 years old, it’s had a very hard life.  Next year maybe.  Not that I’ll eat any – I don’t like figs.  The End.

One of my all-time favorite plants is a Confederate Rose, which, as it happens, is neither native to the South or a rose.  It is actually a member of the mallow family and is related to the hibiscus, cotton, okra, hollyhock and rose of Sharon.  Native to China, it is now found on all continents except Antarctica.  It was brought to England in the late 1600's and from there to the colonies.  it is said to have gained favor in the South due not only to its beauty but also for the ease of cultivation during the hard financial times after the Civil War.  The Confederate Rose is considered a large bush or a small multi-stemmed tree.  The plant roots easily from cuttings, has few pests and grows vigorously during the summer.  Once established it is drought resistant.  The blooms appear in the fall.  And, I just know you’re excited to know why it’s called a Confederate Rose. 

Story #2 – The Legend

Originally called Cotton Rose, it is said that the flower was only a brilliant white. All this changed though during the Civil War. During the war, a fatally wounded Confederate soldier fell beside a Cotton Rose plant. Sadly, it took the soldier two days to die, and as he bled the flowers of the Cotton Rose turned from white to deep pink. When he died the flowers also died. From that time on the flowers of the Cotton Rose open white and turn from pink to magenta over the course of two days before dying (all three colors of flowers are often blooming at the same time). And, thus, the Cotton Rose was renamed the Confederate Rose.

So I went out the other day to find my Confederate Rose covered in buds, one of which was open at 8am.

And, here is the same flower at 3pm

That all for today.  Take care and remember


It’s almost Halloween!


25 Oct 2022

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

News of the Day


Since we got back from the Beautiful Granddaughter’s Wedding, I haven’t done much exciting. 

And, before I get started on what I HAVE been doing, just a few things from the BGdW trip. 

Friday morning in New Braunfels, my sister and I went out for breakfast.  One of the menu offerings was – Baked Oatmeal (something I’ve never had).  Just in case you’re not familiar with Baked Oatmeal - “Baked oatmeal is where traditional oatmeal meets breakfast casserole. Oats, milk, and spices are baked into a casserole dish for breakfast that's less sad porridge, and more bread pudding.”  Well, okay.  The restaurant version was described as follows:

Rolled oats and steel cut oats combined with shredded carrot, apple, cranberry, and orange juice baked with brown sugar and egg, topped with toasted pecans and cream.

For a “bacon and eggs” girl, that’s just too many things in one bowl.  DanaBug, I thought of you when I read that.

On Saturday in NB, we all went to a Farmer’s Market just down the road a bit.  Very nice.  Not too many fruit/vegetable choices but seasonally we’re between things now.  Too late for tomatoes, too early for broccoli.  However, I did see


So, microgreens are a very young vegetable or herb seedling really.  They can be incorporated into sandwiches, wraps and salads.  Or, blended into smoothies or juiced (and that just sounds terrible).  And, used as a garnish on pizza, soup, omelets and other warm dishes.  Interesting.

Locally grown mushrooms.  And all sorts of mushrooms.

One young gardener had plants for sale.  These are planted in soil wrapped up in a sheet of sphagnum moss rather that in some type of container.  Most of the plants displayed were “house” type plants and not meant to be planted in the garden.  Very cute though I wondered about watering them.  The Blooming Basket

In the Weeds is a very cool place that creates all natural, organic, holistic, chemical-free products including face creams, lotion sticks, soaps, candles, firestarters, and these, …

smudge sticks.  This is the one I bought – Soulshine.  It’s made with sage, dried calendula flowers, a dried orange slice, a cinnamon stick, and a piece of orange calcite hand-tied with a hand-dyed, recycled sari silk.  I haven’t burned it and may not - right now it is resting on my small alter. 

And, the final booth that caught my attention was

The Planetarium
, Handprinted Textiles.  All items have botanical inspired designs.  Very cute tea towels, t-shirts, totes.

So, back to “haven’t done much lately ……. Not to say I’ve just been sitting around because - - - no, I haven’t.  Thank all the gods, it’s finally cooling down just a bit with mornings in the upper 60’s and not much over 90 by midafternoon.  Ahhhh – Fall in the Gulf Coast Plains. 

Now is the time to transplant many things.  And, so far, I’ve dug up and transplanted several crinum

across the front of the house.  Still have several more to plant.  They can eventually get really big and wide and bloom throughout the summer. 

I also planted more trees – a sycamore, a loquat, and a bay tree (am working on having my very own forest).  Transplanted the lavender.  Cleaned up the herb garden (am fixin’ to pull up the basil as it has gone to seed in a big way).  I moved the big zigzag cactus and night-blooming cereus outside.  They’ve gotten too big for the porch.  So, I positioned them in the only shady-ish, protected place I have and told them – on your own now baby.  And, finally, this past Sunday, I truly hurt myself.  I planted my pony tail palm in the ground. 

Like this but a whole lot bigger.

It had outgrown the 10gal pot it was in, gotten 6’ tall and has a very large bulb.  No way I could put it in a larger container and move it anywhere.  So into the ground it was to go.  I chose a spot close to the house and the back porch (sunny and protected, while it could survive a freeze, it's on the north side with open ground around it - hopefully it won't freeze. - assuming it's actually going to be winter here), prepared the area, dug the hole, and broke the pot it was in.  And tried to lift it into the new place.  That’s when I hurt myself.  Now I can lift and carry 40 lbs easily enough.  I can lift 50 lbs.  I’m thinking that plant weighted in the neighborhood of 214 lbs.  Okay, maybe not 214 lbs but way more than the 50 lbs I can lift.  Still – determination, orneriness, perseverance, and general stubbornness got it into the hole and then ------- my back went CRACK! and I had to lay down in the dirt for a few minutes.  Then, got up and got the damn thing planted and came inside. 

Okay, a few fun facts –

Oddly enough, it’s not a palm or a tree but is a member of the Agave family and is considered a succulent. 
It is nicknamed “elephant’s foot” and it stores water in its trunk.
It has thin leaves that are 6ft long and only 1 inch wide. They emerge in a fountain-like fashion, curling downward.
A mature Ponytail Palm (10 years +) produces creamy-white flowers in spring or summer.  okay, I am going to work on getting it to flower because it’s over 10 yrs

It can get up to and over 10 ft tall and 5-10 ft wide.  Okay, getting tall is not a problem.  10 feet wide could be a problem.  

I was going to share some of the things blooming in my yard but this has already gotten long so pictures of pretty blooming things will have to wait until later.

English spelling is easy. We all no that as this poem demonstrates.

Eye have a spelling chequer, it came with my pea sea,
It plainly marks, for my revue, mist aches I cannot sea.
Each time when eye have struck the quays I weight four it to say
If wot eye rote is wrong or rite. It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid it knows be four two late
And I can put the error rite. I really find it grate.
I’ve run this poem threw it, I’m sure you’re policed to no
It’s letter perfect in its weigh


11 Oct 2022


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Beautiful … Beautiful …


The bride was beau ….. hold on, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Granddaughter #1 got married this past Friday!!!!

My older daughter, Denise, came in (from NM) for the wedding and then last Thursday late afternoon, she, my sister, and I drove to New Braunfels. 

New Braunfels is just north of San Antonio and is considered one of the fastest growing cities in the state.  It was established in 1845 by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Commissioner General of the Mainzer Adelsverein or the Noblemen's Society.  Prince Carl named the settlement in honor of his home of Solms-Braunfels, Germany.  Located in the Texas Hill Country, it is still known for its German Texan heritage.  There are two rivers that run through New Braunfels – the Comal and the Guadalupe.  The combination of rivers, German architecture and food, and beautiful scenery make tourism a big business there. 


The last time I was there, it was a small town – emphasis on small.  Now it’s a good size city with a population of 90,000.

We arrived early evening to the AirB&B.

It’s very nice.  And, we had some surprise visitors in the early morning hours – pretty cool considering we were right downtown!

We stayed on the second floor which consisted of two good size bedrooms, one bathroom and a small living room, dining room and kitchen.  We got the car unpacked and everything up the stairs.  Now, Vicky had some specific thoughts on what she wanted in regard to her wedding cake.  Not the traditional multitiered cake but instead she wanted a small cake (for the obligatory cake cutting photos) and cupcakes.  Lemon and Strawberry cupcakes.  Her mother (my youngest daughter) made the lemon and I made the strawberry.  So, in addition to suitcases we also hauled up the stairs a large cooler holding 40+ cupcakes, strawberry icing, and extra strawberries.  My goal for Thursday night – get those cupcakes frosted and into the travel boxes. 

Okay, I had brought cake decorating tips/bags and thought we’d use those to end up with fancy frosted cupcakes.

Uhmmmmm – no.  That didn’t happen.  First of all, the B&B was very warm when we arrived and then the icing got soft very quickly and none of us had any experience with using the decorator tips and we finally just iced them and put a strawberry on top.

Here they are – all ready to go to the reception venue.  Friday morning Ellen and I took the cupcakes and dropped them off.  And, since there was a little time, we did a bit of shop looking.  We had both seen a shop we wanted to visit. 

 It was filled with Talavera pottery so we stopped for a look-see.  And, the place was huge with shelves stacked high with pottery.  It was like walking around in a maze.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t see everything.  No purchases but a lot of hard thinking.

The wedding was to start at 3:00 Friday afternoon and we were supposed to be there around 2pm for photos.  As it happened, people were running late so the big family photos never happened but that gave me a few minutes to take a quick couple of pics.

The gazebo for the actual ceremony.

The reception venue.

Her way to remember her grandfather and make sure he was there too. 
One of his hats and a photo on the bride/groom table.

Daughter Denise and I.

The Beautiful Bride.

At 3pm, the music started, everyone stood up, and Vicky walked down the isle on her father’s arm.  Then the officiant stepped forward and said …..

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us together today.”

And, if you’re not a Princess Bride fan, you may not get the reference.  Vicky is a Princess Bride fan!  Past the opening line, the ceremony continued normally.

Beautiful, wonderful, lovely and beautiful.

Just a few reception pictures –

Vicky and Josh and Me

Youngest daughter and Mother of the Bride dancing with the new son-in-law.

There’s more to the trip but this is long enough already so I’ll save the rest for tomorrow.


4 Oct 2022