Monday, February 24, 2020


My day . . . . . .

Up at 6:30, as usual.

Did all the kitty chores, as usual.

Did my 20-minute pick-up around the house, as usual.

Checked out a few things on the computer, as usual.

Washed my face, brushed teeth, fussed with hair, changed into clothes I can leave the house in, checked my grocery list, got together everything I needed to take/return/replace, found my voters registration card - - - - 

All “as usual” things.

Left to run errands.

Went to the library and to Tractor Supply (a sort of hardware store).

Went and voted.

Went to the grocery store.

All as usual things.  And, from here, it all went downhill ………….

When I got home, I opened the back door to see this

 What in the world???

Stepped into the house and looked into the kitchen


The new box of sandwich bags (150 fold-top bags) out of the pantry and sandwich bags everywhere – empty box laying a little further into the dining room.

And, lest you think I went off and forgot to lock the pantry door ………

Zack (and I KNOW it was him) managed to jiggle the hook off BUT didn’t dislodge the spoon.  AND STILL ONE OR BOTH MANAGED TO GET INTO THE PANTRY.

I don’t know.  Don’t know how they got in.  Don’t know how they got out.  I don’t know.  These are big boys - tipping the scales close to 15 lbs each.  Big cats - big.

I opened the pantry to find

On one side, everything knocked askew.  The box of sandwich bags gone (see above).  And, the box of kitty treats EMPTY!  Note: the lid to the treat box is on the other side of the pantry.

On the other side

The brand new bag of cat food ripped open.

Again, lest you think these poor kittens are starved . . . .

I turned around, walked out of the kitchen to the small jar of deep dark chocolate with almonds.

Very Nutritious, 
Powerful Source of Antioxidants, 
Improves Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure, 
May Reduce Heart Disease Risk, 
Could Improve Brain Function, 
Helpful in Murder and Mayhem Conditions.

And, popped a big piece in my mouth.

Then, I shut myself in the kitchen, cleaned up the mess in the kitchen, and put away groceries.

And finally, I contemplated my options.

Nope!  Zack moved that chair in about 2 minutes. 

Among all the odd and unusual things I have, there is a small but heavy, cast iron cauldron.  Moved that in front of the doors. 

No, he shoved that right out of the way.

Next, I moved my very heavy chopping block in front of the doors.

Well, that would work except both of them jumped right up on top of the fridge where I have many breakables.

So, no.

Right now the doors to the kitchen are closed and the Demon Duo are sleeping on the sofa. 

Cute, right?

I’m going to go take half a dozen ibuprofen, sit down, and read my new library book for a while.

24 Feb 2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


It’s overcast, damp, and cool today.  Perfect for storytime . . .

Why Opossum has a Pouch
(Koasati Tribe)

 One evening, Opossum was playing in a field with her babies when Big Bat came swooping down and grabbed all of the little ones and carried them away. Opossum shouted and begged for Bat to bring her babies back to her, but he would not. Bat put the little opossums into a deep hole in the rock and watched over them there.

 Opossum walked around and around the forest, crying for her babies. When Wolf heard her wails, he came to her and asked what was wrong. "Big Bat has taken my babies from me and he will not give them back," she told him.

"I will get them for you," Wolf said. "if you show me where they are."

So Opossum showed Wolf the deep hole in the rock where Bat watched over her babies. Wolf bravely walked into the darkness. But a moment later she heard him cursing, and then he came running back outside saying, "I am sorry, but I cannot retrieve your babies."

So Opossum kept walking around and around the forest, crying for her babies. When Rabbit heard her wails, he came to her and asked what was wrong. "Big Bat has taken my babies from me and he will not give them back," she told him.

"I will get them for you," Rabbit said. "if you show me where they are."

So Opossum showed Rabbit the deep hole in the rock where Bat watched over her babies. Rabbit boldly walked into the darkness. But a moment later she heard him cursing, and then he came running back outside saying, "I am sorry, but I cannot retrieve your babies."

Opossum was frantic now. Brave Wolf and Bold Rabbit had been unable to retrieve her babies. She walked around and around the forest, crying hysterically for her babies. When Highland-Terrapin heard her wails, he came to her and asked what was wrong. "Big Bat has taken my babies from me and he will not give them back," she told him.

"I will get them for you," Highland-Terrapin said. "if you show me where they are."
Opossum showed Highland-Terrapin the deep hole in the rock where Bat watched over her babies. Highland-Terrapin carefully walked into the darkness. A moment later she heard him cursing. Big Bat had thrown hot ashes down in the path in front of him, burning his large flat feet. But Highland Terrapin kept going in spite of the pain. He could see the little opossums huddled together a few paces away. They were crying for their mother. Highland-Terrapin saw Big Bat hovering above them, and he scolded Bat for stealing the babies from their mother. Highland-Terrapin picked up the little opossums and carried them out of the deep, dark hole. Big Bat dove at him a few times, but he kept bouncing off the terrapin's hard shell before he could reach the babies. Finally, Bat gave up and flew away.

Highland-Terrapin cut a hole in the belly of the happy Opossum mama and placed her babies inside it. "You keep your babies in there until they stop nursing," he told her. "When they no longer need milk to drink, you can let them out."

From that day onward, Opossum mamas have carried their little babies in a pouch until they are old enough to eat on their own.

19 Feb 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

Work, Work, Work

Saturday dawned with very mild temperatures and blue skies.  And, finally I heard the sirens song.


So, by 8am I was out and working.  Now, I would like to say that the back yard looked like a meadow all abloom with wildflowers.  It did not.  It looked like someone had not mowed for several weeks (well, it is still winter according to the calendar).  As it happens, we are having spring.

The dandelions (which I don't really mind too much) have gone to seed

The henbit, clover, wood violets, and anemones are all blooming.  Actually, I can deal with all those.  However the sowthistle and cleavers are coming up like rampaging ogres. 

These two, I just don't tolerate well at all.  Both will totally take over the yard.  Both have to be  pull up/dug up. 

However, out came the trusty little mower and I got about half the backyard done.  And, then

my San Antonio granddaughter arrived.  She came over for a work weekend.

She took over the mower and finished the backyard and tackled the front.  It looks beautiful.  So you don’t think I simply lazed around while she worked, I weeded flower beds.  Pulled up and/or dug up all of the above plus grass, chickweed, plantains, and a little tiny wandering jew that is happy to take over completely.  Then, after making 573,539,489 trips back and forth to the trash pile, I called it quits.  Dragged myself into the house thinking it must be, AT LEAST, 4pm (probably closer to 5) to find the clock sitting at 230. 

Ugh – somebody is getting old.

Saturday night everything hurt up to and including my hair!

However, Sunday morning I was rejuvenated and was, once again out bright and early.  Sunday included a trip to buy several bags of potting soil.  Home again, and I dug up the huge firespike, a datura, and four roses.  They all were moved into containers.  Got Vicky to help me empty and move the cast iron cauldron.

 Planting to be determined

My granddaughter had to leave by noon on Sunday so I quit outside and did all the really fun and exciting inside stuff – you know, laundry, vacuuming, bathrooms, and such.

This morning I, once again, was outside by 8am to finish digging up and moving plants – St. John’s Wort, Moonwort, Aloe, Dittany, Oxeye daisy, some ferns, 2 more roses, and some of the Jewel of Opar which comes up everywhere.

The backyard is looking, not perfect, but not too bad.  Mowed (check), flower beds weeded (check), plants dug up and moved (check).  Once again – all my muscles hurt as well as my back, front, toes, hair, and eyeballs!  And, I have yoga tonight!  I wonder if I can do an hour of this ……..

17 Feb 2020

Thursday, February 13, 2020

This Week

     has been a busy week.  Though, I’m not totally certain what I’ve done that’s kept me so busy.  Lets see . . . . . house stuff, errands, project work, yoga, my new library book, uhmmm, garden club, genealogy, some laundry, deal with the Demon Duo (which seems to take more time than you might think) and other things.

A couple of news items caught my attention.

 (Image credit: NSO/NSF/AURA)

Nope, not chunks of gold, not caramel popcorn, not toffey.  There’s a new solar telescope in Hawaii that has captured never-before-seen pictures of the surface of the sun.  Very cool.

Then, there was this –

Trump weaponizes the Presidency after impeachment victory
A CNN headline

Well, didn’t we all expect this?  I’m back to not looking at the news again.

I went to the grocery store one day.  I try, try very hard, to buy things only on my list.  I was not successful this time …

The Amaranthus tricolor “Josephs Coat” just jumped into my basket.

As did three pairs of gardening gloves, a new hummingbird feeder, starter pots, and a bag of soil.  When I got home, I planted the Amaranthus, some orange and lemon seeds, hibiscus (it makes a pink flower larger than my hand), and roselle hibiscus (the one from which hibiscus tea is made).

And, speaking of plants – my ground orchids (Spathoglottis) are blooming.

 As are the Queen’s Tears ((Bilbergia nutans)

Okay – earlier this week, the Demon Duo and I had a “come to jesus” meeting.  I have a large pantry in my kitchen.  A few months ago, I had to put a latch on the door because Zack figured out how to open the pantry.  The new latch is a large hook and eye arrangement.  It’s worked well.  Back to – “earlier this week” - well, I walked in the kitchen FIRST THING IN THE MORNING and found the pantry doors unlocked.  This can’t be good.  Opened the doors and, lo and behold, someone had torn open the large bag of dry cat food and spread it all over the shelf.  Then, just in case there might be something else, that someone ripped open the small bag of dog food I keep on hand for Minnie (Ellen’s dog).  ARGH!!

Cleaned up that mess and chastised both boys severely.  Then, I went about my morning routine.  Rattle, rattle, rattle.  What the …….

 And as I watched, with mouth hanging open in horror, he rattled and jiggled the doors until he got the latch off.  AAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!!!  Please do not think for even a tiny bit of a second he was hungry – nope – there were 2 (two) bowls of food on the floor next to him. 

 New pantry locks

The Wharton Garden Club meets the 2nd Thursday of every month.  That was today.  And, this time I was one of the food hostesses.  Remember I said I made Pork Hand Pies?  I took those –

and Raspberry Peach Pies

The program today was about things to do in the garden now that spring is mostly here for us in south central Texas.  It was very good.  And, someone brought seeds to share.  I brought home yellow angel trumpet and orchid tree seeds. 

Tomorrow – more planting!  And, if it warms up a bit, I’m going out with my clippers and loppers and start cutting!

13 Feb 2020

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Stuff and Nonsense

I’ve been out of pocket the past couple days.  Visiting in Germany and the Carolinas circa 1623-1777.  I always promise myself that I’ll look for just a few minutes and the next thing I know it’s 5pm, my back and neck are stiff, and my eyes feel like they’re going to fall out of my head!  BUT, I did find a few interesting things like –

August Hermann Francke, 1623-1700 (7th great grandfather and professor of Greek, Oriental languages, and theology at Univ of Halle in Germany, author, philanthropist) was the founder of the Francke Institute which became, with the aid of Frederick William I of Prussia, the basis of the German public-school system.  Interesting

The will of 5th great grandfather Jacob Miller (of Ninty six district in the province of South Carolina being sick & weak of Body but of perfec sound and desposing mind & Memory) which I transcribed.  You know, back in 1750 they didn’t use much punctuation, capitalized words without rhyme or reason, and spelled a little differently.  Took me a good long time.

And photos of two 3rd great uncles –

 Ambrose Wise and his wife

Giles James Wise and his wife Catherine.
And here’s an interesting fact – Catherine had first married a younger brother and after his death, married older brother Giles.  Formidable looking woman

So, yesterday I happened to catch this interesting bit of news –

Overturned 18-wheeler spills 42,000 lbs of pig parts all over highway in Rosenberg
(Rosenburg is just up the road from Wharton)
The city's police chief said that around 4:40 a.m., an 18-wheeler carrying the product overturned during an accident, sending a plethora of pork spilling across the outside lane of Highway 59. The truck driver wasn’t seriously injured, but the spill created a hazmat along the roadway.

Well thank the gods it didn’t happen in August!  The funniest part of this though were some of the comments  --

Just part of the hotdog making process folks, calm down
Any pig's feet left?
Directions from Downtown: Head south on 59 until you get to the "pork" in the road by Rosenberg.
Mmmm pork belly
This reminds me, I've gotta call Don's and get some cracklins! It's been a while.

I went out and took a picture of the full moon –

The Snow Moon (so called after snowy conditions – hmmmmm 73° today), the Hunger Moon (because of the wintry conditions making food scarce) and the Quickening Moon.  The last one works best for us as the ground is quickening and spilling forth - - - weeds!  Everywhere!

So, if you want to celebrate the Quickening Moon you can

Plant some seeds in a pot of warm soil to represent not just the new plant, but also the things you hope to achieve this year.

Perform a meditation to do a bit of self-evaluation. Changes coming?  Consider the path you’ll need to take to achieve your goals.

Since February mostly is a season of hearth and home, make something that will help you channel your creativity and magic.

Newest cross stitch project – quilt squares

And, last but never least, February is American Heart Month, and the American Heart Association is using its Go Red for Women initiative to increase women’s heart health awareness.  Some facts

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women.
Most women have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
Heart attack symptoms can be different for women than for men.
Younger women with heart disease are more likely to die
than men of the same age with heart disease.
Despite being the #1 killer of women, only 13% of women surveyed by the American Heart Association thought heart disease was their biggest health risk.

The voice of experience here telling you – You Do Not Want To Have A Heart Attack.  They are no fun. 

Oh and one more genealogy thing – I’ve confirmed the identities of two old tintype photos.  I got them from my father (a long time ago).  He got them from his aunt (even longer ago) who told him they were pictures of her grandparents.  Sez I – Which grandparents?  Didn’t ask, he replied.  Argh!  And now since I have finally managed to confirm death dates, they must be Frances Marion Abbott (1826-1880) and Margaret Waldrop Abbott (1825-1882).


 Another formidable looking woman

Doin' a happy dance here!! 

9 Feb 2020

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Yesterday was spring warm.  Temperatures reached 78°.  I wore shorts all day! 

Today, I think we reached the high temperature at 12:01am when it was 65°.  Since then it has steadily gone down heading to tonight’s low in the 30’s.  And then by Saturday it’s supposed to be back in the mid-70’s again. 

February tends to be the month when Texas weather doesn’t know if it’s winter or spring, so we have both depending of the whims of the gods.

We have a new community organization here in Wharton.  A young woman has started a sort of community outreach program (Hesed House) that consists of everything from yoga to art to lectures to gardening to a general “hang-out” place for all ages.  All the programs are free.  I attend her yoga classes which are a little different from what I’m used to – she works on building core strength.

Last night I attended a lecture at Hesed House offered by the Wharton Historical Commission.  It was given by one of Wharton’s oldest residents – he’s about to celebrate his birthday of 102 yrs.  He reminisced about Wharton in the late 1920’s.  And wow!, was I impressed.  Wharton was a ‘doin’ place.  There were all sorts of businesses – railroad, blacksmiths, glass blower, cotton gins, bakeries, automobile dealerships, farm stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, several grocery stores (from small family run to Piggly Wiggly), drugstores, hotels, laundries, theaters (including an “opry” house), and, of course, a red light district run by Cow Pen Annie.  It was an interesting evening.

So far, I haven’t let the Demon Duo outside.  Too many feral cats in our neighborhood, too many loose dogs.  However, lately they’ve both shown great interest in getting out.  And early this morning as I walked out for just a moment, Daryl escaped.  He headed immediately for the ginger jungle and refused to come out. 

After several efforts to call him in, it was dark and cold and wet and sleetly feeling, I gave up and stomped into the house.  FINE!  STAY OUT THERE AND BE WET AND COLD!

After a while, I looked out and he was wandering around, calling for his brother but settled for me and came inside.

Do not let this cute innocent photo fool you – this is the primary
troublemaker/what can I get into kitty.

I made a judgement error yesterday.  I opened one of my genealogy books, signed onto Ancestry (for just a second), and got lost in time again.  So far today, I’ve managed to ignore the book beckoning to me but . . . . . . 

Today is National Shower with a Friend Day.  Its purpose being to bring some humor into the dreary month of February and educate people on the benefits of showering in fresh water.  The day was registered by a water filtration company that wants to sell you a house filtering system since the gods only know what is in city water.  Still, I thought it was amusing though disappointing that it wasn’t about water conservation or sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.  Whatever appeals to you.

It is also my baby brother’s birthday.  Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to you. 

Off to the kitchen to make Pork Hand Pies (from my Book of Hobbit Cookery).

5 Feb 2020