Saturday, July 31, 2021



And, here we are – the end of July – already. 

For those of us here on the Texas Gulf Coast, hold on August is comin’ . . . .it’s fixin’ to get hot!

This, the last day of July, is . . .

Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day 

As I’m sure you all know, today is the day on which we are urged to take time to think about the rare and unusual instruments that have gone obsolete, or are otherwise beyond our ken.  Here are a few of the, uhmmmm, well, the simply odd. 

The Nellophone

(Greg – this one is for you) The Serpent Tuba


Also, today is

National Avocado Day

So, a few avocado facts -

1 One-Third of a medium avocado has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a great nutrient dense food choice.

2 Avocado is basically a berry – a large one with a single seed inside it.

3 Avocados are available as both domesticated and undomesticated. Domesticated ones have a green skin, a fleshy body and a big-ish seed. The undomesticated ones have a black skin, somewhat fleshy body and a very large seed.

4 Scientists have unearthed evidences from a cave in Mexico’s Cuscatlán, which reveal that avocados were eaten as far back as in 10,000 BCE.

5 The word avocado comes from the Spanish word aguacate. This Spanish word is derived from āhuacatl – a Nahuatl word.  The word “guacamole” is a derivation of the Aztec word ahuacamolli, which translates loosely to “avocado soup” or “avocado sauce.”

A couple of follow-up things.

Remember I had to get a new tire??  When I asked the tire store guy if I could only get one (rather than replace them all), the guy at the tire store told me – yes, I could just get one but it wouldn’t match the other tires.

I assumed if it’s not going to match that means it’s gonna be green or blue – but no.

Another catch-up thing.  Back in June (6/22 Making) I wrote about soap making and the dandelion honey batch I had just made including the problems I experienced with that making.  Was it soap or was it not.  Well, here’s the answer –

It’s Soap!  This is Dandelion Honey Soap and it has benefits like –

1 It helps treat skin with eczema or dermatitis.

2 Can help treat skin infections and inflammations

3 It nourishes the skin with essential vitamins

4 And, it can help minimize skin pores, brighten skin tone, prevent fungal infections, help to clear wound marks.

I am never making it again because it was a pain in the patootie to do!

Finally, here’s what’s been blooming in my yard this month

Bauhinia purpurea – White Orchid Tree

Aristolochia macrophylla -  Miniature Dutchman’s Pipevine

Hypericum spp. – St. John’s Wort


Euphorbia milii – Red Crown of Thorns

Adenium obesum - Desert Rose


Lady of Shallot - a shrub rose

One other thing and then I’m done.  Recently I put up a picture of various herbs including my dill which was covered with hungry monarch caterpillars.  They at it to the dirt and left.  Sigh.  Fine! 

Yesterday I walked out to find

my curly parsley completely covered with little monarch caterpillars.  Today – just a few dead stalks left.  Double sigh. 

Have a good weekend y’all!


31 Jul 2021


Sunday, July 25, 2021



The world around me has been quiet over the past several weeks.  Mildly busy days filled with completely unexciting, uninteresting stuff.

And, by the way, there’s nada on TV either.

I did spend Friday and Saturday cooking (wahoo, oh goodie, wow, interesting).  It is very difficult for cook a meal for one without a weeks’ worth of leftovers.  So, every 6-8 weeks I spend a couple of days cooking and freezing dinners in one meal portions.  Then, I spent a couple of days rearranging furniture, closets, and plants.  And, I’ve worked on the new cross stitch pattern. 

Moon Goddess Oracle

It may defeat me.  I’ve ripped out as much as I’ve put in.  I made a few changes to the original pattern and about half  of it will be bead work. Right now, I'm working on her crown.  Possibly I will be working on it this time next year too.  If I ever get past the owls, I'll post a picture of the actual work.

Anyway, other than doing those completely uninteresting things, I’ve been reading.  I’ll share books another day.  But, since Sunday afternoons can be a quiet time, here’s a story for you . . . .

Jumbo Reilly
An Oregon Folktale
retold by S.E. Schlosser

Jumbo Reilly was a giant of a fellow with the build and strength of a grizzly bear and a grumpy nature to boot.  He was the roughest, toughest fellow in Portland back in the Wild West days and he soon found himself a job as a bouncer at Gus Erickson’s saloon, which was famed both for its ferocious fist fights and for having the longest bar in the world.  Jumbo soon earned a reputation as the meanest bouncer in the city, and nobody – not even miners bound for the gold fields of California or sailors who’d been aboard ship for three years without settin’ eyes on a lady - messed around more than once with Jumbo. 

'Course, there's an exception to every rule.

There was one fellow who took on Jumbo Reilly the bouncer more than once.  Although, turns out it was a sort-of accident.  He was a sailor-boy just back from Shanghai; just a runt of a fellow, skinny as a rake who couldn'ta weighed more than a hundred pounds.  Well, this fellow got himself so drunk on whiskey that he started getting loud and obnoxious and pestering the other customers what were drinking in the saloon.  So Jumbo lifted the tiny lad right off his feet and bounced him out the main door.

A few minutes later, who should stroll in the side door of the saloon but the tiny little drunken sailor?  He made a beeline for the bar, and had almost reached it when Jumbo lifted him up and bounced him right back outside.

To Jumbo's surprise, the sailor was back again a few minutes later, this time walking through the door on the far side of the saloon.  ‘Course, he ran smack dab into Jumbo as he was crossing the floor and Jumbo sent the teeny drunkard sailing head over tail right back the way he came in.

Well, Jumbo thought he’d got rid of that pesky fellow at last, until five minutes later when he saw the same sailor boy rolled into the saloon through the back door!  Jumbo went to meet him, shaking his head in admiration for the tiny lad’s stubborn persistence.

As Jumbo lifted him off his feet for the fourth time, the drunken sailor boy blinked blurrily up at him in dawning recognition and said:  “Jehosephat man! Are you the bouncer for every bar in town?”

Have a nice evening!

Boring . . .  Boring week


25 Jul 2021

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Day(s) Part Two


You might remember that Monday evening I discovered

screw in the sidewall of the rear tire.  Ugh.

Tuesday morning, first thing, I call AAA.  One of the really nice things about using AAA is one of their representatives is located right here in Wharton!  And, they respond very quickly. 

The AAA guy showed up within 30 minutes.  Now, the call was to change a flat but his assessment was that he could push the screw in tighter, thus sealing the hole, then add air to the tire.  Should be fine to drive on for an hour -ish. 

Just down the street from here there is an old gas station that’s been converted to a tire fixing/replacing business.  And, that was my destination with the thought that I could get the tire patched/fix.  I got there and noted that 1 there were already two vehicles there in various stages of shoelessness and 2 there was only one guy working.  So, I went to the office door – locked.  Hmmmm.

Okay, sitting outside in the car in July waiting for the one hard-working guy to talk to me??  Right.

After a while, what should appear - an old guy

Could he help me?  I explained the problem.  Hold on, he sez and walked away.  Several minutes later, he was back with the hard-working guy.  The two spoke back and forth.  Seems the hard-working guy spoke no English.  Well, said the old guy, that tire can’t be fixed and we don’t have a new tire that will fit the car BUT we can put on a good used tire.  And the hard-working guy walked away.

Remember my saying all things automobile are way out of my comfort zone?  This was so far out there that I couldn’t even come up with coherent questions/thoughts. 

I mean – how do you know if a used tire is good?  Seems to me if it's used, it is not good because somebody got rid of it.  Does it come with a guarantee?  If it blows out 10 minutes after I buy it, do I get a rebate?  Does it have, I don’t know, tread, rubber, steel, whatever tires are supposed to have?

Hard-working guy comes back rolling a tire – spoke with old guy who said cheap $60.

What came to my mind?

Okay – I know that’s not true.

After some mental dithering, I said – no thanks.  Think I need a new tire.  And I left, praying to all the gods and goddesses that the “plug” continued to hold. 

And, after another call for a recommendation, I went a little further down the street to another old converted gas station with tires stacked up around it.  Hmmm.

Sitting in the drive was a huge truck with no shoes.  Plus two more waiting patiently.

Still, one can only ask.  Nope, they don’t have any new tires that fit my car AND it would be a couple hours before they could even look at it.

Now, I am way past the recommended hour the plug would hold and no solution.

So, I decided to drive to Hungerford to an actual tire store, this time making rash promises to those gods/goddesses of cars to hold all together.  (And, lest you think I was driving a distance – Hungerford is 5 miles northeast of Wharton.) 

Hungerford is a census designated place (and I don't know what that means other than it's not a town, city or village) with a population of 347 people  

and a tire store.  

In I went, spoke with a nice person behind the counter.  We went out to look at the tire.  No, can’t fix it, have to replace it.  Fine!

Tap, tap, tap on the computer.  Ooopsie!  We don’t have a tire for that car. 

I must have looked like

because she hurriedly said – we can order one and get it here tomorrow morning and will put the spare on for now.  Okay that works for me.

I went to the customer lounge to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  An hour later I went out and said


Lady leaves - I'll check.  Lady returns - they are telling her there is some sort of lock on the lug nut and is there a special tool to remove it.

I called son-in-law.  Explained the whole thing to him.  He was completely flummoxed.  No, nothing special about the tire lug nuts.  No special tools.  No locks.  No.

Lady leaves.  Lady returns – oh oops!  Not the lug nut.  There is some sort of hex nut on the gizmo that holds the spare that has to come off so the spare will come down and off.

Son-in-law says, well there’s a tool kit that came with the car in one of the back compartments but he’d never had a flat and never needed to deal with the spare.

Lady leaves.  Lady returns – Yay!  All is well. 

Lady leaves.  Lady returns.  The spare is in terrible shape.  How about they put a temporary used tire on the wheel until tomorrow when the new one arrives?

I have been there waiting for 2 hours now.  No, sez I, can I just leave the car here and get it tomorrow after the new tire is on?  YES!

And, I called my sister to see if she could come get me.

And, that’s pretty much what I did!  The End.

15 Jul 2021

Wednesday, July 14, 2021



Monday and (oh yes) Tuesday were both

One of Those Days

You know – the kind of day when, at 9AM, you think - - - IS IT BEDTIME YET?

Soooo --- last week I started the process of changing electric providers.  Now, I don’t know how it works in your part of the universe, but here in my part of Texas it takes three entities to provide electricity to ……. well, to me.  Three.  It takes ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, an organization that regulates and operates the electric grid for 75% of the state.  It takes Centerpoint, the company that owns all the hardware – poles, lines, meters, transformers and whatever else.  And it takes a provider (of which there are many choices) to actually make sure I get electricity at my house. 

I had decided to change providers for a buncha reasons and now was the time as my contract with A was up.  And, I called R.  Spoke with a nice woman – blah, blah, blah – and it was done.  R to start on 14 Jul.  Next I called A and canceled the service as of 14 Jul. 

Rocking right along!

Then, on this past Monday, I got an email from R saying --- THERE’S A PROBLEM AND WE CANNOT START YOUR ELECTRICITY ON 14 JUL!!!!! 

This is not an email I want to receive . . . . . . ever, but specially not during July in Texas. 

I call R – pdq.  Spoke with a nice man and after several long minutes, during which I said many, many times – I don’t understand, he decided that ERCOT would not let R start the electricity because they had received a cancelation from A on my address for 14 Jul.  This was another – I don’t understand.  Well, he thought ERCOT wouldn’t do both things on the same day.

sez he, I will put in an escalation request on this.  Here’s a reference number if you have to call back because of no electricity.

I replied with – LISTEN! I have an all-electric house, it is July in Texas, and I am a little old lady!  That solution does not work for me! 

I finally suggested what if R starts my electricity on Tuesday, 13 Jul instead.  No problem, sez he, I can do that!

Of course I was going to pay for the electricity used on Tuesday twice - once from A and once from R but at least I was assured of having power.


I know you’ve heard we’ve had a bit of rain lately but Monday, it wasn’t going to rain.


I decided to do a little mowing.  Wasn’t completely miserable outside, a bit overcast so no broiling sun, out I went.

Now, I have a small electric mower.  Actually, I have two.  One uses a 100ft extension cord and a newer one I bought from a friend, is battery powered.  I had charged the battery last week and was hoping it would still be good.  Got the SJ out and - - no, dead battery.  Fine, put it on the charger.  According to instruction book it would be 100% charged in four hours.  I did other things.  I pulled weeds, moved container plants around, watered a few things, repotted a few things – in general stayed busy for three hours. 

And, here is my herb garden with (left to right) savory, marjoram, lemongrass, oregano, basil, basil, and basil.  I also have allspice, lemon balm, lemon verbina, mint, sage, parsley, and rosemary but those are in different locations. 

Oh, and here’s my dill.  Covered with monarch caterpillars.  Sigh.  (I went out to look at the dill today and it's just sticks with only 4 caterpillars munching away.)

The plan was that I would go back out to do about 30 minutes worth of mowing after the battery was charged.  Which is what I did.

Full battery – yes!  Pressed the button, squeezed the handle and – nothing.  Got the manual out again.  And, keeping in mind that the battery is an integral part of the mower, I read that to ensure battery life, the battery should be kept at room temperature not in a hot shed.  REALLY?????  Who keeps their mower in the house??  

Got the corded mower, plugged it in and pressed the button, squeezed the handle and – nothing. 

Two dead mowers.  Okay, FINE I don’t like to mow anyway.


I came back inside to take a shower and change.  I needed to drive into Rosenberg to the Hobby Lobby for thread for a new cross stitch piece I wanted to start.

back up a day – Sunday I decided on a new counted cross stitch piece to work on.  It’s pretty large and difficult as it requires 40 bobbins of thread all of which are variations of blue and lavender.  It’s one of those that you stitch two squares, change color, stitch 3 squares, change color, etc.  When I work on any cross stitch, I pull threads, place them, the pattern, fabric and hoop in a large Ziploc bag.  Keeps the boys from getting into my stuff. 

Got my thread, came home and sat down to wind bobbins.  Put everything in the bag, zipped it closed and went to do something back in my little office.  A bit later, I walked toward the bedroom and noticed a long piece of string on the floor – what the …..

Aaaarrrggghhhh!  That’s my embroidery thread!!!!!

Followed the thread to my bed, looked under it to see the Demon Duo, both looking like

Walked around to the other side of the bed and looked to find three bobbins of thread chewed and tangled laying on the floor behind them!  Which as it happens, took me several hours to untangled and rewind.  One of them, and I’m pretty sure it was this guy,

had opened the zipped bag and dragged out 3 bobbins and between him and his brother they carried them to a hidey place and had fun.


So, Mondays I drive to yoga.  Ellen drives on Wednesday.  I went out to the car, got in, started it and up popped this little symbol on the dash –

I just hate it when these symbols pop up.  I never know what they mean and I’m always fearful to drive in case it means the engine is going to explode (cars are waaaaaaay outside my comfort level).  Fortunately, along with the symbol there was a little picture of the car that popped up with the right rear area highlighted. 

Oh – this can’t be good.

Got out and walked around to find the right rear tire had

a big screw sticking out of the sidewall.  Sigh.

So, Ellen drove to yoga.


When she dropped me home afterward, I checked the mail to find . . . .

a postcard from ERCOT saying they had received a request from A to discontinue electricity on 14 Jul and a request from R to start providing electricity on 14 Jul.  If I had made those changes, I could ignore the postcard otherwise I needed o call A or R.   Guess I didn't need to call R Monday morning and talk with someone who DOES NOT KNOW WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT!

And that was Monday.

To be Continued

14 Jul 2021

Friday, July 9, 2021

And the beat goes on ….. still


Really, we are having the weirdest weather this year.  Subarctic temperatures in February –

OK – not that subarctic but pretty damn cold.  And before you say – “Well it was FEBRUARY after all”.  Here in this part of the universe, we’re usually having spring in February and summer starts in March!  

However, we actually had spring starting in March – cool temps, nice days, rain (you know - showers and flowers).  I put this in the “weird weather” category because we don’t usually have three months of spring.  We don’t usually have 3 weeks of spring.

And then in June, we jumped to high summer where the temps were in the upper nineties and the humidity was about the same.  Do not think for an instant the above picture represents anything cool or coolish.  Feels like walking outside with a hot wet blanket covering you head to toe.

And, now in July – entering what should be high summer, it’s down in the 80’s.

I’m telling you - weird weather.

Oh, and we’ve had rain.  And, while it seems to us that we’ve had a lot of rain, on average Wharton receives 40-odd inches of rain a year (according to TAMU rain history) and we’re right on track to average.

Just so you know how to celebrate in July –

This is Air Conditioning Appreciation Month.  And, I think everyone across the universe (specially lately) has gone through some days, weeks, months (years) when they are appreciative for the AC!

In 1902, Willis Haviland Carrier invented what we now know as modern air conditioning. Carrier was trying to find a way to control humidity within a printing plant in Brooklyn, NY. He discovered that when air passed over water-filled coils, it cooled off. It was only later that Carrier’s air-cooling devices began to be used in a residential application.

Things to do in celebration?  Well, you can check your AC filter and change it if needs be.  Woohoo!

It’s also National Blueberry Month.  And, yum! one of my favorite fruits. 

Native Americans were using wild blueberries for medicinal as well as for the flavor for an incredibly long time. However, the blueberries we get in the supermarket are the result of one person’s long commitment to cultivating blueberries. Elizabeth White, the daughter of a cranberry farmer in New Jersey, wanted to expand her family’s business with other crops, particularly blueberries. While studying at Drexel University in Philadelphia, her main interest centered around figuring out how to grow the best blueberries. She eventually partnered with botanist Frederick Coville to cultivate blueberries at her farm. Before these efforts, blueberries could not be grown on any farm — the only way to have them fresh was to pick them in the wild. Now, blueberries are available in 35 U.S. states (and TX is one – yay!!) and some other regions around the world.

Blueberries can help heart health, bone strength, skin health, blood pressure, diabetes management, cancer prevention, and mental health.  One cup of blueberries provides 24 percent of a person recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.  Plus (and I really like this one) eating a blueberry tart, pie, muffin etc, will help protect you from evil and/or psychic attack.  (Hey! you never know what works!)

Things to do to celebrate?  Fresh blueberries on your breakfast cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, French toast.  Then, blueberry muffins with lunch.  And, top the day off with blueberry tarts for dessert. 

And, I just couldn’t resist this one –

Today is . . .

National No Bra Day!

Boobies are Fantastic… We all think so. And what better way to express the way we feel than to support a full day of boobie freedom??  Women are magnificent creatures, and so are their breasts. Let us spend the day unleashing boobies from their boobie zoos.  Ladies, free your breasts for 24 hours by removing those dreadful (but at times oh-so-helpful) bras. Our perkiness should not be hidden. It is time that the world see what we were blessed with. Your breasts might be colossal, adorable, miniature, full, jiggly, fancy, sensitive, bouncy, smooth, tender, still blossoming, rosy, plump, fun, silky, Jello-like, fierce, jolly, nice, naughty, cuddly, saggy… but the most used word to describe your breasts on July 9th should be FREE!

It made me laugh.  Pretty sure the message above tells you what to do to celebrate today – be free!

Guess that’s about all.  It’s been raining all week and is going to continue for several more days so nada going on outside other than wet everything. 

9 Jul 2021

Monday, July 5, 2021

Day After


Yesterday was the 4th.  Lots of fireworks here in my neighborhood.  I personally don’t care too much for fireworks.  Being able to watch from my back window, looking over the trees to the next street over to watch the various rockets and lights was fine.  The Demon Duo watched out the window for a short time also but ultimately retreated to the sofa with me.  I don’t think they were impressed.

Saturday Ellen and I went to Rockport – a small seaside town about 120 miles down the coast from here.  For a number of years now, every July, they host a huge Art Festival.  It’s a two-day juried art show and is held at a beach-side park.  It’s very popular. 

The set-up is four huge tents around the grounds in a big square.  Each tent has space for 20-25 artists.  Then, in the middle of square is another huge tent with tables, chairs, food vendors, music and, most importantly, air conditioning.  Because, let me tell you it was hot.  Hotter than normal hot –

Okay, maybe not that hot but - - hot.

The festival showcases every type of art –


Steve Hunsicker
Hunsicker Studio


Steve Riley

jewelry design,

Carla Pennie Mcbride Jewelry Design

wood artists,

Mark Mallia


Ann Feldmeir
Clay Hearts Pottery

glass artists,

Larry Pile Glass

metal artists

Shawn Corder
Get Bent Metal Works


Donna Hoyack
Natural Reflections

It’s a very good show but you need to go early or late because July in TX is hot (see above).

Friday I stayed home all day waiting, waiting, waiting  –

My new sofa arrived!  Finally!  I feel like I have a living room.

And, Thursday – I went to the dentist.  Just for a cleaning however I have a cracked tooth that really needs a crown before, gods forbid, this happens . . .

So, a crown is in the "coming soon" category.   Ugh.

Guess that’s all for now – stay cool out there!

 5 Jul 2021