Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Wednesday - - -


Right?  It’s Wednesday today.  After this past week I think I lost track of the days.  I’ve been a bit (well, probably a completely committed) couch potato over the last week or so.

All things considered, I’ve looked more like this – under a blanket on the couch.  Usually with 2 large cats sitting on me.

We’ve been having winter here.  Real winter with overcast days and cold nights.  The house and I both stay cold.  It’s the humidity.  I say this so when I tell you the temperature you won’t think I’m a complete sissy - - Low: 40 degs; High: 55 degs; Humidity: 78% Wind: 10 mph; Feels like: colder than the low.  Inside!  Outside feels like a lot colder than the low.  That’s winter enough (it doesn’t need to get any colder please).

When I wake up in the morning, I tend to lay in bed a few minutes and think about what I need/want/will/should do that day.  This morning I decided I would break the couch potato pattern and start the morning with a 1.5 mile brisk walk. 

I’m a morning person.  If I’m going to accomplish something that takes movement and energy, I’ll do it in the morning.  Otherwise – not getting done.  I looked out this morning and saw a lovely sunrise.  I could see the sun breaking through the clouds.  Oh yes!  Walk it is. 

Like most of us I have a morning routine – feed the demon duo, open the blinds, wind clocks, etc.  By the time I was dressed for walking and out the door, the sky looked like this.

Ugh.  Still, I was determined to walk.  I mean, I have a coat and scarf and gloves (somewhere).  It's the thing I dislike about winter - you have to put on so much to stay warm(ish).  I figure I should get extra points for 1. struggling into the necessary outside accruements and 2. for the extra weight I'll be carrying wearing all those things.  I got in a whole ½ mile in before saying – ok, that’s it, I’m cold.


26 Jan 2022

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Book vs Movie


Some months ago, Prime began to advertise its coming new scifi tv series – The Wheel of Time (based on books by Robert Jordan).  My inner scifi self stirred and came to attention. 

Oh my, that looks good!

As much as I like scifi, I’ve found the Robert Jordan books very hard to read – too much/too little of I-don’t-know-what but I’ve never gotten more than 100 pages into a book of his before thinking – ok, done now.  And, before you think – “oh you must have been close to ½ way through” – no.  The Eye of the World, for instance, is over 700 pages long. 

However, with the coming of the new tv series, I decided to give it another try.  (Sometimes it’s nice to know what to expect from the characters.)  This time I tried an audio book (30 hours worth of listening). 

Eye of the World, Book 1 of The Wheel of Time
by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.  When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs - a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts - five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

My thoughts – Robert Jordan uses 15 words to describe something when he could have used four and gotten the same result.  Ohmigod.  I thought it would never be over.   Many times, I wished I could just skip several pages of blah, blah, blah to get on with the story.  Still – as I look back at it, it’s pretty good. 

Then, I started book two.

The Great Hunt Book 2 of The Wheel of Time
by Robert Jordan

The Forsaken are loose, the Horn of Valere has been found and the Dead are rising from their dreamless sleep. The Prophecies are being fulfilled - but Rand al'Thor, the shepherd the Aes Sedai have proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn, desperately seeks to escape his destiny. Rand cannot run for ever. With every passing day the Dark One grows in strength and strives to shatter his ancient prison, to break the Wheel, to bring an end to Time and sunder the weave of the Pattern.

My thoughts:  Pretty much the same as with book one.  Too many words.  Not a bad story. 

I started watching the new show about ½ way through book two. 

Side note:  I KNOW books and movies are not a word-for-word duplicate.  I KNOW changes are made – side stories that don’t impact the primary story line are eliminated.  I KNOW some changes are made to the characters so to better engage the watching public. 

In my opinion the tv show is nothing like the book.  Yes, the characters have the same names but not much else about them is the same.  Yes, the general premise of the story is similar but things that happen are very different.  If you haven’t read the books or if it’s been long years since you read them, the tv show is very enjoyable.  If you’ve just read the book(s) wait a bit before watching the first season or you may be disappointed.

I don’t think I’ll read books 3-14 of the series.  I just didn’t develop the connection to the story or characters – no – I can’t wait for the next book!!!. 

The other series I started because of a tv show is The Expanse (based on books by James SA Corey).

The Expanse
1 Leviathan Wakes
2 Caliban’s War
3 Abaddon’s Gate
by James S.A. Corey

Humanity has colonized the solar system — Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond — but the stars are still out of our reach. Tensions are rising between Earth's UN, Mars, and the Belt. The series starts in our Solar System, using many real locations such as Ceres and Eros in the asteroid belt, several moons of Jupiter, with Ganymede and Europa the most developed, and small science bases as far out as Phoebe around Saturn and Titania around Uranus, as well as well-established domed settlements on Mars and the Moon.

The ice hauler, The Canterbury stumbles across a derelict ship, the Scopuli and stop to render aid.  XO Jim Holden and his rescue crew of three find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for—and kill on a scale unfathomable to all. War is brewing in the system unless they can find out who left the ship and why.

On Ganymede, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system.

For generations, the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt - was humanity's great frontier. Until now. An alien artefact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has emerged to build a massive structure outside the orbit of Uranus: a gate that leads into a starless dark.

My thoughts:  Oh very good.  Good characters, good story, good, good, good.  And, I’ll continue the series.

The tv show?  Yes, there are differences but I don’t find those differences as jarringly dissimilar as I did with “Wheel”.  I’m comfortable with both and enjoying the show as I read the books. 

25 Jan 2022

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



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”.


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 –


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