Saturday, February 27, 2021

vaccines and golden idols

We got our second vaccine shot Thursday and this time it was much more organized. A sign on the front door of the civic center directed us to a door on the side which opened directly into the room where you walked up to a table and gave them your name and appointment time and they marked you off the list and then directed you to a row of chairs to wait your turn to get jabbed. Our appointment time was 10:45 and we got there about 10:40, waited less than 2 minutes to be called over, another few minutes while the jabber filled out the vax card and get stuck, wait the required 15 minutes and we walked out 20 minutes after we got there.

I'm a little achy this morning (Friday) and the injection site is sore but not the whole arm like last time and I didn't sleep well last night, couldn't get comfortable, so I'm unsure how much of my lack of energy is due to the vaccine and how much is due to poor sleep. I plan to be lazy all day today as it's overcast and a little chilly (but maybe that was just me). I might even get back to my drawing which I haven't worked on since the first day weeks ago due to my right hand buzzing like a subliminal electrical current when I grasp things but by afternoon even that subsides. I can make a fist now with no pain and the nerve jolts have stopped and while I wore the wrist brace for about a week, I now think the problem is either in my upper arm or my elbow and just manifests in my hand. Now that I've had both my vaccine shots I see a trip to the masseuse in my future and maybe the chiropractor too.


The next day: well, turns out I didn't work on my drawing after all. After breakfast I sat on the couch for an hour and read and then went back to bed til 2 PM. I felt better, less achy, more rested until the dog wanted her walk and she didn't just want a quick outing, she wanted a long walk and that used up all my energy and motivation for the day. Back to the couch and book til bed. But I slept well last night, feel normal today. Still overcast out but I may start moving all the plants back outside from the house and garage today.

In other news, I'm trying to stay off the political stream. I read Heather Cox Richardson's newsletter every morning but I'm mostly staying off Twitter and FB. The adults are in charge now and I have to trust Biden's team to take care of things. The Republicans have completely devolved into the cult of Trump with very few exceptions, even Mitch McConnell has caved and said he will support Trump if he's the nominee in 2024, and at CPAC they rolled out a golden idol of Trump. I kid you not. 

And a bigger group of liars in one place you will not find while they jeer and 'own' the libs. And of course, so true to form, The House passed Biden's covid relief bill with not one single Republican voting for it. As usual, Republicans only want to help the rich get richer and fuck ordinary Americans, they should have prepared better.

So as not to end on such a sour note, here are the fresh prayer flags.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


Windy today with a strong south wind. Overcast too and warm, currently 74˚. I've been out in the yard cutting off the mushy stuff and cutting back the things that froze to the ground even though they say to wait two weeks. The things I'm cutting back, if they survived, will come out from the roots, not the dead stems and branches. Some things I'm waiting on. The spirea, which I did not mention previously looks terrible but on closer inspection is already putting out tiny new green leaves as is the mock dogwood which I also didn't mention. Still, it's looking pretty bare out there.

The door to the little backyard is open and a wren just flew in, perched on the edge of my desk to see what I was doing and flew back out. The birds keep coming to check the bird feeder which is empty as they have cleaned me out.

I was out earlier replacing the faded and torn prayer flags strung between the two birdhouses on poles. A little challenging considering the wind. Too windy to get a picture of the new ones.

I also got my zinnia seeds in starter pots.

I finally called the El Campo hospital this morning about the second vaccine shot. You may remember Marc and I got our first jab January 14 and were supposed to get the second on February 11 which they pushed back to the 14th which they pushed back to the 19th which they canceled altogether due to weather and acquisition problems. Today it's 6 weeks since the first jab. Oh, the woman says, you're on my list to call today, can you be here tomorrow at 10:45? Yes ma'am we can. I'll have to miss my morning at SHARE but I'm sure they can muddle along without me.

Time to walk the dog and then get ready for yoga class.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

plant report

It got up to 60˚ on Saturday and briefly 70˚ today! I've moved the big plants out of the house and the smaller ones I brought in for the week of extreme temperatures. Then I walked around the yard uncovering everything.

Of the things covered:

The yellow and pink angel trumpets froze to the ground as expected but hopefully covering them preserved the roots.

All the gardenia's leaves are brown but I reached in and tested a stem which is still green so while it has lost its leaves, it lives.

Everything above ground on the plumbagos is dead but I hope the roots are good. Remains to be seen. I've lost plumbagos before in winters not this cold though they weren't covered.

The hibiscus was already cut back and dormant but I hope it survived. Maybe. Isn't looking good right now.

The ground orchid foliage is brown but there is some green under the thick leaf mulch so I think some of those will return if not all.

The yesterday/today/tomorrow froze to the ground, remains to be seen if the roots are good. It's in a pot. I should have brought it in.

The three big azaleas covered with buds next to the house look good and even most the buds look viable.

The two small azaleas by the driveway are all brown and those buds are dead but I think the plants survive.

The porterweed's new growth at the ground froze and some of the roots but I think some of the roots are still green. If not, I have a replacement in a pot in the house.

The sweet peas look great, in fact I think they even grew some!

The pony tail palm looks good. It will probably lose some of its outer leaves but I reached in and squeezed a neck or two and they seem firm.

Of the things that were not covered:

The small flowering senna tree is completely brown. I have no idea if it survives.

I'm pretty sure the rosemary is dead.

The phillipine lilies, purple and white flowered versions, are black. Don't know how hardy they are. I have a little volunteer of the purple in a pot in the house.

The crinum lilies, amaryllis, spider lilies, nile lilies, society garlic, elephant garlic, native alstroemeria, woodland pinks, bulbine (pretty sure it won't come back), and a lot of daylily foliage are all a puddle of mush on the ground. Only time will tell if the bulbs are still good. The daffodils are unfazed though and the two buds look like they'll open.

The azaleas around the pecan tree are all brown but I think have survived.

The camellia looks fine if a bit nipped.

The easter lilies are frozen so no flowers this year. I hope the bulbs are still good.

The rangoon creeper is completely brown/black. I think it will come back. I hope.

The poppies, love-in-a-mist, larkspur, ox-eye daisies, baby blue eyes look good which surprised me.

The roses are burned as are the leather leaf ferns and the purple coneflowers.

The boston ferns are brown and probably dead. We'll see.

All the ginger froze as expected but I'm confident the roots are good.

The night blooming jasmine froze to the ground but it will probably come back.

The indigofera also froze. It has survived that before but this was much colder and longer.

The firespike and shrimp plants are black to the ground and I hope they come back.

The bluebonnets are not happy but I think they'll recover and bloom.

And the banana trees are, of course, mush, but they should come back.

That's not everything but enough and I could have taken more pictures but one dead plant looks pretty much like another. Unsurprisingly, the dandelions and 10 petal anemones are going what arctic freeze?

Oh, and after the ice layer on the turtle pond melted I could see her down there and when I rapped on the side of the pond she wiggled her foot so she lives and today she was out on her sunning stone.

But there were two casualties...a titmouse and a robin found over by the shop. 

Both their heads are currently embedded in fire ant nests. Gruesome I know but I didn't have a skull of either in my collection.


Friday, February 19, 2021

so many people are still having it so much worse

My son was out of power in Houston for 32 hours and is currently under a 'boil water' order because...problems. Most of Houston's power has been restored now and it's warming up enough during the day for all the broken pipes to become apparent. In this little town every plumber is overwhelmed. Rocky spent the day repairing his own broken water pipes. Every store that carried any kind of plumbing supplies is sold out, empty shelves. Rocky called, could he have the pipe glue he knew I had? Yes of course and anything else you need.

People in the northern part of the state are still having outages and no food and no gas. Finally some relief efforts are getting under way. This is a total failure of the no regulation go it alone unrestrained capitalism policy of our republican state government where profit is king and infrastructure is an afterthought. Safety measures had been recommended after a previous frigid event but never acted on because profit always trumps infrastructure even though they would have still made a profit, just not as much. Another part of the problem, down here in south Texas at least, is that our homes aren't built to keep the cold out but to keep the heat out. Homes here have the air vents in the ceiling which is great for air conditioning but not so great for heating.

This isn't the first catastrophe from our no regulation republican government. The refineries blow up with regularity and a fertilizer plant exploded outside Waco some years back.

And of course one of our senators, that lying weasel Rafael (Ted) Cruz, packed up his family on Wednesday, called for a police escort to the airport, and got on a plane to sunny Cancun while his constituents were freezing in the dark with no water. And of course, people saw them and started skewering him on twitter, FB, and the news which he discovered Thursday morning and changed his reservation to return yesterday with a made up bogus story about trying to be a good dad because his daughters wanted to go be with their friends. The truth is that his wife sent texts to friends and neighbors complaining that the house was freezing and they were going to fly to a fancy resort that they have stayed at many times and urged their friends to join them. Rafael's original return ticket was for Saturday. Meanwhile AOC, who our politicians and ignorant lib haters kept blaming for the reason Texans had no power, her and the Green New Deal which isn't even a law, just a proposal,  has raised $2M for help and aid to Texans bringing them food, water, generators, etc. while Rafael fled to Cancun. Don't anyone ever tell me that there is no difference between Democrats and Trumplicans.

We did finally have our turn at losing power Wednesday. The smaller communities around Wharton lost their power right away and went days without. One of the other volunteers at SHARE had been warned by someone she knew and passed along the information so I had already dug out my extreme cold clothes left over from my river days and got out the candles and candle lanterns and we had plenty of blankets and a little after 5 PM it did go off. I sat by the window with a lap blanket as long as there was enough available light to read and then I lit the candles and Marc set up one of those clay pot tea candle heaters in front of the couch 

which had more of a psychological effect than actual heating but would probably work alright if you made a circle of them and sat inside it in a small room with low ceilings. Then he rigged up a flashlight from the ceiling fan so we could read snuggled under blankets on the couch. We fixed cocktails and just went without dinner so as to keep the refrigerator closed. We had some options for food but neither of us was hungry enough to stir from our warm nests. The power came back on 5 hours later right at bedtime. Yay!

Yesterday was my morning at SHARE, only about half the regular volunteers showed up and we were busy. Lots of food went out.

Supposed to get up to the low 40s today and tonight is supposed to be our last frigid night, 19˚, before a return tomorrow to our usual late winter/early spring weather. Tomorrow I uncover everything and see all the damage. And then I wait to see what still has life in it. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

cause things weren't bad enough

Believe it or not things are even worse even though the coldest nights are behind us though still getting down in the 20s. Today and the next two...35˚/28˚, 34˚/22˚, 41˚/20˚. Saturday we start warming up. Woke up to light icy rain this morning. The town sent out a text asking people to conserve water during the day and not let faucets drip or run while they make repairs to the water system. Got a text from Autumn in Austin about midnight, she's lost water. Got a text from Jade in San Antonio about 6 AM, second floor of her building had a broken pipe with water pouring down to the first floor. She lives on the third floor and thinks she still has water. Text from Robin in Houston about 10 AM, she's lost water and power again. Mikey and girlfriend Audra and their dog and Robin and her cat are in route out here to their parents' house. They have power but no water.

We still have both but we did have a water incident yesterday. We've been turning the water off at the meter at night and back on during the day which we learned later produces pressure problems for frozen pipes. So yesterday I was rinsing my plate off in the kitchen after lunch when I hear water sounds in the little bathroom. You might remember those pipes are in the attic and were frozen so while we had water in the upper house, we did not in the little bathroom. I went to check and the floor in the house studio room had water spreading out on it from where it was pouring out from under a wall in the little bathroom. Hollered at Marc to turn off the water, the house was flooding. Texted Gunnar (plumber) and started mopping up (7 or 8 gallons we think), waited a few minutes and called Rocky who came immediately, heard from Gunnar, swamped with 13 calls and for us to turn off the water. Rocky pulled the medicine cabinet out of the wall for a looksee, determined the leak was in the attic so up he went and good news was, no broken pipes, yay, but the connection from the old galvanized insulated pipes to the new uninsulated pex had come loose and he didn't have the necessary (expensive) tool to make the repair so he capped off the galvanized pipe and we had water in the rest of the house. Texted Gunnar, easy fix so he and his helper came by this morning on their way out to now over 20 calls and got the repair done. It was probably the turning the water off and on that caused the pex to come loose from the galvanized pipe, he removed the ice plug and now we have water in the little bathroom too. Don't shut the water off at night he says, just let all three faucets trickle. We weren't the only one this happened to here.

Statewide, millions of people are still without power and/or water and have been since Sunday night. People are dying from having their oxygen batteries die with no way to recharge, from carbon monoxide poisoning from sitting in their cars trying to get warm, if not dying yet being unable to get to dialysis centers that are closed anyway or get life saving drugs.

So, of course, our stupid republican senators and governor are lying and passing the blame for this catastrophe onto the Green New Deal, a policy that is not in effect, has not been voted on, has not even been sent to the floor of the House for a vote, and AOC who is sponsoring it. Also blaming the frozen windmills that provide only about 20% or less of our electricity. What they aren't telling people is that the coal and natural gas pumps and plants that we get the lion's share of our power from are also frozen up. The tin foil hat people are circulating an image from years ago in Sweden of a helicopter melting ice off a windmill passing it off as Texas.  The fact is that Texas has an independent privately owned power grid to avoid federal regulations and so we are not interconnected with any other states for power sharing and as usual, our republican policies put profit over infrastructure and the powers that be saw no reason to insulate or provide built in heaters at crucial points for cold weather while ex- Texas governor ex-energy secretary Perry is telling reporters that Texans are happy to suffer a little cold to keep regulation out of the state (I guarantee neither Perry nor any of our politicians are suffering outages). And while this weather is quite unusual, it's not the first time this has happened. In fact there was a commission after a hard winter in '79 or '80 that recommended winterizing that was never implemented. As many people have pointed out, windmills work just fine in places that get much colder than we do.

Pictures from today:

banana trees

flowering senna

ground orchids, pink angel trumpet, hibiscus, plumbago; I have no idea what it looks like under there but I'm pretty sure I lost the gardenia from what I could see through the clear plastic covering it

heritage rose

jasmine, every bud is encased in ice

pansies and violas

night blooming jasmine, ginger, leather leaf fern, fire spike, aspidistra

Monday, February 15, 2021

from the land of ice and snow

Sunday 3 PM. It's rained lightly enough to get everything very wet and now it's getting icy out there the temperature having dropped to 30˚. The little birds are having ariel battles over the cylindrical bird feeder with it's new birdseed which is almost empty for the second time today; goldfinches, sparrows, house finches, titmice, pine siskins; the other bird feeder with it's heavy sunflower seed content has cardinals and robins and the overflow of small birds from the other one. And handful of grackles have shown up and after emptying the pan of corn and peanuts for the squirrels one will swoop in to the bigger bird feeder and scatter all the little birds which are back quick enough. I'm not seeing the white wing doves or chickadees though.

Sunday 10 PM, 22˚. Some white stuff on the ground, sleet we think. 

Marc went out and turned the water off, I took the electric heater with me to bed as my room is the farthest from the heat/AC and colder than the rest of the house.

Monday 8 AM, 16˚. Marc turned the water back on from the meter and we have water in the upper part of the house. The water lines to the little bathroom are in the attic and those lines are frozen. Good thing we replaced all those old water lines with PEX after the flood. They won't break.

Monday 8:30 AM, 16˚. Filled the bird feeders again, birdbaths frozen solid, turtle pond frozen over except for one small circle where water from the filter pours back in. I hope Big Mama is OK, I imagine she's hunkered down by the pump which generates some heat.

Monday 9:30 AM, still 16˚. Sun starting to come out. Bundled up, sweater on the dog and took her out to take care of business since she absolutely refused to go out yesterday and walked around the yard. She took care of her business trying not to touch that white stuff while she walked across the yard. Completely forgot about the star of India gardenia which I could have moved into the garage so I hope it survives. It's one of the plants I moved from the city house.

The buddha is unperturbed.

Monday 11 AM, accuweather says 17˚ but TV says 21˚. Filled the cylindrical bird feeder again. The sun continues to peek in and out. Lots of people in the surrounding areas are without power but we're good so far. Still no water in the little bathroom.

Monday 12:30 PM, 22˚. At least a dozen little birds have flown into the glass of the back door so far. They've almost emptied the cylinder bird feeder again though a lot is on the ground. I can fill it up one more time and I think that might be it and I'm not going out on those icy streets to get more. All kinds of wrecks and pile ups are happening out there. I've been taking videos of the birds mobbing the bird feeders but they don't seem to really show the madhouse.

I don't care for Blogger's new video insertion tool because the video is too small (or at least I haven't figured out how to insert it larger). Anyway, if you want to see a big version where you can actually see what's going on here's the link to youtube.

Checked with the grandgirls, Jade and Autumn (San Antonio and Austin) have power, Robin (Houston) does not. My son (Houston) does. My daughter here has power but no water. Friend Gene (Hockley) is holding his own with power going off and on.

Monday 2 PM, 21˚ (real feel 5˚). The dog insisted on going out. She walked all around, trotted down the street, I think headed over to check on my sister and the boys, but changed her mind when I didn't follow. The birds have knocked so much seed out of that bird feeder I'm not filling it again until they eat what's on the ground.

Monday 3 PM, 21˚. The dog and I are headed for the couch, blanket, and book.

Supposed to be even colder tonight, down to 11˚.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

grumpy and disgusted

Friday, I covered more plants...pruned back the yellow and pink angel trumpets to a size that could be covered, 

five of the azaleas so far, the two plumbagos, the yesterday/today/tomorrow. These in addition to what I covered yesterday. I had to make a trip to the store for heavy duty contractor trash bags in order to accomplish it. I also tried to buy a couple of blue tarps but I was way late to the party for that, nothing but empty shelves. I plan on covering the rest of the azaleas tomorrow because I don't know if they will survive 48 hours of below 20 and then three more nights of lows in the 20s. Probably the angel trumpets won't make it even if they are covered and whether they will come back from the roots remains to be seen. The banana trees, yellow bells, night blooming jasmine, mexican bird of paradise, shrimp plant, purple orchid tree will all freeze to the ground as will the firespike and I may cover that as well and I have no idea how the easter lilies and my crinum lilies are going to fare or the altheas. I googled camellias and I think it will be OK. I may cover it anyway.

Today, I am not a happy camper. It's cold windy overcast and damp and I don't like it. The birds are all fluffed up and bickering over what's left of the birdseed so I ran out and got more, two kinds and squirrel food. Tomorrow I'm going to throw a big blanket over the last group of azaleas and lay a towel across the sweet peas and after that I'm not setting foot out of the house.


And of course they voted to acquit Trump. I'm disgusted by the cowardice, if I'm being nice, the traitorous actions, if I'm not, of the Republican senators who voted to throw our democracy under the bus...again. On display is their blatant refusal to honor the oaths they took to protect and defend the constitution when they were sworn in and to be impartial jurors of these proceedings in their self serving pursuits of power, those who would not put aside their fear or arrogance to do what was in the best interest of this country, that being to show that instigating a violent uprising by the loser to undo a fair election would not be tolerated. So, apparently, now that is tolerated and that's a dangerous precedent to set. I hope they are pleased with themselves because history will not be kind to them and even though we will remind everyone again and again of their cowardice, our democratic republic is now on even shakier ground.

And that's all I have to say about that. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

hey North, your weather is down here drunk on my lawn and you need to come get it

I've been watching the birds at the bird feeder all morning. There's some new birds, I think, but they won't stay still long enough for me to get a good look and maybe identify them. Maybe the goldfinches weren't goldfinches after all or maybe they've already migrated on. If they were/are here then it is the non-breeding coloration but then I saw a few that I'm pretty sure that's what they are. And sparrows, many kinds of sparrows. And another little bird that looks like maybe a goldfinch but then it doesn't, perhaps a vireo or a flycatcher, neither of which I don't think I've ever seen and maybe a few of the warblers are still around. They're all very feisty out there today chasing each other away anticipating the approaching cold weather perhaps.

And cold weather is approaching. An arctic blast is arrowing down to us. It's already causing havoc in the northern part of the state with a 100 vehicle pile up outside Dallas and another smaller one around Austin because it's not just cold, it's rain and snow too so the highways are icy. It's currently 35˚ this Thursday evening and this is what they're predicting for the next 7 days...

Eleven degrees Monday night!!! with maybe snow and/or sleet! This doesn't happen here. I've already covered the ponytail palm with help from my sister. Also a poor attempt at protecting the big jasmine that was already putting out buds over in the shop yard. At the house I've covered the porterweed, the hibiscus, and the gardenia and brought in all the pots I had taken outside plus one or two more that I didn't worry about with a light freeze. There are other things I want to cover but I ran out of time and materials today as it started raining. I'm going to lose all the Boston fern that I've spent the last three years trying to get re-established on the west side of the house. And the emerging buds and flowers on the azaleas will get destroyed so no blooms on them this year. The yellow bells and the purple orchid bush will freeze to the ground as will the two yellow and one pink angel trumpets and I don't know if they will come back from a deep freeze. I'd like to cover the plumbagos but it might be easier just to replace them. I hung the big tarp across the back of the garage to help protect the plumerias and night blooming cereus and discovered the nest wrens are making. It's that pile of leaves back there in the plastic box of work gloves. I knew they were working on a nest but I thought they were refurbishing the old one on the top of the motor housing for one of the garage doors.

After it started raining I came in and covered some of the windows. We don't have any curtains, just mini-blinds, and the windows in the lower part of the house don't even have those so I tacked up some old sets of flannel sheets over all but one wall of windows.

We were busy at SHARE today but not because we had a lot of people come in, about 10 I think, but because we had a lot of food delivered. First some private donations, including 200 pounds of chocolate candy, 

then the truck from Walmart, and finally the big truck from the food bank in Victoria. And I got the shelf of soup organized again.

I'm ignoring writing about the impeachment trial because it makes me so angry knowing that the traitorous republicans will not vote to convict. I mean, what does a president have to do, how bad does he have to be, for them to decide it's bad enough to convict? Extortion wasn't bad enough and now an attack on our very democracy, an attempt to overthrow the election and install himself as president for life isn't bad enough? Some won't vote to convict because they are all in on Trump, others won't vote to convict because they are afraid of Trump going after them when it's time for re-election but I have to say, if they won't do their jobs out of fear of losing their jobs, they don't deserve their jobs to begin with and as to that  today, 15 republican senators didn't even bother to show up and Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee were seen meeting with Trump's lawyers today. Well, they're going to lose one way or another because the democrats won't forget their dereliction of duty and we will be reminding the voters of that when the time comes so you'd think they would rather lose their jobs over doing the right thing as opposed to doing the wrong thing. 

And once again I am behind reading your blogs.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

if I've learned anything from all this

it's don't
  make all your various healthcare checkup appointments in a two month period. So whatever the rash was, it was not shingles...not in the right place and didn't look anything like it. I've decided it was chilblains. It's the only thing that matched from location to the way it looked and felt and duration. And my wrist/hand was getting better, in fact I didn't wear the brace at all yesterday, until I did a stupid thing last night at yoga by doing this pose

image via

except the soles of my feet were together in prayer position and yes, I'm bragging and my wrist was decidedly not happy about that so I wore the brace during part of the night and this morning. It's much better now, several hours later, so hopefully no great set back.

I was supposed to get my new crowns today but they were too white, like beacons, so they were sent back to see if they could be darkened, dentist says probably. I thought they mixed up the porcelain or ceramic the color selected but apparently, the color is a stain or paint and then it's coated with a glossy something so they can remove the polish and re-stain/paint and then add the coating again. Nothing is easy with me so I spent an hour in the dentist chair and left with the same temporary crowns I arrived with. Made my grocery store run, had lunch, loaded up the car with the recyclables and took them, walked the dog and now the day is done.

Yesterday at SHARE we got all the donated food sorted and stored and Thursday the monthly food delivery from the food bank in Victoria arrives. One of the volunteers had stayed on Saturday and unpacked the boxes and bags on the floor and my station was swamped. There wasn't a square inch of unoccupied space on the counters and more than one layer. Once we got all the food examined, we have to check the expiration dates on every single item because some people will just empty their pantries of all the old stuff hanging around (it gets tossed unless one of the volunteers wants it which no one does, some of that stuff was up to four years old), and put away I stayed another hour to organize my station, just the kind of minor OCD stuff that I like doing though if you were to see the condition of my desk and large and small work tables in the studio room in the house you would never believe it.

The other thing I did yesterday was upload to one of the glass art groups on FB the formulas for the colors of sand in the glass frit that I used on the drowned feather pieces. I had seen a post by someone looking for guidance so I thought I would share.

OMG, hundreds of people responded! They left comments, I got private messages, all very thankful and appreciative, several people said I should package it up and sell it. Nah, I was happy to just share it, not like I spent a month coming up with them, just a day messing around.

All but one of the Chinese fringe flower small trees are blooming,

something they haven't done well for a couple of years, and the little climbing jasmine is putting out its buds and the azaleas are opening their first blooms (still very pink out there)

so of course they're predicting a hard freeze Saturday night. Last night they were saying a low of 21˚, this morning it was adjusted to 25˚, and I looked just now and the predicted low is a very tolerable not so hard 31˚ so if it stays that way I won't have to cover the ponytail palm that takes two people to accomplish and all the new growth on all the other tenders might survive.

Well, it's almost dark and time to migrate to the couch with my book.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

just a couple of lazy days

Thursday was my morning at SHARE. It was a slow day, maybe 7 or 8 people came in for food, it was so slow I even organized the soup cans on the top shelf of my station. There are two food drives going on in town, one by the Boy Scouts and one by one of the churches. The Scouts dropped their food off Saturday, something like 1,200 pounds of canned and non-perishable goods. OK, I'm not sure it was 1,200 pounds but it was a lot. Carol called on Saturday afterwards and asked if I could come in Monday to help sort and organize since a lot of it will go in my station. So, yes, of course.

I took this picture off the Wharton Chat FB page. See all those boxes and bags on the table and the floor? That's not even all of it. There's another table behind them. Now all we need is hungry people.

Friday Pam and I went to an estate sale. We used to go on Thursday mornings when they start but then I started volunteering at SHARE. Actually when I started, it was on Saturdays while they were closed because of the pandemic. Anyway, when we were working at the antique store we would go on Fridays but when Pam dropped her Thursday at the store we started going then. This one was no great shakes, a large collection of porcelain flower sculptures which no one seemed interested in. We made one circuit through the house and left empty handed. The day was cold, overcast, and damp and I spent the rest of the day on the couch reading trying to get warm. Wouldn't even walk the dog. Pretty much spent Saturday the same way though I did walk the dog.

I finally started a new drawing 

but I'm hampered by omg she's going to talk about her health problems again my right wrist. I think it's my right wrist. I mentioned that at the tail end of the weird rash I couldn't make a fist without pain, well the rash went away but the pain didn't. It would loosen up during the course of the day but some nerve kept zinging me and my fingers would feel numbish. Marc said it looked swollen so for the past two days I've been trying to stay off the computer, off the keyboard, off the hand, using my left hand as much as possible. Anyway, I couldn't draw for more than about 10 minutes at a time great, just great...I'm going blind and losing the use of my right hand so last night I dug out the old wrist splint which of course was for the left hand but I put it on anyway backwards as it was and the hand immediately felt better so I'm headed out today to get a right handed splint.

Which I did.

Sunny day today but low 60˚s and breezy and while there is much to do outside, I don't feel like doing any of it. I did the piled up dishes earlier but I think I'll spend the rest of the day like I did the last two, drowsing over my book.

And I need to fill the bird feeders again. I need to get some different seed with less sunflower seeds for the cylindrical bird feeder that I repaired because the sunflower seeds don't flow easily and it gets stopped up.

Which I did, fill them, not get different seed. And as the wind had died down I also got out there and dug up a cart full of sow thistle. 

But now I really am going to drowse over my book. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

why does this shit always happen at the end of the day

As usual, the day after I publish a covid post, something big comes out and that something big is that over 95,000 people died of covid in January, the largest death toll for one month since the pandemic began. That's nearly 1/5 of the total deaths in one month. I wonder how many of those people were infected during their Christmas gatherings.

Tuesday was a fairly laid back day until...

I slept late, only waking when the alarm for my 9 AM pill taking sounded and I was deep in REM sleep. I've had several wakeful hours in the middle of the night three out of the last 5 nights and last night was no exception. I woke briefly before 6 and then sank back under.

After breakfast I set up the sprinkler since the promised rain was not forthcoming but my little temperamental sprinkler would not spin, or rather, it would not spin with the water on, it would spin freely in my hand giving it a push and I argued with that thing all last year so I threw it in the trash and went to the feed store and got me a new sprinkler. Set it up and went in to wash the dishes that were two days overdue, had lunch, moved the sprinkler around, walked the dog, saw two of my neighbors and stopped to chat for a few minutes, moved the sprinkler again at the far back flower bed where the poppies grow and the banana trees are and the hose will barely reach to the middle of that bed and I gave it a big tug, which I have done many times over the years to see if I could get it one more inch further and it gave. And when I say it gave, the PVC pipe coming out of the ground that the hose bib is on broke off at ground level and water started geysering up. By then it was 3:30. Turned off the water to the house and Marc and I dug it out a little to see if it was something we had the wherewithal to fix ourselves here and at 4:30 I called Rocky. He was just finishing up and would be right there so I continued digging it out and cutting the roots out while I waited for Rocky so he could see the best way to proceed. The goal was to just cap it off for the night so Rocky had cut off the part that needed to be replaced and I made a mad dash to El Campo before the lumber/hardware store closed which I thought was 6 PM and got there with 10 minutes to spare only to see that they close at 7. But, I got the stuff, called Rocky, I have the stuff and I'm heading back, and he was waiting in the driveway when I got back and the pipe was capped off and we had water to the house again. Further repairs to be made today.

the repair

And here's some spooky little woo woo, Monday I was talking with my daughter about the new stimulus package and she hopes it comes through because the company she works for will probably have to close in 6 months if it doesn't pass and that she'd have to have two jobs here and still wouldn't make what she makes now. That evening coming home from yoga I mentioned this to Pam and remarked that Sarah could job hunt in El Campo and Rosenberg as well. The next day, my email spam blocker report showed four spam emails about jobs, three of which were specifically related to El Campo. I have never before gotten spam for job opportunities in El Campo.

Well, the Republicans had a chance to disavow Trump and save what little shred of integrity they may have still had and they put on a good show of it for a couple of days with their speeches but they seem determined to embrace the lies and wackos with Lindsey Graham threatening to call in the FBI if the Democrats call even one witness against Trump in his impeachment trial coming up, as if we wouldn't want that. Ten Republican senators had a meeting with President Biden with a counter offer stimulus package that was 1/3 the cost of the Democrat proposal and he rightly rejected it as being too weak to solve any problems. As usual Republicans only want to give the very rich money they don't need and tell the rest of us to just suck it up. Schumer is going ahead to pass the stimulus package through a process called reconciliation. Watch the Republicans scream even though it's the same process they used for their trillion dollar tax cuts for the wealthy.

Saw these yesterday in the easement in front of the shop.