Tuesday, November 29, 2022

blue skies, rain of a different sort, and other changes

Three days in a row of sunny skies so of course they predicted rain for last night and today. If it rained last night it was very light, either that or a really heavy dew this morning. It's completely overcast, warm, and humid. Yesterday I used my little leaf blower to clear out the barn and clear the little patio outside the back door of all the leaves covering it, and by little I mean 9' wide by 6' deep where I laid down concrete squares. This morning it looked like this.

The big tallow in the little backyard did a major leaf drop last night and they are still drifting down. That cold spell triggered something because the maple, ginkgoes, and pecans are also raining leaves today. So it is raining, just a different kind.

Sunday I worked on two tasks, cleaning out the gutter across the front of the house over the deck 

and worked on clearing more vines. The gutter across the deck is problematic. It's not draining completely to the downspout at the end so water sits in the gutter and drips through a seam that is not sealed completely leaving a big wet spot on the deck which if left undealt with will eventually rot the wood in that spot. And during this hard rain while the rest of the gutter across the front of the house was doing its job, the section over the deck was pouring over like a waterfall. When I got the ladder out and took the screens off I found that it was full of dirt, so I cleaned that all out which is when I realized that it wasn't draining to the downspout. So now the end has to be lowered a bit so gravity can do its job. I do need to clean out the rest of the gutter to the other end but I need a taller ladder for that.

Here's my progress Sunday on the vines. I got the other short side of sheet metal out, spread out some of the mound of dirt on the right, and cleared all the vines up to the edge of the large metal raised bed.



My yoga class on Mondays and Wednesdays is coming to an end I think. Abby has been teaching for 10 years and she's more than a little burnt out coupled with she's been going through some rough personal stuff this year. There were no classes the last two weeks due to weather and the holiday and she was only going to hold class last night if I was going to come. Attendance has been low for months now and I told her there was no reason to hold the class just for me. I suggested she take the month off and reconsider after New Years. So that's where it stands now. Fortunately for the month of December, one of the attendees decided to get certified through her job in the school district, some program they offered, and is holding yoga class on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings. I won't go to the morning class as I go in the evening at Hesed House and also this way Abby can be in a class instead of leading it which she sorely needs at this point.

Here's my little winter garden. I thought I planted four cauliflower and five broccoli plants. I know the four are cauliflower because I bought those at the feed store. The broccoli my neighbor gave me and some cabbage that he had grown from seed. I thought I planted just the broccoli but judging by the shape of the leaves I think what I have is two broccoli and three cabbage. Time will tell I guess.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

rain and more rain and more...oh wait, what is that ball of fire up there

fall asters growing around the culvert under my driveway

Wednesday we had a rare thing around here lately, a warm clear blue sky day. Then it rained that night and Thursday predicted to have showers all day as well as the next two days but at least it's warming up. No more nights in the 40s, days in the 50s if we're lucky. At least for the next ten days which is as far as the weather app goes.

Thursday we got 3” of hard rain while I prepared the dressing, flooding the yard and filling the ditch. Fortunately it had stopped raining by the time we were ready to leave to go over to Sarah's house; dressing, butternut/cranberry casserole, and cranberry sauce in hand. We had a pleasant time, the five of us and an older widow ('older' she says, the woman is only 3 years older than me) who lives across the road from Sarah and Mike who Mike has adopted, and I did not take a single picture.

And apparently, because we did not get enough rain Thursday or the days and days of rain preceding Thursday, it rained again on Friday, a hard rain. I know we needed rain, begged for it all summer, but really, the powers that be can turn the fucking faucet off now! The ground is totally saturated. The fallow field at the end of the street looked like a shallow lake. So another rainy day, we streamed Andor, a Star Wars spin off, on Disney. The entire 1st season is available and we're 5 episodes in. This one is really good. Not all of them are, we watched the first episode of Obi Wan Kenobi and never went back.

The rain did stop for a while but then it thunder stormed all night Friday night, bands of hard rain sweeping through. Saturday morning the rain gauge measured a little over 2 1/2”, less than I expected from the sound of the rain during the night. The good news is that all this rain is over having moved through Friday night when they expected it to still be here Saturday. Instead we got a much awaited and longed for blue sky day, not too cold, not too warm.

So I meant to post this yesterday. But after writing I had to go run an early errand and then I got the last of the frit in jars and boxed up that I'm sending my friend in Canada. Back when I was much more productive and producing a lot of the small pate de verre pieces I would buy 5 pounds of every color. Well it turned out I never used some of that frit because the colors were so dense that in a casting they just looked black. I gave a lot of it away to my friend Gene who does fusing so when Bullseye announced a price increase coming up I offered the rest of the frit I don't ever use or won't ever use up to my friend in Canada because not only is the glass frit getting quite expensive, she has to pay high shipping costs to Canada. And then we watched a few more episodes of Andor.

It's supposed to get up in the low 70s today and dry so I'll be spending it outside for the most part, still have vines to cut back and the gutter over the deck needs to be cleaned out.

I'll end with a picture of Cat who likes to play in the bathtub while I brush my teeth at night.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

this and that and food

Woke to another rainy morning Monday, the same light rain as last Saturday, and at 46˚ we'd almost hit the high of 47˚ for the day, rained all day and apparently all night and I woke to the same rain today though it's stopped for now at midday. I had heard several people say the Farmer's Almanac predicted a mild wet winter for us this year. So far they got the wet part right.

The bird feeder buffet has been open for several days now but there is still one squirrel who doesn't quite grasp that the bird feeder has been moved to the shepherd's crook hanging about 5' away from the hood. 

I guess it's loathe to give up it's tightrope walking skills. I am finally seeing some birds though, even in this rain, the usual suspects...cardinal, titmice, chickadees, inca and white wing doves, and finally sparrows. I haven't seen any sparrows for months.

Several weeks ago we had the kitchen faucet replaced for many good reasons, it was old and corroded, off was to the left of center, and sometimes when you turned it on it would squirt water out the back of the handle (it was one of those single knob/handle lean right for cold, left for hot). Turns out it's one of those low flow jobs which is fine in a shower or if you have one of those water heaters that delivers instant hot water to whichever faucet but we don't. It still takes the same volume of water from the water heater to the faucet for the water to get hot, still takes the same volume of water to fill the sink to wash dishes only now it just takes longer for those to happen.

I did my grocery shop for the week yesterday instead of today since I needed to get the white bread and set it out to get stale for the dressing. That's my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner, that and cranberry sauce which I made last year and then forgot to take it to my daughter's house so it's been in the freezer all year. I'm also going to make a butternut squash/cranberry casserole. Our thanksgiving gathering is going to be small this year. Grandboy Mikey and Audra and baby Paisleigh will be staying in Arkansas, neither of the twins are coming in from their respective cities Dallas and Austin as neither one currently has a car, and two of my sister's grandkids plus one spouse (the wedding we went to this fall) are coming to spend the day with her so she won't be joining us either. So it will be Marc and I, daughter Sarah and SIL Mike, and grandgirl Robin.

I have a new recipe for stuffed acorn squash with Italian sausage, onions, garlic, spinach, cranberries, and pecans that I'm saving for next week but I wanted to go ahead and get the squash now. My HEB here in town has always been a good store but this last year or so not so much. They haven't had any winter squash really since 2019 except for spaghetti squash which we don't eat. All they had in 2020 was butternut and then in 2021 the seeds all sprouted in the compost pile and vines grew and grew and I eventually harvested close to 30 butternuts, ate our fill and gave away as much as I could. Consequently it's been well over a year since we've eaten any. Yesterday, the HEB didn't have any acorn squash or even butternut so I went to the Evil Empire who had plenty of both.

And as long as I was out I went to the library since I had about three pages left in the book I was reading so I'm set for the long holiday weekend. And speaking of such, I need to get in there and make cornbread and roast that enormous butternut squash. 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

bonfire, rain, and bodily explosions

Correction on my previous post...Murdoch does not own the Washington Post, I meant the New York Post.

It's Saturday and it was raining when I woke up, not hard but a steady light rain. The weather prognosticators say it's going to rain all day and so far, yes, and that's fine as long as it's this same steady light rain. Of course I'm pretty sure that means no Farmers Market this morning and last week, while it wasn't raining it was cold and windy and wet. I did not venture out so I don't know if anyone bothered to set up or not. I wouldn't have.

Yesterday I torched the burn pile, had quite the bonfire going there for a few minutes while it consumed all the dry monster rose bush prunings and the mass of vines that I've cleared so far and whatever else had accrued before I piled those thing on top. Then I worked on the vines for about 40 minutes before I went in for lunch.

Moving further backward in time, Thursday at SHARE was busy, the most people ever since I've been volunteering there. We filled 42 food requests, mostly medium to large families. The little waiting to be interviewed area up front was packed when I got there at 9, which is when we open, and stayed packed until about 12:30 (we close at 1 PM). We were short one of the volunteers that do the interviewing so one of the guys that work in the back got pressed into service, I've been demoted, he told me. (We like our little niches in the back.)

Speaking of SHARE, it has become my first go to if I'm looking for a specific article of clothing as they have better quality than the thrift stores and...free. This summer I got two pairs of capris, one jeans and the other a lightweight cotton with lots of pockets and this fall a really nice blue long sleeve cotton shirt from L. L. Bean and when I told Jan I was looking for a lightweight jacket of sorts (she was still bringing the winter clothes out and putting away the summer clothes) she brought over five or six items...no, no, no, oh hell no, yes, no, no. The 'yes' is a buttery soft tailored suede like (but washable!) jacket. I love it.

And Thursday night is yoga at Hesed House here. One of the things about yoga is that some of the asanas and movements put pressure on your intestines that cause you to do something we try not to do in public. Like fart. And so, much to my chagrin, during one of the core strengthening exercises, I did. Now, it's not the first time I have farted during a yoga class but they've been barely audible little things. Not this time, no no, it was a sudden loud explosion and fortunately it was quick. I knew I had a fart building up but how do you stand up and excuse yourself for a minute in the middle of class while you go outside to release it. I was trying to have the proper muscles clamped down so it would release slowly, quietly but no such luck.

Ah well, no one laughed. Out loud anyway.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

winter prep and let the circus begin

I know I'm behind reading and returning the compliment of a comment but this time change back to standard time has me sleeping late cutting my morning time short. I'm trying to catch up or at least get current but the business of the day is hindering that.

The weather is just dreary, cold and overcast when it's not raining and it's going to stay like this for the next 10 days. And we are keeping the thermostat down when the heat is on (and off at night) because we are on propane and need to get the tank refilled but it's expensive so we are nursing it until we get our next SS deposits. But do not fear, we are not freezing in the dark. We have two HeatDish electric space heaters that keep us warm wherever we have settled down. Plus I have a dog and a cat that share their warmth as I share mine with them.

Wednesday I finally moved all the tenders either into the garage or the house. Well, most of them. It may not look like it but I've actually winnowed out some of the small stuff. If they survive the winter I'll donate them to the garden club plant sale. 

The begonias will only get moved if we have threat of a freeze and I don't know what to do about the enormous pink and yellow angel trumpets. I'm disappointed in the yellow, it has not bloomed at all this year whereas the scrawny one I planted in the ground over at the shop that freezes to the ground every year has been blooming it's little heart out.

And yes, no progress on the vines. Just can't make myself get out there when it's overcast and in the 40s and 50s.

The republicans have officially taken the House if only by a slim margin, though they don't take control for another 7 weeks, and they are already proving to engage in the vendetta to smear Biden that they promised to do. They have already been in closed door meetings to extract a promise to investigate Pelosi and the Justice Department for their treatment of the defendants jailed for their participation in the J6 attack on the Capitol as well as pledging hearings on the FBI's retrieval of classified documents from Mar A Lago and an impeachment of Biden having just announced an investigation into Biden's and his family's ties to China to see if he is being compromised by foreign money, (ignoring that Trump asked China to interfere in the 2020 election and Ivanka's patents in China that were fast tracked after Trump was elected and that Trump has business dealings in China). One can only hope that those they subpoena to appear for questioning will ignore it just as the republicans themselves have done. And while the republicans turn the House into a circus and show themselves for the clowns they are who have no intention of governing, or even the ability to, (already threatening to shut down the government and force it into default if Biden doesn't reduce Social Security payments), top democrat strategists have already launched the Congressional Integrity Project to investigate the investigators, to expose their political motivations and the money behind it, and to hold them accountable for ignoring the actual work of governing and put them squarely on the defense. Politico has a good article about this. 

So maybe this is not the disaster we may think. It's doubtful that whoever ends up being speaker will be able to control the far right MAGAt wackos, they won't introduce any meaningful legislation and will obviously obstruct for the sake of obstruction showing the American population just how inept they are and I think Americans are weary of Trump/Republican divisiveness and meanness and hate and obstruction and vindictiveness now that they've seen what a real leader does, what Biden has accomplished for the country. Perhaps their antics will guarantee that democrats retake the House, keep the Senate, and the presidency in 2024, especially if they are stupid enough to give that loser Trump the candidacy for president.

Speaking of loser Trump...Rupert Murdoch no longer supports Trump and that means Fox and the New York Post and I read that three of Trump's top donors have also withdrawn their support. At his announcement at Mar A Lago, Fox news cut the live feed before his speech was over and people started to gather around the door to leave while he was still talking and security would not let them leave!

Good times. Just remember...it's their circus, their monkeys.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

a day with Robin and other miscellaneous stuff

Waiting for the next front to come in which it did on Friday and it rained. Saturday was cold and windy and wet, Sunday was a gorgeous day, perfect for working outside but I had plans with my grandgirl Robin, so OK, Monday, I'll get back out there Monday, except it rained off and on all day. Damn, can't work on the vines, can't play with my new toy.

Robin wants to sew an oversize hooded jacket with bunny ears, so we drove to Shopping Mecca to shudder the other Evil Empire but their good lord saved us as they are closed on Sundays which I had forgotten. On to the nearest Joanne's for a pattern and fabric only they didn't have the only pattern that looked suitable enough so we segued to crocheting. She also wanted to crochet a hat so we looked at ALL the yarn until she selected some and a crochet hook and then we spent the next hour or so looking at all the paint and brushes and markers and sketch books and cake decorating stuff and cookie cutters and fake flowers and scrapbooking and stamps and christmas ornaments and every other other craft thing before finally looking at all the fabric until we decided we had seen it all. I had no plans to buy any fabric but how does one resist? I found a nice bolt of cotton that I really liked, thought it would make a good summer skirt and really I need another one because (here's the justification) I've about worn out the two I wear all the time (only sort of true).

Years ago when Robin was still a kid and was coming for her summer visits I taught her how to crochet but we never really got any farther than a basic chain stitch but she picked it up quickly. She also took to sewing faster and better than her two older sisters. Anyway, once home she found a video tutorial for crocheting a hat/cap and started on it. The yarn she picked out is blanket yarn, big and soft and fluffy and a pain in the ass to crochet even if you know what you're doing.

But she persevered and got a good start on the hat band and as it was getting dark she gathered up her stuff and headed home. 

About midnight I got this picture.

She watched the video again and soldiered on through without any guidance from me. That's her mom, my daughter Sarah, in the picture as the hat turned out too small for Robin. Plenty of yarn left, she's going to try again.

Did I mention it rained all day yesterday? About 4 PM I started texting Abby that I wouldn't be coming to yoga last night and before I finished I got a text from her: Skipping...too gross out. We were of like minds. So since I wasn't going to yoga we started watching a new series, The Peripheral on Amazon Prime, based on The Peripheral (The Jackpot Trilogy) by sci-fi author William Gibson. Set in a technology altered future Flynne, a young woman trying to hold her broken family together, discovers a secret connection to an alternate reality as well as a dark future of her own (paraphrased from a search description). We've only seen the first episode which had some pretty hairy parts so if dystopian brutality puts you off you might want to skip it. It's intriguing though, centers around virtual/alternate reality and time travel in a way.

The only other thing we did was meet with the guy who handles our investments because I had to take a mandatory draw from my IRA as the government only lets you put off paying taxes on that for so long so we're opening a new account with that and reinvesting it.

10 AM and still only 49˚ out there. Overcast but should start clearing soon. Burn ban has been lifted so that's on the schedule for this week.

I've mentioned that Cat wants to be part of the puppy pile but when she plonks herself down so she's touching both Minnie and myself, Minnie is having no part of it. Up her head goes and she moves to the other end of the couch. The other night sitting on the couch with Minnie laying under the blanket on my left and Cat in my lap, Cat moved stealthily leaving her back half on my lap and slowly gently laying her head on Minnie's blanket covered body reaching across it with her front leg. Minnie never noticed and there we all stayed until it was time for bed.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

good news, a surprise purchase, and it's cold out baby

the toad lilies are blooming

I woke this morning, Sunday, to the news that the democrats held the Senate (50/49) with the Georgia seat still to be determined by a runoff so it's possible/probable (surely Warnock will keep his seat) democrats will have a 51/49 majority but even if he loses democrats will still retain the status quo. With 20 races still pending for the House, it's possible democrats can retain the majority but right now it's 204/211 favoring republicans. Either party needs 218 for control. If republicans do get control of the House, hopefully it will be a very slim margin, one that can possibly be overcome by bipartisanship with a few moderate republicans (if there are any of those). At worst, or best, if they do get a majority and start all those ridiculous investigations and impeachments they boasted about, they'll show the nation that they not only have no intention of governing but don't even know how to govern. If they shut down the J6 committee, the justice department should already have enough evidence and will continue their own investigations and indictments will still be forthcoming.

Friday was in the 80s and then a storm and front came through. When I woke up Saturday morning, it was in the mid 40s. At 1 PM it was 58 and windy but sunny. If you could be in the sun and out of the wind it was rather nice out. Hard to get out of the wind though. Friday night was supposed to get down to the mid 30s (it did). I have not moved a single plumeria or other tropical plant inside. This coming week lows will be in the 30s and 40s and then it will warm up some. So they may just have to sink or swim this week. I'm a little concerned about the nights in the 30s but I'm totally not prepared to bring everything in. (Haven't been out yet but looking out the windows on Sunday morning everything looks OK.)

I did something Friday that I never thought I would do as someone who thinks physical labor is a healthy activity. I always rake and sweep leaves out of the garage, the barn, and the concrete apron in front of the garage. Rake them into piles and then spread them out in areas of the yard where grass doesn't grow and then we had the deck built. Somehow when we did that it never occurred to me that I just added one more thing I would have to sweep leaves off of, being under a yew tree with an oak tree, small fringe flower tree and a crepe myrtle nearby. So Friday I bought a lightweight battery powered leaf blower suitable for those areas. 

It came Saturday, not powerful enough for the yard but I never rake leaves out of the yard anyway. They provide cover for insects to winter over and eventually get mulched down when Marc mows. If it wasn't for the rain yesterday afternoon and the wind I'd have been out there trying it out as soon as the batteries charged.

I have given up on the squirrel foiling hood, not so much because at least one squirrel overcame it but because I don't seem to be attracting any birds. No cardinals, chickadees, titmice of which there should be a steady stream this time of year hoarding nuts and seeds for the winter. No sparrows or wrens in evidence nor the little warblers that usually winter over here. Blue jays which I have never seen at a feeder and white wing doves are the only birds I'm seeing. So since it's been a hard year for the squirrels especially this fall with no pecans and no acorns I guess from the long very hot summer and no rain, I might as well let the squirrels have the sunflower seeds in my bird feeder so I put it back on the shepherd's crook. 

This is the third year in a row I haven't gotten a single pecan and no one else in my neighborhood is getting any this year either, perhaps even the whole area, not even the big native down the road that always always gives a profuse crop.

It's been a full week since I last worked on the old garden spot clearing out the vines. Today would be a good day except that I have plans to spend it with grandgirl Robin so I guess I'll get back out there tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

results of one kind and another

Well, it wasn't as good as we would like and needed but not as bad as it could have been as democrats had the best showing of any incumbent party that holds the presidency at the mid-terms in 40 years. Gerrymandered Texas, Georgia, and Florida kept their horrible republican governors (what the fuck is wrong with people?) while democrat governors held their own. Control of the Senate and House is still undetermined through some very tight races with votes still being counted and likely run-offs (Warnock and Walker for one, once again, what the fuck is wrong with people that Walker wasn't soundly defeated). It's possible democrats could keep both but likely, so 'they' say, they will lose the House which means no more progress on Biden's agenda. Hopefully, if republicans take the House and they start all those ridiculous investigations they will prove, once again, that they have no intention of actually governing but rather engaging in vindictiveness and it sickens me that McCarthy and Marge Greene (who was unfortunately re-elected but it looks like Boebert, at least, is losing) could be the leading republicans in the House. Not sure what it will mean for the J6 committee especially since both Cheney and Kinzinger are out. If democrats at least keep the Senate, they will continue to approve Biden's appointees/judges and keep whatever horrid bills the House comes up with in check. If democrats lose both, well, Biden still has veto power. In local races, democrats did well, retaining and gaining some seats, though some losses, so, so much for republicans' much ballyhooed red wave, even Trump's chosen candidates did not do well. Hopefully this will be the death knell for his grip on the republican party though I don't expect the GOP to finally find it's integrity even if they do sideline him since they will continue on their MAGAt path.


Here's a reminder of the last progress picture I posted of clearing out the overgrown garden beds taken last Friday.

And Saturday's progress. I got all but one section of the small white raised bed out and worked toward the small sheet metal bed.

I also got the bougainvillea in the ground.

I did not work on that project on Sunday, giving myself a little break, but I did get compost and fertilizer turned into the dirt and got my pansies in. Turns out I didn't have enough, need 1 1/2 more 6-packs.

Also got the little violas in a pot on the deck.

Back on the big project, this is Monday's progress. Got the last section of white raised bed out and one short and one long side of the smaller metal raised bed. I may have to put further work on this on hold til it gets a little cooler as I was overheated by the time I quit after about an hour. Got back to the house, splashed cold water on my face and neck, stripped naked and stood under the fan on high until I dried off enough to put on some clothes but still had to stand under the fan a while longer. Just would not stop sweating.

The sky Monday evening on my way to yoga class in El Campo, taken through my dirty front windshield.

Last week my night blooming cereus bloomed again! I've kind of lost count but this is the 5th or 6th bloom cycle this year. There were just 7 instead of the 20+/- it had been putting out but the flowers were huge! And because it bloomed Friday night when that little front came in they were still mostly open Saturday morning.

Monday, November 7, 2022

tomorrow is election day so please consider your vote carefully

I'd like to point out a few things to those who have not voted yet especially if you are leaning republican, please consider what these republicans are saying. When they tell you who they are, believe them.

Wisconsin’s GOP gubernatorial nominee Tim Michaels said the quiet part aloud: "Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I’m elected governor.” (Many of the republicans running for secretary of state are election deniers and plan to make sure their candidate wins regardless of the popular vote, in other words, your vote won't count.)

Republican Mike Lee: It will be my objective to phase out Social Security. To pull it up by the roots and get rid of it. (And while some current republican legislators are saying they aren't going to get rid of SS just reform it, what they mean by 'reform' is basically 'get rid of'.)

Republican Mehmet OZ running for the Senate in Pennsylvania thinks women's reproductive health care decisions should be “between the woman, her doctor, and local political leaders”. (Once again, republicans have mostly stopped talking about abortion bans the last few weeks but make no mistake, they intend to pass a national ban if they get control of Congress)

I don't have a specific quote but I read many times that republican legislators will end the student loan debt relief program if they get control of congress. I'm pretty sure it's not just democrats struggling with usurious student loan debt.

Again, no specific quote but republicans have repeatedly said that if they get control of the House they will end the J6 Commission, release the 'political prisoners' that participated in J6, basically making it OK to try and take over the government by force; they will impeach Biden and undertake investigations into their political opponents as well as the FBI, the DOJ, and the IRS in retaliation for bringing law breakers to justice; if they get control of the House and the Senate they will end aid to Ukraine and hand it to Russia on a silver platter; and they will try to undo everything Biden has done.

Here are some of the more outrageous lies republicans are telling about democrats:

According to Republican JD Vance, Democrat Tim Ryan is planning on "flooding America with illegal aliens and then using American tax dollars to fund gender reassignment surgeries for those aliens". (Republican efforts to target 'gender reassignment' medications have negatively impacted people who need these drugs for other reasons like stopping early onset puberty in young children.)

Also J. D. Vance: Democrats are in league with the drug cartels. If you wanted to kill a bunch of MAGA voters in the middle of the heartland, how better than to target them and their kids with this deadly fentanyl? And, man, it does look intentional. (Besides being patently absurd, efforts to target the drug cartels inside Mexico actually collapsed under Trump.)

Republican congressional candidate Yesli Vega claims democrats are passing legislation that would jail parents for not conforming to 'woke culture ideologies'. Whatever the fuck that means, no specific legislation mentioned of course, there never is just wild accusations. (Republicans in Texas at least want parents investigated and jailed for child abuse if they support their children's gender identification as anything other than cisgender.)

Other things republicans want you to believe:

No one wants to work anymore, just live off government money. (Unemployment is at it lowest level historically and job creation is at it's highest historically.)

No manufacturing in America. (Biden has created 700,000 new manufacturing jobs by inducing companies to build new factories in America instead of overseas.)

Biden policies are strangling the oil and energy industries. (Whatever new restrictions proposed were never actually imposed, Biden signed more oil leases on public lands in his first year than Trump did, and oil companies doubled their profits over this same time last year instead of lowering prices and are in fact responsible for the high cost of gas and energy.)

Biden policies are responsible for inflation. (Republicans have voted no on every bill put forth to address inflation which is worldwide, caused by countries shutting down their economies for covid, recovering economies faced with high demand and low supply caused by covid because no work force to produce goods no one was buying anyway, Russia's invasion of Ukraine affecting the global economy. Inflation is starting to ease in some segments of the economy.)

Biden has opened the southern border and illegals and drugs are flooding in. (Biden worked a deal with Mexico to help stop illegal immigration from their side, over 2 million arrests of people crossing illegally have been made this year alone, the most of any previous year, and large amounts of drugs have been seized. Contrary to republican talking points, most of the illegal drugs come through our airports or ports of entry, not across the border.)

Democrats are tax and spend. (Only those making over $400K and up, 1.8% of the population, will see a modest increase in their taxes, corporations will have to pay a minimum of 15%. The national debt always increases under republicans while democrats always reduce the deficit which we are already seeing under Biden.)

The republican answer to every problem is to give the wealthiest Americans, the 2%, and corporations big tax breaks, making them even wealthier, putting the burden of raising revenue on the shoulders of the working poor and what's left of the middle class.

And if you are voting in Texas please remember that Greg Abbott is responsible for:

consolidating his power circumventing the legislature and overriding local officials via executive measures forcing his agenda on the population.

our no regulation power grid which prevents power sharing during high demand times which has still not been upgraded or winterized, it's the same as it was when it failed and 246 people died.

the current high electricity and gas prices as he authorized the highest possible rates after the winter storm two years ago.

permitless open and concealed carry of guns which the police departments were against and which makes their job harder and has resulted in increased gun violence.

increasing the supply chain problems with his political stunt of thoroughly searching every truck and car that crossed the border causing millions of dollars in spoiled and ruined produce.

Under Abbott's hand Texas has/is:

the most school shootings and his fix is to send schoolkids home with DNA kits so their mutilated bodies can be identified.

one of the highest maternal death rates in the country.

one of the highest property taxes in the country.

one of the most uneducated states coming in at 43rd with 50th being the least educated.

39th in percentage of population living in poverty with 50th being the most people living in poverty.

the most uninsured state in the country with 19% of people under 65 without health insurance because he refuses to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country preventing women from getting the health care they need until they are on death's door making their survival that much more difficult.


Saturday, November 5, 2022

the mothership, the captive, the next big project and one small one

Monday evening a front started moving in from the west. It looked like the Mothership edging into view. Somewhere around 4 AM long deep rumbles of thunder started but I never did hear any rain. Tuesday morning it was wet and gently raining and continued to rain into late afternoon, the perfect rain that we needed to soak in.

Tuesday I had my semi-annual teeth cleaning and she was running behind, had to wait 45 minutes. She does a good job, no complaint there, but I wish my dentist had a different hygienist because she's a mis-informed, gets her 'news' from Fox, republican. I don't know if she a MAGAt cult member but she was going on today hitting all the republican talking point lies...no one wants to work just live off the government money (so why is unemployment at an all time low?) and then she complained about McDonalds raising wages to $12 an hour and now the price hamburgers is going to go up (to which I replied I would gladly pay an extra 10¢ for a hamburger so the worker could make a living wage) (as if $12 an hour is a living wage), there's no manufacturing in this country anymore, regulations are killing the energy industry, all this green energy initiative wasting money and what's the point since China and Iran aren't doing anything and she doesn't believe in global warming anyway and what about those poisonous electric car batteries that are expensive to replace and people charging their electric cars will cause blackouts in Wharton (right about now I was internally shaking my head at the ignorance). About the only one she missed was the 'crisis' at the border. She was all over the place jumping from one thing to another. About all I could do to refute her idiocy with her fingers in my mouth was to say 'not true' plus I didn't want to spend an extra hour in the chair while I countered her assertions with facts and achievements of Biden's administration. Wouldn't have mattered anyway.

I've started cutting back the mound of vines covering my raised beds from the garden I had over at the shop which after the flood was filled with weeds and seeds and after fighting it for a couple of years I finally just abandoned it and the virginia creeper, briar, native passion flower vine that does not bloom overwhelmed the area, probably some wild grape vine in there too. Kudzu got nothing on our shit. My goal is to cut away a garden cart full every day until I finally get the ground exposed, the pieces of raised bed removed and the dirt spread out so it can be mowed over. Monday I uncovered a small hackberry tree and excavated two tomato cages hauling two garden carts worth to the burn pile which is a good thing since it rained all day Tuesday. This was my progress after Monday (the front half looked like the back half before I started).

there are 4 tomato cages in there still to be uncovered

Wednesday after I got back from doing the grocery shop I spent an hour and another cart load and excavated two more tomato cages. Further progress.

two more cages left

And Thursday afternoon another half hour and another tomato cage. One more to go and then I'll dismantle the little plastic raised bed before I start on the other two raised beds of wild growth.

Our most recent cold front is just a memory and if I'm going to plant the bougainvillea and divide the bird of paradise and plant half of it in the ground I should do that soon, like now, before it gets too late. And pansies! Time to get the pansies in.

Another hour and Friday's progress (and I am soaked from head to crotch). 

After lunch I did pull the bird of paradise out of it's pot, divided it up, dug a big hole for one half and got it in the ground, then put the other half back in the same pot. If/when we get a freeze I'll try to protect the one in the ground this winter but if it doesn't make it, I've got the one in the pot which will winter over in the garage.

And because I wasn't tired enough, Minnie wanted the longest of the long walk because she didn't get one yesterday.

In case there was any doubt about Cat settling in and making herself at home.