Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Planting in a Warmer World

Lordy, Lordy.

Texas is so big we have snowdrifts in the Panhandle, my Bradford Pear is blooming, and it's already time to talk tomatoes. And it is almost March. It shouldn't be time yet.

We are not supposed to be fertilizing the lawns yet,either, but many are. Rightfully, I think.

Climate change? yes. We have it. We adapt.

I'm looking forward to the new adaptations, especially if they are edible.

We are still behind on rainfall, but not as much.

The climate is changing. We have to change with it while leaving a world we can still live in.

My tomatoes will go in maybe a month early.

I look forward to them. I love strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches...oh, let's add cantalope, Jeruselum melon, Honeydew and watermelon. Raspberries. UMMM.

BUT nothing escapes the beautiful, elusive, full-bodied flavor of the first ripe tomato off the vine. It is indeed my favorite.

So it is time to plant again, ignoring the almanac, because climate---is changing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Search" by Robert Crais is Bittersweet for Man and Dog

I just realized I didn't turn on my tv in time to get the segment on war dogs with PTSD.
I wish I had. I read recently that the dogs don't get left behind anymore like HumVees and ditchdiggers. They come home.

I have read almost every book Robert Crais has heve written. Many are the bloody, gory, sensitive, make-you-pull-out-a hanky grisley detective stories featuring Elvis Cole and his partner, Joe Pike. They aren't just that. They touch feelings. Gentle, vulnerable ones. I admire that. He writes violent action scenes and always makes you care about the characters. Especially the young and innocent.

And sometimes Crais writes independents. Not in series. "Search" is one of those.

"Search" is his latest. The connection between real life and the book is the subject: a dog with PTSD hooking up with a multiply shot police officer with PTSD to solve a mystery. Crais never has a simple one. This is no exception. The dog is a major player. Her viewpoint is included.

I didn't know if I could read this one, though, after the prelude.

Crais can really write gut-wrenching prose when he chooses to. After the first chapter, I collapsed, sobbed, and read something else for awhile. I eventually got back to the book.

I think this may be one of his best. Really murky, convoluted plot. Pain, dog love, redemptive love by cop...Crais would probably be pleased to hear his writing brought me to collapse and tears. It is quite a talent. Not many have it. Oh. No booty call in this.

Good art deserves appropriate appreciation.

I gave it.

He earned it.

"Search", by Robert Crais. Be sure to read notes after, where he describes the real training and when he sped things up for artistic interest. I just think this is a winner.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Noticing the Big in a Small Life

A friend of mine has been healthily dieting for months. She has lost 17 pounds. I learned this after she wore old pajamas a few days ago for a midnight snack. Walking back to her room, she tripped over the now drooping pajama leg, fell, and broke her clavicle.

I called to commiserate with the danger of more narrow hips. She sniffed.

"I'll just have to shorten the elastic on the waistband," she said.

Did I mention she is parsimonious?

I haven't had a cold in years. Allergies, yes. Cold, no. Think I got one after the kid last week sneezed in my face--one foot away-- three times while I changed his diapers. Allergies didn't help.

I'm better. Doing the soup kitchen tomorrow. Drinking a lot of homemade soup at home.

I love spending time with my fifth-graders. They are so smart. To my astonishment, they are beginning to retain. I wonder if that has anything to do with my loving them and teaching, but I don't know.

A 90-yr-old friend died Sunday and was buried yesterday. Short illness. She was already packed when she got sick enough to go. Metaphorical, people. I went by to see her the day before she died. She had that intent, peaceful appearance of someone busy leaving and "closing the office".
She was so at peace.

For so many, what a boring week. For me, almost transcendent.


Thank you, Jesus. Sincerely. Heartfelt.

My fifth grade granddaughter just brought over scratch gingerbread cookies she made, still warm.

Just when I think life is good, it gets better.(Oh, just yum!)
Quiet lives have many events of importance.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Red eyes, sweet hugs and full bellies in a week

Today would have been my fourth day working at our Children's Day Out program except that one of my eyes started looking suspiciously bloody yesterday afternoon and the other was pinkish. doctor's office has added a nurse practitioner until 7 pm.

I was able to get in, get the pinkeye diagnosis, pick up the medication and get home before 8 pm. Called the director and cancelled today. Humph. I was looking forward to the Valentine party with toddlers and twos.

I worked three days, 5.5 hours daily, and found I needed only a half sandwich and fruit for lunch after this--with a diet Dr. Pepper. By yesterday, I had hit my stride. So many rules. I thought I knew them, but some more have been added.

Bureaucrats with no knowledge of early childhood development are making these rules. I would love to hear the explanation for "All children will wear shoes at all times, even while sleeping." We followed it, and the babies did sleep. they have shoes if we have a fire drill? If we have...what? Dirty floors? we would be marked up for that.

I loved it, and hope I will have a chance to do more.

Today, I look like either I am turning into a werewolf or I have been smoking joints all night. Kinda. By tomorrow, I won't be contagious, but I won't want to wear contacts for very long, either.

So I miss the soup kitchen. I like my job there, providing double packs of food and water to carry homeless folk over the weekend. After 3 months, some are beginning to talk to me. They come in all flavors.

What I hate is that, with current criteria for jobs, most of these folks, no matter how able, can't find longterm work because of history. They are trapped.

Some do get out. Not enough.

I have a new printer. Son hooked up and brought me over some scratch beef chili and didn't even sigh when I asked that it be with his homemade pinto beans. Beautiful day today. Tulips starting to bloom. I keep looking at my teetering, tight-budded Bradford pear and begging,"Not yet! Not yet!" Eldest granddaughter going to San Antonio as part of an honors band performance for statewide music educators. Don't know if she'll see the Alamo, but hope so. You see that tiny place and think about myriad troops attacking, and you just say wow.

Life....has a lot of meaning.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Politics: negatative. Planting onions? one positive thing

The clouds are grey and pregnant with rain, we all hope will land on us.

We need the rain.

Texas legislature may actually look into adding a new lake of firming up the old structures this session. We Need More Water.

Have some chicken vegetable soup simmering with rosemary, basil and oregano.Sure smells good. Highs in the 40s. We are lucky down here. I actually have the back door open for light and freshness.

Never mind the almost 4,000 microunits of mountain cedar. I'm taking my meds.

For the sixth time since 1984, the courts have declared Texas school funding to be deficient in the amounts, and illegal in the system of distribution. Nothing changes. Except two years ago, the school districts really were raped. No payback. Any extra money will go to lakes.



A great state for corporations, but you may have to hire from out of state, which legislators don't mind--gives them more constituents. Many school systems within can't produce competitive personnel, education-wise.

I hate how it is. I can't see any way to change it.

Guess I'll go plant some onions.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making new friends, the best acquaintance with those not human.

I watched my first professional football game this season, and it was the Super Bowl. Surprisingly good and entertaining. I tried to watch commercials. I was struck by how many were CBS productions. Ads not very good.

I checked email during the half. The trailers for Beonce advertised a cooch show. Beonce is better than that, but that is what it was, I think. Sad about that.

Eldest Son asked backyard privileges for a friend's dog while they all went to Cabelas. Midsized, athletic dog and I worried. Right about that.I got home--no dog. Good dog, though, and loving. His owner had been traveling awhile, and the dog was glued to my son's front door, eyes on his master's truck.

I went inside and coaxed him in with treats. Matt's wife and kids breezed in.Family, Male, neutered tuxedo cat, T.C. watched awhile and then to my terror dropped to the floor and ambled to his food. Hey. The dog's name is Butcher! The two played until Butcher's dad arrived to pick him up.

Peace and Love in the Valley. ; )