Diversity & Goodwill

I just finished oiling up my butcher block/chopping boards. I had ordered the food grade mineral oil from Amazon.com some time ago, but hadn't gotten around to applying it yet.

I hate oily things on my hands!

If you do this, makes sure you order food grade mineral oil.

I have oiled one side. I will let them sit for awhile and then do the other side. I should have done this a long time ago. But I hate oily things on my hands!

I watch the tropical storm footage on TV between daily tasks. The many stories are so sad. How awful that all those people went to a shelter, it flooded, and they were moved again.

I imagine they will be shuttled around like livestock for some time while they get this figured out. Just putting one foot in front of the other and getting by.

And then there's the young mother who was trying to save her child. Saved the child, but she perished. Boy, so many stories and so much tragedy. 

As I watch strangers linking hands to create a long arm from land to water to rescue people in cars, I sometimes tear up from the many displays of people helping other people. 

We are all different in color and ethnicity and politics. But when something like this happens, all our differences seems to go to the wayside, thank goodness. 

And we come together as people in the midst of tragedy to help one another in whatever way we can.

All these people, worn out and wondering when they'll step foot inside something they can call home again. They are showing so much courage in the face of adversity. 

Some haven't had water or food for some time. Some with pennies in their pockets. Or nothing in their pockets at all.

People that choose to stay in their homes, hoping beyond hope that they will make it through. I can't blame them for not wanting to leave their homes. But they are risking so much. Their very lives.

Many just need a hug or an encouraging word. They are traumatized and slogging through water and worn thin. 

Never knowing when they might step off into a treacherous hole and be swept under. Water, so much water!

My, this is a testimony to courage! 

I hope that it lights a fire under all the hate in this country that has reared its ugly head in the past months, and proves to everyone that we are much stronger together than apart.

If you saw video of that human chain of individuals that joined hands and rescued the elderly man from the SUV, then you know that we can do so much when we join together as one. 

Our commonality is that we are all human. And I do think humans are intrinsically good at heart.

I'm tired of what is tearing this country apart. I'm so tired of hearing hateful rhetoric that does no one any good.

We are Americans. Our country was founded on diversity and courage and goodwill. Everyone just needs to get along.

Please, let's just all get along.

A Strange Occurrence

Yesterday I decided I'd better get out and get some groceries, pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy, and get gas before it goes up too much. 

First I went to the pharmacy. There was a Honda in front of me. But the car wasn't in the drive-thru lane. It was up right to it, but not in the lane. I couldn't get around it. What to do?

I sat there for a few minutes, debating my choices. Was someone hurt inside the car? I couldn't see anything from behind. 

Was there something strange going on? Like maybe a robbery? And they were blocking anyone getting to the window? (I have a vivid imagination I suppose.)

Should I get out and see if whoever it was needed help?

I got out of my car and approached the driver's door, albeit a bit hesitantly. You never know if someone is carrying a gun and you might get shot for your effort. 

Yet what if someone had had a heart attack or something and was slumped down in the seat?

I had to knock on the window, as the woman was turned the other way. Then I saw that she was on her phone. What the heck?

She put a finger up, as if to say "just a minute."

After a short time she ended the call and rolled down the window. "I was on an important phone call," she said. 

I stood there kind of in shock. I was having to switch from scared mode to irritated-as-heck mode fast.

She didn't want anyone to get ahead of her in the drive-thru lane, it appeared, but she wasn't ready to go through it. So she thought it was okay to block the lane to others and sit there on the phone?

People never fail to surprise me anymore. 

I said: "I thought you might be hurt and I came to help."

No, she was just on the phone, she said. She didn't see me behind her.

She wasn't looking.

Why didn't she pull into a parking space to conduct her important phone call? I wanted to ask her. But I didn't. I kept my mouth shut and walked back to my car.

I don't go out much. I hadn't been out in a week. 

I don't like traffic. I don't like crowds. 

And I can't stand rude people.

I had gotten out of my vehicle to help her and that's all she had to say? Had she been raised in a barn?

What would you have done?

I am so happy to see strangers helping one another in Texas however. All manner of wonderfully heartwarming deeds of kindness.

It does my heart good to see all the folks rescuing animals too. I'm so, so grateful to them. 

Just goes to show you that there is still immense good in this world.

A Spice Rack

As you can see, I found a spice rack. It was on eBay for $15 with free shipping. 

I had a hard time finding a place to hang it in my small kitchen. But since I don't use the kitchen cabinets, I hung it in front of one.

The sugar and tea bag jars then went on the dough bowl. 

In a small kitchen, organizing on trays or other surfaces helps maximize your space and reduces clutter.

I added the clear vintage jars I found at the antique mall to my grouping in the kitchen windowsill.

I'm still watching the coverage of Tropical Storm Harvey in Texas, as I know many of you are. 

They are needing food, baby formula, diapers, clothing. People with boats to help rescue folks. Everything people need when tragedy strikes and they have nothing.

So much need. But so much goodwill. At a time like this, people have to come together and help one another.

 August 2017

Twelve years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans.

Positive Thoughts To Texans

I've been following the news coverage of the devastation in Texas. I feel so sorry for those that are losing their lives, losing their homes. 

So many families having to stand on their roofs waiting to be rescued. Reminds me so much of Hurricane Katrina.

Mother Nature is a wonderful thing on so many levels. But like all wild things, weather can get really rough. 

So scary. 

And of course it isn't just people to be concerned about. Think of all the animals there too. Pets and livestock, etc.

A hurricane is one thing. But the aftermath of this one, the rain storms, are causing so many folks dire problems. I watch TV and just can't believe the level of rain water I'm seeing. 

That water has nowhere to go. And the roads and highways are flooded out and now gone from view.

They are saying that this won't be days, won't be weeks or even months. They're saying this one will take years. Once again, somewhat like Katrina.

I recall when living in East Texas watching from my yard as bus load after bus load of displaced people were brought down the highway into town. 

Just think of the family heirlooms and photos that will be lost to so many during a tragedy such as this. But then that dims in comparison when it comes to losing lives.

I believe the first person to die in all this was actually due to a fire. In all this moisture, imagine losing a life due to fire.

The government officials have a long row to hoe. So many homes without power and no telling for how long. That is, for those that still have a home that isn't under water.

They're looking at possibly 50 inches of rainfall. Wow.

On a lighter note, someone wanted to know where I got this clock. While I'm thinking about it, I wanted to address this question. I got it a year or so ago at my favorite antique mall in Jenks, OK. 

It is actually a Pottery Barn clock. Couldn't pass up the good price it had on it.

I doubt Pottery Barn is still selling this particular clock. But then I don't know that.

For those of you with loved ones in Texas and Louisiana, I do hope you get word from them soon. I hope they are safe.

This is a landmark event that will be ongoing for quite some time. They will be needing volunteers and housing and everything one needs for day-to-day life.

I imagine that soon we will be seeing the construction of temporary homes as we did with Katrina, as many of the displaced will have nowhere to go.

We love our homes. We sometimes take them for granted. This crisis will make us all thankful for the very roof over our heads.

Snippets In Time

I hope that none of you were in the path of Hurricane Harvey. The weather says there will be rain for days. So the worst is probably not over.

I have just taken some photos around my apartment. There is no rhyme or reason for them. Just snippets in time.

I always love to rescue old photos at antique malls. I don't know whose kin they are. But I will gladly add them to my little family.

I cut back many of the petunias on the patio yesterday. They were drooping sadly and I didn't think they could be resurrected. Sad to see them go. But they are annuals, only meant for a season.

I always love my one morning cup of coffee. I add Coffee Mate and a little bit of sugar, then sit down and sip it while I read email.

Charlie on the patio staring at me yesterday. I love how straight his ears stand up. My little lovey boy!

Happy Sunday, wherever you are!

The Patio Late August

Not much is blooming on the patio right now. Even the Black-Eyed Susans are drying up. 

One lantana plant is still putting out blooms.

I put the purple gazing ball in the galvanized container with the purple potato vine. The purple on purple appealed to me.

An occasional daisy sprouts up amid the other plants in the container to greet the sun.

I'm not sure what this sedum is called, but it's putting out tiny lavender flowers.

The patio critters are still giving Charlie quite the show. The squirrels delight in racing across the top of the fence to aggravate him.

Is your garden lush or is it drying up this last hot week of August?

Fast Taco Soup

I moved the Breville smart oven before I did laundry last night. I decided it's really too heavy to move each time.

Plus the Breville, which I've used extensively, has been acting a little hinky lately. I'm hoping it's not going out, because it's kind of expensive. And I really do love it.
If you look closely, you can see what I picked up at the antique mall earlier in the week. Three vintage jars. 

They were a couple of bucks apiece. I just love vintage jars. So many things you can do with them. At three for less than $10, I thought the price was too good to pass up.

I made taco soup in my electric skillet. I will eat it for a few days, then freeze in individual baggies for quick meals.

Sometimes I make cornbread to have with it. On this day, I threw some Fritos in and topped with cheddar cheese. Yum!

Taco soup is a quick meal. Ground beef, various cans of beans, one can whole kernel corn, taco seasoning packet, Ranch dressing packet (I use half of each packet) and a can of Rotel. 

Some people like to make their own seasoning, and I think I might do that next time. I think the original recipe had additional cut up tomatoes, but I don't add that. 

This time for beans, I added a couple cans of pinto beans, black beans and navy beans. Use as much as you desire.

Just cook the ground beef. Add the beans, corn, seasonings and Ro-tel. I let it simmer for about 15 minutes. I used to make it in my crock pot, but it's faster just adding everything to the cooked ground beef.

What is your favorite go-to meal? Do you like to use the crock pot and make freezer meals for later? 

Let's share ideas and maybe we'll all have something new to cook and maybe to freeze for another day.

Old-Fashioned Life

Last week when the entire apartment complex had a power outage, I decided I had to break down and get a cell phone.

The woman next door is on oxygen full-time, and when I knocked on the door that evening to ask if their power was out, her husband was in the back room. So she had to answer the door.

I didn't realize all the aggravation she had to go to until I was leaving and she got up to see me out. She has to carry that rubber tubing of oxygen around while watching that she doesn't trip over it.

Their little dog, meanwhile, is barking and weaving in and out of her legs about to trip her if she's not careful. 

So I called the place I used a few years ago, Consumer Cellular, and ordered a simple flip phone and a $10 plan.

It's an old folks' type phone and an old folks' type cell phone company. But that's what I wanted. 

I didn't want bells and whistles. I didn't want complicated. Because I will only use it if I have to. Like maybe call the number on my insurance card for car assistance if I happen to have car trouble.

Otherwise the power will be turned off.

Just a plain old phone that has an emergency number in case "I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up." And nice big numbers as you can see.

When I go out, I want to remain unplugged. I'm what you'd call "old school". 

I think it's the epitome of rudeness when someone is on their phone while a store clerk is checking them out. Where are their manners?

Sometimes I apologize for them once they've taken themselves and their purchase and their phone conversation on out the door. 

The response is always: "Yeah, happens all the time."

Well in my book it shouldn't happen. That person standing on their feet, maybe making minimum wage, deserves a little respect. And maybe a "hi, how are you today?"
One of you made a comment about "instant everything" recently. I forget who it was. And that phrase stuck with me.

Maybe there's just too much instant everything. Maybe we need to think more instead of having technology thinking for us.

I don't want instant communication when I go out. 

If it makes me an old fuddy-duddy to carry a flip phone, so be it. 

If I stand out like a sore thumb because I'm one of the few people not staring at a phone, then I'm proud to be that person.

Instant is not always better. 

Sometimes there's something to be said for being "old-fashioned."

Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we're too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone. Steven Spielberg
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_technology.html
Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we're too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone. Steven Spielberg
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_technology.htm