Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 27, 2015

Beautiful Moonlit Night
October 27, 2015

Again, we had an amazing fall day.  The sky was clear, the temperature was nice, and the day ended with a beautiful view of the moon.  Since the air was clear it made the view even better than usual.

This morning I got moving a little earlier than usual since Ron had a couple of jobs out of the office today and one was out of town.  We both had lots of things going on today that we wanted to get done. 

Once I arrived at the office, Ron left and was gone the rest of the morning and past lunch time.  I had customers to help, but the morning was slower than the afternoon.  One thing that came up was that my first three customers wanted to pay with $100 bills.  We don't like to take the large bills unless it is a large purchase, but I notice the banks prefer to give the large bills.  I took the first one since the man's purchase was large, but declined the next two on purchases under $10.

Ron came back for a while and then left on his other job and did a little shopping while he was out.  I wanted a comfortable backpack that is not too large.  This evening I went and got one closer to what I had in mind. 

After work, we met our friends for supper at Brownsville Coffee Shop on International.  They were busy with lots of folks who knew one another and it was a little noisy as they exchanged greetings from table to table. 

After my shopping stop on the way home, I got my camera and went to take some moon shots.  There was one of our branches down on the edge of the street that I had not picked up and I tripped on it and thankfully caught myself.  I do not need to break anything else.  That's what I get for ignoring that branch for the last two days and then walking in the dark.

We both spent the evening working on a variety of things around the house: laundry, dishes, etc.  It is amazing how quickly the house can get messed up.

This afternoon while Ron was out of the office, I played with a different quilt pattern.  I had a good time just using scraps to try out the pattern. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 25, 2015

Sunday and a Little Sunshine
October 25, 2015

I have mentioned before how the ivy around the large birdbath 
is taking over.  After all this rain it is bound to get worse.
In yesterday's blog I forgot to mention that the electrical power kept going off and on a lot during the late afternoon and early evening.  I was concerned that with Ron not here, I would have trouble getting up for church, but I actually managed to get up and make it to church on time.  I wonder who makes us late?

There were lots of small limbs to haul off

At Sunday School, we had a good group and a good substitute teacher since Ron was still in Corpus.  Since my brother-in-law is at Mom's, he brought her to church.  Beside the church building, a big tree was down from the winds and the saturated soil.  It was a very windy, misty morning with a cool north wind.  The winds continued until about 1:30.  After church I drove by the office to check on things before I came home and had lunch.  At the office, all was well.

Tree limbs everywhere! 
By 1:30, when the winds died down, I was ready to go work in the yard.  I spent an hour working picking up large and small branches and pulling weeds while the ground was well saturated.  I put things like that in a pile out back and Ron takes then to throw over the fence to the brush pile.  He has a very big pile waiting for his attention.

Weeds to be pulled 

An hour of work had me hot and thirsty so I took a 15 minute break before heading back out there for another hour of more branches and a lot of weed pulling.  The winds picked back up so I decided it was time to stop.  I was exhausted, I will admit, but I was glad to get it done.  While I was out there the second time, the sun peeked through the clouds for a bit.
After I got rid of the weed and in the background
 are the palm leaves I gathered in the front yard.
Back in the house, I made a couple of baking dishes of King Ranch Chicken; one for supper and one for the freezer.  Later I put one in the oven, timed to be ready when Ron got home.  My timing was just right and after he unloaded his car, we had a nice supper together.
My pile of limbs and weeds

Following supper and loading the dishwasher, I played "catch up" on my bloog for a while before going to bed a little early.  I had worked on taking paper off the backs of some of the quilt squares while I visted with our daughter-in-law for a while.
Progress on my quilt

October 26, 2015

Marvelous Monday
October 26, 2015

A beautiful fall day
Autumn actually started over a month ago, but it just got here today.  The temperature was down a little but the humidity was down a lot.  The sky was a crystal blue with only a few early morning clouds on the horizon.  There was a nice breeze and I would have loved to spend the day at the island looking for migrating birds as some friends did.  They said they had a very successful birding day.
 Beautiful palms against the blue sky
Instead, I started the day at the doctor's office for a yearly fasting blood test.  The nurse tried twice unsuccessfully to get the blood sample by digging in my arm and hand to find a vein.  She gave up and asked if I could wait for the male nurse to arrive in a few minutes.  Sure.  He did much better, only digging on the other hand.  There is a technician in Harlingen who is so good at getting blood samples!
 New growth on the mimosa tree
Before going to the office, I came to the house to eat breakfast and get my lunch, arriving earlier than I often do.  Ron left on one job and then returned for a while before going on another one later in the afternoon.  I spent my day paying some bills, balancing my checkbook, waiting on customers, filling some key hooks, and sewing for about 10 minutes.
 New growth on the ebony tree

Leaving the office, I went by the bank and then came home.  I just could not get over what a beautiful day it was.  I spent a little time in the yard taking some photos.  As I have mentioned, but trees are putting on new growth and think it is spring.  A few of the plants I planted a few weeks ago are finally blooming but nothing spectacular as far as they are concerned.
 Long branches of new growth on the oak trees
Ron stayed late to work.  He had a job called in that will take him much of tomorrow I think.  He got some of the things ready for that.  I ate leftovers and enjoyed strawberries for dessert.  I think I told you I had not eaten strawberries for years but my allergy blood test said I am not allergic to them.  I am enjoying them.
 Flowers finally blooming
The International Quilt Show in Houston is this week, so I am trying to get ready to go.  So much to do.  I have been going off and on for 30 years I think.  There were some years I could not go but I have enjoyed every one of the ones I have been able to attend.  I am glad the rain in Houston has stopped but it may rain again this coming weekend.
Shrimp plant with new blooms

Sunday, October 25, 2015

October 24, 2015

A Saturated Saturday
October 24, 2015

Three White Ibises.  The one at the top is immature 
so he is more gray and brown than white.

Since Ron was out of town, I did not want to promise to pick Carmen up early for helping me at home, so I told Mom to tell her I would text her when I was ready to pick her up.  I slept until about 8:30 and then texted I would pick her up at 9:30.  It was raining when I picked her up and that was the weather for the day.  Raining.  Raining.  and Raining.
Two White Ibises. 
 It was raining pretty heavily when I was taking these photos.
When we got to my house I asked Carmen to do my sewing room first while I went to get groceries and the I could sew when I got home.  Silly me.  It was much later before I got to the sewing.  I left for the store in a steady rain and stopped to take photos of these white ibises in a resaca in the rain.  Maybe I should write a song. "Three white ibises, sitting in a tree.  Two white ibises, watching the other three.  One white ibis getting very wet.  Do you think that I could have one, for my own pet?"  Maybe I should stick to taking photos and not writing songs.
One White Ibis in the rain.  
This one is almost mature - just some brown on his head.
When I got home with the groceries, I had Carmen clean the shelves in the refrigerator before I put up the fresh groceries.  We both worked in the kitchen for a while and I kept going to the computer to check on the weather situation.

 A young (immature) White Ibis preening his feathers in the rain

I put several chicken breasts on to cook so I could later make King Ranch Chicken.  Soon the house was smelling great, laundry was done, and house was clean.  It is so great to have Carmen's help!
Heavy rains at home.  Winds had picked up and so did the rain.
After I took Carmen back to Mom's house, I drove past our office to be sure all was well.  It was fine.  Back at the house, I started sewing and then an hour or so later, took a break to get the chicken ready to store for tomorrow.  I returned to sewing and made some progress on the quilt.  As with most tropical weather patterns, it would rain hard for a while and then sprinkle before again raining heavily.  That is fine.  It allows accumulated water to drain off between heavy showers.
My backyard in the rain
There was nothing good on TV.  I usually watch while I sew.  I was checking the weather often and was up and down a lot from the sewing table.  Late in the afternoon, the rains picked up to a very heavy rain.  There were a couple of times it got very heavy and so about dark, when things started to clear out, I was debating driving to the office to check on it when I saw an email from Mom saying she and Jim had gone to check and all was well.  I really appreciated not having to drive down there to check.
Looking across the resaca.  Water almost
 to the walkway.  That is unusual.
 I read until late in the evening and just relaxed not having to do things for anyone except myself.  It was a good day.

October 23, 2015

Get Out the Sandbags!
Patricia is Coming!
October 23, 2015

The day brought gray skies and patches of blue.
I was up very early Friday and did a few things at the house before I went to the office.  Ron had a job he had to go on, but I didn't know about it.  When I got to the office, it was locked with a "Be Back in 1 Hour" sign on the door.  I got to work and he returned in a while. 
It was dark outside much of the day
Ron was leaving at noon to go to Corpus Christi for the weekend for a flight certification class.  As a private pilot and instructor, he has to have the classes for a weekend every two years.  This was the weekend.  The sad thing is that the plans must be made months in advance and  there are few offered anywhere near us.  When he made the arrangements for this class, we had no idea it would be a major rainstorm weekend. 
Puddles formed, but there was no flooding
Before he left, he sandbagged the front door to the office and got the bags out for me to put on the side door when I locked up at the end of the day.  When he left, he had several errands to run in town and then had a job to do in Harlingen before leaving for Corpus.  It was 5:30 or so before he got finished there to leave. 
As I left the office, they were getting ready for the Friday 
night football game behind our office at Sam's Stadium.
We had rain off and on all day and it was heavier up toward Corpus.  As I mentioned a day or two ago, there were two systems that were bringing all the rain to Texas.  One was a cool front heading our way and the other was Hurricane Patricia in the Pacific heading toward Mexico and then Texas, with huge amounts of moisture.
The sky continued to darken
Once Ron left, I started cleaning and spent much of the afternoon cleaning our workbenches.  Then I swept the floors and straightened several items.  I filled key hooks and put away boxes of key blanks.  That kept me busy almost all afternoon.  There were few customers our on a rainy Friday afternoon, so I got a lot done.
After supper, part of the sky was clear (see the moon upper left)?
The sky was dark to the south and the clouds moved rapidly.
At the end of the day, I sandbagged the side door and then went to meet my mother and my brother-in-law for supper at Jason's Deli.  We had a very good supper and a nice visit. 
Leaving Jason's Deli, the sky darkened and the rain started.
At home, I relaxed and read a bit before doing some cutting of fabric for the quilt in progress.  It was a relaxing evening after a hectic day.
This was a good evening to be at home.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

October 22, 2015

Will it Rain This Weekend?  
If So, How Much?
October 22, 2015

Image result for free clipart weather

When you live along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, or for that matter, just about any coastline, rain is to be expected.  South Texas (and other parts of the state) had suffered several years of drought.  There would be occasional rains, but we were way below average and lakes were drying up.  Then the last couple of years, we have had an abundance of rain - especially this year.  Now we are in the middle of October and the days have continued to be hot and muggy.  Muggy means that the air is so saturated with moisture, you feel like you are in a humid hot house for growing tropical plants.

This morning when I got up, the humidity was 97%.  This evening we went to Luby's for supper and the windows were covered in condensation from the heat and humidity outside and the very cool air conditioning inside.  Along the Texas Gulf Coast, we keep an eye out for hurricanes and tropical storms.  Right now we are in a very strange situation.  There is a Pacific hurricane named Patricia.  It is now a Category 5 storm and is heading toward the western coast of Mexico.  The moisture from that storm is expected to impact much of Texas in the next few days.

That Pacific hurricane is adding to heavy moisture that is already dumping huge amounts of rain in Texas.  This afternoon and evening, a slow moving storm dropped over 9 inches of rain in a matter of a few hours near Raymondville, TX.  There were also some high winds involved.  People in the area that got the rain say you just see water as far as you can see in the fields.  It is VERY flat in this area and there is no where for that much rain to go.

Thankfully, there are few people who live in the worst hit areas, but over the next few days, it could be any area in Texas that gets hit with storms like that.  Ron and I had planned to spend the weekend in Corpus Christi, just north of that flooded area.  Ron has a flight class he has to attend every two years and this is the time for it.  I have decided not to go with him, but to stay here and keep an eye on things in case we get the rains.  Also, I don't think I would get to do the things I had planned while in Corpus if I were to go with him.

At the office today, we stayed busy again.  I am so thankful for the increase in business.  Ron was in the office much of the day.  He had to go out on one job before I got to the office so that a bank could open their doors for customers.  Then he went on another job this afternoon.  We had rain off and on all day, but it was not very much.  While he was out this afternoon, I had a couple of good sales and just before closing time we had another potentially good sale.  We have most of what the man needs and only have to order one item and then he will pick it all up Monday.

Several of my customers really were speaking softly today.  I had three or four older men over the course of the day who were really soft spoken.  I know my Cochlear sound processor was working because I had was able to have a nice conversation with one of the young ladies who came in today.  She grew up across the street from Mom and wanted to know how Mom is doing.  Her mom had almost the same back injury that my mom did and is in a rehab facility.

After work we met our friends for supper at Luby's.  Their granddaughter who is in the 4th grade, was with them.  She is a beautiful, confident young lady. She easily answered questions that I asked and has a winning smile.  We didn't stay to visit too long.  I think she was ready to go do some playing.  She had a long day at school and then Girl Scouts.  She was tired of sitting.

At the office, I printed out some note cards with photos from our New Mexico trip this afternoon.  I needed some new ones to send to absentees from Sunday School.

When I was talking about our heat and humidity earlier in this blog, I forgot to mention how it is beautifying Brownsville.  I can not believe the growth of all the plants in town this time of year.  The ivy in pots around one of the birdbaths in the yard is taking over!  The leaves are huge and the runners of ivy are stretching out in all directions.  I need to decide what I am going to do with it - ignore it or try to tame it.  Only a few weeks ago I had cut back a couple of plants by my backdoor and yesterday I noticed they are at least 3 feet above the height I had cut them to recently.  There is so much to be done in the yard, but the mosquitoes are keeping me from doing it.  All over town, trees are sprouting new growth.  Things are blooming and looking lovely.  

This weekend I am hoping to do a lot of sewing.  I did a little this morning, but hope to make real progress on a project or two  while Ron is out of town.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015

Quilt Project Continues
October 21, 2015

While any scraps can go into a scrap quilt,
 it is best if all of them are all the same type of fabric.
My choice is 100% cotton fabric.

It is hard to believe 2/3 of October is gone.  I have a friend who will be reminding me, any day now, that it is only 2 months until Christmas.  Another friend posted a note about it being time to order Christmas wreaths. 

Today at the office, time seemed to go slowly.  I was there a little earlier than most days and Ron was out most of the day, but at 2:30 I was hoping it was time to go home.  It wasn't.  In fact I ended up staying late, so it really was a long day at the office.  During the afternoon I was able to take the paper off a few more of the string pieced blocks.
Solids, prints, tone-on-tone; all mix together well.
This morning, shortly after I arrived at the office, Ron left on a job and said he did not think he would be gone too long.  A new salesman came in and I had customer after customer while I tried to talk to him.  He is with a company where we do a lot of our buying.  He reminded me that I had met him at the state locksmith convention last year.  He remembered me telling him about my Cochlear Implant to give me hearing.

The salesman and I talked about the Cochlear Implant in between customers and then also about Albuquerque.  He had lived there for many years, working for the same company at a different warehouse.  He is much quieter than the previous salesman from this company so it will take time to get used to him.  I had texted Ron to see if he was almost finished on his job and he said he could come in a few minutes.
Floral prints, cartoon prints, patterns; the more the merrier.
Ron showed up and I left them to the ordering and tried to eat my lunch while Ron was in the office.  He had to get a couple of things and return to the job he had been working on when I texted.  He was out much longer than I expected and I stayed very busy with customers most of the afternoon.

Lunch finally was thrown out after it had set on my desk for 3 hours.  I did get a little to eat, but did not finish it.  My brother-in-law, Jim, came by.  He will be here for a couple of months.  He is writing  a book and will spend time working on it while he is staying at Mom's house.  It was good to see him.  He is looking good and healthy. 
Dots, stripes, plaids; mix them all up and start sewing.
Ron's car had a radiator problem last night when he got home, so first thing today he took it in for repairs.  After work we were waiting for it to be delivered and finally we decided I could just take him to pick it up and then he would return to the office to work for a while.  I came home, fixed my supper and read for a while.  I am planning to head to bed shortly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 20, 2015

Quilt Group Gathering
October 20, 2015

The first two rows are now one unit
This morning I was up early to go to the doctor's office.  The visit was to get results from a couple of tests that had been run.  I arrived there at 8:15 and left about 9:50.  One of the tests was for allergies.  This was a blood tests and it tells you what foods you are allergic to.  It turned out my only significant concerns are for shrimp, crab, and lobster.  I mentioned to the Nurse Practitioner that I had never tried crab or lobster and she said, "Don't!"  I have known for almost 40 years that I am allergic to shrimp, so I have not tried other shell fish.  Turns out, that was a good idea.

The strange thing was that several other foods I have thought I was allergic to, do not show a positive response.  I will gradually, slowly, carefully try the ones I have been avoiding.  Those foods I have not been eating, include strawberries (which I love) but have avoided for about 5 years, cantaloupe (which gave me hives years ago), and a few others.  It would be nice not to be so limited in foods I can eat.
Blocks in the quilt in progress
They gave me a print out of those results and the results for another test to see if my body was absorbing my medications and I managed to misplace them before I got to the shop.  Ron went to the doctor after I got back, to get results of blood work he had done a couple of weeks ago.  He asked for another copy of my tests and they printed them out and put them in a sealed envelope.  It was the wrong tests.  It was regular blood work done last May.

After lunch I returned to the doctor's office and got copies of the correct tests.  Ron said he would be in the office the rest of the day and I could come home.  I accepted his kind offer and came home to clean up the house some before the quilt group came.  It had been a while since we had gotten together.
 One small section in progress.
Just before quilting time, our youngest son called and we had a nice telephone visit. He and his wife are doing well and he is staying extra busy at the store.  I tried to spend a little time in the yard, but the mosquitoes were all over me.  I just can't take it when it is like that.  I don't know if the city is spraying the area, but they need to do it again if they are.

Quilting group was good.  I helped Carmen with her quilt and she made some good progress and then I tried to work on my quilt but did not get far.  I had worked on it some during the afternoon and I love the way it is coming together.  It is going to take a lot of time, but I know I will love it when it is finished.
Stack of blocks still needing to have the paper
 removed from the backs of each block
Toward the end of the group meeting time, we got into a discussion about how much we have to be thankful for in our lives.  One of the ladies and her husband had driven Sunday into one of the poorer parts of town.  The roads are not all paved.  When the rains come, it is almost impossible to get in and out of the area.  We all agreed that we don't often remember to thank God for all that we have and to look for ways to help others who have less.  It was a good discussion for this time of the year. 

During our quilting time together we each work on our own projects and some are working on quilts to give away to those in need.  Carmen and I are working on quilts for ourselves or our families.  One of the ladies is working on a project that she will probably give away and another was binding quilts that the group makes to give away.  One was doing crochet work and Mom was mostly reading magazines. 
 The blocks are constructed on paper and then the paper is removed
After they all left, I talked  to our daughter-in-law in New Mexico.  I again was telling her how much fun we had there on our recent visit.  It was a great trip.

Five rows out of 14!