We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – A Place of Their Own

I was thinking back on my very own first place. I grew up sharing a room with my sister; money was tight for my single parent mom. We had bunk beds for almost all our time in her home and shared one black and white 13 inch television; which weighed half a ton to move for cleaning. (The things you remember are strange, eh?)

Hum, it did not happen for me right away because I went into the military at age twenty. The open bay (barracks) environment during basic training was weird at first since there was always someone around due to the flight having 50 inhabitants. Thus no such thing as privacy ever! And men drill instructors would ‘walk the floor’ and thus we all kept covered no matter the time of day sleeping in tees, undies, and socks; so at reveille 50 souls would bound to the rest room in waves to get dress and out the door in ten minutes. A major feat don’t you think?

The barracks at Keesler were more user friendly, rooms with two women per on a long hallway connected to a common day room for television.  Not a bad arrangement then again some privacy but the only space that was private wasn’t really was the wall locker. Everything had to be in its place inspection ready. YET the rooms had a door. OOOOOOOh, how lovely the first taste of security. LOL

My next station was at Clark AB in the Philippines. OMG I loved that tour it was a shocker and I learned so much about myself and the world. My roommate was Becky; she was a flipping RIOT to hang out with. One thing here I will note, she was lesbian and told me the first day I moved into the room we shared and I learned about “the Family.” So, here is a dilemma it was 1986 and no such thing as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in place. The Air Force did have an honor code we were supposed to live by yet, why screw up a total stranger’s life because they make different decision which did not actually harm others.

Was I ever uncomfortable with her sexuality?  Noppers, because we had a defined relationship:  co-worker, room mate, and friend. Secondly, I was not attracted to her, her partners, nor were they attracted to me. (That I know of....LOL)

So, I kept her ‘secret’ because I really did not give a crap even though I could have been brought up on charges of dereliction and other non-sense for not turning her in. Even worse, our chosen paths had placed us in the Electronic Security Command ---- Top Secret nonsense thus punishment would have been swift and fierce.   Big Whoop Tee Do……

Here is another kicker folks……………… I will wager to say here. Most serving today do know of others who are Gay or Lesbian serving their country and just press on just like I did.

What got to me thinking about this issue:  I was watching the Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearings and Mr. Jeff Sessions of Alabama (my birthplace; he tends to wax on my last nerve with his pompass, superior air) and just have to shake my head.

He wants to make a big deal over her tenure at Harvard not allowing the BIASED military to have full access to students based on her opinion of the military’s stance on homosexuality. The kicker is, by federal law (my understanding) the military is supposed to have access to students for recruitment and they did have access through a veterans’ organization for the record. On the other side, the military is a discriminating organization which flew into the face of human rights which was against policy for Harvard.

I guess Mr Sessions would have a hard time knowing sometimes the right thing to do is just SHUT THE HELL UP no matter what the popular legal decision is at the time.

Now, I have heard all kinds of crappola about gays serving in our nations military. Ladies and Gentleman, I implore you to use your brains. They are already serving and have earned a place of their own among our ranks.

Sticks Tongue out at Hurricane Alex………..runs like the wind.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wake Up to a Weather Alert

ACK! Seems Tropical Storm Alex has been busy during the night. I woke to find this email from Governor Perry's Office.

"Gov. Perry Issues Disaster Proclamation for Tropical Storm Alex

Tropical Storm Alex poses a threat of imminent disaster along the Texas Coast in the counties of Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Webb, Willacy, and Zapata beginning June 27, 2010, and continuing.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your e-mail address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact support@govdelivery.com.

This service is provided to you at no charge by Office of the Governor.

GovDelivery, Inc. sending on behalf of the Office of the Governor · P.O. Box 12428 · Austin TX 78711-2428 · 800-843-5789"
So off I trot over to NHC @ NOAA to see the path because once the storm tracks into the HAWTER deep waters of the Gulf; they tend to pick up strength. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
The next 24 hours will determine how the storm will land either way looks like we fall into the right side of the storm no matter where it will make land fall.  Another point, since our internet service provider has its servers housed in Brownsville; we may be off line after Wednesday. 
I guess this afternoon hubby and I will be doing FOD walks to ensure no loose tools, toys, branches and such items will become missiles.  Saying a little prayer for those who have already lost lives, been affected, and are in the path of this storm.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Size of Their Toys

I just love my husband.  The man is not wordy though; he is a study in 'industriousness.'  Unless there is a game on; he is working and piddling around our place.  This weekend with new limb trimmer he was out trimming branches off our front yard trees.  It made a huge difference and opened up our front yard. 

The next major job will be hiring some help and trimming the tree that is coming close to some power lines on our property.  I just wonder if there is any way to get the power company to turn off the power while that is being done.  I am rather found of my man, I do not want him electrocuted. 

Another major project we are looking into is building a small house (mother in law suite) just in case, Lisa does want to move back home.  By having her own place she will be on her own but, also have help close by in case of medical emergency.  Plus she will be able to start college hopefully in the fall and I will become her built in tutor.  Since her 'stroke' in 2003; she is prone to have seizures and has been on medication since recovering.  Right now this is all just in the planning phase yet, I am kinda stoked to have the ideal of her moving back home.  We all miss her so much.

Anyway this is some of what is going on in our slice of heaven.  How about yours?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Teenage Angst Is Approaching

How do I know this?  Our Saenz shows flashes of defiance, moodiness, and has started sleeping in late.  I look back to my growing up years and marvel at the differences in the relationship between my mother and I then, contrast how Saenz and I get along.  Seriously, I have questioned is it just a gender role or a respect issue?

Here I must give credit to my husband.  He works so, I may be a stay at home mom and teacher.  Having two parents working together to raise children in the house makes a world of difference raising them. The man never can just be and is always doing something unless, there is a sports game on the tube which needs a loud masculine voice to add to the cathartic din in the universe. LOL (Tips hat here to my hubby in thanks.)

My mother and I never really got along as I was growing up.  Why is simple... She had major anger issues and resorted to violence as did her own father.  Another thing is feminine ways of dealing with pain were not allowed and were viewed as a sign of weakness.  Nope; tears of anger, frustration, humiliation, pain or terror could not be displayed without added treat of violence.  I remember the day I was able to swallow my feelings and not did show any outward emotions, it became the moment I cut the umbilical cord on our relationship. 

(Note:  I have forgiven her just not forgotten as an attempt at self preservation.)

One credit I do give to my mom is, I bottled all that anger and took it into the military where it was fashioned after many attempts into self discipline.  Here I can honestly say thanks to Mom for instilling pure damn hate, disdain, and a willingness to go the extra mile in proving my family wrong about my becoming another welfare mother.  Here I can smile because she actually gave me life by pushing me out of the nest. 

Now onto Saenz, there is nothing more that I wanted than to have a child.  I was told I would not be able to have children.  Hubby and I practiced quite often. LOL  But, I was going to go for fertility treatments when an ultra sound revealed I was 16 weeks pregnant with my baby man.  Upon hearing his heartbeat and seeing his little finger BIRDING the technician as my belly was probed, we bonded forever.  I love small acts of defiance by the way. LOL

Saenz if you ever want to know how much I love you.  I hope one day you will bring your children back into our home because that completes the cycle of life.  If you trust me and your father with your most precious children then we have done our job as parents.  And while you feel angry or hurt, we are always here to guide your steps into manhood.   

Much love,

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ode to Psycho Rooster: 1 Year Today

While the world maybe mourning Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett's death on this day.

I am missing Rocky PYSCHO Rooster who; also passed away one year ago.

If you look at the above picture closely; you can see the tip of his upper beak is shorter. That is because he broke the tip trying to kill me and hit a metal post instead. Lucky me! LOL

His story

I never knew grief over a bird could be so wrenching as that day.  It was so enferno HAWT, 115 off our back porch.  Sigh, I have yet to replace him.  He is also the only rooster to get full burial honors on our little slice of heaven.  Rocky, I miss your voice and antics filling our days here at Hoe Hen Inn.  It may be time to hand raise another Kellogg's Rooster in his honor.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Been Thinking, Today's Military

This whole thing with General McCrystal has me looking back. Really, a 30 year veteran of foreign wars decided to buck the system and let his 'disrespect' stay in print for the Rolling Stone? Let's examine why:

1. He is a cowboy, special ops, and thus does not do well in the ‘mamby-pamby’ world of political correctness. HOWEVER, he did depart from the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and as a non-commissioned officer or lower enlisted would have lost his entire career to courts martial. (THIS ALONE SHOULD MAKE THE PUBLIC WONDER: Who is protecting his six.)

2. If you look at McCrystal's history; he has been in other controversial events throughout his career for instance; the Pat Tillman event, Prisoner abuse scandal, Disrespecting the Obama Administration last fall for foot dragging, Information Leaks, and Drone incidents which killed civilians.

3. Obama had no choice but to accept his resignation. To not take it would have shown weakness even though McCrystal was not the enemy. Obama's enemy is lack of resolve and not doing anything without stuffing pockets of other industrialists and Wall Streeters.

4. McCrystal could not have gone back to the Middle East theatre as a commander; with his tail tucked inside his camo's either. Remember friendly fire goes both ways.

5. Now while McCrystal is still on active duty; quietly sometime in the future he will retire and go on to a contractor job working for some entity like Fox News, Halliburton or even BP. Mind you though, he will be gainfully employed and pretty comfortable too with his military retirement plus, new salary.

6. Did anyone not see General Patreaus not coming back in to fill the shoes in Afghanistan? I mean hell, I called it -- get this I am not even a military or new analyst. Why did I call this; simple General Patreaus is a politicians 'wet dream' as far as -- he is calculated when following orders. He dot his I's and crosses his T's; he is a manager in the full sense plus, he was in theatre had already had Middle East experience and diplomatic ties there.

7. McCrystal was not the Good Guy riding on white stead to save the day. Nope, he got fed up after figuring out the war in Afghanistan is not winnable. He got tired of no one listening, the Obama administration bickering, the diplomacy required to keep those oil fields in our pockets, and seeing his soldiers (countless wounded and dying) fight against stupidity. Not to mention all the civilian casualties.  He abandoned his post and left his man in the hands of others.

8.  Does anyone remember the story about the minerals found in Afghanistan?  I wonder if this will become our new oil fields in which, our servicemen and women will enrich with their blood.

While it is true, NO ONE MAN can win a war but; all it takes is one man with a magic ball point pen to end it.

Psstttttt, I am not finished on this post just taking a break.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just Being a Bum, 2 Hawt 4 Any Thang Else!

    Man! I don't know about ya'll but, it's flipping miserable with the humidity. By 9 a.m. I just want to hide inside the house because the FIRE BALL (sun) is out in force. Add to that a second blood pressure pill and I am spent by the heat; the first one affects my blood sugar thus I have to eat before taking it; the second makes me groggy. All is good though; I will go back for a check up in three months.

     Today Saenz and I are gutting out the 'last of his' multiplication tables, teaching him how to upload and edit photos to his lab top. Zephyr and I are working on Same / Different, Pattern Recognition, Big / Small, Up / Down / Over / Under. He has mastered his ABC recognition and now we are begining reading with his learning how to Sign the alphabet.

    My next course begins on the 30th; this time I am going to accelerate my class instead of taking the entire 8 weeks; I will knock it out in 4 weeks. That will give me at least another two weeks off to enjoy summer with the boys and hoping my hubby will want to take a vacation off this place. I would love to go back to Copano Bay in Rock Port. Feathers Crossed and saying prayers......

Here are some photos I snapped outside with Saenz this morning.

Still windy, morning glories
I think early chili petins near goat pen.
This tree branch just broke off the mesquite next to the master bedroom window.
No termites?  No idea why....
Spider lunch, poor guy may get free.
This hopper kinda glows when the angle is changed.
This is one of the BEE blossoms out front.  Yeppers this tree attracts lots of bees and I try to avoid since, I am allergic to stings. The whole yard is full of bee music.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day to Our Hero

And Good-bye to Lisa!
We really enjoyed our visit and will be happy to see you here again. 
That girl can really wipe out a burrito........ ~;>


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Keeping a Promise

We took the kiddos to the Texas State Aquarium.  Lisa had never been and all of them enjoyed it.  Can't wait to go back.  I want to set up an encounter with the dolphins at least once before our annual membership is up.  I may talk hubby in to the 4th of July Membership Picnic.  An awesome way to spend the holiday.

Barbara,  I have yet to send your box of goodies off.  Been kinda busy with family visiting.  I will promise you I have not forgotten.  Much love going to shower!  It's Freaking HAWT here in South Texas.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Aphonopelma hentzi

I was about to take the neighbor girl back to her house for the evening when I saw this moving across our yard atop the grass.  I dashed back inside the house, went up the stairs to retrieve the camera while; Faith kept watch.

I brought the boys, Lisa and Sarah back outside with me.  I took a few shots with my camera as Lisa was looking for a bucket.  We found out from our encounter these creatures can move like greased lightening.

We managed to get this beauty inside a bucket. And found out, spiders can climb smooth surfaces. 

___I was really shocked! _____ 

Which was kinda freaky but, okay I kept tapping the bucket to keep it inside; hoping Lisa would find a lid. 

Guess what,  grand daughter Sarah kicked the bucket over (I COULD HAVE KILLED HER....LOL it was the first one on the farm.) and it ran under my farm truck: up into the engine -- curses!  Much to my chagrin because; I would have kept it a few weeks for observation and teaching moments with the boys.  (NOPE, I am not afraid of spiders either.)

My best guestimation is this was a male on his way to hunt for female since it is the begining of summer.  He was rather large about 3-4 inches across.  Either way, he was our first one and I hope to find more now that I have look up what their burrows look like.  Note to self, get some boots and thick gloves for:

Tarantula Roundup,  I just know there are some Mexican Red Knees around here.

Did you know males tarantulas can live several years but, the females can survive for a couple decades?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Web Hunting Followup

I remember Kelley asking about what kind of spider makes those webs hanging from our trees.  So, I went hunting for the spiders outside this morning before Zephyr got out of bed.  It is way too windy (20-30 mph gusts) to get any decents photos of webs even if, I held my breath. 

However, when I opened the curtian inside the master bedroom and Wa La -- right outside. This industrious beauty is about the size of a quarter, very leery of approaching danger, (me on the other side of the window) and scampers up to get away. Let me tell you from personal experience; the anchor threads these spiders used to tie their foundation of the webs are thick and super glue strong.  If you brush against it; the web does not come off and leaves a ghostly feeling upon your skin even if brushed away.  

I have no idea as to the species but they are stunning in my opinion; the marking on the back are ringed with yellow stripes.  I have been watching another female hanging off our front porch hunt for days.  They make the web vibrate by shaking their entire body like a monkey on a tree branch --- I wager she is insect fishing.  The web does luminesce in the sunlight and I believe sparkling flashes of the web may temporarily blind the unsuspecting dinner right into its path.

Note to self and hubby: I really would like to invest in a digital SLR camera.

Today the boys and I are preparing for Junior (26), Sid (24), Lisa (19) and grand daughter Sarah.  They are coming down this afternoon from San Antonio; Lisa and Sarah will be staying the entire week. YEAAAAAAH the boys are stoked to have company. Zephyr got dressed early this morning; he usually runs around half dressed but, with girls coming to the house; he is all gussied up.  Right now as I type; he is in front of the bathroom mirror fixing his hair.

Let's see,  Saenz is doing well learning his times tables; he is consistently scoring around 92% in drills.  He has a block with a few select numbers but, I am wagering with time those too will be mastered.  I have noticed his inability to focus some days.  I believe it is because he is frustrated and thus needs time to decompressed.  Some days however, I have caught myself wondering if medication for ADD will alleviate the symptoms; then I catch myself because I have issue with using a 'pill' as the easy way out for a behavioral issue.  Another point,  if I give him a caffeinated drink; he calms down much like using an expolosion to sufficate a raging fire.  Then I redirect the learning to a method he finds more interesting. 

What I have noticed as well; he has NO trouble reading and entire set of TIME LIFE books on Aviation (Thanks Mr. Larry) but, can not follow a simple literature story or chapter book.  AGAIN this has to do with lack of interest I believe in the topic.  Funny, his reading skills are above the 6/7th grade level when he is motivated.  I believe as we walk this homeschooling path together Saenz and I will adjust to each others learning style.  I have started having Saenz explain Zephyr's worksheets; this reinforcement will help Saenz later.  Zephyr adores him and listens to whatever Saenz tells him.

Zephyr has just about mastered his 'pre-kindergarten' curriculum with the exception of letters 'Y, K, and R.'  We will begin focusing more on mastering his written skills and start sight words very soon.  He picks up his lessons fast, has a natural aptitude for numbers, and really pays attention to whatever Saenz is learning. 

This is my last week of class with my final exam on Monday.  Let's just say this class has kicked the wind out of my sails.  I like Saenz have a hard time focusing on 'information' I do not find interesting thus, I understand Saenz's reticence of what he deemed 'useless learning.'  LOL We are such much alike in our approach to life. 

Any how, I am off to prep the house, finish my chores, and take the written half of the final. I just want to say, please keep those in mind who have suffered great losses this week at the hands of man and mother nature. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And the Winner is....


Barbara 3 Acres, Thanks to all who commented here is a sneak peak at the towels.

These are laying on a rose-colored Indian Sari which will be included. I have yet to add the buttons but that will only take a few minutes to add. Congratulations Barbara!

Now my week off the blogs.
Yeppers, we have our first muscadines popping. YIPPPPPPEEEE, The hurricanes of 2008 did not drown them nor did the drought of 2009 burn it up. Ours don't look as plentiful as Sharon's but at least it's a start. I just wish the nursery who told us these grapes won't not grow here could see. Wooooo Hooooo!
Do you see them?
Jungle love! LOL, shuts the curtain of leaves back..sorry. ~;>
Do you see it? Hubby found this little frog at least I think it was a frog.  Zephyr kept it in a bug cage over night and sad to report this little guy did not survive the trauma of house life.  However, Zephyr has learned a valuable lesson even though he spent the night 'hunting' flies to feed his pet.  Leave wild animals out doors where they belong.
Traditional South Texas food, this is 'tripas' which took me awhile to get used to after marrying my husband.  Beef intestines, cleaned, cut, seasoned, and put on the grill until cooked soft or crunchy.  Served as taco meat with guacamole, and salsa. 
All the results are back from Saenz's neurology checkup, his brain looks great with no malformations however, Dr. Deline thinks we should keep up with reducing his allergen exposure.  Yeppers, allergies have made a huge difference in his life.  While he got his check-up; MOM had her blood pressure checked and I am happy to report both my dystolic and systolic were down ten points each. Talk about relief!  I will have my official BP test on Monday to ensure my medication is right but, I am feeling so much better.

Let's see what else is up at the coop?  

One week left of school for me so happy I only have the final.
Our guinea keats have been moved outside so no more stinky house. LOL
Sid is bringing Lisa down for another week long stay. YEAHHHHHHHH
Junior is also scheduled to come down on Saturday for a night.
We are homeschooling over the summer trying to undo what was not completed.  
A plethora of tomatoes are growing; I would like to lay in some other vegetables soon.

Nice to see ya'll again.............

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Here Goes

Ya'll may not know this but, I have not been feeling well.  So, I went to the doctor with full knowledge my blood pressure is back up. YUP the 'silent killer' let me know by giving me a roaring headache and a constant static noise in my ears.  Seems my BP was fine until I got pregnant at age 31 with my first child and not only caused problems with that pregnancy but with my second as well.  Here I am at age 44, with BP never went back down to it's normal before I had children. 

For years on active duty, I kept it controlled with diet, exercise, and low dose medications. I had taken myself off the medications for 5 years -- yes my weight crept up without the constant direction to exercise en masse with my unit under everything but gun point because unlike Texan; I hate running. SNORTING OUT LOUD seems my hefty girls don't like to be jostled on 2 miles runs and the back aches were killer. 

Now, I have taken on the task of homeschooling seems my stress levels are up and thus -- my BP went back up.   So I am back on meds.  Did I say I hate taking pills. LOL Well pills over a coffin any day is my reasoning.  Though I am having troubles adjusting to dizziness and fatigue; I am sure once I get used to the effects and my BP falls.  I will be right as rain. 

What I do like is my cholesterol is great, I have lots of good as compared to bad.  A ratio of 2.4 to 1.  Seems the food choices I make are pretty dang great as far as that is concerned.  Now if I can get hubby to listen.  (UNLIKELY)

I also miss Lisa being here.  Having another woman in the house was a total blessing.  She was so helpful to have around and I enjoyed watching the boys follow her about and vye for her attention.  Please come back soon.  Sorry we were unable to go the the Texas State Aquarium on Memorial Day weekend; my medication had me feeling pretty bad and I did not think I could deal with the crowds or noise.  Next time you stay; we will take you there.  PROMISE to the best of my ability.

I am only two weeks away from getting half way through my master's program.  It's another milestone I can not wait to finish.  We have fresh tomatoes almost daily now.  What a blessing because this fruit is chock full of ltrace elements which helps with not only aging but other health concerns. http://www.thefruitpages.com/charttomatoes.shtml and for info on other health benefits since tomatoes support gland functions as wellhttp://www.crazynut.theshoppe.com/feature-aminoacids.html

Next, the giveaway as this is my 500th post.  Like I have written before; we will have a drawing:

The winner will receive: (2) Hand Crocheted Hanging Kitchen Towels, Up In the Air, 1 lb of mesquite bean flour meal, chili petins from our own farm and other goodies I so deem.

Off to chill...........since it will be near 100 today with heat index. 

NOTE: Drawing winner will be announced on the 10th of June; we are busy with new keats, homeschooling, mowing, building new coops, and my own end of term exams.   Each blogger who comments will earn five entries if you post a link your blog -- you will earn an additional five entries. 
Drawing will be done by the sleeping angel in this photo.