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.







Friday, October 29, 2010

San Antonio Zoo -- Wonderful Day














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This weekend, we are taking the boys to some surrounding area fall festivals. YEAH!  We love being outside in the fall.
THANKS SOBRINA and family; we had a great time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our Morning

We woke up to find the temperature down in the 60s which, to me is a slice of heaven.  The winds are whipping about so, I can feel the house moan under the pressure.  Come walk with us outside.  If you stand under our trees, the wind in the leaves sounds like water flowing over large rocks on a river. 
My hubby did me a huge favor today and filled up one of my (yes, Husky is mine) tractor's tire with green goop and air. YEAHHHHHHHHH, I am going to ride her later if the winds die down a bit. 
This morning we took our egg basket out under the oak trees up front of the property to pick chili pequins (bird peppers) 
and acorns.
Did you know native peoples used  pequins and acorns as a staple in their diet?  The red oak acorns have to be processed correctly due to containing tannic acids but, it is a labor of love.  The little chilis are quite peppery and and we had fun walking about; see our finds?
Then we walked out back to my favorite live oak on our property.  Former tennets put up a swing made from a water rescue basket.  Our boys love this swing as you can see.  Hubby believes this oak is a male tree because we could find no acorns under its shade.



We are spending our morning looking up these insects; if you know their species please leave a comment.


Then later today we will be making cookies earlier this week we made Cow Pies (no bake chocolate, peanut butter oatmeal cookies).
Grumpy Gramps, we are afraid to tell you about Banjo's new bad habit.  Seems he has decided Big Bird is his and defends his puppet from others.  Saenz likes to hide Big Bird to see if Banjo can find him.


Ya'll have a great day! We hope you have enjoyed a taste of our slice of heaven.

Rapid Cycling

Let me tell you; this is not about bicycling or the gym. I am a manic depressive who ‘rapid cycles.’ I feel sorry for my family because at times I cannot phantom being around me. Who wants to live with a mother who one day is baking cookies and the next is a zombie on the couch lost in thought? What I do know is; time is drawing near where I will have to seek pharmaceuticals again because sometimes I just can’t shake the anxiety or isolationism of my disorder.


Funny………. I worked hard on myself to be what I was expected to be as a child. Yet, my rapid racing mind along with my machine gun tongue just cut my mother to the core; then in she would strike out to get my submission. Who could blame me, her, or the situation; she hated being a parent.

She tore us from our family; went to California to get away from the stigma of being divorced. Men came and went; little miss perfect developed her own coping mechanisms and eventually caught their eye which was terrifying when a young person just wants to disappear. (More later)


I just wanted to be normal but, who can define that? Today, I can’t tell you what that illusion is. I do know, I have a rigid moral code. What I find is right; feels like a steel knife I walk on – my steps cannot waiver because I will slip upon its edge and die.

Not once, have I gotten an apology since, in her mind she was doing what she needed to do to raise us into proper adults. Who is a proper adult here? Neither my sister nor I; hang with her. As a matter of fact, I have only been in her home less than five times in 25 years. My children don’t know her name but, have met her.

I don’t want my truth mixed up with their childhood. I have learned how to compartmentalize so well; she taught me – sometimes I am numb to pain until I appear cruel. Yes, I am still angry I don’t know why but, I am. Most of the time I feel stupid as I don’t understand her nature; while she holds some blame – not all because I lived passed her. Is this nature or nuture?

Now you are probably wondering why I am writing this post. Will I delete it tomorrow due to its sensitive nature? I don’t think so, because once upon a time; I wrote poetry now, I write to purge myself of the guilt of being me.

Am I still just a wounded child.............

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"SWITCHES" For My Friend Kat

In memory of David, who died last night: husband, father, friend, educator and all the roles a man could own.

The Story of Switches written in 2007.


'Once I was listening to a doctor explain to his young patient and family about cancer.  How some people were able to fight the disease and survive while, others do not do as well? He made the analogy of people and their lives being a series of switches:

This doctor took the time to draw on a white board a series of switches in a line which represented a person’s life.


He went on to explain everyone is born with a number of switches on a switch board. If one person smoked the lung cancer switch (choice) came on or off based up another series of switches say: diet, heredity, spirituality, weight, exercise, environment, medication, exposure, stress, mental ability to cope, or lifestyle.


He told his patient that while he did not know why her cancer switch was turned on to begin with; he would help her and her family try to find the switch to turn it back off. And he needed her to tell him what was important to her so he could find the right series of switches to flip.


The amazing thing is, this 10 year old girl understood the doctor’s analogy. Tyra went on to tell the doctor what she felt was important for her to get better.


I sat in the room in awe of her, her maturity and understanding. I watched her with her mom and was there for some of her therapies. She went into remission for awhile I would hang with her when I could not sleep. My daughter and she became fast friends along with the other children on the ward.


One night, she told me, “I am not afraid to die but,” she did say, “I am afraid of my Mommie being alone.” I asked her if she talked, to her mom about it and she just shook her head no and we dropped the subject.


Just after Easter 2004, Tyra slipped into a coma, her body shut down and the little girl died. I went to her funeral out of state, it was then I asked her mother if I could name the child I was carrying after Tyra.


Her mom, Mary asked what happens if you have a boy. To which I replied, “I will switch the name to fit a boy.” Zephyr Aryt, is the SWITCH that represents Tyra’s life and we all go on.'


Kat, My over the pond sister.  I too grieve and mourn with your family today.  You are a part of my soul and have given me many switches..........


Rest in Peace David


LOVE,
Mal

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sharing the Wealth, Okay Just Info

I have been reading Jane's blog for almost two years.  This morning I saw her post on Facebook about Taylor Swift's new album, 'SPEAK NOW' on MP3 being available at Amazon for under $4.  Sweet deal right?  While, awaiting that download, I noticed another album that was offered for free download called AMERICANA which has some really cool songs.  So I snapped that one up as well.  If you like saving money Ms. Jane alerts bloggers following her on Facebook, Twitter, or Blogspot about deals like the one she posted today about Bath and Body products that are on sale for half off or Similac infant formula being free or greatly reduced with the coupon she posted on her page.  We all are watching pennies, I just find she is a great help.  

Off to explore Amazon some more; I may just download some more freebies for my Kindle! YEAH

Monday, October 25, 2010

Back to School

After two weeks off to enjoy autumn.  Can you believe it -- in South Texas?  The boys went back to school today.  Much to their dismay and sighs.  This week Saenz and I are learning fractions through cooking and baking cookies.  Zephyr is learning how to read entire sentences and writing.  I hope to get back into science next week with a dash of spelling, reading, agriculture (gardening), and maybe I will add in an incubator of eggs?  Though, it would be a tough feat to accomplish since, winter may come early.  We have been seeing lots of wild geese, ducks and other birds headed South; don't know if that is an ominous sign of bad weather.  Or just cooler weather.

I am writing this here so ya'll will keep me on the straight and narrow.  I quit smoking cigarettes on the 20th -- cold turkey now for five days.  It has not been that bad with cravings; I just go mow something.  But, sleeping in the hotel was darn near impossible.  I am 44 years old and had been smoking since I was 16 (actually started younger).  I figure if I tell ya'll then maybe I will have to keep honest.  The boys have be extra encouraging, next my flubber will be coming off since I have added a koozie of fat since retiring from the Air Force.

More on that later...... ROFL

I have forgotten to post the links to My Passport to India for days 3 through 6.  Enjoy -- very enlightening and like Tali; I may pull out my Indian cookbook and teach the boys how to make Tandoori chicken and Naan.  I love all the spices Indian cuisine has and its flavors using fresh produce.  YUM YUM

Day three, shows the hospitality of the India people and their living conditions. Day four, Mr. Chris visits a little boy's home.  What a difference of living standards there; I had Saenz imagine our entire family living in his room without electricity. Day five shows the differences in clothing from village to village and really ornate temples. Day six talks about illiteracy in India. This has been an eye opening experience for our sons.  

Links here:
http://www.mypassporttoindia.org/day-3/
http://www.mypassporttoindia.org/day-4/
http://www.mypassporttoindia.org/day-5/
http://www.mypassporttoindia.org/day-6/

Just one small thing I noticed at HEB (local grocery store chain) was small planters of herbs like cilantro being sold for $4.  Can you believe it?  The herb cut inside the store costs .33 cents for a bunch as big as in the planter.  Have we really gotten so lazy, we can not figure out how to grow fresh herbs?  Our winter garden is coming nicely especially the broccoli.  Who knew? I sure had no clue it would grow so well -- it has doubled its size.  One of our weekly lessons will be starting a pineapple tree from its top cutting.  The how to's are found on this link which gives excellent directions:

http://www.rickswoodshopcreations.com/Pineapple/pineapple.htm

Any way, I am too wordy so I will leave you now. :O)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

TROIS: Going UP!, The View, War Games

Waiting for the elevator up to the revolving restaurant atop the tower the sun was getting warm by this time of day.
Do you see the flower in the middle of the picture?  That is La Villita which now features local artists and shops.  We did not take them here this time but, we will some day because there are lots of historical sites within the village and best yet --- authentic Mexican foods.

To me, foods are the backbone of any culture because we all need to eat and usually our home cooking is one of the biggest contributors to our families, security, and past.  JMHO

  There is a walking tour to sign up for; we just did not have the time on this trip.  Our hotel (DRURY PLAZA) has the 'television' on top. LOL Zephyr's explanation not ours.  From this picture you can see most of downtown San Antonio area plus how far San Antonio has grown over the last twenty years.

Zephyr had another surprise awaiting him when we got home yesterday morning.  Grumpy Gramps had sent him a Nerf Laser tag game.  He and Saenz have not given us a break since. LOL
Here Zephyr is going to launch his attack on Saenz -- who deserved it!   
Do you see his war face?
Thanks GRUMPY GRAMPS

Now is our day of rest, I really do wish to thank Jana C, Sobrina, Jennifer and all their family members who made Zephyr's birthday party so memorable.  We would have not have had such a great time without Ya'll.

The next two weeks, Lisa will be spending time with her mom in San Antonio. SNIFF SNIFF we and the chickens will miss her. ~:> 

The boys and I will be making cookies all week in an effort to learn not only cooking and measuring but, in a fun way fractions.  Grumpy Gramps will be receiving homemade box(es)  from the heart -- fresh cookies; he gets the yum yums and we get the math skills.  Nice trade eh?

Deux: Pool, Roof Top, Elevator, Tram, and Park

The first night, not one of us slept well -- too excited maybe different bed probably. After we had breakfast the first morning down on the second floor of the hotel and waited for the rain to stop. Saenz and dad, took a nap because they were super tired. So Zephyr and I took off for the Cathedral, park and just plain ole exploring. These shots are from the 22nd and 23rd floor roof top pool, hot tubs and sundeck.



Cubby Bear is here cooling his hawt feet in the shallow end. 
Cubby is happy no one is around to push the elevator buttons because he is in charge of showing mom around the hotel.
YEAH! Dad and Saenz are up when we get back from sight seeing.  Off we go to see the Tower of Americas.
We got there from the hotel on Via's yellow line.
The tram driver was a tad cranky and the passengars just seemed pressed to go about their days.  Next picture is the DEAD ARMADILLO (Alamodome) as I call it.


HEE HEE, Saenz taking a pic of me taking a pic of them.  
The fountain park under the Tower of Americas.
More pics later..........