The Weekly Journal Project #5

I decided to post a weekly journal (again!) Feel free to join me. Just post a journal entry on Monday summarizing the previous week. Or make your journal a photo a day. Whatever you like. If you are a family history researcher, you know it is good to remember to document your own life! Link your journal entry in the comments of my post so I’ll be sure to read it and so will anyone else who sees it. If more people join, maybe I’ll learn how to do a “linky”party.

Week of September 5-11, 2022

I’m late posting today. It has been busy.

Monday, September 5

Such a beautiful morning! 67 degrees! I can’t remember the last time I felt that coolness. Since the rain made its recent return, the snails are back and most mornings I find one in or on this pot that holds petunias. One bloom in particular must have been very tasty over night. So this morning there was a medium size snail facing a small snail. Often, I’ll put my fingers on the shell, the snail will retreat, and I can lift it off the pot. Not today. The larger snail retreated part way, but seemed intent on staying where it was. I shrugged and walked away. When I returned, the little snail was riding piggyback (snaily back?). I missed the show! And the motivation. I don’t know much about the personal life of snails.

And I keep thinking – they were facing each other. The small snail crept its way up onto the bigger snail and turned around so that they are facing the same direction.

* I went to the mall for the first time in a very long time and bought some 75% off summer clothes.
* Started the audio book The Templar’s Last Secret.

Tuesday, September 6

* Met a friend for tea and a pastry at Crema Bakery. I am so sad that they are closing in a little over a week. They have been such troopers and helpers during the pandemic. I’ll try to go back one more time before they close. It was so nice to catch up with my friend and eat a delicious croissant with chocolate. Then we bought more treats for our families and a treat for a friend working at a Beto office. Nice to see her too and get another sign before the election.

* Church book group started a new book: Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers. This one will spark conversation. The author doesn’t mince words.

Wednesday, September 7

This crazy boy is 10 years old today. Born in foster care and adopted by us, he has never had a hungry, abusive, or traumatic day in his life. He fooled us into thinking he was choosing us when he was just too afraid to wander and explore. He made me a believer in generational trauma. Full of fears, his favorite activity is going to bed or napping with one of his humans. It’s safe! He can relax! That, and eating. He developed a fear of the sound of a bell years ago when Tina was watching Bob’s Burgers. ?!?? I once considered starting a social media account for him called “Bubba Doesn’t Like the Sound of That”. Storms today, so I spent a lot of time on the couch with him serving as his comfort human. Happy Birthday, Dreamboat! You drive us crazy, but we love you.

* Some ESL students and I met at church to make port pillows.
* The microwave died. My husband went right out and replaced it.

Thursday, September 8

First ESL class of the fall semester. There were glitches, but everything pretty much worked out okay.

Friday, September 9

* Finished my Sepia Saturday post early! Again! Eveline’s Senior Year: Baccalaureate
* Finished 50 more Get Out the Vote postcards.

I enjoy driveway art on my walks.

* Husband and I watched Thor: Love and Thunder. Some comedic moments.

Saturday, September 10

Finished some port pillows while watching the UT/Alabama game. Not the game anyone expected. I’m a Longhorn fan when they are the underdogs.

Sunday, September 11

Nothing much. Youtube church. I don’t remember what else!

In other news:

Not dead! We were sure this moringa tree that my daughter desperately tried to keep alive was a goner. But it is coming back from the roots.

I know we considered pulling up this miniature crepe myrtle during the long, hot summer. It looked fried.

* I also started reading Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation. I’m afraid I have too many books going at once.
* And, of course, Queen Elizabeth died and there was the 21st anniversary of September 11, so I watched many remembrances and news of these historic events.

I’ve been working my way slowly (on purpose) through a book of Mary Oliver poems: Devotions. I read this one the day after Dreamboat’s birthday – another rescue dog!


What shall I do?
When I pick up the broom
he leaves the room.
When I fuss with kindling he
runs for the yard.
Then he’s back, and we
hug for a long time.
In his low-to-the-ground chest
I can hear his heart slowing down.
Then I rub his shoulders and
kiss his feet
and fondle his long hound ears.
Benny, I say,
don’t worry. I also know the way
the old life haunts the new.

The Weekly Journal Project #4

I decided to post a weekly journal (again!) Feel free to join me. Just post a journal entry on Monday summarizing the previous week. Or make your journal a photo a day. Whatever you like. If you are a family history researcher, you know it is good to remember to document your own life! Link your journal entry in the comments of my post so I’ll be sure to read it and so will anyone else who sees it. If more people join, maybe I’ll learn how to do a “linky”party.

Week of August 29-September 4, 2022

I think I’ll do things a bit differently this week. More pictures, less text. It’s the change in the weather that had me taking photos this week. The extremely hot temperatures are over (although unfortunately hitting the western states) and we have had rain. Measurable. More than once. What a difference it has made! I can feel fall in the air – at least in the mornings. Some photos are from walks in the neighborhood and some from our yard.

Leaves from a crepe myrtle fell onto a ground cover below, making it look as though the ground cover is in bloom. 8/312022
On the same walk. My daughter tells me this is datural (Jimsonweed)
Woke up to a new cilantro plant half-eaten. I couldn’t see the culprit at first and wondered if it had been a bunny, but then I found 6 cilantro-colored caterpillars.

Yesterday I took several pics of the wonderful blooms that are now not few, but plentiful.

The crepe myrtle in the backyard suddenly full of blooms
Passion flower is now blooming abundantly. They are so beautiful, but I consider this an invasive species now and am frequently upset by it.
Beauty berry in the front. Deer leave them alone. We might try to make a small batch of jelly.

Alas, not everything is beautiful.

A front bed full of weeds and dead stuff. I started working on it, but it got too hot.

I have taken so many walks at 8:30 or 9 pm this summer and it was still so hot and nearly unbearable – well, sometimes I just turned around and went back inside because it was unbearable. Last night was wonderful. A breeze. Temp in the 80s. You can’t appreciate 85 with a breeze unless you’ve tried to walk after sunset when it is 95, still, and feels like 100.

The sunset caught my eye on my walk. 9/4/2022

In other news this week:
Posted two family history/Sepia Saturday posts.
Eveline’s Senior Year: Produce, Preserve, Conserve
Eveline’s Senior Year: Graduation Memorabilia

Husband and I watched the movie Elvis. T and I started watching The Crown.

Finished reading Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. Most of the members of the church book group thought the book was mediocre. I will say I learned some things from it and it gave me more to think about. My opinion was not as negative as some, but I didn’t feel that the author made the case for using the term “mediocre” as her title. I think most people wanted a bit more at the conclusion.
Finished audiobook The Fatal Pursuit

Finished adding my encouraging sentences to 50 Get Out the Vote postcards and picked up 50 more.

Our pastor has been using the following as the benediction for a while. I finally googled it so I’d know all the words. And so it will be my benediction as well:

Life is short. We don’t have much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk this way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind. ~ Henri-Frederic Amiel

The Weekly Journal Project #3

Fellow blogger Barb Rogers has been joining me in this weekly journal. (We met though Sepia Saturday!) She called her post “The Weekly Journal Project” and, if she doesn’t mind, I’ll use the same title. Feel free to join us. Just post a journal entry on Monday summarizing the previous week. Or make your journal a photo a day. Whatever you like. If you are a family history researcher, you know it is good to remember to document your own life! Link your journal entry in the comments of my post so I’ll be sure to read it and so will anyone else who sees it. If more people join, maybe I’ll learn how to do a “linky”party.

Week of August 22-28, 2022

Monday, August 22

We have part of our back yard gated so that the dogs can’t run back behind the garage. Long story. During this very hot summer, we rigged a sun cover over part of that area because it was so hot and ruining what plants we had. There used to be a little shade from a couple of fruit trees, but we lost them during the extended freeze in February. Anyway, my husband kept telling me about a bunny back there, but I had not seen it. The rabbit feels very safe because the dogs can’t get to it and my husband started putting water out for it. I finally saw the rabbit and took a picture, but I was too far away for a good photo so it’s not that great. I appreciated that it was eating weeds!

We had another downpour. At our house, it came down fast and furiously, but fortunately didn’t last very long. Part of the city had some flooding.

I am trying to go dairy free to see if that helps with some issues I have. I didn’t like plain coconut yogurt on my usual breakfast bowl. 🙁

Tuesday, August 23

Finally finished my Sepia Saturday blog post by deleting half of it. Eveline’s Senior Year: Sign the Food Pledge

Wednesday, August 2

Found this link to recipes from Three Pines. I really enjoy Louise Penny books. New one out in November!
I’ve been slowly going through cabinets and closets to get rid of things. I was pretty successful with my Buy Nothing group this week. I reposted a bunch of things that I had posted before but were not picked up or no one showed an interest. This week, my trash was someone else’s treasure. You never know… One woman wanted the bunch of decorated pencils I had – probably unused party bag gifts from years ago. She is a pediatrician and said she is making a treasure chest for her patients. I found my son’s old basketball pencil collection and a few more things and she sent me a Tik Tok video of my things in the chest. Fun!

Thursday, August 25

I gave up on dairy free already. I want to start my day with the breakfast I enjoy. Oh well. Breakfast was good today!

The Thursday ESL book group finished reading Holes last week, so we watched the movie together today.

Friday, August 26

The Friday ESL book group finished reading and discussing the Boxcar children book Mystery Ranch. It is not as good as the previous three, plus there is a fireplace made out of uranium ore in the house. No wonder Aunt Jane has been sick!
I took all our cassette tapes out of a cabinet to post on Buy Nothing, although I didn’t post the kid ones or the ones we recorded ourselves. I want to listen to some of the kid ones for the memories before letting them go.
I received a very nice email from one of the students who read Holes. She didn’t think she would ever be able to read a book in English, but now she is motivated to keep reading!

Saturday, August 27

Today made me think about connections – the many I have missed out on due to procrastination, laziness, or just wanting to hide in my house.

I shared this on Facebook related to the photo above:

Connections, ESL edition:

In 2018 Gloria and her husband lived in Austin for three months. While they were here, Gloria took the free ESL classes offered at Austin Community College. She became friends with one of her fellow students, Anita. When Gloria finished the class, she was tested for proficiency and was told that her score was too high for the free class and that she would need to pay for any future classes. Her friend Anita, a long-time student/former student of our ESL class, told her about our zoom classes during the pandemic. Gloria joined our ESL class from McAllen and has continued to attend.

Gloria and her husband were in Austin this weekend to see their son and his family and she invited me to meet up with them so we could really “meet.” We met at Easy Tiger at the Linc and shared a lovely hour or so together – and they brought me “McAllen” tamales, which they said will be different from Austin tamales. (I had other dinner plans, so the tamales will be eaten tonight.) She said I look different in person than on zoom – I didn’t ask if I looked better or worse! Before meeting up with me for coffee, Gloria and her husband had already visited with Anita. How wonderful that they met in a class at ACC, maintained a friendship over these years and distance, and now Gloria and I are connected because of that connection!

Anita made two best friends at our ESL class years ago – K and A. Their friendship represents Mexico and Thailand and China. It is a friendship born in ESL class and continues to this day.

Pre-pandemic, I made it a point to know every student who walked through our doors, but we use two zoom accounts to provide our two levels of classes, so I don’t get to maintain or make new connections in the lower level class. In July I offered a book club to the lower level students. This was our fourth book (Boxcar Children) for this group and it is how I met Gloria.

Like Gloria, another student in the book group has never attended our in-person class. Y lives in Illinois. K (one of Anita’s best friends) and Y are both from Thailand. K traveled to Thailand a few weeks ago. We were all so surprised to learn that Y was joining us from Thailand and that she met K at the airport! They spoke frequently and went several places together over the next couple of weeks.

Life is crazy and beautiful. And interconnected … if we make the connections.

My husband and I continued maintaining connections by having dinner with our Sicilian cousins. Well, one is a cousin of some degree to my husband – and his wife. We tried a new restaurant – an English pub in Round Rock. The fish and chips were good, but that’s all we liked about it.

The day ended on a sour note when our grand dog jumped out of his dog bed just as we were all settling in for the night. He had been stung on his paw by a scorpion in his bed. I didn’t sleep well, watching for any signs of an allergic reaction. He was finally able to go to sleep, and slept much better than I did.

Sunday, August 28

I was very tired today from lack of sleep. Watched church on Youtube. Worked some more on my blog post, but still didn’t finish. It seems to be turning into Sepia Tuesday for me lately.

Well, that’s my long journal for this week. I’ll be more brief next time.

Have a good week!