Monday Morning – Back to the grind…

After spending a couple of days on Padre Island, it’s time to earn a living again, so it’s back to the salt mines…Before I go though let me tell you a little story.

Last week Blogger invited me to move my blogs to BloggerBeta. I did. Don’t, if you haven’t already. There are still way too many holes in the system. For a supposed upgrade, it is a step backward in a lot of ways on the publishing side. As a matter of fact for me it’s a pain to even log-in. With no Blog-it posting, not much third party publishing support at all you are better off waiting for the full rollout, which from what I am seeing will be a while. The only thing that seems to work (not that I’m using it yet other than to make posting work at all) is tagging, and that is evidently the bull in the china shop here. A lot of bloggers wanted tagging…now blogger is trying to put the pieces back together after they broke it themselves. Oh well, I will overcome these problems but for a while it will be tough to post pictures with any control so you probably wont be seeing many, sorry.

But just for grins here is a little one from the weekend.

I give up…picture would not load. I’ll try later…

It’s much later and the photo upload worked…

Sunday Morning at the Beach

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The neighbors were noisey and nosey this morning around sunup. Coffee on the balcony with a crowd of onlookers proved interesting. We’ll be heading home in a bit so I’ll be catching up later. More photos in the works…See ya down the road

Friday morning meandering through the back roads of my mind

Friday morning meandering through the back roads of my mind

For those of you who may read this through rss, let me apologize for the dump of old posts you probably got yesterday. I just migrated this and my other blogs to Blogger Beta and it would seem that in the process it republishes everything; sorry if anyone was put off by the mass. I made the move out of frustration with the problems of publishing to the old Blogger. I am not completely happy yet. For some reason the “Blog This” button on my toolbar just gets fried with the new login procedures. Sadly, the Google Team hasn’t yet put together any real documentation (that I can find) on settings and changes you need to make with this changeover. Oh well, work arounds are a thing of life when it comes to computers, hopefully someone at Blogger will begin to flesh out the Beta Help Files.

On another note, I have been noticing an increase in traffic on this site. In looking over the metrics I find most of the new traffic coming from two sites. Loose Leaf Notes was the first to link and start traffic coming this way, thanks Colleen. The newest traffic driver is Blue Ridge Blog. This is the site of Marie Freeman who is a photographer at the Watauga Democrat in Boone, NC. It was by stumbling upon Marie’s site last year that eventually led to Colleen’s so the circle closes. Again, thanks ladies.

And on another note…Yesterday was the 28th anniversary of my marriage to Sherry. So this weekend will be our annual run away from the kids weekend. So…blogging will probably not be happening till we return.

Ya’ll have a great weekend.

Thursday Blog Rolling

As usual Patry Francis puts together a knockdown post today.

The truth is we write it every day. Not the one that appears in the newspaper, but the real one. The one we write with our words and with our gestures, with every step we take to every place we go, the one we think and breathe and read on the faces of those who love
us. And yes, on the faces of those who don’t.

The obituary that changes every day.

The one we write every time we say yes, and perhaps even more clearly with our stubborn refusals. The one that is wide enough and long enough to encompass what we see–and also what we turn our faces from. The one that records all that we know and also takes note of what we never allow ourselves to imagine.

Then she poses a question that I find very thought provoking. “So here is your existential question of the week. If you were only allowed a one line obituary, what would you want it to say?” Think about it. How would you answer?

SIMPLY WAIT.

Democrats Take Majority in House

The American People have spoken. The question is…Has President Bush heard?
Democrats Take Majority in House; Pelosi Poised to Become Speaker – washingtonpost.com:

“‘The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history,’ Pelosi said. “

Let’s hope Nancy and the rest of the Democrats now running Congress believe what she is saying. If they can’t make a change in the way Congress has done business under the Republican Party of Tom Delay, they wont have much hope of a long run.

Democrats Promise Broad New Agenda – washingtonpost.com:

“The American people have sent a resounding and unmistakable message of change and new direction for America,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.). “It’s time for the endless campaign to stop and the hard work of governing to begin.”

Do me a favor Rahm, lose the Bush speak, we all know it is hard work…Stop telling us and just do it. If you want to guarantee a long run with a Democrat majority, do the job you are elected to do, protect the rights and lives of the American People. Forget about the corporate boards and the campaign donors with their deep pockets. Do something about the screwed up way with define our voting districts. Do Your Jobs…

First Light

 
This is the sight that greeted me as I left the house this morning…I hope your election day started as well. May the returns be gentle to the people.
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What plant colored a rebellion? – Plants that Changed History

In light of the Scottish history and traditions that fill the valleys and coves of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I thought the following was interesting. To learn more about the history of tartans follow the link…What plant colored a rebellion? – Plants that Changed History: “Six colors used in the dyeing of thread came from a single plant, the elder (Sambucus nigra Linnaeus). Of the elder dyes, Mrs. Grieve wrote ‘The bark of the older branches has been used in the Scotch Highlands as an ingredient in dyeing black, also the root. The leaves yield, with alum, a green dye and the berries dye blue and purple, the juice yielding with alum, violet; with alum and salt, a lilac colour.’ (A Modern Herbal, Mrs. Grieve, 1931, reprinted 1996 Barnes & Noble Books)”

Just Vote!

I think anyone who has read my post would know my political leaning, but that’s beside the point. Today’s lesson in democracy is Go Vote. This really is one of those things where if you don’t use it, you lose it.

What were the virtues of borage? – Herbal Folklore

I started reading KillerPlants a long tme ago, and still I find the daily emails informative. I discovered Borage quite a while ago also, and the flavoe of the flowers is still a delight ever time I taste one…
What were the virtues of borage? – Herbal Folklore: “Cool-tankard is now commonly known as borage (Borago officinalis Linnaeus). In A Modern Herbal (1931), Mrs. Grieve explains the use, ‘When steeped in water, it imparts a coolness to it and a faint cucumber flavour, and compounded with lemon and sugar in wine,…it makes a refreshing and restorative summer drink. It was formerly always an ingredient in cool tankards of wine and cider.'”

Sunday Afternoon Walk

At this time of the year a walk through the woods behind my house is a real experience. Your main problem is fighting off the blood sucking flying insects this part of the country can be overrun with after a few good rains. If you make the effort though you’ll have some surprises. Although green is still the predominate color around here, yellows and browns are beginning to show their coming prominence. As you wander around you will occasionally come across the brilliant reds and maroons of later in the season.

  
The dichotomy of fall in southeast Texas within fifty miles of the Gulf of Mexico is best explained by the act that as some leaves show their fall colors, flowers are blooming in great abundance. Most of the blooms are small and you really have to look for them.

 
This is wild Lantana…

from “Lantana”:
Wild lantanas are hairy and often prickly-stemmed. If rubbed and bruised, their leaves usually have a pungent odor. Verbena-like flowers are formed in clusters from the leaf axils or at the ends of branches. The small, berry-like fruits contain seeds. In some regions, Texas included, lantanas grow wild as weeds, chiefly spread by birds that are very fond of their juicy fruits. The species name for the native L. horrida, refers to the pungent odor of the crushed leaves.

In my family this plant is known as “Stinkweed” because of the odor.

  
These little yellow jewels are not known to me by name. They are beginning to be harder to find as I walk around. Earlier in the year they were much more common.

 
Even this late in the year you can find some honeysuckle blooms along the edges of the wood in protected nooks. In spring it is the aroma of honeysuckle that lets you know that summer is on the way.

 
My Red Oak still is predominantly green, but I did find this leaf changing color. Most of our oaks are in the process of dropping a few brown leaves a day and will continue doing so for the next month or so.

 
And then there is my so confused Apple tree. It does this every year, waits until the end of fall and tries to set blooms and fruit. I knew when I planted these tree we were really too far south for apples, but I had to try. I manage to get a few small apples every year and every year they bloom again in the fall…

 

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