Monday, December 5, 2016

- Peaceful protest wins the day

Patch #340 Honoring Standing Rock


After learning that the Army Corps of Engineers had effectively ended the stand-off at Standing Rock, I spent the morning reading more about the place and the people ...


I was intrigued by the eight-pointed star in the seal, having recently encountered a description of a similar star as a Native  American symbol for hope. Looking in to that, I was also unable to verify another theory that four of the points represented north, south, east and west, while the other four respresented the sun's rising and setting points during solstices. Don't believe everything you read!

Instead, the eight points actually represent the regional districts of the tribe, as well as being a Lakota symbol for the morning star.

I learned much more, reading articles, theses, and websites, particularly those with .edu URLs. But what I also noticed as I looked at the Standing Rock website pictured above was a "Donate" link ... so I did.

One other thought ... could it be possible that the change in the stalemate was triggered by the movement of veterans to stand with the people? We may never know, but after hearing an eloquent explanation of the motivations behind the movement by one of the organizers, I'd like to believe they made a difference.

And in a wonderful bit of synchronicity, I found today's retro patches to be fitting.

November 13 Don't follow the herd


November 15 The essence of fairy tales


November 16 Wearing my heart on my sleeve


Sunday, December 4, 2016

- What rain will do

Patch #339 Texas wintergrass


No, it's not botanically correct, but what I wanted to remember is what the 3" of rain over the past 48 hours will do. Looking out the window today, the land seemed to be getting greener by the hour. And when we first moved here, I assumed the clumps of green that grew after such late-fall and early-winter rains were sedges.

Until early spring came and the low lying clumps of Texas wintergrass (for that's what they actually were) became long and leggy. They also set long, sharp seed heads, giving rise to their other common name: Texas needlegrass.

We have a book of all (or most) Texas grasses ...

 
At 1000+ pages, it's a wonderful resource, but for quick reference I also keep this more modest tome handy ...


Since the aforementioned 3" of rain fell throughout the day, I did manage a few more retro-patches.

November 10 Reaching out (for Dee)


using my hand as a model ...


Honestly, when did all those extra lines show up?

November 11 Like a river


for the second of two posts I managed to write that day.

And November 12 Don's (first) longhorn


but definitely not his last!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

- On a roll

Patch #338 Moon-cast


Just before Griffin's birthday on November 14, it came to my attention that a super moon was in the offing. Not surprisingly, I was delighted to learn that G was born under a new moon four years earlier.

Then, a few days before Meg's birthday on November 30, I saw one of my favorite configurations in the early morning sky: a waning crescent hanging from the morning star. When was the next new moon? I wondered.

Well I'm not quite sure how I ever survived without the instant gratification of the Internet. Suffice it to say upon learning the new moon was falling on Meg's birthday, I looked to see what phase the moon was in when she was born in 1982. If you guessed it was full, you can imagine my glee.

So I stitched two full moons and two new moons (drawn by hand because circles never stitch perfectly round even when I trace them) to remember what else I learned ...


The new moon in April is the same day as Meg's baby girl is due. So mark your calendars: April 26, 2017!

And because today is rainy and cold, I'm taking full advantage of the inside time to catch up on a few more patches.

November 2 Reading, 'Riting and Retired


November 3 Ka-ching


November 4 Two floods too many


November 6 Hope is the thing with feathers


and November 7 Sign of the apocalypse


Friday, December 2, 2016

- Won't get fooled again?

Patch #337 How a day might get better


It didn't start out well ... another breakfast spent dodging endless articles about Trump in The New York Times. I had already written one letter to the editors (which they chose not to publish) admonishing them for their excessive coverage of Trump versus Clinton.

Finding an echo of my sentiments that actually did get published in the Letters ...


I realized things weren't apt to change, because "Trump" sells newspapers. Indeed, not only was the Times bragging about its surge in subscriptions, they sent an email blast that they were about to raise their rates.

Enough was enough. As I sat on hold for twenty minutes waiting to cancel my subscription, I wrote yet another letter to the editors. Since it too is most likely destined for oblivion, I'll self-publish it here ...


After which I made a contribution to my local PBS station to support The News Hour.

The day got much better after that. Having received an email out of the blue the day before, I headed out to rendezvous with a Kindred Spirit blogger at the Hays County BBQ (our restaurant of choice for first-time visitors to Texas).  

While she and her delightful spouse shall remain unnamed until they return safely  home, suffice it to say that we spent two wonderful hours getting to know each other and took the obligatory selfie to commemorate the occasion ...


Note to self: work on finding more flattering angles for selfies ... and hope that another meet-up lies in the future.