Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sunday trivia - of little importance, but still...

Baking again... Guinness espresso brownies, home-made nutty granola, and caramel pecan bars. 

None of it is for us though... (but of course DH and grandson will get a taste). 

Guinness brownies are for one daughter-in-law who loves Guinness and we're heading over there today to see Harvey (new cat for granddaughter). The others are to be sent to our daughter who has a birthday this week and also to our oldest son and his wife who have been experiencing terrible storms this past week where they live in South Texas. Apparently they only lost their wood fence, but some neighbors have lost their fences and all or part of their roofs.

Sending baked goodies is no real big help, but it may bring some comfort... little else we can do. And I do remember my mother-in-law (when she was still with us) sending us boxes of goodies she baked ever so often and how we enjoyed getting them. So, I'm trying to continue the tradition.

Nothing else especially interesting going on. We did meet our new neighbors down the block yesterday. They moved in about 3 houses down and are a young couple with an 18 month old daughter and 3 month old son. They were sitting outside with the grandmother and baby when DH and I went on our neighborhood walk. We stopped and talked to them for a little bit... and it was good to meet them and nice to have some younger people on the block.

Our immediate next door neighbors have twin 7 year old girls. They are the youngest kids we generally see... but of course there could be others. Our neighborhood is not one for going in and out people's houses. When our old neighbors who downsized and moved to Houston to be closer to their daughter lived there, we did socialize with them a bit... occasionally watching a game together or having coffee. And when we were younger and living in Florida, most of us had young kids and were in and out of each other's houses all day. But those days have gone...

By the way, Olivia (mama cat) takes her 5 kittens out a lot now. She likes to lie on the side driveway and watch them play. She's a very good mother. They can all be playing and she will suddenly sit up and call them - and all 5 come running! Then she will lead them off for a walk.

Oh, and I must show you the 2 new purchases from Amazon that I love:

This dish dryer rack is to replace my old black one that I can't get all the hard water stains off the rubber. I finally gave up and just bought a new one.

And this is a phone lanyard. I struggle with constantly losing my phone in the house... it is black and has a clear case protector - which just disappears when lying on dark furniture, etc. (my old case protector was pink and easy to see). Anyway, I didn't want to have to spend the money on a new case protector, so saw this under cell phone accessories. It was not expensive and comes with 2 lanyards. I use the colorful one so that even if it's not around my neck or wrist, it can be easily seen. Works for me!

(for whatever reason my left align just moved to center and nothing I do will change it...??? Sometimes I have no idea why blogger does what it does... like occasionally changing all your word size to huge. But that one I know how to fix.)

 Enjoy your Sunday! 

Hugs (virtual),


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Rereading an old favorite…

When I run out of reading material, I tend to reread old favorites. Two of my old favorites are Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly and Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine -  both historical fiction. Galway Bay follows a family during the potato famine in Ireland and  Lady of Hay is the story of a present life young Journalist who is regressed back through hypnosis to the 12th century. This 2nd book took my friend and I all the way to Hay on Wye in Wales to see the castle where the Lady of Hay spent her last days imprisoned in the castle dungeon. Good books make an impression. I’m rereading Lady of Hay now… so good.

I also read all the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. They did a pretty good job with the TV series with those. Often when a book is turned into a movie or TV series, it never quite makes the transition… but I think they did well with The Outlander (IMO anyway).

By the way, Olivia (black and white feral female) is finally taking all 5 of her kittens to our back porch. They are so cute… 3 black and whites, one black with white feet, and one all black. 

And today I’m cooking an experimental meal for just us but  to be served  again next week for guests. I needed to see if it were possible to make it all ahead of time so I didn’t have to cook all day when they were here. It consists of a chicken casserole, a vegetable soufflĂ©, and potatoes… and cheese biscuits. My usual guest fare is either a roast with veggies or sour cream chicken enchiladas with red beans, rice, and a Mexican corn dip with chips. But I need to branch out…

And it’s our daughter’s birthday coming up in a few weeks… so I’ve got to get busy and send her some home-made nutty granola and espresso shortbread cookies (her favorites).  

Good thing I enjoy cooking…

Well no more nights staying awake thinking about AI or whatever… thank goodness.  I guess I should be glad that those 'dark nights of the soul' don’t come very often.

Hope you are all having a good week so far. 

On a 'my bad' note, my experimental dinner came out fine. I can apparently make everything but the garlic roasted potatoes the day before (could probably do them also - but they are so easy). BUT... I has a few uncooked pieces of chicken left that wasn't needed for the recipe, so I stuck it in the Aga to cook for 15 minutes around 7 pm... and FORGOT IT!  I remembered around 11pm (just as I was putting my book down and calling it a night). So... instead of 15 minutes, it cooked for about 4 hours! Yep, burned to a crisp. Haven't done that in a long time. Usually it's a baked potato that I forgot about until the next morning - cremated. 

Oh well... getting old and forgetful. Problem is that my timer has a very low tone. I don't always hear it. And yes, I probably need to check into hearing aids, just haven't got to it. 

Take care my friends. Enjoy the rest of the week. They really go by very fast. 

Hugs (virtual),



Sunday, April 23, 2023

It's one of those nights...

My mind jumps around with so many thoughts (and I'm sure that yours does too) that it's a wonder we can shut it off at night in order to get the rest and restore they say our bodies need.

Here is one that is on my mind now.

DH and I watched the show '60 minutes' a while back on Artificial Intelligence. It was definitely interesting.

Apparently both Google and Microsoft are working on this (and possibly others). Microsoft recently released "Chatbot" and Google "Bard". They say that Bard has microchips more than 100-thousand time faster than the human brain.

We already have Google, Alexa, and Siri, as well as Smart phones, Smart cars, and robotic surgery. So, AI in it's early forms is already here. From what I've read, there are 3 forms; Limited, General, and Superior. 

When asked if AI could ever be sentient, at one point they said no. But it can learn and teach itself. At another point they said that it could possibly be sentient one day - but don't think it is now.

I think they're trying to see how best AI and humanity can co-exist. I understand this. I love Science and have this belief that we can't stop progress - even if it turns out to be our ultimate end. So much good could come from it... (but also so much bad). However, I do believe there's a possibility that we can get a handle on it... (but will we?).

But if it can contain the whole of human knowledge, if it can learn from us, I imagine it can learn the bad as well as the good. Could it learn to lie, to give false info, etc.? How could that be controlled? (We obviously cannot even control this now...)

Could AI be taught to know good from evil? Could we end up in a situations similar to Hal in 2001 or the scenarios similar to Star Wars/Star Trek movies? 

This is where my mind is tonight. Other nights it could be on the sad state of politics, or world population, or something more personal like family or friends' health, finances, etc. I try to avoid thinking about these things - especially those I have no control over - but the sneaky boogers creep in anyway from time to time. 

I know that I can't save the world... the only thing I can do is take care of my own and contribute in small ways to things that I think make the world a better place.  But with the knowledge that DH and I are closing in on our 80's, it's a bit scary to think that there isn't much time left to get it right.  

Sorry this post is a bit of a downer. Didn't plan on it to be, just needed to share these thoughts. And reminding myself that they are just thoughts, not truths. 

Our usual bedtime is 10 pm. Couldn't sleep. It is now 3:55 am,  I'm going to make a cup of tea and see if I can steer my mind back to happier peaceful thoughts. Thanks for reading. 

Hugs (virtual),


Sunday, April 16, 2023

Posting in bed…

This is new to me… posting in bed at 7 am.  But I awoke early this morning and after making a cup of tea, took it and my iPad back to bed. DH is still asleep beside me. (DJan, this reminds me of your Sunday morning posts... I don't usually use my iPad to blog.)

The house is quiet. But I’m sure the feral cats are already lining up on the back porch awaiting breakfast. 

Olivia awaiting breakfast

Olivia (the black & white female) has a new litter of kittens. She brought them here while we were in the hill country. We think she has 3 or 4… maybe 6 weeks old? 

We got a few things done yesterday that needed doing. Took a bunch of old electronics off to get thrown out or whatever they do with old phones, printers, kindles, etc. Our city has a drop off set up for shredding and electronics ever so often. These old things have been accumulating for a while. Probably still have more in some closets. We have been in this house for 38 years.

I also cleaned off another shelf in the computer room, vacuumed the rug in the den, swept and mopped the kitchen floor, and showered and washed my hair - doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re almost 78, it takes most of your day. I used to be able to clean my whole house in a day… now I’m lucky if I get a room done in a day (That Tom from Sightings over Sixty may answer your “how old do you feel?” question).

Last week our granddaughter had the whole week after Easter off school.  So… she was with us 3 of those days. We played Animal Crossing, Roblox, made jewelry, walked at the mall, ate a lot of pizza and ice-cream, and had crepes and a caramel cappuccino frape  decaf (her - not me) at a coffee shop.

I've found a series I really like. Watch it on byu... but I'm told it's also on Netflix. It's called Heartland and lucky for me, it has about 16 or more seasons. (I hate it when there's only 1-4 seasons - you just get into it and it stops for months - or permanently).

Closing with a few more videos/pics from Easter weekend:

(Remember to click twice, then the small square on right to enlarge video, then click again... I know some don't realize this.)

These last 2 are pics of turtle that is put outside when weather is warm... despite the fact that he prefers it inside.

Bunny pic over daughter's fireplace - I love this pic!

Guess that's it for today! Hope you enjoy your Sunday!  

Hugs (virtual),


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Easter pics in the Texas Hill Country 2023

The first 2 videos were taken at our daughter's house 

over the Easter weekend:

(Remember to click twice on the arrow and click the small box on the right to get the enlarged screen... then Esc to get back)

This first one is our daughter and granddaughter with their horses, Tootsie and Hemi eating carrots from their front porch.

This video is of one of our daughter holding one of their bunnies. They have some black, some gray, some black and white... and they had one little golden one that has already found a home. The people who took him sent this next pic of the bunny with their puppy.

So it looks like he has found a good home... and a companion dog.

Also the trip to the hill country was not altogether uneventful. We kept getting alerts saying one of our tires was losing air. DH filled it twice on the road, but it wouldn't hold. So we finally found an Auto place in this little town... but they had just closed for lunch... so we waited out in the car in the rain for an hour (actually looked for a place to eat while waiting, but didn't find anything). But the place eventually opened and the people were very nice, fixed the tire (had a screw in it), and we were on the road again. However, our 4.5 hour trip ended up taking more like 7.5 hours.

But the rest of the weekend was lovely. We hadn't been to our daughter's house since 2019 (right before the pandemic) so it was wonderful to spend time there. Here are a few pics we took to commemorate the occasion. 

There are more pics and videos, but I won't inflict all of them on you. These are enough to get the gist of our visit. 

We went out to the little town of Boerne on Saturday, dinner out at the Vinyard on Saturday night, and then we cooked for Easter Sunday. We had 'Marry Me Chicken', spinach cups, roasted garlic potatoes, and carrot souffle for our Easter dinner with 4 different kinds of mini cheesecakes for dessert. Scrumptious!

Granddaughter had to leave after lunch to get back to A&M as she had classes Monday morning. But the men watched a movie and daughter and I went for a long walk down the country road in the afternoon (my steps went over 4000 - which is high for me. Hers usually top 10,000).

Before I close this post, here is a video of our gray feral kitten who is getting big... he reminds us so much of our Ghost.  Here he is walking through the high grass in the back to the patio. We let the grass grow around Easter as the cats enjoy hiding in it.

That's it for today's post. Hope everyone had a nice Easter!

Hugs (virtual),


Saturday, April 1, 2023

April 1st... and Rabbit Rabbit!

Rabbit Rabbit! White Rabbit!

and other critters...

This is a video my daughter sent me of one of their turtles inside the house. Apparently when the weather turns cold and nasty, the critters (rabbits, turtles, dogs, cats) can come inside. The chickens try to, but are only allowed on the porch... and the horses would love to... but they do have stalls.

She says that this turtle loves it inside... and explores everywhere.

Next is a few pics of my playing around with Origami... and is Kay's fault from Musings. She posted a video of how to do an Origami swan and of course, I had to try. Then I tried a frog... that hops. And then a rabbit that got way too complicated, so I gave up. I will say that I like the look of my swans, but  I love my hopping frog!

And we finally planted some new veggies in our trug garden:

The garden didn't do well last year... either due to late planting, too much heat, and/or not enough sun in the area. So, I'm trying again - a little earlier and with tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and basil.  

And I'll close this ragtag post with a pic of some Easter teacakes I made recently to bring to my friend yesterday who is struggling with BC as well as a recently dislocated shoulder. We had a nice visit over coffee, snacks, and conversation.  

The teacake bunnies here would have had eyes, but I ran out of chocolate chips...

... virtual Easter hug!