Sunday Morning Musings: Great Day (Annise To Be Houston’s Next Mayor), Foggy Day (Wet, “English” Weather), Happy Day (House Getting Semblance of Order)

Fresh "calm" paint on the walls. How do you like the dark accent wall? And there's Annie resting on the bed.

During all the house-hunting, house-buying, moving, and now, finally, settling in, I’ve missed writing here and playing with photos because, even though I have added a few posts, I haven’t put a lot of time into them.

I haven’t really had the motivation to write much about politics.  One thing, being involved in something as wonderful, and, almost, all-consuming, as buying and moving into the first house I’ve ever owned, the emotional ride hasn’t left much room to get angry about the political defeats in Maine and New York or to worry about whether the healthcare system is going to be better or worse after the dust clears in Washington.

However, on the local scene, I’m pretty tickled that Annise Parker has been elected the new mayor of Houston.  (I’m not going to re-hash this topic.  Click onto my homepage to read more about the election.)

Looking from the bedroom into my bathroom. The copper wall decorations I brought back from Greece almost 35 years ago look just as great as they did when I bought them. Probably couldn't afford them now. Yep, and there's Annie posing.

Mostly everything that I’ve been doing has been “house, house, house”.  In a couple of days, I will have been actually living in the house for a month.  People have asked for pictures, and I will add more as time goes by (just to keep up the interest–heh, heh.)  I’d say the house from the front has a Georgian-style look to it.  Hence, the appropriateness of the weather we’ve been having lately.  This morning and the past couple of mornings, the area has had quite a bit of fog; then spells of rain come.  The ground is soggy, quite a difference from spring and most of the summer, when there was a scarcity of precipitation, and there were cracks in the ground.  It’s a great to be in my own house, somehow feeling all protected and cozy, when it’s raining outside.  I suppose that will wear off, but it’s something I never experienced living in an apartment.

Yes, writing here has had to be put a little on the back burner, because with the house come a lot of other “hobbies”.  Mind you, I was aware and looking forward to them.  Even with just the moving in, there have been other projects.  Physically, the house is in pretty good condition, so I haven’t had to do much.  Though I plan to paint all of the rooms sometime, I can stand most of the colors for awhile.  I couldn’t take the “pumpkin” color (some would call it terra cotta) in my bedroom, so even though I had started painting it something more cool and calm, I didn’t get it completely finished until last weekend.  Now it’s done, and I’ve even got the blinds put back up.

(There are so many new things to learn when you get a house, like valance clips.  Not only had I never thought about valance clips before, I would never have imagined that there are so many different kinds of them, and, that when you need to find replacements, that even though the blinds themselves are sold in the fourth largest city in the U.S., it is impossible to find the clips for those blinds locally!)

Foggy morning from my back yard (if you can see the fog). Yep, I have a fountain. And a dead tree that needs to come down.

I need tools.  It’s a good thing that Home Depot and Lowe’s are both less than a mile away, conveniently next to each other, and located before what I would call the slowest and busiest intersection in Harris County–the corner of 529 and Highway 6.  Yes, I live in the county now–definitely “the burbs”.  I had some tools–the typical ones, hammer, screwdrivers, and wrenches.  Now, though, I need yard tools.  So far, I got a saw.  I needed to cut back some of the limbs from the bottle brush trees (yeah, they’re trees not bushes) that were rubbing against the front of the house.)  And hedge clippers.  I don’t have a hedge but there was a huge clump of decorative grass that was spewing way over onto the driveway intertwined with the most devilish rose bush.  After a lot of whacking, the grass appears to have gotten a marine haircut and the rose bush, for want of a better word, has been circumcised.

Oh, yeah, I need some heavy gloves too.

After boxing up and moving so much stuff, especially stuff I’ve collected, I shouldn’t need or want more, but there are things I do need to help me furnish my house–that I didn’t have or need in an apartment.  I guess partly because of my taste and also the style of the house itself, I’ve started looking for pieces at antique stores.  Quite a few years back, antiqueing was one of my hobbies, but when the space ran out, perusing through antique malls and country festivals came to an end.  However, after looking at all the badly-made, somewhat pricey items which come from countries I’d rather not support if I don’t have to, I once again started looking at antique and second-hand stores.  It’s fun, and it’s possible to find something nice and well-made.  And, hey, every bit of the money that I spend at the antique store stays in the U.S.  Yes, so?  What if I’m a liberal and an isolationist?  We need to learn to use what we have and not send our money out of the country when we don’t have to.

"Stilllife--Hopalong Cassidy Cup and Other Kitchen Items". And I like the glass cooktop better than sliced bread!

OK, there my diatribe.  Anyway, yesterday I went to one of the antique malls here in Houston.  (There’s a nice new one in my new area.  Check them out if your anywhere near the northwest part of the beltway–Antiques on 8.)  I really was looking for a side table or some kind of chair to put in my bedroom, but what did I find?  A Hopalong Cassidy cup–just like the one we had when I was a kid.  I had been on the lookout for one of those for a long time.  I’ve even written about that cup before on here. (Check out “Coffee Milk and Hopalong Cassidy”.)  But there it was.  I probably paid a little too much for it, but, really, when it comes something like that, I guess I’m paying for the sentiment and memories as much as anything.

Dang!  I’d better stop musing and get some lunch made.  It looks like the morning’s over!

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Coffee Milk and Hopalong Cassidy

Hopalong coffee mugI’m not a big coffee drinker. I’ve never been one of those people who just have to have their cup of coffee in the morning to get started. (Maybe that’s why I’m a slow starter.) But about once a week or once every two weeks, I’ll get a grande at Starbuck’s at work and add a good helping of half-and-half.

At home, I’ve got my little coffee maker and grinder. I guess I like good coffee. So on a Saturday or Sunday, I’ll grind up a quarter cup of the beans and make coffee, but If I don’t have half-and-half or at least some milk, I’m not going to make coffee. I’m just not going to have coffee without some good “real” dairy product.

I’m pretty sure this all goes back to when I was a kid growing up on the farm. My folks always perked a pot of coffee in the morning. Either Mom or Dad made coffee. I never saw Dad doing any other cooking, but in the morning both of them would be around the kitchen; usually Mom would do most of it, but Dad would be there turning bacon and taking out toast and sometimes making coffee. They always made extra coffee in the morning, set the coffee pot on the back burner of the stove, and reheated what was left for lunch, especially during the cool times of the year. (During the summer, we always had iced tea for lunch and supper.)

Anyway, when I was a little kid, starting around like 4 or 5, I got coffee milk with lunch. Mom would put about a third of a cup of coffee in my cup, fill the rest with milk, add some sugar, and I’d have my coffee milk. I don’t remember it making me feel “grown up” or anything like that, as one might think. I just liked my coffee milk, but I think the main reason was I got to use one of the two white pyrex-type cowboy mugs that we had. I think one was supposed to be mine and one was supposed to be my brother’s, but there was never any controvery (that I remember) about who got which cup. He was older, so I suppose I got whichever cup I wanted, and also, he’d probably stopped drinking out of the “kids” cups. Where we got them, I’m not sure, but they might have been something that came as a prize in a box of oatmeal or maybe my Aunt Lois gave them to us.

hopalong cassidyBut to a kid, these cups were really special. One had a Hopalong Cassidy design on it, and the other, I think, was Red Ryder. Hopalong Cassidy was an early TV cowboy, but Red Ryder was a comic book character. We didn’t have a TV yet in those days, but I remember Hopalong Cassidy because he came to Dorrance on the train. Before television, politicians and actors traveled by train, making stops in almost every town on the line, as a way of getting publicity, and even though Hopalong Cassidy had a TV show, he still did this.

It was a big day in town. All of us kids walked over from the school to the depot, and Hoppy’s train came into town and stopped, and he came out. I don’t have any memory about what he did; he might have sung some songs, because I think he was a singer too. I was just a very little kid, probably in the first grade. I know that we went up there with Mrs. Mullen, my first and second grade teacher. We finally got a TV out on our farm when I was in fifth grade. (I remember the first thing that came on the screen of that TV after we got it hooked up–a Duncan Hines cherry cake mix commercial!) Hopalong Cassidy was still on TV at that time, along with Roy Rogers and other TV cowboys.

I don’t know whatever became of those cups. But sometimes when I make coffee on a morning like this, I think about having my coffee milk in those cups, and the coffee is all the better for having the memories to go with it.

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If you liked this one, you might also like “Hamburger Gravy” and “Puddin’ Meat–Good Food for a Cold Morning”.