Wintery Day Is Just Right To Stay Inside and “Chill”

Morning greetings of winter white out the door--Lyons, Kansas.

Morning greetings of winter white out the door–Lyons, Kansas.

Just like family get-togethers and exchanging presents, snowstorms seem to be a tradition of every Christmas holiday visit I make back to my home state of Kansas.  This morning we woke up to a couple inches of the white stuff on the ground, with even more swirling around in the air.  The snow itself made for a pretty scene outside, but the cold blast of 7 degrees when I opened the door was more than what I’d call “brisk.”

The first thing I had to do was sweep a path on my sister’s patio and then out on the grass for Annie to take a “go.” Finally, she did, at lightning speed.

With the snow still coming down most of the day and the cold wind zipping at the skin, other than re-sweeping the doggy paths, I haven’t wanted to venture out.  It was just the kind of day to keep the house cozy by using the oven to cook up the pork roast and sauerkraut we got yesterday in preparation of a cold day.

Tonight the forecast is for 5 degrees, but I’m sure that the blankets and quilts on the bed will keep me–and Annie–warm.

Swept paths for a little dog to make a quick run outside.

Swept paths for a little dog to make a quick run outside.

Annie stays near--or on--a warm lap on these cold days.

Annie stays near–or on–a warm lap on these cold days.

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Tornadoes Ravage Six Southern States After Anti-Gay Actions Taken by Legislatures, Hate Groups, and Individuals from Those States

 All of this has happened in 2011:

    • Tennessee–State Senate panel advances law that would prohibit the discussion of homosexuality in schools.
    • Virginia–The State Attorney General says that state board does not have authority to allow gay adoptions.
    • Georgia–Atlanta Braves pitching coach is investigated for making anti-gay slurs and gestures.
    • Alabama–A lesbian was beaten and then arrested by a group outside a bar.
    • Kentucky–A member of the Masonic Lodge in Lexington was kicked out for being gay.
    • Mississippi–The designated hate group, American Family Association, started a boycott against Home Depot for making donation to a gay organization.

Then, over a 24-hour period on April 27 and 28, 2011, a devastating storm with major tornadoes wreaked its havoc on the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia.  Don’t see any cause-effect relationship here?  You mean you don’t think it was the wrath of God?  Nothing but a coincidence?

Then why does anyone give evangelists, such as Pat Robertson and John Hagee, any credence when they have blamed gay people for events such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Haiti Earthquake?

All Part of the Weekend Heat: Katydids, El Rey, and Nathan Adrian

Katydid--all that's left is the shell.

The katydids were singing big time last evening when Annie and I took our walk.  (Today I found the shell of one on the leaves of a plant in the backyard; hence, the new banner.)  Aside from the bugs’ buzzing, the neighborhood seemed almost deserted.  I’d say that with all this August heat that everyone was out on the back veranda having a mint julep; that is if people had verandas and still drank juleps.  But by the time the sun is nearly gone, it’s pleasant enough.  There’s a coziness about our little sub-division, as it has it’s own physical boundaries, and the style of the homes and all the mature trees, give it a feel all its own, unlike many of the others out here in the county that just slide from one into the other, without a feeling of being some place.

With all the heat of the day, this morning I was up early to get the plants watered and start the sprinkler for the front grass.  Each week day, I swear to myself that I’ll sleep late on Saturday, but when it’s time for Annie to go out in the morning, every green thing that needs a drink pulls me to the task.

After a shower and some coffee, I was after the Saturday errands.  Even at 10, every stop I made had the sun blistering down and the heat radiating up from the cement.  As I was gadding about, I stopped for lunch at location of one of my favorite Cuban-slash-Mexican places, El Rey.  When I lived in my apartment, I made an El Rey drive-thru run at the one on Washington almost every week.  This one sprang up among all the new shops on the north side of I-10 near Memorial City.

Michael Phelps swimming to victory in the 100 Butterfly.

Finally, I made it back home, and after some time of just soakin’ up the AC, I clicked on the TV.  NBC had on the National Swimming Championships from Irvine, California.  At first, I thought it was live, but after looking for other results, I found out that most of what they were showing was pre-recorded.  Anyway, I got to see Michael Phleps winning the 100 Butterfly and Nathan Adrian beating out Ryan Lochte adn Jason Lezak in the 100 Freestyle.  Both were pretty exciting races.  You can check out all the results and other news about the National Swimming Championships here.

Nathan Adrian prior to his win in the 100 Freestyle in the National Championships.

Adrian all smiles after his victory.

Christmas Eve in Kansas–Brrr . . . It’s Cold Here

Merry Christmas to all!  It’s almost noon here Christmas Eve Day in Kansas.  No snow here but Annie and I tried to take a little walk down my sister’s street, but even though the both of us were bundled up, the bitter north wind with a temperature of 21 degrees chased us back inside within less than five minutes.  My head was already aching from the cold.  It doesn’t take much of this weather to remind me why I live in hot, humid Houston.

The awful winter weather in the northeast part of the state will delay some of the family from arriving today.  My nephew said they drove 6 miles to Lyndon and had to turn back home because the strong wind was blowing freezing rain, making the driving treachorous.

However, we’re warm and toasty inside waiting for stew or soup or whatever my sister has on the stove for lunch.  “Vegetable soup,” she says.