Failed Biscuit Maker

My new title! I recently went through my old, old recipe book and found a recipe for San Jacinto Inn Biscuits. A simplified Christmas meal this year for various reasons…prime rib, mashed potatoes and fresh steamed green beans with apple pie and/or Eggnog cheesecake for dessert. When I found that recipe, I thought I would try the biscuit recipe and see if it truly was reminiscent of my memory of the buttery flaky biscuits of my youth.

The San Jacinto Inn was a landmark when I was a child and young adult. It was located near the San Jacinto Monument, the spot where General Sam Houston caught General Santa Anna with his pants down to administer the coup de gras for the slaughtering of hundreds of Texans at the Alamo. One of our many hurricanes combined with changing dietary attitudes in the 80’s managed to put an end to an era of full bellies.

It was all you could eat for a set price, and the price that jumped into my mind was $16.95. I am almost positive that when I was a child and had the treat of a visit to the SJI it was probably considerably cheaper. The Battleship Texas was permanently moored there and the Inn fed thousands of patrons thousands of pounds of seafood over its lifetime. Sadly It closed its doors in 1987.

So my biscuit saga has come full circle. Today my San Jacinto Inn Biscuits have permanently crowned me the Hockey Puck Queen. Prior to popping them in the oven, I remembered that I had failed to put in the most important ingredient…baking powder. Trying to rectify this huge blunder, I rolled out the dough and sprinkled the baking powder on top and then kneaded the dough knowing full well that this was a failed effort. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I should have chucked the whole mess and started over but approaching the point of exhaustion after all the holiday bustle, I resorted to a wing and a prayer.

When (and I WILL try again) I decide to duplicate my effort to rekindle this memory and even if the biscuits are sheer perfection it will make no difference. For eternity my grandsons will be asking me to pass the hockey pucks.

Happy baking!!!



The Biggest Winners and Losers

If you voted for Trumplethinskin and if you still believe that he and the Republicans are good for our country, then I hope you are happy tonight. I hope you can live with yourself. I hope you can sleep well. And I hope that you hold onto your wallet because the cost for middle and lower class Americans will be life threatening. Unless you live under a rock or on a desert island or unless you simply don’t care to educate yourself about what is happening in America right now then shame on you. You may think this does not affect you, but make no mistake it does. To support the bill as written, Republicans will begin to attack Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid next. This will happen. Watch.


I am terribly sad because the current tax plan passed by this Republican administration has successfully given the top 1% of the population in this country a huge tax break at the expense of the other 99%. Corporations win with their reduced tax breaks becoming “permanent” and the supposed tax break for the middle class expires after 8 years leaving the poorest of our citizens to suffer the most. Thirteen million fellow Americans will lose health care coverage. This is an egregious misuse of power and the tax breaks provided for the wealthy at the expense of health care coverage for children in the CHIP program and the most vulnerable in our society is just the beginning of their assault on social programs.

Franklin D. Roosevelt


It boggles the mind to watch elected congressional members, sent to Washington to work for the best interests of Americans,  gleefully celebrate the implementation of a piece of legislature that has been evaluated as benefiting the wealthy and harmful to the majority of Americans. Polling figures indicate passage of this bill was extremely unpopular with the large majority of Americans but this didn’t deter Republicans from passing it into law without any congressional hearings (zero) along a strictly partisan vote.


America is under assault. The only questions is will she survive. Now is the time to choose your side of history.

Christmas Mania

This time of year can be emotional and stress provoking. The business of making our gift list, checking it twice, planning Christmas parties, baking cookies, purchasing food, making ornaments, buying and wrapping presents and, horror of horrors, going to the post office to mail packages far and wide to friends and relatives.

Each year the dreaded trip to the post office to mail cumbersome packages, evokes feelings of loathing. My recent encounters with the United States Postal Service were no different. I chose a post office that is usually not crowded, a unique phenomena at this time of year. I arrived promptly at 1:30 PM, opening time after the lunch break. Balancing three bulky packages, I struggled through the front door and was disappointed to see the postal windows closed with a sign saying it would reopen at 2:15PM. After mumbling a few choice cuss words, I made my way back to my car, reloaded the packages and headed to the next post office.

Total deja vu as I again gathered the packages and made my way through yet another front door to be greeted by an all too familiar scene…a long line of similarly afflicted humans waiting to be called forward to the one, yes only one clerk that was seemingly oblivious to the length of the waiting line and our mutually shared anxiety and stress.

So, I dutifully waited my turn and was pleasantly entertained by the young woman directly in front of me. She was the epitome of an efficient packaging artist in its purest form. I watched fascinated as she gathered mailing envelopes and proceeded to fill out all necessary forms, recycled mailing labels into graphic art with the names of the recipients beautifully arranged and decorated and then trimmed with her own personal pair of scissors that she fished from the depths of her voluminous purse. She inserted her gifts into the package, made several adjustments to her liking and was still working diligently on her project when I decided to bail from the line and take my chances using the self-service machine.

Machines are always a challenge for me. The pressure is on when you step up to that area of the post office. There were two people in front of me and before long there were others behind us. My anxiety level climbed as I moved closer to my turn at weighing and printing the postage labels for my packages. These machines intimidate me and I frequently seek a young person to assist me but today I was very lucky. Another post office person was circulating in the area assisting people as needed. And boy did I need it. It wasn’t difficult but it is time-consuming  because there is a lot of reading and selecting throughout the whole process. After completing the entry for three packages, the machine told me that my credit card would only allow two self-service transactions so the whole third package was not completed. I ended my session and began again to repeat the information for my third package and reentering my credit card. In essence I was fooling the machine and my bank card, but by this time I was determined to complete the task of getting those blasted packages out of my possession and into the post office delivery schedule so they could begin their journey to their respective destinations.

The entire time I was in mortal combat with the mailing/package machine, I could feel the many eyes of other frantic patrons behind me burning into my back urging me onward to a speedy conclusion of my encounter. With the third package successfully labeled with the appropriate postage tag, I tried to put it in the mail chute and it wouldn’t fit! I carried it to the circulating  clerk who assured me she would get it to the mail room for me. Each step was challenging.

My parting words to her as well as to my fellow postal patrons were ” I am totally exhausted and feel like I have just birthed a 10 pound baby!” I survived my post office mission, but unfortunately I have two more packages to mail so Monday I’ll be repeating the annual battle to send gifts to loved ones as an acknowledgement of how very thankful I am to have them in my life.



Me Too

Another Women’s movement has been spreading across America and this one has been a long time coming.  January 21, 2017,  women, and many men who support and love them, took to the streets all across America to march in protest of the sexual predator who currently occupies the people’s house, America’s Big House. And now the “Me Too” movement was recently named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. It seems that women have finally had enough…enough of the fear each woman wears as a cloak as she traverses her life.

This is something that men just don’t get…the fear of walking to a car in a parking lot at night,  the indignity of cat calls and wolf whistles as you are trying to walk down a sidewalk in broad daylight, the innuendos, suggestive comments, unwanted touching. It isn’t their fault. They aren’t female and have no reference, no yardstick by which to judge. Women live with all of these and more on a daily basis and we are fed up and finally (better late than never) finding our voices and saying…no yelling…no screaming…enough is ENOUGH!!

I have always wondered how any male can justify tolerating or voting for anyone who not only is accused but has admitted to predatory behavior. This is a slap in the face to your daughters, your Mother, your sisters, girlfriends, your grandmothers. When you cast that vote, it is the same as saying “I not only don’t understand what you are feeling but I don’t care”. Small wonder that women across America, and the world, are up in arms.

Every woman has a story, most have more than one, about being confronted with uncomfortable situations and feeling powerless to do anything about it.  Let me be absolutely clear…women do NOT find any of these things flattering. They are offensive, demeaning and decidedly threatening.

This coming January 2018, the resistance will be walking again. Not just women, but men and children, young and old all exercising their right to protest the degradation of our norms. Marching side by side, just as humans, wanting fairness, kindness, and peace. Millions will be participating in cities across America doing what Americans do best….exercising our rights under a democratic government.

Me too!!!!

Battle Fatigue

I, like millions of Americans, am exhausted and fatigued by the constant attack on my peace of mind. The continued angst and anger created, where none need exist, simply because of incompetence, ignorance or simple greed. I am tired. I want to give up. I find myself limiting my exposure to news stories because I know the emotions these stories elicit may be raising my stress level. This morning when my phone and computer would not bring up the internet, I worried that perhaps some horrible nuclear event had happened that had taken the internet down. It made me nervous but also made me realize how much a part of my life is consumed by interactions with social media and how much it is used as a conduit for information in today’s world.

I wonder how any “Christian” could approve of taking healthcare from millions of people, depriving 9 million children of food and healthcare (CHIP), raising taxes on the poor to give the top 20% of the rich more tax breaks, or prefer an alleged pedophile as a seated Senator over a candidate whose only crime is being a Democrat. I marvel that innocent people are still being murdered with guns everyday in America yet nothing is done to “fix” the problem other than to offer up “thoughts and prayers”. I believe that our forefathers would be aghast at what we have become as a nation. And yes, I believe that we are seeing the end of democracy as we know it and America may be in the waning years of its dominance as a world power and is beginning its journey to an autocracy. And the first part of that journey has already been put into motion.


It begins with the disparaging comments directed at the media, planting the seeds of doubt in a gullible or apathetic population. Hitler did this in Germany calling the media the lying press or ‘Lügenpresse’. It continues with daily assaults on norms and values that shock our senses until finally we become numb to the horribleness before us. Slowly it wears us down and we seek to escape the assault  and begin to tune it all out. Friends don’t understand our emotional, visceral response and perhaps pull away from us. We have become isolated and alone with our battle against the attack on norms and if it doesn’t affect us, we might slowly accept the changes and little by little the erosion of freedoms we enjoy.

I worry that if those amongst us who have conspired with a foreign nation to steal an entire Presidential election (treason in every sense of the word) will escape punishment. We have drifted as a nation from equal justice under the law to harsher punishments for the poor and a slap on the hand for the rich. This is a downward spiral toward kleptocracy and sows the seeds of rebellion in any nation. Wikipedia defines Kleptocracy (from Greek κλέπτης kléptēs, “thief”, κλέπτω kléptō, “I steal”, and -κρατία -kratía from κράτος krátos, “power, rule”) is a government with corrupt leaders (kleptocrats) that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources of their own territory in order to extend their personal wealth and political power. Typically this system involves embezzlement of funds at the expense of the wider population.[1][2 This could be describing the Republican 2017 Tax Bill, for it clearly benefits corporations and the wealthy on the backs of hardworking middle America. This is a class war that is reigning debt on our children and grandchildren with little hope of digging out of the ever-deepening crevasse of debt. Whatever happened to “Love thy neighbor as thy self?” If Republicans are the party of conservatism and Christian values, then please let me be among those snowflakes that believe in equality for all.

It’s been a long time coming but the Nothingburger is definitely becoming a Russianburger and with four indictments and two guilty pleas, perhaps we are on our way to correcting the wrongs that are being inflicted on the American people, our World Neighbors, and Mother Nature. We can only hope.


Fall on Lady Bird Lake

Twelve years ago I sold my home in another city, packed my belongings and moved my entire life to Austin. I was happy to put everything in my rear view mirror and begin a new adventure. Everything was different….finding new doctors, checking out grocery stores, learning a complex computer system at work, establishing relationships with co-workers, and making new friends were but a few of the “new” in my life. I wasn’t young when I made this life-changing transition so each fresh challenge was stressful. While I was undergoing all of this change, I had no way of knowing if my decision would be a good one or a bad one. Only time would tell. Hindsight is always 20/20 but after twelve years now in Austin, I can unequivocally acknowledge that I overwhelmingly made the right decision. Everything about my move here has only reaffirmed my decision. But the road to happiness and a peaceful existence wasn’t without growing pains along the way.

Recently my family was tasked with making a life changing decision for a family loved one. At 85 years young, this was a huge life-altering decision. No longer able to live independently, and acknowledging the need for him to be closer to family members who could be his health care advocates, it was mutually agreed by all that a move was necessary.

The sheer logistics of a move from one city to another can be exhausting…arranging furniture movers, stopping and starting utilities, change of address notifications complicated by disorientation made worse by short-term memory issues.

The most difficult part for me was seeing my loved one through different eyes. One time strong, vibrant, extremely intelligent and competent in all situations and now diminished by the aging process to needing assistance in all areas of ADL’s. The saddest part is that he recognizes that he has some issues and is striving with grace and dignity to accept new living arrangements and changes in everything he knows.

We traveled this Thanksgiving to San Diego to visit family and for a few short days, we tried to experience a symbolic return to earlier family gatherings…the traditional meal offerings, a little sightseeing and birding at Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma, and watching old scary movies reminiscent of our youth.

End of life decisions are so emotionally ridden and each of us will face changes as we age. Our loved one planned extremely well and is financially secure. Combined with the support of family, we are hopeful that he will be able to have the highest quality of life possible for however much time he has left in a life well-lived.

Wishing all a Happy Life!!!