Sunday, June 30, 2013

A walk on the beach

























Laughing gull, Sanderling, Great Blue Heron, Black Skimmer, Brown Pelican, Royal Tern, White-tailed Hawk standing on babies, Gull-billed Tern, Least Tern


Saturday, June 29, 2013

A walk on the mangrove flats

















Laughing Gull, Long-billed Curlew, Willet, Brown Pelican, White Ibis, Tricolored Heron, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great-tailed Grackle.


Friday, June 28, 2013

"Don't believe in God?"


“You are not alone.”



I was shocked when I saw that billboard in Corpus Christi.  Against the deluge of edifices, spires, crosses, television, radio, and religious billboards; one lone voice.  One lone billboard.  One lone statement.


I recognize their point.  Religious people all have a reason to get together and celebrate their faith.  The people that don’t share that faith are not a group; they’re just people; people not subscribing to a particular belief.  Who gets together to celebrate that?


By not having a group and not getting together to celebrate that fact, we who are not religious are just individuals going about our lives without that common point of recognition.  We’re not campaigning for something or against something, we just don’t happen to have a belief.  With all of the conspicuous religion around us, we don’t see any obvious signs that we’re not alone in not subscribing to something that so many people so obviously do.


Nice surprise.  Nice reminder.  I am not alone.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

On the road again


It’s time to head north.  It’s a long slow trip but we’re not going very far very fast.  Today’s challenge was to finish moving from the house to the motorhome and drive 170 miles north to Port Aransas.  We were up to the challenge and arrived here in time to hook up to utilities then head into town to go to Juan’s for dinner.


We expect to be here at Gulf Waters for five days.


Life on the beach.






Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Last November


We made sure to get back to South Texas in time to vote in person.  We did our best to make Texas a swing state, for what that’s worth.


Our polling place is the nearby elementary school.  While we were there voting, we happened to visit with a teacher who then introduced us to the principal (imagine that).  We like the school and the people and later wondered if maybe they could use something similar to what we do with the Louisville middle school.  (In Louisville, every family has to buy their kid a knapsack with all the school supplies including a calculator.  Not every family can afford one.  Even now, after all these years, we still buy them a few extras every year.)


Judy went back and checked with the school principal here a couple months ago and it turns out they are interested in a knapsack program, but with a twist.  They have a new idea they want to try out.  For kindergarten and 1st grade, they want one knapsack per classroom that includes a stuffed animal, and the supplies it takes to write a story.  Throughout the school year, kids will take turns with the knapsack, taking it home and carrying the stuffed animal about.  When it is time to bring the knapsack back, they will write a story from the perspective of the animal they took home about what they saw and did.  It will be a special treat for each kid to get the knapsack and take the stuffed animal home.  What a cool idea.  Yeah.  We can help with that!


So give Judy an idea and turn her loose and here is what it ends up looking like:

There are 10 kindergarten and 1st grade classes.


Each knapsack has a tag from Petsmart on the zipper with the animal’s name and the name and address of the school.  Judy shopped until she had ten good huggable stuffed animals.  She went online and found full descriptions for each kind of animal.  I printed them out for her and she took them to Office Depot and got them laminated.  There is a smaller information card to go inside the knapsack and a larger one with lots more information to go on the wall of the classroom.  Each knapsack has all the supplies for the storytelling part: pencils, crayons, and a composition book.  The composition book will follow each animal with a chronological record of their adventures.


That was fun.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We inaugurated


…the BBQ screen with a six hour slow cook of Kansas City style burnt ends.  Burnt ends start with a brisket.  Brisket has two parts, the flat and the point.  The flat is the better, leaner portion.  We had the butcher cut that away and sell us the point.


Put a rub on the meat.  Close the lid.  Cook with indirect heat (about 275 degrees) for three hours.  Presoak some hickory chips in water and sprinkle on the heated side of the grill periodically.  Over heat this low there is not much smoke from the chips, but there is still an aroma released.


…after three hours the point looks like this.


Wrap in foil, pour some BBQ sauce over it, and cook for another two.


…until it looks like this.


Remove from heat.  Take it inside and cut it into 1” cubes, add a little more sauce, and cook uncovered for another hour; until the beef cubes get a little burned and crusty on the outside.


…like this.


…and serve.




A breezy blustery day outside (which is a good thing when the temperature is in the 90s).  The windscreen performed brilliantly.  Grill temp set as low as it will go on one burner, the other side off completely.  It slow-cooked all day without getting blown out.  The screen did just what it was supposed to do.