Monday, November 22, 2010

Metamorphosis Monday - My Backyard Experiment

As some of you who follow my blog know, this last year I did a little experiment with my backyard. After finding out I had some Mexican Evening Primrose growing wild there, I decided to hold off on mowing until I found out what else was in my yard. It was exciting!  Through May, June and July I discovered all sorts of pretty wildflowers.  Then in September, when it seemed like all the wildflowers were done for and my yard was a tangle of not so pretty weeds, I went ahead mowed one side, leaving only some tall tufted grass that I liked. Then, the very next day the un-mowed side burst into pink flowers!

That doesn't show the pink flowers very well...but it does show how overgrown it had gotten.  That was in September.

Well, about two weeks ago I mowed and now it looks like this...

I left a clump of that tufted grass I like, along with my basil (from my overrun garden that was in the center of that jungle) and a few adjacent wild plants that I thought made a pretty little gathering together.  The pink flowers had stopped blooming, but the plant they had been on is there in that clump too, so I know I'll get it next year.  I was really quite happy about how it turned out!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Souvenir Saturday - Texas Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming up, so how about some good Ole' Texas Turkey!

Texas Turkey apron
Texas Turkey by artmuvz_animals

Hmmm...not exactly type of Texas Turkey you were thinking of?

Ok, what about this?

That's still not it?

OK, here we go...

There, that's Texas Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Aloha Friday

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday! Every Friday (well, ok, almost every Friday) I ask a simple question--nothing that requires a lengthy response. 

This week I've been having some fun tracking down songs related to Texas and California. I'm putting together a list here. So my question for you today is...
Do you know of any California or Texas songs? What's your fave (or a few of your faves)?

Please leave your answer in a comment below.  And, if you have a blog and would like to post your own question you can leave your link at An Island Life.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baffling Buttons

These buttons baffle me...
My heart belongs in Texas (sq) 2 button
(Button by PoliticalGenius)

HUH?  I Texas TX?  I don't even understand what that means.

TEXAS button
by jimhartley

OK, I've heard of Ya'll and Fix'n but never We'e.   Sounds like something someone might say on a roller coaster at 6 flags...or maybe something you pull over to do after driving miles and miles through the miles and miles. 

Though, I will say the "Miles and miles of miles" is hilarious (and absolutely true--as anyone knows who has ever driven from Dallas to California.  It really sinks in when you get to to El Paso and realize you're only half way there.)

If you'ld like to see some less baffling Texas (and California) buttons I featured here

Monday, November 08, 2010

Stupid Texas Song

Here's a great You-Tube video I found of the Austin Lounge Lizard's Stupid Texas Song!

Click here to find more Texifornian music!

And find more country music at the Country version of ...

This Weeks Finds

I decided to post my weekly Texas and California blogging finds (and the occassional Texifornian one).  This is actually for the past two weeks, since I didn't get it up earlier.  Oops.  Anyways, found some wonderful posts and photography.

I met a new Texifornian this week.   (She says shes doesn't really count the Texan part...but generally refers to herself as an exile.  I can relate to that.)  She has FOUR blogs--all of them excellent, but the one I thought had the most "Texifornian" appeal was her blog Owl's Farm:  "the Farm consists a series of musings, mostly about place: topophilia, utopia, dystopia, geography, landscape, and home." 

A little rain yesterday and the puddles were mirrors is a beautiful poetic description of fall in Texas, and then followed that by another beautiful description of East Texas: somerset life: in which i tell the the world about east texas.

And here's my favorite Texas Sky Watch Post:

There were OH SO MANY Californian Sky Watch Pictures to love these last two weeks.   Here are my favorites in no particular order.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Souvenir Saturday - Buttons

Yes, yes...I haven't done a Souvenir Saturday in forever. Thought I'd share some fun Texas and California flair I found on Etsy and Zazzle. I found the button above at Pumpkin Bear. It's her homage to Texas, where she went to college and says she got into mucho mischief.

I found the button's below at Parsnip and Pear. They have nifty map buttons for various California and Texas cites.

And here's some of my favorites from Zazzle....

Texas Vintage Travel Poster button
Texas Vintage Travel Poster by TheVintageVamp

I really liked this Texas button.  It's actually a Vintage drawing SMOOSHED,
which I would have never known if I hadn't explored TheVintageVamp and found
the original.  I think the resized button above came out with a fun
cartoonish look, in stead of looking distorted.

And now for some California buttons...
California Roots button
California Roots by California_Roots

And here's one I could wear to brag on my
Calfiornia upbringing. 

Do you have a California or Texas product you'ld like to see featured here? Leave a comment with a link below and I'll consider it for a future Souvenir Saturday.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Sky Watch Friday

Two Questions Thursday - Aloha Friday

My kids had fun carving the jack-o-lantern above.  It came out pretty scary looking.  But even scarier than that is what happens after halloween...EVERY year.

Well, at least to us.  Everyone else in the world might not get sick the week after halloween, but I can't remember a Halloween we haven't gotten sick.  Even on my second son's first halloween, three days after he was born, his older brother got chicken pox!  This year one child is coughing, and the other seems fine except that he threw up last night....and that wasn't from eating too much Halloween Candy, cause I've only let them eat a few every day.

So, here's my questions for Aloha Friday and 2 Question Thursday:
  1. Do your kids often get sick after Halloween.
  2. Anyone know a great way to clean up vomit?  I have my methods, but if someone has a good way of "sterilizing" the area, I'd like to know.  
If you have a blog and would like to post your own questions you can leave your link on the appropriate day at the linkys at 2 Questions Thursday and An Island Life

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thoughts Following This Election

My husband and I try to research and vote in as many of races for "minor" state and local offices as we can--offices like State Board of Education, Comptroller, and Railroad Commissioner (an office which in Texas has nothing to do with railroads and lots to do with regulating the oil industry).  We know these offices can affect our lives as much as the "more important" positions like Governor and Senator, and we know that less people vote on them, so we figure our votes count even more on these than on the "big" races.

What's frustrating to me this election is realizing how many of these "minor"  offices are decided by people who vote straight party line, when most of those offices don't even have anything to do with what a lot of those people voted straight party line about.  For instance, I'm Pro-Life, so that means I often vote republican.  But when it comes to things like Agricultural Commissioner or Railroad Commissioner their duties don't include anything that would affect that issue. 

My husband and I are watching several of these "minor" races and noticing that in our state the Republican candidates are winning by almost exactly the same margin on these lesser known positions (and that's not true for the more well known offices like Governor and Senator).  It makes me wonder if most of the democrats in these positions are loosing solely because of party line votes from people who, in general, don't even know what the office does or what the candidates stand for (a lot of them at least).  Most of the people who don't vote party line just don't vote on these.

It saddens me to think that because of party line voting some qualified and capable candidates who are running for the right reasons might loose to candidates who are corrupt, inexperienced, misguided, or who are just seeking this position as a stepping stone to another "more important" one.

So, my challenge to you for the NEXT election is this:
  1. Don't vote straight party line!  At very least if you don't know anything about an elected position and whether the republican or democratic (or green, libertarian, etc) qualities you care about are important in that position, don't vote on that particular race.
  2. Do some research on at least one elected position you know nothing about, and next election, do research on the candidates, and vote on the race for that election.
Read more about the affects of Straight-Ticket Voting:
In November, Straight Ticket Votes Decide Winner (Texas)

    Monday, November 01, 2010

    Still Researching Your Vote?

    I am! And boy do I wish I hadn't waited this long. Election day sort of slipped up on me. I thought I had a couple more weeks to go and, YIKES, election day is tomorrow.

    As I find useful articles and sources, I'll be posting them here, mostly be focusing on Texas (since that's where I'm voting).

    This lists statewide candidates, and on the right you'll see links 
    to find U.S. Congressional candidates, and Texas House and Senate Candidates.

    Candidate Research

    Here are some sites that check candidates statements to see if they're true.  It's important to at least skim the explanations of why they think something said was true or false, though.  For instance, they marked Chet Edward's statement Edwards makes a case that he’s steadfastly opposed efforts to impose gun controls. However, none of his cited measures would "take away" anyone’s weapons. It’s overblown claims like this that keep the Truth-O-Meter in business.

    On the Issues

    Free Voters Guide
    NOTE:  This resource can be helpful for positions like Governor and State Board of Education, though realize it asks some candidates questions that have nothing to do with their jobs. For example, The Railroad Commissioner, and Commissioner of Texas Land Use of Texas and Agricultural Commissioner's jobs have NOTHING to do with most of the questions they were asked. They have no say over abortion, Divorce Reform, etc. And its too bad that they weren't asked any questions about the environment or economy because they do have a lot to do with that.

    Check Truthfulness of Candidates Statements
    These sites check whether statements made by politicians are true or false.  Be careful to at least skim the explanation why, because it can reveal important details that shed light on the candidate.  For instance, Chet Edwards was marked "false" on his claim to "say no to Washington liberals who want to steal our guns" not because he didn't actively oppose gun legislation (he did) but because they thought that legislation didn't actually threaten to "take away" guns. 

    (has some articles on California but not a whole section)

    Articles and Info on Specific Candidates and Races

    TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSIONER  - Yes, you should care about this!
    The Railroad Commissioner heads the The Railroad Commission of Texas, which no longer has ANYTHING to do with railroads, but regulates the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal and uranium mining industries. So, if you care about what happened in the Gulf, you should care about this.

    David Porter (Republican)
    Jeff Weems (Democratic)
    Art Browning (Green Party)
    Roger Gary (Libertarian)

    Did Jeff Weems Lawyer for BP and Enron, and Big Oil?
    Summary:   Yes, but it was mainly litigating royalty disputes..

    If you care about conservation, preservation, land use, energy, and surprizingly, Veterans ('s someone related in there), this is a position you should research.

    Land Commissioner Debates


    Debates:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7
    Perry didn't attend,  but I really suggest hearing this.  It really gives a good idea of what the other candidates stand for.

    Find Your Polling Place
    Google has made finding your polling place so simple.  Just type "Find Polling Place" into google.  A few lines down you'll see a text box where you can enter your address and google will map your polling place for you.  Yeah google!

    Please share any articles on any Texas or California election subject you found helpful.  Thanks!