Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goals for 2015

This is mostly cut and paste from last year, with minor tweaking, because that is kind of where we are right now.


More individual and group bonding time with husband and daughters.  Better routines.  Provide emotional support to family members' endeavors.    Continue learning how to support Eldest from afar as she blossoms in college and support Youngest in her tween growth and when she transitions to middle school in the fall.  More regular phone contact with parents and siblings.


Keep up the great work.  Grow and excel in position.


Still need to lose more weight, although I did lose over 15 pounds in 2014.  Still need to spend more time outside.

Spend more time with friends - at least one outing each month - preferably more.

Keep up with Girl Scouts and citizenship and the girls' schools as best as possible but be kind to self about not being able to Do All The Things - this is a really busy time for us with a lot of responsibilities. 


Submit one poem each month
Finish Baby Moon
Submit at least one essay per quarter
Publish Issue 11 of Lone Star Ma.

What are your goals for 2015?  Please post some in the comments section.

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Vegetarian Themes

Today the focus of the Subversive Children's Book Club is vegetarian themes.  Children are often sensitive to the lives and needs of animals and thus are often interested in a meat-free diet, when parents do not strongly discourage it.  No matter how one feels about our furry and feathered friends, however, eating high on the food chain, as only the wealthy can afford to do,  means that those in the developing world often go hungry because there is less food to go around due to the wasted resources.  Beef production also figures heavily in global warming, so raising children on a plant-based diet is an important way to fight world hunger and climate change.  Below is a list of children's books with themes that are supportive of vegetarian lifestyles.  Enjoy!
  • I Love Animals by Flora McDonnell

  • Madeline and The Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

  • How Droofus The Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet

  • Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
  • Standing Up For Mr. O by Claudia Mills
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Remember - Call For Submissions - LoneStar Ma #11!!

Call For Submissions - Lone Star Ma #11

Calling for submissions for Issue #11 of Lone Star Ma:  The Magazine of Progressive Texas Parenting And Children's Issues!!!
Issue #11 never really happened last time around, but butter my butt and call me a biscuit -  it is time to get it done now, Mamas!  

For this issue, we are looking for feature articles on the effects of lax enforcement of environmental standards on children in Texas.  We are looking for articles on the effects of racism on families and on how to raise children who do not perpetuate racism.  We are looking for articles on how the Right-Wing War on Women affects mothers and children.  

Specific other topics we would sure as mastitis on a busy vacation like to see:  social services funding in Texas, education in Texas, children's public health in Texas (no pseudoscience - we heart the CDC), urban farming for busy families, the scary Texas State Board of Education, libraries, sex education, breastfeeding, safely avoiding insect-borne tropical diseases and other issues of climate change and family life.  

We also accept essays on mothers' lives and do accept articles on other themes as well if they strike our fancy, so send whatever you think we should consider and we will ponder it.   Please see the general submission information at for guidelines and please - pretty please -  consider submitting to our various departments, as well. 

Lone Star Ma wants poetry.  Lone Star Ma wants mama fiction.  Lone Star Ma wants vegetarian recipes (without nuts as nuts are evil over here.) Lone Star Ma wants brilliant articles. What have you got? 

The deadline for submissions is Groundhog Day.  Please spread this call around to all your writer-mama friends.  Get out the word, por favor.

Raise your voices, y'all. 

xo, Lone Star Ma


There is a dead mall in the city where I live.  I think dead malls are highly creepy and appropriate symbols of the decline of our culture: mausoleums of greed and consumerism left to decay in the midst of us.  My dad used to take me to this mall when I would visit him as a child, when it was still new and lively. We would get a mountain of nachos at Chelsea's Street Pub and he would buy me Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books at the B. Dalton Bookseller.  The mall does not have stores like that anymore, though.  There are still a few anchor stores hanging on like Sears and Burlington Coat Factory and the dollar movie place, but most of the big stores are fleeing to shopping centers scattered about town and there are very few of the little shops left, just long creepy low-rent halls of emptiness.

The saddest thing to me is that the Lipan Apache Tribal Office is now located there.  I hate to think of it being there in that creepy, decaying space, maybe with nowhere else to go.

The dead mall is not the only sign I see of the decline of a lovely city to a culture of greed.  The city keeps allowing development of new neighborhoods on the ritzy Southside but refuses to maintain the streets and waste water and storm water systems in the existing neighborhoods - a race to abandon real communities and build new fancy places for ever-climbing people to move into and then throw away as they chase whatever consumerist dreams they are chasing in a world that is not teaching its children that you cannot catch or buy fulfillment and meaning - you have to stop and stay and grow it up from roots.

Also, the beautiful little Mexican import store that used to exist on Everhart is now a TitleMax.  The little invitation/stationery/gift shop is now a pawn shop.  So, so, so many TitleMaxes, pawn shops and similar exploitation shops, ready to take advantage of those who cannot keep up anymore.

Can any of us really keep up anymore?  What are we trying to keep up with?  Where is it taking us?

Published: Class Lives

A few weeks ago, a copy of Class Lives:  Stories from Across Our Economic Divide arrived in the mail.  This is an anthology I submitted an essay to quite a few years ago.  They mysteriously located me last year to get a signature and voila! My essay is published. Such a nice surprise.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Boxing Day!

I have determined that Boxing Day is for snuggling with family while eating leftovers and watching Dr. Who and other science fiction. Carry on.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, Mamas!

Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate (or Happy Thursday if that fits best, but watch out for that Thunder Dude - he's a bit impulsive).  

Tidings of comfort and joy, Y'all. Much, much, much Love and Peace.

Christmas Eve

 (Popcorn for Santa's reindeer - not snow.  Silly.  This is Corpus.)

Christmas Cookie Girls

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Peace on Earth

 In honor of the holidays, this edition of the Subversive Children's Book Club centers on themes of peace.  Peace on on Earth, Y'all. Enjoy.

For the Primary and Lower Elementary Set:
  • Our Peaceful Classroom by Aline D. Wolf
  • Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter by Diane Stanley
  • Seven Brave Women by Betsy Hearne
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: an adaptation for children 
           by Ruth Rocha & Otavio Roth
  • Cain and Abel:  Finding The Fruits of Peace by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
  • The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter 

For the Upper Elementary and Teen Set (several of these are pretty heavily Quaker-influenced):

  •  Crash by Jerry Spinelli
  •  The Arrow Over The Door by Joseph Bruchac
  • Summer’s End by Audrey Couloumbis
  • Quaking by Kathryn Erskine
  • The Eye of The Heron by Ursula K. LeGuin.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Colds, Coughing, Cars, Cookies & Kris Kringle

This is my week to Light the candles.

Yesterday was a day of many doctor appointments - the Lone Star Girl's Winter Break-scheduled follow-ups - which was stressful.  This was various specialists - don't even ask me about our ongoing quest to get her in with a decent GP now that she has aged out of the pediatrician's offices, because that has been so ridiculous that I don't think I would believe our story if someone else told it to me.  It was good that the allergist was on the day's list because the little cold she had last week that had seemed better over the weekend had turned into a nasty asthma-y bronchitis that made her steroid-hating doctor prescribe the meds without being asked and say to bring her back if she did not improve, even though he does not generally do acute.  I don't know why I always manage to forget, when her colds are getting better, that that day or two of "well" is just the eye of the storm.  I don't know why she does not let me sleep in her bed when she is so sick so I can listen to her properly either.

Then, on our way home from all the appointments, we were going to pick up our tamale order and, while we were stopped in the turn lane waiting for a chance to turn left into a parking lot, someone turned left out of a side street and ran right into the front of our car. They should not have turned onto the street at all, but if they were going to anyway, they turned narrow and hit us instead of turning onto the street - it was such a strange thing to do that I expect the driver was drunk.  He took off and we could not catch up to get his license plate. Fortunately, we are totally unhurt.  The car is also okay.  It did not feel like it would be, but it was.  A lot to be thankful for!

Today, the Lone Star Baby woke us with a special Christmas Eve Eve breakfast and then we made crazy amounts of cookies and Kris Kringled the near neighbors.  There are: gingerbread women (in pants so they can keep up in the business world, as the Lone Star Girl once said), sugar and gingerbread Captain Americas, Spidermen, Hulk and Tardis cookies, peppermint candy cane, Spidermen and Iron Men cookies, Iraqi orange cardamon cookies, diablo cocoa chile cookies, peanut butter weeping angels and peanut butter chocolate balls.  And after we cleaned the kitchen we played hearts and now the girls are doing some game based on a Taylor Swift song on the Girl's tablet. So today was better.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve. Be well.

Friday, December 19, 2014


In a weird twist of fate, a Chipotle's restaurant opened up in our fair city just a short time after the Lone Star Girl moved away to college.  This is extremely exciting to me because I adore Chipotle's.  

No, Silly -  I am not crazy.  I know the food is nothing to write home about or anything.  Remotely.  At all.

The thing is - Chipotle's has literally not one single ingredient in the whole restaurant to which my daughter has anaphylactic allergies.  Not even anything that was processed on something that also processes something she is allergic to - nada.  This basically makes Chipotle's my hero - a bastion of safety and relaxation in a scary restaurant world. I heart it.  Deeply.  I don't care what it tastes like.

Of course, the local Chipotle's not opening until the Girl had moved did dampen my enthusiasm a bit, but just a bit.  We did not try it until after she got back for Winter Break, largely because our town likes new hip eateries and the line was out the door for weeks and weeks.  Now the Girl is back with all her A's from her first semester, though, and we have gone twice in a week's span of days.  

Safely and soundly.  

It's pretty awesome.

Christmas Progress

I try to avoid all-or-nothing thinking.  The stress and expense of the holidays does bother me and is not what I like about them, but I still get caught up in it every year.  It is not, however, all there is to the holidays, which I still find preciously special.  I love the time our family gets to spend together and all of our kid-centered Advent traditions and the emphasis on peace and joy and how to spread them.

These have been busy years and this one very much so.  I still have a whole lot to do for Christmas.  Today was, however, the last day before Winter Break for both the Lone Star Baby and Lone Star Pa and the cozy closeness of all of us being together in our little house is the best thing in the world. 

Also, I got packages mailed today.  That rocked pretty hard, too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: #BlackLivesMatter

Today's focus in the Subversive Children's Book Club is #BlackLivesMatter - wherein we will feature children's literature featuring strong African American characters and/or important events in African American History.  We all know that our children's social studies classes are a tad overpopulated with Dead White Guys, so it is important to talk about historical events that are not all about the Dead White Guys as well if we want our children to learn about the world and history in a fair and balanced way.  Also, our children's literature seems similarly whitewashed a lot of the time and children need to see more diversity in their reading.  I like these books:  

For Young Readers/Listeners:

  • Sister Anne’s Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki
  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • A Pocket For Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • More More More, Said The Baby by Vera Williams
  • Just Us Women by Jeannette Cains

For Middle Grade Readers: 

  • Junebug by Alice Mead  
  • One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia
  • The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
  • Double Dutch by Sharon Draper 
  • Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

For More Mature Teen Readers:

  • Al la Carte  by Tanita Davis
  • Tyrell by Coe Booth
  •  Like Sisters on The Homefront by Rita Williams Garcia
  • After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Hoopster, Hip Hop High School and Homeboyz (a series) by  Alan Lawrence Sitomer
  • Fast Talk On A Slow Track by Rita Williams Garcia.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fighting Fire With...Low Wages?

Yesterday the City of Corpus Christi cancelled the collective bargaining contract with our firefighters.  

Our Firefighters.

So, um...who do they think deserves good pay and benefits, then?  Do those managers need to be making more than the firefighters?

I personally kind of love firefighters, don't you? 

Human Rights Day

Let today remind us that every day should be human rights day.  Let us build a place where everyone's rights are respected and not just the rights of the privileged.

Welcome to Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club

Today we are starting a new feature at the Lone Star Ma Blog:  Wednesdays with the Subversive Children's Book Club.

Progressive mamas know that if you want to raise your babies to grow up to be good citizens, there is no time to waste.  Folks don't generally turn eighteen and suddenly begin thinking about the evils of racism, sexism, corporate greed and environmental degradation and their responsibility to do something about it.  They mainly only care if they are raised caring.

Citizenship education starts with breastmilk and bedtime stories, but in a society in which both human milk and literacy have somehow managed to become topics of great controversy, and in which children tend to be kept "protected" from knowledge of the world they will inherit, breastmilk and bedtime stories can start to seem downright subversive.  That's okay - we are kind of subversive when we love.  We are subverting a paradigm of fear and oppression and creating a better world.  The Subversive Children's Book Club is here to help with all of your citizenship education needs.  

This feature will provide weekly lists (so many lists!) and the occasional review of quality children's literature dealing with equality, peace, environmentalism, democracy and other progressive values.  To introduce the feature today, however, I am going to leave you with part of the the text of my essay that was published in Mamaphiles #4:  Raising Hell.   

It sums up the idea and introduces the lists to come! 

Reading the Revolution At Bedtime

      There are many things I want my daughters to know and care about.  I want them to treat all people equally and help all people to be treated equally by society.  I want them tread lightly on the earth and to work for peace in the world.  In our family, we try hard to raise loving and socially and environmentally responsible citizens.  We discuss politics with our children, we take them to rallies and marches and conferences and campaigns. I think exposure to the activities of participatory citizenship is very important.  We do something else, too, though.  We read.  And I think that might be more important to their developing values than the rest.

      How we read!  We read stories about peace and equality and the earth.  About the issues that affect people.  We read about history and social issues, our past and their future.  I am always looking for novels and picture books that will help my kids learn the values that our family hopes they will commit to in order to help this world become a better place for everyone. 

      In our reading, we have come across so much.  We have learned the women’s history that they never teach in school and the histories of the many diverse peoples whose accomplishments have shaped our world every bit as much as the accomplishments of the white men that did make it into the history books.  We have learned about the mysteries of sex and the beauty of reproduction.  We have learned about loving and caring for the earth and each other.  We have read about different ways of seeing God, learning what tiny prisms we all are to reflect the unknowable Divine, and how important it is to respect each person’s unique piece of revelation and Light.  We have learned about the devastations of war and the daily work of peacemaking that should always permeate our lives.  We have learned that no one is ever perfect and that we are beautiful in all our flaws and should be as gentle with ourselves as with each other.

       I hold off on books that may discuss violent events (even in a useful way) until the age of seven with my kids, as seven is when a child’s mind develops the ability to filter what it absorbs. I believe in non-violence and want to raise non-violent children. Since the minds of younger children are indiscriminately absorbent, we wait to tackle stories that include violence.  There are many other stories to read in the meantime.  

      We read the revolution in my family.  We read it at bedtime and on the porch and around the dinner table.  Reading to my children is an important part of my resistance to a dominant culture that values oppression when I value people and peace.  The following are lists of some of the best books I have found to teach the values of peace, social justice, diversity and environmentalism to my kids. Maybe you will enjoy some of them.  I would love to know of the books that help your family live their values as well.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Call For Submissions - Lone Star Ma #11

Call For Submissions - Lone Star Ma #11

Calling for submissions for Issue #11 of Lone Star Ma:  The Magazine of Progressive Texas Parenting And Children's Issues!!!
Issue #11 never really happened last time around, but butter my butt and call me a biscuit -  it is time to get it done now, Mamas!  

For this issue, we are looking for feature articles on the effects of lax enforcement of environmental standards on children in Texas.  We are looking for articles on the effects of racism on families and on how to raise children who do not perpetuate racism.  We are looking for articles on how the Right-Wing War on Women affects mothers and children.  

Specific other topics we would sure as mastitis on a busy vacation like to see:  social services funding in Texas, education in Texas, children's public health in Texas (no pseudoscience - we heart the CDC), urban farming for busy families, the scary Texas State Board of Education, libraries, sex education, breastfeeding, safely avoiding insect-borne tropical diseases and other issues of climate change and family life.  

We also accept essays on mothers' lives and do accept articles on other themes as well if they strike our fancy, so send whatever you think we should consider and we will ponder it.   Please see the general submission information at for guidelines and please - pretty please -  consider submitting to our various departments, as well. 

Lone Star Ma wants poetry.  Lone Star Ma wants mama fiction.  Lone Star Ma wants vegetarian recipes (without nuts as nuts are evil over here.) Lone Star Ma wants brilliant articles. What have you got? 

The deadline for submissions is Groundhog Day.  

Raise your voices, y'all. 

xo, Lone Star Ma

Monday, December 08, 2014

Bedtime Stories

Bedtime stories have always been important in our family, as instilling the practice of reading is important to me as a parent, and books are sometimes a good way to teach our values, but also - mostly - because it is such a good way to bond.  I was, of course, a much better and more consistent reader with the Lone Star Girl than I have been with the Lone Star Baby, though.  My mom says that kids are like waffles and you ought to be able to throw the first one out, but I think the first one often gets the best of you - your time not divided by other children, your job still probably smaller and less time consuming in those days of youth.  Everything with the Lone Star Baby has been more catch as catch can for the most part.  Her sister has seemed as close as breathing to me for so long, closer, and I struggle to provide the experiences that will keep the Lone Star Baby as close to me.  With less time, it does not happen as automatically - it takes more conscious work on both our parts.

I remember when I stopped reading to the Lone Star Girl at night.  She was eight and we had started reading the first Harry Potter book at bedtime and she was into it.  It just took too long to read it in installments at bedtime, though, and she wanted free reign to read it on her own without having to wait until we were together at night.  When it became her book instead of our book, our nightly bedtime reading together also ceased.  It just happened like that.

I was surprised that the Lone Star Baby and I seemed to be reading together at bedtime past that age, even though we read less consistently, a night here and a night there.  Still, until this summer, it had been quite awhile since we had read together at night and I had thought that we were done, too.  I had started reading The Hobbit, I don't know when, and she had not been very interested and we had just sort of tapered off.  Somehow we got started again, though, sometime after her birthday, and bit by bit we have kept at it in our inconsistent way.  We finished The Hobbit last night and I think I will start a Christmas novel with her this week.  She is ten and reading lots of YA dystopian fiction quite on her own, but I will try to hold on to our bedtime reading for a bit longer, I think.  I will hold on to that time at night together to anchor us in each other for the years ahead.

Advent Wreath

Last night was the first Sunday in Advent, so it was time to light the first Advent candle and, as the youngest child, the Lone Star Baby had that honor.  She thinks it is patently unfair that her week is the week when there is only one candle to light.  We have a Christmas tree-handled little candle snuffer that makes the whole experience better, though, by the end of dinner.

What are your family's holiday traditions?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

St. Nicholas Night

Today the Lone Star Baby found a bracelet in her shoe under the Christmas tree from St. Nicholas.  Somehow one of the Lone Star Girl's left-behind shoes had made it under the Christmas tree as well and St. Nicholas left her a little giftie, too, to find when she visits for the holidays, so I guess she is not so grown up as all that.

Tidings of comfort and joy, y'all.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

So Horrible

The families who will not have their fathers and children back this Advent no matter how long they wait.  My prayers are with them.  My prayers for peace and justice are with our scared and oppressive world, that we may learn faster and better.  Please teach your children about oppression and raise them to see it when it is there and not perpetuate it ever.


Monday was the first day of Advent, so Monday night the Lone Star Baby took the first little book out of our old Advent calendar and read the first little part of the Christmas story and we hung the little book from its golden thread on our little Advent tree and moved our Magi figures a smidgen down the hallway.  Last night, too.  

It is good to feel traditions take hold when our family has had such big changes.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Early Voting For Corpus Christi City Council District Two!

Early voting starts today for Corpus Christi run-offs and runs December 1-5 and 8-12.  I'm voting for Brian Rosas. 

World AIDS Day : HIV/AIDS & Adolescents

HIV/AIDS is the second highest cause of death for adolescents worldwide.  Teach your children how to protect themselves.

World AIDS Day 2014: Closing The Gap in HIV Prevention & Treatment

Today is the World Health Organization's World AIDS Day, a day to raise awareness about AIDS and what can be done to save lives.  This year's theme is Closing The Gap in HIV Prevention and Treatment.  Find more information here.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Action Alert: Comments Close On Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule Monday!!!!!

Hurry, Mamas!  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently taking public comments on a proposed rule change that they announced in June which would lower carbon pollution from existing power plants by 30% by 2030 from 2005 levels.  This rule would help stop climate change and encourage clean, green technology to revitalize our economy and protect our health and our futures.  Comments close on Monday, though!  Please tell the EPA that you support the rule change now!

You can find instructions on how to comment on the proposed rule here:

Texas Safety Rest Areas: Brooks County

We stopped so I could take a restroom break at the Brooks County SRA today on our way home.  The rest stop was beautiful and wonderful and clean, as most rest stops I have noticed in Texas over the last few years have been.  I certainly remember back when Texas rest stops were pretty unpleasant but they have steeply improved in recent years.  The Texas Department of Transportation has been updating them and taking better care of them.  There are 80 of them and they are open 24 hours a day, with most having an attendant on duty around the clock and the ones that do not having an attendant on duty from 6am to 6pm. They are so nice - I would like to visit all of them (but in the daytime)!

Only one women's restroom was open at this big rest stop as the others were being cleaned and so there was a really long line.  After awhile, the word went down the line that there was no more toilet paper.  A woman in line called to her husband to go get us some and he brought her a roll and she shared it out with everyone in line.  It was so nice.  I love people in lines together.

I wish I could find someone to write a Texas Rest Stop Adventures column for Lone Star Ma.

Putting Up Christmas

On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we put up and decorated our Christmas tree and all of our other Christmas decorations.  It was so nice to have the Lone Star Girl home for Thanksgiving Break to do it with us!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Getting to Thanksgiving was a little challenging this year so we are trying to chill and enjoy our time together, which means that most of the cooking is only just barely in progress.

Tuesday night after work, I headed to Edinburg to pick up the Lone Star Girl.  I already am not a fan of trips to Edinburg undertaken so late because I do not love driving through Brooks County on 285 at night, with all the too-fast cars  and rigs that think passing is such a good idea.  We made it down that road fine, though, and past the big Stripes on 77 in Riviera only to come across a giant roadblock teeming with Border Patrol before reaching Ricardo.  

I think the Falfurrias checkpoint must have known something was going on in the area because when we went through, they had asked us a bunch of questions and searched our car while we are so not what they are looking for that they usually barely glance at us.  We told them we were headed to Corpus, so I wish they had told us that we weren't going to be able to get through back there as it would have saved us almost an hour, but they did not.   The agents at the roadblock in Riviera said it was going to be hours before the road opened and suggested a detour that was going to add a good long while to our drive and it was already almost 10pm.  We went back to the Stripes, pulled out a map and called my dad to verify what looked like possible routes and then headed all the way back to Falfurrias and got on 281, planning to head through Kingsville the back way on 141.  I do not know that side of 141 and was very nervous about it, wondering if it would not be safer to keep going to 44 in Alice. We found 141, though, and took it through to 77, past the roadblock,  without incident.  We should have gone the Alice way, though, because when we were almost to 44, there was a terrible accident a few cars ahead of us and we and a whole bunch of other people there were stuck there for a good half hour or more.  The Girl and I made it safely home a touch after 1am, though.

I am not even mentioning the issue of having to take the Girl's ant venom serum home to get measured.

I had work on Wednesday and by the time I got home, I was very tired.  I feel selfish to say so, but I am a little relieved we have no Thanksgiving guests this year, under the circumstances, because we did zero cooking last night and are doing it all now, with no real need to worry about the time, which is nice.

I am grateful to be here with Lone Star Pa and the girls, safe at home with warmth and shelter and good food and good health.  I wish everyone else had the same.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Praying For Peace & Justice...

...for the people of Ferguson, though it looks like they will have neither tonight.  Praying for them and for all the oppressed peoples of the world.

Squash Mariah & Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Every Thanksgiving, I make a holiday squash recipe as our signature Thanksgiving dish.  Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:  Six acorn squash, three big apples, butter, cinnamon sugar.

  • Cut the acorn squash and scoop out and discard (or plant!) the seeds and pulp.
  • Put the squash halves, flat sides down on a baking sheet and bake them for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Chop up the apples.
  • Set the squash halves cut-sides up in a baking dish and sprinkle the scooped out part with cinnamon sugar, then put a little pat of butter in each.  
  • Stuff each squash half with chopped apples and cover again with cinnamon sugar and dabs of butter.  
  • Pop the stuffed squash back into the oven until the apples are baked in the buttery, cinnamon goodness and the squash is toasty again. 
  • Enjoy!

Do you have vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes? Please share them in the comments section to help other vegetarian families get cooking!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Holiday Vacation Childcare Shuffle

The Lone Star Baby is out of school all next week.

Lone Star Pa is off starting Wednesday.

The Lone Star Girl is off from college technically just Thursday and Friday, but she only has labs on Wednesday and the labs are closed Wednesday so I am  picking her up Tuesday night.

I am off Thursday and Friday.

Thankfully, the school the Lone Star Baby used to go to is also a childcare center and will kindly take her as a drop-in on Monday and Tuesday.

The familia minus myself can hang out together on Wednesday.

We can all be together Thursday, Friday and Saturday and can take the Lone Star Girl back to college on Sunday.

Holidays are complicated.

Cranberry Sauce!

I forgot the cranberry sauce!  Even though I am the only person in this familia who will eat it, cranberry sauce is a must.  So I got it today and also found and got the Girl's razzleberry pie!  Yippee!

I also got supplies for some upcoming school projects the Lone Star Baby is working on, supplies for a Christmas gift craft for the Girl Scouts to do, supplies for a Christmas craft for the Girl Scouts to make for the nursing home when we go caroling, tiny Christmas tokens for the Girl Scouts and Christmas presents for my nieces and one of my nephews. I rocked.

Textbooks In Texas

The Texas State Board of Education has been at it again. On Friday they adopted 89 textbooks and classroom software products to replace those being used in Texas classrooms today.  These books were written to meet the ridiculous changes that the SBOE passed in Texas social studies standards in 2010 (the whitewashing of history, basically, because what we all need in our social studies classes is More Dead White Guys, right?).

Some of the problems that actual social studies experts criticized in the new textbooks include:

  • An emphasis on Biblical figures as influences on the founding fathers that is basically fiction (there are actual letters between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson stating that this was not true)
  • Material that undermines the separation of Church and State
  • Scant attention to the role conquest played in humanity's migrations
  • Negative portrayal of Islam and Muslims
  • A downplaying of the role of slavery as a cause of the Civil War, although this was reported to be fixed
  • A political distortion of climate science that casts doubt on human contribution to climate change.

All of the Republicans on the SBOE voted to adopt the new textbooks and all of the Democrats voted not to adopt them.

I am so tired of Republicans trying to re-write history, undermine science and dumb down our children so they can be obedient little cogs in the corporate machine.  Make sure, Mamas, that you teach social studies at home, so that your children continue to learn how to truly critique social, political and economic systems and not just how to drink the Kool-Aid.

Recently Read....

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Enjoyable YA dystopian fiction about a society where people are divided into day and night shifts of living and the adventures and forbidden romance that ensue when a girl breaks the rules out of love for her dying grandfather.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The subtitle - "A Tale of Love, Loss and Robots" pretty much says it all; a novel about the nature of consciousness and love.  Surprisingly literary for science fiction, very engaging.

Valleysong by Texas Rio Writers

An anthology of stories about life in the Rio Grande Valley written by members of a writers' group in the area. I really enjoyed the South Texas feel of these stories, though they were targeted to an older demographic (and I am pretty old).

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Menus

Well, we survived the Thanksgiving supermarket shop!  Below is the plan for our Thanksgiving dinner, as decided by the girls (the green beans were at my insistence and the popcorn was Lone Star Pa's idea):

  • Rolls
  • Popcorn
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Squash Mariah
  • Razzleberry pie (I still have to get this - the HEB we went to didn't have it)
  •  Green beans
  • Tofurkey.

What are you having for Thanksgiving dinner, if you celebrate it (we celebrate it as a family time of gratitude, not as a fond remembrance of the exploitation of Native peoples, about which we feel not at all fond in the remembering)?

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Saving The World Like MTV

More good news!

Being part of the original MTV generation, when it was about music videos and weird disk jockeys and stuff, I have never gotten into its current programming, which seems rude and weird and voyeuristic to me. The Girl, however, has explained to me that MTV is actually saving the world on the down-low with its shows like Girl Code and Guy Code. Apparently these shows are the height of offensive for the most part, exposing all that is bad and horrible about our ignorant, consumer-driven, narcissistic American culture, but .... in between all of that, MTV sneaks in the truly useful sex education that schools and parents ignore, so that our silly youth can survive long enough to grow up and learn some hopefully better ways.

The Girl is a public health freak who worships the CDC so she thinks about this sort of thing.

She has also started writing for a very popular website that is also pretty rude and targets the young adult demographic, maybe a bit older than the MTV watchers but, as yet, no wiser.  They recently published her first piece on sex education which has been their #1 viral article for days now, with way, way more than  million views.

That's my Girl...saving the world.  I am so proud of her.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Denton: Home of Happiness

I think we could all use some good news, right?

Denton, Texas has brought us about the only good news to come out of these elections.:

 Its citizens have voted to ban fracking within its city limits.

Wow.  Just wow.  A North Texas city in the middle of Conservative Land and just look at that!  

My husband and I met and married in Denton, by the way, I am proud to say.

Now the Texas General Land Office and the oil and gas industry is suing Denton and trying to override the will of the citizens and force them to allow an industry that they do not wish to allow.

We should all be the kind of citizens who stand up for what we think is right for our communities the way Denton has done.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Mama's Not Happy, but Mama's Still Here

These elections did not please me.  Not one bit.

We don't cry and go home, though, Mamas and Sisters and Daughters.  We don't see this as an end, but as a beginning.  Next election, Texans should be able to vote without an unconstitutional poll tax if we do our work and so we need to keep registering voters and educating people about getting to the polls.  

If Texas votes, we win, so we have to help Texas vote.  Not just right before the election, but all the days in between election seasons, too

Things will get better for Texas if we don't give up. It's a long process, being a citizen - one that never ends.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Election Day

Today is Election Day.  Our democracy does nothing that we do not make it do.  It does nothing at all if we do nothing at all.  We the people are our democracy.  We make it with our votes. The power is ours.  It is yours.

Please vote.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Have You Made A Plan For Voting?

Election Day is Tuesday! If you have not voted yet, you need to make a plan to get to the polls! On Election Day, you must vote at the polling place for the precinct where you are registered.  Do you know where that is?  Do you know the times when it is open? Do you have ID? has some good information to help you make your plan here.  Make a good plan and follow through with it - vote for a better Texas!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nueces County Mobile Early Voting Locations: October 30th

Behavioral Health Center of Nueces County:  10am - 5pm
DMC West Coleman Center: 9am - 5pm
Homewood Residence Retirement Center:  9am - 2pm
David Berlanga Community Center: 8am - 4pm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Turn-Out Low: Go Vote!!

Early voting turn-out in Nueces County has been low.  Hidalgo County is frankly kicking our butts (what happens when the Lone Star Girl moves) for turn-out.  We need to catch up - represent, people!  Please vote today!

Nueces County Mobile Early Voting Locations October 29th

Christus Spohn Shoreline:  9am - 5pm
Texas A&M CC (O'Conner Building):  9am - 5pm
Harbor Place Retirement Center:  9am - 2pm
Driscoll ISD Cafetorium:  8am - 4pm

GI Bug Report: Corpus

Pediatrician's office says it is lasting 4-6 days.  Then laughed at me when my jaw dropped.  It does not seem to be a really terrible one for the older kids, though - just long and yucky.  Fun times.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nueces County Mobile Early Voting Locations October 28th

CC Medical Center Doctors Regional:  9am - 5pm
DMC South - Center for Economic Development:  9m - 5pm
The Waterford at Corpus Christi:  9am - 2pm
Petronila ISD (Cafeteria):  8am - 4pm

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nueces County Mobile Early Voting Locations October 27th

Corpus Christi Medical Tower:  8am - 5pm
South Texas Lighthouse For The Blind: 9am - 5pm
Lindale Senior Center: 9am - 2pm
Lone Star Country Store:  9am - 5pm

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vote Lone Star Baby!

As part of earning their Inside Government badge, the Girl Scout troop took an after-hours tour of City Hall on Thursday night.  I think she looks kind of good in this chair, don't you? (Even with bunny ears!)

Pumpkin Patch

We did finally make it to the pumpkin patch last week.


Blockwalking For Battleground And Doing All The Things

I went block-walking this evening to spread the word about early voting.  I was feeling pretty useless at first because my neighborhood, where a Battleground organizer also lives, has been a real hotbed of organizing today and I feel guilty for just taking one short shift this evening and, previously, a very few whenever I could fit them in.  I have been in one of those times when I feel like my many roles keep me from satisfying the people involved in any one role - the family, work, friends, active citizens, the Girl Scout troop:  it just seems like there is always someone who has more time to give than I do in each scenario and I have a great capacity for guilt over this in each and every role.

While out walking, though, some former students of mine saw me and ran over and hugged me and were really happy to see me and their mom talked to me about voting and I remembered that, really, all of my roles are important.  And maybe it is the intersection of all of them in which my life is lived which makes my life useful - not the all that I cannot give to any one.  So I felt better. Even though my little one does not really feel well tonight and I am planning to make her go to school tomorrow anyway since she has no fever or vomiting or such and I feel guilty about that but also think it a slippery slope to do otherwise:  that role difficulty again.

Yesterday I ran errands and graded papers while facilitating a play date for my young one.  

I finished counting and submitting the Box Tops for her school today, too (still have to mail them this week). I knocked on over 30 doors to talk about early voting.

Called my mom and my brother.  Grocery shopped.  Read some of The Hobbit to my young one until she fell asleep. 

Some things.  Maybe not all the things, but some.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Nueces County Mobile Early Voting Locations, October 24

La Michoacana Bakery:  7am - 2pm
Hi Ho Restaurant:  6am - 2pm
Seniorcare Center Corpus Christi:   9am - 2pm
Driscoll ISD Cafetorium:  8am - 4pm

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nueces County Mobile Early Voting Locations, October 22

CC Medical Center Bay Area:  9am - 5pm
Tower II:  8am - 4pm
Oveal Williams Senior Center:  9am - 2pm
David Berlanga Community Center: 8am - 4pm

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lone Star Ma Endorsement: Mary Helen Berlanga For County Judge

I will be voting to elect Mary Helen Berlanga for County Judge in Nueces County.  When she served on the Texas State Board of Education, she was one of the only members who opposed the draconian racist changes to our social studies textbooks.  As County Judge, she would not support shut-down of the hospital in our community that cares for the poor and for those with mental illnesses, though she might not be able to stop it given most of the rest of the Court (God Bless Oscar, again).  She would not support tax abates for companies that pollute our children's environment, either.  She cares about the people of Nueces County, not just the developers.

Nueces County Mobile Early Voting Locations, October 21st

All the early voting substations are still open from 8am - 5pm.  Here are today's mobile locations and times:

  • Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital:  9am - 5pm
  • CCAD:  7:30am - 5pm
  • Trinity Towers:  9am - 2pm
  • London ISD (Middle/High School):  8am - 4pm.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Nueces County Mobile Early Voting Locations October 20, 2014

Here are the day's mobile polling places and times on this gorgeous first day of early voting! Please vote!

YWCA: 9am - 5pm

One Shoreline Plaza:  9am - 5pm

Garden Estates Retirement Center:  9am - 2pm

Lonestar Country Store:  9am - 5pm.

Nueces County Early Voting Sub-Stations

Here is a list of the Nueces County early voting sub- stations:

  • Nueces County Courthouse
  • Corpus Christi Area Council For The Deaf
  • Ethel Eyerly Senior Center
  • Greenwood Senior Center
  • Hilltop Community Center
  • Island Foundation Seashore Learning Center
  • Johnny S. Calderon County Building
  • Nueces County Bishop Community Center
  • Port Aransas Community Center
  • School of Science And Technology
  • Banquete ISD Admin. Building
  •  Calallen ISD Admin. Building
  • Corpus Christi City Hall
  • Corpus Christi ISD Admin. Building
  • Del Mar College Admin. Building
  • Flour Bluff ISD Maintenance Building
  • Robstown ISD Admin. Building
  • Tuloso Midway ISD Admin. Building
  • West Oso ISD Admin. Building.
Hours for early voting at these sub-stations are:

  • Oct. 20-24:  8am - 5pm.
  • Oct. 25th: 7am - 7pm.
  • Oct. 26th:  12pm - 5pm.
  • Oct. 27th - 31: 7am - 7pm.