New app, ‘Ready Virginia’

It is another messy, but quiet day in Prince George, VA. Two of the local papers today are focused on storms.  Elliott Robinson has two huge articles on  on Essex and Waverly and how they are recovering (or not) from the tornadoes three months ago.

Below, the Petersburg Progress-Index focuses on preparedness as we enter hurricane season.  The subject of this article makes sense for any kind of natural or man-made disaster.

via Virginians urged to be hurricane ready – News – The Progress-Index – Petersburg, VA

Improving Immunization and Fighting Polio in Pakistan — Rotarian Economist

‘We’re (this) close’

Polio remains endemic in only two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Apart from polio campaigns, broader support for immunization is essential to eradicate polio. Two weeks ago (on April 21, 2016), the World Bank approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $50 million to increase the availability of vaccines for infectious diseases, including polio, for children under […]

via Improving Immunization and Fighting Polio in Pakistan — Rotarian Economist

Some rhetoric for consideration

“The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.”

Hillary Clinton quoted these words in a recent speech in Madison, Wisconsin.  This is language from Justice Kennedy’s opinion  in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 landmark case upholding gay marriage.

Two segments of this passage arrest me ..

“The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times.”  Even if we do see injustice we can shrug the issue away because it isn’t a problem we share, we are too busy, someone will do something, or it is just insurmountable.  There is less of an indictment of us if we are unaware of the injustice, but how often, really, is that the case? It could be that we need to be more curious as much as we need to be more caring.

” … a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.” This is a most genuine and germane description of the mandated role of our Supreme Court.  It is not to be an atavistic literal interpreter of the mores and inclinations of the founders, but to be the link between the political vision of the fathers and the continually emerging realities of a maturing nation “to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.”

Yes, the Supreme Court really matters.  The people appointed to serve as Justices are the moral defenders of liberty.   Their intellect and logic must be mindful of the past, but also attuned to an advancing understanding of humanity.


Am I an influential person?

“9 Habits of Profoundly  Influential People”:

WIN_20151207_18_17_44_Pro (2)Somewhere in the blur of the last few months I read an article, caught a meme, or was captured by an infographic touting habits shared by influential people.  There being only three other people who share my little 6 acres, I doubt these ‘habits’ would be recognized by my family as traits exhibited by me. In my little sphere I am pretty influential because I am the cook.  I am curious about what you think about these habits as descriptors of those with profound influence:

  1. They think for themselves.(Influenced by what they know.)
  2. They are graciously disruptive.(Like to disrupt to make things better.)
  3. They inspire conversation. (Multi-directional.)
  4. They leverage their networks. (Lasting connections.)
  5. They focus only on what matters. (Not trivial.)
  6. They welcome disagreement.
  7. They are proactive. (Seek things out … early adopters.)
  8. They respond rather than react.
  9. They believe.

My apologies and appreciation to the creator of this list.  I ask your forgiveness and will cite you if I can determine the source.

Thoughts from the blogosphere?

A tribute to my wellies …

The snow and ice is melting, slowly.  We never lost power.  Except for a white-bean pot I’ll cook today, all of the ‘snowed-in food supplies have been cooked and mostly eaten. We have cleared the area around our mailbox and the end of our driveway.  Our vehicles are cleared, totally.  It is time to rejoice in the sun, restock the pantry, run the errands that need to be run, and unkink from the Jonas hunker mode.

A number of times today I will pull on my trusty wellies of many years and continue mywellies2016inspecting around the yard for storm mischief, air the Aussie and the yellow lab, and generally breathe my sighs of relief under the winter blue sky.  The wellies are tried and true friends. The vamps fits perfectly.  The ankle areas are commodious enough to be able to slide in my feet easily, and to remove them without a village to help me extricate myself from their grasp.  The wellies serve year round in rain, mud, snow, and sometimes as a hoped-for protection against snakes.  In the winter the merino wool knee socks replace the talc I use in the summer to wear the boots comfortably.

So you can have your knee-high, high-heeled, ersatz riding boots for winter wear and may the winter gods smile on you, protecting you from the potential harm to which your silly footwear exposes you.

Jonas, get outta here

What is our (our little patch of Prince George) aftermath of Jonas?

— about a quarter inch of ice sandwiched between two layers of five inches of snow

—  three vehicles that will take patience and sunshine to uncake

— a road that will clear in patches in the sunshine later

— a refrigerator stuffed with all manner of food cooked in advance of losing power, except that we never lost power

— a ham bone that must be cooked in white bean soup today

— a grateful Dominion Power customer

— a Prince Georger looking forward to spring … oh, another storm in on the way, you say

Never mind, I am going to focus, for the moment, on my paperwhites


 — shhh, a discreet thank you to the Weather Gods


Keeping the wellies by the door

Jack during Jonas 2016
Jack, the Aussie

Jack and I got out together a few times yesterday.  Aussies have important things to do outdoors and I can’t resist some personal connection with weather.  I make an exception for thunder and lightening storms.  A bit too much of a survivalist for that kind of escapade.


It is Saturday morning, just short of 24 hours into Jonas.  We still have power so life is good, but so as to not tick off the weather gods … I know we will lose power sometime today.  The wind is rising and trees will fall.  We are prepared to carry on.Devices are charged as are the backup chargers.  I just hope the creamy chicken stew finishes in the slow cooker before we loose power.  Not to worry.  If necessary I can continue cooking it on the Coleman stove, but one must have goals.

We will not starve. The chili went great with the guacamole I made yesterday and we never cut into the pan-grilled London Broil.  The beef and sliced ham can be eaten as is and the chili, etc., can be simply reheated.

I am cooking less today.  Will nap more as my friend Cynthia suggested, write the Moore PTO Newsletter, work on the blog, and read.  I am reading ‘Book One: Flight of the Vessel’by a fellow tweep, @RobertCStoreyJr and ‘The Road to Little Dribbling’ by Bill Bryson.  Quite a contrast.  If I lose power the writing will be challenged but the napping and reading of ebooks will continue unchallenged.

Storm Jonas, at last

After a week of alarming predictions Storm Jonas arrived in my little patch of Prince George, Virginia about thirty minutes ago.  I am glad.  The anticipation was raising my anxiety and possibly my blood pressure considerably.  I didn’t know until last night that this storm had been dubbed, Jonas.

I am not sure when we started naming storms, other than hurricanes, but it adds a personal connection between the machinations of weather and the reactive planning of humans.  My memories of Isabel and Irene, both hurricanes, are vivid as we were without power for about a week in both cases.  The ice storm of 1998 is just as vivid with loss of power for a week, but we were not naming non-hurricane storms at that time so I don’t have a human’s name to link to my memories of misery.  So, if The Weather Channel came up with the idea of naming storms, I am glad of it.

Jack in a past storm, name unknown

As I write this  at 10:30 on Friday morning, I am wondering if Jonas will visit upon us another week of no electricity after the freezing rain and heavy wind arrive during the evening and early morning hours.

While I wait I am cooking, reading, tidying, blogging, and continuing my meager preparations for the storm. Chili is cooking, chicken thighs are about to go in the slow cooker, and later a London Broil (thick flank steak) will get cooked in my large cast iron skillet on top of the stove.  With my Coleman stove I can reheat food, make coffee, and wash dishes … so we will not starve.  Take that Jonas.


Brave new world … a new theme … a new layout

Libre is the new WordPress Theme I am adopting for my Xena blog, jettisoning Chateau.

The change is the result of one of my assignments as a participant in WordPress’ Blogging 101 program. Each day during the week participants receive a daily assignment to guide them through the various content and programmatic options available as wordpressers.

I ‘dropped out’ of Blogging 101 once before and I think it was a result of this very assignment. I had stumbled through setting up my blog a few years before and was fearful of making any changes to the look and feel of the page.  So this time, upon the advice of our blog tutors, I set up a dummy blog and used it to try on various Themes.  They suggested trying on no more than 10 (there are probably hundreds available) so that I wouldn’t get lost.  I made it to 6 and fritzed out.

I did learn a few things about myself and my interests … I am partial to a more text oriented display with only occasional images … I am also partial to a serif type face, but not too much serif … and I like simplicity in the layout without too many independent places for the eye to drop.

What am I not sure about … everything.

Notice this entire blog is not about content, but about style?

Any comments?