Monday, February 28, 2011


  UNIONS: "The recent labor protests (and counter-protests) in Wisconsin are part of a long tradition of politicians letting public unions take the heat for government fiscal woes."..(Fortune Magazine 2-28-11) This is a thought-provoking article that may change your mind about your position (if you have one) on unions. "Are public unions our convenient economic scapegoats?"

  WAR: “Any future defense secretary,” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told  an audience of West Point cadets Friday, “who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.” February 26, 2011

  RAILROADS/ENVIRONMENT/ECONOMY: "Mr. Buffett attributed much of the year’s success to his acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, calling it the highlight of 2010. The $26 billion deal, he said, has increased his company’s earnings power by more than 30 percent. But Mr. Buffett also trumpeted the benefits of rail travel beyond profits."  “Railroads have major cost and environmental advantages over trucking, their main competitor,” said Mr. Buffett. “Our country gains because of reduced greenhouse emissions and a much smaller need for imported oil. When traffic travels by rail, society benefits.”.. (New York Times February 26, 2011)

(Hill Country Flyer)
  More folks in business and government should listen to Warren Buffett. I never really understood the loss of so many American railroads. (Shades of Ayn Rand!) I'm glad to hear his position on rail transportation in these times of rising oil prices as well as the impact on the environment if we continue trucking -- if that is even an option in the future with gasoline prices going up, up, up. I loved the few cross-country trips I took on railroads as a child. I really wish we had more rail transportation from outlying towns into big cities in Texas. There is a steam engine train that makes weekend trips to Burnet from Cedar Park, a suburb of Austin. As we have fewer and fewer tourist sites for visitors to see, I wonder if most will continue to ride the train just for the sake of saying they rode a train!
American Goldfinches
  EARLY BIRDS: I have been mesmerized by the number of beautiful birds the past week. This is the first time I have seen cedar wax wings, and the first time I have put out a thistle sock for the goldfinches since moving to Burnet. The cedar wax wings have shown up in a flock, and decided to stick around when they found the abundance of hackberries in the trees surrounding my backyard. And of course, the water is plentiful as well.  Times like these I wish I had a really good telephoto lens.  The zoom feature on my camera doesn't do justice to these lovely creatures when I have to shoot through a glass window. I spend way too much time looking out the windows and watching these and the tiny American goldfinches that often fight over the thistle sock I provide for them.  I cannot think of any more soothing activity than watching the birds from my window. Take time to look at nature, 

and wonder at the beauty of our world.
Cedar Wax Wings
On this note I will close. I plan a trip to my 92-year-old dad's home tomorrow.  I'm hoping to hear more of his stories of his youth. In recent years he never ceases to surprise me with things I never heard him speak of before. I will share them in the future.

Love, peace, and healing to the world and all my loved ones who are dealing with health challenges,


  1. Good comments on the striking public workers--I am totally in their camp. I think there is a very real danger in their unions being crowded out as a political ploy against the Democratic Party as well as in their jobs.

    Loved Mr. Gates comment, which I heard on CNN. I have always admired him from the time Mr. Bush installed him in that office. He has performed with wisdom and restraint, and I hate to see him retire.

    I envy you your windowside view of the birds in your area. We don't have such a window. We did have a wonderful window view in our Tulsa townhouse, but this house is laid out totally different. Enjoy.

    Also try to enjoy being with and observing your dad and all his musings this week.

    With love, June

  2. June,

    Thank you, as always, for your comments.

    You have a way of reflecting back to me what I wish to portray on a subject matter. If you agree, and are positive, I know I'm getting it right! We grandmothers have to stick together!

    No one would believe how many hours I can spend watching the birds outside my window. (Maybe they would if they could see my dust particles indoors!) And thanking the Creator of such magnificent creatures!

  3. Read your opinion....we should not be the world police force. But, we have to protect ourselves.
    The situation over in the mid east does not look good this day. We are so dependent on OIL, should we lose that commodity...... Too bad that we cannot produce a lot of our own natural resources. Now, those are my thoughts. I am completely and totally against going to war over oil, but it looks as though that is where we are headed..
    SPRING TIME.... we have been waiting, and now it's finally coming. My peach trees, plum trees,and rose bushes are almost in bloom. At Ballinger I was taught that until the mesquites bud out, winter isn't over. Around here it's the Osage (horse apple) trees. No sign from them that spring is upon us, yet.
    During the time that it has been too bad, weather wise, to work, I have been making ballpoint pens from imported and domestic wood, and donating the sales of them to a shelter for battered women and children. I had SEVERAL dozen made, when I realized that I had to have a way to dispose of them. They were stacking up and until I moved some, I was going to have to quit producing. I think the Lord led me there; as I passed by the shelter one day, I noticed a sign that was asking for donations. I thought, why not! To date around $800.00 has helped them a little.
    Hope your visit with "Dad" was enjoyable, now get outside and get the spring flowers planted !!!!!!!
    I'm reminded that" GOOD THINGS DO HAPPEN.

  4. Jim,
    Thanks for sharing your opinion. I pray we do not go to war over OIL, as well. We see where that got us since 2001.
    I did get outside today and planted some flower seeds. Just morning glories and sweet peas for now. Have more to plant when I return from Dad's!
    Oh,yes.. good things do happen! My son's and grandson's recent recoveries from life threatening events are the biggest in my recent memory! I am thankful to my God.