Top Ten: Why Virtual is the Word for Public School


“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”  ~ Sydney J. Harris

This post has been a long time coming.  It was more than two years ago we made the decision to break social tradition (yes, again) and move our kids from brick-and-mortar school into the virtual world for public education.  Last year, only our oldest — the middle schooler — came home while the other three remained at their elementary school.  This year, however, they all came over, and what a fantastic journey it’s been.

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Hummingbird Banding Xtravaganza


“The hummingbird competes with the stillness of the air.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa

The coming of autumn in Houston is always marked by the Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration to the south.  We are smack dab in the Texas flyway, through which these little jewels travel hundreds of miles to the south — tanking up at my backyard feeders along the way.  With the goal of building up fat stores with lots and lots of sugar water and nectar, they will finish the last leg of their journey, flying several hundred more miles directly across the Gulf of Mexico…non-stop.

It is an amazing journey for an even more amazing little creature.

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Putting Onto Others: The Cost Of Convenience And Pleasure

A letter to my children.

Convenience Is Killing Us

In today’s fast-paced American life, convenience is factored into just about everything we do. Be it queuing up to a coffee shop, having shirts dry-cleaned, or hiring a lawn maintenance, people simply don’t have enough time in a day to do all that is necessary to manage a home and family. It is decidedly hard living in this digital, 24/7, gotta-have-it-right-now 21st century. We have resorted to leaning on others, outsourcing the nagging little parts of our lives so that we may enjoy the bonus extra time of not having to do a single thing.

That convenience may be costing you.

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Seeing Is Believing


“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it. This little blog got trampled this past week in a very good way thanks to someone’s sharing my latest post on Facebook. In the course of a few days, my stats flew off the chart, and if you’ve been following here long enough (as most of my friends and family have), you may know that that doesn’t happen very much (it last happened in 2012).

I am not engaged in any social media outside of WordPress. Because of this, I literally have no clue as to how or through whom this even happened.

Here’s where I need your help.

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Dr. Deb Interview – Keyhole Garden


My Keyhole…Revisited

The birth of a Keyhole
The birth of a Keyhole

Back in 2012, I got excited about a new gardening concept, one which seemed to prove what I had been learning in my own yard — that building soil is the foundation to healthy plants.

The keyhole garden is a self-watering, self-feeding raised bed that is built entirely with recycled materials (stones, brick, phone books, cardboard, newsprint, leaves, manure, grass clippings, etc.) and maintained through the compost center basket. It is essentially a ‘hot compost’ that is directly planted into, volcano shaped for moisture retention in addition to the shading from densely packed and mulched plants on the surface.

Can you say seventy tomatoes in a 6-ft diameter garden? I never would have believed it if I hadn’t heard it myself.

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Dramatic Skies And A Roosting Tree

Rain Again. Finally.

There is something very calming about a sky after a rain storm. After weeks of doing rain dances and wishing for something, anything, to water our thirsty trees, we finally got some following several weeks of flash-drought (that’s what they’re calling it now).

Cropped out was football practice for many
and middle school below the levee.

Just aaaaaahhhhh.

The purpose of my outing was not this beautiful sky, though it was certainly nice to be out under it. I had other photographic intentions.

The Roosting Tree

I have been itching for a decent photographic position of a particular tree down the street from us. For years, we have watched daily as birds fly in to it and roost for the night. I even posted about it earlier this year — there’s a nice sound byte with it.

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