Pray For Texas

We are not doing well. Last Thursday, the ice rained down on my car as I drove my dad to his oral surgery. I had not been near him since the pandemic began, nor had anyone in my car (or home), but anesthesia would not allow him to drive post-op. The frozen rain pelted us as we ran inside the center, which soon informed me that their lobby was closed, and I should sit in my car for the next 30 minutes. I told them I was not going to sit and freeze in my car, and no stores were open yet that morning, so I wasn’t budging. 30 minutes soon turned into an hour and a half. The drive home, stopping for a 30 min wait in the CVS drive-through for five prescriptions, was precarious at best. Friday, we were advised not to travel at all, due to ice.

this morning’s deck

We got down to zero degrees this weekend. That was a record. It snowed another round. Last night, it sleeted and added another layer of ice on our roads. Our grids have been overloaded, and electric cooperatives were told to begin rolling blackouts. Word on the street is that the federal government would not allow Texas to provide heat and water to its citizens, despite having more than enough energy, due to the amount of pollution that would exceed its environmental standards. If that is the case, they have blood on their hands.

No power means an inability to treat and pump water. This led to boil water notices. And now, nearly a week into this, we have zero water. No water to drip, to prevent our pipes from bursting. No water to rinse dishes or flush toilets or wash hands or give to the dogs. We have a case of bottled water in the pantry, but it won’t last long. I am literally receiving a text from the city as I type, telling us no water will be available before the weekend, if even. That means no showers, no bathing. My husband has filled buckets with dirty snow from the back yard and is melting them on the stove (we are blessed to still have power), so that we can flush toilets at some point. When the temperature increases this weekend, the newsmen have advised us that the water mains will all thaw and break, and to prepare again for no water.

And we are the lucky ones, stuck with roads not drivable, with no trucks to sand the roads, with grocery stores closed or emptied of food. Many of my friends have not had any power for days. DAYS. Dark apartment buildings and subdivisions can look out their windows and see the downtown buildings still lit up, emptied of people, yet warming the offices with heat and lighting the cubicles. Not cool. My friend, Jen, says her apartment has been without power for three days now. Her thermostat reads 48 in her living room. None of them can go warm up in their cars because the garages are solely automatic doors with no other entry. Trapped. Other folks with houses, able to warm up in cars in garages, have chosen not to open their garage doors and died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

We have several unreachable windows 20 feet high, which is great until a historic, unprecedented event that makes you wish for blinds and curtains to block the sub-zero winds and cold. Note the blue garbage bin, which has been out for 7 days now, waiting for garbage men to empty them. Who knows when that will happen? Our trash cans are full.

our view to the outside

Poor Houston has 600,000 folks without power. Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church is a warming center, to shelter and feed many of them. But Austin is the hill country, and none of us can brave the icy roads and hills to gather our freezing friends, even if we could. No one has snow tires or chains. Few have 4WD. So they suffer. The millions of dollars worth of wind turbines that used to spew grease all over adjacent towns are frozen solid. Useless. So helicopters using fossil fuels are spraying chemicals made of fossil fuels onto wind turbines made of fossil fuels to de-ice them before tonight’s round of freezing rain hits. And carbon footprint trucks are pulling little hybrid cars out of ditches and saving lives. Green new deal, my ass. The folks who will be dead tonight would be happy for a handful of coal at this point.

Canning Legumes

Portrait of an Era

The diligent ladies here are manning (or womanning) the production line at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire in 1934. In my home, we eat canned green beans about once a week. A couple times a month, I’ll buy the fresh ones and spend an hour snipping the ends and chopping them into reasonable bite sizes, then simmering them in beef broth for several hours. They taste better, but it’s not really worth the labor or the four minutes it takes my men to consume them. We always eat the thicker Italian cut beans, as they are heartier and easier to stab. However, when the holidays roll around, we buy the French Style beans to make green bean casserole because America.

But these British lasses would never have celebrated Thanksgiving and probably never had a green bean casserole in their lives. In Texas, we don’t eat many casseroles; that’s more of a Midwest thang. But I love a good casserole, from spinach to broccoli rice to sweet corn. And I never pass up a side at Thanksgiving. I am an equal opportunity consumer. I don’t even care if the cranberries are cut into a slab of congealed jelly or fresh berries with orange zest and ginger. Either way works.

What about y’all? Are you picky? I’d eat any and all of these sides.

 

A Little Nab’ll Do Ya

1937 UT

Who’s the most interesting fellow here? The obvious one in dark frames, or the guy taking a pull of his cigarette? It’s quite the crowded counter. Tiny bottles of soda were available for rationing through an entire meal. Honestly, how we did we ever do that? You might also notice that what appears to be a box of Kleenex or napkins is actually a NAB, a square of salty or sugary carbs to compliment your beverage. Of course, NAB is short for Nabisco. And why not indulge? It’s a mere nickel, or as Gary Gulman calls them, “quarter impersonators.” Might I suggest not pairing Oreos with Coke? The sugar crash will be atrocious.

https://fineartamerica.com/

PETA Taps Tesla To Build Time Machine So They Can Retroactively Sue Peggy Paige For Speciesism

April 1947

“No monkeying with this price?” Watch out there, Peggy Paige! While you were busy making clothing for folks who were still dealing with the fallout of WWII, using your taxes to support countries ravaged by war and fascism, trying to bring a bit of merriment to the widows and families of the millions of dead military heroes with a colorful printed frock, you forgot to prioritize the most important thing: never ever use a animal-related verb because it makes PETA petulant. Oh, is THAT where they got their name from? I won’t share the list that PETA posted this week, as it’s too ridonkulous to perpetuate. Suffice to say that if you ever told anyone they were hogging the mashed potatoes, you unjustly used an offensive slur, and there’s a good chance you’re a white supremacist. PETA thinks animals have been secretly becoming fluent in human language, solely to learn to interpret metaphors as hate speech and consequently be offended. Sorry, animals don’t have time for that, especially fat, lazy pigs. Yeah, I said it. I’d call PETA batship crazy but that might force them into the fetal position. Guess I’ll just say they’re full of guano.

And for anyone who’d like to hear a more nuanced perspective, feel free to check out JP.

Meal Options From 70 Years Ago

Well, 18 cents a serving is nothing to sneer at. I don’t know about you, but coming from the Lone Star State, I can appreciate the star in the pie crust, a nod to the “star” of the meal, which is Dinty Moore beef stew. Easy peasy!

If you need another side dish, why not green beans? The finest places served them, so you know they’re quality.


As in the above ad, animated characters are singing and dancing over the mere thought of dining. Who can blame them? Dad knows three chords, and kids know lima bean casserole hits the spot.

Let’s not forget a favorite of media, bandwagon. Everybody is doing it! 27 million people are eating soup. I hope you’re not in the minority here.

Next up, processed American cheese, the nastiest cheese that exists. Almost a non-cheese, if you will. But boy, does it melt.

This next one was a new one on me. I didn’t realize folks had peanut butter and jelly parties. This particular showcase is the “Ice Box Raider Special,” with a variety of flavors. I hope they had both smooth and chunky!


And finally, it’s time for a 1951 dessert. No soy milk, full of lactose goodness, and cherries that one associates with the father of our nation, George Washington (until he, too, is erased). Yum!

If ice cream isn’t your bag, you could go for the heavenly flavor of a devil’s food mix. Dorothy Duff liked it, and she’s probably related to Duff Goldman of “Ace of Cakes.” So it has to be good.

Well, there’s your mid-century wrap-up for today. I hope you’re salivating!

When Women Were 6’7″

LIFE 1/29/51

In general, most of us humans are 7.5 heads tall. These sanforized women, however, appear to have streeeeettttcccched to nearly nine heads. Must have been hard to find a frock to fit. But seriously, I do enjoy artistic license, and find the image interesting. 

 

giphy.com