Monday, November 30, 2009

My Pear Tree Has No Partridge

Three summers ago now the kids and I planted fruit trees. They chose which fruit tree they wanted, I purchased said trees and then as a family we planted those trees. Justin chose the Apple Tree while Annie preferred to have the stately Pear Tree. Our Pear Tree has had a lot of trouble and has had some close calls.

Each Spring since the planting, it manages somehow to bloom and survive in a most hostile environment. Several times I wasn't sure if the poor sapling was going to endure, but surprisingly she rebounds with great vigor.

Each year it seems more difficult to celebrate the Christmas season. Annie recently asked our friend Jesse, if he believed in Santa Clause. Jesse replied, "Of course I do." To which my Annie raised a rhetorical eyebrow.

Later, Jesse confided in me that he'd been bothered not just by Annie's question, but by the tone of it. Why did she sound so harsh and jaded?

I know why. Christmas, for my ex hubby wasn't a fun time of the year. His parents, both alcoholics, spent the holiday drunk leaving he and his siblings the task of caring for them. Instead of warm fuzzy happy holiday memories, his memories were of cleaning up vomit, helping elders to bed and pretty much fending for oneself.

After finding out his aversion for Christmas, I made it my mission in our marriage to turn Christmas into a most enjoyable time of the year. I decorated the entire house, inside and out. I spent a lot of time picking out just the right gifts. Our Christmas tree was decorated to perfection, with strung popcorn and homemade children ornaments. The kids and I baked tons of holiday cookies for Santa, made rice crispy wreaths and left baby carrots for Santa's reindeer.

Several days before Christmas, I always took the kids to see the houses decorated so pretty with lights and garland. Snowball fights, sledding and hot chocolate were the norm for our home during the holidays. It was a tireless endeavor and one that I enjoyed partaking in, until our Christmas was stolen.

When my ex hubby moved back to Denver, leaving the kids and I behind, we spent that Christmas for the first time away from home. In somebody else's house, without the usual hub dub that surrounded us. The next year was even worse, we spent Christmas in a hotel in New Mexico. No Christmas tree, lights, presents from Santa, holiday cookies or music...just two double beds and a TV.

I suppose that I should have made the best of it, that I should have brought the spirit of Christmas to that hotel room, but I didn't. I was too tired and worn out from the years that I couldn't resist any longer and had all those memories practically wiped out in one fatal swoop.

As I explained this to Jesse, he listened quietly and patiently until I was done, and then he said, "You're pathetic." Shocked, I closed my mouth and listened to him...the Magic of Christmas is in the belief.

I pondered on that for a moment and then it hit me. These ideas came to me about Christmas. Christmas is the belief that giving is better than receiving. The belief that you can make someone unhappy; completely happy on this day. The belief that nations in the middle of a war can take a moment from the fighting and remember that we're human and that life is worth protecting and cherishing. That with all our differences there exists a commonality amongst us.

Whatever it is you want to call it, whether it be a simple Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays or the old traditional Merry Christmas, it's nice to believe that there's still some magic in that old top hot...because when you put it on, it makes you want to sing and dance around. Here's my wish for you darlin'...don't be too cynical, and accept that kiss from under the mistletoe.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Annie's Thanksgiving Tree House

About three years ago, the kids and I thought about selling the house and moving back to Colorado. The thought, a gentle shove, had us selling off things, painting, landscaping and fixing up the place right nice like. One of the items that sold rather quickly was a slide/swing set/fort type jungle gym. This back yard delight, purchased in 2002, was a favorite of Justin's and then soon became Annie's favorite place in the backyard as well.

Every summer, it hosted the water balloon fights, water slide, hide and go seek and bubble fairy game. Once that childhood memory was sold, I was absolutely sure that soon the house would follow and then us as well. Well, you know about the best laid plans and all that jazz and it so happens that the "PLAN" never came to fruition.

The next few summers presented a lackluster backyard, missing it's most loved and favorite item. Almost every day during the summer, Annie would comment rather gloomily how she wished she had her swing set with the slide and fort.

Normally, I don't ask for anything for Christmas, but this year I did. I asked my daddy and my ex hubby to build a tree house/fort/play thingy in the back yard for Annie over the Thanksgiving break. It's a difficult situation for a young child, especially a little girl, to only see her daddy four or five times a year, but I'm hoping and believing that the tree house symbolizes everything good for those shared visits.

It's not completed yet, but the foundation is strong. The wood is recycled and old, with knotholes here and there and the smell of pine still lingers within its walls. Each hammered nail broadened the smile on my little girl's face. Everyone needs a hiding place, a place of refuge, somewhere that floods your soul with pleasure. I'm believing that this is her place.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Converting A Classic To Use Natural Gas

That's Mark Trott, another one of Pickens' Pushover Puppets. He thinks it's real cool to convert a Pontiac GTO to use natural gas. Oh,'s no longer a gas guzzling, emission producing dinosaur of a vehicle.

"No matter what happens, the trip is on and the car will keep rolling. It’s their call for independence from foreign oil, the creation of new jobs and the reduction of our carbon footprint."

But these gearheads have no idea of the carbon footprint being left behind by the big oil & gas companies. All they see is the end result and they're calling it "GREEN". How tragically wrong they are. Push the Pickens' Plan doesn't inform you of all the dirty deeds and bullying tactics of the oil and gas companies, and why would it? I'll tell ya why, because Boone T. Pickens IS BIG OIL & GAS!!! So, PLEASE...continue to make this guy FILTHY rich! More Like Naive 77 To Me

Came across another proud supporter of the Pickens Natural Gas Plan. Geez, don't these people actually read anything besides propaganda?

"You know the numbers on natural gas: 2,000 trillion cubic feet of reserves in the continental United States; more than 100 years worth — enough to fuel our heavy truck fleet, provide electrical power to our homes and businesses, plenty for cooking and heating, and more than enough remaining for other crucial uses like fertilizer and chemical production"

Yikes! Lucy, we got some 'splaining to do. Natural gas is not an alternative energy, it's a FOSSIL FUEL! Natural gas is not CLEAN it's dirty! Natural gas is not SAFE it causes explosions which causes deaths! And His Cronies

Apparently these members of Congress have been fooled by the Pickens' Natural Gas Act. Here they are, thirty five of them smiling proudly on the steps of the Capitol building, thinking they've just done something WONDERFUL...when in essence they've just done this:


Thank you Congress, you've done an excellent job.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths: The "New Energy Army" Pickens' Pushovers

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths: The "New Energy Army" Pickens' Pushovers

I found some other interesting stuff on Pickens.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths: Wink Texas Presents the 20th Annual Roy Orbison Festival

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths: Wink Texas Presents the 20th Annual Roy Orbison Festival

Climate, A Child's Right Issue

Parents can be imprisoned for child abuse, couldn't it be said that polluting the air and water of children by big oil & gas the same as child abuse? Didn't Aruba knowingly sling toxic drilling mud all over the Ruggerios' yard? And doesn't their nine year old daughter play in that yard? Shouldn't Aruba then be charged with the knowing endangerment of a child? You think I'm kidding? I'm not the only one thinking along these lines.

Lord David Putnam, the Unicef UK Ambassador expresses his view in the Green Room, a weekly opinion piece in the BBC News.

" the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, Unicef UK is urgently pushing for the rights of the child along with those of future generations to be acknowledged in the UN climate change negotiations."

At the end of the article, people get to comment. I loved this comment:

"Lord David Puttnam's views are of no consequence. He hasn't a clue about the physics of climate. He, like the majority of GW'ers, is simply reiterating what a dozen or so fanatics have told him. This whole GW fiasco is a giant storm in a tiny teacup. Let's get some really unbiased scientists together and get a truly rational appraisal. The leader of this cadre should be Dr Bob Carter of Cook university in Austrailia."
Lenedwin, Seattle/ USA

Notice where the fellow who commented is from, yep...that's, I'm assuming Seattle, Washington. According to sources, Washington state is one of the "greenest" states in the union. This fellow doesn't live by compressors, oil & gas wells, strip mines, toxic waste dumps, open pits full of drilling waste, condensate tanks, sink holes...nope, this fellow probably lives in the cleanest little area of America there is. How unbiased is he? I bet he's an oil or gas executive. I've always wondered where the majority of them reside.

Thankfulness On This Day Of Thanksgiving

Awakening before the sunrise and quite some time before the rest of my family, gives me plenty of time to ponder what this day of Thanksgiving will entail. As I was brewing the coffee, I allowed the aroma to wash over me... causing a stirring sensation and a tingling of all my senses. I peered out the window to witness the morning sun gently caress the golden leaves resting carelessly on the back lawn.

Two days ago, Annie and I were driving over to Kermit to procure a meal for herself and her brother. She commented on how quickly the year has gone by. I replied that this would be her last single digit year of age. She grew quite sullen, for I think it was at that moment that she knew she would no longer be a child, but soon to be a pre-teen, entering into the double digits of life.

Back to this morning, I remembered our conversation and a smile developed in the dark recesses of my mind then proceeded to show itself upon my lips. No one else could see my smile, but none the was there. I thought about her, my son Justin and all the wonderful new people I'd met this year. I poured my first cup of coffee and observed my daughter sleeping peacefully snuggled up next to her daddy and was thankful that her daddy and I remained friends.

It pains me for other people to comment so rudely about my ex hubby staying with the kids and I during the holidays. It's rather selfish and disrespectful of others to react so badly especially when it has nothing to do with them at all. Sometimes, relationships don't last...we all know that. Sometimes, people weren't a good fit from the beginning, it's not anyone's fault, it just turns out that way. Sometimes, good people go bad for a season and then find themselves and become good people again.

These rude comment makers even go a bit further and start being really crass by making suggestive insinuations. Did it ever occur to them that possibly my ex hubby just truly wants to spend time with his children? Sometimes circumstances are just beyond your ability to control them. I'm not a mean person and whether anyone else understands or not, I truly don't care. What matters is that my children are happy which in turn makes me happy. There are times when people make choices that don't reflect their true nature. I believe that was the case for my ex hubby and things spiraled out of control for him and he was unable to cope with it all.

I explained to a friend of mine just yesterday that he didn't need to understand, that he only needed to accept it and if he wasn't able to accept my friendship with my ex hubby then there was a possibility that our friendship would no longer exist. Because what this person fails to see, is that my ex hubby will always be a part of my life. He may no longer be the person I share the intimate parts of my life with, but he is the father of my children.

This person went on to ask, "So, he'll still come and stay with you if you get remarried?" Well, how asinine is that? All I do know is that my youngest needs to feel loved and to have the love of both parents if possible and that's what I'm trying to accomplish. Why shouldn't she be able to have that?

Okay, that was enough thinking about that. I'm thankful that some people understand why it's important to be thankful, to not take people and situations for granted. I bet the residents along Carter Ave are thankful, they might even take a bit more time today before diving into that feast. They might feel their eyes twinge, a tear develop and then they'll close their eyes as that single drop rolls slowly down their cheek. And it's not a tear of sadness, but one that holds all the relief it could possibly muster. A heavy burden has been lifted and we should all be thankful. I know I am.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Andrew Cuomo Is My Hero

Not often does a higher up get it. Usually it takes the devastating effects of a Love Canal, the Savings & Loan Scandal, the Exxon Valdez Oil spill for any representative of the people to see clearly. That's why I'm so impressed with this Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General for New York.

Seems that this BIG OIL company, Fortuna, has been using dirty underhanded deceptive manipulative coercive bullying tactics to extend land leases. Mr. Cuomo pointed out that many of these oil and gas manipulators use their size and access to unlimited financial resources to pressure land owners into giving in. Most of these land owners don't have the ability to hire an attorney to protect their rights.

"Today’s settlement is a good first step, as Fortuna is the first company to agree to stop these practices."

Did you notice what I noticed about Cuomo's statement? FIRST COMPANY! Do you possibly think that there are other BIG OIL & GAS bullies out there? Heaven forbid!

Listen to how Fortuna's President responds:

“It has always been our intention to act fairly, honestly and give leaseholders a choice

Oh, I see Mr. O' intended to be honest. You intended to be fair. You intended to give the landowners a choice. What do they say about intentions?

“Hell isn't merely paved with good intentions, it is walled and roofed with them” Aldous Huxley

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Still Looking Good...5 Months After HCG Diet

I haven't done a diet update in quite some time, so while I'm taking a break from the endless household chores of which I just love doing, I'll put down some final thoughts on the subject of HCG. Firstly, I notice a lot of people getting to my blog looking for side effects from the HCG diet. Again, I'll say it, I've not experienced any ill effects, only the good kind, like complete fat eradication.

I do intend to do one more round of HCG in January after the Winter Holidays. I wouldn't be doing another round of it if I thought something bad was related to the diet. The hardest part of the diet is eating only the foods allowed. I suggest to people all the time to try the foods first, not the ultra small portions, but just the combination of foods, each as much of them as you like.

I've also suggested reading the Sugar Busters Book. That book does a really good job of informing of the glycemic index of foods and how that index is important in losing weight. I believe it to be the most essential book when trying to form new eating habits.

Daily exercise is of extreme importance to me. I remember when I didn't feel like moving, getting around or being out and about. I don't ever want to feel like that again. I do a gym workout 3 days a week, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I run about 4 nights a week, anywhere from 2 - 5 miles each time, just depending on how much time I've got. I've been reading about something called explosive exercise. It's where you do 10 different exercises in 20 second intervals. The information states that this type of exercising is better than running, elliptical, or the usual cardio stuff that we do. After I finish reading the entire process, I'm gonna try it and I'll let you know how it works.

I love sweet and sour chicken, but because of the high sugar in it, I usually don't partake...until now. I've found a sweet and sour chicken recipe that you can do while on the HCG diet!

Sweet and Sour Chicken
100 grams checken breast
1/2 orange, 1/2 lemon with rind
1 cup water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp lemon or orange zest
Dash of garlic powder, and onion powder
1 tbsp hot sauce
Cayenne, salt & pepper to taste
Stevia to taste
In a small saucepan place 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon with the rind in water and boil until pulp comes out of the rind. Remove rinds from the water and scrape out remaining pulp and juice with a spoon. Add spices, onion and Stevia to taste. Add chicken and cook until liquid is reduced by approximately half. Add onion and garlic powders which act as slight thickening agent. Serve hot and garnish with lemon.

Radioactive Water Is Naturally Occurring?

I was catching up on my reading this morning, and I bet you're wondering how is it that I'm home catching up on my reading and not at work? I took the day off, sort of a mental health day. I strongly believe everyone should have one of those every now and then. I highly recommend it.

I came across a strange and bizarre comment, "Radioactive water naturally occurs." I didn't know this and I wished some of my really smart friends would explain that to me, being as I am blonde and I need lots of explanations. Does this mean that I could drink this radioactive water and become the incredible Muck, er...uh Hulk?

If that weren't interesting enough, I then came across this fascinating piece of fabulous read. It seems that this unfortunate driver was unfortunately behind this rather slow moving truck that's carrying something rather muddy. This driver went from having a nice clean car to a dirty grimy muddy car.

I'm on my third cup of java, and have looked around the house and realize with a huge sigh that there's dusting to be done. I love using that allergen reducer by Febreze. I sure hope that stuff isn't toxic, considering all the toxic stuff I've got to deal with already.

I'm finishing up my coffee, while reading a lovely little article about the upcoming climate summit. Seems that because President Obama hasn't set a target for the US to shoot for is keeping all the other countries from making a commitment. It truly is a monkey see monkey do kind of world, isn't it? I keep reading about the Cap and Trade thing going on over in the Senate and I haven't quite figured out if it's good or bad. I mean, capping emissions is good, but as I talk to my conservative friends about it they're all up in arms and against it. They tend to think that energy prices will soar. When I read about it, there seems to be economic incentives being offered to companies that reduce emissions. I'm still reading about it and haven't quite got a handle on it all, but I will. Now it's time to do a bit of laundry and get rid of dust.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Feels Like Spring Heading Into Thanksgiving

It's a gorgeous Spring like day, I know it's Fall, but it's bright and sun shiny and feels like Spring except for the smell of dirt in the air. I'm not sure why the air reeks of dirt, but it does. I've had the most interesting day. First, this morning when I went to crank up old blue, a 1992 Nissan Pickup, it would not go into gear. I'll assume that the clutch is out. I had to call mommy to see if I could drop Annie off and then head to work in the the 2000 red Nissan Pickup. Before I left the house though, I woke my son to inform him that he would need to secure a ride to school, or leave a bit earlier so that he could he walk.

After arriving at work, I knew that third period would be extremely rough. On Friday, we were watching Romeo and Juliet, of course, after first reading the play. Third period were unusually crass and rude, with comments that I'll not repeat. I did send an email to the teaching staff informing them of the indecent behavior. That email was forwarded without my permission to the case worker and then forwarded again to the superintendent...well, I'm thinking you're getting the picture. I was badgered and harassed today and threatened and well, by the end of the day I was ready for a break. So much so, that I decided I wasn't going to work tomorrow and secured a substitute.

Upon arriving at home, old blue was still sitting in the driveway, confirming that yes, it truly was broken. A little while after arriving home, there was a knock at the door. It was one of my son's friends. He wanted to borrow a game. I said sure and let him back to my son's room. Justin was still up at school for off season practice. I began to wonder about the boy alone in Justin's room, so I went back to see if I could help locate the game. That's when I heard a commotion in Justin's bathroom, sounding like someone trying to slip out the window.

I asked the boy if he heard that and he said no. Hmm...that was puzzling, because it was awfully loud. I went into the bathroom, looked out the window to see the side gate open and the dogs getting out of the yard. After retrieving the dogs, I headed to the practice field to inform Justin that someone had broken into his room through the bathroom window. When I got to the practice field, my son wasn't there. I also found out that he never made it to school.

I went to the boy's house, the same boy that had been at my house earlier and before I could get to the door, out pops my boy. "Get in the car." At the house, "Hand me your cell phone, you're grounded until further notice." Not only is the ex hubby coming in to see the kids, the get away I had planned will not be happening because of the broken down old blue, and now I have a sulky boy to contend with. This week needs to end quickly.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cheney Smells Bacon

"The Democrats are going to pull out every stop to socialize American medicine. But we will fight it every step of the way," she said. "It could be a long fight."

Oh, they socialized transportation, reading and recreation. Give it up Kaye. Do you think she really cares about health care? No, she just wants you to remember that she'll fight for "your issues". This is a move on her part to gain attention and high light her otherwise lack luster performance in the senate. If Cheney supports her, then you know how she stands on the FRAC ACT!

Kaye Bailey Hutchinson will not protect your drinking water. Kaye Bailey Hutchinson will not protect your personal property rights. Kaye Bailey Hutchinson will not protect each person's access to health care.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dear Abby Got Stumped?

I got the most disturbing email from my friend Jesse containing some letters that Dear Abby couldn't quite answer. I never knew that Abby, a most intelligent responder of letters, was unable to respond, so I just had to take a look at some of these letters and give it my best shot:

"Dear Abby,
A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These two women go everywhere together, and I've never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

Clearly Abby's response should have been, "They are conjoined twins." I don't know how she got stumped by that one, really.

"Dear Abby,
What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my VCR?

All Abby had to reply was, "Enjoy it."

"Dear Abby,
I have a man I can't trust. He cheats so much, I'm not even sure the baby I'm carrying is his.

Ho...I mean Oh, come on Abby, "Leave his cheatin' hide."

"Dear Abby,
You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor. Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor. Now what do I do?"

Abby, I'm so about this response, "See a witch doctor." Okay, not my best one.

Durango's Cho Saigon Market Visit & 50,000 Names" (George Jones)

Durango's visit to Cho Saigon Market got me to wondering what we wouldn't have if America hadn't entered the Vietnam War...that's right I said it. Call it what it really was, it was a war and had America not entered it, there wouldn't be 50,000 names carved into The Wall.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fort Worth Needs A Moratorium

Oh, how I'd love to be within driving distance of this little get together tonight in Fort Worth. I'm hoping that all of you that are in the area are showing up in droves! I know that I would and do as Mr. Young up in war paint!

Below is a most informative email from the most honorable Mr. Don Young. He happens to be a most favorite person of my nine year old daughter.

"I'm not one to lean on hope to heavily. Action works better for me.

But the recent arrival of Deborah Rogers into the Barnett Shale gas wars is inspiring. She has dared to utter the "M" word in a town overcome by foolish greed. She has boldly questioned the idea of turning Fort Worth into a giant industrial village.

Fort Worth needed a Moratorium years ago but elected officials, the Star-Telegram, Chamber of Commerce and a variety of civic organizations conspired with gas drillers to suppress such an idea.

Now, the City of FW's grand experiment has allowed almost 2,000 gas wells to be placed in our town. Thousands more on the way, UNLESS we fight back. Deborah Rogers has gotten the ear of the power brokers. Hope is in the air.

She will speak tonight at the FWLNA meeting. It should be be a watershed moment in the gas wars. Put on your war bonnet, apply your war paint and SHOW UP.

Details below."

Thursday evening, November 19, 2009
7:00 p.m.
University Christian Church (adjacent to TCU on the north)
2720 So. University Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76109


Don Young
P.O. Box 470041
Fort Worth, TX 76147

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Shadow, A Ghost OR Just A Chance Shot?

My friend Jesse, whom I've blogged about before has lost a mother, father, brother and now his sister Myrna to cancer. Jesse is a cancer survivor and he is now caring for his sister Ramona who has also been diagnosed with cancer. Myrna's cancer was detected rather late which didn't give her much of a chance to beat it.

Myrna loved all things scary. I think she had like almost every scary movie known to mankind. Halloween was her most favorite holiday and she preferred doing things in the dark. Myrna died October 29th and was buried on October 31st, yep...on Halloween. The ceremony at the church was also delayed due to no electricity, yep...they had the service in the dark!

Then, Halloween night, the family drove around town, paying homage to all the local ghosts, possibly wrapping houses in fond memory of Myrna and creating their own way of saying goodbye. On the way to do some tricking, a cousin snapped her camera at the carport to make sure the flash was working. This is the photo she caught. If you look closely, you can see a black figure, that shaped of a man, leaning over a table.

Gas And Drilling News

Gathering Line
- a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

Amy Goodman interviews Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting, an Ithaca, NY-based environmental database firm which released a report last week, uncovering 270 documented hazardous chemical spills which occurred over the past thirty years. PA's own Department of Environmental Conservation's database contained records of fires, explosions, wastewater spills, well contamination, and ecological damage related to gas drilling. Take a moment to watch the interview Amy Goodman Interviews Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting Mr. Hang is calling on NY Governor David Paterson to withdraw the Draft Supplemental Geologic Environmental Impact Statement, citing woefully inadequate reporting which will not come close to protecting the environment, water, and public health. This is a must-see interview! Visit Gas Wells Are Not Our Friends to find out more from Peacegirl!

Would you consider this a small footprint?See the effects of 40 years of drilling!Read it at Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths.

Gas drilling is destroying Pennsylvania's wilderness. The Pennsylvania Wilds include more than 2,000,000 acres of publicly owned virgin forest, clear mountain streams and abundant wildlife. Read about how these public lands are being violated and watch href=""Splashdown for public action you can take soon to defend the Allegheny National Forest, part of the Pennsylvania Wilds.

TXsharon continues to follow the abuses of Aruba Petroleum in a Barnett Shale backyard and Wednesday the Wise County Messenger picked up the story--don't miss the comments. It's all on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Colleyville tables application for first well site. See story at Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling

Sue Heavenrich writes about problems with a local compressor station in upstate New York at the "Marcellus Effect." Industrial drilling in Marcellus is impact enough, but without local zoning rural areas are open to invasion by other industrial uses too, including compressor stations. You'll find more on the "Marcellus Effect"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

PeeWhew! Encana Stinks! Brace Yourselves Luzerne County!

The worst of the worst is coming to town, and I wish I were talking about Santa Clause, unfortunately, I'm not. Nope, the invader of homes and property I'm referring to is none other than Encana! These guys are notorious for scamming people, contaminating water, spreading smelly bad stuff, and endangering aquifers in the name of cleaning up!

I don't know about you, but if I were a resident of Luzerne County; the destination of Encana's next environmental disaster, I'd put up road blocks! Everyone in the county should be out with picket signs refusing to let those dirty rotten scroundrels in!

OH, you better watch out! You better cry loud! You better speak out! I'm telling you why...Because Big Bad Encana is your town!

Team Hoyt A Reminder That We Can

"Will you run the Ironman with me, dad?" "Yes" The Hoyts' message is simple "CAN". You can do anything once you set your mind to it. We can change our attitudes towards our world, we can tell our stories, we can open awareness in those around us and we can make a difference.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fall Fun Projects

Annie had her friend Katie B. spend the night and they did all sorts of things. After jumping on the trampoline and riding their bikes, they disassembled an old bicycle to use the wheels for some type of moving contraption. In the evening, when it became too dark to venture outside, the girls made an inside fort using blankets, pillows, chairs and books. When they finally passed out from exhaustion which happened to be around 11:30, I turned off the lights and headed to bed myself.

In the morning the girls enjoyed a breakfast of buckwheat pancakes and turkey bacon. They dressed and proceeded outside for some more Fall fun. They raked the leaves in the front yard and played around jumping and throwing the leaves up into the air and at each other.

Those are the things that children should be seeing on a fun Fall day. They shouldn't have to be having to see pollution created by Aruba Petroleum.

Hydrofracking Drilling

Isn't this cutest little ditty you ever did hear?

Did I Do That? Just Another Bad Sitcom

I was reading an article about Carlsbad, New Mexico about a new attraction that has appeared off U.S. 285. I'm familiar with U.S. 285 because that's the highway the kids and I take to visit the Caverns, The Living Desert and Roswell, New Mexico home of the Aliens. I love sight seeing and was thinking about hopping in the car this weekend and taking the kids for a little day trip. Well, imagine my surprise when I find out that the new attraction is an extremely unstable cavern caused by three decades of oil field drilling. Seems that "oil field service companies pumped fresh water into a salt layer more than 400 feet below the surface and extracted SEVERAL MILLION barrels of brine to help with drilling."

I don't know about you, but I always felt certain that if you have a cavern full of liquid and that liquid is helping it stay intact that once you remove most of the liquid, then sooner or later it will collapse. And guess what? I'm just an English teacher and I figured that one out.

Poor old New Mexico isn't unique, other communities in Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Canada and Europe have become alerted to similar underground danger when cracks appeared and the ground began to sink. Seems like I remember seeing something like that just the other day. I don't know, with all the H2S in the air, my memory isn't as good as it used to be.

Oh, and you want to know the best part? Guess who has to pay for the stabilization of the man made cavern? I bet you're thinking the oil and gas companies responsible for this mess. Well, darlin' you'd be thinking wrong. Nope, state and federal funds have to be freed up for this undertaking, while big oil and gas drives away with the town of Carlsbad in their rear view mirror, snickering above the screams and explosions, "Did I do that?"

Gilbert Calls On Texas To “Go Green”

Gilbert Calls On Texas To “Go Green”

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Priveledged Few Sitting At The Top

Louie Gohmert (REP) TX-1 8%
Jeb Hensarling (REP) TX-5 8%
Sam Johnson (REP) TX-3 8%
Michael McCaul (REP) TX-10 8%
Joe Barton (REP) TX-6 0%
Kevin Brady (REP) TX-8 0%
Michael Burgess (REP) TX-26 0%
John Carter (REP) TX-31 0%
Mike Conaway (REP) TX-11 0%
John Culberson (REP) TX-7 0%
Kay Granger (REP) TX-12 0%
Ralph Hall (REP) TX-4 0%
Kenny Marchant (REP) TX-24 0%
Randy Neugebauer (REP) TX-19 0%
Ron Paul (REP) TX-14 0%
Ted Poe (REP) TX-2 0%
Pete Sessions (REP) TX-32 0%
Lamar Smith (REP) TX-21 0%
William Thornberry (REP) TX-13 0%

What exactly are you looking at? Well, it's not my kids' report cards, but the environmental score cards of the Representatives for Texas. Doesn't look like they've passed any of their classes.

The Fall Festival A Blast From The Past

I moved to Wink the first time in 1985...kicking and screaming the whole way. I left the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast and it's miles of beach. Going north from the coast would put you into contact immediately with rolling green hills cascading with clover and Pine trees as far as the eye could see. If you know anything about Wink, well then you'd understand why all the kicking and screaming.

The only saving grace of Wink, was back then they had a really neat Halloween Carnival. Since I'm speaking of the past, I'll use words of the past. When I moved to Wink the second time in 2001, I was dismayed to find out that the Halloween Carnival of the past was only a distant memory of the past. I was truly saddened. I'm not sure if it fell victim to bible belt tightening or just a lack of interest, no one has yet to clarify.

This year came a revival (ha ha) of the Halloween Carnival except renamed the Fall Festival, but it still sported the usual favorites. Haunted house, cake walk, ooey gooey sugary snacks, face painting and all the fun stuff you could do at a small town type Fall Festival. I wonder why we don't bob for apples any longer? Must be because of the fear of Swine flu or something.

There were a couple of new events such as arm wrestling. You paid and could challenge anyone you wanted to a high stakes game of arm wrestling. The winner would receive a really neato prize. Nano Galindo won his match of arm wrestling and was tickled orange with his championship lolly.

Another interesting new time attraction was the dungeon of terror. A person could pay to have another person put in the dungeon for a full five minutes of terror. I thought the warning sign for the dungeon was quite convincing.

Sen Hutchinson Is What's Not Best For Texas

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson uses the old and tired "not giving up my seat" routine to do what's best for our great state of Texas. She's concerned if she resigns that somehow the Democrats will pass some legislation that only she can prevent from happening. What I find interesting is that coincidentally on the same day as she decides to do what's best for Texas, she finds out that Perry is leading her in the polls.

I question Senator Hutchinson's ability as a senator much less as the governor of Texas when she can't tell the difference between the FRAC Act and the Health Care Reform Bill.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson Has Gone Daft

You may remember a previous post about an email I sent to Kay Bailey Hutchinson asking her to support the FRAC Act. She sent me back a lack luster response which I couldn't make heads or tails of whether she supported the FRAC Act or not. I sent another email requesting a bit more clarification. Here's the email below:

As your constituent and a supporter of the work of the
League of Conservation Voters, I just became aware of your poor environmental voting record in the 2005 National Environmental Scorecard. I am deeply disappointed that you consistently voted against commonsense environmental protections. When it comes to protecting our air, water and natural heritage from corporate polluters and developing a forward-looking energy policy, we need a Member of Congress who will stand up and do the right thing. You conveniently told me that you do not serve on the FRAC Act committee, while omitting vital information:

"On the same day the legislation was introduced, the FRAC Act was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works, on which I do not serve. Should S. 1215 come for consideration before the full Senate, please be assured that I will keep your comments in mind."

What comments of mine will you keep in mind? That the toxic water used in
fracturing is deadly? I'm curious to know your feelings on the FRAC Act and what way you plan on voting. I believe that as MY STATE representative in the senate, I have a right to know. You owe me full disclosure. I am hoping that your constituency and I can count on you to represent our views and vote to protect the environment more frequently in the key debates expected in the second session of the 109th Congress. Sincerely, Joely Trujillo

Today...I received my response. But again, I was completely confused. She thanked me for my recent email about healthcare reform. ????

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Touring The 2nd Wink Sink And Predicting The Next

On a pleasant Fall evening, prior to sunset I headed out to view the second Wink Sink hole. I'd not seen this hole up close and felt a bit of anticipation as the fence emerged in front of me. My tour guide explained that they've had to rebuild the enclosure several times due to the hole expanding and swallowing up previous fences. As he opened the gate, and we made our way into the area a chill began to filter into the air. I don't know if it were truly the air around me or perhaps the sensation of a chill as I walked to the edge of the sink hole.

There's been hem hawing about whether or not drilling causes sinks to develop. As I looked into the sink, my tour guide pointed out 3 injection wells that had to be capped. He said that some people think that when the water was injected, it eroded the salt dome in our area and that's what caused the sinking to begin.

All around the sink there are plenty of large fractures ranging from one to three feet in width and extending down past my ability to see. It was rather frightening at times to have to cross over one of those things. The one in the photograph is roughly 30 yards west of the sink hole. As you walked around, the ground was soft beneath your feet, completely uncharacteristic of West Texas soil.

A geologist from UTPB of Odessa has been doing studies and testing regarding the formation of the sink. He hasn't been able to do a lot of research stating there's not much money available to do so. He is taking water samples of local wells to determine any changes in the underground aquifer, I've offered mine up for testing.

We left the sink hole and then traveled along the county road, stopping at a mini power station. The power station had been relocated when the sink developed, but now concerns are being raised about the possibility of it needing to be relocated once again due to the ever spreading of the fractures and sink. This fracture shows up right next to the mini power station.

I followed the road out to the last known fracture and that distance was roughly eight tenths of a mile away from the sink hole. A little further to the west of where this picture was taken is where the third sink is predicted to develop. It was getting dark and my tour guide didn't feel it would be safe to continue, because "You never know what you might be walking on top of."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From A Backyard In TX To The Watershed In NY

Gathering Line
- a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

Splashdown wants to encourage everyone to get behind the 2 Action Alerts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and all inflowing waterways. 1. You can send an easy click message to Congress to urge them to join in sponsoring this critical Clean Water legislation. 2. Beginning Nov. 9th, public input (also easy click to comment) is being sought on strategic plans for President Obama's Executive Order for cleaning up the Bay. So please, hop to it!

TXsharon continues to report from a backyard in the Barnett Shale. Despite all the local and national press on drilling related toxins, carcinogens and neurotoxins in our air, Aruba Petroleum Refuses a Simple Step to Improve Barnett Shale Air and thereby recklessly and willfully endangers public health and safety. Read it on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

The New Energy Army Pickens Proposes to force his plan upon the nation Read it at Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths.

Peacegirl writes about the situation in Clearville, PA, where compressor stations are causing serious environmental problems. Read Compressor Stations Wreak Havoc in PA. Watch two videos, and see for yourself what it looks like to have tiny oily spots on every surface, every plant, farm equipment, a pond- everywhere. It is unbelievable! See the cemetery adjacent to a Clearville compressor station where local residents hope someday to "rest in peace." They are wondering if that day will come sooner rather than later because of the serious health threats they now fear from the gas industry. Who will help the residents of Clearville? Is the PA DEP doing its job? Visit Gas Wells Are Not Our Friends. Reader comments are always welcome.

Sue Heavenrich reports on a recently released report about drilling accidents in NY 270 Drilling Accidents in NY So Far Read about that and and more at href="

Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling urges everyone to read the Environment Texas study to learn how excessive waste of fresh water and toxic chemicals gas drillers use in the extraction of the gas are threatening our drinking water in the Barnett Shale area.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Sea Side Rendevous

There's been some mentioning of a little eco friendly dive upon the sea shore down in South America. On this lovely out of the way enchanted isle, I'd sit with a local child on my lap, tenderly brushing and braiding her hair. She'd lean over to kiss me softly upon the cheek and then run down the beach to join all her friends. Not only would I be the local hairdresser, but of course the beaches' only English teacher.

After a morning of learning the ABC's and writing our pen pals in Australia, we'd take recess on the beach riding beautiful horses with mane long and flowing. My daughter Annie would be the caretaker of the horses in between fashioning solar panels and wind mills to make our eco site even more friendly.

My Ontario friend would be smiling and pouring me a mimosa as we both realized a long time dream to be waist deep in the warm Pacific Currents.

Shooting Guineas At Loco Lobo

I spent a relaxing evening at the ranch of two local brothers. The ranch sets outside of Wink and about a mile and a half from the highway. The Wolf brothers call the ranch Loco Lobos, Robbie is the black wolf while Charles is the white wolf. The Wolf brothers normally don't have a woman hanging around, but they made an exception seeing that I was interested in taking a few pictures and possibly lending a hand in the future when it comes to doing a little poop scooping, uh...I mean cow paddy scooping.

The brothers raise cattle, chickens and guinea fowl. I'd never seen guinea fowl up close and I just had to take a picture. They're awfully cute. They run real fast and seem to be a cross between a turkey and chicken, or at least that's what they looked like to me.

Robbie gave me a tour of the ranch on this cute little motorized two seater contraption. I really liked it, he even let me drive a little bit on the way back to pick up some wood for barbecuing later. He showed me where they were going to put a pond and fill it with Koi. There's already a mini sink in that spot, so there wouldn't be much digging needed. I noticed another sink spot, a little bit bigger and suggested that they make another little pond, but that one should be for skinny dipping. I think Robbie took my idea under full consideration.

I enjoyed the ranch immensely and while sitting around the cooker I looked out to the East. I saw the landscape dotted with red lights far off in the distance. Robbie told me those were the wind generators that sit on the caprock between Odessa and No Trees. I couldn't believe it, that's a distance of just over thirty miles. You sure can see forever on a clear day.