As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

The Tales of My Demise – greatly exaggerated

This is an image of the memorial on the Galveston Island Seawall to those who lost their lives in the Great Storm of 1900 that I found on the internet

Memorial to The Great Storm of 1900 in Galveston, TX
Memorial to The Great Storm of 1900 in Galveston, TX

In discussing the topic of this post with a friend of mine this morning, I came to realize that many people who haven’t lived in Texas their whole bloody lives may never have heard of the “Great Storm of 1900.”  To make a long story short, on September 8, 1900, what is believed to have been a category 4 hurricane roared onto Galveston Island. The warning systems that were in place were woefully inadequate, and that was before the “sea wall” you likely saw LOTS of during coverage of Ike recently. The entire island was inundated, and very few buildings were left standing. The death toll was estimated between 6,000 and 12,000 – with most using some sort of “low average” of 8,000.  In reading about the storm (I seem to have taken a track of reading endlessly about hurricanes, as if learning about them will keep another from coming our way!), it was eerie to read about similarities between the “Great Storm” and Hurricane Ike. According to my friends in Canada, they got torrential rains, and 30+ mph winds from Ike, and, according to Wikipedia,  The Great Storm continued northeast, much as Ike did, causing flooding, and ferocious winds up through Oklahoma (I think Ike liked Arkansas better – but we didn’t have power then so I’m not totally sure), to the Great Lakes, and actually had 65 mph winds in NY City.
I don’t know who took the above picture but it is as beautful as the memorial is heart-wrenching to me.  While reading the comments below that picture, I learned that the Today show, and others reported that the Memorial did NOT survive its encounter with Ike.  The picture from Ike that I believe will be forever imprinted in my brain is this one, from the Houston Chronicle (where you can see some really remarkable pictures of the area, and some rather mundane ones – but storms are a strange mixture of strange, remarkable, and mundane!), taken by Johnny Hanson, in what had to be the hours leading up to Ike’s arrival:


The Great Storm of 1900 Memorial with Ike looming

Memorial to Great Storm of 1900 with "Ike" looming - Photo by Johnny Hanson: Houston Chronicle "Best Images from Hurricane Ike"

 As we go forward with our daily lives, many of us changed – some in bigs ways, and some in barely perceptible ways – by our encounters with Ike, I would like to follow this image, which I believe embodies the spirit of Texans, in the face of adversity, with another – taken days after the storm, which does indeed show… The memorial is still there, and was being prepared as the centerpiece for a prayer vigil. The father, and the mother, and the child are still there – still reaching toward God, and still clinging to each other. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are now calm.  Galveston, the Bolivar, Gilchrest, Crystal Beach, the Greater Houston Area, and the many other areas that Ike treated so unkindly, are enjoying the cool breezes of the beginnings of autumn, and their residents are setting their steps on the path to making things whole once again.

Getty Images

Galveston in the Aftermath of Ike Image #147, Houston Chronicle - Mark Wilson: Getty Images


I thank God that, while the devastation in some areas may be almost as complete as it was in the Great Storm, the toll in lives was not. With the loss of a single life being such an immense tragedy, I can only imagine the horror in Galveston that fall, with the death of thousands – they say more died in that storm than all the other storms which have hit the US added together.  Thank you for your prayers, for our safety and for our sanity during and after the storm, and for your prayers for those who still suffer from losses much worse than I can allow myself to imagine.


September 28, 2008 Posted by | Life and Ramblings | , , , , | 6 Comments

Changing the Station from Hurricane Ike Coverage

Much of my world has been consumed the past week and a half with a bad boy named Ike. I have come to realize that, no matter how bad the aftermath of Ike was, my family was truly blessed, and rode out the storm in the protective hand of God. So, much as it was, this time last week, when many of us in the Greater Houston area were wondering if we’d EVER hear about anything going on in the world beside…. well… you-know-who…. it came time to change the station…. and… well, Tracy at FiberBabble kinda hinted that she’d like to see what my list would look like, and I wanted to see what I got to choose from soooooooo I bit:

The rules:
A) Go to Music Outfitters
B) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year
C) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline and/or italicize your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don’t remember (or don’t care about)

* bold italic: turn up the volume and sing along loudly (chair dancing – not lap dancing – may be involved)
* bold: turn up the volume and sing along softly
* italic: leave the volume where it is but smile nostalgically and possibly hum
* plain: leave it be if I’m not paying attention, maybe look for something better if I am (or I don’t know the song)
* strikethrough: change the station
* red strikethrough: lunge violently at the radio and break one or more fingernails trying to change the station as fast as possible
(I will admit that I added a category or two… There were some of these songs that I heard sooooo many times that they are deeply ingrained in the protoplasm of my eardrums… and I would probably start singing along loudly, until I realized what it was…. then I would break something reaching to change the station – those I have combined into some combination of BOLD, italics, with red and/or a strikethrough. LOLOL What’s the good of doing a meme, if you can’t change the rules, along with the station???)

1. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Roberta Flack
2. Alone Again (Naturally), Gilbert O’Sullivan
3. American Pie, Don McLean
4. Without You, Nilsson
5. Candy Man, Sammy Davis Jr.
6. I Gotcha, Joe Tex
7. Lean On Me, Bill Withers
8. Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me, Mac Davis
9. Brand New Key, Melanie
10. Daddy Dont You Walk So Fast, Wayne Newton
11. Let’s Stay Together, Al Green
12. Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl), Looking Glass
13. Oh Girl, Chi-Lites
14. Nice To Be With You, Gallery
15. My Ding-A-Ling, Chuck Berry
16. If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want To Be Right, Luther Ingram
17. Heart Of Gold, Neil Young
18. Betcha By Golly, Wow, Stylistics
19. I’ll Take You There, Staple Singers
20. Ben, Michael Jackson
21. The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Robert John
22. Outa-space, Billy Preston
23. Slippin’ Into Darkness, War
24. Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress), Hollies
25. How Do You Do, Mouth and MacNeal
27. Song Sung Blue, Neil Diamond
28. A Horse With No Name, America
28. Popcorn, Hot Butter
29. Everybody Plays The Fool, Main Ingredient
30. Precious And Few, Climax
31. Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All, 5th Dimension
32. Nights In White Satin, Moody Blues
33. Go All The Way, Raspberries
34. Too Late To Turn Back Now, Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose
35. Back Stabbers, O’Jays
36. Down By The Lazy River, Osmonds
37. Sunshine, Jonathan Edwards
38. Starting All Over Again, Mel and Tim
39. Day Atter Day, Badfinger
40. Rocket Man, Elton John
41. Rockin’ Robin, Michael Jackson
42. Beautiful Sunday, Daniel Boone
43. Scorpio, Dennis Coffey and The Detroit Guitar Band
44. Morning Has Broken, Cat Stevens
45. The City Of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie
46. Garden Party, Rick Nelson
47. I Can See Clearly Now, Johnny Nash
48. Burning Love, Elvis Presley
49. Clean Up Woman, Betty Wright
50. Hold Your Head Up, Argent
51. Jungle Fever, Chakachas
52. Everything I Own, Bread
53. In The Rain, Dramatics
54. Look What You Done For Me, Al Green
55. The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A., Donna Fargo
56. Bang A Gong (Get It On), T. Rex
57. Mother And Child Reunion, Paul Simon
58. Where Is The Love, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
59. I’m Still In Love With You, Al Green
60. Layla, Derek and The Dominos
61. Day Dreaming, Aretha Franklin
62. The Way Of Love, Cher
63. Black And White, Three Dog Night
64. Sylvia’s Mother, Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show
65. Hurting Each Other, Carpenters
66. Coconut, Nilsson
68. Puppy Love, Donny Osmond
69. You Don’t Mess Around With Jim, Jim Croce
70. Hot Rod Lincoln, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
71. A Cowboy’s Work Is Never Done, Sonny and Cher
72. Joy, Apollo 100
73. Anticipation, Carly Simon
74. Never Been To Spain, Three Dog Night
75. Kiss An Angel Good Morning, Charlie Pride
76. School’s Out, Alice Cooper
77. Saturday In The Park, Chicago
78. Drowning In The Sea Of Love, Joe Simon
79. Use Me, Bill Withers
80. Family Affair, Sly and The Family Stone
81. Troglodyte, Jimmy Castor Bunch
82. The Witch Queen Of New Orleans, Redbone
83. Freddie’s Dead, Curtis Mayfield
84. Power Of Love, Joe Simon
85. Ain’t Understanding Mellow, Jerry Butler and Brenda Lee Eager
86. Taxi, Harry Chapin
87. Don’t Say You Don’t Rememeer, Beverly Bremers
87. Sealed With A Kiss, Bobby Vinton
88. I Saw The Light, Todd Rundgren
89. Motorcycle Mama, Sailcat
90. Day By Day, Godspell Soundtrack
91. Roundabout, Yes
92. Doctor My Eyes, Jackson Browne
93. I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing, New Seekers
94. Vincent/Castles In The Air, Don Mclean
95. Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms), Detroit Emeralds
96. Speak To The Sky, Rick Springfield
97. I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing, Hillside Singers
98. Walking In The Rain With The One I Love, Love Unlimited
99. Good Foot, Pt. 1, James Brown
100. Pop That Thang, Isley Bros.

I promise, I won’t do as T did – I won’t even HINT that I’d like to see your list – but if you are so inclined…. It might be really interesting!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming….. The number of customers in the Greater Houston area who remain without electricity has shrunk to somewhere less than one million – but to those who still turn on their lightswitch to find NOTHING, my prayers are with you. Hopefully, at least, you have running water (I still find myself washing my hands every time I walk past a sink, just because I can!)

September 23, 2008 Posted by | Life and Ramblings | 4 Comments

I Don’t Like Ike

I know that this post is a week late – but, before Ike rolled into southeast Texas, I didn’t have time to write a post, and afterwards – well… we didn’t have electricity for a week. So you will have to bear with me, as I re-visit some days of recent past history – or not – the choice is your’s. September 11, I was at the Mother Ship, as we affectionately refer to the Major Trauma Center where I ply my current trade, as a paramedic making ambulance arrangements for patients requiring transportation – to another hospital, to a nursing or rehabilitation center, or home. I find out what the needs of the individual patient are, and what time constraints may apply to their arrival at destination, and do my dead-level best to make sure those needs and constraints are met. Anyway, I digress (I find that I’ve been doing that a lot recently!)… When I left for work that morning, with "Ike" looming in the Gulf, growing ever larger, and more powerful, I took with me what I thought I would need to stay at the hospital through the storm. I answered someone who asked if I was scared because of the storm, that I didn’t know, because in all my years of living in the Greater Houston Area, I have prepared for several hurricanes but they’ve always gone "someplace else"… and I’ve never actually been through a hurricane. (I can no longer say that – thanks to Ike!) I watched and listened to reports of traffic delays, as mandatory evacuation notices were issued for areas right along the mid-to-upper Texas Coast. I later heard the mayor of Galveston, which was to get hit pretty hard, say "Thank you to all of the residents of the slightly more inland areas for staying home, so the coastal residents could get out to safety." I listened to news reports of traffic jams along the major evacuation route from Galveston northward, I-45, which happens to be my daily commute route. I commiserated with staff members at the hospital. I ate a greasy hamburger. I paced the floors – a lot.

About 9pm, I heard a report that Ike had grown to be larger than the entire state of Texas. I heard reports that the computer models were all starting to solidify – and it seemed almost certain that Ike was going to ’go to ground’ between Freeport and Galveston. By this time, all the other people who office in the same area as me had left. They were to return the following morning, then leave by noon on Friday, September 12, when the hospital was "going on lock down – nobody in, nobody out." I was given an "essential personnel sticker" for my name badge, so that I would be able to get back in. I also heard a report that the evacuation traffic was beginning to thin out – much more orderly, and timely than in 2005, with Hurricane Rita.

I clicked over to the "real-time traffic" report on the internet. I saw my chance to get home before the storm – called my boss, and my DH and told them I was coming home. Something was telling me, deep inside "I CANNOT STAY HERE!" I’ve learned over the years that, if I hear that still small voice – and ignore it – I generally regret it. So I got in my truck and headed north, away from the Mother Ship, 50 miles further inland. Traffic was really not too much worse than a bad commute – 45 minutes for the first 35 miles…. then 1hour 15 minutes for the next 10… 5 minutes for the last 5 miles. I was home. When I called home, I was told to call when I got to the driveway, and someone would come guide me in. This is what I saw: Our Little House in the Big Woods

Well, that’s what I would have seen, had it NOT been midnight when I got home – although that picture is one that was taken when the house was boarded up for Hurricane Rita, in September, 2005. As it was, all I saw was dark. That was OK – it was midnight. I was tired. I slept.

Continue reading

September 21, 2008 Posted by | Life and Ramblings | 1 Comment

A Horse of a Different Hue – or my take on color theory

One of my quilting groups got into a discussion of Color Theory and some of the gals were confused because of the words used to describe colors. To me, it’s much easier to understand the confusion than the “theory” since “experts” over the centuries have not agreed about color descriptions! A simplistic way of thinking of it (and not all agree about this but it’s my simplistic way of thinking of it)is this:

HUE refers to the color – changes in HUE are made by adding varying amounts of another color (remember, in color theory there are only 3 colors)… Red, Blue and Yellow. (Remember your ziplock bags? Blue and Yellow make GREEN and mean the bag is zipped!)

Only 3 Primary Colors - Red, Blue, and Yellow

Only 3 Primary Colors - Red, Blue, and Yellow


Change color by adding black

Change color by adding black


SHADE refers to getting a darker version of the “Hue” by adding or subtracting black. Take that green you made when you zipped the bag, add a bit of black, and you get Forest Green



 TINT refers to getting a lighter version of the “Hue” by adding or substracting white. 

Changing the color by adding white

Changing the color by adding white

Take your basic green and add white – you get something like mint green.

(If you want lime green you add more yellow – but that’s changing the HUE – not the tint.) 




I think part of the confusion comes with trying to understand where  we get black and white, if there are only 3 colors – and those are RED, BLUE, and YELLOW?  Black is the PRESENCE of all colors, if you are referring to pigments but the ABSENCE of any color, if you are referring to light. Add the “fact” that white is the ABSENCE of any color, if you are referring to pigment, and the PRESENCE of all colors if you are referring to light – and I can’t imagine how your brain gets a cramp…. Mine stayed that way years ago.

September 6, 2008 Posted by | Life and Ramblings, Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time) | , , , | Leave a comment