As the new year approached, I wondered about folks 200 years ago in the American West. Then I remembered that the only Americans there that early who wrote about it were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their men who explored it 1804-06 at the request of President Thomas Jefferson. For Christmas several years ago my husband and I treated ourselves to the complete set of the journals of their expedition edited by Gary E. Moulton.… Read the rest
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Dec. 20 delivered charges for the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services to tackle before the 2015 Texas Legislature convenes.
Dewhurst, who presides over the Senate, ordered the panel of nine senators to study what is being done by the state to enhance the health of Texas women. He also called on the committee to assess the effectiveness of programs designed to improve mental health for all Texans.… Read the rest
Back in the old days, you actually bought people Christmas presents.
A gift card is as lazy as “wrapping” a present by tossing it into a bag. (Having said all that, I’m fine with gift cards in my old age; however, even today I never choose a bagged present at a gift exchange. Surprises are supposed to be unwrapped.)
With the current gift card frenzy, it’s very easy and tempting to snatch up a Starbucks/Red Lobster/iTunes card at a grocery store register and – voila!… Read the rest
Have you heard on the radio, or seen on YouTube, dogs and cats singing Christmas songs? They are kind of cute the first time! After that…not so much.
I know that some people are convinced that their animals can talk to them. Maybe I’m just not a good dog whisperer, but I don’t get what they are saying most of the time. And I don’t spend a lot of time speculating.… Read the rest
When students arrive at school in the fall, many teachers ask them to write an essay on “What I did during my summer vacation.” This column is my essay on “What I did while iced in for five days in December.” Among other things I read a book entitled, How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman. I was amazed.… Read the rest
Gov. Rick Perry on Dec. 19 announced the appointment of Nandita Berry of Houston as the 109th Texas Secretary of State, effective Jan. 7, 2014. She succeeds John Steen, who was appointed by Perry in November 2012.
As secretary of state, Berry will serve as the state’s chief elections officer, the governor’s liaison on border and Mexican affairs and Texas’ chief protocol officer for state and international matters. The Secretary of State’s Office also serves as the formal repository for official and business records, publishes government rules and regulations, keeps the state seal and attests to the governor’s signature on official documents.… Read the rest
I’ve read many an account of pioneers traveling west in the 1840s to Oregon. Diaries of real people let readers experience the trip vicariously through their words. Every diary, journal and history book about the trip mentions The Dalles. In Oregon last summer, I learned more about it. When reading about The Dalles, I always wondered how the word was pronounced. It’s “dales” which rhymes with “males.”… Read the rest
It was a busy 18 hours.
First, the Bride and I along with six-year-old grandson Link –whose right eye is now open after smashing it against a fence post at 100 mph while sledding during Ice-ageddon – went on our first Tour of Homes.
It was cool to see some nice houses decked out gaily in holiday festiveness. But we ran into a problem.… Read the rest
As a blogger and columnist in Texas in 2013, I am pretty much free to write what I want and to do so with little risk. About the worst thing that could happen if I offend people is that: (1) They would stop reading what I write, and (2) the newspapers would stop running the columns of this guy that is causing them such grief. Since I try not to be the source of offense or grief, probably my greatest risk is that readers or newspapers will just get tired of me and send me on my bloggity way.… Read the rest
Texas will have some $98.9 billion in general revenue for state budget makers to work with in the 2014-2015 biennium, according to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ revenue estimate.
Combs delivered the estimate to Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Joe Straus and every member of the state House and Senate on Dec. 12.
“This available revenue,” Combs said, “supports general revenue spending of $96.31 billion for the 2014-2015 biennium … producing an expected revenue balance of $2.58 billion.”… Read the rest