EXCUSE #1 FOR NOT POSTING: I am volunteering again for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through United Way of the Coastal Bend. Volunteers are trained and certified through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to prepare tax returns for lower levels of income for free. In past years I acted as a greeter/screener but did not do tax returns. This year we have fewer volunteers so I have been doing returns (simple!) as needed. I find that I enjoy it (not as hard as I thought it would be!) and feel that I am helping in the community. We get questions about Hurricane Harvey damage but that is out of our scope. The site opened January 17 and will close April 17. I am there Monday through Thursday, nine am to 1 pm.
SPRING EQUINOX: In January we reluctantly had our veterinarian put our cat, Wiccan, down. She was our last cat and would have been eighteen years old in May; we will not seek another cat. Our other cats have been buried in the back yard, but we chose to have her cremated and saved her ashes to be scattered on a warm sunny day. April 20 was the perfect day. Near the back fence there was a small patch of dirt where the grass has not grown back yet and near where other cats are buried. We toasted her with wine as she joined the other angel cats. We will miss her.
VISIT TO HOUSTON: On St. Patrick’s Day weekend Husband and I visited Son in Houston to celebrate their birthdays early. We chose to have dinner at a restaurant called Tango and Malbec where Argentinian style food is featured. We had been there before but this time we were delighted to find that we would be entertained by tango dancers during dinner. They were excellent and each wore a bit of green. I don’t know the style of tango but blogger A Frank Angle would surely have known; go to his blog but a video of a sultry Argentine tango. We also visited the Rothko Chapel and the Cy Twombly Gallery.
READING AND WRITING: There does not seem to be enough time to read blogs, books, news and write. Perhaps when tax season is over I will have time for all of them. Cheers!
View of our back yard with a bedraggled oak tree. Back fence is leaning slightly but that can be easily corrected.
Harvey made landfall in the middle of the night here with rain and shrieking winds as we listened through the night in darkness with storm shutters down. The power had gone off hours before. The morning brought gentle rain and stillness. Our neighborhood was fortunate with little damage other than downed trees, limbs and fences. The eye of the hurricane went in a little to the north of us so we did not experience the strongest of the winds which damaged and destroyed many homes. Flooding took its toll also. Harvey worked its way up the coast to the Houston area and into Louisiana. Relief and rescue efforts are ongoing. I am sure many of you have seen the devastation in the news. Our power came back on Monday evening.
Daughter across town had little damage to her home beyond downed fences and broken limbs. The USS Lexington Museum where she works held fast anchored just off North Beach in Corpus Christi.
Son in Houston had no loss of power and no flooding. He works for United Way of Greater Houston and was able to volunteer taking 211 calls.
My 81-year-old sister is staying with us as her home in Victoria still has no power but little damage.
Ironically, on Friday my brother-in-law called to check on us and invite us to ride out the storm with him and my sister on their ranch outside of Freer (80 miles to the west of us and 60 miles from the border of Mexico). I declined as we wanted to stay. Two hours later I got a call that their house had been completely destroyed by a fire; they got out unharmed but could save nothing. They will rebuild, but at 89 years and 86 years old it will not be an easy transition. Thursday we drove out to see them. They are strong people with a proud Texas attitude. My brother-in-law could joke that he really hated to lose those new boots and hat he had just bought.
Life goes on. I am grateful for all that I have. My heart breaks for the loss of life, damage to property, and hardships (financial and emotional) that the hurricane has brought. It has encouraged the best in people as neighbors and strangers help each other. Governments, military, non-profits and volunteers have pulled together to help. May it bring our country together. Thanks to all who have shown concern for this Coastal Crone! I am far behind in responding and reading blogs but life comes first. Sending good wishes to all! The sun is shining brightly today. Cheers!
“Transport him today or he will be euthanized,” the caller said.
The call came urgently on New Year’s Eve. As a volunteer with the Dachshund Rescue of Houston my son went immediately to pick up this abandoned dachshund. Despite ugly burns on his leg and lower belly the dog jumped eagerly into his rescuer’s arms. He was taken to a vet clinic that works with DRofH caring for dogs like this. Amazingly he seemed happy and healthy other than his burns and was thankfully heart worm negative. He will cared for at the clinic. When he is well enough he go to a foster home until he is adopted.
My son has two rescue dachshunds of his own, Neo and Zuul, and has fostered several through DRofH. The organization does a great job of saving them and finding good homes for them and hosts events to promote adoption.
I do not know how this adorable guy got those awful burns or what other trauma he has experienced and really would rather not know, but I do know that my son has given him a chance. Someone gave his dogs a chance to find their way to him.. He is just giving back. For that I am very proud of him.
This little guy has a long road ahead of him, but I am glad that my son was able to help him on his journey to his forever home. May this dachshund heal and find his forever home in 2015!