Finally, Rain…


Rainy Day on the Coast

Rainy Day on the Coast

Finally, we got some rain here in my part of Texas. A little more than 2 inches of a steady downpour. Not enough to flood but a nice gentle rain that the hungry soil greedily soaked up with very little run off.

I walked around the garden the next day and was totally amazed at how quickly everything that a couple of days ago was really sorry looking and drooping like it was on its last legs, had recovered. Nature is so amazing and so resilient and it helps that I have all native plants in my garden. The reason for the rain was the most recent Tropical Storm named Gordon off the coast of Mississippi that managed to dump enough rain to make it a very welcome guest. Today the high temperature so far has only reached 92 with yesterday’s high the same. Maybe, just maybe we are all through with the 100 degree days of the past few weeks. So far this year, 2018, Austin has seen 49 days of 100 degree heat a long cry from 2011 when there were 90 days of it. Incidentally, this is the first year that I did not hook up the soaker hose system mainly to see what the end result would be without it. The only watering was to the plants in containers on the deck.

As you can imagine, not only is 100 degrees bloody hot, it is also very tiring and difficult to work outside especially for us older folks. Back in the day, when I was a lot younger, I worked Construction  when I first arrived in Texas and even though it was very hot, it didn’t bother me as much as it does now I am an old fart. I have spent these past few weeks indoors working on my blogs and a couple of other indoor projects and attending to the ponds early in the mornings. I have managed to put together a whole list of projects that I need to do and would normally have been done if not for the heat. These I will work on as soon as it cools to around 90 degrees and lower. Needless to say, I have not even thought about going hiking and as tough of an old bird that I am, even I would probably pass out in the heat.

These are the joys of living in the Lone Star State. At least we don’t get much of a winter which almost makes up for the heat.

Written 9/5/2018

The Search Goes On…


Ginny the new girl

Ginny, the last one remaining of the original dogs…

As I am still looking for a companion for my little Dachshund, Ginnie, the loner and only female in the group, I decided to head to the three different Dog Rescues that I tend to visit on a periodic basis.

The first and furthest away is in Bastrop, a distance of 38 miles from my house. That is the same place that I got Mikey although at the time, his name was Charlie. It doesn’t seem to matter what I call him as he only comes when he feels like it. Actually, that is not really true as when I am out in the yard and working around the ponds, he is usually no more than a couple of steps away. Only if Ginnie starts to bark at something which she is prone to do, will he tear off at top speed to help her investigate whatever she was barking at.

I walked around the kennels at the Bastrop Rescue, many of which are empty as they are not inundated with dogs at this time. I did not see one Great Pyrenees and that has to be a first as usually, there are 2-3 of them. In the small dogs, they had a few mixed breeds and Chihuahuas, several of which were either males and/or in pairs. I didn’t see a single female that I thought would be a good companion for Ginnie.

My next stop was at the Austin Animal Shelter on Levander Loop which is the biggest of all of the places I visit. They had a lot of little dogs of all breeds and shapes and sizes but many had adopted stickers or were males. None of them said to me, “Take me home”.

My final stop was  at Austin Pets Alive in Tarrytown which is a little different than most shelters. It has four different areas all one after the other where they house the dogs several to an area. As these areas are adjoining, it is always a noisy place to visit as one barking dog sets off the rest of them. Again, these are all small dogs of different mixed breeds and varieties with Chihuahuas being the predominant strain and again, very few were female. So, very reluctantly, I left and made my way home wishing that that I was filthy rich and could give all of the dogs that I had seen today, a permanent place to call home.

Next week, I will take a drive to Georgetown, the place where I got Gizzy, just in case another small female dog is there and looking for a home.

Written 8/26/2018

Mikey the Comforter…


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Mikey looking very bright

When will it end you may well ask
working on yet another task
there is more work for me to do
why me, he exclaimed, I haven’t a clue
there was I just doing my thing
not bothering anyone in my dream
and all of a sudden and before my eyes
this shape began to materialize
not one I recognized straight away
or that I had seen on a different day
a brand new shape unknown to me
struggling like it was breaking free
ready to jump into my brain
and never to appear again
with blazing eyes and claws so strong
looking like it did not belong
in anything alive on this earth
and yet in its own familiar way
I thought I recognized what it did say
with its barks and growls and loud howls
and scratching claws and licking tongue
and wagging tail swishing in fun
and then I awoke only to find
that Mikey, my dog was what I had seen
and asleep and drifting in my dream
I had called out and thrashed around in my sleep
getting Mikey excited from his place near my feet
with his barks and his cries all for the sake
to bring me back to this place and awake
away from the demons that had me secured
dreaming of things that are totally weird
he licked my face and calmed me down
as if to say don’t be a clown
sleep peaceful now and I will watch
and make sure that your sleep is not lost
for nothing will get to you today
not while I am here to stay
I patted Mikey on the head
and turned back over and instead
of going back to sleep again
thought about how it’s not the same
to dream of monsters when I was a kid
and have my Mother stroke my head
and tell me everything’s OK
tomorrow is another day
instead I settle for a wet nose
and a cuddle as he moves in close
from Mikey as I close my eyes
and into a deep sleep did slide.

Written 8/25/2018

Why do we blog…


blog

I was checking my emails this morning as I usually do before embarking on any major (or several minor) tasks that I had lined up for the day. Sometimes, it may be things that I have planned like a particular piece of work around the ponds and garden where I can get out under the very hot Texas sun and sweat a lot. It may even be a walk at one of the Parks although, lately it has been way too hot to enjoy that activity. More recently with the hundred degree heat, it has been to settle myself down in front of my computer and see if I can coax a story or a verse out of my old and feeble mind. Well maybe not so feeble but definitely getting old and forgetful.

Back to the emails which are now somewhat under control after I made the decision to take the “Like” button off of the blogs that I post. The number of blogging friends has dropped considerably as I guess, I am being removed from other people’s lists as I no longer receive the amount of mail that I did before or the number of blogs from other bloggers who before, had graciously pushed the “Like”button. This was something that I expected and I do miss having my ego stroked with all of those “Likes” . Still, can’t have it both ways and I do have a lot of other things on which to spend my time.

This brings me to my current thought of the moment and that is, “Why do we blog”? What compels us to sit down in front of our computers and pour out our heart and souls for others to read. What is it that prompts our particular brains to write about the things that interest us. Better yet, why do we think that other people are interested in reading the stuff that we type out with such regularity. Is it human nature to be that interested that we not only take the time to write about our given subjects but also to spend time reading the same or at least similar stuff from other bloggers?

We are such a diverse bunch and our interests range from the mundane to the ridiculous. Many of you are very articulate and write very interesting stuff that is a pleasure to read or you take wonderful pictures and share them for the world to see. Others try to heal the world of the ongoing bombardment that humanity is subjecting it to on a daily basis. Yet others, me included, share their daily routines and try to turn them into stories of interest. All of us have something to share but why do we want to share it? What drives us?

Years ago, before the advent of computers and modern technology, the only means of communication other than to speak was to write it down with the use of a pen and paper. Perfect writing was a skill and only practised amongst the Gentry of the land as not too many lay people knew how to read and write. People prided themselves on their calligraphy and even letters written between family members were works of art. More to the point, receiving such a letter was also treated as a special occasion and a thing of great personal value. Alas, those days are long gone and I for one can only remember one handwritten letter that I received from anyone in the last five years. Those that have found their way into my mailbox have all been typed and not on an old fashioned typewriter either but a modern day computer. Letter writing is a dying art and is going the way of the Dodo. Everything is email and text nowadays.

I, like almost everyone else in the world, use a computer for all of the writing that I do. I make so many mistakes and have so many do overs and corrections or even re-writes on some occasions that it would be inconceivable to me to write any other way. Consequently, when an idea or a thought strikes me that I want to share, I can sit down and even with my two fingered typing, quickly write up a piece that may not be grammatically correct but at least all of the words are spelt correctly. Than goodness for Spellchecker!

Even with all of this, it still does not answer the question of “Why do we like to write” and what is more to the point, why do we share it with others? It’s not like we are going to make any money off our blogs although I suppose that there may be some out there who claim they do. Me, I am not one of them so there has to be another reason. Maybe, I am a frustrated Author with a million dollar book inside of me just waiting to pop out although, somehow I don’t think so. I am more of a reporter than a writer. I need a subject matter to write about as my brain is not capable of the twists and turns that it takes to be a modern day writer/novelist. More to the point is the pleasure I get from writing a good piece or taking a great picture and sharing it with the rest of the world and blogging is a way for me to do just this.  It is the perfect platform to express ourselves in so many different ways with whatever it is that interests us.

That still doesn’t answer the question of why we do what we do. I have never done this before but it might be interesting for those of you who have taken the time to read this all the way through to go to the Comments section and write a short response as to what is your reason for blogging. It will make for very interesting reading.

Written 8/4/2018

Stimulant


DSC_1918-Pano

I opened up a brand new page
just so that I could see
if I could jog my memory
and something wonderful would emerge
making the effort worth the while
or if it would suit my style
as writing without a single thought
very often ends in nought
as my brain only functions with a light
something turned on by power so bright
a stimulant from this wonderful world
whose wonders we view with thoughts unfurled.

Alas, as hard as I tried nothing came
no words of wisdom from my brain
nothing to write or words to impart
it was just as though my brain would not start
at least in the way for others to see
no verse no rhyme no story from me
it really felt like my brain had shut down
refusing to work with anything profound
on days like today when thinkings a pain
I walk with the dogs to stimulate my brain
fresh air and good company and a break from it all
and maybe tomorrow the words will just fall.

Written 8/24/2018

 

The Beauty of the Moment.


HEB

First HEB Store in Kerrville, Texas

 

I was in the checkout line at where else, yeah you got it, my friendly HEB Grocery Store and in front of me was this young mother with her son riding in the cart as kids are wont to do. I would guess the kid to be between 3- 4 years old and in his hands, clutched as tight as he could grasp them, were a couple of toys that she had purchased for him  on the way round the store.

She was busy unloading the basket and not paying much attention to her son at least not as much as I was and as she placed her items on the counter. She reached back in for more and as I watched,  he carefully put his hands behind his back to hide his new toys for fear that he was going to lose them. I burst out laughing as it was so funny to see the reflex action of this little fellow trying desperately hard to hang on to his new playthings. The Mother looked at me with a smile as she knew what I was laughing at and exclaimed. “He is so afraid he won’t get them back”.

She finally persuaded him that he needed to pay for them and would get them back after they were checked out and he very reluctantly gave them up but kept a very careful eye on them as they proceeded through the checkout line. The cashier, who had also been watching the proceedings with a close eye, after ringing them up, made a big show of handing the toys back to the little boy whose worst fears had not been realized and all was going to end well.

The whole thing was a beautiful moment from the Mother who made the kid understand that things had to be paid for to the checkout clerk who made a big deal out of handing them back to the little boy after the transaction was complete.

Me, I just felt all warm and fuzzy inside happy to just have witnessed a step in this young boys life and it was so funny to watch him try to hide them. Made my whole day…

Written 8/23/2018

My Little Dog


Ginny the new girl

Ginny, the last one remaining of the original dogs…

I lost one of my dogs today
she was not there in time to play
she had her shots the day before
and I knew she was a little sore
I watched her wander out into the yard
and settle down on the deck so hard
I thought she would probably sleep for a while
from soreness to be free
when I looked up she was gone
and I hadn’t seen her go
so I walked out into the yard
and started searching high and low
calling her name again and again
in an all to familiar refrain
Ginnie, Ginnie-Girl, I called
where are you was the cry
but true to form no sound was borne
no barks or whines leaving me forlorn
I searched and searched in the hope
of finding a trace  of my little girl
I searched for an hour or maybe two
but ended up with nary a clue
and then I heard a familiar bark
as Mikey found something new
he had not helped to show the way
to find his buddy with whom he plays
but his bark brought another too
as Ginnie answered in a muffled tone
so I figured that under the deck
she had manage to crawl all alone
although I really haven’t a clue
where she found the entrance to
for I thought that I had blocked it all up
so that the dogs would not venture there
for fear that the snakes would find it cool
and a place to shelter without fear
I took down a piece of the lattice to see
if my little girl would come to me
but she ignored my plea to come
and left me standing all alone
wondering just what was the next move
I would have to crawl in there I supposed
and then I turned only to see
my little girl walking free
limping a little from yesterdays shots
feeling sorry for herself for getting lost
as I made a fuss helped a little in part
by Mikey, tail wagging, adding his bark.

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Mikey looking very bright

Written 8/14/2018