Thoughts on Life – June 13, 2017


DSC_5321

It seems that when I choose to write
unless it is about a hike
or maybe something in the yard
or in the ponds which is not hard
as Nature is a willing guide
showing more than what she hides
and everywhere I choose to look
is another page from her open book
as beauty all around me grows
as the flowers are putting on a show.

What really bothers me
are the things that shape our destiny
as many things we can’t control
are forced upon our very soul
as we have very little say
in the things that happen day to day
as others the decisions make
they claim doing it for our sake
even in this Democracy
it is plain for all to see
that only one percent are doing fine
while the rest of us can only whine
and wait for the next election day
when we hope we have our say
and ours are the guys that make the rules
and we the ones who voted them in
will still be taking it on the chin
as our guys will no better be
than the ones already history.

Now let me see where was I now
as I turn on my computer to read the show
trying to stay abreast of things
looking to see what this day will bring
and reading about the same old stuff
just as though there isn’t enough
of pain and suffering and shootings too
why act this way I haven’t a clue
and Trump and his group more rules rescind
and Nature is taking it on the chin
and the Rich get richer with no help from us
and the sick get sicker with no one to trust
or to give them a helping hand
and the same is true all over the land.

I have stopped looking at the news
it is such a depressing view
to read all about such terrible waste
and Global Warming can’t make a case
the birds and animals and Parks and States
all are starting lose this race
as the idiots in charge keep tearing things down
all because of a billionaire clown
whose only interest is money and fame
and is playing a dangerous game
and has no thought for this Earth
and the damage which can’t be undone
remembered most as the one
The Man Who Let in the Sun.

I refuse to let this bother me
as outside of the window I see
plants and flowers putting on a show
and birds and squirrels some I know
as repeat visitors come to eat seed
at the feeders put out for their needs
and the Koi in the ponds are looking good
and the water is clear just as it should
and my pets are fine and in good health
and I feel good not acting my age
not ready to turn that final page
enjoying my life as best I can
without reading about that horrible man.

Busy in the Garden and the Ponds.


DSC_5129I have spent the last couple of months working either in the garden or in and around the ponds and have not had the time to go on any hikes at all. In between, I fitted in a couple of fish rescues and consequently have added to the plants that are surplus to my requirements.

Spring arrived early here in my part of Central Texas with only two days of freezing weather, which was enough to knock down almost every living plant in both the garden and the ponds. This required considerable effort to cut everything back and then move the cut material to the compost heap and took several days and much moaning and complaining on my part. Nothing new with that as I tend to moan and complain about everything especially if it is not going well. Luckily, I am the only one within earshot as usually, the dogs make a quick exit when I start cussing. Actually,I don’t rant and rave but generally just utter a quick “f” word and then go about my business figuring out how to get over whatever caused me to cuss in the first place.

I have already written a couple of blogs of some of my other escapades. Things like the Skippy Filters, part 1 and 2 and the Doggie Escape Fixes and the Ponds at Mayfield Park. I spent some time in reworking the plumbing inlet pipe to the pump on the Aquadyne system on the 6000 gallon pond and am much happier with the result. At least now, it sucks in water and does not keep blocking up although in fairness, this is a bad time of the year with the Live Oaks dropping all of their blooms most of which seem to go into the ponds. Thank goodness that this is nearly over as it is very messy, everywhere and not just in the water.

The pictures show the amount of new growth already in the ponds.

Altogether, I repotted a dozen or more lilies plus sundry other water plants and then, spent some time trimming the remaining lilies getting them ready for others to plant. I took a 5 gallon bucket full with about 30 or so plants to the Pond Meeting which happened to coincide with my planting efforts and they were all gone within minutes. I still have at least that number remaining in the tubs which I plan on taking to the next meeting which is our Annual Plant Swap. I also had a few other people stop bye to get some of the plants for their own ponds.

Potting lilies is not hard work although somewhat messy and the old potted material does not smell that great either.. First of all, it requires getting into all of the ponds and removing the pots to the side and then getting out of the pond to transport them to the table, upending the pot on its side to get the lily root (tuber) out of the pot, and then trimming it back to a more manageable size that has new growth that is already sprouting. These are then placed back into the pot on top of a layer of clay type dirt, adding fertilizer tablets and then covering it up with more dirt so that just the new growth is showing. I usually place pebbles on the top to try to discourage the big Koi from washing the lily out of the pot with their tails as they love to get at the roots. The whole pot is then submerged back into the water about a foot or more down.

Following all of the repotting efforts, it required that I get back into the ponds to place the pots which I did. This year, I am trying something different in an attempt to get some of the lilies to last long enough to flower and that is, to place anywhere from 6 to 10 lilies in each of the big ponds. Maybe, if there are so many, the Koi will leave them alone. In some cases, I had used the 18 inch tall pots which I just stood on the bottom of the pond and already, the ponds are covered with lily pads and I noticed that we already have a bloom. First lily bloom of the season.

DSC_5125

With everything growing so fast, it is hard to keep up with all of the trimming and raking but it is a labor of love and quite enjoyable. I need to get my riding mower repaired to cut the grass alongside of the road. Seems like every year, I have to have something done to that particular piece of machinery before it will start. I have other mowers so it not like I have to use the riding mower.

Darn, the pump on the stream has just stopped. I wonder what is wrong with it, Just blocked up or maybe worn out. Stay tuned for the next story…

Goodbye 2016-Hello 2017


happy-new-year-banner-2

I spent the last day of 2016 staring at my computer screen hoping that words would magically appear. I really wanted to get outside to work on cutting down all of the frozen vegetation destroyed by the recent frosts but somehow was having difficulty working up enough enthusiasm to actually make the move. It might have had something to do with the fact that the weather is very cloudy and overcast and that it keeps trying to rain but the reality is, I am just being lazy.

Maybe that is my cue to make a New Year’s Resolution of “Stop Feeling Lazy” but the problem with that is I have never been able to make and keep any resolutions longer than a couple of weeks. That is not to say that I am weak willed. Not by a long way. Several years ago, I decided that I really needed to do something about my weight and over the next 3 year period, managed to go from 185 pounds down to 151 pounds and keep it there. I watch what and how much I eat in order to control the weight plus added the long hikes to my fitness routine.  I think that probably my greatest achievement is that 8 years ago, I quit drinking. Being very British, I was brought up on a diet of beer in all of its various forms and like many of my British colleagues, prided myself on how many pints of the aforementioned brew I could consume in any given evening. Turns out that the Judge decided that it was a habit that I could do without and after spending a couple of days in the slammer, I totally agreed with him. I did not take a lot of convincing and am pleased to say that I haven’t had any alcohol since that time. More recently, a little over a month ago, I decided that I needed to give up my only other remaining vice and that was drinking Starbuck’s Lattes. I was routinely drinking one and sometimes two a day and it was costing me $150 a month which I deemed to be another unnecessary expense, so I have quit cold turkey. Now I am waiting to see if Starbucks even notices that my card is not getting used. This was also adding additional mileage to my car as I would go out every afternoon to get a Latte and listen to Audiobooks on the car’s Bluetooth system and usually driving 20-30 miles while doing this. Relaxing but expensive…

So, it is not that I don’t have the willpower to make and keep New Year’s Resolutions but more that I need to really believe in whatever the resolution is. With the three I mentioned previously, I had pressing factors to help make them succeed, weight loss, money and jail time (plus a heavy fine), which goes a long way towards any success. I read somewhere that any emotional shock as long as it is big enough, helps to break bad habits and that was definitely true in my case.

Most people set incredibly difficult Resolutions that are almost impossible to keep under the best of circumstances. Other set so many that they can’t possibly keep up with them all and so eventually, they all go by the wayside however good the original intentions.

Me, as I said before, I will make the Resolution if and when it is needed. You could say, I have Resolved not to resolve.

Now, the sun is shining and my ambition level to go outside and cut back damaged greenery has risen by 100% far overshadowing the desire to sit and write about non existent New Year Resolutions.

Happy New Year everyone. May 2017 treat you kindly.