Friday, October 19, 2018

Seeds and stuff

Jilda and I stopped at her sister's house to pick up some young collard plants. Since the temps have dropped it's time to get those babies in the ground.

Each time we visit for one thing, we leave with five things. Not only did we get enough collards to feed a third-world country, but we also got clumps of flowers, seeds, and other goodies.

As we got ready to leave, I looked over in one of her sister's flower beds and saw daisies. While she chatted, I stepped over and snapped a pic of this little beauty.

I'm hope by next fall, we'll have clumps of these babies of our own.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Jilda is still struggling with sinus crud so she went in for a followup visit today. She could probably have gone alone, but I wasn't sure what all they would have to do so I decided to take my laptop and write in the waiting room.

I knocked out my column for Sunday and most of a news story while I waited.

At one point, my eyes were weary from looking at the screen so I looked toward the window at the blue sky. Across the way, I noticed two young children. I did not know them but I'm guessing they were brother and sister. 

They were two cute kids and got along together well. As I watched, the young boy was showing his sister something on his iPad. I took a picture and posted it here last night. One of my blog buddies commented that it could be considered illegal in some places. The more I thought about it, I realized that while it was not the intent, it could be considered an invasion of privacy so I removed the picture.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Weather Lore

An old neighbor used to say that when there are "a plenty" of hickory nuts "a fallin'" then it's bound to be a cold winter. If that's true, I'm buying some more long-johns. 

Each day when we walk, we have to tiptoe by the old barn because walking over the hickory nuts is hazardous. It's been a while since we've had this many.

When I was a kid, my grandmother used to pay me in candy to crack hickory nuts for her. She wanted enough of the "goodie" (the edible stuff inside the nut) to back a cake. I thought I was taking advantage of her because there was nothing I enjoyed more than beating the crap out of things with a hammer. 

I soon learned that hickory nuts have mother nature's version of titanium. I beat the hide off of both my thumbs and most of my fingers. I finally got enough for a cake, but I thought she should have given me the entire box of candy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Locked out

Today has been jammed. I went to a city council meeting this morning. When I got out of the truck,  I had both arms full of stuff to take inside. Once the meeting was over, I headed out to the truck to go to another appointment, but I couldn't find my keys.

I traced my steps to see if I had dropped my keys on the way inside. Then I walked over and peered through the tinted glass. There they were dangling from the ignition. DANG! I thought.

I pulled the cell from my pocket and called Jilda at home. She was walking the dogs, but she hurried back inside and drove the 12 miles to the city hall to bring my spare key.

She didn't hound me or give me a hard time. She just opened the door, gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, "I'll see you later."

When I went to the newspaper office this afternoon, I stopped by the Ford dealership and had a spare key made.

Hopefully, I won't be stranded with keys locked inside my car again.

An old picture of the beast.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Big Rocks

There is a mossy rock in the hollow behind our barn. It’s nestled under a canopy of oak, hickory, and pine trees. It’s a peaceful place. When my life gets crazy, I carve out enough time to visit the rock and think for a while. The sound of songbirds and whisper of the wind in the trees helps me find perspective – to put my life into balance. I don’t visit that big rock enough.
These past few weeks it seems I’ve spent my all my time juggling. The to-do list in my daily planner looks thicker than the U.S. tax code. Each time I strike one thing off, three more appear at the bottom. It seems the more my life gets out of balance, the more daunting the list becomes. It’s a pattern that repeats every few years. 
Just when I’m at the point of jabbing an icepick into my eye, I do a mental reset and go back to the basics. I know how to handle situations like this, but sometimes life and logic get tangled up.
Jilda and I took a class several years ago that put things into perspective. It was a Stephen Covey class entitled What Matters Most. He did an exercise with a volunteer from the audience that drove his concepts home.
On the podium was a bucket. Beside that were a few pounds of sand, some gravel, and some large rocks with things written on them like family, health, education, work life, money, and spirituality. The gravel represented things that weren’t as important but seemed urgent. The sand represented things that weren’t important but were URGENT!
He asked the volunteer to pour the sand into the bucket and then asked them to put in the gravel. Lastly, he asked them to fit the big rocks into the container. 
No matter how hard the volunteer tried, they could not fit the bigger rocks into the container. They simply would not fit. The volunteer had to leave the rocks representing family, health, or education out of the bucket. That bucket represented our lives. 
When it was obvious that all the rocks wouldn’t fit into the bucket, he pulled out another bucket. This time he had the volunteer put the big rocks in first. Then they poured in the gravel, followed by the sand. This time they all fit. The key was to put the big rocks in first.
This exercise made a tremendous impression on both Jilda and me. We’re both great at putting out fires. In fact, we are professionals. But so many of those fires are like candles that the wind will blow out in time. 
This afternoon, I wandered down to my big mossy rock and spent some time meditating on the big rocks in my life. When I got home, I scanned my to-do list and moved about 90 percent of them to my “Ain’t Gonna Happen” list. 
I already feel more in balance.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Waning Zinnias

It's been a low-key Sunday for both Jilda and me. We laid down after lunch for a nap and didn't bother to set a timer. I think I may have slobbered on my pillow.  After the nap, I decided to do something productive. Cutting the grass was on top of my list so I got to it.

This afternoon a breeze out of the west was cool but the sun was warm. That means it was perfect weather to cut grass. Topping off the tank of the old John Deere, I started mowing.

Cutting around the garden, I had considered mowing down the Zinnias. As I approached them I cut the engine and got off to inspect. Normally, these beauties thrive and decorate our mantel and bathrooms until frost. But these are beginning to look sad. The late August and September heatwave had its way with the plants.

The butterflies still had not given up on the flowering beauties and I thought it would be a shame if I did. So I gave them a reprieve for a few more weeks. Maybe if we get rain, they'll make a comeback.

I hope your Sunday has been a lazy day too.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Anything less

We had a show tonight with our good friend Joe Greg. He's a steelworker and gets very few days off work. He took vacation so that he could play with us tonight. And we were grateful that he joined us.

We had a small but enthusiastic crowd. We knew going in that we were up against SEC football. This is not our first rodeo. 

Some songwriters and bands get discouraged when the crowd is not overflowing. We take a different view. Each person that comes to see us deserves the very best we have to offer. We played and sang as if we were at the Astrodome playing to 50,000 screaming fans. We would never consider doing anything less.

This pictures was taken a few years ago.

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