Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A beautiful place

I started therapy on my knees a few weeks ago. Each year, doctors inject the joints with my knees with a substance designed to add cushion. For a five or six months my knees are not bone on bone. The needle used for these injections feels like it's as big as a Dixie straw, but that's probably just me being a wimp.

The injections are followed by therapy. My niece Samantha is a physical therapy assistant. She cuts me no slack. When I start to complain, she gives me that "suck it up whiny baby" look and I buckle down.

This morning's session was at 9 a.m. and by 10:30 I was on my way home. My windshield view was a perfect late-summer sky. Blue sky and clouds that looked like the innards of a home-cooked biscuit.

At one point, there was a field of corn on the crest of a mountain. I've pulled into the entryway to this field during fall and winter. When I walk to the edge of the garden and look toward the west, it looks as if I could see Mississippi. It's a beautiful view. 

Pulling in today, walked to the edge of the field, the corn was as thick as thatch. I didn't want an observant farmer mistaking me for a critter, so I stepped back and settled for a picture of the sky.

I'll shoot another picture from this vantage point in late Autumn when the corn is plowed under, and the leaves have fallen. I think you'll agree that it's a beautiful place.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Passing of time

I have a program on my laptop. It has only one function. It reminds of passing time. The program on my laptop is set to sound a Tibetan gong every 30 minutes.  When I hear this soothing sound, I stand. If I'm extremely busy, I remain at my desk a stretch. If I'm between task, I walk a lap around the hallways. But strangely, the gong helps keep me focused on the important tasks.

Most of us think nothing about the passing of time. I know people who watch TV for hours and only stand up when they need to go pee.

The sound of this gong makes me aware that time is passing. Two gongs and an hour has passed.

I read a feature on two Irish businessmen who started Square. Square is a small credit card reader that clips into the earphone jack of a smartphone. The software behind the little reader makes it possible for small businesses across the world to accept credit cards for their wares. When I started accepting credit cards at my book signings, my sales tripled.

These amazing brothers are two of the youngest billionaires today.

One of the brothers has a clock on his wall. It's not a regular clock, but one that shows how much life he has left. He did research on his expected lifespan and programmed his clock to count down. At any given moment he can tell theoretically how much time he has left. Obviously, this does not take into account, disease, accidents, or disasters. But it for this young man, it serves to remind him that there are only a finite number of days, hours, and minutes left.

This kudzu flower has nothing to do with passing time, but I shot it two years ago today. That in itself was a wakeup call because I didn't realize it had been that long.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back Roads

Back roads are the best route. For years I've looked for the fastest route between point A and point B.
Cutting off ten minutes here, and three minutes there made my day. Then I realized when I arrived early, I often wasted the saved time looking at unimportant things on my phone or some other trivial activity.

After I retired, I slowed down. It's hard seeing things when you're in a rush. I rarely stopped in those days to take a picture no matter how remarkable the light was on the subject. The last few years have been different. I slowed down and took the scenic route even if it took five minutes longer. And if I saw a photo op – well I'd have to arrive a little later.

After work today, I headed home. One road that I don't often take has a pond that is almost hidden. Cars pass within 20 feet of the pond and most drivers don't slow down enough to look through the mimosa trees lining the soggy banks.

In the past, I've seen ducks sitting on the railing by the road. The must have tired of swimming and climbed on the rails to watch the passing cars. Today, I pulled in and parked at a wide spot next to the road.

Gravel crunched under my boot heels as I stepped out of the truck. I heard a squawking sound coming from toward the water. Three Muscovy Ducks were coming up to greet me. I'm guessing they thought I was someone bringing them a treat. I squatted down and tried to coax them closer but they wanted no part of that.  So, I apologized for not bringing food and stood up. They continued to look at me expectantly. Pulling the phone from my pocket I snapped a few frames. It almost seemed as if they were posing for me.

As I shoved the phone back into my pocket, I thought to myself as I climbed back into the cab of my truck, "You don't often see this stuff on the Interstate."

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday stuff

I know Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but Jilda and I haven't stopped today. We had had lunch with Jilda's sister Pat. Jilda cooked a meal for our nephew James's family. They have a newborn and the mommy is having issues. Plus we had invited company for dinner this evening.

I worked inside and out to get the house in shape and Jilda has cooked for most of the day. When our company left this evening, we looked at each other and without a prompt, we went to put on our pajamas.

The kitchen was a mess as you might imagine. We don't go to bed with a dirty kitchen, so that was the next flurry of activity. After a time, the kitchen was as tidy as an Army barracks.

I almost played a get out of a blog, free card.

Below is a picture from the archives. I wish I knew the name of this plant but tonight I'm too tired to look it up.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

From out in left field

I'm here brushing the dust from between the G and H on my keyboard and Jilda's sitting not three feet away writing her blog. Her keyboard sounds is if it has a woodpecker on it. She makes me mad sometimes.  I want to lean over and smack her upside the head.

Of course, I'd never really do that because I'd have to go to sleep some time and there's really no telling what misfortune she's heap upon me. Also, I'm very fond of her cooking and I'm certain I'd never get a chance to eat any more of her food unless it got REALLY cold in hell.

So, I got a grip and stopped blaming my lack of ideas on her. Soon this squirrelly idea came to mind and I went with it.

I'm stuck on butterfly pictures. I know they must be tanking up right now. They are swarming the zinnias like mosquitos around a fat baby right now.

When I stepped down this evening to dump the scraps into the compost bin, I saw a swarm of butterflies and walked over to snap a few frames. Tonight, that's all I have to give.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Eclipse is a coming

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I'm a  celestial-esk kind of guy. I love the sun, stars, and most anything up there beyond my reach. The upcoming solar eclipse has me psyched. 

The last eclipse I saw was on May 30, 1984. It wasn't a total eclipse, but it was close. It was only a few months after we moved into our new house. We hadn't built the back deck yet. Jilda and I sat on the back steps for a long time. The warm May temperature seemed to drop while the sun hid behind the moon. It was just after we moved into our house. Jilda and I sat on the back steps and experienced it. I had my dad's old welding goggles so we got to see it while it happened. It was just before noon, but it looked like that twilight time just between dusk and dark. The roosters crowed. The birds and other critters didn't know what to make of it.

I didn't blog back then, but I wrote about it in my daily journal. The upcoming total eclipse happens here on August 21, 2017. The timeline looks like it will be total around 2ish.

Looking on Amazon, I found 10 pairs of eclipse glasses for just over $8. I was pretty sure neither Jordan or his mom would think to get glasses and I didn't want them to miss it. There won't be another total eclipse in my lifetime or theirs. I'm just hoping it's not cloudy.

Our glasses arrived today. Jilda snapped this pic of me on our deck looking skyward.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fishing report

The college was a ghost town today. The kids and teachers won't be back until next week. This left the staff to keep the ship tethered to the educational dock. My work involves people over 50 who aren't really students. 

My calendar was clear today which gave me time to catch up on all the things that kept getting pushed to the next day, next day, next day, next day. It was refreshing just checking things off.

Once I left for the day, I stopped by the forks of the river to get the fishing news. It seems that the fish weren't biting. That's common during the Dog Days of summer. I could have told them that no self-respecting fish would bite because the cows are laying down. I verified that in the picture I posted yesterday. I should probably explain that there's an old saying that proclaims: If the cows are laying down, the fish won't bite. I wonder if that means the fish don't bite when the cows are sleeping either? I'll have to ask an old geezer about that to verify. No wait, I'm an old geezer. 

So, the news from the forks today has been independently verified. 

In my broadcast voice – Don't bother fishing today because the cows are laying down. No self-respecting fish would dare bite.

Enough of that drivel. I shot another picture of a butterfly. I can't help it if I love these little critters.

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