Friday, September 30, 2011

I wish I'd said that

I have a widget on my Google homepage that delivers famous quotes each time you go to the site. While I contemplated topics for tonights update, I sat staring at the screen, and hitting refresh, refresh, refresh........

I the Internet gods must have realized I needed inspiration because click after click, I got great quotes.
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm ~ Winston Churchill

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it ~ Joann Wolfgang von Goethe.

And one that really struck home with me:
I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by ~ Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry ~ Mark Twain

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world ~ Albert Einstein 

Dang, I wish I'd said that.

When I read some of this stuff, I think to myself, I could have said that! But, I didn't, so when you hit refresh on Google, you probably won't see a quote with my name. 

Biking Across America

The link below takes you to a story I wrote about a 60 year old woman who rode a bicycle across America.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Low Tide

Sometimes the words flow like honey from a warm beehive. Today was not one of those days. I had a column due and I struggled with a topic.
I looked back over my blog entries for the last week or so, but none of them seem to fit. Finally I wrote a column about my grandfather and his blacksmith shop.
But here's what I think --our lives are a series of cycles. The tide rolls in, the tide rolls out, the sun will rise without a doubt, the ever flowing rhythm of life.
You can't always write while the tide is high, sometimes you have to get down and howdy up with the crabs, when the tide is low. That's what I did today.
When you have words you have to write, you put your big boy UndeRoos on and you get it done. It might not win a Pulitzer, but you can muddle through to write better paragraphs one day.
I hope you all have a remarkable Friday, and a relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Doing What You Love

I interviewed a medical doctor today that's never practiced. It seems Don Stewart had taken a drawing class while in pre-med and he fell in love -- with drawing.
He had finished med school and was training as a surgeon when he realized he was in the wrong profession. In the middle of his shift, he walked out. When one of the other doctors told him his shift was not over, he told them "it is for me, because I don't work here anymore" and he walked away.
When he told his dad that he'd walked away, the elder Stewart was not happy, to say the least. 
But Don had financed his training through college loans, and he told his father he really didn't have a voice in the decision.
That was 25 years ago, and Stewart has never looked back. It took him 15 years of drawing to pay off his student loans, but he said that drawing made him happy and that day in the operating room, he knew that medicine never would.
His art is not considered art in the "art" community because he draws with a ballpoint pen. 
In this video Don walks you through his drawing of a golf bag. His art is a compilation of visual puns.  He does a much better job of explaining than I ever could.

He also did a piece that's called "Uncommon Valor" and from a distance it looks like a pen and ink sketch of the famous picture taken at Iwo Jima near the end of WWII. But in fact, the drawing is a complete history of the Marine Corps. 
He sells limited edition prints of this work and donates 1/2 the profits to the Marine's Wounded Warrior Regiment. 
I could have stayed and talked to Don Stewart all day. He is a fascinating individual. He is someone who can look you in the eye and tell you that he's doing what he loves.
You can learn more about Don Stewart at:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Old Abe

Abraham Lincoln said: And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years.
There's an art to knowing how to live. Some people have a knack for sipping the nectar of life, but others tend to struggle with it. 
Some people wrap their lives around their jobs. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but what happens when your job goes away. 
I've known people who didn't have a pot to pee in (an old southern saying), but yet they found a way to enjoy the better things in life.
So many of the really good things in life are free (or almost free). Beautiful art, music, friendship (if you are a good friend), natural beauty like a slow ride down a river in a john boat, or a walk through a park or wilderness area.
It's been said so many times that it's a cliche that I'm hesitant to write, but money can't buy you happiness.
All the money in the world can't buy you a wife or husband that loves you.  An an old fart with one foot in the grave can rent a beautiful mate if he's got enough cash, but could never buy a love that lasts beyond this life.
.....Not sure what started me down this path......Oh, now I remember. I was struggling to find a topic for tonight's blog when I saw the quote above by Abe Lincoln which was all it took for me to be off and writing.
I just got a chance to read my lovely spouse's blog from last night, and I found it fairly profound. We are so much more. Have a look if you have a moment, and follow her if you're so inclined. I found that for me, it's one of the better things in life :)
Y'all have ha great Wednesday.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Facebook Part II

In reading over the comments from last nights post, I find it interesting that so many have deleted their profiles from Facebook.
I read that more and more people are doing it. I'm guessing there's a lot of concern over privacy, but for me, one of the main concerns is that it could turn into a huge drain on a commodity that's more valuable and scarce than money -- which is my time.
I've had a Facebook account for a few years now and I check it in the mornings to see if there are any birthdays. Sometimes I'll post one of my weird photographs, and Jilda and I normally put notices out when we're playing somewhere, but that's about it.
As far as privacy, I think it's an illusion in the electronic age. Obviously there are things you can do to help keep your information private, but with every new advance in computer/technology/data mining etc. the curtain of privacy becomes a little more transparent.
I think the only way to protect yourself is to get off the grid. Move to the sticks as far away from mankind as possible and grow your own food and barter for the things you can't grow or make yourself. Or you could move to a third world country. But even these places are becoming rare.
I'm not sure what the answers are, but walking away from Facebook is probably a start.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fun with Facebook

A few days ago I started seeing the following message on a ton of the status updates:


I didn't even bother to look this one up on urban legends. I tried to explain to some of the

people posting this message that Facebook gets revenue from advertising and games and not

from subscriptions, but the messages kept coming.

So naturally I did the only thing I could do -- I had fun. 


I can tell you it got a comment or two, some of them really funny.  

Y'all have a great week.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Looking Back

I do my best not to dwell in the past, but I've discovered a lot of the people who read my column and blog, prefer my stories about the past.
I've kept a journal for many years before I started blogging, and I've done a pretty good job of capturing what I was doing, thinking, and saying for over 30 years.
I pulled a journal off my bookshelf, flipped to September 24th 1997 and read where I was, what I did, and what I thought, fourteen years ago today.
A lot of the stuff in my journals is pretty mundane and you'd be bored to tears reading it, but I think it's important to know where you've been, so you know how far you've come.
In the pages I flipped through today, I fretted a great deal about my job, about money, about being debt free, about having stuff.
Looking back, it's hard to believe I wasted so much energy worrying, because the only thing it did for me was to take my mind off of the really important things like friendship, art, learning, creativity, music, spirituality, and family.
I shot the picture above on the way home from the nursing home this evening. It was a beautiful sunset in my rearview mirror. I was disappointed when I got home and looked at the picture. The image on my phone didn't come close to the beauty I saw in the mirror -- so I touched it up a little.
Even though the past can be mediocre at times, I think there is value in looking back.

Friday, September 23, 2011

So it goes

I've misplaced a small case for our recording microphone, and for the life of me, I can't find it. It's about the size of a block of commodity cheese. It's too big to fit in most of our drawers, it's not on the shelf where its supposed to be. I took everything out of my office closet and then re-stacked everything back,  so I'm at a loss.
I'm guessing alien involvement, but I can't get confirmation.
I've found about a dozen things that I'd lost in the past and had given up on -- a book that I couldnt' find so I replaced it. A cable that that hooks my computer to my recording device. You guessed it, I replaced it too. Now I have spares, but chances are, the next time I need them, they will go into stealth mode and become invisible.
Anyhow, I've written the case off. Next time I go to the music store, I'll buy a new one. When I return home, I'll probably trip over the one I lost.
So it goes.

No Sabbatical Tonight

I could say that I'm taking the shortest sabbatical in history and take the night off from blogging,  but I'm afraid that dog won't hunt.
We played our songwriter gig tonight and wrapped up at 10:45 p.m. We said our goodbye's and headed home 30 miles away.
Neither Jilda nor I can eat before we play so by the time we finished tonight, I was so hungry, it was all I could do to keep from munching on the steering wheel on the ride home.
When we arrived home, we jumped into our jammies,  and Jilda pulled together a midnight snack of pita chips, with humus along with a few olives and carrots.
I feel I can make it till morning now. Jilda works tomorrow, and I have a story to finish, but I plan to fly fish in the morning.
I hope you all have a remarkable Friday, and the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Deja Moo

Today was one of those days when I felt like I was a traveler belonging to another place and time. It's almost as if there was a slight shift in the space time continumum and I didn't get the memo.
I've felt like this before. I'm doing something, trying to concentrate, but my eyes seem to become slightly unfocused and I experience life, but it's not in real time.
I remember this experience as a child and hearing my mother say -- he's growing. I'm not sure where she got that, but I remember it as if it were yesterday.
It's that place in your mind where 'deja vu' seems to thrive. I know some of you are probably saying, what's old Rick been snorting. It's hard to explain.
Anyhow, I made it through the day without any major faux pas, but fortunately I realized it early and took precautionary measures. I drove more slowly, and avoided high traffic areas.
This evening on the way home, after I visited with my mom, I pulled in to the boat launch and walked to the finger of land that separates the Mulberry and Black Warrior Rivers. I pulled a blanket from behind the seat of my truck and sat close to the water for a long time.
The water looked like cocoa from all the rain we've had the last few days, but the sun which had been shy the last few days, came out and warmed my back.
I began to slowly feel the world come back into sync. I thought to myself, "I wonder if I'm growing?"
It hard to say, but I did snap a photo with my iPhone. And being in this kind of mood, it's hard to leave well enough alone, so I doctored the photograph with some of the photo-doctoring-software I have on the phone, and this picture is the result.

OK, I'll leave you with a joke -- Have you ever experienced 'Deja Moo'?
It's that feeling you've heard this bull(you know what) before.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Professor Watson

I've been toying with the idea of working part time. Jilda and I want to travel some next year and I'd prefer not taking that much out of savings.
I was an adjunct professor at the local community college for years, but the nature of my day job changed which left little time for professor'ing. 
But now I could teach a couple of nights a week and not break a sweat. 
I called today and told the woman in personnel that I wanted to apply for position of dean of continuing education. She told me the position had already been filled. I asked if they would consider firing the new dean and giving me the job instead, but she sounded a little hesitant to do that. 
I asked if they were happy with the current chancellor because that job would do if I couldn't have the dean's job. She sounded a little nervous until I told her that I used to teach there. 
A light came on in her head when she remembered me. "I thought you were a crazy person calling me," she said. I assured her that I was in fact crazy and we had a good laugh.
She told me there were openings for night class instructors. That might be just the ticket for me.
I'm working tomorrow, but I plan to stop by and get the scoop. I think Professor Watson has a nice ring to it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Turnip Greens

I smelled the rain before it started rattling the metal roof. I've been watching the radar the last few days so I knew it was coming.
Yesterday I broke up a piece of the garden so today I sowed a thick patch of turnip and mustard seeds.
I think turnip greens in the fall are part of my DNA. We've eaten turnip greens and cornbread for as long as I can remember.
Most people go by the cool nights, or the color of the leaves, but to me, autumn arrives when we have our first meal of turnip greens.
With the gentle rainfall, the seeds should grow like kudzu. For those of you who don't know about kudzu, it's a plant sent over from Japan, that's found its home in the American South.
There's an old joke around that goes like this -- Do you know how to plant kudzu?  Throw the seeds down and RUN!!!
With any luck, we should be munching on greens and cornbread for supper in mid October, and I can finally report, that autumn has arrived here in Empire, Alabama.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weeny Roast

The fire still burned this morning though all that remained were embers and ashes. I took the rake and dug down a little to make sure there were no smoldering logs hidden beneath the surface.
After a moment the fire was burning again, but nothing like yesterday. I leaned on the handle of the rake and watched it burn for a while.
I had an idea as I stood there -- why not have a singer/songwriter/weeny roast? I mentioned it to Jilda and she was all over it. 
We could do Smores -- for more on smores, read Jilda's blog. When we mentioned the idea to a few of our other friends, the idea caught on like a wild fire. 
We'll be getting our calendars together and decide on the best night to do it. I'll invite our friend Dale and maybe he'll video the event and we can YouTube some pieces.
I told you burning that debris unblocked my creative flow.
Y'all have a great week and let's all do something remarkable.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I've had a mountain of debris in our back yard since spring. The tornados that ravished Alabama in April blew down several trees and limbs in our yard.
When the weather patterns are normal, I burn about once a month which balances the ebb and flow. But after the tornadoes, the rain avoided us like we had bad breath. Then the heat moved in for over two months. Then the state issued a burn ban and so the debris pile, grew.
For some reason, I think this pile of debris lingered somewhere deep in my psyche, causing creative constipation (now that puts an ugly image in my mind).
But the temps have dropped dramatically these last few days, and we got enough rain to lift the burn ban. So today I pulled up a lawn chair and I set that pile ablaze.
It felt good sitting by the fire and watching the embers glow. The sound of the fire almost put me in a trance. My breath became deep and my eyes unfocused. Time seemed to stand still.
When I walked back inside, I had an email from a local coffee house that wants to book us to play. Jilda got word that she'd been accepted into a yoga class that she really wanted to attend.
I came up with a first line for a short story I'm writing, and new melodies have been bugging me all afternoon.
Some folks may doubt that burning a pile of debris could do anything but rid your property of unwanted rubble, but what nay sayers believe is unimportant to me. I believe that on some level, it's helped us to move on.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Being Aware

The last few nights we both sat down to write later than usual. Last night I had a topic, tonight I didn't. So I pulled out one of my tried and true techniques.
I stopped typing, and looked around the office as if it were the first time I'd ever been in here. I was looking for something I hadn't noticed for a long time.
What I noticed was this photo of Jilda and me taken about 30 years ago....back when I had hair. It looks like we were naked, but we had clothes on. A friend who shot the photo used creative lighting and cropping.
The thing is, this picture has been on our wall since we built this house , but I haven't really noticed it in years.
So the lesson for today kids is to stop reading for a moment......take a moment, look around your writing space, and see if there's something that's been there for a long time, but has escaped your notice.
 It's easy to put your mind on cruise control and muddle through a day without really seeing anything.
I wrote a blog entry back in June of 2006 called "Look Without Seeing" and it continues to get hits even today. It's about exactly what this post is about -- coasting through life on autopilot.
I can tell you, total awareness is not easy.
If you choose to comment, let me know if you've experienced the same thing. What did you see when you looked around?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mr. Blue

I was on the water by 7 this morning. I met my friend Howard there and we made our way down to the river.
It was cool this morning, but I didn't think it was cool enough to wear long sleeves. Howard wore a windbreaker and the closer to the water, the more I regretted not wearing something warmer than shorts and a t-shirt.
Gray clouds hung over the valley like wood smoke and every now and then a thin mist of rain blew down the river and set chills up my spine.
All summer the wind has been mild on the river so casting was simple, but I learned today that there is an art to casting in wind that's near gale force. The technique is to not cast until the wind dies down.
It took me a while to get that (guess my mind was on the slow boat today). In fact I spent more time untangling my line than I did fishing.
I feared I would be skunked (go home without catching at least one fish), but a rainbow took pity on me about 30 minutes before I left.
Even with the challenges, it was fun being on the river. I should have taken a queue from a great blue herron that was sitting on a limb above the water who was looking at me as if to say -- "boy, don't know you can't do any good when the cold wind blows?" I do now Mr. Blue

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Living a Dream

I worked in town today. I set up two interviews for upcoming stories in the paper, and I headed out after I drank my coffee and fed the chickens.
My first interview was with a saint. No, he's not recognized by the church, or any "authority" but I know a saint when I meet one.
Many years ago he was a drunk....not my words, but his. He was a very successful businessman early in his life, but as the old song goes, he began to see his life through the bottom of a glass.
Things began to crumble around him. He lost his business, his money, his house, and his family. Soon, he was homeless. He rambled around the south for some time but wound up in Salem, Oregon. He was working an odd job picking tomatoes to get a little money for more booze when a co-worker suggested that he go to a rescue mission where he could spend the night and get a warm meal.
He balked because of the "God Thang", but then went by the mission. That day changed his life forever. The rescue mission held him accountable for small things at first and then bigger things.
He got a job making great money in Seattle, but he kept going back to volunteer at the rescue mission in Salem.
The mission offered him a job but they couldn't pay what he was making, but he realized his passion, was helping those invisible people -- those who have called in all their favors; those who have lied, and ripped off their loved ones once too often; those who live under the radar of society, sleeping in boxcars, cardboard boxes, and bus station benches.
Since the day he walked into the Union Gospel Mission in Salem, Oregon, he has been helping transform the lives of those invisible people.
To make a long story shorter, he retired, moved back home, then came out of retirement to help a struggling rescue mission in Birmingham.
This doesn't happen to me often, but the hair on my arms tingled as Tom Zobel talked about his plans for Brother Bryan's Mission in Birmingham.
After the interview, I went to 5 Point South in Birmingham which is one of my most favorite places in the city. I had lunch at Jimmy John's Sandwich Shop. As I stood studying the menu, two guys in their early 20's said "Welcome, how's it going?" I told them I was living a dream. The both giggled as if I'd told them a funny joke. When I didn't laugh they looked at each other as if I were on drugs.
I wish I could have told them that I wasn't joking. I really am living a dream. But that's not an accident.
I've known for a very long time that I wanted to write, play music, and fish for a living. It's in my journals, it's on my New Year's resolutions, it's on my action items list, it's in my day planner.
Life throws you curves and sometimes you get off course. You have to make a living, but you should always be moving in the direction of your dreams.
OK, perhaps I've said too much. I've declared tomorrow a fishing day, so I will be unavailable for less important things. I hope you all have a great Thursday, but more importantly, I hope you all find a way to start living a dream.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What Were They Thinking

When I was a kid we used to say "if brains wuz dynamite, some folks wouldn't have enough to blow their nose!"
That old saying popped into my mind today as I read a news article from Sunday. It seems that a couple flying on a commercial flight got busted on 9/11/11 for trying to join the mile high club.
I had to look it up, but that's when folks do hanky-panky in the bathroom of an airplane while
flying – usually over Atlanta.
It seems the feds were a little punchy because of the anniversary of 9/11 and scrambled an F-16 to escort the commercial jet to the nearest airport – probably Atlanta.
I know the hapless couple never dreamed a little mile-high hanky-panky would land them in the pokey. But the first thing that crossed my mind was, what were they thinking?
I can hear the phone conversation with their parents – “Hey mom, dad, can you please come down to central lock up and bale us out of jail please? Yes, Jenny and I were in the bathroom of flight 123, and were, checking each other for ticks when these federal marshals kicked down the door and dragged us off the plane in handcuffs. No, we were weren't completely naked, we had shoes on.”
I bet it seemed like a great idea to them at the time, but I'm guessing the judge will fail to see the humor in it.
I did want to leave you with a picture I shot this evening with my iPhone of the waning moments of daylight -- Empire at dusk.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's The Time Of The Season

We walked early this morning. Even though the temps are still moderate, the humidity is inching up. 
I can tell that autumn is closing in because the hummingbirds are zipping around like they've been snorting cocaine and drinking Mountain Dews. (Did that put an image in your head?)
We rounded the field and was about to start on the third lap when I saw this monarch perched on a vine. It looked like he was taking stock of the freshly plowed patch where we intend to plant turnip greens later this week.
"You need to till that some more," I could almost hear him say. "Turnips grow better in loose soil." 
Tonight after yoga class, I sat on the back deck and admired the full moon a while before dinner. It won't be long until I'll need to wear a sweater to do that.
It also won't be long before the Monarchs head on down to South America. We're just a pitstop along the way, but I'm glad they decided to stay for a while. I can always use the advice on gardening.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


 I've been a really bad gardener lately.  After the great flood here last week, the gnats, mosquitos and weeds grew like they were on steroids. At dusk last night, I saw one mosquito as big as a pigeon trying to haul one of the dogs off.
So this afternoon, I poured me a tall glass of sweet tea, pulled my canvas lawn chair out by the fence, and pulled a truckload of weeds from my tomatoes.
The sun was high in the sky but a breeze out of the northwest made it feel more like San Francisco than Alabama in early September. 
After the weeding was done I sat back in my chair and listened to the sound of crows fussing off in the distance.
I don't do that enough -- nothing, I mean. I thought once I retired, I'd have more time, but that's simply not the case.
I retired from my day job, but not from life. Keeping things going in your life is like juggling.
Everything clicks right along but you have to keep the balls are in the air.
So today was a welcome respite. I don't have a great deal to show for the time I spent, but it does appear that my tomatoes are happy.
Y'all have a great week.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Do What You Love

As I watched Alabama and Penn State play on ABC sports this afternoon they zoomed in on Dick Coffee. He's the ESPN #1 Superfan in America. 
I had the good fortune to interview him last fall at his home in Mountain Brook, Alabama. What does it take to become the ESPN #1 Superfan in America? Well you have to attend a lot of football games.
Dick has attended a LOT of Alabama football games. In fact, he hasn't missed an Alabama football game since Harry S. Truman was in the White House in 1946.
When they played USC, he was there; when they played Miami, he was there; he's been to Hawaii twice to see the men in crimson play. He has been all over the country and when he travels, he spends a great deal of time signing autographs. He's like a rock star in the world of college football.
If you do the math, he's attended well over 750 games. 
He's had a few health problems over the years, but his wife said that he had the good fortune to get sick during the off season, which hasn't interfered with his attendance streak.
He loved attending the games so much, that he started his own small advertising/media business so he'd have the flexibility to travel during football season.
A stroke some years back has robbed him of some of his ability to recall some of his experiences, but one look at his beaming smile today on national television, and it's clear his love of the game has not diminished. 
He told me during the interview that he was doing what he loved, and that as long as the Good Lord gave him the strength, he would keep doing just that.
He must have been very proud of his team today as Alabama cruised to a 27-10 win at Penn State.
May you live to see a thousand games Dick.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Wimping Out

I'd gotten out of the habit of drinking hot tea at night. Of course hot tea's not the first thing that pops into your mind when the weather outside is hotter than the devil with heartburn (I know, that's a stretch).
But after Lee blew through, the temps dropped and it was about 77 today, and tonight it was fairly cool.
So I'm firing up the stove and brewing some Sleep Time tea.
It's been a long day, so I'm wimping out tonight. I'll do better tomorrow.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Blue Skies Smiling at Me

As I drove home from doing interviews today, I felt almost giddy. The wind and the rain from tropical storm Lee made the sky look as clear as the glass of a well kept aquarium. 
Taking pictures while driving is rarely a good idea, but there were no cars behind me or in front of me so I thought I'd shoot this picture.
And without realizing it, I began to hum the Willie Nelson version of the Irvin Berlin song, Blue Skies.
When I got home, I took a nice nap. When I woke up, I knocked out two pieces that were due tomorrow.
Smugish (is that a word?), is how I felt. 
I'm trying to decided if I want to go fishing for a while tomorrow, or work around the house.
There is a great deal that needs to be done here, but then there's the issue with my knees and as I've said in a recent post, the doctor feels that the cold water is therapeutic. 
The weatherman says that tomorrow should be as nice as today so in reality, time spent in the garden or at the barn would probably be just as healthful as fishing.

Blue Skies Lyrics

I was blue, just as blue as I could be
Ev'ry day was a cloudy day for me
Then good luck came a-knocking at my door
Skies were gray but they're not gray anymore

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long

Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly

Blue days
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on

I should care if the wind blows east or west
I should fret if the worst looks like the best
I should mind if they say it can't be true
I should smile, that's exactly what I do

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Melancholy Day

I won't complain about the rain, even though we got six month's worth in 24 hours, but not seeing sunlight for an extended period seems to dampen my spirits and darken my mood.
This afternoon my niece who lives next door called to say that their dog Shadow died. Samantha is 21 years old now, but when she was four, we got this little rag-mop of a puppy from my grandmother. He's been with her ever since, and up until a few days ago, he's been in fairly good health.
The whole bunch of us feel like we've lost a member of the family. I brought his body over here and laid him to rest up in our little doggie cemetery.
This evening we had to run by our friend Fred's house to lay down some tracks for a project he's working on. We headed for home just after six.
There's a place between Warrior and our house where the road tops a ridge of one of the foothills, and then plunges slowly downward for two miles. At the crest you can look to the west and see forever.
There were still clouds high in the sky, but lower to the horizon they cleared long enough to see the waning moments of a sunset.
The sky was the color of a burnt rose. Just catching a glimpse of the evening sky and a few seconds of sunlight put a smile on my face.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day. Now a few lines from one of our songs:
Rhythm of Life
The tide rolls in
The tide rolls out
The sun will rise
Without a doubt
The ever flowing rhythm of life

NOTE: to clarify my note from last night. The problem I was having was "driver error" and not the new Blogger interface. When I'm wrong, I'm not afraid to admit it.
Have a great Thursday.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Drifting too far from the shore

There's an old gospel song that goes:   Out on the perilous sea Where danger so silently creeps And storms so violently sweep You're drifting too far from the shore Some days I feel like I've drifted too far from the shore. I look at the todo list that I've been updating religiously, and it continues to grow. I constantly work, but sometimes it feels like I'm spinning my wheels, and I'm digressing instead of progressing. I started to beat myself up, but when I took a moment to breathe, I'm reminded that life is like that. Ebb and flow, I mean. Sometimes things just click. I knock out a half dozen action items before lunch without breaking a sweat. But then there's days like today that seem like every thing I touch turns to the stinky stuff. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to sign off, and go sit on the couch and drink a cup of tea. I might even read a few articles in that mountain of magazines on the coffee table. I'm going to turn back the covers, crawl into my comfy bed and take a fresh look at all that needs to be done tomorrow.

NOTE: I tried the New Blogger Interface and it has my formatting all screwed up. Again, I'm drifting too far from the shore. I'll fix this tomorrow.

Monday, September 05, 2011

When it rains

We drove through torrential rain today to pick up some equipment for the sound system we're assembling.
Our friend Fred usually does the sound when we play but he can't always go. He's not retired, and unfortunately he enjoys eating from time to time, so he still has to work.
So he gave me a list of equipment that's simple to operate that we can use when Jilda and I have to do our own sound.
Last night when I posted, the rain had just moved in and was as welcome as an old friend we haven't seen in years.
Today, not so much. My brother-in-law has a rain gauge that measures up to 10 inches of precipitation.
He dumped the gauge once, and it's filling up again. When we talked to him a few hours ago, we've had 12 inches in less that 24 hours.
This afternoon we drove to my sister's house about 10 miles away and several places between here and there, the water was rushing across the road. Luckily it was only a few inches, but by now I'm sure it's dangerous to drive that route.
At my sister's house, Zoe, my great niece (and my sister's granddaughter), had to model the berets that my sister had knitted.
The rain is supposed to move off to the north tomorrow which is probably a good thing.
I had to put on my raincoat, go down to the chicken pen and put life vests on all the chickens.
I promised myself that I would not complain, and I will not do it here -- but when it rains, it pours.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

It Is What It Is

We'd stayed up way past our bedtime talking and laughing with our out-of-town friends last night. It's been too long since we've spent time with them. 
No one wanted to say goodnight. When we were younger, the hands of the clock would not have told us when to turn in, and we all could have stayed up until it was time to feed the chickens. Someone would have pointed out "we can sleep when we're dead!" And with a few hours sleep, we'd been up ready for round two. But sadly those days are now behind us, and when one of us started nodding out, we turned in.
Sometime before dawn, I could hear rain playing the roof like a Trinidad drum. I slipped out of bed and stepped to the back deck for a first hand weather report. 
It seems like months since we've had a decent rain, so I stepped out on the deck, looked up into the night sky, and let the cool rain sprinkle my face. 
This has been a difficult summer for many parts of the county. My blog buddy Ellen who lives near Houston, Texas  has dealt with drought conditions for months.
If I'd taken a picture of our walking path, it would have looked like the earth surrounding Somalia. The oak trees have deep roots and are rarely affected by dry weather, but even the hundred year old trees looked thirsty this year. So the rain off of tropical storm Lee, was welcome. Hopefully we won't have the 8 inches of rain that some doomsday weather people have predicted, but we'll take whatever Mother Nature has to offer. In my way of thinking, it is what it is.
Have a great week.

Saturday, September 03, 2011


I've had too much fun tonight. Our friends came in and we grilled chicken and steak on the grill and drank red wine and watched the sun set off to the west.
Our team won big today but the competition wasn't that stiff. We'll know more of what they are made of next week when we play Penn State.
We don't see our friends enough. They live about three hours south of here, but we always have a great time when we get together.
Tonight we played old songs that I had forgotten. And not once did they look under the couch and chide us  for being lax in our housekeeping duties.
Y'all have a great Sunday.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Time with friends

We have out of town sleep-over company coming tomorrow after the Bama game so we're engaged in a "tidying up" frenzy just now.
Our house is clean, but sometimes it's, how do you say.......unkempt.
Jilda's closet is in our guest bedroom so when we're not having guests, which is most of the time, the room gets a little cluttered.
We're really busy tomorrow, and the guests will arrive some time after lunch, so tonight we're scurrying around like chimps cranked up on Mountain Dew and lemon cake from Mary's Cakes in Northport.
My jobs include replacing blown light bulbs, hauling out empty boxes (Jilda gets a lot of packages delivered by the man in brown, and to be honest, I'm a little concerned that our delivery guy (who looks like he works out) seems a little too familiar with my spouse when he brings packages to our house....perhaps I've said too much about that), and dusting the ceiling fan.
I have to stand on the arm of the couch to reach the fan. Thank goodness for yoga balance poses, because otherwise I could fall and break a were was I? 
Oh yes, the fan -- when I cleaned the fan, dust bunnies as big as feed store rats fell down.  Where does that stuff come from and why does it hang around on my ceiling fan? 
To be honest, our friends could care less that our house is cluttered. We've been to their house before when the maid was on vacation (hey, maybe that's an explanation I could use) and their house was a wreck.
They are really coming to visit us and ten years from now what they will remember is the fellowship, the food, the music we played, the lies we told, and the fun we had just being with each other.
So tonight, we called it quits. We're both sitting here tapping away at our keyboards, and soon we'll be thanking the Good Lord we have a place to clutter up, and friends that we can look forward to spending time with.
Take care and have a remarkable weekend.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Running on Empty

As the old Jackson Browne song goes, I'm Running On Empty tonight. We played Art Night in Northport. Northport is about 70 miles away and we had to be there by 6. We were out on the deck at Mary's Cakes and thankfully there was a cool breeze blowing out of the west, but two hours in that heat took its toll.
It was hot, but it was a fun gig. At break, Mary and her crew at the bakery fed us some of the most delightful food and sweets I've ever had.
I had a slice of red velvet cake as thick as a deck of playing cards and as big as a post card. If I'd had wings, I could have flown to San Francisco on the sugar buzz I got. This was quite possibly the best piece of cake I've ever eaten, and I don't say this lightly because both Jilda's mom and my mom were phenomenal  cooks.
We also met a young girl still in high school that wants to be a graphic artist. She mentioned that she wanted to go the design school in Atlanta and as it turns out, it's the school from which Jilda graduated.
She hustled to her car and got some drawings and paintings she'd done. We were blown away.
I gave her a card and told her to send us and note and we'd write a glowing recommendation to the school on her behalf.
So, tonight is a short post, and as my lovely spouse signs off on her blog, good night, sweet dreams.

Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required