Saturday, October 19, 2019

Chicken tales

A tropical storm drifted into the gulf this week and set its eye on the beach to the south. The weatherman said we'd have showers today. But it's rained all day long.

Putting on my work hat, I ran down to feed the chickens. Missy was in the process of laying her daily egg and didn't have time for me.

Often when I step down there they gather at my feet. There's one that seems to tiptoe trying to get me to pick her up.

My great nephew Jordan got it started. He sits in the pen with a hand full of treats and coaxes them close enough to pick up.

None of the chickens that we've owned in the past wanted to be held, but several of these do.

It's getting cooler each day so I knew it was only a matter of time before I have to move our citrus trees inside. This afternoon, I sealed the screen porch and made it greenhouse ready.

It's been another good day.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Leafy white fungus flakes

Today was a rare day. We had absolutely nothing on our calendar. Well, that's untrue. I had an assignment to talk parade pictures at a town on the other end of the county. It was a favor for the editor who had a retirement party he wanted to attend and I volunteered to shoot the pics for him.

As it turns out, he had the date wrong and homecoming isn't until next Friday. Woo Hoo!

I had about a zillion important but not urgent things to do around the house. Those are the things that keep getting shuffled to the bottom of the list until something breaks and then it becomes job one.

Tonight, I am whupped, but it feels good getting some things done.

I shot this picture today on our morning walk. Leafy white fungus flakes are taking over limbs and logs all along our wooded path.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

News from the sticks

We flipped the central unit in the house to heat last night. After the rain swept through earlier in the week, the skies have been remarkable.

I put miles on my wheels today. I had an appointment with my dermatologist at 8 a.m. so I had to be rolling by 7.

In Birmingham, I saw hundreds of photo ops but the traffic was brutal. Out here in the country where Jilda and I live, it's much slower. 

I ran by the Forks again today for a moment. Pulling the phone from my pocket, I snapped a picture of Mulberry Bridge. 

Tonight, Jilda made fish tacos. Yum.

Not much else happening in the sticks.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019


Words. Where would we be without words? I'm guessing that before words, there was a lot of grunting, pointing, and chiseling pictures on stone. There's speculation at work here, but I'd be willing to bet there was a lot of head-scratching going on too.

I'm pretty sure the first Homo erectus folk spent most of their time looking for supper. They probably spent a great deal of time turning over rocks and swishing through tall grass looking for things to whack on the head with a rock, or jab with a sharp stick.

Since it took a while to discover fire, they were probably the first to enjoy sushi and tartare. I'm speculating here since I wasn't there, but I can visualize it.

But once words came along, things probably progressed nicely. Hey! Bring me that club. I need to maul this rabbit. Rub those sticks together fast so that we can roast this baby. I'm tired of carpaccio.

Prose and poetry followed, but I'm not sure about the timing.

Sorry, I started down a path and it got a little out of hand.

Words. Be sure to use good words. It makes a difference.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Today was hectic. I covered council meetings, content meetings, and tech meetings. I interviewed a teacher that got tears in her eyes as she talked with pride about the students she teaches.

I picked up seed, feed, and weed at the coop. OK, I was kidding about the weed. But I digress.

My mind was spinning like a top on steroids.

Driving home, I almost passed by my peaceful place without stopping. In fact, I drove by and then realized I NEEDED to stop.

Turning around, I pulled into the parking area at the Forks of the river. The sun took the day off. As I sat there leaning on the front of my truck, the hood ticked as it cooled.

A mist began to rise off the surface of the river. My pulse rate slowed. A car pulled up beside me and a guy stepped out. Without saying a word, he too leaned against the front of his truck.

We sat in silence.

I nodded at the guy standing there and got back into my truck. I felt taller.

Stress is a fact of life. People deal with stress in many ways.

I don't need a prescription for my tonic.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Dogwood turning

Our morning walk was invigorating
We noticed the dogwood turning
Soon the berries will turn into rubies 
And the foliage will make us thankful
That autumn is upon us

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Purple flower/weeds

Today has been a lazy Sunday. We walked this morning and for the first time, it was cool enough for sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt. The walk was delightful.

One of my chores today was to pack back my summer clothes and unpack my winter ones. We will have more warm weather, but a change is in the air.

This afternoon, I had to run to the drug store to pick up eyedrops for Jilda. Her contacts have been dealing her fits, so the doc called in some meds to help.

On the way home, I stopped by the forks fo the river. When I pulled up to the water's edge at the boat launch, a rafter of turkey flew from the fork across the river. I wish I'd had my camera ready, but by the time I got it out of the bag, they were long gone.

When I stepped up to the edge, I saw a blue heron on a dead tree that has about 15 feet above the water.

I snapped several pictures as the bird observed me curiously.  Clumps of purple flowers/weeds near the edge of the water caught my eye and I snapped a few frames of them. I did a Google search but I couldn't find any that looked like these so, for now, they will be purple flower/weeds.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

When it all started

I'm not sure what year it was, but I think I can narrow down the time that America strayed off course. It was when soft drink and beer companies started offering their drinks in disposable bottles instead of ones that required a deposit.

If there was no incentive to return the bottles, why not toss them in the dump. It started with glass bottles which were bad enough, but then came the plastic ones.

This one corporate decision, but millions of industrious kids out of a job. Instead of them policing up roadsides and parks looking for bottles to buy pocket knives, and handlebar streamers for their bikes, they did other things. There was no incentive for them to pick up bottles so they let them lie.  

I think that's when landfills began filling at alarming rates.

There is a floating island of plastic garbage in the Pacific that is twice the size of Texas. Google it.

The idea for this came to me today on our morning walk. I came an old glass non-deposit Pepsi bottle. 

Thankfully, Mother Nature found a use for this piece of refuse. 

She decided to create a terrarium.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Parades make me smile

Today was the homecoming parade for my high school. Each year I take pictures of not only the parade but the children and their folks who come out to watch the parade.

Before Facebook, I posted the pictures on the website, but these days most people use social media so I post the pictures there.

It's always a lot of fun to see the faces of the kids. The kids in the parade on the floats toss candy along the parade route.

Looking back over the pictures made me smile again.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Drinking cow

I was running late for a council meeting tonight. When I drove past this pond, I almost left the road. About a half-mile down the road I wheeled into a side road and turned around. So what if I'm late for a council meeting. The world will keep turning.

The settings from the muffed picture last night were still set. But tonight, the setting sun provided light to form this photograph.

I shot several others with slower shutter speeds, but 8,000 was just what the drinking cow ordered.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Camera faux pas

Jilda and I spent the morning at the doctor's office for a routine exam and to get a flu shot. We had lunch at Nikis, one of our favorite restaurants in Birmingham. The food is excellent and the service is great.

Once home, we promptly decided to take a nap. Yes, we do that on off days. Sue us.

When my timer went off we sat there for a moment. I heard her exclaim – LOOK!

Out in the birdbath was a yellow cardinal.

The birdbath is about 30 feet from our great room window and I knew the phone would not do the lovely bird justice so I stepped over and got the camera and snapped on a 200 mm lens.

On automatic, the camera wanted to use the flash and I knew this was a non-flash photoshoot so I flipped the dial over to M (manual) and set the aperture to f18. This would ensure the bird would be in focus.

I smiled as I snapped several pictures. The bird must have sensed that we were watching so it flitted off.

When I stepped over to the couch to show Jilda my photographic prowess. The image below is what I saw. Studying the camera more settings I realized that I had set the aperture to f18, but the shutter speed was set to 8000. I think that setting is what photographers use when they shoot portraits on the surface of the sun.

So, you'll have to trust me when I say the yellow cardinal was beautiful.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

We need more speeches about daisies

I had an assignment tonight to cover a political speech at a local Chamber of Commerce Banquet. I'm not a fan of political speeches, but this guy made his talk short and sweet.
Personally, I'd like to hear more speeches about daisies?

Monday, October 07, 2019

More time ~ my column from Sunday's paper

The refrigerator door is the information center of our house.

On it, you will find a bulletin board, to-do lists, reminders, grocery lists, and magnetic memories from places we visited all around the country and abroad. The freezer door is like a memorial. We have pictures of friends that died in the past few years. We put them there so that we won’t forget the good times we had with each of them. Our visits with them were time well spent.

Our friend Lewis’ picture is near the top of our door. Lewis came into our lives during low tide. He was taking infusion treatments during the years that Jilda was taking hers. They were chair buddies for three years. He was in his late 70s, but he was young at heart.

He ate Thanksgiving dinners with us, attended summer fish fries, and had us over for lunch at his house several times.

During the last year of his life, he spent about as much time in the hospital as he spent at home. We visited him several times during the last days of his life, and he was unresponsive. But the last time we saw him, it was like he got his second wind.

He was sitting up in bed and holding court with several of his buddies. Toward the end of our visit, his mood turned melancholy. He looked at Jilda and told her that he wished he’d met us when he was younger. He was silent for a moment, and then he said, “I thought I’d have more time.”

We chimed in and told him that he had plenty of time. We invited him to an upcoming barbecue at our house. He died the next morning.

The thing is, none of us know how much time we have left. We constantly put things off and say, “We need to that that when we get time.” But, our life-clocks are ticking.

I heard a quote once that fits here: People are so busy making a living that they don’t have time to make a life. I’m not sure who said that, but it’s true.

I squandered a lot of time in my youth. Had I understood at 20-years-old that time was my most precious asset, I like to think that I would have done a better job managing my time. But that’s time that has ticked.

These days I can almost hear my biological clock ticking. I’m thinking about changing the name of my to-do list to the “Things I Really Want to Do” list.

What seemed important when I was 40 seems frivolous at 68.

It’s past time to stop letting time and energy vampires suck the essence out of my day. I’m past the point of fretting over things that mean less than diddly squat.

The memorial on my fridge reminds me that time is a treasure. I don’t want the end to come with me lamenting that I thought I would have more time.

Lewis seated on the right with our friend Burt, Alesha, and Jild at a fish fry.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Fingers crossed.

Earlier this week I began to worry. Several of the oaks in the hollow simply went from green to brown. They've done that in years past when it was dry. The problem with this autumn so far is that it's been dry AND hot.

The barn road had a crunchy brown carpet each day this week when we walked. I snapped this picture with my phone.

Then, as my giddy post last night reported, it rained.  Sometime after midnight, I heard the rain drumming on the metal roof. We don't hear that unless it rains HARD. This was a good thing.

The weather today had been delightful. Jilda and I walked for almost an hour this morning. Before the rain yesterday afternoon, many of the trees here were ditching summer even though it refused to leave.

Today, the world seemed a little lighter. With rainfall, there's a chance we still may have some color this autumn. My fingers are crossed.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

It rained

The Frog Festival was today. I remember the first one for which we took pictures was 2006. Jilda wore a leather jacket that morning and before we took many pictures, we found a booth brewing coffee to warm our hands and souls.

Today it was 97 when we left at noon. My shirt felt as if I had showered fully clothed.

Once in the Outback, we jacked the thermostat down and put the fan setting on hurricane.

By the time we pulled into the driveway, I had ice crystals in my beard.

The weatherman had promised that we had a chance of rain this evening. Jilda started doing her magic rain spell and continued all afternoon.

Just after I sat down to write, she called me from the kitchen and said come look!

When I walked outside, a slow drizzling rain was falling. We both stood out there, closed our eyes and looked into the sky. We both uttered a silent thank you.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Over the edge

It finally happened. 
I was in Birmingham today.
The temp at noon was 99 degrees and rising
Something snapped
I took a selfie
I'm concerned that I may have slipped over the edge

Thursday, October 03, 2019

I decided to dream

I know you are probably sick of hearing me whine about the weather. A local comedian wrote that it was 10 degrees hotter than hell today. I could not argue with that.

So, I decided to dream. I looked back at my Google photos from October of 2017 and found a picture of my nieces and nephews around our firepit.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

He will play

One of our friends called today. He's been playing music as long as Jilda and me. His instrument of choice was a piano/synthesizer. A grand piano sits majestically in his living room.

While the conversation was about music, it wasn't about keyboards. He has decided that he wants to learn how to play guitar.

We talked for almost an hour about the various choices. He wants an acoustic guitar. That narrowed it down, but prices for acoustic guitars start just over $100 and max out at just slightly more than the GDP of California.

The one thing he said that made me believe that he will learn to play is that he has committed to practicing at least one hour each day.

I have a gut feeling that he will play.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019


My sister-in-law Nell gave us plants in early summer. Have patience she said. For months we coddled the plant like a baby with the cholic. The plant grew.

We watered, fed, and kept beetles from munching it to the stalk. We pulled weeds from around the plant.

When the heat set it, we pretty much abandoned the flower beds beyond the backyard fence. We left the plant to fend for itself. The plant grew.

One morning a few days ago, I stepped out on the deck to dump the coffee grounds. The morning sun was painting the clouds a shade of rose that doesn't appear on any color charts. I just looked. 

After a moment of cloud admiration, I looked at the plant Nell gave us. It is now 20 feet tall and it started blooming yellow daisies. Most of the zinnias and the rest of the garden is dying, but not the daisies.

I could hug Nell's neck.

Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required