Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday Drive Ends in Bluebonnet Heaven

We spent the day at the rose garden in Independence, TX (which also has THE BEST ammunition shop - call ahead, they load the pallet, then load it in your vehicle).

We then stopped at a friends' place to check on things. We turned a corner and were blasted with the scent of lilacs and honeysuckle combined. And this is what we saw. Forgive the somewhat crappy rez...amazing surprise that just stunned me. An acre of them or more...

Clicky since embed code broke-y

Lovely Sunday....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Architecture of Dreams

I've been thrilled with the latest geeky acquisition - a Roku box! I've been able to load many programs and have my Netflix/Amazon accounts there, now. Having Downton Abbey's Season 2 before I can get it on PBS locally has been a pleasure I've greedily devoured. But another option has been stirring my thoughts and has my search engine churning.

There is a program, Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour of Europe , that is an entrancing review of what was once Done. So much amazing architecture...and his learned but amusing manner of presenting the material really just amplifies the stunning visuals. I was entranced by his review of this church in Venice, spending long minutes searching for good photos of the mosaic floors.

The program has fed me with all manner of information on buildings and why some have always struck me and remained in memory - the Palladian style. And it also returned to me the vision that I have had in recurring dreams.

I've had the same dream throughout my life with only minor changes but the start has always been the same. Thick, dark forest - but not unruly - opening onto a lawn of fine grass which leads to these stairs. In my dream, the darker door under the stairs leads to a kind of open, dim, room. And, from there, to dark halls leading away. In the dream there are no other buildings or attachments - just the main building and those stairs, curving...how wonderful to have it rendered in reality.

If you have the chance to view the McCloud program I can highly recommend it. What an amazing glimpse into the lives and locations of a lovely section of history...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You May Have Seen This Already...

...but it is worth a visit. She states clearly that the spidey senses should always be listened to - if it feels wrong, it probably is.

Street Robberies And You

I cannot ennumerate the times I've turned into a store instead of continuing down a street, used a window to watch the watchers, or just crossed a street to avoid trouble...in my youth, this was a daily matter.

People - especially those who have never dealt with the underbelly types - want to think the best of others. But the bad guys are very good at what they do. And they are getting more aggressive now as they figure out just how think that line is these days. The odds of getting caught are small and the likelihood of an investigation finding them smaller still. So they're getting brave.

On our own street there are [insert any southern gang here] members who eye the orca car and myself, walking the dogs, alone. I do not mind at all that the wind blows my cover shirt aside as we pass. If it makes them think twice, that's good with me. I want them to know that it will Cost if they decide to cross the line.

But you have to see the threat first. So put the mobile down, take off the headset, and put your head on a swivel. You are on your own, no matter what you'd like to believe.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Storm Front

The dogs are all anxious with the wind blowing in gusts and rippling their fur. It's out they go every 30 minutes so that I don't have to deal with bowel emergencies in the middle of a tornadic cell. It is a kindness one of them does not deserve...

As we exited the door for the daily stroll through the clover, their off-leash romp, the moron neighbors with a dog salvation condition had let their horde out free-range to get in their vehicle. This bothered Ranger no end...I held them back, waiting, then started out when it appeared they all clear. I was confident, admiring the bluebonnets surrounding the walkway, when Ranger juked left, through the blooms, with all his 115 lb desire.

Sadly, Kota chose to remain where she ought - on my right and moving her 125 lbs with a purpose. Unfortunately, the fine potted herbs were just in the wrong place today. Ranger got traction and I stepped in one pot then fell over the very large ornamental one. In proper form, I retained my grasp of the leashes so my left arm was up and out. This was probably a good thing since I landed on my left side so damned hard that I would have surely broken it.

The wind knocked out of me, I looked up into the pink eyes of the bluebonnets. Like a reboot, my system was taking stock. Yep, every organ shifted and jolted hard. Ribs feel bad but...I can breathe - so not that bad, eh? Kota had kindly sat down, not knowing what else to do in the moment. Once I regained my wind, it was time to curse like a sailor, letting the neighbors know in no uncertain terms my opinion of their goddamned mutts while castigating the guilty one of mine for paying them any attention.

I am generally pretty sturdy and can take a hit but it took a seriously long time to get on my feet. Curses and feeling ribs and grinding flowers beneath me as I struggled to stand. I saw my bodyprint in the smashed little shrubs, then gathered up the dogs to continue on. Not off-leash, mind you. No, that little SOB is back to Day 1 with me. He will learn ONCE MORE to heel, to not pull the leash, to not even THINK about smelling a goddamned turd without my say so.

It hurts all over, seriously. My back is starting to ache, my shoulder and even my throat which, I assume, was from the massive exhalation carving its way out in a moment. I was grimacing at the thought of having to call my doc back after seeing her just this morning. But wouldn't you know it? I didn't even land badly on the wrist that is currently Not Quite Right and, thus, xrayed.

So, I guess I ought to be thankful for what didn't happen. But right now it just damned well hurts and there's a front bearing down that will blow through the night. But it looks like Trooper will get home in time to not have to tote his rifle on rounds through the nasty weather. A blessing, that. He hates being the "rubber coated asshole" in the yellow rain gear.

And now...once more into the breach and then the hatches shall be battened. And the Advil applied.

I'm too old for this shit.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Hell Hath No Fury

You see that Mookie War Creed over there ->?

It rings more true every day for me. I see the absolute wrecking and ransacking of our nation with the ratcheting up daily and it makes my blood pressure soar. I read that small paragraph and think about what it might one day demand.

I am old, old and not a damned thing left with which to make it hold but - as a rare few have seen in the past - do not fuck with me when it breaks free. I am almost eternally patient with bullshit. I will take and take some more, just letting it hit the file so that I remember What you are if not Who.

But when I have had enough, there is no moderation. The brain goes black and white with just
"if this then that" decision-making without emotion. I haven't had to do it very often so it comes as a surprise each time, that clarity in a maelstrom. So I note that creed every time and wonder at it - at what it will take to make that necessary, at which files with whose name will have to be referenced and addressed.

And, of late, it echoes louder in my mind. So many who deserve its full treatment...time enough, I temper it - time enough for all that. It puts me in mind of a line in a book (as I may have mentioned before) in which Arthur asks his men to sum up the war and its cost. "Half a baby in a ditch," comes the reply.

Therefore, I do not wish to hurry trouble. I do not go pressing for a fight. Because once that cog clicks into place, you cannot crank it back. I do not fear my own mechanism - it has patience and mercy.

I fear the mechanics who are running at the gears with their wrench in hand, determined to have the whole damned thing collapse under their weight. Maniacs...they actually believe they will find a safe place on some pedestal above the fray. Useful idiots, indeed.

Or cannon fodder.

I'm gonna need a bigger cannon.

Voice To The Face/Blog: Fighter Pilot

I came upon this via a convoluted set of links but it was pleasingly coincidental since I'd just started listening to the Audible version of the book yesterday. (The link lets you listen to a sample if you like.)

Here Ed discusses Fighter Pilot. He has a strange lack of Texas accent and rather little of Chicago, either. Midwest, maybe. Or, perhaps, just a modulation honed with hour after hour on a radio.

Very interesting and a welcome way to spend a few minutes away from the world.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Not Immortal, Just Never Forgotten

It was strange, indeed, to see the notice on Facebook. Neptunus Lex was gone.

Stranger still that one of his last posts reflected on an unexpected "issue". How one trusts an aircraft after a thing like that baffles me - it just feels like such a deep and mortal betrayal. And yet, he climbed back in as I am sure he did a thousand times.

Someone commented with a snippet from a favorite...just so, yes.
(about flying the SR-71)
“The cockpit was my office. It was a place where I experienced many emotions and learned many lessons. It was a place of work, but also a keeper of dreams.It was a place of deadly serious encounters, yet there I discovered much about life. I learned about joy and sorrow, pride and humility, and fear, and overcoming fear. I saw much from that office that most people would never see. At times it terrified me, yet I could always feel at home there. It was my place, at that time in space, and the jet was mine for those moments. Though it was a place where I could quickly die, the cockpit was a place where I truly lived.’
– Brian Shul, Sled Driver

A terrible loss for so many - I hope his family can one day know peace in their hearts instead of the loss.

Monday, March 05, 2012

His Day All Day

It's someone's birthday, y'all - and you know what that means...
A gift (courtesy of one of Oleg's recommendations with a very short turn-around and great kindness), and the meal of choice. (Which now reminds me to not forget the yeast rolls, damn it!)

His selection: Roladen with mashed potatoes and zuccotto for dessert. I think I'll offer some Crack to start - just to keep them off the surprise chocolate-covered organic strawberries. The taters will be from the supplies - we use the potato pearls instead of the dried/flaked kind for our canning. You wind up with a superior product and they actually last a fairly long time. When I want to fancy them up (as I shall for tonight) I just turn them into Duchess Potatoes with the addition of some sour cream and a couple of egg yolks. A turn under the broiler gets their tops crispy.

He is off with "the team" tomorrow - hopefully just 24 hrs but one never knows. That whole "need to know" routine. So tonight will be an especially grateful evening together. After all, he reported to Trooper Boot Camp on his birthday. "Happy birthday! Now, drop and give me 40!"

So many years...where does the time go?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sunday Sale Alert - Cover Shirt

Guys, these are the diggity bomb for warm weather cover. Trooper practically lives in his (so much that I ordered a replacement for the future in his fav blue color). The 2XL will really give a big fella plenty of room to conceal. They also come out of the dryer ready to go - very easy care.

Note that Sportsmans Guide has some at a higher price but if you have one of their coupons, it might bring it down enough to match...

I highly recommend them!!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Night Light

Spring has come a bit early though we all know a bitter day or two will still come and ruin the tender vines. Still, I could not resist pulling out the last apricot jam from the freezer to dollop the sunshine in my bowl of hot cereal.

A small pleasure, admittedly. But I give mind to it - a zen-like enjoyment - because it may be the last of the easy sweet fruit. And I give myself a waggling finger of recrimination for not having started the trees last spring as I said I would. Och, the summer - the hellish, dry summer - would have killed them all, anyway. Still, I have a reawakening in my own soil of the flesh and I ache to nurture things into bloom, into food. The roses are riotous at the front door and the pots have been filled with the saved herbs and fresh daisys. Color and flavor to feed all the senses.

I showered early, all the errands complete and nothing more to do than pet dogs, knit, and watch old movies. The dogs, of course, think more petting would be a better way to spend the evening but that is the groove their brains run in. Ah, there - his eyes so clear in this photo...they haven't that same look, now, and I know why he turns his head so far and crosses my path as we walk. But one dare not say a thing to his father, no. Heartbreak and denial reside there.




This girl, now - the intellect is there, I think. The one that has her knock on the door because she left the chasing toy inside and they need it for their game. Just a dash inside, a curve behind the door and then off she went, a head toss to her beau - "Got it!" she seems to say as he gets his feet under him.



She's a sensitive creature - more needy, quick to take offense at a harsh word. And it is strange because she is such a large darling (125 lbs) - you expect angry barking and aloofness. Instead, small cries of kinship, and indelicate head butting commence. She cannot understand that she will not fit - that she will tip over the table and all on it with her attempts at positioning. So we make room, adjustments, that give her space and love. Always love...she went without for so long that she tries to make up for it. Make no mistake - any assault on me and a throat will be opened. Fierce love, that.

But the house is quiet and the chores are done, the last of last summer still on my tongue.

What more should I want than this peace? Nothing for the melancholy, no. Because this stays put and I don't mind so much. We none of us leave here alive.