Looking just Looking…


The wonder of nature.

I was looking hard for something to do
to pass the time on this day
it was way too hot to go outside
or take a hike in my usual way
I’m already blogged out for a month ahead
at two a week which is my goal
so what is it I can do instead
to keep me busy and fill the hole
I could clean house but that is a chore
not something that is my usual way
no interest in that sort of thing
guess I’m not the housework king
a typical batchelor you might say
I could go to the gym but that sounds like work
this time of a different kind
to push and shove and grunt and groan
I think I’ll leave that for a different time
I’m running out of ideas fast
can’t think of anything that will last
long enough to pass the day
until this evening when it is time
to turn on the Tele and watch a match
between the English football teams
to cheer on my favorites of which there are two
sometimes they win and sometimes they lose
and I really have to pick and choose
to see which game that I need to watch first
and at the end of the day
it makes no difference who beats who
I spent an hour this afternoon
listening to 2Cellos as they played
sometimes they play with a wonderful sound
easy to lose oneself in this way
and others they lose control on the stage
and the noise they produce stimulates the soul
and gets to the very depths of the mind
fast and furious of the rock and roll kind
for the purists definitely way overboard
for those of us with an itch in our pants
going crazy with them with hardly a glance
at anyone else watching them perform
knowing full well it is only an act
and the next time you see them they will be back
to playing straight in a beautiful way
and listening to them will make my day
well I managed to fill an hour
writing this poem so what to do next
I guess I’ll just have to jump in my truck
and go for a drive a very long way
listening to Audiobooks as I drive
in awe of the authors whose stories I buy
and wonder how they can write what they do
such talent and such wonderful minds
me I do not have a clue
as poetry is the best I can do
I do not have a devious mind
and can only think in the usual way
and so without a story of any kind
reporting the facts is how I pass my day.

Written 8/24/2019



The Hot Weather


This pretty much says it all…

Here in Texas, we expect it to be hot. It is a part of who we are and has a lot to say for how tough Texans are. As with Nature, no two summers are alike and this one, for us so far, has been pretty good. It’s been hot but nothing that that we cannot put up with.

However and finally, the really hot weather is upon us as here in Austin, we have reached the 100 degree mark. It’s been close a few times over the past couple of months but has not quite reached that “magic” number. The day before yesterday was different as we breached that with the temperature at my house at 101 degrees. Add in the humidity and were looking at 104-105 degrees, hot enough to fry the proverbial egg on the sidewalk.

That has continued and is forecast to hang around even longer and to go as high as 104-105 which by anyone’s standards, even ours, is bloody hot. Even though we say we are used to it that is not really true as though the body may tolerate the heat, one is never really comfortable in it.

I had an incident a month or so ago hiking at McKinney Roughs when the heat gave me some pretty serious problems. That is all I can think of as the reason that I came light headed and a bit disoriented on a walk that I had done a couple of times before and had not been affected then.

When I first arrived in Texas in 1977, I came down from New York State where it was hot when it reached 85 degrees, with the explicit purpose of working construction as a Project Manager building new schools in the Round Rock School District in a time of real productivity for the area. The first summer nearly did me in but I stuck it out working alongside the men who had no options other than to brave the heat. We covered our skins, put on suntan lotion, wore hats and sunglasses and drank a lot of water and although I would not like to say we got used to it, we were able to tolerate it. One thing you learn to do in these hot conditions is to keep an eye on your workmates not to see if they were working hard but to see how the heat was affecting them. Those that showed signs of faintness or dizziness were immediately attended to and sent to rest until they could continue.

After nearly four years of that job and three schools later, I was hired on at the University of Texas as a Planner and eventually as the Planning and Scheduling Manager out of the sun for the rest of my working life. I retired from there twenty two years later.

That is not to say that I never went out in the sun again as I can remember playing soccer in Dallas at a Tournament with the temperature at 108 degrees and another time in Houston where it was equally as hot. Normally, players can’t wait to get in the game but in both of those tournaments, when anyone came off needing a sub, the chances were the team would be playing short as no one wanted to take their place. Those were the good old days.

Nowadays, I have the luxury of picking and choosing if and when I go out in the heat other than appointments and such. I try to get any outside work done early and then spend the rest of the time writing stories for my blog. Needless to say, hiking has been put on a back burner until it starts to cool down. I like to listen to Audiobooks and usually spend the afternoon driving around enthralled by some story or another written by Authors that really know how to write and keep me in suspense.

My truck stays very cool and comfortable although the miles are mounting up and I know every square inch of all of the local roads and lanes….

Written 3/10/2019

Just Sitting Here…


Ginnie has been with me for 12 years
Sandy the new girl

Just sitting here with nothing to do and waiting for the time to pass which is unusual for me as generally I am always free to write a poem or words that last.

Failing that there is plenty to do if only I would look to see out in the yard to trim the plants or work on the ponds as growing they are most rapidly.

The reason for this waiting game are reasons not hard to explain as today is spent on two of the dogs the new girl Sandy is being groomed which includes a bath and she thinks she is doomed

She is not happy with me at all as all of this handling makes her sore and hurts her feelings and although a girl she may be clean just causes controversy

Ginnie my 12 year old little girl has gone to the Vets for an annual check to keep her fit and trouble free pretty good for an old lady everything is working great the Vet had said as stroked her head and he stuck in the needle one more time with a another shot to keep her fine.

So my day is split between the groomers salon and the veterinary scene but I don’t mind as I love those guys and if you ask the reason why I will tell you that they both love me and in their case unconditionally.

Tomorrow Sandy and I have a date this time a trip from whence she came. She too needs to see her Vet for treatment needed most urgently as heartworm has she from her owners past who did not treat her for her to last.

I hope that young and strong and full of life she will beat the worms and her heart grows strong and she can run and jump and play alive and well for another day.

One thing that you can be sure that we are working on a cure and have every hope we will prevail for Sandy’s sake we cannot fail.

I love my pets this can be said and will do what it takes to keep them well and give them the best that I can afford regardless of the price to pay to have them around another day.

Written 8/9/2019

A Drive Through Bueschers State Park 7-26-2019


The view from Pine Gulch Trailhead

I decided to go for a drive to Bueschers State Park which is located in Smithville mainly because I haven’t been there in a very long time. What I really wanted was to check out if the trails had been reopened after the fires of September and October of 2011. I could have called but it was much more fun to go see for myself. I had left it too late to actually hike as it was after noontime and the temperatures were climbing in the 90 degree plus areas making it a little too warm to start a hike. For me, I need to start at lower temperatures and as the heat increases, my body adjusts accordingly but I am not very good at starting a hike in the direct heat of 90 degrees or more.

A view from the Scenic Overlook off Park Road 1C

I arrived at the Park only to discover that the office was closed for lunch. I was only planning on driving through to the Bastrop State Park on a connecting road that was named Park Road 1C and was not going to make use of any of the Park Facilities including the trails and I figured I could get by without a sticker.

Original Loblolly Pines

Park Road 1C is a pleasant 12 mile drive that connects the two parks. It actually goes through all of the major burn areas from that previous fire. Everywhere you look are signs of Nature’s recovery from those dreadful fires. Thousands of Loblolly Pines have been replanted, mainly by volunteers to replace those that were lost to the fire assisted by natural reproduction from Nature. They are between 6 and 10 feet tall now and growing strongly and are everywhere which makes it look very good for the future of both Parks.

More Loblolly Pines

I arrived at the Trailhead for the Pine Gulch parking area sharing the space with with a UPS truck with the driver enjoying his lunch break. Great spot for a break although he probably follows the same routine when he is in the area. From the signs, it was obvious that the trails had been reopened and I promised myself that I would take full advantage of them in the very near future.

The view from the Scenic Overlook.

I continued along Park Road 1C taking a few pictures of the beautiful Loblolly Pines that had not been touched by the fire and then arrived at the Scenic Overlook, located in the Bastrop State Park. This is one of the highest point in the Park and has a wonderful view. From there, I headed out of the Park and took Highway 71 back through Bastrop with the inevitable stop at Starbucks along the way. Buescher State Park is on my list of upcoming hikes for the very near future.

Located at the start of Bastrop State Park.

Written 7/27/2019

The Love of a Dog


I have one dog upon my lap
another standing up on my knee
looking at me with big brown eyes
as if to say why him and not me
the same is true when I make a fuss
of anyone of the four dogs
the others are there as if by rote
climbing and jumping trying to be boss
I pat them all upon the head
taking in turns so as not to miss one
as they push and shove each other away
cold noses exploring to add to the fun
Ginnie is my oldest girl
a special place in my heart for twelve short years
she is a part of the original pack
the rest all gone to other frontiers
then comes Buddy a funny little guy
as old as Ginnie but lacking some sense
as deaf as a post and with failing sight
he does his best to recompense
Mikey is but a young pup
at two years old and full of life
demanding attention at every turn
not caring if he cause a strife
Sandy is the latest guest
she too is only two years old
but full of love and energy
as her life with us does unfold
I love my dogs and I know they love me
as between them all I share my heart
something that the whole world knows
the love of a dog and troubles depart
if there’s anything bad about a dog
it’s that their life so short can be
and for all of the pleasure they provide
there is that moment of misery
but in the time they are alive
they know no bounds in the love they give
sharing their life with their human friends
helping each of us to live.

Written 7/17/2019


Hot Weather


Summer Sun by Unknown Artist.

With the weather warming up so much
and everything is hot to the touch
and to walk outside to an immediate blast
of hot air which we know will last
until September or for half of that month
getting hotter and hotter as the thermometer jumps
until the temperature will stay
at close to a hundred degrees each day
and overnight is not much better
for in the eighties is the night weather
and when the day has first begun
is the only time to have outside fun
unless your work keeps you outdoors
then of course you have to ignore
how hot it is as the temperature drifts
time to cool at the end of the shift
I used to work out in the sun
and could not wait for the day to be done
relentless heat for eight hours a day
trying to keep the sun at bay
with sunblock and sunscreen placed on the skin
and a hat and dark glasses before you begin
lots of water to drink to try to hydrate
and keep an eye on your buddy for safety’s sake
if you work outside then you have no choice
not counting the thoughts that you may voice
if fate has dealt you a working man’s hand
with millions of others throughout this land
of the one thing you can be sure
Texas heat in the Summer is tough to endure.

Written 7/2/2019






Looking to Clean House.


I looked around and looked some more
looking at my dirty floor
hoping that someone would pick up a broom
and sweep the dirt right out of the room
then the thought I suddenly did see
that the someone would have to be me
the last I looked I was alone
just me and four dogs and they have to be shown
anything that I want them to do
I have to do first as they don’t know how to
and even after I showed them the way
they ignored me completely and had their say
“Cleaning house is not what we do
so get to it Dad, we don’t have a clue”
I took a deep breath and picked up my mop
as they disappeared not up for the job
and I swept and cleaned with no help from them
and I really thought that we were friends
it just goes to show that in times of need
even those that you house and feed
are not up to cleaning the mess that they make
what good are they you ask, for goodness sake
and then when your through at the end of the task
out they come wagging no thoughts of the past
but glad to have you back in your chair
the house is so clean but they do not care
just give them the time and before very long
“The house needs cleaning” will be their song.

Written 7/1/2019