Retired from the University of Texas and too old to play soccer anymore. Now, in the twilight of his years, time is spent writing in this blog, hiking and exploring Texas Parks, photography, working out, gardening and tending to the five ponds he built .
Another year has come to an end and with its passing like losing a friend with the New Year not far behind bringing in things of a different kind it’s not like we have a fresh start and that our troubles all depart everything that was there before is still there knocking on our door we are not really another year older and definitely not any wiser even though twelve months have passed we hope that it is not the last of these years that keep passing by before we reach up to the sky and give up our life here on this earth hoping that we have proved our worth enough of these melancholy thoughts instead we are grateful what time has bought another year spent on this planet with family and friends and pets along with it lots of things to look forward to what they are we haven’t a clue but it matters not whether good or bad or whether they make us happy or sad the future for us is already ordained we cannot change what it is or keep it the same our lives are governed by forces unknown and the time that we have is really on loan and is over in the blink of an eye as time is as deep as the endless sky and all we can do is enjoy what is there with Nature to guide us we haven’t a care on this Beautiful Planet that we call home with others around us we are never alone. Happy New Year.
Living in Texas, one expects surprises from time to time and Texas weather is no exception. Less than 3 weeks after the last of our 100 degree weather, we are now experiencing ice rain and freezing temperatures at night with daytime highs in the low 40’s. We get a bit of a winter every year with at least one or two freezing nights and occasionally even a little snow that is generally gone by the next morning but never usually quite as early in the year as this. So, even for Texas, this cold snap is a bit of a phenomenon and I can only put it down to Global Warming which gets blamed for anything to do with abnormal weather.
I had been holding off getting into the ponds to cut back the vegetation which I normally do every winter hoping for it to correspond with cleaning out the leaves that have fallen and settled to the bottom. The frosts have completely knocked down the iris and taro plants but there are still a lot of leaves on the trees so it looks like I will need to hold off on my cleaning plans for a bit longer as I need to do both jobs at the same time. Not that I want to get outside at this time as the weather being as cold and wet as it is and there is no immediate hurry so these things can wait. Heck, I don’t even want to go hiking while it is like this. The fish have gone into semi dormancy but still show some signs of activity even if it is a bit sluggish so I have cut back on the feeding to once a day. The one good thing out of this cold weather is that most of the algae is gone as it does not like the cold water.
I have been spending some of my time working on the picture at the top of the page for a friend, taking a part of one picture and adding it to another one to combine the two. The program I used is called InPixio and it allowed me to make a lot of adjustments to reach the finished project. It took several iterations and changes of mind before we were both satisfied with the finished result. I took the cabin from one picture and added it to the main picture as you see it above even flipping it around so that it faced in the opposite direction. Oh yes, there were several different cabin pictures and lots of attempts before we arrived at the right one. Photographic software is pretty amazing.
With tongue in cheek, my friend suggested the following story about how she lived in that cabin and often sat on the porch shelling peas that she grew in the garden behind the cabin. The cow in the front is Bessie who she hand raised when her mother was killed by a mountain lion. After closer examination, she asked me to please explain that she also paid for the cow’s sex change operation.
My friend has a twisted sense of humor but then again, she is a Cajun from New Orleans…
I can’t remember what I would have been doing to keep myself occupied through an enforced indoor stay prior to 25 years ago, At that time and after computers came into general use, I worked a Home Business that was soccer related (what else) and utilized a lot of my free time working on it. That ended 15 or so years ago and then my interests changed and I started taking pictures and eventually, working on them to get a higher quality finished product. In 2011 I started this blog site and now I combine photography and writing a blog on days when the weather is too unpleasant to be outside. In the case of living in Texas that is either because it is way too hot at 100 degrees or like it is now at 41 degrees. I even discovered that I can write poetry although it has to be said, the quality is sometimes questionable.
If I really run out of ideas, I can complete Part 2 of the book I have been working on which is pretty much about my life story. The first part is of growing up in England during World War 2 through the move over to America and is already written and has been for some time. Part 2 entitled, My life in America, I have yet to start. In any case, it will be a story without an end unless someone else completes it after I am long gone from this earth. Maybe when I can no longer get out and about and have to lead a much more sedentary life, I will work on it assuming that I still have a functioning brain.
In the meantime, back to writing until the weather warms up. What will be the next subject you ask? Who knows as I haven’t got that far…
I had to sit around indoors as the weather had turned to rain too wet to go outside to play on trail or garden both the same I looked around for things to do something that I would not shirk the house needs cleaning and dusting too but somehow that looks like work there is only me and three small dogs whose contribution to the cause is for each to have their special place where they can sleep without a pause to interrupt their daily routines just to clean up their dust doesn’t seem to be the way to go no need for me to make a fuss that solves the problem about cleaning the house but what to do instead I could probably take a nap and creep back into bed the dogs would cuddle up with me just to keep me safe but that would be a waste of time and my mind would chafe as doing nothing is not my way so that idea is gone so maybe I can write a poem a verse or more not long it’s just that I am sitting here with nothing much to show messing around with my PC and things are going slow trying to write a word or two to get them all to rhyme and the going is very hard and taking all of my time but wait just look what I have written words that are in verse and maybe it’s not that good but I have written worse so I will make this do for now and write another day when the brain is working not so hard but in a different way tomorrow the sun many shine and I can take a walk much better than sitting here with a brain that will not talk.
We got our first “snow” last evening. At least, the Austin equivalent of snow. For us, it’s mostly frozen ice and it does manage to create much havoc on the streets and highways. Most Austinites are not used to driving in these sort of hazardous conditions and do not make any allowances in speed or brake time and only manage to stop when they run into something.
Don’t know what it is about Austin drivers. It’s as though inclement weather is like someone throwing down a gauntlet and the foolhardy ones accept the challenge by driving faster and thinking less. That is until they either cause an accident or manage to get themselves involved in one.
I made a small video of the scenes at my house. Kinda picturesque in a way. Thank goodness that it only lasted for a couple of days. I spent ten years in New York State and saw enough snow to last me two lifetimes.
Hate the stuff…That and cold weather…Come on you 100 degrees…
My garden is a bloody mess
with Jack Frost finally doing its thing
where there was a lot of green
all has a nasty dead coloring.
Nearly all the plants the frost has dried freezing the moisture from the inside
the end result is a burnt brown look
that will require that I cut
everything back to the roots.
As the weather is still very cold
the cutting back can keep until
some comfort can be found
as the temperature rises from the ground
and warmer weather comes around.
I love my garden I have to say
and I don’t mind the fact that it is hard work
but I certainly want some warmth at least
if I am to go and tame the beast.
We do seem to be having a much colder time
than we normally get this time of year
generally, it is not till next month
that freezing weather arrives here.
Global warming must be the cause
at least that’s what the experts will say
Me, all I know is that it is cold
and I want it to go away.
Snow in New York State
I lived ten years in New York State
where winter lasts six months of the year
and six feet of accumulated snow I fear
is not uncommon when you wake
The coldest temperature I was in
was on a ski slope one evening
with the windchill it was down
to minus 52 below freezing
I took off my ski’s and walked back down
the mountain side on the same trail
I should have skied if it was not so cold
and instead headed in to the bar and to get warm.
Another time, I had a car freeze up
as the temperature was minus 23
and the only way to get it to start
was bring it inside and let it thaw.
I moved out of New York after ten years of hell
as far south as I could thinking that well
the snow only last’s one day at a time
and cold and frost was not really that much
and compared to New York, a walk in the park.
New Yorker‘s are a hardy bunch
they take this weather in their stride
they put on snow tires and winterize their cars
wear snow boots and long-johns to keep warm
they ride snow mobiles and skiing go
out in the cold and in the snow
I was so glad to leave that behind
and move to the warmth of the Texas sun
the summer times I can stand
when the temperatures climb to a hundred and one
sometimes even a little more
but I do not find that a chore
as shorts and tee shirts and sandles too
are all I need to keep me cool.
Stories about family, faith, friends and funnies. Pull up a chair. Grab a cup of coffee and laugh, cry, ponder and inspire about ordinary events of this wonderful, ever changing, bubbling pot that we call "every day life".