Monday, January 13, 2014


Sometimes I'm lazy.
Sometimes I work too hard.

Sometimes I'm creative.
Sometimes I can't get out of my rut.

Sometimes I'm leading.
Sometimes I just want to follow.

Sometimes I'm organized.
Sometimes I can't find anything.

Sometimes I'm at peace.
Sometimes I am on a short fuse.

Sometimes I'm happy.
Sometimes I want to soak in self-pity.

Sometimes I'm consistent.
Sometimes I vacillate from one thing to another.

Sometimes I'm talkative.
Sometimes I need silence.

Sometimes I'm stuck on something.
So, I think I'll make a change......

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Soggy Pastures

Over the past few weeks we have had a lot of rain.  When I try to put into perspective just how much rain we have received I am shocked because where I grew up, it would be about a year's worth.  One of the spells that came through dumped 11 inches on our ranch and flooded the creek.

Keep in mind that the bottom of the bridge in the above photo is at least 12 feet above the creek bed -- that is to the bottom of the beams which are about 18 inches -- so, the water had to have been about 14 foot deep to cover the bridge.

I am having to feed hay to the cattle this time of year too.  That means muddy tractor tracks in the area in front of the barn and hay lot and out to the feeders in the pasture.  It is quite the mess. 

Unless necessary to feed hay or supplement to the cattle, I try not to drive in the pasture when it is so wet.  The grass turf is actually pretty firm and I can drive over much of it without even leaving a track, but there are places where the water stands in marshy areas that can be pretty soft.  If you hit one of those with the tractor it leaves some deep ruts that you have to live with for a long time.

Where I grew up in the Texas Panhandle, we would receive 14 - 16 inches of rain in a year.  It usually came in the Spring or late Summer.  Here in East Texas, the rains come in the late Fall and Winter and then into the Spring.  It is the Winter rains that cause the problems because of having to feed the cattle.  The rest of the year there is plenty of grass and hay isn't needed.

I am not complaining about the rain.  I do wish that I didn't have such a mess where I've driven the tractor through it and created a few mud holes.  All that rain is really why we moved here to Northeast Texas.  It grows lots of grass and grass is what the cows eat. 

I don't really know the point of this Blog Post except to say, it rains in this part of the world.  I'll end with a few more photos.

Friday, January 3, 2014

An Evening Walk

Sometimes it is only the quiet stillness that draws me to the woods.  Yes, I enjoy hunting, but not so much the "kill" anymore.  It is the chance to sit quietly and listen to the light breeze rustling dried oak leaves that leads me across the pasture and over the creek.  Barking squirrels signal my approach -- warning that danger may lurk in my presence.

It is gratifying when after only a short time the small birds accept me as harmless and flit from branch to branch in the trees over my head.  The occasional armadillo or other small animal of the woods edge often wander by, oblivious to my presence -- or at least, unalarmed. 

Suddenly an arrow crosses the sky.  It is a small flight of Canvasback ducks headed toward the shallow pond across the meadow.  The silhouette of their passage is barely marked across the fading light of the setting sun.  The whistle of their wings the only sound they make as they head to night's refuge.

In the distance a pack of coyotes signals approval that the light of day is fading and it is safe to come out for the nightly run in search of rodents and road kill.  Their yipping chorus sharply breaks the near silence of the evening.  Soon they are answered from the hill to the north.  Calls answered and replied speak volumes that only they understand.

I sigh and begin my walk back to the barn.  The gathering darkness signals time to return for supper.  Maybe tomorrow I will wander back into the woods where time stands still if only for a few moments.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Special Kind of Crazy

Sometimes I will sit and write something just for practice.  Yeah, I know that sounds weird to most of you, but I suspect a few of you writers out there do the same thing.  Below is one of those pieces:

Age has a way of bringing certain things into perspective.  Take time for instance.  When we are young time seems to drag but, as we grow older it seems to move ever more quickly until looking back, we feel as though events that occurred many years ago were as though only yesterday.  Yes, time is relative.
Perhaps it is the early onset of dementia but, I could have sworn the glass of ice water beside my keyboard was full only a moment ago.  I filled it from the refrigerator and brought it to my desk with the thought that I would want something to drink shortly.  It was full when I sat it down.  Now, at least a third of it is gone.  I am certain that I didn’t drink it….or did I?
To look at my desk you would certainly wonder about me.  It is cluttered with notes, printed documents, mail, memorabilia, paperclips, pens, and well, just stuff.  Much of it needs filed.  Some is clutter that is undealt with due to laziness I suppose.  Yet, I know what is here and where it should be.  The family leaves it alone – perhaps fearing what my reaction might be, but also with the knowledge that it is mine, I put it there and I know where it is.
Things have moved. 
It happened just this afternoon.  I got up from my desk to do something – I don’t even remember what it was – and when I returned my “stuff” wasn’t the same.  I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but something was moved.  There was no one here but me.
I know that I’m not losing my mind.  In fact, today was a productive day.  I office from home and today was an office day.  I accomplished numerous tasks that had been on my to-do list for weeks.  It being the first work day of a new year may have helped to motivate me.  After all, starting the year right is the right thing to do isn’t it?
I really don’t know what accomplishing a lot of work today has to do with a sane mind, but it makes sense to me.  After all, if I was going crazy I wouldn’t be able to do my job would I?  Hmmmm….maybe they are unrelated.  Then why do I feel this uneasiness?
I look around my desk and again spy the glass of ice water.  It is almost empty now except for the melting ice sitting in a lump in the glass.  That always annoyed me since I like to chew the ice.  That one giant chunk of fused cubes is difficult to chew.  You have to bite off pieces before you can crunch down on them.  But, I’m distracted.  Why is the glass now almost empty?  Am I so distracted with my thoughts that I don’t even remember taking a drink?
Suddenly I am cold.  I was cold earlier.  In fact, as I think about it, I got cold about the time I noticed that something had been moved on my desk.  I was shivering.  It has been colder outside today so, I got up and checked the thermostat.  It was set on 72 – right where it should have been.  I put on slippers and a sweatshirt and drank a cup of hot chocolate.  That warmed me up.  Now I am still wearing the slippers and sweatshirt but, again, I’m cold.  I am almost shivering.  The thermostat hasn’t been moved and the temperature in the house is still 72.
The thought crosses my mind that I am having a paranormal experience.  I have heard it said that the temperature drops when a “ghost” is present in the room.  It interests me that I have such a thought since I long ago completely dismissed the idea of ghosts.  I don’t believe in them. 
That’s not to say that I don’t believe in other things that might be considered to belong to the Spiritual Realm because I do.  I believe in angels and demons.  I believe in the Holy Spirit.  I believe there are many things that are completely unexplainable in the physical but are real nonetheless.  I believe there are spiritual connections between individuals.  If anyone is paying attention it seems obvious.  After all, how many times have you received a phone call from someone you had been thinking of only moments before – someone that just popped into your mind for no apparent reason?
But, the missing water is physical – not spiritual.  The moved items on the desk – I still haven’t quite put my finger on what exactly – are physical.  I’m either crazy, or someone is messing with me.  That is the only explanation.  I’m obviously crazy since no one else is around.
I think that I shall embrace this craziness.  Why not?  Anyone can be normal.  It takes someone special to be crazy.