Out My Backdoor – Texas

I took this shot last year in early spring. Early spring here is generally no later than mid-March. As we are only about 40 miles from the coast, spring tends to bring quite a few foggy mornings.

I generally like this type of spring morning, particularly when I can sit and enjoy the muffled sounds through the fog. Today, we had a morning a lot like this, with the exception of the fog. he temperature was pleasant, It rained most of the day yesterday so there is a cool dampness to the smell you get with that first deep breath you take. Since it is now much later into spring, you also get a whiff of the sweetness from the Texas Privet and the honeysuckle that are blooming in the woods. We are already past our local berry season…I was eating dewberries (our local blackberry) as I walked in the woods two to three weeks back, now there are just a few left in the shaded areas.

The weather report for today calls for seasonable cool…high today is predicted to be in the low 80’s… Posted by Picasa

Quotes of the Day – The Quotations Page

Quotes of the Day – The Quotations Page: “We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.” – Frank Tibolt

I guess this could explain the problem I have had with both blogging and journaling, I always wait for the inspiration. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it is that inspiration never comes at a convenient time or place. It seems to me that it usually hits on the freeway, in traffic, while you are driving at 70mph…Which is where I need to be heading.

A Lonely Warning On Debt

A Lonely Warning On Debt: “‘The question I ask is, what sacrifice are we making? Anyone in the know who is watching us has to wonder about our character, our intellectual honesty, our concern about our national security, our nation’s competitiveness in the global marketplace now and in the future, and, last but not least, our don’t-give-a-darn attitude about the standard of living and quality of life of our children and grandchildren.

‘The question is, are we willing to be honest with ourselves and the American people and make these tough decisions?'”

George Voinovich, a Republican Senator from Ohio said the above in a speech on the floor of the Senate on May 3rd.

I find myself thinking that if there were more politicians in America today who would speak and vote these sentiments, I might still consider myself an Independent.

I was proud in the first 20 years of my voting history to vote the man not the party. That changed in 1992. That was the year I had the misfortune to attend every minute of the Republican Convention (it was my job not choice), and it was what I heard and saw there that caused me to change my mind about a lot of things. At the convention I tried to explain my political philosophy and I called myself a “fiscally conservative, social liberal” and the person I was speaking with could not understand what I was talking about.

Many things have changed in the last decade, but, the one thing that hasn’t changed in my opinion is the basic makeup of the American People. I feel that the majority of us still believe that America should live up to the ideals upon which it was founded. Someone recently commented on some trait or the other (I think it might have been something about the way we were treating prisoners), and the sentiment they expressed was that this was how our prisoners were being treated. My comment was that “as Americans, we are better than that, and I expected us to act like it.” I guess what I was really saying was that I chose to be better than that, and I expect the people who chose to represent me in government to live up to and by the Ideals I have chosen.

This has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with morality. And my morality seems to boil down to the old “Golden Rule”, do unto others as you would have them do unto you…

Unseasonable Spring

I was sitting at the kitchen table this morning with the doors and windows open enjoying our unseasonably cool morning, answering email and reading the daily news and views (as in blogs), when my youngest daughter wandered in and wanted to know why the AC wasn’t on. Now folks, the outside temperature at the time was just hitting 72 (I told you it was unseasonable for SE Texas), and I had really been enjoying the breeze along with the birdsong and wind chimes.

I think the poor girl would shrivel up and die if she had to go through the summers we went through with only an attic fan. Now for those of you who don’t know what an attic fan is, it’s a large fan that is built into the ceiling (usually in a central hallway) that pulls the hot air out of the house. Usually, when you ran it all night with the bedroom windows open it would get so cool you had to have a quilt or a blanket before morning. During the day you would turn the speed of the fan down and close up the house to keep the cool in while blowing just enough fresh air through the attic to keep the heat from building up too high before evening when you would start the whole cycle over.

As I remember things, the fan would provide a low white noise (not that we knew what that was back then) and you could still hear the night sounds through the open window. I guess we could be a little more trusting back then, ’cause I’m sure not many folks today would want a window open all night by their bed…

Being as we were deep south here the only real disadvantage to this whole affair was that the humidity would still permeate the whole house and everything in it. Even so, some night I really miss the old days.

Our Government At Work

The Carpetbagger Report “The Washington Post ran an interesting chart this week that every Democrat should memorize. It shows your annual savings under the latest Republican tax cut. Here are the figures:

$10,000-$20,000: $2
$20,000-$30,000: $9
$30,000-$40,000: $16
$40,000-$50,000: $46
$50,000-$75,000: $100
$75,000-$100,000: $403
$100,000-$200,000: $1,388
$200,000-$500,000: $4,499
$500,000-$1 million: $5,562
More than $1 million: $41,977″

Ok, I am trying not to go off into the political blog side of life, but…The chart above from The Washington Post by way of The Carpetbagger Report makes my blood boil. Does Congress really think that the people making over a million dollars a year really need another $41k?

You, know I am from Texas and I have to admit in this state we get exactly the type of government we pay for…and in case you are wondering, we don’t pay much. Needless to say, with all of those Texans now in Washington they seem to be trying to duplicate the Texas experiment on a national scale…be afraid America, be very afraid.

Chron.com | These ‘rural’ legends amount to a whole herd of cows

Chron.com | These ‘rural’ legends amount to a whole herd of cows: “These ‘rural’ legends amount to a whole herd of cows”

Sometimes you really have to take your hat of to a real storyteller…check out the latest from one of my favorite authors.

My family has been reading Mr. Hales newspaper columns since the 1950’s and he continues to inspire me. Once upon a time I wished I could follow in his footsteps, the only problem I had was lack of confidence and no drive to practice…better late than never (as the old saying goes).

Mabry Mill

This is said to be the most photographed spot in America. I can believe it. This is my version. This photo, also, was taken in June 2004. Unfortunately, the weather decided to let loose about the time we arrived. As a matter of fact if you look at the photo you can see the beginnings of the rainfall hitting the pond surface. So all we saw was the sites from the parking lot and the mill itself. Maybe next trip we can actually see the rest of the displays… Posted by Picasa

Parkway Cabin

Parkway Cabin

This photo came from my 2004 Vacation Shots. We did the trip in Early June. On this drive we were returning from Mabry Mill. It was a cool, rainy day for a drive on the Blue Ridge.

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“You are the storyteller of your own life…”

I was going through some old files today, cleaning out the clutter that accumulates when you aren’t being particularly observant, and I came across a bunch of slides I printed from a Tom Peters presentation. The one that spoke to me immediately was a quote Tom had attributed to Isabel Allende. “You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend or not.” That one sentence, in its simplicity, pretty much lays out a whole life philosophy. The only addition I would make is it takes an audience for the legend to become mythical. From my observation it is only in the eyes of your friends and loved ones that the story you live can become the legend that become myth through the retelling.

Anyway for the time being her quote will have a place of prominence on this site…and as a unsolicited plug, I finished her new book “Zorro” a couple of months ago and happily endorse it as a very good read.

A walk into spring…

No Direction Home: “Looking south on Sparks Lane from the Abrams Creek ford shown below.”

This Photo on fletch’s blog really makes me wish I was close enough to take a stroll…When I first saw it this week it reminded me of some of the roads I’ve visited. Springtime and a country road…

No Direction Home is another blog I discovered early last winter. I came through a link on Marie Freeman’s Blue Ridge Blog. Fletch’s photo’s keep me coming back almost daily to see what’s new…Thank to both .