Sunday, September 27, 2020



the book

by Sinclair Lewis, 1922

In my father's yearbooks from high school, graduated in 1928, he seemed to have the nickname Babbitt.  He never wanted to talk about it.  I wondered why.  Bought the book after several years. I can honestly say, I have not learned the "why" at all.  Who knows?  Kids say the darnedest things to other kids - even back in 1928.

I am starting chapter 15 and stopping.  So far this is a book of descriptions and inactivity and daily common activity and "something."   After several days of reading (up to page 192), I went online to read the reviews.  Maybe, I am missing something.  Look it up if you wish.  Descriptions of the book write about George F. Babbitt, a middle age Realtor in Zenith (state unknown).  It talks of his bigotry and attempts towards conformity in 1922.  While I was able to read it without falling to sleep, it still was a struggle - too much thinking.  Oh, so many descriptions of individuals.   I spent too much time wondering where I was going in this story.  The first chapter is his getting out of bed in the morning - the rituals.  The 2nd chapter follows him going downstairs to eat breakfast.

The descriptions were indeed excellent.  Sinclair Lewis does a fine job with this.  You could visualize the entire day, step-by-step.  Maybe I was expecting a quicker story line - robbing a bank, beating his secretary to death, ridding a horse naked down main street (yes, I know, most horses are naked)  - whatever.  Nope, didn't happen.  Surprisingly, George F Babbitt has some of my views on Socialism / Communism and other social bits.  He is a little bit overboard on some other events and thoughts.  

I've noticed in this book and the other one I just finished, The complete Father Brown Mysteries by C.K. Chesterton, written about the same time as Babbitt, there is an abundance of racial and ethnic slurs.  I'm sure these were included in the common talk of individuals at the time.  If you offended by certain words  - not politically correct in 2020 - stay away from these books.   As with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn,  somebody will try to get these banned from libraries and, of course, Boston.

My plan is to take a break and read something else for a while.  Then, I can return and make it to the end of the book.  My book is a slightly damaged first edition from 1922.   A sticker on the inside cover gives the name of the original owner:  Martha Ann Goetz of 817 Five Oaks Avenue, Dayton, Ohio.  I thought I might write to that address after I finished the book and see if anyone would like to own a piece of history of Five Oaks Avenue.  Could be that someone has burned down that section of Dayton since 1922.

I wonder if they had stickers in 1922.  It WAS a wild and crazy time .. The Roaring Twenties.  Since the sticker has no zip code, it had to come before - say 1960 something.  Zip codes started about that time.  I am not going to look it up.


I looked it up.  1963.  I graduated from college in 1962 - was married in 1962 - received my Master Degree in Jan., 1963 - took over Sudan HS in Jan, 63 ... I betcha that I wasn't paying attention to zip codes back then.  The last 4 digits of the zip were added in 1983.  There ya go.  Learn something old (new) everyday.  If you ever go on Jeopardy and they ask the non-question, you'll know.    {aside:  Jeopardy is a hard word to spell.  How often do you need to spell Jeopardy?  Rare, I'd guess.  I will admit that I looked it up before I inscribed same on this page.  Tough word, Jeopardy,}


SNAKES:  I can't say that I've talked about them much recently.  I have encountered 3 black snakes during the past 3 weeks.   One took up residence on my back porch in the corner.  My Sadie had a fit and pointed it out.  Good Dog.   The other two appeared on my steps which go down the hill from my back porch.  Both of them were trying to escape by going through a hole in my landscape wall.   At least one of these was not a friendly snake.   There is something about looking down the mouth of a snake when it is wide open and fangs are glistening in the afternoon sun.

Even if snakes are beneficial to our environment, I worry about getting bit and the dogs being bit.  Snakes don't really mean to kill - I believe - but they will defend territory.   One of daughter Laura's dogs was bit in the eye by some snake.  She was probably just wanting to sniff that strange creature. It would break my heart for my dogs to be injured by some snake that I failed to correct properly.  It would break my heart.

So, I close.  Beautiful day - minimum wind - will get into the 80s today - water sprinklers seem to be working beautifully (it is Sunday).  SeeYa-Mtz

Saturday, September 26, 2020


It is the weekend again.  I seem to remember that there use to be 7 days in a week.  Now it seems like there are only 2 or 3.  Is this related to aging?  I'm afraid so.  I know that when I was teaching, I didn't think the weeks would ever end.  It just dragged on and on.  And, when I was a kid - how the weeks dragged before Christmas and my birthday.   Now, nothing drags except me.

As they have said, Time Flies.  

It seems my weeks have a few highlights (weekly highlights or monthly highlights).  Whatever.  The 15th of the month is when we give heart guard to the dogs and put on the flea/tick medicine.  I check my blood numbers on Wednesdays.   My wife gets her whopping oil check on the 25th.  My bank statements are usually here by the 17th so I can check  the bank account numbers - we do need to check the numbers monthly to make sure I have not made a stupid mistake.  I have made stupid mistakes in my bank book before.   I do my books on the 1st and 17th of every month.   A look-forwarded-to trip to the Canton Flea market came on the first full weekend of the month.  My water sprinklers work on Thursday and Sunday.   On the first of the month, I change my flags outside to match the month.  Christmas flags are indeed my favorites.  Our water bill comes on the 29th.

Here is a photo of my present flag flying out front.  One sided print.  Only $8 online.   I'm waiting for the neighborhood Liberal to egg my house.   Nah, they wouldn't do that.  Would they?


I take some magazines.  They each seem to come on a special day.  Start a new month - start a new flock of current magazines.   I don't know how, but I got on a list.  They send me offers where I can subscribe to a certain magazine for a year for $10.  This is a bargain.  When the magazine looks interesting enough, I might send them a ten spot.  I NEVER NEVER sign up for their automatic renewal plans.  Cheeeeee.  Many of the magazines send me renewal notices during the 1st month of delivery.  Then, on the 3rd month, I will get a renewal where:   i renew and they will send a free subscription (sometimes 2 or 3 subs) to the people of my choosing.  So, I can renew and send you a free year of reader's digest.

I have one magazine where my subscription runs out in 2023.  Hey, it was a bargain.

I have had an experience this week.  I learned something.  It will probably serve you no purpose; but, if it helps one poor soul...

I own this Gorilla Cart - it is a large one that we bought when we moved here in 2008.  The cart is valuable.  I move stuff all the time around here.  Whether it is dirt or rock or it is a bunch of branches headed for the wood pile, the list doesn't end.  It is a great cart.  About 5 or 6 years ago, I bent the handle and destroyed some tires.  I contacted Gorilla Cart online and got everything that I needed to move on.

About 2 weeks ago, I discovered one of the Gorilla Cart tires running flat - really flat.  Out came the air compressor and on went the nozzle.  It wouldn't air up.  Closer inspection showed the sidewalls had pulled away from the tread.  This is the death moan for a tube tire.  Where do you find / buy a 15 x 5.00-6 tire with an attached rim?  Not on my computer.   

A trip to town finally located a 15.x-6 tire and rim at Tractor Supply.  I bought the Gorilla Cart there; logical that TSC would have the replacement.  Logical.   It was expensive, but - my worldly view - well worth it to be done with the problem.  I proudly carted the new tire and rim to the house and sat on the garage floor to install.   Nope.  It wouldn't fit. The rim had a hole that was too big for the pipe axle; and, the entire rim was too wide.  The washer and nut would not fit on the axle.   Doomed.   Doomed.  Woe is me.

Epiphany came:   (you remember her, little short girl with green hair and freckles.)  An Epiphany.   I took the old tire and rim to town.  Sardis tire company cheerfully changed the new tire to the old rim.  It wasn't hard.   Only took $$$$.   Problem solved.   works.  no problem.   I spent too much on this whole thing.

What did I learn?   I should have returned to Gorilla Cart dot com and bought a tire from them.  They would have shipped me the whole shootin' match with a lot less trouble.  Sometimes, yes sometimes, living in the past and doing things like I always have - yes, yes, sometimes this costs me.   I'm starting to think I need to hire a life advisor - or a counselor at the least.   You never get too old to learn something once more.

So, here we are again at the end of the bloggy.  Y'all take care now.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Memories #1

I thought I'd start a series called "Memories."  That brilliant idea was all well and good.  I started by writing down my short list of memories to share with the world.  Lists give me the allusion of being organized.  This short list grew to 25 memories in less than 5 minutes.  At that point, I realized that we must create sub-categories under the main "Memories" title.

As an example, most of us were born and led lives around the house for a few years.  This was followed by introduction to public schools - not all of us get to go to private schools and wear ugly uniforms.  My elementary school years were followed immediately by my junior high years.  I've noticed that most people don't get to take long, yearly vacations between elementary and junior high.

An aside:  when I was coming through the school systems, we had junior high schools, grades 7 -8 - 9.  Some brilliant person made up a theory that grouping 6-7-8 together was better for the psychology of the little unwashed mind.  This was probably done in a Doctoral Dissertation by a doctoral candidate who had never been a classroom.  Eventually, another theorist figured out that grades 1-2-3 should be separate from 4-5-6, so we created another level of elementary.  Only larger schools have the luxury of that type of division.

As a band teacher, I had a high school band consisting of only grades 10 through 12 and, later, another school with grades 9 through 12.  Eliminating the 9th grade student from the actual high school makes teaching easier - for me - in band.  A junior high band of 8th and 9th graders is so much better than 7 - 8.  [ I realize that I am bogging down here. ]  If you can isolate grades 5 and 6 and 7 from 8th graders, your life is more pleasant.  8th graders start thinking they are adults.  They're not.  Having a separate 9th grade center for mush minds would have been so nice.   But, I digress.

So, right there you have it:   Sub-category:   birth / toddler / pre-school / elementary school / junior high school / high school / college years / dating / advanced college degree / summer working jobs / our wedding year / early marriage years / 1st teaching position / oh, the lists, the lists.  

I taught 38 normal years - AND - while in college, sub taught one junior high while their new director was moving to town - & - as a graduate student, I sub taught another school for a band director that went into an institution ( this school was a true eye opener for me regarding worthless students - I thought I had died and ended up in the backwoods of Kentucky teaching frogs ) - and I taught 2 schools after retirement (one of those for a lady band director that went bonkers - it happens a lot in my world).

Sub headings - Sub headings - I don't think I can list them all here.  So this is Memories #1 blog.  It has stirred lots of memories for me and left you nothing but casual thoughts.

I will leave you with this.  You listening to memories by an 80 year old guy (almost me) are essentially the same as being stuck in a small room in front of a fireplace with an old guy who just won't shut up talking about himself and his own great accomplishments and his old friends or foes. 

The big Blackout ... 9-11 ...Welcome Back Kotter ... Star Wars beginning and ending ... Panchos ... Rafael Mendez ... Levelland & Lubbock Drive-Ins ... Flash Gordon ... Sonny West ... Phone calls ... South Pacific ... Roots ... JFK assassination ... Beatles ... summer trips ... Mickey Mouse Club ... Sudan ... Ardmore ... Tascosa ... Timberlawn ... Van Alstyne ... Gainesville ... Manor ... 

Too many to list.  So you say, "Stop telling us what you are going to do; do it."   It reminds me of a line that Tim Lautzenheiser use to say:  "Don't tell me you are a good kisser; show me."  I do love Tim and his sayings (look him up on google). Next time, I'll pick a subject and expound.  Look for Memories #2.

We shall move on.  Lunch time.  Lunch always comes before writing.


Saturday, September 19, 2020

Monetize Me

 This will probably get me banned in Seattle - or wherever Corporate is.

You may have noticed that I don't have advertisements on my site.  I had them originally - way back when.  Then, one day I was thinking - a dangerous occupation for the retired of mind and body - and I wrote about the advertisements on my site.  I was trying to make fun of the advertising concept on my blog.  A week later, the "company" told me that I had violated policy and would not have advertisements anymore.  Thus, I have no advertisements.

I don't have a billion readers, never will.  I had always heard that you earn about 1/2 cent when anyone visited one of your advertisements.  Considering, on a good day, I might have 10 readers - make that:  on a really really terrifically special good day, and, then, perchance / maybe / you never know - 1 person out of 100 visits might actually slip up and click on an advertisement.  Considering this possibility - how much money would I be expecting to put into my coffers during one month?.   I would guess a penny at most.

But, then, being a naturally born greedy person, I could get my wife to visit the site and click on every advertisement every day.  Ooooooo  You can't tell me that someone out there is not doing this.  Some person some where - Oooooooo Yeah!!  This could boost my monthly income to 10 cents or a quarter.  Well, it might.  It could.  You never know.  And, further considering, I would never be able to get my wife to do this - too ethical most times - I believe I am back to the penny earned per month.

So, I lost my right to have advertisements on my blog.  All gone - no warning - no finger shaking - just a curt note that I had violated policy.  I didn't even know there was a policy about making fun of advertisements and making big bucks.  Betcha anything, nobody read the actual posting - they just picked up a word or two, and the computer made a decision.

Now, a question.   How much money must you earn before they send you a check?  Surely, they don't send a penny check monthly.   $10?  $20?  My wife has a small holding in a very small oil well in Oklahoma ... inherited it, she did.  That company will not send a check until we get up to $30.   I have not seen a check in over 3 months.  Wealthy oil barons be we not.

I do have a savings account in a credit union.   For years, I kept less than a hundred dollars in that account.  My earnings would be about 1 penny per quarter (every 3 months).  The good thing is that I never had to pay income taxes on that figure.  That is a good thing?


Today I clicked on the "make money" button, just to see.  They put out a bunch of hoops to jump over.  I'm not sure that I am smart enough to figure this out.  And, when I am through, will I have to beg for forgiveness from Google?  Right now, this very moment, I am down on one knee pleading for forgiveness.

"Please send me my penny." 

One of these days, son Roger will be here, and I'll see if he can figure out what I need to do.  Retirement is never easy.  I need more money.  

Yep, no doubt, Corporate will read this and I will be banned for another 10 years.  Maybe longer.

See ya guys.  Time to feed the dogs.


Friday, September 18, 2020

starting the 81st

Tuesday my wife Brenda Joy turned 80.   It was pretty much a day like all days except we added in a few little things - I don't think that I will be given a merit badge for creativity on this birthday.

There is a nice restaurant in Fairfield (I-45 south of Dallas) called Sams.  It was started several years back as a BBQ place and evolved.  They still have terrific BBQ, don't get me wrong.  You can order off the menu or go through the buffet.  You should know by now which I choose.  The buffet includes great pies and cakes and other sweets.  Watermelon!!

Nobody wants me to cook a birthday dinner.  What would I serve?  hot dogs and ranch style beans.  Nothing better.  Instead, we drove down to Sam's and had the buffet.  It comes with a big loaf of homemade bread (or cornbread if you wish). The salad bar is very good - and the pies - don't forget the pies.  I talked to a guy yesterday who said, "when I go in and head for a table, I stop off and pick up two pieces of chocolate pie on the way."   Some people have priorities that click.

We ate and left.   Across the street and down a bit is Cooper Farms store.  We always stop in there to see if we can over indulge.  Finally, back up I-45  and a short visit to Walmart.  Someone's watch quit working this morning.  We tried to find a battery; but, none in that store.  Instead we found a Timex (ladies watch) that had been reduced from $46.97 to $11.  I'm not sure you can beat that.   I ordered batteries later from Amazon.  Now she has 2 watches instead of one.

We have been hatching this around for months.  We bought her an iphone 11 pro max to replace her old iphone 6.  She has been using that #6 for about 5 years - give or take.  It had to be turned off and on about 4 times a day to restart its little brain.   Getting a new phone for your birthday, that's okay.  It looks good on my award sheet.  (don't forget a new watch too)   To keep with tradition, I found a plastic device she could use in her pressure cooker (Instant Pot).  I do like to give presents that help with cooking.  You can't go to a buffet every day.  Can you?

The way I have it figured, she can use the new iphone 11 for the next 5 years.  That will give me an automatic gift to buy when she turns  85.   Planning ahead is smart.

The day ended at home watching TV and waiting for the 3 kids to call.  We wait expertly - nobody better.  All 3 "scored" with an evening phone call, so they are still in the inheritance pipeline.  

========================= Aside Bits ======================

Christine, daughter #1, has a basset hound, Annie.  Wednesday she had an operation on her back for a slipped disc or whatever they call it.  She had lost movement in her back legs.  It was either operate on the back - or fit her with wheels for the back legs - or consider putting her to sleep.  That has to be a tough decision.  We have had encouraging news from Annie's Vet.  Hopefully, she will be up and strongly barking in the very near future.


Our Bluffview Homeowners Association (HMO) has a website.  Members can ask questions or leave little tidbits for others to read.  Lost or Wandering dogs are a common posting.  Last Sunday, a post was made by one of our newest neighbors - who, frankly, we have never met.  The lady posted that she was the District Superintendent for the United Methodist Church.  They were planning a baptism for 6 o'clock that afternoon.  The UM Bishop would be down officiating (doing the deed).  How about that.   As a fairly loyal Methodist, to be living near the District Super is interesting.  

I assume they were going to use the lake for the ceremony.  I thought that was nice.


Stay tuned for future exciting adventures.  Nothing earth shaking yet.


Sunday, September 13, 2020

80 years, her turn

We had a different and fun day yesterday - parts were truly an adventure - nothing like the Bilbo or Luke Skywalker for sure, but for us, an adventure.

Our #2 daughter and her husband Tom are different than many people.  They seem to enjoy being together and doing little things that many of us dream of - but never do.  For instance: When Laura has a birthday or special event - Tom will decorate and make a festival out of it.  Lots of us will host a birthday party - sure - when there are only two of you in the house (plus dogs), you tend to let the festival atmosphere pass.

I've done my best to avoid birthday festivals for myself.  When your birthday comes during the middle of marching season - (remember high school students and the way they behave) - students in their efforts to be what they are - they will disrupt a full class marching rehearsal for any chance at a festival.  I always looked at it like:  anything to get out of class.  So, for me birthdays were silent events around the house and school.

My wife has a birthday coming up this next week.  It is one of those big numbers from which we all seek or shrink.

Young Spanish girls with their 15 year Quinceanera - Sweet sixteenth party - or sixteenth for a driver's license - 18th birthday and independence - 21st birthday and -  -  -  Then, we start the numbers: 30, 40, 50, 60 ... up to 100.  Each one has its special title and atmosphere.  50th?  somebody will decorate for you with black balloons.   

I remember on my 30th birthday, I was walking with some students towards the Ardmore band room in the afternoon.  They had some conversation going on as high school students will.   One girl threw out the remark:  "Never trust anyone over 30." This was during the 70s with all the hippies and hair.  (I had a flat top.)  

My next special day comes in about 3 months.  

But this bloggy is not about me.  The wife and I both turn 80 this season.  Younger people think 80 is for people who are stuck in retirement homes and confined to bed.  I have news for the youth, it isn't like that.  You don't feel any different at 30 - 50 - 80.  You may have a few more pains (see my left knee).  You may not be able to sit cross legged on the floor.  You may not be able to march a mile while blowing your horn (heading to the stadium).  There are so many of those things.  

On the other hand, I am smarter than when I was 20 or 30.  Aren't we all?  Change that.  I am "so much" smarter than when I was younger.   


back to the original thought.

Yesterday, daughter Laura and hubby Tom invited us to Waxahachie for BJ's birthday celebration.  We were to go to Getzendander Park by 11:15 (bring our own drinks).  Laura and Tom went to Olive Garden and bought lunch for us to have a picnic.  Getzendander Park is a really nice green area in western Waxahachie.  Terrific little place with grass and picnic tables and walking paths and pecan trees and bike riders and squirrels  (squirrels throwing pecans from the tree tops).  

We selected a picnic table under a set of trees and fixed the feast.  Out came the food.  Each of us got one of those great salads (not enough Parmesan cheese ever) with that great Olive Garden salad dressing.  They brought 3 soups, all different, a chicken dish and one of the Tour of Italy meals and something else - I forget.  Naturally, there were bread sticks. My diabetes limits my carb input - so I had some of the Italy tour and a big ole salad.  I confess:  I shouldn't have, but I did eat two bread sticks - the world's best.

This is an example of Tom and Laura's thinking.  I would never have thought of getting takeout for my mom's birthday.  It was such a good idea.  Did I mention they had a big ole birthday balloon?  It was tied to the table and fluttered over our heads until - yep, you guessed it - the balloon figured out how to break free and fly to a nearby tree.  The balloon string hung down just far enough to be out of reach ... even if you stand on a picnic table and stretch up.

Thoughtful presents were given and opened - a very large carrot cupcake with yummy looking white icing was shared after the obligatory candles were lit and blown.  The two candles spelled  8  0  .  My Brenda Joy was able to blow out both candles without spitting all over the cake ... or if she did, nobody said a thing.  Such polite folks.

It was a very nice afternoon in the park.   The food and companionship was way above great.  Someday this stupid virus will go away, and we can return to being humans again.  I certainly hope it happens before the big 81.

We are getting close to the age when we brag about our age.  Teenagers so look forward to each new birth date.  Little kids claim they are 2 and a half.  We are nearing when we say, "I am 85 and 3 months."   "I am 90 and 7 months." " I am 95 and a half."  We all aim at 100.  I suppose that 105 will turn a few heads.   So until that time, I leave you with this:

I am 79 and 10 months and counting.  My wife is 79 and 363 days.  The sun is shining; the wind is breezing; and the temperature hovers around 80.  Not bad considering.  

mtz, reading on the back porch.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Trump Parade

 Our lake (Richland-Chambers Lake) organized a boat parade to support Trump.  I've forgotten how many boats showed up with all sorts of decorations and flags.  I believe it was well over 100.  We went to watch.  Daughter Laura and hubby Tom were here fishing.  They went with us to watch.

For some reason, I didn't get  the memo.  We found a nice place to watch the boats.  But the majority of the boats didn't come by our place.  They had a different route planned.  But it was still fun watching all of the participation.

Our next door neighbor was out on his son's boat.  They had attached 4 big flags to the back.  There was this man and his wife on the shore who had a great big trump sign - professionally made, maybe 4 ft x 8 ft.  The guy wore a full head mask of Clinton - His wife wore a full head mask of Hillary.   I thought it was a great bit.

I hate to be a person who is too  upbeat - so - my complaint, if indeed it is a complaint.   I loved that this many people show up to show support  You cannot beat that attitude.  But is a boat parade the best image to show.  Perhaps, next someone will have a private airplane parade - or a BMW car parade.   The dummycrats who are looking for anything to fuss about - well, this might help.   

At least the Republicans are saying who they are and what they believe in.  I'm thinking the opposition fails to admit their positions.  Why would anyone think Socialism is a smart path to follow;  I don't get it.  And the press - supporting socialist candidates - what is one of the first thing that a socialist government does?   They suppress the press.   I just don't get it.



Sunday, September 6, 2020

Backporch musings (i.e. misc. nonsense thinkings)

 It is a brilliant Sunday morning.  The sun is shining; the clouds are few; we have a nice little breeze off the lake.  All Sunday mornings should be this way.   I am now into my 8th month of sans choir robe.  Church choir was suspended (it seems) back in February.  When?  I cannot remember exactly.   

Education time: for those with little training in the musical or language arts -- "Sans" means without -- "Con" means with. Thus if you do not have a big gulp, you are sans big gulp.  No brain?  sans brain.  I first learned this sitting in a trumpet section when the music called for,  "con mute."  Nobody but Nobody knows why composers feels compelled to use the word "con."   [It is pronounced CONE like the ice cream.]  I've always held this theory that certain composers in an effort to be seen as musically brilliant feel the necessity of using as many Latin words  (or Italian and German) as possible.  Why say "soft" when you can write "piano?"   I realize it is just part of the system.  And, frankly, several times in church choir someone has asked me the meaning of some musical term.  Being an expert is not all bad.   Leonard Bernstein and Bach (etc.) those guys were true experts.  Me?  I'll do until those guys drop back by the porch

Don't want to bog down here, but another complaint is the person who must write music using B# and E# and Fb   and  Cb  and, Heaven forbit, double sharps and flats.  Life would be so much easier if their musical sensitivities were not affected by using the simple sharps and flats.  I don't care if you write a sharp sign when the key is in flats.  That doesn't bother me.  Moving on.


Our little 4 year old Sadie (sometimes I call her Satan)  has had a life lesson this week.  We were down the hill playing ball with Oscar when a small frog tried to get out of our way.  With my toe, I encouraged it to move under a tree.  Sadie was watching.   She has never spent a great deal of time with frogs.  This one was about an inch round.   Every time we see a frog I encourage Sadie to leave it alone.  I use such phrases as: "It's a nice frog." and "Leave it alone Sadie." and "Be nice to the little frog Sadie."   

Dogs learn certain words as they grow up.  Sadie knows her name - the word Eat -  and, of course, Squirrel.  There are others including the word Frog.  We have seen enough frogs to learn that word.   On this day, the frog hid beside the tree.  Sadie would go over and smell - jump back  - then creep forward to re-smell and jump back. (Jump back, turn around, pick a bale of cotton, Jump back, turn around, pick a bale of hay)  She reaches out with her left front paw and caresses the back of the frog.  I'm telling her to be nice and leave the frog alone.   "Nice Froggie."

Oscar barked at me to throw the ball.  I did.  As I turned my head back to Sadie, I think - I believe - Maybe, I'm not sure - Sadie grabbed the little frog in her mouth.  Quickly I moved to get the frog released.  As Sadie is wont to do, she immediately rolls on her back making it impossible to  grab her properly.  I shoved my fingers at the base of her jaw to open them.  That usually works ...  not this time.

I holler.  Jam my fingers.   All of a sudden her mouth becomes one big foam pit.   The frog has wet inside her mouth.  She jumped up and climbed the hill to the back porch.  Once there, Sadie turn around and spit something out of her mouth to the yard.  I have the picture now.  After four years of pawing little frogs, Sadie has learned what happens when you pick up a frog in your mouth.  You do know that I have never tried that myself.  There is something not quite right about asking a frog to wet inside your mouth.

By the time I moseyed up the hill - I never run up a hill anymore - Sweet Satan was spitting and pawing and spurting.   Dogs never seem to figure out that a big glass of water helps at times like this.  I looked and couldn't find hide nor hair of the little frog.  Now the question:  did Sadie learn a lesson?  Nah.  I am willing to bet that she will give another try to frog eating.

I betcha.


Short book report.  I watch Father Brown  on PBS TV when I can get a new episode.  He is cute with his housekeeper - rich young lady with car - Flambeau - and the local worthless police department.  The show is set around WWII.  I've written about this before.  I discovered the The Complete Father Brown Stories  by G.K. Chesterton in paperback and bought same.  It is about an inch + 1/2 thick with type point less than a two.  That is, I try to write this blog in a 12.  The 797 page book is waaayyyyy smaller print.  The stories were written in the early 1900s around WWI time.

Each story is about 15 pages in length.  He begins each story describing the day, time, weather, atmosphere, scenery and thoughts of some character.  A mystery evolves over several pages.  Then, like magic, Father Brown, oft times accompanied by his friend, ex-thief and now detective Flambeau,  will have a solution in less than a long paragraph or two.  The obvious solution is not obvious to the reader or other participants in that story.  And all is well.

If you like the TV series, you may wonder why you bought the book.  They truly are not similar in the slightest.  I've gotten to the point that I read a story or two, then, quickly move on to another book to cleanse my pallet.  My relief book is I'll Tell You a Tale-- An anthology by J. Frank Dobie.  It is an accumulation of his short stories and tales about the southwest - southwest Texas usually.  My wife gave me this book back in 2002 when I was still teaching.  I started and never finished it way back when.  Nice book.


Blog has stretched out too long for today.

Tomorrow, we may go over to the other part of the lake.  There is a boat parade for Trump.  People will be driving boats and waving Trump flags and American flags.  Nobody will be taking a knee.  I heard bit this week.  Stadiums should put a photo of Trump on their big TVs when they announce the  Star Spangled Banner along with the message:  "Please stand for the anthem or bow before Trump."   I thought that was cute.  Just imagine what flaming Liberals would try to make out of that.  Moving on.

later, Mtz

Thursday, September 3, 2020

short Rain extension

 We picked up another  2 1/2 inches - giving us somewhere near 8 1/2 inches of rain for the 2 days.  Rumor says we could get a bit more.  Living on top of my hill & not at the bottom inside the creek bed - it is good...certainly better.

For those who don't know - in the Panhandle where I was raised, there are few creeks or no rivers.  Instead water pools in low spots called Playa Lakes.  When it rains a bunch out there, the little lakes become big lakes and cause problems.  In Lubbock, South Plains Mall is built on one of these.  They lose a big section of their parking lot after a monsoon.   

Not so much here.   We have creeks and rivers.  The Richland-Chambers Lake is where the Richland Creek and the Chambers Creek meet as they rumble towards the Trinity River.  It can get quite wet between here and the Trinity.  I hear - no personal proof - that alligators live in the vicinity especially towards the River.  

All is good.  See ya, 


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Rain rain Rain rain + misc

 A few years ago our lake was down about 2 million feet.  You could walk from the normal shore out about 400 to 500 feet before you found the water's edge.  Cows from the other side of the lake would walk around and feast on your grass under the dry dock.  It was not the best of times for lake living.  As it turned out that time, we had a 14 inch rainfall in one day.  The rain fell here and up in our watershed.  The lake filled in one day.  That is a lot of water from the sky.

Fortunately, I have a nice lot with a long waterfront.  Many local lake owners have lots that are found up little inlets (creeks if you must).  When the lake goes down, those folks go dry in a short piece of time.  As it turned out, someone had built a Tank out from my shore - a Tank is nothing but a hole that collects water so the critters can drink.  When they built my dock, it went right over the top of the tank.  Thus, when my neighbors go dry, I still have a few feet of water.

Nooooo, I don't gloat.  It was pure luck because I certainly didn't know anything about this sort of thing when we arrived.  The tank showed up on a map that I saw of the lake.  

Still, when the water level goes way down, mine does too.   We sit and look at the sliver of shiny water far out to the east...and the cows.  It gives you a chance to work on the dock and clean stuff up that has accumulated under it.  I have found lots of stuff - nothing of real value.  Maybe if I had a metal detector, things would become more profitable...or maybe I could harvest a wandering cow.

Dry is not our problem this year.  The lake is up.  Sure, the local Navarro County officials voted in a ban on open fires.  That happened 2 weeks ago.  I have a small pile of branches and burnables (great word) waiting for a match.

Last night, let's say about 8:02, thunder shook us out of our complacency.  I quickly hustled the dogs out to the dog pit in hopes they would find relief - They really understand that our pit is for bladder relief.  Does that count as teaching them a trick?  Either way, we made it out and back inside before the deluge began,   Since last night we have had over six inches of rain.  Our rain gauge has markings up to 5 inches, then it has a 2 inch blue thing on top.   Water was coming over the top when I checked this morning at 8:30.  I'd guess that a number of 7 inches would be closer to accurate.

I emptied the rain gauge.  It has not quit raining all day.  It is not as hard as last night.  It is merely consistent.  The one advantage of living up the hill from the lake - we are not going to flood.  However, any day now, I expect my entire house to decide to ski down the hill into the lake.  Why not?  Houses can make these decisions.  Yes?  I do have the septic system fixed now.  What more can go wrong?


While I am ranting - let's mention coupons.  Our local paper, The Corsicana Daily Sun News, is about as worthless of a newspaper as they come.  The front page has a spattering of news -  there is a sports section, of course - 8, count them 8, comic strips - obits and official notices - one full page of religious news - a dear abby type thing - and a page devoted to comments, letters, editorials.  Our local sheriff has figured out the system and is featured every edition.  Apparently his people are doing a very fine job.  No complaints there.

When we first moved here, the paper was 6 editions a week for a certain subscription price.  Let's say about 4 or 5 years ago, the paper cut itself down to 4 editions a week - I believe it remained the same price.  This past summer - same price - they justified going to 2 editions a week:  Tuesday and Saturday, which has the Sunday funnies and Parade magazine.   Off and on, you can find an editorial about the woes of newspapers.

My thought is - as I heard a smart Methodist preacher say once - we need to spend / act for growth.  We don't need to cut back because that will create more cutbacks.  Growth brings more growth.  Our paper is cutting back.  It will be only a short time before they become a weekly moaning about problems.  Then, one of these days, some young whipper snapper will arrive in town and begin his own paper with an eye towards delivering actual news and more service to the customer.  The Daily Sun will be sold.

Haven't you seen this before?  I have.  Just imagine what would happen if less time were spent on editorials and more time was spent building readership and advertisements.   I'm too old and uninterested to help them.  All they need is one young whipper snapper to move to town.   

The heading above was coupons.  Each Tuesday, the local rag produces a free paper full of advertisements and coupons.  Why anyone pays money to put an adv. in this free "advertiser" is beyond me.  Who reads it.  Ours goes immediately into the paper pile - we save papers for my daughter to use under her rabbits.  The freebee and the local Tues. paper (both come out on the same day - go figure), these papers carry the same advertisements.   The coupons are from KFC, Burger King, Jack in the Box, Schlotzkees -(how do you spell that word?) - and maybe a couple others.

The coupons are bargains.   Buy one, get one free - dinner for 2 - buy a burger and get a free fry - it goes on and on.  It reminds me of:  "Jack Spratt could eat no fat; his wife could eat no lean; so together they licked the platter clean."  I like beef.  My wife likes chicken or salads.   There is never a coupon for buying one burger and getting chicken free.  It is always, buy one chicken and get another chick fer free.  

That, then, is my complaint.  give me a coupon that is usable for me - that is a bargain - with an expiration date after I get hungry.  KFC does this - but, it seems to me their prices have sky-rocketed. Maybe I'm just getting cheap and fussy in my old age.  Nope.  I've always been cheap and fussy.

take care.