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October 31, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Where’s the beef?

Dear German.

I am dictating this on the run. I saw it. Can’t deny it. It’s the tooth – I mean, the truth.

Veggies eat their young!

Inflatable pumpkin yard decoration.All rights reserved. No permissions granted. Copyrighted

Gobblers. Not just for Thanksgiving any more! ©

What if they aren’t satisfied with their own?

Halloween’s here! Holler-Ring activities are about to start!

Small children in odd misshapen outfits.

Easily confused with appetizers.

Staff just walks faster in the other direction. Says not to worry. They will all be gone soon.

Has exit transport been arranged?

inflatable Halloween yard decoration. Horse drawn hearse. (Gemmy)

Not your ordinary Chevy pickup.

Guess Uber does do special request vehicles.

Not sure how authorities dug up background checks on these drivers, though.

haunted carriage. (

Knock. Knock. Who’s there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad the end is approaching?

German, can’t mask the exhaustion.

No bones about it. This tale’s been waggin’ the dog.

Never been much of a fan of pulp fiction.

Fall back? Fall down. Don’t have to ask me twice.

Happy Holler-Ring, German and some very tired paw waves.

Molly, the Marvelous

 Previous correspondence of the 2014 Veggie Invasion:

all rights reserved. Copyrighted. No permissions granted. German Shepherd

Molly, “Wake me when it’s over.”
The German, “Wait. Did that one move? I think it moved. Definitely moved. You bark first.” ©

October 30, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Angry Veggies: Captured or Harvested?

Dear Molly,

Only the squirrels know the answer. OK. The early bird might. The worm could be turning.

You were right.

These Veggie Invaders certainly got sacked.

candy pumpkins in a bag. All rights reserved. No permissions granted. copyrighted

Bagged up as predicted. Lured by the sweet promise of honey.©

Spooky about veggies. Worried they know we’re on to them.

Researchers eavesdropped on some Arabidopsis, and discovered that thale cress practices Chemical warfareOnce annoyed, the plants even arm themselves to protect against future attacks.

Whole new meaning for “chemical plant”.

Time to round up some Plant Whisperers?

Oh, bad word choice. “Locate”, not “Roundup“.

Could be misinterpreted.

Just in case they are monitoring, best not to escalate things.

Looks like a real horror story growing.

Strange things snort of normal around Holler-Ring.

(And some just stick around….)

Pencil plant and pumpkin. all rights reserved, copyrighted, No permissions granted

Spies or diplomats? What are they planning? They are obviously discussing something. And that tall one? She’ll grab you the moment your back is turned. Ask any neighborhood kid.

Keep an eye on the bulging orange Veggie Invaders.

Who knows what they are cooking up.

Hope all the veggies you bag are tasty, Oh they may be listening co-opoerative ones.

And the rest of the veggies soon bundle themselves up and haul out of here. Chop. Chop.

Yours in fur,

The German.

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Paws for peace.







Catch up with the Vegetable Invasion 

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Veggies: friend or foe? Seasonal worries for The German.©

October 29, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Floating out Veggie hypothesis

Dear German,

A major grocery store mystery may have been revealed during this recent veggie invasion.

Staff is always bringing home food in packages. Like fish, nuts, raisins, and figs.

That’s weird.

I guess these fish are too cold so they don’t need to swim around and are content in the freezer.

And maybe the squirrels are entrepreneurs who gather the nuts, bag them, then sell them? Squirrels always seem too busy to play. Small businesses take a lot of time and effort.

There figs that grow on the trees across the fence, so why not just pick them? Why buy them in bags?

Does packaging subdue the wildness in veggies?

During my patrols, I’ve noticed some transformations going on with the orange vegetables invaders.

Take a look.

Some seem to be shrinking, shriveling, and drying up.

Head and shoulders of ghoul screaming. Halloween yard decoration

Raising yowl-a-ween screams? Does he fear boxing? Wrestling with that perhaps. ©

Is this where raisins come from?

Staff was overheard saying all of them would be boxed up soon.

It’s difficult to say if that’s horror or total surprise on that shriveled invader-soon-to-be raisin’s face.

On your advice, I am keeping a sharp eye on developments.

Right now it looks like the veggies’ future is up in the air.

Pumpkins hangings from trees in yard.all rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighte

Infestation or vacation destination? They show up year after year. Their numbers, increasing.©

Pumpkins hanging from trees by road. all rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighted

Veggies with levitation skills! Spooky potential. .©

Tree decorated with pumpkins at edge of field. All rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighted.

Deer’s eye view? (The deer are ghosts in morning fog as they graze behind this tree) What do they talk about? ©

Holler-Ring approaches

Yours in paws,

Molly, the Marvelous Malamute

Previous Holler-Ring posts about the Vegetable Invasion:

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Molly. So exhausted from the extra surveillance. ©





October 27, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Storied Ledge.

It was a long way down. The wind buffeted her as she stood wavering.

On the edge. Unable to turn around. Tattered.

They seemed a perfect pair.

Had done everything together: tailgating, outdoor concerts, Fourth of July fireworks, fishing.

Once he had been so proud of her – when she was stable.

To be part of his fast crowd, one needed to be flexible. Able to travel at a minute’s notice.

Young actress 1918 Carmel Myers/Photoplay Mag/

Unable to bend, she folded. (1918 Carmel Myers/Photoplay/

She rode the dream, but became unraveled.

Not able to support her assigned load at parties and events.

Started feeling shaky.

It became too much. He had to carry her.

That didn’t sit well with him.

His friends began to notice – to snicker. To offer another.

She saw him on the computer. Trolling for what, he wouldn’t say.

Then there was that picture on his phone. He didn’t think she knew.

red folding chair. Outdoors Canopy Chair

Scarlet hussy.(

She reached out her arms, but could no longer hold him.

How could he just walk away?

Leave her alone, ripped and torn apart.

Now she stood looking – judging the distance.

This time of year the water wouldn’t be very cold.

Maybe the wind would have pity and lift her gently over the edge.

Then she could fold into herself and softly sink watching the thinning bubbles float above her.

Broken canvas folding chair huddled on the edge of the bulkhead.all rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighted

Depression sometimes manifests itself in unkept appearance. ©

Only one thing was stopping her: that promise.

She had promised she’d never let herself become a stick in the mud.

Somehow that has held her on the banks.

(We have tried to comfort her. Offering to shelter her from the wind.

But she said “No, if – no, when he comes back, I have to be here.”

We can only watch. And call his mom to tell him to do the decent thing and go pick her up.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Chair on the brink. No permissions granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted.

Chair on the brink. Hold on a little longer! Hope the heartless one comes to his senses soon. ©





October 24, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Don’t Take the Runt.

Boy in funny hat. 1923 Mickey Daniels/ Dogs of War film/Hal Roach for Pathe/US PD:

Cute and clever. All that counts. (1923 Mickey Daniels/US PD:

It’s all talk  – that adoration of perfection. No one really seems to desire it.

Don’t show any clue. Look sullen and out of focus, Word. You’ll have a better chance.

Don’t deny it.

Like that kid in the class that always knows the answer: wildly waving arms. Overlooked. Repeatedly. Until defeated.

Is that the goal? “Put you in your place smarty pants.”

I know. Asking questions is a classroom behavior management technique to keep students on task  and maybe provides feedback of information delivery to a rare perceptive teacher.

But you know how it seems to that kid desperately waving – hoping. Confused.

Isn’t whole point of asking to find the answer that fits perfectly?

It’s all talk. So, words fare even worse.

Silent. Defenseless. Words can only wished to be picked.

To make their families proud.

To settle in the right spot where they shine to perfection.

Cinderella sitting on hearth. 1889.Cinderella / Blue Fairy Book. J.Hood,illustrator/USPD:

Cinderella searched for words. Where was her fella?(1889.Blue Fairy Book/J.Hood,illustr. /

Perfect doesn’t always get picked.

Like the pretty high school girl who sits home alone because the boys are too intimidated to approach. So she sits. Hoping.

Words, by nature, are not going to be assertive.

No protesting or rioting demand their place.

Confident in their identity, they wait to be noticed.

Naive that people will select the best tool for the job.

No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyrighted.

Twins separated at earth. ©

Reality is cruel.

That one is too hard to spell.

This one? Too old.

Another one avoided because someone might get hurt feelings.

Or too fancy.

Too snooty. Better pick the one more relevant to the community.

Oh, this meaning is close enough.

Need to turn message in this direction.

Sounds smart. No one will really check it.

Too many letters. Won’t fit the  headline space. Find a shorter one.

Meanings amputated by society. By the very ones who should champion the “perfect” word. 

Somehow shoes manage to get more careful selection than words.

(Know they have soles, but still, they are simply heels.)

In an era when dogs and ghost writers of shallow celebrities get publisher picked before words finely crafted, Words must feel crushed. Shelved. Set aside.

all rights reserved, no permissions granted. copyrighted

Sky dancers offer a free performance ©

Champions of thought, words are not leaving the field.

Always the rebels. Seeking out the seekers.

Whispering about treasures, glories, knowledge, and understanding.

Minions will be initiated and indoctrinated.

The battle has been fought before.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but only words can explain why.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

no permissions granted all rights reserved. copyrighted

Building storms warn the little island on the afternoon before the trees were all cut, the deer moved, and the bunnies fled. ©

October 22, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

A haunting. Ending in waves.

No walk in the park. It’s almost Halloween.

No soft playful breezes.Winds demanding attention. Sending a message.

All those waves. Endless waves.

She smooths the wrinkles in her damp skirts. Time for that little chat with the neighbors.


Let the Sun turn towards others eager to worship and bake. (She’s cooked enough).

Fine. It’s almost Halloween.

Every lady guards her little secrets.

The Invalid (Lang,1814-1893. Brooklyn Museum, Public domain: life of artist+100yrs/photo reprod.

Beauty is always a little mysterious. (Lang,1814-1893/USPD/

Becoming a ghost town. Perfectly seasonal. Hauntingly quiet.

No walk in the park now.

When the water turns blue-ish….

When the seaweed is pretty much gone….

When the birds greatly outnumber the people….

When the circus has left town. The tacky trinket shops boarded. Carnival rides, silenced.

When the dunes sigh in relief.

Now is the time for the beach. By quiet invitation only. 

Don’t worry.

We’ve told her you’re with us. Molly will vouch for you.

Beach permissions granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Path through dunes covered with blooming sweet-smelling plants.  ©

After the summer season, you can drive on some Galveston beaches. This van was a family with home schooled kids. Wonder which treasures they discovered.

empty beach. No permissions granted. ALl rights reserved. Copyrighted

Ah. There is it. True luxury. Long stretches of empty beach. ©

This coloring is pretty accurate. The water more blue with a north wind. Summer brings muddy river runoff and sandy coastal shelf stirred up by Gulf storms – so the water is trendy wall paint beige.  Even better, the water is no longer as warm as a baby’s bath. Cool damp sand is the perfect track.

waves on beach. no permission granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Hear the waves? Or are those whispers of watery graves. ©

Normally Molly loves to swim, but she refuses to put one paw in that water – not really trusting the wet sand. Although a scampering little crab is worth chasing into it’s home…and “What? Drop the jelly fish? No? A tiny bit of seaweed? Unidentified object as souvenir?”

Shorebirds wading. All rights reserved. No permission granted. Copyrighted

Appetizers are served. (And litter dropped inland washes down and ends up here. Guilt trip: Look at those little birdies!) ©

Look on the horizon. See that white dot? That’s the anchorage where large vessels wait for a Ship Chanel Pilot to come on board. Or to wait their turn to enter the Houston Ship Channel. Or to wait until your cruise ship passenger is cleared from having Ebola and the boat can sail up to the docks. (How’s that for a scare?)

Gulf Waves on Galveston beach. No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyrighted

Endless waves. Over and over. hauntingly relentless. Is that a tanker anchored out there or a ghost ship? ©

Not scary dolphins live out there and will swim along with your boat. The shy small sharks are rarely encountered by people unless you step on them accidentally near the shore. Not really Jaws material.

There are nightmares though.

Offshore rigs are annoying visually and if sailing offshore you need to note their locations – especially at night. But they are rather large, don’t move, and underwater environments develop around them.

Good spots for fishermen. If you find yourself on a sinking boat – or pulled offshore by undertow/current – swim towards a rig. They’ll manage to get you out and call  for transport. Meanwhile, maybe they’ll feed you. Off shore cooks are some of the best. Face it. These guys are stuck out there. There has to be perks. (Lovely ear muffs, too. Terribly loud)

Flock of shore birds along Galveston's sand dunes. all rights reserved. No permission granted. Copyrighted

Dinner time? The birds were all busy and not at all distracted or disturbed by other creatures – even if they looked funny and seemed to snuffle and shuffle rather than fly©

Seaweed invasion? Not much left. The birds seem to delight in it, though.

If you look really really hard, past the sand dunes, there are several large construction cranes working to enlarge the UTMB-Galveston Medical School and regional hospital complex.

Don’t worry. That’s on the higher back side of the Island near the Strand. If there’s a hurricane, those buildings are where you want to go for shelter – even the parking garages. (Although the cars do bounce and get shoved around by winds) Survived multiple hurricanes over the years. Built for it.

Great ER, too – as lots of tourists find out. Many of the Texas prisoners are sent here for treatment. Quite a range of interesting clients.

Established in 1891. Ashbel Smith building called Old Red. UTMB-Galveston ( screenshot)

Ashbel Smith building, called “Old Red”. Galveston’s Medical School was established in 1891.(

Talk about horrors worthy of a movie script.

Most people were totally unaware this is one of the major infectious disease research labs. Ebola? That’s nothing. The Galveston National Lab, a 10-year-old Level 4 Biosafety Facility, has the most interesting construction and closed air system. No problem incinerating toxic materials/wastes. As one expert said ” If the people and equipment at UTMB and the Galveston National Lab can’t handle Ebola, God help us all.”

UTMB's Galveston National Lab (

UTMB’s Galveston National Lab (

Today UTMB-Galveston was designated today as one of the two Texas Treatment and Bio Containment Facilities for Infectious Diseases. This complex has always had a specialized isolation treatment unit/room right off the ER – completely isolated from the rest of the hospital. That’s being expanded. Ebola cases in TX will be transferred to Galveston or Dallas’ UT-Southwestern (With their infectious disease research labs/Parkland Hospital).

shore bird in Galveston surf. No permissions granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Shore bird considering Galveston’s afternoon surf ©

You can surf in Galveston. Maybe not here today, but there are places. (No, I will not reveal where. Crowded enough.)

Victorian beach house in Galveston. No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyrighted

One of the new build Victorian beach houses in Galveston’s Beachtown area. (It’s not leaning, Molly was pulling the leash. But it does look more spooky this way.) ©

What’s this? Movie set for some chainsaw slasher film?

Actually this architecture isn’t out of place.

Galveston is loaded with old Victorians houses and cottages that have been restored – or at least saved. Lots of them have ghosts. Not only have hurricanes stormed in, lots of social/family dramas played out over the years. And there were pirates. And cannibal Indians (Although it’s said that was all ritualistic, not dietary. Who would know? Chatted with any Karankwans recently? Fierce tribe.)

Anyway, there are walking tours of haunted places like the Strand and the Opera House. Spooky visits to large haunted mansions. And terrifying tales aboard the tall masted ship, Elissa. Galveston is Halloween’s port of call. Rumored to be the Most Haunted City in America.

Beachtown development is on East Beach – outside the sea wall right on the beach. Being outside the Galveston’s seawall would scare me as a home owner, but great for tourists’ rentals. This part of the island is actually growing beach every year. Has to do with the currents, jetties, and Houston Ship Channel currents.

Galveston beach. No permissions granted, all rights reserved. copyrighted.

Wind always comes up in late afternoon. The wind surfers and sail boarders appear after work. ©

Time to head back before it gets too late.

Things lurk in the dark. Ouchie on bare feet

Galveston’s one of those dangerous exotic ladies whose charms easily entwine.

“The coast is clear, please return. The water is blue. The seaweed gone. And the birds out number the people.”

Nothing like sea and shore in October.

Endless waves endlessly calling.

One of my favorite haunts.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Afternoon at Galveston's beach. All rights reserved. No permissions granted. Copyrighted

Endless waves. Good as a walk in the park. Healthier than Prozac








October 20, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wayward sockies. Blowhard Vegetable Invaders.

Dear Molly,

It’s not what it looks like.

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Although Holler-Ring approaches, this is not, I repeat NOT, a costume trial run. Who could run in these? ©

Your recent letter cheered me. As you can see, I am floored at the moment.

I was going about Realm’s business when I spotted some of Person’s disorderly sockies.  Worried the pair was attempting to slip under the door and slid down the hall without benefit of feet, I gathered them onto the couch and sat on them to keep them warm, cuddlie, and contented until Person returned.  There is no tooth truth to the rumor I was attempting to mouth them soak stains out resulting in dampness.

More disturbing is that Person misinterpreted the scene as a wish for sockies of my own. She seemed so willing to share that I didn’t have the heart to protest. Somehow I must discover a way to jerk these darn things off without tearing them diplomatically decline her gift.

Sigh. Being RC of the Realm is much more difficult than expected.

Perhaps that is why the RC is usually a cat.

Are there some ancient cat secrets about telekinesis and brainwashing mental telepathy with people? If so, no point in asking them to share. Cats.

But to respond to your inquiries, yes, it appears the Vegetable Invasion is growing.

Halloween inflated yard pumpkins. all rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighted

Giant orange vegetable seem overjoyed to be under authoritative paws. (Something to crow about there.)

The infestation is even worse here.

Just like rats that get abnormally large around wharfs, the orange vegetables rolling around the neighborhood must be rooted in something ultra rich.  Or possibly bloating up on designer mulch and remodeling dust?

No attempt to appear insignificant, these giant vegetable are full of themselves. Their odd whooshing calls hum loudly in the night air.

While these vegetables may only be blowhards, it would be wise not to get too close. Many seem to be quivering with energy and ready to bounce.

I advise stomping aggressively when near them.

Nose up, ears back, and lip hinting at teeth ready.

Even if Staff is mesmerized and tries to stop, keep walking briskly showing no fear concern. No tail wagging at the people smiles. We must make wise decisions for Staff when confronted by possible rows with veggies.

Just as a precaution, here are some tutorials from the Hard Dog Fast Dog Competition.

If events go as usual, the orange lumps should quickly disappear after Holler-Ring.

These veggies invaders may be frightened by large numbers of costumed children running and yelling in the dark.

Or are even allergic to wafting turkey dinner smells.

Still training is a wise a precaution, in case some linger and appear to be the rotten sort.

Be brave, dear Molly. I am confident you have the skills to turn away any intruding vegetables if necessary. You can tell me. That cat’s hiding on the top shelf in the closet again, right?

Now I must close. This sockie issue must be politely resolved.

No possibility of showing a powerfully veggie-terrifying strut in purple sockies.

No way to hit that 32 mph of the competition runs.

Can’t even get across the hardwood floor to the food bowl without risking foot loose.

How to break it to Person?

Sigh. As I said, being RC of the Realm is much more difficult than expected.

Yours in fur,

The German

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Paws for peace.







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