“A patch of blue in the clouds that’s a big as a Dutchman’s britches, means a fine day’s coming.”
Tired of our whining, they’d send us out to sky watch.
To look with hope.
Most likely, to get us far as possible out of their earshot.
No doubt wishing we’d fly away and get out from underfoot.
When a bright blue patch ripped through the overcast sky this morning, expectations rose.
Spring breakers to be happily rewarded with short-sleeves and outdoor events.
The newest boy band arrived in town.
Prancing and dancing.
Toying with little hearts.
Their stage show would put Elvis to shame.
But as often in life, there’s darkness just around the corner.
He was so still.
His rich cloak spread across the lawn as if he’d been completely taken by surprised.
As if he’d been flying high – then suddenly, unexpectedly, a switch was flipped.
A prince of the sky, a Great Horned Owl.
The blush of life not yet dull.
Molly, the wild Malamute, with great caution and dignity, quietly approached. Gently removed a branch that lay across him.
She stepped back.
Hoping he was only held down by the branch.
He was free now. No?
Come, we must go on.
A hole in the sky.
It was for him.
Final approach granted.
A hole in the heart, my own.
And we, left, fly on.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Cuts are worrisome.
More than unusual, these.
Some will say unnatural, undesirable, unexpected, and unwanted.
Heard of bushes trimmed and trained into trees, but the reverse cut?
Inspired by the Wizard of Odd?
Good sized oak trees, the sprawling kid-climbing kind, are being hacked into something entirely different.
Cartoons of real life.
You can sense their embarrassment.
While most homeowners are now thinning their trees’ canopies in preparation for hurricane season, the tree’s natural growth pattern is respected. The wind just needs to be able to blow through easily to keep tree from being ripped out of the ground and landing on the house.
Here’s one with a whole different agenda?
An identifying mark so friends can find his house?
Is it like kings of old creating monuments to themselves?
He and his wife do proudly sport a similar manipulated hair styles: permed strawberry-blond bubbles. Like the Bobbsey Twins, they are. Now their trees match them and their little dog, too!
It’s a tree! If you want a topiary, cut it out and plant a bush!
The tree roots shall have their revenge. Especially the well fertilized ones.
All that growth energy has to go somewhere.
Talk about crazy cut ups, how about those food vendors at the Houston Rodeo Midway?
Bacon was all the rage in years past. Still popular is the bacon covered Texas Squeeler Cinnamon Roll. There’s the HEB Better Than Good Bacon Jam and some recipes for that agave nectar and bacon combination. Chocolate covered bacon, bacon wrapped turkey legs, bacon cotton candy – they’re all there!
But for dessert, nothing beats a big gooey wedge of pecan pie. Pretty messy.
Solved: Fried Pecan Pie on a stick. (outrageous rodeo foods.)
A hefty slice of pie stabbed with a stick, dipped in pancake batter, placed in hot clear vegetable oil until golden brown. Ready to dip in syrup or a shake of powdered sugar if desired.
Some purists – and healthy eaters – may wince and say “Just put a stake in my heart.” Or was that “steak”?
No matter. Lots of choices. Pick your poison, as they say. Chopped up just for you.
Now for one cut from a different cloth: George Strait.
The Texas honky-tonk singer is getting an award from Park Cities Quail, a wildlife conservation group focused on research and preservation of quail.
The game birds need friends in both high and low places.
In 1967 there were about 31 million bobwhite quail. Today estimates place the numbers around 5.5 million.
And it’s not all due to habitat destruction or hunting. Cutting the flocks is an eye worm. A blood sucking nematode parasite that stays in the bird until it dies. Researchers at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch are trying to figure out how to kill the worm and save the bird.
The event where Strait will be awarded the T.Boone Pickens Lifetime Award has been sold out since Christmas raising more than $6600,00 for quail research.
George is more that just a pretty face that draws bucks.
Well, on his ranch he does that, too. Ones with four legs.
He grew up country and appreciates that kind of wild life, too. Wildlife biologist Macy Ledbetter has worked with him for over many years improving habitat and ranch management.
So Strait seems to be cut out to be a conservationist as well as a country music legend.
He says he’s always amazed to get awards for doing stuff he loves: country music and taking care of the land.
He must be pretty sharp.
As the weak comes to an end, the most unkind cut of all: Day Light Savings Time!
Talk about undesirable!
Slashing sleep for mass populations, unwise?
Time to cut out,
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
A court of games.
Sympatico or ridiculoso?
Behind door number one: “Worst Double Date Ever”"
A good start, but quickly drove downhill.
What to do? Trip to the mall? (Yawn) Knockout games so passé. Extreme adventure? Yes!
The challenge that night? To rob and murder a cab driver? And then go on a shopping spree! Just like in the movies. Ah, the thrills.
The cabbie probably felt safe that late in a “good neighborhood.” But thrill seekers, and those who see crime as a career choice, know which zip codes offer the best pickings. Shots fired. Innocent man dead. And four finally arrested and in jail.
Obviously the date didn’t go exactly as planned.
Hey judge, the community thanks you for not giving bail. One guy had been released Dec 31, 2013 after serving 7 years for aggravated robbery.
Total disregard for the law. Probably didn’t even run a criminal background check when they sold that gun in the alley.
Sorry, girls, not the reality show roles you envisioned.
A few justice system suggestions?
- All four be permanently banned nationally from dating and mating sites.
- No registrations allowed on Sugar Daddy-Sugar Baby websites.
- Participation totally forbidden on “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” shows.
Wouldn’t be right to mix these sharks in with the amateurs.
Behind courtroom door number 2: “Night out. Hard landing”.
Even amateur high school drinkers know about designated drivers right now. Law enforcement is out in force with Mardi Gras ending and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo just out of the chute.
Rodeo Houston is a huge party – mostly concerts, show animals, food, and boutiques, than dirt stomping buckaroos. All raising money for college scholarships. Run by huge army of local volunteers who work year round.
Everyone designates a driver. Ever consider hiring a nanny? That could change.
Last year a 64-year-old long time volunteer on the show’s board and the leader of the Western Art Committee, had a few and a few more. Hitched a ride on one of the show’s golf carts across the parking lot. While weaving in and out of crowds, the golf cart driver made a sharp turn and this lady fell out on her head. Now she’s unresponsive in a nursing home. Her family is suing.
Suing all sorts of people: The rodeo (Who does feel just terrible.She’s one of their own), the driver (another rodeo volunteer), the cart manufacturer for lack of seat belts, the company that customized/stretched the golf cart, the company that originally designed the golf cart, the company that marketed the golf cart, the people that distributed the golf carts …..
Somebody’s at fault. Toss it all up and see what sticks.
Planning to get drunker than Cooter Brown? Might consider:
- Hiring a personal attendant to watch over you as well as designating a driver.
- Swapping boots and rodeo glam for one of those Sumo fat suits so you just bounce.
- How about a giant hamster ball? It would eliminate those irritating drunks spilling beer down your back.
- Or will they start hand out crash helmets along with the drink wrist bands?
Someone ought to do something to protect people. Assumed risk, my goat!
Behind courtroom door number 3: “Oh, rats, my darling.”
Grandparents spoil kids. It’s their job. So when a 10-year-old boy asked for a groom for his cute little lady rat pet, granny bought one from Petco in San Diego. A little over ten days later, the boy was dead.
The fever, severe stomach pains, lethargic responses, and paleness wasn’t the flu. No one realized it was streptobacillus moniliformis infection, rat-bite fever, until after the autopsy.
Rarely fatal and easily cured by antibiotics like penicillin, the disease is spread by contact with infected rats, mice, or gerbils. The CDC lists health warnings and recommendations for those handling rats. Advises discussions with doctors before buying a rat as a pet as there are inherent dangers.
The distraught parents are suing Petco for selling an infected rat and killing their son.
Petco, who supposedly posts information online and in stores about rat-bite fever, is pointing the finger at their contractor who supplies the rats and is responsible for making sure rats are healthy and have had all vaccinations. Unfortunately an infected rat may show little sign of sickness.
Those “free range” rats some apartment dwellers call news stations about, are they misunderstood and simply trying to help the occupants get ahead of the pet trend?
People, maybe not so?
Smart to understand what health hazards a pet brings into the home whether it’s a dog, cat, turtle, or rat. Even smarter, if someone gets sick, to mention the pet to the doctor. A pet-related possibility?
Well, luckily, there’s always someone to sue.
That’s all on the docket today.
Games now in your court.
Tears? Jeers? Or maybe both.
Hope all your briefs are legal.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
You brought flowers.
Now as wilted as my hopes.
You brought warmth.
Now waking hours as cold as my bed.
You brought long lyrical walks.
Now all roads lead one way to desolation.
You whispered of morning bird songs.
Now only silence echoes.
Bewildered. Barren. The starkness stings.
They say “Set them free and they will return – to stay forever.”
That I will not ask.
Something you are cannot give.
And truth be known, I would grow tired of you.
Your energy, your lightheartedness, your games
Eventually with my retreat to the shadows.
But for a while we would be enamoured of each other.
Companions entwined with overflowing joy.
So cruel, Spring. Breezing in with whispered promises only abruptly disappear.
Are you teasing another?
Cold hearted flirt.
Waiting with ready forgiveness.
You always want what you cannot have.
Tears frozen. Not falling.
Unlike the darn temperature: 77 yesterday – 27 today.
Spring, with your little high school girl antics, Got a Sugar Daddy elsewhere?
Taking bribes from the cruise industry?
Unchill my heart…and toes.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Yesterday: sun with little spring notes. Guess those were just “save the date” cards.
The outdoors is open – temporarily. Think of it as a preview.
The wind is already announcing the next episode of grim and grey .
(Little break for commercial or recreational reasons.)
So what are you waiting for?
Balls to throw and chases to run. Yards to fertilize.
Bushes to eat.
Yes. Bushes. Eaten.
The Molly has taken to heart the RC’s instructions to make herself useful.
To learn a skill that benefits the Realm.
She has decided to apprentice herself to learn landscaping. In particular, hedge trimming.
After carefully observing staff using clippers and recognizing those tools require thumbs, she is nothing if not resourceful.
That frontier spirit
Make do with what you have.
Teeth. Sharp ones.
A short cut to the back corner has been long desired.
For security reasons. Increase ease of patrolling the perimeter.
Voila! Engineered over a few weeks, job now completed: a tunnel worthy of a fast-footed Malamute.
In final form, large enough for even a visiting German who is most appreciative. (Guests must be made to feel welcomed and comfortable, right?)
So much easier to play round-the-palm-tree-down the fence-line-and-out tag now.
What next? Future projects already under consideration.
Unfortunately, gnawing a tunnel through the wall to the front porch has been discouraged.
Certainly would discourage that grey lump pretending to be a cat from sleeping there.
Nothing feels as good as being a productive member of society.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.