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March 24, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Muse or Dunderhead. Chick edition

The wings of inspiration elusive to some, but not to all.

Possibilities swoop right into their arms.

Can you hear me now? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Anxious her non-verbal son was adrift after high school graduation, Sharon Meaden looked for something to anchor him. A thoughtful muse placed a jumbled box of old trophies in her path.

And what house doesn’t have piles of those sitting around these days with “Everyone is a winner”?

The hint was all it took.

Recycle, reuse, and never toss any person away.

Carrying that idea, she met with another mom, Foster Thompson, whose son has Cerebral Palsy. They had met previously through Special Olympics.

The idea quickly turned into a company, Revived Glory Awards, which for the past 4 years has provided a market-competitive product assembled by a team of ambitious, productive young people with who aren’t your average employees.

A delightful story.  And if you want to rid yourself of those old trophies, they will be glad to help with that.

Watch the video. It’ll make you smile. “Trophy revival company provides a place for work for disabled adults.”

Dressed as Greek Muse. Actress Florence Baker.1908 Burr McIntosh Monthly. (USPD: artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Seriously, wardrobe? Belted bed sheets? Not an amused Muse here. Get my agent on the line.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Girls may just wanna have fun, but none want skinned up knees. Or have their mother yelling “Get outta the street.”

Tired of the terrible sidewalk she had to take to school, the second grader sat down a wrote a letter to Houston’s mayor.

Worried, he’d not pay attention, she offered some refreshments that they could ride their bike to while examining the sidewalks. And if he didn’t have a bike (which he does), her mom could drive them.

“8-year-old girl asks Mayor Turner for help” 

Smiles for her mom who gushes that they gave her a civics lesson. “I knew that it was so cute and funny that the mayor would have to respond…” (A little fretting that “so cute” is praised more than her initiative, problem solving, and determination. Really hope the kid doesn’t think “cute” is all a female needs to get noticed, be effective, and to accomplish something.)

Cheers for the mayor for a quick, polite reply.

And for immediately forwarding the request to Public Works who promptly told the kid it’ll be 3-9 months before the repair is made.

Welcome to the real Dunderworld.

Woman seated with lute.Muse of Music.Ehrardt, 1813-1899. USPD.artist life, reprod of PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org)

What? If they can’t stand the sweets, get out of the bar.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Social Media can be as brutal as a cock fight.

But the whimsical owner of Fluff Bake Bar used posted rude and weird comments as inspiration for a weekly Saturday bake sale.

Cooks know if you’re handed lemons, make lemonade.

“Made with hate”. Local bakery makes light of odd Yelp reviews

Treats and t-shirts. That’s pretty sweet.

Wait! Rebecca Masson, is also known locally as “The Sugar Fairy” or “The Sugar Hooker”, is a bit famous – been on the Bravo Network…

Not taking things too seriously is a winning recipe for life.

More smiles, less dundering.

Amusing possibilities

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Oh, OK. If feeling ugly and just have to snarl at something, some real Dunderheads:

Woman holding head. Dramatic Muse. after 1802. Wilhelm von Schadow.Museum Kunstpalast (USPD. artist life/Google Art PRoject/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Easy to lose your head with an overly dramatic woman tired of the dundermess. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

 

March 22, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Swings over troubled waters

Swings silhouetted against lake and blue skies with clouds. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Thoughts silhouetted against lake and blue sky. (All rights reserved, no permissions granted©)

Swings let you ride the waves.

Open invitation to fly free from ground crumbling.

Into the wind. Towards, well, nothingness.

Restraints left behind – if only in the mind.

If only temporary.

Disengagement.

Have you noticed time disappears when you swing? 

Sometimes, like today, you just want to leave it all – gravity, sensibility, reality.

Clean clear break  – if only for that split second at the very top of that sweeping arc – free.

Before that backwards pull down.

Those chains restraining.

But that brief instant. That other worldly elation. That fling into the bright blue sky.

Enough to make you kick harder to get back there.

Story of humanity.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Our thoughts are with those in London and the families of the injured.

.

(Also wishing to be safe and sound: Capone the dognapped German Shepherd in Aurora, CO  is cleared to return to his family – with manageable restrictions. Story here. Only a dog, but important to his family. Thanks to all who helped.)

Sometimes good happens.

Find a swing.

Dock at Clear Lake Park. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

A dock or pier will do if a swing can’t be found. A small finger into depths of water. An eyelash into the sky. Cloak yourself in their companion, the wind. And breathe.         (All rights reserved. No permissions granted.©)

 

March 21, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Stop crying wolf

Scary man's face. Boris Karloff The Mummy .The Mummy. Universal Studio (USPD: pub.date.1932 )Commons.wikimedia.org

Now THIS is scary. Should DNA be requested? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The truth is out there.

Will it make a difference.

DNA results show he’s a real dog. Not a bad thing in this instance.

Capone, the profiled black shepherd in Aurora, Co., isn’t a wolf according to the DNA results.

Case closed? Not yet.

While Capone is still being held against his will, his owners, the Abbatos, will be back in court Wed morning to face several charges including: having an aggressive animal, having a dog run at large, and keeping an exotic, wild, or dangerous animal.

The Judge will determine whether Capone will be returned to his loving family, stay in custody, or even be put down by Animal Control.

At least there’s no possibility of the 10-year-old dog who sleeps with kids being shuttled off to a wolf sanctuary to face a wild he’s never known. They are 100% not his people.

How long will the city of Aurora drag this out.

RV pups and local hikers with pack are waiting to see if they need to make a wide circle of avoidance around the dognapping city this summer.

Story was even in the UK Daily Mail.

Over 23,061 signatures on the Change.org petition “Please Bring Capone Home”

Example of barking up the wrong tree.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Just about everyone has memories of a pet dog – even if it’s just Lassie.

“Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.” (Saul Bellow)

postcard. 1917. Loyal Dog guarding beer stein. "This beer belongs to my master" USPD.pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.oerg)

So here’s something to put in memory: Nothing is more loyal or more grateful than a rescue dog. It says, “This beer belongs to my master.” There. Dog on duty. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.oerg)

 

 

March 20, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Rummaging

Bunny and chick Easter toys ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

“I know you are no Spring chick, but is there any hop to getting outta here?”©

Ever thought how similar blogs and garage sales are?

An assortment of goods piled topsy-turvy – with the not so goods wedging hopping to escape notice (or just hoping for an escape to elsewhere)

You know the nagging clutter or diamond in the rough all now tagged, priced and spaced out on the table

  • Thought it might be something, but turned out to be nothing.
  • Brought to the table as it was such a deal or oddity. It screamed, “Take me home!” (Now you just scream…)
  • Handed off by a relative or good friend. “You’ll find a use for this.” (Awkward. How many months do you have to wait before they forget?)
  • The “Hot Potato” and you’re end of the line in the game. (A family treasure now the curse of being the designated keeper.How did it survive all those years?)
  • Or it’s just trend over. Item out of season. (Everyone knows if you put out seasonal stuff when people are thinking of that holiday, you’ll get a better number for it.)

All of it sits sullenly. In sight. Like underwear on a clothesline.

Silently grumbling about neglect and being let down. Stuffed in boxes or forgotten in files.

  • Smudged and crumpled. (Post-it notes were never meant to be archival materials)
  • Cryptic symbols, abbreviations, and jumbles of words clinging in drafts. (What exactly was that supposed to say)
  • Mismatched tidbits of in “Bookmarks”, ripped news clippings tucked under the keyboard, an odd picture or two saved in photos. (What will archeologists, or more likely relatives, make of all of this someday?)

Fleeting – or freeing – thoughts grasp with tendrils just like all those objects in a garage sale.

You know how it goes. At first you’re tough, hard-hearted, and cold. Culling.

But then, as you meander through them, you know you can’t help it.

Quietly snatching back this and that.

Not quite ready to let go yet. There’s something – something- still there. (Certainly the value not recognized by others. Just look how they carelessly toss them aside and go on!)

Like a mother dog gathering up her pups at the end of the day and returning them to snuggle and warm against her at night, writers and bloggers wrap up the small misshapen sentences, the half-baked ideas, and the words that are still bouncing that won’t calm down and get in line – all the vague and imprecise ones curl tightly against the wordsmith exhausted, but happily waiting for their world to be spun.

Priceless is in the rummaging eye,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Bunny and chick Easter wind up toys. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

“I can’t help but think you’re getting all wound up over nothing.”©

March 17, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Greening for Irish Ayes.

Closeup and personal with Dollar weed in lawn ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

“Quiet. Keep your head down and try to look skinny to fit in,” a mother dollar weed cautions her twins about life in the lawn. “Danger lurks at every spin of the blade or crush of the paw.”©

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated as much as Cinco de Mayo in Texas

For good reason.

Oh, it is not all about the consumption of beer although…

Both are on the table of our mutt heritage.

Remember the Alamo? 

Among those who died defending the Alamo in March 1836 were 12 who were Irish-born, while an additional 14 bore Irish surnames. There may have been others.

From The Texas State Historical Association and the Handbook of Texas Online:

“Natives of Ireland were among the first settlers in Spanish-ruled Texas, and the story of the Irish in Texas is in many ways coincident with the founding of the republic and the development of the state. The heritage of the Irish seems in retrospect to have peculiarly suited their migration to a new land, for the English dominance of Ireland must have been to the new colonists in Texas a close parallel to the oppression they eventually found in the new country. It is not surprising that as many as twenty-five Irishmen probably signed the Goliad Declaration of Independence, that four signed the actual Texas Declaration of Independence, and that 100 were listed in the rolls of San Jacinto, comprising one-seventh of the total Texan force in that battle. Probably the first Irishman in Texas was Hugo Oconór, who became governor ad interim of Texas in 1767.”

“The descendants of generations who had long fought and died for their civic and religious liberties, the Irish were quicker than most to recognize incursions upon their rights and to defend against them.”

“The 1850 census listed 1,403 Irish in Texas; ten years later the number was 3,480.”

“The Irish were third among those claiming European ancestry, following English and German.”

Read the rest here.

Another tale of an Irish man who came seeking some green can be found inThe Irish Colonies of Texas“:

“John (Juan) McMullen Irish Empresario & Co-founder of the McMullen & McGloin Colony, was born in Ireland in 1785 most probably in east Donegal County or in a county of North-East Ulster…” After landing in Baltimore, he became a merchant and migrated to Matamoros, Mexico sometime in the early 1820’s.

Seeing land available, he encouraged Irish families to come and settle here, and, and eventually became a judge only to be assassinated in his sleep.

In Mexico and the Southwest, many also wear the green on St. Patrick’s Day to honor Mexico’s Fighting Irish.

St. Patrick’s Battalion (also called the San Patricios and Los Colorados) was created by soldiers who deserted the US army for Mexico during the unpopular Mexican American War(1840’s) when the US invaded Mexico.

“The Green Command” were fierce fighters joined Mexico as they had not been allowed citizenship, they opposed fighting other Catholics, Mexico had already outlawed slavery, and the Irish faced tremendous and cruel prejudice in the US at the time.

After the war, only the Irish were hung (Not shot by firing squads as military law required) while all other deserters received pardons and allowed to fight in the Civil War.

The grass definitely looked greener on the other side of the conflict to them.

So here’s to all who were equal to the land: their freewheeling style, music, food and, of course, drink.

Cerveza para todos. Sláinte

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Plants close up. An army of dollar weed n their little round hats invading the lawn. ALL rights reserved Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

Under cover of darkness or light. In rain or drought, Dollar Weed armies march across the landscape each spring. ©

March 15, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Search for a better snowflake

 

Closeup of white Spring daisy-like flower. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Petaling as best it can in attempt to make a snowy showing.©

A cold-hearted dream of a better snowflake.

Something in the stars’ sporting

Or is the Love-me-Love-me-not petal prediction more fine?

To chill one up mimicking the wiles of the wilds without artistry guiding, substituting instead human meddling…

A bit of tweaking might create a wonder:

Snow crystals that don’t absorb or wear any dirt.  Always mountain portrait perfect and sugar pretty covering the ground.

Flurries only on schedule. White Christmas guaranteed. Predictable ski conditions.

Drifts dissolving with consideration in measured time. No icy drip turning two massive floods.

Like manipulating DNA and GMOs

Like in vitro and early genetic redo for broken DNA.

Like producing better animals and crops

Whether the weather?

Tweaking nature acceptable for humans and plants, so surely sculpturing snowflakes not too chilling.

Could be cool.

Exquisite designs

Except, one clumsy chiseling, welcome ice age.

Wrapping up

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

  • Of crystal constructions:

““[A snowflake’s] final shape is a history lesson of how the thing grew,” Hallett said. “The outside edge of the crystal is where it grew last, and as you go inward you can tell [the conditions of] where it was before.” Read more here: PBS Newshour. “The science of snowflakes”

Smithsonian Magazine: “Snowflakes all fall in one of 35 different shapes”

As well as an end the overload of delicate snowflakes?

(Ashley can’t help it. She’s fragile, as many know. Her mom had troubles, too.)

Dogs. Winning the Iditarod. (Image ADSN News)

Molly is thrilled. Winning Iditarod dog team. Molly now wants shoes, snow, and a sled.(ADSN News)

Molly Malamute is warning her cousins and clan to stay out of Colorado.

The city of Aurora profiles unfairly

Wed. afternoon the family was in court: “10-year-old Capone can’t return home for at least a week.” (Denver news) Still waiting DNA tests.  Animal Control “classified him as part wolf based on his behavior and appearance.”).Odd, aren’t most dogs? Interesting enough, in most places in Colorado, as long as a dog is at least 1% domesticated, it’s legal.

Huffington Post. VIDEO. “City seizes family dog (Black German Shepherd) alleging he may be part wolf” (He jumped the fence. They will not give him back and plan on either taking him to a wolf sanctuary or euthanizing him. What? For ten years he’s been cuddling with the family and sleeping with the kids….)

Tracy Abbato, Capone’s owner has opened a “Get Capone Home” GoFundMe Page for attorney fees, fines for having an exotic animal, and to build a taller fence.

And just for fun, here’s the Aurora Colorado City Hall’s Facebook Page. Please be nice but firm. Great PR, Aurora. 

Until this is settled, Molly Malamute, whose ancestors were the now extinct Eastern European wolves that wandered across the ice bridge into Alaska (not the North American wolf species), is barking up a storm to prevent others from being snagged. Marking the state off vacation plans.

Black German Shepherd, Capone, at home (Image by Tracy Abbato)

“What me woof?” Capone with one of his BFFs.(Tracy Abbato)

Capone dares to hope.

Please forward/post his plea anyplace you can.

The German and Molly Malamute at the door. No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyright

Molly and The German worry if Capone isn’t safe, who is?©

all rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighted

Paws for peace.©

 

 

March 13, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The Challenge of Breaking Up

Breaking up is not hard to do.

“Mom. Mom! Go stand by the window. You’re breaking up.” I don’t know. She said something about feeling faint.

Girls in snow in vintage swim suits ( 1936. Idaho NYA Fed. Residence School. (NARA/USPD.by US employee/Commons.wikimedia.org)

It may be snowing on the East Coast, but a little chill never stops determined Spring Breakers(Idaho girls in snow,1936.Idaho/ NARA image/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Forget the grubby road trips crammed in a car counting pennies at the drive thru on the way to a cold day at the local beach.

What are student loans for if not Spring Break Trips to sunny luxurious resorts? Cancun? Cabo? How about Punta Cana?

It’s a Rite of Passage, right?

Not to go when EVERYONE ELSE IS would cause a break down. (And we ain’t talking one of communication. Never hear the end of it.)

  • Select your trip now! Here’s where many buy their party packages: StudentCity offers “the ultimate in the Spring Break experience” “Live it up for Spring Break 2017”
  • And the cringe worthy reality: “Spring Break Student Loan Study” (survey via Pollfish and Whatsgoodly). “….51.20% of parents that cosigned on their child’s student loan said their retirement has been put in jeopardy due to late payments made by their child. Many students are hamstringing their parent’s ability to retire because they are using their student loan money to pay for an island adventure.”

And of course the concept has trickled down to high schools years ago

Cruises have been promoted for them…without parents along to spoil the fun.

woman in glamour pose sitting on beach (1945. actress Gloria DeHaven, Yank, the Army Weekly magazine. USPD, pub.date, fed.army employee/Commons.wikimedia.org )

She, like many fourth grade girls, think she’s this.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Is is any wonder the wanna-be-cool elementary crowd whines, too?

Friends confided in us last weekend their apple-of-their-eye granddaughter is outraged because her Spring Break trip to DC was called off due to travel issues. Blizzard? What’s a little blizzard? She’s already bragged to all her friends about going!

So they bought her a puppy instead.

To appease her.

Maybe if there’s break in the weather, they can haul the disgruntled child down to local beach.

Park the car and arrange the Yeti to block the chilling wind. You’ll get a tan even with shivering with goosebumps (Speaking from experience here.)

The tan is all that counts. Spring Break isn’t about swimming in the water.

Might as well learn now.

Oh, give me a break. (Wait. Let me clarify. Put down that baseball bat.)

Don’t go breaking’ my heart

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

1965 Burt Bacharach/Hal David song recorded by Dionne Warwick

“One drop of rain doesn’t make the sun run away
Don’t go breakin’ my heart
One falling leaf doesn’t make September in May
Don’t go breakin’ my heart…

…..Teach my heart how to smile, oh…”

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