Visitors have their own agenda. In truth, they don’t come to see us.
Oddly, some do rave about the food, though. (Friends, knowing us well, snort, “It must have been catered”.)
They move in and quickly make themselves at home, the accommodations sight unseen.
We might as well be ghosts among them. Certainly not “in” keepers travel agencies rave about.
Still, they must be telling their friends.
Maybe it’s management’s efforts to provide a gentle rain-like shower upon request.
If they treat us like staff – occasionally requesting a hand out of the pool – it may simply be the way they were raised.
Since they don’t make a fuss – or seem to mind the occasional mosquito – we oblige them.
Would be awkward if we tried to turn them away.
How would you feel if you only wanted to see your ancestral home? So many do travel long for that.
Besides, they have never poisoned the air with unreasonable demands for perfection.
In truth, we are pleased they stop by.
Thrilled when some look around, say, “I like what you’ve done to the old place” and decide to sit and stay awhile.
Always room for one more.
Just, please, stay out from underfoot and pick up after yourself, OK?
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Addicts are unreasonable and dangerous.
Nothing will get in their way. They will reduce themselves to begging without shame. Perfectly willing to smash and shatter. They don’t care who they hurt.
Will the Food and Drug Administration finally force Starbucks to post warning signs and put caution labels on coffee cups?
Maybe if he is removed far far from that enticing fragrance of fresh ground coffee, there might be hope. He might even find himself able to open a savings account.
But society should be greatly concerned.
Where on earth can he go and not encounter Starbucks once he’s out of recovery?
Failure pouring on every corner.
Advocates of the slow and simple lifestyle insist it dissolves jitters and irritable behavior.
There are those who insist you see more when life crawls along. And they get pretty mad when someone tries to make a buck off of them because of it.
Gracie got confused by her recent relocation and didn’t move fast enough to stay out of the reach of a man who had devious plans for her.
Things looked grim from inside the duffel bag. Ransom was demanded.
Fortunately, she has a true friend who fought for her release and in the process got a very bad guy off the streets.
- Missing tortoise leads to the arrest of man. (Meet Gracie on the Video)
Gracie’s trendy: a natural advocate for slow motion and living in a tiny house. Luckily, she’s got a friend who aims to see she gets a chance to do just that.
Supposedly a simple life in the slow lane is the coolest plan for dissolving jitters and irritability.
But try and tell that to Starbucks
Standing in lines long, waiting to ramble off a whole list of instructions to the barista while texting continuously, they simply shrug and respond “Hey, it’s available iced.”
As long as the coffee heads don’t mistake the tortoise for a table, they’ll be OK.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Why is it that the powerful ones always choose 2 a.m.?
The dog scurries into the back closet instead of defensive mode. The cat? Well, the forehead punctures and a snarling imitation of Daniel Boone’s hat is predictable when the nightly zen cat coma is abruptly punctuated by high-pitched sounds.
Is there some sort of hard-wired mandate that forces them to blare dead battery announcements only at 2 a.m.?
Out of whimsy, boredom, or spite, a smoke alarm will shrilly reject its’ power source battery and then, even worse, encourage all the other house smoke alarms to riot along just for the fun of it.
Must be really amusing to watch the sleepy humans run frantically around in the dark.
The Powerful aren’t like us.
They always crown the most powerful.
Then others line up like soldiers eternally at attention.
Anyone can tell the pin head among them.
Dunce hat or pointed individualism? (Often difficult to distinguish between those two.)
Standing firmly linked together, the Powerful simply ignore the “Little People”.
Might as well be mindlessly scurrying ants to them.
Their heads in the clouds with thoughts far more electric than ours.
The powerful ones, both the towering giants and the smaller domesticated ones, live parallel lives alternating among people.
But is this shrieking not sleeping smoke alarm, protesting its’ plastic life?
Wired for a more elevated existence.
Something more than guardian and watcher.
Hopefully the tribute offering of a new battery will be enough to soothe this unhappy smoke alarm back to its’ destiny in the background.
Here. I’ll open the blinds so you can see the sky and dream those electric dreams.
Grateful for those currently employed.
Phi, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Branching out with a plan for building a new platform. Getting ready to swing it.
And the tree is shaping up marvelously.
Nurturing this oak to be just right. Kid friendly.
- There must be toe holds for easy climbing.
- A sweeping thick horizontal branch over an open area for a swing.
- And up there – high enough to pull the ladder up and taunt “Nana nana boo-boo” from, but low enough for a bucket to be sent down by pulley for cookies and sandwiches – there has to be just the right spot for a 2-3 person treehouse fort.
The treehouse area is the most critical. (What kid doesn’t need instant neighborhood status?)
An ideal tree has a pair of neighboring branches running parallel and close enough together to be safely spanned by a sturdy wooden frame. The frame preferably secured by ropes and some serious lashing, not nails, so as not to damage a fine oak tree.
We did get permission to use about eight nails to build a triangular treehouse fort once in three non-valuable/pulpwood quality trees as kids. But never an oak.
As kids we came to know trees. Farmed them actually Protecting valuable trees was just common sense, not an environmental movement back then.
A kid shelf in a tree. All that’s needed.
Instant jet, pirate ship, castle, space station, fort.
Even reading is cooler up there. Of course, books served up with a side of daydreaming.
Not to mention a special place to pout and feel miserable.
All those important developmental kid things.
Eventually, this tree will make summer perfect. For some kid.
One I won’t know.
It’s what I leave behind each time we move on: an oak tree suitable for climbing.
Some choose monuments out of stones to tell their stories once they are gone. Others decide to hand down words, or pay for space in outer space or cyberspace.
Trees are a far more lasting in many cases. Far more useful. Far more cheerful to hug and visit.
The thought of a kid scrambling up, scraping knees and knuckles without even caring, taking the daring risks, ignoring all the worried cautions, defying gravity – that makes me smile.
Somehow I’ll feel it.
Tree roots go deep and network. Across space and time.
This oak tree’s a work in progress, but there’s no hurry to rush perfection.
Happy to leave something behind that will grow on.
Phil, the Philosophy Mouse of the Hedge
Like chill? Wind in your face? Iron Man stomach? How about rolling with rough seas? Fur-lined foul weather gear in the closet? You got ship?
Only if you’re good at slinging it – or can crane around a bit. Sign up now as support is desperately needed by Rainmaker, the Gunboat 55 abandoned by owner and crew some five months ago.
This boat’s the Energizer Bunny of yachts. As the old Timex jingle used to say “Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’
A testimonial to the construction and design of the boat: months of severe North Atlantic winter storms, missing mast, and now the cabin roof, yet still floating.
While it appears scavengers have boarded and removed some of the hardware, there’s plenty of boat left for a serious project-seeking rescuer.
Rainmaker was spotted and photographed on June 16, 2015 at 5 pm by Capt. Reinhard Peer of the Hapag-Lloyd container ship Chicago Express. (Lat 35.36.282 N. Lon 062.17.187 W.)
Peter Johnstone and the Gunboat Company would be thrilled to have a chance to examine her – and see her refitted for normal sailing life.
Some have suggested launching a rescue mission from Bermuda.
You’d need a big sturdy boat to tow her, or a large vessel able to send divers over to place a sling carefully around the hulls and then gently lift her aboard by crane.
After repairs and refitting, should she be rechristened “Resurrection”?
Not sure about that, being a bit superstitious about renaming boats.
Wouldn’t want to rain on her valiant parade after all her own efforts to take care of herself. She’s floating better than many life rafts would be.
Best not to mess with a determined independent woman.
A sea spirit seeking like-minded companions.
Don’t give up the ship, Rainmaker.
Hopefully, someone will throw the lady a line.
The answer is floating out there.
It’s your big chance.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
So hot the corpse died.
You’d think the zoo would have known better. They deal with living things, right?
They could have checked with the Museum of Natural Science people, but there’s always been a rumor of competition between the two.
Was it a matter of leaving out something important like some cooks do when a closely guarded recipe is requested?
People are disappointed.
That rotting body stench.
What draws them to that? Gruesome. People are so weird.
How else do you account for all the commercial haunted houses and slasher movies?
In 1937 police were brought in to handle the crowds eager to see a Corpse at the New York Botanical Gardens.
They came. They squealed. They held their noses.
Reek, the Houston Zoo’s Corpse Flower, succumbed before its’ blooming time.
Corpse Flowers, Amorphophallus titanum, flourish in the rain forests of Western Sumatra. After growing seven years or so, they poke up a weird stalk holding clusters of flowers which bloom for only 24-48 hours.
It’s a rare event.
That’s what all the stink is about.
The “fragrance” (and that term is used loosely) really smells like rotting animals and wafts a distance up to half a mile to lure insects and thrill seekers.
The attraction baffling to many, but a moneymaker as people were willing to pay extra to bathe in the air by Reek.
Sadly Reek’s nanny, who assumed the hot, humid, outdoor weather in Texas was the perfect environment, didn’t realize that Corpse Flowers, like humans, wilt if it’s over 90 degrees.
We’ve had multiple days of 100+. Deadly.
Louis also had her own Twitter account, a 24-7 webcam for her world-wide fan club with over 80,000 of them showing up in person. She had her own video! They pampered her with bloom inducing chemicals from rotten bananas placed lovingly at her base.
People wrote Haiku to her! Oh, the “Odes to Lois”.
HMNS even brought in a younger companion, shy Audrey, to keep company with Lois as she rests and considers blooming again.
Nothing too good for Lois.
Maybe Reek felt unappreciated at the zoo.
Reek, the plant lives, but forget that exotic experience this year.
Oh, Reek, we hardly knew ya’.
Maybe it’s better to start a relationship slowly anyway.
No wham. Bam. Thank you, ma’am.
We’ll step back and let affection bloom slowly.
Longing for the sweet smell of success.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.