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November 11, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

From cow fields to battlefields

Grandmother fleeing the Germans in WW II

An old woman harnessed her small dog and grandson to a wagon to flee through the snow fearing the Germans would retake Alsace, France during WW II.

A familiar sight in war: soldiers moving to the front past civilians hurrying back to safety.

Men with rifles (Rainbow Division Vet. memorial Foundation, Inc, 1979)

Not a time warp.

These 1918 style snipers were part of the Rainbow’s 168th Infantry Regiment in WW II .

Soldiers readying pigeons with messages/Rainbow Div. Vet. Memorial Foundation, inc. 1979

Pigeons were still used to send messages to the rear.

Yep, those soldiers are holding pigeons.

What would they think of drones?

Home, sweet fox hole home. / Rainbow div.Vet.Memorial Foundation, inc.1979

Pine boughs over a foxhole made things as safe and warm as possible.

Home, sweet foxhole home.

Supply mule loaded, soldier ready to move out with his new adopted friend.

Easy to forget how young many of these soldiers were. Many fresh off the farm.

The way it always seems to be.

Soldier with his pack mule and an adopted dog. Rainbow Memorial Foundation, inc.1979

Talk about off road.

Both mules and jeeps required a good deal of pushing to get them through the mountains.

Soldiers forcing jeep through mud/Rianbow Div.Vet. Memorial Foundation, inc. 1979

Too tense to really rest. Always the risk of ambush.

Würzburg’s factories being searched and cleared.

Soldier watching street while others search buildings/Rainbow Div.Vet. Memorial Foundation, inc.1979

With the news of the war’s end, a prayer in thanks for making it through alive, and for those who didn’t.

It wasn’t easy: fighting the war or living life afterwards.

A prayer for all those that died bringing peace to a war-torn Europe/Rainbow Div. Vet Memorial Foundation, inc. 1979

Soldiers from all four allied nations enjoy a short break before historic ceremony at Vienna.

Soldiers from all 4 Allied Forces relaxing before ceremony in Vienna. Rainbow Div.Vet Memorial Foundation, inc. 1979

Waiting for orders to head home, soldiers enjoyed relaxing with the local kids.

Small reminders of home – and what it’s all about.

Soldier with three children/ rainbow Div. Vet. Memorial Foundation, inc. 1979

Thanks, dad.

Thanks to all who serve for country, home, family, and children.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

More about the Rainbow Division’ s long history from WWI to present.

Letter. Rainbow Division Vet. Memorial Foundation. 1979




November 10, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Gator got home.

Old trees, old grandpa’s, and old gators. A lot in common.

Weathered much strife, gnarled appearance, dependent on the kindness of others – and just want a quiet place in the sun.

Most a bit fond of them despite their rough edges,

An alligator update so you won’t worry.

Alligator stepping out of truck (

What a weekend. Hope they have my room ready. Getting too old for bachelor parties. ( screenshot)

The giant gator captured in a Sugar Land Home Depot parking lot was released into his new home at an El Campo alligator farm (Janik Alligators, I think).

His new best friend, gator hunter Christy Krobroth and her partner Chris, transported him in style.

The gator, estimated over 50 years old, is blind in one eye and the other is hazed over. He may only see shadows, so it’s possible he got confused when searching for Gatorade.

He’s missing about 12 inches of his tail. (Still over 12 feet and over 800 pounds)

Here’s the video of his arrival. (And Christy talks more about gator rescue.)

He even managed to let himself out of the truck. (You know old guys. They hate for everyone to be rushing around trying to help.)

While he didn’t end up among the rough and tumble young alligators at Brazos Bend State Park, he’s safe and will be watch over in perhaps a more suitable retirement community.

A place in the sun. Hopefully, with a few friends who care.

He’s done all right.

Later, gator.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(Previous post and pictures about Godzilla Gator of Sugar Land here.)

gator walking in front of truck. (Click2houstonscreenshot)

Landscaping is acceptable. Now off to see if the pool is up to standards…( screenshot)

November 9, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Beauty near and afar

Beautiful flashes at warp speed, no passive passengers these.

Twelve foot gator behind Home Depot in Sugar Land, Texas. Image by Christy Krobroth/screenshot

“Attention, Home Depot shoppers/”(ChristyKrobroth/

This older gentleman out for a stroll along Oyster Creek. Was he hoping his grin would beguile? He’s used to the wild life.

A mild-mannered dental assistant by day, but a feisty gator grabber when called, one gal thought the older guy would tire long before her. Athletic is her style. A quick wit is her charm.

“Beauty is power; a smile is its’ sword.” (John Ray)

smiling gator being roped by woman. (Image: Christy Krobroth/screrenshot.

Something about a woman with a rope.(ChristyKrobroth/

It always happens. Those old guys fall for the pretty young things.

She said, “Let’s get out of here. I’ll give you a lift.”

Still smiling, he was quite content be carried off to a little resort she knew.

Not all parties end in smiles and miles.

Beauty can be a beast.

“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” (Dorothy Parker)

This little after school brawl was quite a beaut. Middle school girls and some passing for adults are so into extreme drama.

One participant didn’t read the complete script. Decided to go full throttle.

Fists and hair pulling weren’t getting anywhere, so how about a four-wheel rundown?

“VIDEO.Teen run over by car following chick fight outside school.”

It’s written down that “Beauty is as beauty does.”

But apparently she didn’t read that either.

“Beauty fades. Dumb is forever.” (Judge Judy Sheindlin)

Earth's horizon is high art. Vincent Laforet (CBS Sunday Morning Show screenshot)

Complex beauty.(Vincent Lafore/Screenshot CBS Sunday Morning)

If reading long passages, fables, and proverbs are becoming passé (Who has the time?), then striking high impact visuals could become the preferred vehicle of information delivery.

Might be better. We look better from afar?

“The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words, the truth.” (Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching)

Distance gives a different perspective.

High flying photographer Vincent Laforte sees the beauty of that.

His work may be the best advertisement for one beautiful little world.

“Let us live for our own reality.” (Charles Lamb)

Beauty eyes those beholding.

Pretty thought.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

And now a blast from the past:





November 6, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No. Don’t have that cow.

Children's Museum art cow found. Wheeler construction site. (screenshot.ABC

Hiding from what? An urban cattle rustler. (Children’s Museum Art Cow/screenshot.ABC

Round up the posse. Missing moo.

Would have loved to hear that conversation late Tuesday night:

“It followed me home. Can I keep it?”

Adult in the house or at least the sober one, “Don’t care where you rounded or pried it up from, no. Take it back.”

” But it’s heavy and I’m tired.”

“Dude. It’s from the Children’s Museum. Stealing from little kids is pretty low. At least put it where someone will find it – not here!”

Moostery Story and pictures of the stolen, but recovered Border Bovine Art Cow here.

Cows certainly have changed.

Moonwalking Cow from Cow Parade. Once located in Terminal Terminal A Bush IAH/ Screenshot of image by Campbell, Hou.Chron.)

Who couldn’t love MoonWalking Cow. At one time pastured in Terminal A of Bush IAH airport. (Screenshot.Image: Campbell/Hou.Chron.)

Once it was “Outlaw meets outlaw” every weekend in October at the Prison Rodeo in Huntsville, Texas.

Enjoy what news reporting was like back in 1966:

.Vintage black and white newsreel featuring the Texas Prison Rodeo.  US National Archives and Records Administration. (The jokes on the prisoners’ banners were always fun)

My grandfather who died before I was born, moved his family off the farm into the town of Huntsville so his oldest boy could attend Sam Houston College. They ran a two-story wood frame boarding house which is still standing and still houses college students. While he worked as a prison guard, the younger boys helped by throwing papers, washing dishes, and trying to spot Bonnie and Clyde who stopped by the local cafe on the courthouse square for meals once in a while. While not liked or admired, the pair certainly had people terrified of their guns and reputation.

Each October, extra money was made selling parking spots in the front yard for the Prison Rodeo. People flocked from miles around for the event.

The Texas Prison Rodeo was the “Wildest Show Behind Bars”.

Not only was it real dirt in your face rodeo, you were inside the prison with prisoners! Dangerous convicts!

Big deal for kids. As I remember, it was thrilling.

Should the grounds have been preserved as historical?

First rodeo performance was in Oct 1931 with a wooden stadium on the old prison baseball field. In the 50’s and 60’s attendance could easily reach 100,000. Quite a money-maker for the prison system and gave the inmates a chance to earn some money, too. The traffic into town was always bumper to bumper. The last show in the “new” big brick and concrete building was in 1986.

The rodeo was actually created as recreation for inmates.

Now they only have team sports in softball, volleyball, and baseball. Inmates do still raise and train horses for law enforcement at one of the Huntsville units. And others foster and train dogs for service animals. Working with animals is considered a privilege. It’s a toss-up whether animal or inmate caretaker gets more out of the experience.

Read stories/pictures of actual rodeo prison inmates, the prison entertainers, as well as top name performers including Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson:

As the sun slowly sets in the west, missing moo.

So long for a sweetheart of a rodeo,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Vintage rodeo picture. 1949. Bull rider at Prison Rodeo, Huntsville , TX (Texas Tribune image)

1949. Now that’s bull. At this time, the bulls and horses all came from prison’s pasture stock.(Texas Tribune image)

November 4, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Light, fractured answers.

Rainbows on wall. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted to this image. Copyrighted

What’s with the colorful presentation?©

Why are the rainbows indoors?

Marketing. New firm hired by Mother Nature to raise awareness of what she offers.

Or you know how people leave business cards on your desk if they stop by and you are absent or are too busy to notice? That. A reminder.

Road in sunset. (Forgotten Overpass Facebook page)

Another sunset. Another day broken and forgotten.(Forgotten Overpass FB)

Why do Facebook pages get better results from TXDOT than actual people?

It’s been so long, drivers were beginning to wonder if it was a new national monument.

The Forgotten Overpass Facebook page tells the sorrow. Road construction workers came to do repairs, but did something causing entire middle span to drop. Exit workers. For months.

Nobody likes to get caught after making a mess – especially contractors and those in the state agency who hired them.

Out of desperation, residents contacted consumer reporter Emily Akin. Story/video: Emily Akin. “The Forgotten Overpass”. Geesh, Louise, TX, nothing like a little media attention for a quick pick me up.

Publicity photo. Oscar the Grouch. Sesame Street publicity. photo.1976:USPD:, publicity. image,no CR/

Oh, Oscar. The magic of free is disappearing. (1976 USPD/

Why do Chicago residents think they shouldn’t have to pay for garbage pick up?

Never heard of the “Pay as You Go Plan” like most people?

Or refuse to believe it applies to them. (It is the land of politicians and presidents, so confusion understandable.)

“Rahm Emanuel wants to start charging for trash pickup in Chicago” (Business Insider)

“Garbage tax still not as much as suburban fees” (Chicago Tribune)

Speaking of garbage.

NO permissions granted. ALL rights reserved for this hard drive image. Copyrighted.

Don’t wipe. Always hammer before landfill.©

Could get really snarky and ask why anyone, especially one who boasts she is a mother and a proud, concerned grandmother, could look grieving parents in the face and lie like a rug about how it happened and blamed an “offensive video”continually. Think she is fit to run for any office even ignoring all the other messes while she served as Secretary of State? Ignoring being thought out of touch/ignorant or careless about technology and security measures/devious/smug and entitled.

“Emails show Clinton had 2 Benghazi stories: 1 for Libyans, 1 for Americans”

Emails to Egyptian Prime Minister, the Libyan President, (…attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film It was a planned attack, not a protest.”) and immediately after the attack to her daughter, Chelsea. (“…the attacks were undertaken by an “Al Queda-like group.”)

Walmart asks more integrity of their greeters.

Now there’s an answer: draft a Walmart greeter for president.

Someone really in touch with ordinary people.

Someone used to working long hours for little reward.

Now some would sneer he’d have big business standing behind him. But realistically, anyone who’s been an employee or supplier for Walmart completely understands abuses by big multinational businesses.

Candidate ready: got that big smile mastered and can already loudly shout “Clean-up needed on aisle three!”

See? Everything’s coming up sunshine and rainbows. 

All in the marketing.

Lightly fractured and perfectly answered.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

NO permissions ranted for this rainbow. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted

Preview for coming attractions. After days of torrents, one of the brightest rainbows I’ve seen – all the way across the sky for about 10 minutes. Then the storms continued for the rest of the night.©


November 2, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Prada walks. Other fashion departures.

He was determined she’d not end up walking the streets as is the fashion of so many young girls. Having seen enough of the world to be wary, she never complained when he tied the rope. Daddy knew best.

Prada quietly played in her own yard as she had been told to while her dad was at work. Until the day when the world crashed in on her.

elegant woman. Fashion shoot. Model: Tasha.Thomas Schmidt (netaction)/

May only be named for royalty, but certainly not a throwaway. (Thomas Schmidt/

A violent incident you may remember. First Prada was dognapped, then used as a shield…well, actually tossed like a boulder, then shot by police. Left bleeding in the dirt with wounds deep enough to show bone while the police cars drove away with their prisoner.

Her owner, Robert Alexander, was distraught upon finding his injured pit bull. He tried to treat Prada himself, but soon realized it wasn’t working. And she was in pain. There simply wasn’t any money.

(Forgotten the injured pit bull’s video? Grab your tissues.)

Thanks to Pit Bull Rescue of Houston and Vergi Animal Hospital, Prada stepped out towards home this weekend. 

And best news of all? She bounces on all fours!

Intense care managed to avoid the expected amputation. The medical and rehab bills were completely covered by public donations, Pit Bull Rescue of Houston, and the clinic’s Hope Fund.

Even better news?

Prada’s owner has rented a house with a very tall iron fence all around it. But, he said as he hugged Prada, “She’s an indoor dog now.”

Cheer the happy reunion and visit Prada at her new digs.

Some step out with style, while others…. 

colorful shoes. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Just when you thought the horror was over…©

No, not Crocs.

(What? One manufacturer of uglies isn’t enough? Heard those groans.)

These are Yogui by Keen.

See: like yoga. So they are OK.

Desirable even. (And the emperor has no clothes…..)

When living in an area where the backyard can quickly turn into a swamp with the gleefully dogs refusing to listen and come inside, you need kick-off shoes. Ones that easily wash. And there’s the floating potential, too.

These come in both women’s and men’s styles (some colorful ones.) Know you are thrilled about that.

Wait! They have cool soles, actually fit, and support your foot unlike Crocs.

My experiences with Crocs is that those are like wearing giant rubber shoe boxes on your feet.

Expensive spiked heel Prada Sandal (

Form follows function. Zipper gives easy on and off, similar open slashes allow water to drain, but the spiked heel would really sink in soggy ground. So, no.(

Perhaps a horrifying fashion departure, but clown shoes do have a place.

Like possums, spiders, and snakes which play a critical roles in nature. (So they keep telling me.)

Shoes aren’t alive, but it’s the same thing. Really.

There are always those who have to do the dirty work and are looked down on.

Work with me here. Or at least be kind enough to laugh waaaay over there.

Frank-n-flippers. Zappos offers pages of reviews by people delighted with them.

Most by anonymous reviewers.

Shame? Guilt? Trying to save the family name and dignity? Probably.

Not that anyone needs to be embarrassed about wearing Yogui this time of year. You can always say they were part of your Halloween costume.

Horror be done. Steppin’ out in guile.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Previous posts about Prada

Prada's home! (Kathy Vazquez:Pit Bull rescue of Houston FaceBook))

Prada: shoo-in for lucky dog.(Vasquez/Pit Bull Rescue of Houston Facebook)



October 30, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dark, stormy, and spooky. Mommy!

Again. Standing at the back door.

Completely dressed. Neatly. She couldn’t have managed all those buttons herself.

What’s with that child?

ALL rights reserved for this blurry glass image. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

What? A sleep-walker? Can’t we ever have normal neighbors?©

Always so early.Too early. A light needed to even make coffee.

“Look, kid. Go home. No one’s ready to play.”

Obviously on the brink of tears, she wavered from side to side. Softy pleading. Eyes desperate.


Where does she belong and why aren’t they keeping up with her?

I turned. Went to check on our own, although I know there’s no need. A look back to see she’s left.

Now I know working parents do manage, but leaving this little one home alone before dawn is a bit pushing it. Happening far too often.

Each time awakened by that pleading little voice calling “Mommy”, I stumbled up worried it was ours. Only to stop half way seeing that little girl standing there.

Outside. Alone. Again.

No sign of her playing in the yards of any houses on the block during the day. Maybe she’s gets picked up for daycare or a grandparent arrives to  wrap her in her arms.

I hoped so. Worried that she wandered before dawn. Ours was the last street in the subdivision and we backed up to woods and fields.  It was a new neighborhood, I didn’t know everyone.

Days and I dragged on. More and more bleary. Being sleep deprived didn’t help with the exhaustion of moving.

Determined to put an end to this crazy situation.

Upon hearing that sad little “Mommy”, I jerked on jeans and sweatshirt. If I had to sit on her doorstep all day, I was going to talk to someone about her visits.

But at I stopped with hand on the sliding glass door.

Vintage dressed girl. 1900-1940 family portrait. Tropenmuseum, part of the National museum of World Cultures/

There she was again. (Tropenmuseum/National Museum of World Cultures/

She looked up hopefully. “Mommy? Where’s my mommy?”

“Honey, I don’t know, ” I relented. “She’s not here. You’re not my child.”

“I know, ” she pleaded, “but she’s gone.”

‘You need to go back. You need go back to sleep. She’ll find you.”

She drooped – dejectedly turned towards the old homestead in the field.

“But I’ve waited and waited. And she doesn’t come.”

Her pale eyes tore at me. “Do you think she’s forgotten me?”

“No, Baby, she couldn’t forget. She’s just stuck somewhere. You must go back and wait. Where she left you. That’s where she’ll look.”

“No one looks any more.” Her pain was enough to drown in.

“I’ll look. I’ll come by. Promise. OK?”

A hopeful smile as she left – into the big field.

Her little brown lace up boots darkening in the tall wet grasses.

Into the damp heavy fog. Just before dawn.

Later, I climbed through the barbed wire fence and started across that field. Didn’t have to go far to find it: a handful of gravestones – one belonging to a young girl, but no sign of her parents.

Alone. Restless. Left behind.

Ironwork cemetery fence. Alabama/American Building Survey by E.W.Russell/HABS/HALS/Nat.Parks Service/USPD by fed.employee/

Cemetery fences are ornamental. Don’t do much to keep things out or in. (Russell/HABS/HALS/USPD/

The rest of the story:

The family descendants had sold the property only with assurances that the graves would be not be disturbed. But developers have been known to do things in the middle of the night.

So that afternoon I grabbed some garden tools and tried to neaten up the place – just so it was obvious someone knew it was there. Propped up pieces of fallen iron fencing on the perimeter. Added a few flowers from the yard for her.

They did keep their word. Not long after, a new iron fence, some landscaping, and a plaque about the family were installed. A yard crew maintained the area – even planted some flowers. Park-like. A happy place.

People walking past sometimes said they caught a little blur out the corner of their eye – heard a little giggle. It could have been the wind, but it felt more like when a child first sees a birthday cake and presents.

A fine house was built next door to the cemetery and it sold. Several times.

The first woman only stayed a few months, then moved out saying she heard people talking. Someone was at the back door. Spooked.

Eventually the builder circled the small cemetery with a tall cedar wood fence. Looked like a fort. Not sure it soothed any misgivings.

Just before we moved, I walked across for one last visit.  One last flower placed with “Now don’t worry. You haven’t been forgotten. It’s safe here. Just sleep and wait. Sorry, baby, but I have to go.”

Then the small voice, “The good mommies always do.”

Told as a tale for a dark and stormy night. Yours to believe or not.

Phil, Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Enjoy your Holler-Ring, Día de muertos, All Saints Eve, or Dodge the Asteroid Party this weekend. (Might want to hide that Jack O’lantern from the Department of Energy…global warming and all. Snort.)

Ghostly image. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

Be careful reaching out in the dark – never know what might be reaching back.©







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