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December 30, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Arriving: The newly hatched.

Billina, Chicken of Oz vigilantly standing on guard on fence by water.. (by Andre Koehne. /Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Don’t mess with the chicken.” Billina, Chicken of Oz. (Koehne/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Ask the darn chickens about it. (They are known for sittin’ on stuff, you know.)

Both hawks and doves like to feather their own nests by bribing feeding their chosen flock leader. It’s for the chicks! Oh, OK. Some may not see it as a way into the hen house and might actually be concerned about saving the children and all.

Wouldn’t it just be ducky if for every penny a political donor fed to a candidate’s campaign, the same amount had to be donated to something real with long-term benefits?

How about for medical research at St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or the Shriners Hospitals Children’s Burn/treatment centers or any U.S. children’s hospital with successful research groups with established track records?

Saving the children and all.

Now that might hatch real hope and change.

woman in feathers talking to two men. 1912 Grimms Household Tales/ R.A. Bell, ill. (USPD: pub date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Look, hope may float, but… Don’t matter if that’s chicken or turkey. Ain’t gonna fly. Too much wait.”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Something to crow about.

Afterall, 2017 is a Yin year of the Fire Rooster.

As opposed to the Wood Rooster, Earth Rooster, Gold Rooster, and Water Rooster

Oddly, it won’t be a lucky year for those born Roosters. (Find out if that’s you here.)

Scratching the surface, it seems like chickens are in the know.

It would be nice to know why though.

That in the same carton of eggs from the exact same farm with the identical variety of hens who had the identical lifestyle and food sources, that one egg will have a sturdy tough shell and the next will be delicate, thin shelled – easily cracked and lost.

Funny that’s a lot like people, too.

Gotta cluckle over that grain of thought

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

“I don’t know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens.” E.B. White, author

“Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched” Aesop, 570 B.C.

Some days chickens; some days feathers. (Phrase as old as hen’s teeth)

Fly high, wise, and free in the New Year

Butterfly clying with Infant New Year on its' back. Victorian card. (Nova Scotia archives./ PD/commons.wikimedia.org)

December 21, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Ice and pyramids

Ice coated the windows. Inside.

When electric blankets were invented, we Littles knew there was a God.

Of course sleeping under piles – mounds – absolute pyramids – of old heavy cotton batted quilts would have been good practice to withstand interrogations if ever involved in witch trials. Pallets of rocks couldn’t have been heavier.

Ice skating frogs on Victorian Christmas card. Nova Scotia archives/flickr/pd/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Those Victorians. Nothing toady about them.(PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Christmas meant gathering at Brushy Creek.

There was a stove in the kitchen, a fireplace in the front room with the light bulb, and a card table with bored games.

When older, we’d shiver outside on the porch trying to tune in rock and roll from the big Chicago radio station.

But mostly there was radio – and normal life – silenced.

With stars.

In a deep velvet sky.

Victorian Children on Christmas postcard (archives of Oscar Andersen.1912-1915.Nat.Archives of Norway/flickr/PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Not us. I’m sure mother had dreams of Christmas like this. But no. Hickville. (PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Walking in the dark doesn’t bother me still.

I’ll use the dog for an excuse and do some of that these holidays, even though light pollution dims the heavens.

If only the wind would blow the scent of hay this way. It would be almost there again.

And then it would be Christmas.

Christmas is hard without a barn. Cattle lowing and all.

However, running water, central heat and microwaves, does make up for a lot of it.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a peaceful starlight.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Jingling on out of here until next week except for catching up on some blog reading

A few holiday offerings to amuse until then: 

  • There’s a Great Pyramid in Texas – one  constructed by a German guy named Emil, 1870. A German Christmas tradition created for his small town that is now considered “one of the finest pieces of folk art ever made in the Lone Star State.” Settlers brought a little bit of their homeland with them to Texas for comfort. Now we stand with the German people at this difficult time offering what comfort we can.

 

Pigs pulling kids on sled. Christmas postcard by Laerum,1890.(Nat.lib.of Norway/flickr/PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We never had pigs or we probably would have attempted this – with wheels instead of snow. I heard stories that Mom nixed pigs after one episode of dressing out a hog on the back porch one January weekend. Once was enough for that city girl. (PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

December 19, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Not a Wrapper

B/W of pickp truck's rear windo decal - (Born to Ride.) ALL rights reserved. COpyrighted. NO permissions granted

Hitchhiker deterrent?©

While the concept might have sounded great late at night, it could have been the beer.

Unusual pairing of phrase and image.

What’s the real message? You decide.

Is that Moe, Larry and Curly? (Maybe updated images to appeal to a tougher market?)

Is the driver taking sides in Game of Thrones? (Winter is coming. Can White Walkers be far behind?)

Possibly a “what do you get the avid trucker who has everything” gift. (Won’t end up on a garage sale table. That’s for sure.)

You do think there’s a human driver in there and it’s not an Uber headless car trial? (Maybe we’ll just give that one plenty of room and slide off the next exit…)

Another mystery on a roll.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Rear view of blue truck in traffic. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Going to have a blue Christmas without you…©

 

December 16, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Boxed set of three

Black and white copyrighted image of Christmas lights. Vintage light bulbs in a box. ALL rights reserved. COpyrighted. NO permsissions granted

Outages. Fear of the Dark. And then there was lights.©

Travelers, the homesick, and the bright ones are hurriedly wrapping things up.

Hazardous to mirth and girth.

Holidays begin with a ribbon of thoughts taped together. Follow the threads?

It works for traveling to school functions, and for arriving relatives, too.

If you are following the Uber commercials.

Convenience, friendly smiles, and a chance to arrive calm, collected, and in style.

With their increased popularity the company has found it necessary to clarify.

Uber’s new tag line: “We’re a car service, not a stud service”

All in the packaging.

Christmas box of classic lights bulbs in color. Copyrighted. Watt's this? ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted

Don’t box them in. They are for outdoor use. (Not recommended for swamps.)©

Was it the barrage of holiday movies? He must have wanted to be home for Christmas.

A Galveston county convict, a minor bad guy with little time left to serve, made like Dasher and Prancer and slipped out as the gate was closing. (How that happened here)

It was a Christmas miracle or just luck that there was a company truck parked across the street with the keys in it. It’s a sign, dude: “Don’t box him in.”

A short night at girl friend’s house, then dashing away towards Ft Worth/Dallas.

Just as reindeer want hay, that truck demanded a stop halfway. On the Buc-ee’s security cams, the guy looked a bit nervous. Made worse by bumping into a deputy.

Employees said the guy ran out the back and into some fields which lead to heavily wooded river bottom land – as in swamps overflowing from weeks of rain.

Will the record-breaking size gators think Santa dropped by early?

That poor guy’s probably thinking, while there’s no place like home, a sleigh ride to anywhere dry, warm, and safe would be a real gift.

Turning on a lighter side:

B/W image of Christmas light bulbs in a box. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

Shades of Christmas future: We’d have a blue, blue Christmas without you.©

All aglow when it was discovered.

Our old ( but still good) 50’s big bulb Christmas light strings are no longer outdated and passé. Ancient enough to be reclassified as classic, vintage, or novelty lights. Trendy must be next.

There’s something “A (“You’ll shoot out your eye”) Christmas Story” or “It’s A Wonderful Life” about their warm glow in the snowy cold foggy, drizzling December nights compared to the bold glare of the intense LEDs.

Do not lecture me on electricity usage. Not with the popularity of “The Great Christmas Light Fight” as seen on TV and along streets.

Besides we ration them: only two multicolored strings are cheering the place this year.

We scrounge attics and dusty boxes in garages as elderly family members’ home are sold. Looking for strings with good wiring and the real treasure: working light bulbs.

This year a real Christmas miracle: box loads of replacement bulbs readily available online.

Better than two front teeth. (For the youngsters, that’s an old novelty Christmas song, not a Christmas request.)

Pile of old fashion big bulbed Christmas lights. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

It’s gonna happen. I’ll simply hang these lights in a big lump from a tree limb. Call it art. A contemporary sculpture and commentary titled “The most of Christmas past.” How could the HOA possibly complain? Artful.

So the season is out of the box.

Hope yours is merrily jingling on without delight burning out.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

A couple of related lighting posts: “Crushed by Christmas Views” and “Boxed in. Strung Out” There are more. One about rabbits. Beware….

Vintage Christmas lights in rows in a box. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Consider these safely adopted in a forever home. They just glow with warmth!©

 

December 14, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Evening traffic

Fast cat on wheels. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Yes, cats do wheelies. Spin on a dime. Normally the wheels are invisible. Stop motion photography allows the lesser species to view. Count yourselves lucky.©

We do not feel it is necessary.

Our nightly journey to the memory foam Plateau of Repose should not be disturbed by a large, oaf footed malamute.

Even if she smiles admiringly. (She’s been taking lessons? Christmas worries, for good reason.)

Any attempt to escort without permission is completely inappropriate.

We, the old well seasoned Regent of the Realm should not be expected raise The Paw at this attempt of “longing to be close to you“? Pish. We find the song annoying also.

Obviously an attempt by The Molly to impress Santa.

We do not wish either to feel her hot breath on Our tail – even if We show disdain by facing the other direction, We know the rude creature is there.

It is not funny. It is not cute.

Well, of course Our tail is cute, but you Dunderhead, we were discussing the liberties being taken by the dog.

In addition, We strongly protest the incidents of The Molly trying to cuddle into Our good graces along side Us on the Grand Plateau.

1.She blocks the moving air from the fan.

2. She has such girth that We tend to roll downhill towards her. Most disturbing. That’s when We seem to have unsettling dreams of falls of the Grand Canyon…and not the watery falls.

3.An equally comfortable sleeping pod has been provided for her directly under Our nocturnal loft. So we can keep an eye on her and lean down to give her a whack if necessary.

We are not so ancient that Staff is required to escort Us to Our spot and We resent any bumbling arm efforts to Uber Us. Let those scratches be a lesson in protocol and etiquette…

Glaring mad cat. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

We are not kidding. Does it look like We are kidding? No.©

The formal retiring promenade down the hall shall commence each evening once Staff and The Molly are respectfully in their assigned spots.

The ground shakes  wood floors shall echo from Our mighty stomp march. And by then We’ve usually had a soothing session with Our mousies and are feeling pretty good

Now that this matter is cleared up, that is all.

Resume your daily duties

Audience completed.

And don’t forget to leave an open can of food in the doorway as tribute

Santa is watching. Too.

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.

crown

.

.

.

.

.

 

 

December 12, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

When eggs wore ruffles

It was meant as a kindness. A helping out.

None of us thought so. It was only to be endured. Not questioned.

Off the wall: Two Grey Hills Navaho rug and ornaments. ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted

Off the wall. Not a bowl full of cherries. ©

Brother, being older which worked as being smarter, would grab toast and rush off – to somewhere – to practice for something – ANYTHING.

Leaving only the littles. Who politely smiled, nodded, and suffered.

Meals were normally prepared by working mom as she got home first. But on weekends and holidays, dad took to the stove for breakfasts.

Ruffle-dee eggs was his signature dish.

Dump a bunch of bacon grease in a big cast iron skillet. Be sure to turn up the heat much too high. Get some exercise leaping and hopping to avoid, and, then, grimace when the snappy, popping grease attacks. It’s like whack-a-grease-mole once the eggs are in. Dance among the sizzle until the fried eggs are fried, really fried.

You’ll recognize when the eggs are at their zenith:  Crisp dark brown edges ruffled as much as a can-can dancer’s petticoats trimming the white part glowing with an oil slick of transparent color.

 Tasting a bit like greasy crispy onionskin paper.

 Like you know what that is… Think paper in the bottom of the box of warm fresh donuts.

Oh, we dreamed of warm, fresh, donut breakfasts. Never happened.

And none of those sugary breakfast cereals either. Not healthy.

Empty calories.

It’s a wonder we didn’t starve to death.

Deprived childhood.

I think we lived on laughter.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 

December 9, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Gifts of incensed, mirth, and soul

Ringing in the ears. (If they play the Jackson Five’s Santa Claus is Coming to Town one more time…)

Hunting items with just enough blend of tradition and trendy to make a reindeer’s head spin.

I’d say here’s a gift for those in touch with nature, but wildlife might beg to forgo their unwanted attention:

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” like camo wedding rings.

They can be personalized. Like maybe “From a buck to his doe”? Shoot, all sorts of possibilities.

Camo wedding rings. (Image in advertisement. Parade Magazine)

And the bride wore boots and a holster on her hip hip. (Bradford Exchange advertisement image. Parade Magazine)

Look, reinventing the wheel is difficult, but some are trying to turn things around.

“Startup is literally trying to reinvent the wheel” (Video)

An Israeli startup is redesigning the wheel by changing suspension arms to create SoftWheels.

“Our vision is to put a dent in the universe by developing the most energy-efficient and energy-absorbing wheel system in the world. Our mission is to craft a smart wheel that helps people create a smarter planet.”

Already used in bikes and wheelchairs, could cars be next?

Some bright stars out there. Real show stoppers.

Elaborate design of Moon in sky with spieder web. . 1914.Andersen fairy tales/ walker-illstr./Doubleday.ny/pub.library (USPD.pub.date, author/artist lives/ Commons.wikimedia.org)

Which stage name for this Supermoon on the December marquee: Cold Moon or Long Nights Moon? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

While many will be glad to see 2016 over and done, hang in there for the final episode of the Supermoon Trifecta on Tuesday, Dec 13th.

December’s Supermoon is such a party crasher: taking the sky stage on the same night as the peak of the Geminid meteor shower.

While meteor watchers are gnashing their teeth at the possibility of not seeing more than a dozen Geminids per hour, the combination performance is quite an unusual spectacle.

Dec 13th is the only night that the moon will bother to grace the sky the entire night from sunset to sunrise.

It’s only around for a few moments in the night sky the rest of the month – and the rest of this year.

But there is no truth to the rumour that the moon is moonlighting elsewhere.

Might be just ducking out like many others until the frantic holidays are over. Waiting to ring in the new year.

So glow on. Enjoy the presence.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Fantastic bird among fairies (Waterbabies. Fairy tale /Kingsley /ilistr: Warwick Goble (USPD.pub.date/gutenberg.org/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Many fly. A few soar far above the rest. RIP John Glenn. Legend. Last man to walk on the moon. Your life was more than dreams and fairy tales.  (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

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