Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rod's Reflections for December 2015

December 2015

          It was a dream. One of those kind that wake you up and send you to the bathroom during the waning hours of any given morning. By the time I had finished my early morning void and I returned to move my favorite feline out of what remained of my vacated warm spot, the dream had already left my slow functioning mind. I slide in on my right side, placed my left leg over my body pillow and burrowed my shaved head into my pillow. Yes, yes... Paradise, as I pull the covers over my chilled shoulders to help restore that perfect balance of body temperature conducive to productive sleep. Just seconds before I yield to the demands of another paradoxical sleep, I feel my domesticated, Russian Blue, little gray stray curl up in the small of my back as close to me as she can so she too might enjoy that peaceful rest before I stir once again. The dream I left was somehow placed on pause! It started right where it left off as the sandman dusted me into the first stages rapid eye movement.  Now, who in this realm of cognizant reasoning ever dreams of surfing facebook besides me?  Yet that is where I found myself, arrowing down through pages of "news feeds" from who, what, when and where ever!  A comforting repose began as I fell deeper into my trance like sleep. "Rod, have you noticed that your lasting wish has come through for you?" Pausing my declining consciousness as if to ponder the question posed by this unknown source, another thought process was revealed. "Of the pages you have surfed, have you noticed that not one time have you seen the face of your narcissistic president berating gun control or climate change or any other topic to further divide us as a people?  Please take notice that I have spared you from the visual pain of those exacerbated expressions captured and posted on every other news feed for you to become more agitated with of the lefts favorite Miss Daisy as she spins her crime wave to gain the White house!"  Now just how many times has it crossed my mind, how wonderful it would be if I could simply scroll through my news feeds and enjoy friend and family activities along with positive news feeds from the collections of my "liked" pages without being exposed to the disgusting faces and propaganda regurgitation's of the progressive left!! Please tell me I am not the only person that feels this way?  I am sick of the promised booty the election of either of the progressives left's candidates offer, but mostly the disgusting embrace by the secular news media that paints them in a positive aura of continued change.  The big rub with me? The illiterate among us on both sides of the fence that believe this dramaturgical bull feces and think there is money abundant to do this!!  Another reason I shave my head.  No hair to pull out.  Why stop there. Let us visualize the scowl of our ever so popular First Lady now that she finally likes America.  Why the attitude?  Because all children, red, yellow, black and white despises the dog food lunches forced upon them while her children have the very best in school lunches.  Fast forward the profound intelligent excerpts from the left coast's favorite former House Leader, "We have to pass the bill to see what is in it!"  As the Queen of the West remains more and more silent the DNC highlighted yet another socialist progressive as the dryed and fried photos of Wasser name Shultz causes more acid secretions in my stomach that LIMU could possibly control!   Again that calming source of resolve regained control of my mind with a sense of comfort reminding me to "Relax, not one of these nightmares will appear again.  You will see them not!" It was here that true rest overtook me.  

          The dream subsided as did I until my preset alarm awakened my purpose. As 5am turned into 7am, my work computer came to life. Email review, newly added members to my spam club and a visit to my news source, Facebook!  There I find my favorite Arms Dealer had already engaged in what was quickly substantiated in my mind, that being the false truths of dreams!  It was just a dream.  And now the nightmare returns.   Nothing could be further from the truth than my face staring at the faces of every one of our most highly regarded leaders of this diminishing free nation. Discombobulated stress symptoms began boiling deep within the depths of my conservative foundations. It is here I always find resolve in the fact that no one is chosen for leadership unless He allows it. Yes... But didn't He allow this once before when the people demanded a King?  Oh yes... Professor History has spoken clearly of this.  Oh, my soul.  I left out John "Catsup" Kerry... Enough!! There is peace in rest.  Let me take my cat and see what REM sleep surprises me with tonight.

Posted December 1 from my late evening home.

          I would like to share with those of you that wrestle constantly with weight and diabetes, that I went to the donut shop today. Yes, the infamous Harlow's Donut Shop! I was sent by two very demanding front office ladies who desired the sweetness of donut holes to help stimulate their interaction with the general public. As I entered the door of this frequented establishment, temptation consumed my soul. I felt control undress me as my eyes fell upon the display of sugar glazed and baked dough and I yearned to break my vows of gluttony to partake in the very source of my needed addiction. I tore away with four donuts safely secured in two small bags praying I could reach the drive thru water payment window to deliver this tasty delicacy before my desire for the contents consumed them. With shaking hands I put both bags into the slide out tray and felt the temptation along with the evils of gluttony slip from me. Driving away I was proud I had resisted the temptation to partake in my desired fix of four donuts, two cream filled eclair's and that big apple fritter that spikes my blood sugar at 600? I don't know really, just how high it goes because I don't want to know. I can tell you this, as I sit here typing my achievement of the day, my stomach churns in hungered angst and I just sneezed twice to dispel the DT symptoms. I'm doing ok right now but I still have to drive by that source of temptation several times a day.

Posted December 2

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Rod's Reflections for November 2015


          Welcome to November.  Just as I figured, my day is starting off a little on the attitudinal side.  I kind of thought it would, because I once again woke up to drizzle and another heavy overcast day. My first collected thoughts of this new day were my last evening's concerns about this five star administration's revelations to the American Public that there would be "boots on the ground" in Syria.  Oh really?   Only those that hold me close in their hearts and prayers understand the reason why this concerns me so greatly.  Despite my heavy concerns at the day's beginning, I ease into McDonald's, noticing a sign on the door of "employment opportunities available for every shift." Rounding the corner, I am greeted by brand new faces never before encountered, along with my regular morning greeter of the last five years or so, who on this particular morning found herself biding time in the drive through window.  As I approached the counter, I acknowledged them all and noticed a slight smile as my normal greeter slightly shook her head and turned away to avoid seeing what I was about to experience.  Engaged in meeting and taking the orders from groggy, early morning customers both new and old to the local McDonald's, was the new progressive black lives matter charter members that engaged me on this particular morning.  Almost immediately, it became obvious they must have been on a power high as the one on the register could not touch the right buttons despite the corrective advice offered by her companion counter aide in a rather loud exchange of culturally slain use of the English language.  Eventually, the team leader realized the only corrective action that could be made was from the assistance of the assistant manager's register key whom had to be summoned from the rear of the store.  Once reset, the young manager slipped off to regain composure in her hiding place and another attempt at my order was made with the announcement, "go head wit yo awduh."  "Egg Mcfu..., I mean Egg McMuffin with Sausage and a senior coffee," I stated.  As she punched in the order, I was told it was $2.08.  I looked at her and politely said, "that is incorrect, my order should be $4.00 and some odd cents. She looked at me and said in her natural dialect, "you be sait a mcgriddle and coffee," and before I could open my mouth her capable assistant piped in with her loud 3rd Street dialect, once again bastardizing the English Language!  I had reached my saturation point!  You know, that mindset that exceeds the expectations of one's medication??  Just like the first attempt, I stood there listening to the early morning bullshit while the assistant manager was again summoned to reset the register as I turned my back and silently cursed at my morning's misfortunes.  The proper order was finally placed, as both the team leader and counter assistant managed to properly enter my request and the correct price displayed across the pay screen.  I paid by card, thankful change did not have to be made and as I walked out, I heard the all to familiar smoker's hack of my regular morning greeter as without looking, I could visualize her burying her face in her armpit as an attempt to keep that nasty crap in her chest from splattering across handled food.  Once settled in my car to leave, I disgustedly wondered why the hell did I bother to come into this place as often as I did when a granola bar would have been better for me in the first place.  Trust me folks, this is the revised version of the original post I only shared with a few of my good friends originally written on the 2nd day of this new month.

Posted November 4 from my early morning home

          Folkses, I have always held firm in my belief that the first candidate in any local, State or National election to "go negative" against their opponent would be the very candidate I voted against! The closer to election time we draw, two things are becoming crystal clear. The campaign that smears the most is the campaign that noticeably shifts to the center and blatantly lies about who they are, what they believe in their heart and who they actually really represent.  Politics at its very best?  Well absolutely. Because here is what the users of dirt know so well.  On both sides are the culturally "illiterate" crowd that only believes what they hear and see on television and radio ad's.  Their social media sources have been dumb downed to their personal level of understanding as not to cause unwanted stress by finding out the truth of who should truly be called into the service of the electorate.  Obviously the message of the touter is ringing louder as special interest, Unions and National Party money stains the airways of our beloved Louisiana.  So when the message these people actually digested comes to pass and the colors of the winner are elegantly displayed in more "changes" suitable to the onslaught of the socialist agenda we have witnessed in our Nations Capitol, I will still be here shaking my head at the ignorant amongst us hoping Social Security doesn't disappear before I do.  

Posted November 17 from my afternoon home

          Sunray's breach the trees behind me bathing the raised support structures of my drawbridge in her non filtered light. My river clips along in her swirled demeanor as tendrils of soft condensation dissipate from her warmer waters into the chilled 30° air of this fall's first frost. We must wait through another two days and what is left of this beautiful developing Monday before we celebrate the giving of thanks recognized as a national holiday. As Meggie walked across my chest this morning and tickled my face with her whiskers, I sat up on the side of my bed and gave thanks for being allowed to participate in the coming day. A white Egret softly glides through the light foggy pillars from the rivers surface, flairs effortlessly to a standing halt on the edge of a sandbar just below me waiting confidently for breakfast. Thanksgiving. Precious Lord, allow me to acknowledge what I already have before I ask for more.

Posted November 23 from my river

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rod's Reflections for October 2015

October 2015

          The awakening of dawn, I have defined it in so many ways before, but today, absent of carefully selected words that might stimulate the human mind into focused thought, it is still a defining moment to sit silently in and just behold.  Everything I have ever mentioned in years past is still present here at my favorite spot on my river.  The sounds that accompany the awakening of a new day along with the visual perception of those moments in time that you see highlighted in my profile picture comes alive in real time. What I actually noticed different this morning, in a seasonal sense of presence, is the crisp, 52° embrace of the season.  And just to make me smile, I have Mockingbird in stereo, from both sides of the river.

Posted October 14 from my morning river

          Walked out this morning to this October's most beautiful harvest moon, accented with two of the brightest planets in the morning sky, Venus and Jupiter.  I have not seen the fresh clarity of the visual limits of our solar system for several days and have shared with friends it is way too early for Seasonal Affective Disorder to start painting pictures of despair in my mind. But a new day dawns on my river's edge as she shimmers in her predawn run.  My Red, White and Blue Memorial Flag is being teased by a gentle northern breeze and my gray shaded Passerine solos me from across the peaceful divide of sister cities. Somewhere soon a cold front will finish the desiccation of faded leaves as each passing day moves us closer to winter's solstice. Let us embrace what is most beautiful of each passing day and gleen wisdom from the unpleasant lessons we encounter along this journey. Let us hasten this morning to our assigned responsibilities as this harvest moon glides steadily to her northwestern moonset announcing the dawning of this, a new day.

Posted October 28 from my morning river 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rod's Reflections for September 2015

September 2015

          Here I find myself in the middle of the third week of September, 22 days since my last post in August.  I know time has passed and I was able to spend quality time on the North Shore of Pontchartrain over the long Labor Day weekend, yet my mind sits void.  I have not felt encouraged to reflect collected thoughts with the few that do occasionally cross my blog.  Why the void?  Why the silence? I just don't know, actually.  Maybe the season(s) of blog building and thought collections finds its pause, like myself, in the early winter months of life.  I suppose I should prepare my own defined island to better secure me.  Help me to accept what is real and count my blessings.  After all, everything I have accomplished is nothing more than carbon prints of myself.  Damn...  What a mess.  Hang on, now.  Let me pause and look back?   Maybe.  Just Maybe.  

Posted September 16 from my evening home 

         Obviously, as I reflect upon this pictures posed question,
maybe I did not turn out as fine as I could have. I can't help it because I'm white.  Had absolutely nothing in the world to do with that but I have managed the best I could in a progressive leaning society. However, because of this thing pictured, I must confess to the three or four people that read my blog that I have killed unlimited thousands of Indians, German and Japanese soldiers. I hang my head in shame knowing there are countless other outlaw rustlers and bank robbers that fell victim to the same fate as a result of my uncontrolled childhood behavior(s) attributed to the pictured menace you see attached! It helped brainwash my desire to join and become part of the greatest Army in the World where my National Defense Service Medal is adorned with a Star!  After departing military service on my initial enlistment, my flair for abnormal behavior intensified as I attended a Liberal Arts Institute of Advanced studies known as a University.  It was here my abnormal thoughts actually became worse.  That great Army or Green Machine I was so proud to be a part of was stripped to nothing by a peanut president so the monies once used to protect this great nation could now be used to expand social spending which almost ruined this country.  As a result, I found myself giving up my "solid south" democrat voting rights and became a registered republican! See? All of this because of a pictured toy for me to be left alone to fantasize about killing people without compassion with grape cool aide stains on my lips!  Did I mention these things were given me by uncaring parents that dented my ass almost weekly as to help mold my radical behavior while destroying my self-esteem? So as I ponder this picture and reflect on my childhood years playing with this despicable toy, I somehow found Jesus as my personal savior. Seemed like I needed Him more than he needed me as I became part of the law enforcement community that spanned many years!!! So you see, as I aged, I became more and more of a social outcast. I still have a piece of paper at the local court house that says I am a registered republican, only because there is no box I can check that says I am that dreaded conservative so despised by the educated academia types! Please forgive me for being so dismantled. To this very day, I carry concealed because of my insecurities and even felt the urge to share with others why they should as well, if they desire, as a certified instructor with some National organization that built an Association around a Rifle.  It matters not your perception of the question posed.  I reckon I am fine, and I proudly associate myself with that group of people that proclaim "All Lives Matter!" Yet dreadfully, I exist among you as a White, Conservative, Christian, Veteran that owns Guns!  What greater threat to the Government other than that, that, Dang!  What is it?  Oh yes, the Constitution. So, Molon Labe.  I turned out Just Fine! 

Posted September 17 

          And the Fall Equinox is amongst us for the entire day in perfect balance as light and darkness share equal time.  The Fall season is officially here. The dog days of summer are actually behind us, even though reminders of its dominance finds temperatures still palatable in the mid-90's. Now, if a quick cold front would sting us, followed by seasonal temps, then we would we see that crisp fall color we seldom see here in the south.  Leaves will still prepare to desiccate regardless, from their source as another annual ring pronounces itself unseen in the trunk of the tree they nourished. Open your ears and listen. The piercing sound of a referee's whistle as it signals the end of a football play. My word, where is time?  Balanced this day between equal day and equal night?  Harmony, for some yet unnoticed by others. We are in the third week of football season? The gathering of the harvest nears.

Posted September 22 from my early morning office

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Rod's Reflections for August 2015

August 2015

My first August workday finds me still frequenting my favorite river. Despite her accented sandbar tattoos surprisingly left by her July flood rage, I still find her passing waters calm my soul and allow me to emotionally and spiritually prepare for my day. I am not a Monday through Friday person actually, as for me, everyday is a special day that I can live and participate in the gift God gives each of us.
 Rod Ferguson's photo.

Posted August 1 from my morning River

          One more thing I forgot I loved about grand kids!  Linda and I are Just 9 days into our AT&T shared plan of 8 GB's that we never use between our two smart phones and her tablet in any given month. So this early Sunday morning as I begin to stir to life, I find a text from my favorite carrier telling me that I have used 100% of my shared data and they have courteously given me an additional gigabyte of data for $15 bucks! Bam! Another message saying "that" data was gone with the promise of another $15 bucks on the next monthly bill along with another fresh gigabyte of newer data!  Before I could even comprehend how almost 11 gigabytes could have been "hacked" from my account, another quick "ding" notification on my text informed me that 75% of that data was gone! So here is the love I would like to share with all of you. If you let your 9 year old grandson play games with your iPad (thank you, Linda), you might want to teach them (grand kids) as to how to use Wi-Fi to Watch Netflix during one of those all night stays at Maw Maw and Poppy's house! Of course he, along with the help of his able 15-year-old cousin, managed to discover that you could watch movies on YouTube, which unknown to us "elderly fixed income types," had no idea that You Tube Movies literally eats that 8 gigabyte plan alive! Attention: able programmers Wanted! New app that will electrically zap any grandchild that uses my fixed income data for anything they can't find at their own parents' house.  Yes... I'm still agitated to the tune of $45 extra dollars on my next bill.  Grand Kids or Maw Maw, Grand Kids or Maw Maw....   Have I reminded anyone lately of my contempt for kids?  Why is it that old people are getting on my nerves almost as bad???

Posted August 9 from my early Sunday Morning home

          I have so much fun with my grand kids every chance I get, especially the teenagers! A small band of thunder storms pushed through Central Louisiana this afternoon breaking the sultry August heat cycle that has been stifling us for weeks. Junior and McKenzie seem to be a constant companion on these after church, lazy Sunday afternoons. At 5:15 PM everything electrical ceases to work in our comfortable home as a result of a power failure somewhere in the grid that serves us. I struggled to regain consciousness after being put to sleep by satellite TV's "Undercover Boss," and walked down the hallway to my bedroom toilet to answer a simple call of nature since it was raining on my patio. Junior pipes up and asked me one of his more brilliant questions, "What happened to the electricity, Poppy?"  After just two steps of my journey to my destination, I just responded, "Maw Maw forgot to pay the electricity bill so they turned it off until we can pay the bill tomorrow."  As brain damaged as he is, the electrical storm outside never crossed his under developed mind as he breaks his neck to go tell McKenzie that the security, solitude and unlimited Wi Fi that draws them to our house in the first place, is doomed because Maw Maw did not pay the electricity bill!  Did I mention it was Sunday?  Yes... Yes I did, but that didn't cross his mind either...  It is about this time I step into my bathroom and actually reach up to turn on the light for my convenience.  Now, who was I just talking about? I just shook my head and won't tell you what Latin word crossed my mind but, Oh my, aren't we creatures of habit?  What really gets to me, is walking away from the toilet not bothering to flush it when it dawns on me that the toilet is not part of the electrical system??  That folks, is aging brain damage. Yes, I stepped back in and flushed the damn thing!  Anyway, I encouraged Linda into getting up from her nap pretty easily because our ever alert alarm system, Junior, woke her up to tell her the electricity was off.  I suggested that she and I go somewhere and have a light dinner together. By this time Junior and McKenzie, both upset that our electricity has been disconnected, are wondering why we are leaving them there alone. I appease them by setting out a couple of scented candles to compensate for the growing darkness and to make them as happy as possible. I also remind them they may want to contact their mama on their I-pads, Y-pads or cell phones to come pick them up before the battery back up on my Wi-Fi runs down and their world turns pre-historic. In the meantime, Raisin Canes over in Alexandria is on my radar scope. This is a chicken strip kind of day.

Posted August 16 from my late Sunday afternoon home 

         And as my morning begins, I find I am simply joining the masses of others already under tow. The task of participation. Task of participation? I sat up this morning and Thanked God for this day. I ached not in my body or soul. Yes, there are those that could not sleep because of whatever reason that torments their mind. The new Widow and her 9 year old son of our slain Trooper in Lake Charles? Those sitting patiently beside an aging loved one waiting for them to pass. Even also among those I know are those that will put down a beloved pet that has comforted them for years. Does not matter if they make the right decision, the hurt is still there. Yet for the majority of the masses, most of our day is yet to be defined. My tow is miles behind me down river yet she will return. Laden with coal to furnish electricity that keeps me cool this time of the year and supplies me with light as to comprehend my daily challenges. I yield to a greater authority knowing I am His. That also comforts my soul.

Posted August 25 from my morning River side 

          Reflecting through the pages of my blog, I go all the way back to the month of May and find even then my river was at a bowling fast track pace as spring rains throughout her collective basin was making an obvious difference in her rise and temperament. It took a couple of months but eventually she reached new levels of flood stage records in this century setting many along her path at various stages of alarm. Today is the first time I have pulled beside her shores and could see the reflection of Alexandria's taller buildings and landscape glimmering softly in her much slower run. I wonder if one of her locks are closed up river? Almost time for man to pool her between locks. Then her waters loose the red tint and become a bluish green reflection of peace and solitude as sediments settle to the bottom. It is during these early morning visits that her surface looks like she is covered in black ice. That is when she is most beautiful to me. But it will be a couple of more weeks before she makes peace with her past summers raging floodwaters. Maybe then she can provide comfort to herself and those she loves as she settles in to her redefined shorelines establishing peace within her soul and those that look to her for nurture, solace and life. My river. Sometimes I wonder if when that time intersects, if what is left of what I once existed within, could In fact be poured into her depths to consummate this affair with her I seem to not be able to end. And a crisp, hint of fall, beautiful day beckons me!

Posted August 26 from my morning River 


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rod's Reflections for July 2015


          Think I will start my 4th of July holiday with my cousin Al on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain!  Gotta stop at Bass Pro Shop outside of Baton Rouge in a few minutes. Yes, yes, I am aware of threats made by ISIS. I am packing "Preparation H" for the possibility of such minor flare ups!  Some of my followers commented that they found my post funny, obviously appreciating my attempt at humor.  Another one of my more extreme right leaning friends came right out and asked me if I was going to support "that racist flag" over the 4th of July holiday I intended to celebrate?  As his comment came across my facebook post, I died laughing at his question because unknown to him, I was actually standing in the Bass Pro Shop, with my eyes absorbing the very subject of his radical prodding!  It actually helped make up my mind to go "all out" and do exactly that.  I sent him a picture of my desire and told him he could bet his ass that I certainly was!  I found my preferred size, took it off the shelf and after a quick debate of properly displaying said racist flag, I felt since the SCOTUS could re-write the constitution, I could chose to define how I wanted to display said object.  Besides, I would simply find it entertaining for someone to throw me on the ground with the intentions of stomping on this bad, bad boy!  In fact I just might give up a little leaking to convince whomever their efforts were not in vain. Eventually at some point in time they would understand I felt myself to be in danger of great bodily harm or possible death and respond like wise to their poorly and so ignorant choice of assaulting something I hold most dear!  

Posted July 1 

          Wide awake in the predawn hours of July 2nd as I stare at my dimmed iPhone's screen in the dark third story bedroom of my cousin's home on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. I have been awake for the last couple of hours for no apparent reason other than sleep avoids me. I have skimmed through posts I've collected on my blog from months past as stormy winds off this massive lake whistle with various levels of intensity against the window of my elevated room.  Even though I focus on the dimmed screen of my phone, I can see the occasional flash of lightening through the window out of the corner of my eye off to the southwest!  It is way out over the Gulf of Mexico, maybe? I check my Storm app and sure enough, a massive heat storm exists! I can't help but think of the disturbed waters beneath the fury of that intense storm!  I recall the loss of my friend Chris, off Dauphin Island as a similar storm swept him from his sailboat just a short time ago this past spring. Dauphin Island and more memories of similar loss stir as the wind begins to pepper rain against the window of that third story bedroom that harbors the fragmented thoughts I try to put into words. What is it that pulls me to this beautiful place here on the North Shore? Of course it is the fellowship of my widowed cousin, the closest thing to a brother I will ever have. I asked him just hours ago as we sat on his second story balcony if he had seen that Eagle he told me about recently?  He had in fact, and added there were actually two now!  My thoughts went to my Southwest Florida Eagle cam that an acquaintance on facebook introduced me to a couple of years back.   I have viewed the last couple of seasons where I was able to watch a mating pair of Bald Eagles,  Ozzie and Harriet raise two of four hatch-lings to fledgling Eaglets. Seems right before Egg number six or E-6 was to leave the nest, Ole Ozzie found himself recovering in a wildlife rehab center after breaking a wing following an unfortunate encounter with a vehicle's bumper!  Watchers of the eagle cam are now wondering since Ozzie has been released, if he and Harriet will re-unite?  Rumor has it she has found another Beau!  Kindrid spirits on the webcam's blog and facebook page refer to him as FV, a synonym for Frequent Visitor!  I mean seriously, Rumor?  Didn't take Harriet long to sort of "gravitate" to his sense of humor in Ozzie's absence. She had no choice if truth be known.  It is good that nature provides for bonding without the ache of loss.  It is so easy to be forgotten, isn't it? So very similar to real life yet that is nature at its best.  Survival of the fittest, as those we care about the most struggle to find a place where they can never be taken from us again?  I think I will let that dog sleep, while in the meantime, It has fallen silent outside of my temporary bedroom window now.  It is not long before the sunrise I so much enjoy watching here over a cup of hot Community dark roast coffee. Sunrise, just a scant :45 minutes away.  What to do?  My eyes are getting heavy and yet my nerve damaged feet urge me to get up and go downstairs. I am on vacation!  After all, it is the beginning of a long 4th of July week and weekend.  I can sleep later.

Posted in the Early Morning hours of July 2

          On the rare occasion my youngest daughter asks Linda to baby sit her four children while she and her husband go eat and maybe take in a movie, I search for the opportunity to seize upon any given moment to imprint the minds of these children left to my attention, love, care and protection.  Ashton, the oldest child at 9, amuses himself and doesn't hesitate telling me he will be a teenager in just four more years!  Now, Katie is 6 and Gabby is 3, soon to turn 4 in October. Little Garret Ferret just turned 1, so he hangs onto the side of his soft bar holding-cell we call a playpen and observes in usually, general silence, the common interaction of sibling activity in this strange environment known as Maw Maw and Poppy's house. Now to me, the key to my peaceful existence, is to entertain the kids in my part of the house less than they entertain themselves in Linda's part of the house!  You see, I know the two girls are bored and miss their mommy really bad!  I can only get so much sugar before those two girls alone become more demanding of food, more hugs, endless questions, picture taking, basic meddling or whatever they can find to aggravate.  :I have one method that usually works a couple of times! I suddenly sit up and ask, "Is that mommy down there?"  In a flash it begins!  There is a mad dash as they run to the door located in Linda's end of the house to see if mommy is actually there!  That gives me a short reprieve before they eventually gravitate back to my domiciliary area where they find another activity that chips away at the personality of my aging patience.  They begin to spin the chair, pester poor Meggie who is simply trying to bide time beside me in short cat naps before being terrorized once again by one or both of those sweet (dear lord) girls of whom both think, my sweet cat is taffy!
 I have found that one question asked, and my one answer back to them, is enough to make them wander back into Linda's world in a state of trance like wonder, that if what I said could possibly be remotely true!! I simply get both of their short attention spans to pay attention to me and make the comment, "I guess your mommy was telling Poppy the truth."  Both look at me in confused wonder and l continue... "Yaw do know you live here now. Mommy gave yaw to me and Maw Maw!"  Their eyes widen, and Gabby looks at Katie, the oldest, to see if what she thought I said was really what her three and a half year old mind, actually heard!  Recognizing the possible horrible realization of the truth, yes, she did hear that correctly, on her Oldest sister's face, she remains silent and falls in behind Katie as they slowly make their way back into Linda's part of the house.  I smile at myself knowing exactly what is happening down there.  Linda and I are both winners.  Katie slowly crawls onto the couch with Gabby climbing up to sit right beside her.  Gabby, still depending on Katie's advanced age to confirm communication, just looks around waiting while Katie is actually too afraid to ask Maw Maw if her Mommy actually did give them away.  Sitting there smugly smiling at myself, it dawns on me as they left for the other pasture, my cat was missing.  My gosh!  How do they do that?  Things brightened up in their world in the next few minutes as I heard their mommy's voice from the far end of the house.  I know they are relieved.  I think I'll go down there and tell them its bed time as to reinforce the possibility of truth just to watch the horror cross their sweet eyes at the shear possibility of reality... Independence Day will soon arrive here at my late Sunday afternoon home!  

Posted July 5 


          Well, it took long enough, but I finally upgraded to the iPhone 6S today.  I was not enticed by the new enhancements of said adult necessity but simply because my companion of almost 4 years, my iPhone 4S, simply gave up the spirit.  Everything functioned well up to the last moments of this durable toy that became a mainstay companion despite finding the bottom of my "being used" toilet.  Yup, I snatched that bad boy from the ceramic bottom it fell victim to before the poor thing even knew it was wet!  All in mid stream perpetual motion!  I immediately pampered its entire exterior with a soft towel and put her to sleep in a baggy of white rice.  A very restful night eventually passed as I pull her out of the baggy, poured the rice back into the container it came from and held my breath as I turned it on!  That white apple appeared against the dark screen and there she was!  She totally had forgiven me for that silly mishap.  Same phone now, some few months later in the summer of 2012.  My wife talked me into working the concession stand at some Dixie Youth Baseball Park for an entire season!  During one of our "change the cooking oil" that everything is fried in at your typical ball park setting, I leaned over to stop the drain of cold used cooking oil into a five gallon bucket when guess what happened!  My treasured iPhone 4S sought the bottom of said bucket of cold, dirty cooking oil.  My affection and need for her found me rescuing her and again pampering her once again for a return to normal.  It took a while, but after an entire can of compressed air cleaning, she returned to a semi normal operational mode that lasted until today!  Everything was normal except for the fact that when I called or was called by anyone, I could hear them fine, but they were denied the conversation with me.  I took my constant companion of 4 years to Apple Pie, an iPhone rehab and repair center hoping it might be a simple fix?  As the technician entered the forbidden treasure of her operational secrets, he smiled as he noticed the grease that watermarked her three years ago.  He shook his head after a few probing questions and told me her useful days as a functioning companion had reached a saturation point. To me it was a death sentence.  It was her microphone that was attached to something similar to a motherboard??  I was somewhat saddened that she chose to put me on another path of destiny with another iPhone, but as electronics go, she could no longer function to satisfy me needs... I had no choice.  The memories we made I will hold forever in my mind an heart because of her?  How I wish she could have stayed with me.  Just this very day I dressed her in a brand new case complete with a carbon print flygrip stuck on the back!  Stop!!!  It is over...  Carry me with you until, she muttered, as I struggled to text friends and family of her demise... I wrestled with just the 5S but with her encouragement, I settled on the 6S.  A slow motion camera?  I think she approves.  As I finish this last refrain in memory of her, I am restoring her soul into my new Rodney's Iphone from backup that existed in some iCloud location.  If it is successful, I will take my 4S into my hands one last time, find the box she came to me in, and restore everything in her back to default.  Her memory of me will be gone forever but she will remain part of me until I am restored to my default setting somewhere down my traveled roads.  Until then, I just hope I can adjust to Ms. iPhone 6S.  I so hope she is not temperamental and has the hold up power my baby 4S had all these years...

Posted July 9 from my late evening home

          The second full moon of the final day of July will present itself tonight as what we commonly refer to as a blue moon. Usually I am drawn to such specticals of celestial Divine programmed diversity but tonight I find myself some what puny and already in bed for what I hope is a peaceful night. Yes, that full moon. Since the early days of my youth I have been drawn to sit and gaze at her climb into the dark night she so dominated. I know it is unseasonable now at the end of this sultry July, but nothing intrigues me more than an ice covered twig of any defoliated tree. Very seldom does that phenomenon occur here in our Louisiana, but when it does, I have taken the time to discover the moon can reveal a rainbow in that glazed over, clear icy cover that protects the coming springs bloom in a 32° blanket of controlled comfort.  So, as expected, after a little time of increased suspense, the magnet of my affection drew me from the protected covers of my bed to my patio clad only in my leather flip flops and new boxer brief drawers!  There she silently smiled upon me in the East South East Sky, rewarding my efforts as she was bathed in a total aura of Rainbow Colors!  In awe I stood there gazing upon her beauty.  Not one pulse of contrite remorse saddened my heart, instead I called to Linda and Kbear to view what I was seeing!!  They eventually made their way outside and glanced at what most people take for granted and walked back into the house.  My wife casually responded it was my new glasses that was seeing a rainbow because she didn't see nothing!  I flung the covers off once again, and pounced back onto my patio again focusing my attention on what I clearly viewed as a moonbow!  I see color!  Snatch off my new glasses and I still see color!  I tell them both they are crazy that I can see a rainbow around my moon with and without glasses!  Linda keeps walking dismissing my rant as early stages of dementia. Kbear, out of respect, returns to my side.  In soft pleading words, I again implore her to tell me if she cannot see my rainbow?  She looked and finally agreed there was color.  Black and white are colors, I implored, I can see blue, yellow and red.  Can't you?  Probably more to appease me, she agreed color was there.  Looking back at my rainbow encased blue moon, she reminded me of the saying that beauty is far deeper that the visual skin.  Neither of those two would brave the cold winter night to hold in their fingers the tip or twig end of a deciduous tree limb that is encased in ice for me to reveal a rainbow unto them.  Knowing that, how could you ever expect them to share the intricate secrets you and I share together when all you have to do is seek Me?  I walked to my bed and returned to the protection of my covers wondering, Why do I not seek more often?  I passed effortlessly into man's programmed diversity called August.  

Posted July 31 from my late evening home 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Rod's Reflections for June 2015


          I found myself this morning sitting by my river with the intent of posting what is revealed below.  After gleaning through some of the posts to my news feed, I started writing away on my iPhone one letter at a time...  I checked it a couple of times for grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc, and then posted it.  And never found it!  It was gone.  Had I deleted it?? Did Facebook eat it??  Could not figure it out but I knew I had scant minutes to drive to the VA Hospital for a blood test at 7am, so  I just let it go.  Somehow I had deleted my first blog entry for June and just did not have the time to redo it.  Then I get a message from my friend, Carolyn Gresham, around 2 pm this afternoon!  Seems my Facebook surfing ended with the last post on my news feed by Carolyn. It appears that instead of clicking on "Status," I must have clicked on "comment" for she found my morning river post, attached as a comment to her post that I had last read.  Later in the day, she posted this to my wall:

Hey Rod, here is your lost morning river post:  "What tumultuous dreams rolled through my resting mind this dark, predawn morning!! A disturbance not encountered in weeks gone by, yet repetitive in its annoying persistence!  I actually have concerns of these types of dreams but fall short of dwelling there, so I dressed and hastened to my river!  There she raged in the early morning light as I pulled up beside her!  Last night, while I was resting, she was wide awake and angry in her real time world. A full moon encouraged her angry run to her destination as her flood stage waters threatens the entire Red River basin with economic ruin. I guess her drumming in my dream tossed sleep was evident as I sat here beside her this morning.  She told me clearly, 'I have 6, maybe 7 more feet to rise before I am through.'  And maybe the message I wrestled with last night in my dreams was anticipated.  She continued, 'I will return to normal, but when I do, the results of my anger will be obvious to those that matter. Yet understand, despite the hurt of corrections I will for myself along my path, you will be made stronger from my temperamental rage, as time will heal the wounds inflicted for the better.' " 

Nice post by the way, Ferguson. Strange how the mind goes in your sleep to what is truly of concern to you. There is beauty in the angry rushing water of your river. You are not the only one preoccupied with her state of being these days. Lots of on-lookers at her downtown edges.

Posted June 3 from my morning river

         1st dive in the new lined pool by my KBear* and two things happened: 1. Overcome with excitement she hits the very cold swimming pool water with her glasses still on!  They go to the bottom of course, 2. The entire neighborhood within a half mile radius immediately knew the water was not "just right" and the Ferguson Pool was now open!  She and Junior* were so proud they were the first ones in my repaired and functioning swimming pool for the 2015 season.  You know, bragging rights with the other grand kids?  I just didn't have the heart to tell them, Meggie opened the pool yesterday after a gentle nudge from her loving Master!  Yes, you must remember that this sweet feline's sole existence upon this earth is for my pleasure!  I was so proud of her for this being the first time she ever went swimming or had ever been wet!  Even though I was calling her back, she strongly swam to the gentle bend of the oval shaped pool and "cat paddled" very aptly for a first time swimmer the entire circumference of the pool.  A totally complete lap while mewing her discontent or surprise without the first mew of profanity!  When she passed by me on her frantic swim to where ever she thought she was going, I grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and pulled her out of the cold water! The look I got from her was, "OMG!  What just happened?"  I've seen that look before when younger, brain damaged grand kids would "fall" into that pool from that same  "gentle nudge."   It was funny.  She rapidly departed the swimming pool's ledge I placed her on to roll on the warm patio concrete as to displace this "wet stuff" she was experiencing.  Yes, it took a while for the attitude to pass.  I did notice, but come bedtime, the Temptation Treats I give her before bed, allowed her forgiveness mode to become more tolerant of me.  Besides, she knows there is no better place in the world than being curled up in the small of my back under the covers!  Sweet cat! 

* Oldest Grand Daughter, Mckinzi and Grandson, Kennard, Jr., I often refer to as KBear and Jay Bird.

Posted June 4 from my afternoon glider on my patio

          It's 0520 on Wednesday morning. On most days you would find me 20 minutes into my :45 to 1 hour, 4.5 mph fitness stroll on my favorite treadmill at Louisiana College Health Club, awkwardly channel surfing between the SEC cable station, Fox News and our Local morning news.  This breaks the boredom of stationary walking. Instead of the usual morning exercise ritual, this 0430 beginning finds my head filled with thoughts of my temperamental river , almost like I am being summoned. This affair, which began years ago, once again wins over my health sustaining regime and I find myself sitting beside her fast racing flood waters as the breaking dawn slowly brings color to my surrounding landscape. My morning sounds accompany me, as usual, yet I sit here staring in a spellbound like grip of wonder at the awesome flow of my River as she races to dissipate excessive rainfall that is still collecting in her massive basin. I have described her many times as angry in past cogitated descriptions but for some reason the only word that seems to fit her on this early morning visit seems to be desperate.  As the progressing daylight reveals more of her flaunting aggressive state, I try to reason why she has lost the red silty color that normally taints her personality when man made locks and dams along her path exercise her temperament?  Maybe just maybe she is intent on proving an age old point that many of us stumble upon. Yes, possibly exactly that!  Her life giving waters and food she generously provides because of her divine nature is just taken for granted and not appreciated!  Do we ever take the time to praise her, thank her or acknowledge the unlimited bounty she provides us?   Is it possible that she just wants to be recognized by so many of us that usually take advantage of her. Is this just what they are doing?  Here in this present state of uncontrolled rage, it is difficult to navigate her waters as tugs and barges laden with coal struggle up river against her aggressive output while even the most seasoned Captains stress to maintain control of empty tows as the river alone paces their speed beyond what is safe for them as they move downstream. The commercial fisherman is absent from his pre-dawn angling. Imagine that. Who could control an aluminum Jon boat and run a trout line in this?  Live stock is being re-positioned by concerned farmers all along her rising rage as to protect them from becoming victims of her flood stage antics.  And who more than the patient planter, also dependent upon her to sustain his summer bounty, agonizes the delay in days lost as that growth period for economic returns the fall season brings is still in his barn in seed form yet planted?  Yes, just possibly every brace of decades or so, she needs to flex her strength to remind those who selfishly take advantage of her, that we need to respect her life giving gifts she alone provides despite mankind's planned attempts to control her. Have we even thought about the recreational loss of those that gather on her banks every year to enjoy family, friends and fellowship? Not this season! No ski boats with skiers or those towed black inner tubes of people frantically screaming "slowdown" before being tossed into her cooling waters or the smell of barbecue wafting across her expanse.  I'm sure when she allows those people to return, they too might be more appreciative of her pooled, docile existence.  I must smile as I try to dwell in my river's mind, the thought that even the Louisiana National Guard has been called up to assist in whatever temper tantrums her rising waters might incite.  She is obviously angry to many, scary to a growing number of people and held in a state of consternation in the conscious awareness of  countless others.  Am I collecting a faint repose from her that she is now somewhat desperate to finish what is happening with her uncontrolled decent to again becoming more submissive to management by man. I strongly feel she hears my thoughts as I recall my 0445 departure from home, the distant light of arching static from gathering clouds.  Again rain in recognized proportions is gathering in your basin, I tell her.  My message seems unimportant as if she knows something I can't possibly comprehend. Maybe this is why I sensed earlier she was desperate?  Does she know what I know not, and does she hasten to correct a more serious reckoning?  I love this place. And my affair with my river continues. So many times in her arrogance or distant silence, I miss her pooled waters so.  Despite my love and affection for her, I would never build my home or stake my future on her side of the levy.  Trust, once destroyed, is gone forever.

Posted June 9 from my early morning river

          I do not sit before the drive by cable news networks or waste my time with the main stream news media.  Breaking news usually reaches me through Fox News Alerts on my cell phone and from there I piece together the facts as they are revealed through everything from Facebook post to new clips posted on that social media by Fox and sometimes other news outlets I deem reliable!  In doing this, I stumbled across Senator Tim Scott on a couple of different interviewed segments with Fox News Megyn Kelly.  Here in my State of Louisiana, almost half a continent away from South Carolina, I found Senator Scott's demeanor, tone and deep humility deeply impacted the calloused attitude I had conditioned myself for in anticipation of the "oh boy, we have another white boy" we can smear.  I did not take the time to post those interviews here.  It was not necessary for me to do so...  I just admire and respect this man for addressing the concerns of the people of his representative State while not pointing one finger at anything other than the need to heal as "one family" from this God forsaken act and disregard of human life. Here is my Post:
           South Carolina, I applaud you for Senator Tim Scott!  With this tragedy rippling across our country, his voice of calm reflection and reason resonates in the hearts of reasonable men and women across all racial and demographic borders with the wisdom of a true leader.   And to compliment him are his constituents all across South Carolina, the very people that knew this job sought the man and elected him to represent them with integrity!  The people of Charleston have united together as a family to mourn this act of insanity. As we speak, no outside agitators have arrived and the news medias attempts to spin the truth has fallen short of its purpose to divide. All of you in the Great State of South Carolina, especially those grieving together in Charleston, are proof the heartbeat of the America I grew up in can still be felt across this Nation!

Posted June 20

          The longest day has ended here on my patio. Darkness has embraced the remaining hours of the summer solstice. Tomorrow's day length will be less that today's and the race to the Fall equinox has begun!  We will soon yearn for Fall temperatures as the heat of Summer will dominate her appointed time as we exist through her extremes. In the mean time, we are programmed to continue on, oblivious to the unknown while recovering from our last setback whether it affected us directly or not!  There in the distance, the hoot of an owl blending naturally with my choral ensemble of amphibians and chirping insects as they dominate the sound of darkness. It was a good day for me, I think, and not one grand child made noise in my perfectly clean and vacuumed pool!

          My dearest Northern Conservative commented, "The lovely South...  Well said, Rod", and before I responded, she private messaged me and said the kindest thing.  Your words make pictures.  Keep writing!  Yes, my ego seemed to eat that up.  Not many comments anymore, but I still continue to collect my thoughts and share them.  I responded on my facebook to her original comment with the private message in mind.  Yes, Suzanne, there is a beauty that accompanies every season, experienced in all of our senses.  Sight, hearing, smell and, and whatever.  Those too!  I simply regress most of the time.

Posted June 21 from my late afternoon patio

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Rod's Reflections for April & May 2015

April & May

          April 1, or April Fool's Day is my baby sister, Nona Lee's birthday!  This year, she hit the big 60!  She must have gotten the better "gene" package from mom and dad because she is still a good looking heifer!  Some one posted a picture of her holding a glass of wine with the number 60 beside her and I just had to weigh in and wish her special Happy Birthday.  It went like this:
         Well lil sis, you made it to your 7th decade! Well, let me tell ya bout it since I've been here for 4 years and 3 months!  Ain't nothing to it, girl!  I have found that my affection for my cat is more time efficient than wasting time with most people.  Look at Emmy Lou and you will understand what I am telling you.  I can actually have stimulating and constructive conversation with both of my cat's as long as I let them go outside to take care of their business first and treat them with some "Temptation" cat snacks.  Now, lots of people might think you a bit strange for doing that, but if you look into your pets eyes when you talk to them, don't tell me that they don't know exactly what you are saying to them and know also of whom you are talking about!  Am I correct here??  So embrace your pets and try your best to tolerate people that aren't mentally adept at communicating with you on that "special level!"   Now, here is something else I need to caution you about.  Because you share the same DNA as you other siblings, you will have this uncontrolled desire to snatch up cute little kids we refer to as grand children, great nieces or nephews and kiss on them!  You cannot help yourself and the older you get, the worse this affliction will affect you.  Just embrace it because it is fun.  However, let me caution you about the repercussions of such actions on your part.  You must KNOW that if these children are 5 years of age or less, every last one of them are virus drones.  You will get sick from what ever crap you encounter on their sweet faces.   They have been sucking snot for so long, what ever disease you capture disguised as "sugar," they are immune to.   Just enjoy it anyway, because in my case I will be puking in a couple of days after said encounter and I know my commode will get cleaned well before I become intimate with it!  Oh yes,  exercise!  As much as I hate this, I do manage to walk 15 to 20 miles a week on a treadmill or at our local High School track.  Yes, it may seem to be a waste of time but I have found that if I walk faster I get it over with much quicker and wonder why I ache in places I never think about the rest of the day.  Now, I can't help but caution you about your political identity.  By 60, it has pretty much become fixed in your mindset of who and what you are and you really don't give a rat intercourse what anyone else thinks!  Nothing is going to change the way you feel so try to avoid those of opposite beliefs.  Why?  Because like me, you carry concealed and pretty much don't need to be tempted in eradicating blight that exists in human form.  I have found that my major news source is now facebook instead of Fox News or other major networks' propaganda.  I do not know what I enjoy more, listening to or looking at Megyn Kelly, but I certainly enjoy her program!  I don't drool on myself near as much as I once did when watching her program unless I'm sipping crown on the rocks.  And last, baby sister, I would be remiss if I neglected to mention sects in this decade of life.  I vaguely recall the word having an x in it, but do not worry about that either.   Here is a reality.  Oral sects is not as bad as what you may have heard!   It is far more fun to talk about it than expend the time and energy trying to recall what it was we once enjoyed!!  Anyway, happy birthday and try your best to keep your teeth.  So far, all of us in the original family pod has managed to keep em...  Except Mom and Dad!  Oh crap...  I still love you more than any baby sister I have.

Posted April 1 around 0645 from my river on a Group MMS consisting of 9 people, 6 of whom I did not know.  Only one other person posted.  Who is this???  lmao

          I never miss the opportunity to impress my grandkids with how bad their Poppy is. I was picking at Ashton and Kinzi a few months back and asked them if they wanted to give me my insulin shot! Of course both got squeamish and decided to bow out politely. As they stood there watching me, I adjusted the amount of insulin I needed and suddenly stabbed it into the side of my neck complete with the screaming and wincing like I was in extreme pain!   What I didn't realize at first was I had accidentally hit my juggler vein with the thin insulin needle and a couple of heartbeats of very thin blood spurted on the bathroom mirror I was standing in front of!!  Mckinzi stepped back, covered her mouth and screamed in horror as Ashton started crying and ran out of the bathroom screaming for Maw maw!! I was laughing so hard I could barely see but also shocked at what I had just managed to do!  Needless to say, it scared the crap out of me too, until I realized a good pull of toilet tissue along with direct pressure would stop it. After all an insulin needle is a touch on the small side. I laughed at those kids so hard it cramped my stomach! To this day, every time I mention the word "shot," grandkids scatter from my presence in rapid haste in fear of Poppy's unknown humor.  Oh yes, all of them heard some version of what actually happened when Poppy got a shot and I can't help myself, but every time I hear that one of them are going to the doctor, I tell them they are going to get a shot.  It really aggravates my daughters...  Yes, I posted this on facebook and have enjoyed EVERY comment.  I just didn't have the heart to tell those who "bit," the truth behind this post.  Only here on my blog, which no one actually visits, will the truth be known.  Please notice the date of this post!  Sometimes I kill myself!

Posted April Fools Day at 10:15 pm from my bed.

          66° at 6:15 PM on the 10th day of April as I sit on my patio below cloudy skies. Meggie is 25' up in my Golden Rain Tree as Peggy sits on the sidewalk below her watching in amazement. The soft coo of a mourning dove, mocking voice of my mockingbird, along with the sounds of countless other birds I simply can't identify. Ah yes, and that familiar call of a field lark along with the pounding hammer of some peckerwood as he pounds away for some unknown insect that will unsuspectedly become part of his evening Buffett. The bark of a family dog and the happy shrill of some child in some distant yard adds to the color of George Tabor, Red Ruffle and Purple Formosa Azalea's displayed in full bloom. Well I'll be, it is the staccato whistle of the bright red male Cardinal I can identify as I watch him make his presence known on a lower limb of my giant long leaf pine. Kbear and Junior wanted to spend the night and have already asked me, "what's for supper, Poppy?"  I smile as a distant Harley runs through it gears and the dull thud of a dribbled basketball reverberates through the neighborhood from the cul-de-sac as resident kids take advantage of daylight savings time. Maybe Ramen noodles?  Let them serve me tonight! And my neighbors pinned foxhounds joins the cacophony of afternoon sounds until their needs are met as an airline passes high overhead from Atlanta to Houston. You know what I find strange?  Not one sound of amphibian dominance is coming from the freshly rained wetlands behind my house. Yet here is that stinking mosquito reminding me that my blood could be the strawberry mix of some frogs feast of him after his successful feast upon me? Laughing!! There!  I know that bird, too. The arrogant noise of a Blue Jay finally adds to the choral majesty of nature.  I miss you, Diane and all three of your girls are still as beautiful as I remember you.

Posted April 10 from my afternoon patio

          Awakened on the north shore at 5:15 this morning, drank coffee and ate a raisin bread peanut butter sandwich.  Merged into New Orleans traffic as I crossed lake Pontchartrain onto I-10 from Slidell at 6:20 am. Early morning at New Orleans City Park at 6:55. Peaceful, just like my morning river, yet with subtle differences. What pleased me as I parked next to the Twin Sisters Pavilion where I am attending an arborist seminar, was my mockingbird welcoming me. Didn't know he could fly so far so fast? And other observable differences down here? Sea gulls. Many of them! Cadence in the park? Not like early morning military bases I've experienced in past history, yet cadence still? Could be a police academy?? Not sure. But similar still to my spot at my river and audible through the canopy of the existing urban forest is the sound of high speed traffic from I-610W.  It is cloudy and  muggy here as the parking lot I found an hour earlier begins to fill. Let me engage my day.   Seminar discussion:  Care and Preservation of Tree Canopy in the Urban Landscape.  I actually enjoy these educational gatherings as the information disseminated, properly applied over time, could actually benefit the urban forest.

Posted April 15 from a parking lot in New Orleans City Park


     And these stealthy predators sound like horses running through the carpeted venues of your hallowed domain. Your drift in and out of ream sleep when awakened by said drumming of padded paws, encourages hostile intent in human species when the disturbance registers completely. That full size Laurelpedlem 15 feet beyond my patio has been the recipient of said defined felines on more than one occasion as they were launched from my house in astronaut fashion with my tempered assistance.

Posted April 15 from New Orleans City park on my lunch break


          It was the fresh, crisp 55° morning air I noticed as I stepped from my residence this morning at 3:45. As I stepped from under the carport to walk to my car, I was bathed in the soft light of a May 1st, three-quarter moon!  I watched as my shadow preceded me to my dew covered city vehicle while the distant bark of a dog is the only sound I could hear. Why so early? Restless dreams. One of those that wake you up and take you to the bathroom and when you return to bed, close your eyes, drift off to sleep, you pick back up where you left off? Yup. One of those. And after I awaken the third or fourth time, the deep restful snores from my spouse and the soft purr from my cat found me laying there wide awake, feeling the call of my river. And it is here I find myself as I pull along side of her, roll down my window to collect the comforting repose of my mockingbird across the river? Urban lighting and the bright moon must have stirred a recurring dream in his mind causing his early morning stir. She is dark, reflective, and moving fast this morning. That moon that welcomed me into 2015's May 1st is an orange ball almost gone and with the ending period of this sentence, is gone below the western horizon until tonight. It is now 4:48.  My debate?  Should I go to the gym where my day usually starts or stay right here until 5:30 when McDonald's opens? I look at my river once again and her pace remains the same.   Maybe she wants to say something? I should be quiet now and listen as the light illuminating my majestic flag reveals a bat circling in search breakfast. Or would that be his supper? I must now cogitate.

Posted May 1 from my early morning river.

          I use a weather app called Storm. It is a freebie, of course, but premium enhancements are available if I so desire! Anyway, as I sit beside my river this morning on a very gray overcast, 99% humidity morning, I notice my River level is down 5 feet or more from previous weeks. She is still running fast, yet I have wondered why they, the Army Corp of Engineers, haven't slowed her down by closing her locks? Meddling in the future on my Storm weather app, I discover 90% rainfall and thunderstorms everyday starting the Monday after Mother's Day through the following Sunday! Seven days of heavy rain! Well, except for one day. It said possible thunderstorms with an 80% chance of rain across the coverage area. Maybe the Corp wants the water out of this basin? Go figure. I have engaged this day! Let's go folkses. Let someone know you are here today!
          P.S.  I must be getting desperate for blog post to drag something like this to my blog!  Reckon I have found another one of those low periods in my life.  Can't help but wonder what causes that?

Posted May 8 from my river

          I can't help but be amazed at the things that cross my mind as I walk the track of this high school. It was just 15 years ago this month that my oldest son celebrated his graduation from the football field it circles. 15 years. So long ago, but yet, only yesterday. I remember the principal telling the gathered crowd the plans of each graduate. Some had scholarships to different colleges and universities.  A promising future projected for their goals and ambitions. My son was announced along with the others like him as being somewhat less fortunate in their choice of future pursuits. Something like United States Armed Forces military service pursuits?? Not really sure, but still something along those lines. That was all 15 years ago. And now as I walk these laps, I can reflect on what he has accomplished because I have time with nothing else to do as I walk??   Okay, let me see. A couple of Associate of Arts degrees from the Air Force Community College for a start. Then there is that honorary Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Fitness and Advance Life Saving earned through combat deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places known to just a few of us.  During these deployments he exceeded the credits needed for that Masters Degree in Social Sciences as he learned how to "make peace" in different parts of the world in cultures and religions so different than ours as to provide a path that someone with far less experience could try and apply the philosophies they learned in some liberal institution in order to keep or manage the peace people like my son forged through armed conflict. Yes. I'm still walking and circling the field where his dreams are rooted. While doing so I recognize in my own mind
that he has more than honorably earned his Doctorate degree in Conservative Justice from nine visits into a peace forging management field to further his studies. There his unwritten thesis revolved around the art of modern warfare, family management as his family grew up in his absence, how to council and console the families of his personal friends lost in the early summer of their life as the surviving spouse and children were left to re-calibrated there broken dreams.  I am certain this thesis would include the loss of life witnessed through his young eyes.  Not just the torn bodies of the combatants he faced but mostly those of his closest friends standing next to him that gave all.  Those friendships forged in battle that just hours before he was laughing with. During all of these trials, tribulations and sentences yet revealed to the fragile mind,  his chosen institution of higher learning, rewards him and his peers with medals and badges applauding his accomplishments. And even I cannot list all he as accomplished in the 15 years since walking off of this field that I circle. That Honorary Doctorate he proudly earned?  I wonder how many realize, that the actual award of this degree is exactly what allowed those that choose to pursue a formal education the freedom to do just that!  His diplomas, while not hanging on a wall, can be read by men if they are wise enough to understand what they are seeing. Across the left breast of his uniform are colorful ribbons and badges his military education awards him in pursuit of his coveted degrees. Air Force Special Ops badge, Ranger Tab, HALO parachute wings, three bronze stars with "V" device and a Purple Heart he tells me he chooses not to wear because his friends suffered and bled far more than he did. Oh, I could go on about this and just may in my blog as Memorial Day approaches. In the meantime I will continue my trips around this graduation field as to extend my quality of life and to reflect in my own mind the gains and losses that began here in May of 2000. That is easy to do as 15 years ago I too, was much younger.  It just seems with time, instead of our eyes growing dim, they become more focused on what reality really is.

Posted May 10th from Pineville High School Stadium football field and Track

          It has to be the persistent rainfall throughout the entire Red River Basin that brings my River to this fast, boiling pace. She is more angry than I've ever witnessed since our affair began in the first full month of winter in 2012. I do not think she is close to flood stage as I sit here but truly, never before have I noticed her mark the concrete bridge supports this high. Simply too angry to talk. Just watch, is the message. All to soon this attitude will be just a memory like everything else you have encountered in your life. Wonder how she remembers me as she races by? Think I will go now.

Posted May 19 from my afternoon river

          How many times have I reflected on the sounds of nature as I walked from my home into the breaking dawn of any given morning the past three or four years? I encountered a strange noise this morning.  It is one I heard for the first time last weekend as I bush hogged a tract of land at a friend's house, a dull distant "buzz" of sort?? Strange! Being in a less populated part of Grant Parish, I asked her what that dull noise was.  She replied that she had asked the same question and was told it was Locust! I pondered that through the entire week wondering how the long strange call or noise of a single locust could become the cacophony of unfettered end that I heard.  The raised imprint of hundreds of thousands of locust resonated through the filtered wood lines yet miles from her home.  As I entered this morning before the clutter of man made noise became more dominant than nature's soft sounds, I could hear the same song of the Cicadas in my own driveway that I heard at my friend's home miles away just last Saturday!  I could clearly hear that same dull roar of thousands upon thousands of locust for myself just to the northwest of my home! If I were a farmer in another century, this would cause me tremendous concern. In another millennium who knows. 17 year swarm? My River still rises. Here is what Wikipedia said about this insect:
          Locusts are the swarming phase of certain species of short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae. In the solitary phase these grasshoppers are innocuous, their numbers are low and they cause little economic threat to agriculture. However, under suitable conditions of drought followed by rapid vegetation growth, serotonin in their brains triggers a dramatic set of changes: they start to breed abundantly, becoming gregarious and nomadic (loosely described as migratory) when their populations become dense enough. They form bands of wingless nymphs which later become swarms of winged adults. Both the bands and the swarms move around and rapidly strip fields and cause damage to crops. The adults are powerful fliers; they can travel great distances, consuming most of the green vegetation wherever the swarm settles.

          I just seemed to find it rather interesting as I have sat in the cooling shade of Oak and Pine trees during past summers and listened to the long, solitary solo of an independent Locust, wondering just how he could sustain that consistent sound for such a long, long time.  It was sometime in my youth that I was amazed by the skeletal remains of the skin I would find attached in various places.  I do recall stumbling across one struggling to shed its skin one day...I was very interested in the slow struggle and how moist the bug appeared in its quest to take on a new identity...  I would think now, to experience this, an entire new perspective just may open in my mind.  Just thinking out loud.  I know thousands are wondering the same thing.

Posted May 20 from my early morning river

          And the west delivers the evening's best entertainment thus far. Satellite reception on my television set stalls and the close rumble of thunder tells me increased cloud cover is the reason why. The line of severe thunderstorms approaches as the sounds of increased winds and rain taunts slumber within our souls and our body begs our submission. I remain still in my recliner and listen as the approaching edge of this system disturbs the once tranquil existence just outside of my protected walls.  All too soon the heavy slap of  rain upon my concrete patio and the loud report of thunder accompanied instantly with the flash of lightening makes me smile knowing the I am in the midst of nature's cleansing.  I close my eyes in the darkened room and listen to the sounds that tempts one into a relaxing sleep.  I remember in distant memory of years collected in another millennium, the summer rainfalls upon the tin roofs of the Amite County Mississippi dairy and hay barn where I spent my summers at my uncle's dairy farm! Those hot summer days of 95° plus temps would drop into the mid to low 70's making us shiver, almost uncontrolled.  Here I find my disturbed mind at 23:15 hours as another waive of heavy storms approach.  Instead of sleep, I am being pulled to my carport to witness the awesome power of a yet to be defined rainstorm event. The awesome work of an infinite universe, reflective of intelligent, omnipotent design that my short stay here upon compared to eternity might witness? It seems to call my name. When does the end begin and why do we allow it to take so long?

Posted May 26 from my late evening home

          What peace surrounds me on my patio as my mockingbird competes with other feathered vocalist as they prepare for roost! Through the thin layers of clouds, a full moon is making her presence known after many cloud covered nights as her distorted shape becomes more dominate in the East South East sky! This high vacuum sucking sound of high altitude commercial aircraft blends with the other sounds expected on this calm afternoon I have experienced here on this glider at my favored outside spot. One frog cries his disdain as similar life forms have vacated my once bullfrog infested swimming pool replaced with proper levels of chlorinated swimming water! It will not be long before the splash of grandkids fill the long summer days and old Poppy is left to clean and vacuum the new lined pool. I know, I know and keep the chlorine level higher than the uric acid deposited each day. And just ask any one of them. Not one would ever dare to pee in Poppy's swimming pool.

Posted May 31 from my late evening home