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