time’s apprentice

a stern teacher and a willing apprentice

an early lesson counting with tiny thumps, followed shortly by tiny wisps of air

sights, sounds, tastes, feelings and scents in a wild wild world, they are all there

curiosity follows, exploration, crawling, walking, falling, and walking with care

playtime begins with so many toys and friends and ends with a torn yellow bear

days with hours of numbers and letters and two long bus rides in the bully’s lair

then emotions lots of them with no where to go and what’s this, arrgh, chest hair

then a new close friend and sadness that she’s gone and realizing how life is unfair

out of despair a new friend and a new little family is born with many memories to share

days turns to weeks to years and decades and loss repeats itself almost to much to bare

finally time’s final lesson hugs and kisses some real and some not and a final prayer

 


It’s not great but it’ll have to do i suppose.  It’s not all about me except the torn yellow bear was when my beloved Pooh bear was chewed up by dogs.  They tore his ear and I kept the bear for many more years.  LOL.  The new close friend was about a friend of mine in high school that was murdered by someone robbing her house.  Luckily they caught the guy and I think he is in prison for life.   😦

 

 

consider visiting and supporting your local botanical gardens, nature’s perfume and art gallery

consider visiting and supporting your local botanical gardens, nature’s perfume and art gallery

I normally spend my lunch break at work walking for exercise and a stress relief.  One place on my rotation is my local botanical gardens which for me is DABG in Dothan, AL.  I’ve been a member and regular visitor for several years.  I recently switched my membership from individual to family so my family can visit there as well. The family membership cost is around $50 and you can use your membership for many other botanical gardens in different cities across the US thanks to reciprocation agreements they’ve worked out.  Throughout the year they have a lot of special events for the public and some members only events as well.  It’s a good deal and supports a great cause in my opinion.

Here are some photos I took earlier this week at DABG…

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This is from the rose garden.  This is just one corner of it.  It’s probably the most fragrant area of the gardens.

Here are some close-ups of some of the flowers.  The color on some of these are so bright they almost seem to glow in the sunlight.  I can only imagine what they look like to bees – probably like bee heaven.  🙂

This is a very small sample of what my local gardens have – they have just added a new kiddie play area and they have a very nice Asian Garden with waterfalls and a wooden bridge plus much much more.

If you’re city has a botanical gardens and you haven’t been yet consider paying them a visit.  I spent many years working in Dothan, AL before i realized they had one.  Once I walked the paved trail a few times I was definitely hooked.

 

 

a zip and a prayer

a zip and a prayer

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I’m constantly amazed at how insensitive, uncaring and thoughtless some people can be to drop off a dog or puppy beside the road and zip away in their car.  It must be easy for them to shut out the reality of their mind and not think about how the puppy will likely starve or get run over. So many days spent being alone and being hot or cold without food or water.

I’ve seen this event play out over and over during the years – rarely does the animal find a new and caring owner soon after being dropped off if at all.  One of the earliest memories I have from such an event was seeing a healthy dog sitting beside the road from where his owner dropped him off.  He sat in the same spot waiting very patiently without moving thinking his owner would surely return to pick him up – he just needed to wait a little longer.  Surely thinking his owner wouldn’t leave him all alone and without food or water.  Days went by and the dog didn’t move ten feet from that same spot and with each passing car you could see the excitement in his eyes which was quickly followed by sadness that the vehicle kept going by without stopping.  I saw him from the school bus window and I was too young at that time to take care of an abandoned animal but I told some adults about it.  I never found out if someone finally picked him up but the fact he was an adult dog probably didn’t help his chances of being adopted by a stranger.  Where i grew up as a kid was a popular place for people to abandon animals.

Some days ago my wife found a puppy wondering down the road towards the end of our driveway.  The puppy was starving and very emaciated with her ribs showing.  We’re going to try to make her story a happy one.  Meet Katy…

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She’s still looks sad sometimes but her ribs don’t show quite as bad as when we first got her.   And she’s learning to play and be a happy puppy again.  She was playing with my shoe earlier today.

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And her new best friend, Nala who just survived a a moccasin bite.  Nala is still getting over the moccasin bite and getting used to her new friend – she’s not used to another dog invading her space but they play well together so far.  This is Nala’s face when I told her we were adopting Katy.  Nala is used to being the center of attention.  LOL.

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If you know anyone that is considering abandoning an animal beside the road talk them out of it and talk them into taking the animal to a shelter instead.  And if you need Nala’s help use this picture of her stare down.   Hopefully no one can resist it.  🙂

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the mouse in the willow and the fry in the lake

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the mouse in the willow and the fry in the lake

The sad young mouse looked out of his tiny window in the willow tree down at the lake below.  He saw a tiny creature in the water and asked his mother what it was.  She said that is a fry.  “Well, how does he breathe under water mommy?”  His mother looked at him for a moment and then said, “Well, you see son.  The fry’s mother has great magical power and she passed some of that magical power to her son so he too can breathe under water. ”  The tiny mouse said, “Wow.  I wish I had magical powers.”  She looked at him and smiled and said “Everyone is magical in their own way.  Even you.  ”

The next day the mouse was on ground next to the lake and saw the little fry crying.  He asked the little fry why he was crying.  “Some tall creatures, came and took my mommy,”  the little fry said sobbing.  The mouse remembered what his own mommy had said about the fry’s mother being magical and told the fry it would be ok.  Your mother will be back soon enough little fry do not worry.  But the little fry continued to cry.  It wasn’t long before the tall creatures returned and the little mouse hid behind a large plant by the water.  The tall creatures released the fry’s mother gently back into the water and he noticed she had some new colorful adornment on her with strange markings.  After the tall creatures left, the little mouse went back to the edge of the water where the little fry was jumping with excitement after being reunited with his mother.  “Mommy, mommy, there is the magical mouse I was telling you about.”    After hearing the fry’s kind and intriguing words, the little mouse smiled widely, his first smile in many days.

 


 

I felt like writing a little story tonight.  The daily prompt words have been challenging lately.   LOL.

 

the pearl opaque, the clam half-baked

the pearl opaque, the clam half-baked

It seemed like a good day for a non-sequitur. Some time ago we amassed a noble dog army to help fight the evil snake empire.  Today the snake empire injured two of our little brave warriors, Nala and Wilburt.  We think Nala took the brunt of the venom so she’s sleeping in the little dog hospital tonight with an IV drip, antibiotics, and benedryl.  Wilburt is still here on blueberry hill toughing it out.  The dog doctor aka vet called us an hour or so ago and gave us a bit of good news that Nala’s swelling doesn’t appear to be getting worse and her heart rate is still good.  The same cotton mouth moccasin bit both of them.   Wilburt is pictured below – it’s difficult to see it from this picture but his left side of his face and neck is swollen.  He’s getting doses of benedryl.

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We’re hoping that both our little brave warriors live through this ordeal.  Nala is the main one we are worried about because her head and neck was extremely swollen.  The snake is dead but the evil snake empire is getting an early start since the warm season is just beginning.  Sargent our biggest and toughest warrior has already killed one of the snake fighters a while back all by himself – he really hates snakes.  He’s a blue heeler and he’s already survived a direct hit from one of the vipers last year.  The only thing that scares him is lightening and bad weather.  LOL.

About 10 years ago I killed over a dozen ground rattlers in one season.  I opened our sliding glass door that same year and happened to catch something out of the corner of my eye and it was one of them trying to slither into the house.    He didn’t make it.  Hopefully between the dog army, the new chicken army, and Midnight the Ninja Cat we can beat back the evil snake empire from blueberry hill.

you got to be jolting me

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you got to be jolting me

So today on the way home from work I stopped and picked up some Chinese food, including chicken and brocolli which was in brown sauce that had gotten on the plastic bag the plate was in.  And predictably the unavoidable happened, the brown sauce got all over my right hand.  I scrubbed my hand incessantly with a napkin because I knew I had to make one more stop on the way home.  I had to get my new baby chicks a chicken feeder and waterer so I could keep their cage cleaner than it is with the temporary bowls and such.  So i went into the farm supply store and grabbed what i needed and then some additional items so I could get out quickly.  The girl at the register was very nice and chatty.  I told her i had just bought 8 baby chicks from them a few days ago so I needed to buy them a feeder and waterer;  she held up the ceramic eggs i had also bought and gave me a strange look.  She said wow they grow up fast don’t they – meaning the ceramic eggs are used to encourage fully grown hens to lay eggs in a nest.  I smiled and said well I have older chickens too that are already laying eggs.  And I explained my purpose in buying each additional item as she scanned it.  I paid for all the items and she reached forward to hand me my receipt and she snatched her hand back initially with a quite “shocked” look on her face and carefully handed me the receipt as to keep her distance from me.  Her chatty demeanor had changed also and she wasn’t interested in conversation all of a sudden.  I kind of looked at her with a puzzled glance and shrugged my shoulders and walked out.  As I was walking out the door I saw streaks of peculiar brown sauce now partially dried on my right thumb.  Apparently in my rush to wipe all the Chinese sauce off my hand and finish my errands I had missed some.  I felt like i should go back in and explain the situation at once but I was too embarrassed so i continued onward to the car and drove off quickly.

the new baby chicks were a little cranky when they first arrived

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the new baby chicks were a little cranky when they first arrived

I have 5 chickens currently and two are so old they can barely walk.  I don’t normally cull/euthanize them as I let them pick their own time to go or unfortunately sometimes a predator decides for them.  Today, I decided to start a new flock so I bought 8 baby chicks from Tractor Supply – I’m keeping the old flock also but I’ll probably keep them separated.  I use chickens to help recycle kitchen vegetable food waste so we send less to the landfill.  I also throw leaves that I rake up from the yard into their pen and I let them free range as much as possible in fenced in areas I’ve created.  Chickens are much more efficient at composting than using compost tumblers or compost piles.

I try to let them get as close to my garden as I can depending on the crop type and I think they help control insects so I can keep my garden more organic and use less pesticides.  I only use pesticides when I have no other choice and sometimes even then I don’t use them.  LOL.  I’ve lost entire crops to insects sometimes because I didn’t use pesticides.  And when that happens I feed the lost crops including the insects (if possible) to the chickens.  Of course another benefit of having chickens are eggs.

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I find it ironic that the box i brought them home in is shaped a lot like a KFC box.  A few interesting notes about terminology.  If you buy straight run chickens of any breed then that means it contains males and females randomly since with most breeds you can’t easily distinguish between males and females when they are young.  If you buy pullets only then it only contains females.

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The low here in Florida tonight is 62 degrees Fahrenheit so that’s a wee bit chilly for young chicks as you can tell by them huddling close together to stay warm.  I hooked up a 75 watt incandescent light bulb to give them a tad bit of heat to get them through the night.  The government has cracked down on the old light bulb types so it’s getting harder to find them when you really need them for their heat.  The gov wants everyone to buy the new non-incandescent types that are more energy efficient and give off little heat.  I’m ok with that because it makes the country more energy efficient but it doesn’t make it any easier for me raising baby chicks.

measure once, cut twice – old carpenter’s proverb

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measure once, cut twice – old carpenter’s proverb

I used today’s Daily Prompt word of “measure” as an excuse to take a picture of some of my dad’s woodwork and talk a little about him.    We lost him to lung cancer on Nov 1, 2004, less than a week after his 65th birthday.  He always looked forward to turning 65 so he could receive his retirement check (Social Security).  He didn’t get to enjoy that check as it came in the mail a few days after he had passed away.  That year, I had just started a another semester at Florida State University working towards my Master’s degree when he told me he had just found out he had cancer, and we had his funeral before I finished that same semester.

I miss the long philosophical conversations me and him used to have and his funny witty jokes.  I’m not sure how he got to be so good at checkers but that’s one game I never beat him at.  After the Internet became a thing, he loved to play checkers online where he finally found some decent competition and his rankings in the game were quite envious.  He loved vegetable gardening and the outdoors.  But he also loved watching tv; when I worked at a movie rental company, I kept him supplied with movies and I was thinking there was no way he could remember watching that many movies so I occasionally and purposely gave him one I had brought to him before and he would always catch it and he would say he watched it again but he thinks he had saw that one before.  LOL.

In the picture he made the shelf, the wooden box, and the little church coin bank.  Me and my daughter made the little white dalmatian.  We’ve did several of the little 3-d wooden animals and I’ll post more of them on other days.  My dad didn’t make a lot of figurines as he thought most items should be functional and not just for looks. I got the gazelle from a flea market and the stone items from Pier 1 imports many years ago and snagged the matryoshka doll recently from Amazon.

The wooden bowls I bought from a kind old man who was selling his wooden wares beside the highway.  He showed me a some old tattered Polaroids of his wife and her pet raccoons.  I could tell he loved and missed his wife very much even though he said he lost her many years ago.  I’ve always had a lot of respect for woodworkers and carpenters and I figure most of them like my dad believed strongly in the old carpenter’s proverb.  Measuring once and cutting twice not only can save money but time and can cut down on waste.   All of them that I’ve ever met take pride in what they do and have an appreciation for hard work.

the timely refrain from life’s domain

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The Timely Refrain from Life’s Domain

walk, speak, run but don’t no don’t look back
the dry grass high the distance far
the wind soft the trees stretch high

walk, speak, run but don’t no don’t look back
time creeps no sneaks elusive it peaks
from behind every valley atop every hill

walk, speak, run but don’t no don’t look back
you can’t escape fate life bestows
don’t try you’ll fail then weep so deep

time time hide hide not now not now
not ever not ever one more day one more day
old frail silent heart i miss thy song
old frail silent heart i miss thy song


Whew.  Didn’t mean to go all existential and such.  Not sure if it’s grammatically correct and makes sense but decided to play with words today.  I had a hard time coming up with something with the word “timely” geez.  🙂  I started not to add a picture because i wanted everyone to read it in their own way.  Hopefully I’m not plagiarizing any of it because I kept thinking some of it sounded familiar but I googled several parts of it and didn’t find any hits.

 

 

he wasn’t pleased; this wasn’t the droid he was looking for.

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he wasn’t pleased; this wasn’t the droid he was looking for.

As a matter of fact this was no droid at all – this was a malfunctioning iPod touch.  Malfunctioning as in the very important home button had stopped working.  I’ve had the device for nearly four years and used it practically every day and the home button stopped working over a year ago.  It’s not a perfect workaround but check out this link from apple if you have the issue with yours and don’t want to fork out so much money to have it repaired.  Sorry about the corny set up for today’s PSA but hey, Star Wars is fun.  One final comment on the droid thing; you’ve probably saw the various inspirational posters out there – this link is a nice twist on that.

Finally, on a different note, one of my favorite things to do is visit flea markets and yard sales.  The Storm Trooper is on a creature called a dewback. I snagged them both for $5 which I thought was a good deal.  I bought the hot wheels in the background from a nice Hispanic family at Sadie’s Flea Market in Dothan, AL along with a bag full of toys including an awesome giant pirate ship.

I liked the following picture better than the one at the top but it didn’t make sense with my caption to have an R2 unit working with a storm trooper.  LOL.

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