Archive: » 2022 » January

The Pied Piper of Pets

My Beautiful Mystery Companion is the Pied Piper of pets. Three cats and two dogs live inside our house, usually scattered about on couches and beds like throw cushions. As she gets ready to go to work in the morning, most of them dutifully follow her around the house, all of them looking up at her with eyes of love. Or maybe they’re hungry. It’s hard to tell. Mollie the Maltese and Olive the New Kitty are especially devoted. When my BMC retreats into the bathroom and closes the door, they semi-patiently wait outside. Mollie will scrunch down, attempting to see beneath the door, uttering...

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Stop Mutilating the Myrtles!

As I drove to work earlier this week, I spied a familiar if discouraging sight. Perched on top of a step ladder that was listing dangerously to the left, a landscape worker brandished some shears with which he was mutilating a crape myrtle tree. He lopped off the previous year’s growth to leave an amputated tree topped with knobs, from which spindly branches will eventually emerge, often not strong enough to hold their heads up in a summer rain. If it’s January in East Texas, it is time to send landscapers out across residential lawns and businesses to murder myrtles (it’s not strictly...

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A Bevy of Books in 2021

It is time to review what books I read in 2021. This is the third year I have used Goodreads, a social media app, to keep track of spines I cracked during the year. Before, I would diligently write down the titles and authors in a notebook. My daughter Mere suggested Goodreads, which is free and easy to use. Users can become “friends” with others, see what they’re reading, join discussion groups and write reviews. I do none of that, confining my use to keeping track of what I read. So here we go. Goodreads announced at year end, I had completed 62 books for a total of 20,671 pages....

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The Blackbirds Aren’t Really Black

The blackbirds arrive twice daily here at the farm the past few weeks, swooping down by the hundreds, if not thousands, to dine at the two bird feeders and on the ground — especially since the cold snap hit. They show up not long after sunrise and just before sunset. The blackbirds are skittish creatures, quick to take flight and difficult to photograph. The other morning, before winter returned, the morning temperature was about 70 degrees. A wet, thick fog covered everything. The tree line down the hill from our house was barely visible. Pancho the Donkey, standing in the back pasture, was a shadowy...

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