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The Flower Garden

Puckerbrush flower garden -such as it is.

Puckerbrush flower garden -such as it is.

My flower garden ain’t much to look at huh? Under the drip from the fresh water fill on the NO Princess Palace gives it just that teeeny edge necessary to survive in this harsh environment.   I got an irritating habit of forgetting the water is on when I fill the tank and many times there is some blow by.   The wildflowers herald the start of Spring down here in South Texas and today was the first day to swap over to the summer uniform.
 
5.11 Taclite shorts, 5.11 Vented shirt and Teva closed toe sandals will be the daily wear through the summer. If you have never tried a vented shirt, you should. The mesh and back vent work wonders when the South Texas Summer furnace is roaring full blast. Yep, this stuff is expensive but you get what you pay for. Buy once, cry once; right? I am on my 5th season with some of these goods and when they get ratted out I will replace ’em with the same same.  I got enough to contend with down here without worrying ’bout shoddy outerwear.

Dogs is so funny!  I came walkin’ out this morning  in the different duds and Vela Von went bonkers.  I had forgot what creatures of habit dogs really are.  I got the startled yip-yip when I came around the corner and I wasn’t expecting it.  Now I know I got those old white knobbly legs.  Hell, if a catfish had legs they would look better than mine.  Still yet,  I didn’t expect my dog to diss me that bad!  Get over it pup!  It is what it is, ok?  Hopefully, she is not permanently scarred and will not have PTSD over it.

Vela Von on point

Vela Von on point

If the blog is a skoosh late during the summer it is because we like to sit outside when it is allowable.  Good for a dog, good for me. Gives me an opportunity to watch the critters cross the lease road on a well worn game trail about 100yds south of the Palace.  You are liable to see anything on any given morning.  A flock of 20 wild turkeys,  a herd of 10 javelinas,  a good sized sounder of hogs, deer and oddly enough 3 bobcats one trailing another.  Best I can figure the first one was a female in season and the trailers were male cats.  The 100 square feet in the Palace gets pretty slim after a long winter and both of us welcome getting outside.  We wear out that 1/8 mile stretch of lease road; up and back most days until we get our mile and a half of walking in.  Depending on the wind and the sun finally creeping under the awning, we may stay outside until Noon or later.  Me drinkin’ coffee, enjoying a good pipe and a good read on the kindle — or just ruminating in general.  Yes sir, I can kill me a good chunk o’ time just ponderin’.  Vela Von maintains the vigil for anything worthy of a bark.

You know I make it sound spartan and austere down this way because well,  it pretty much is. But when we are working, I do splurge on a few things.  Costa Rican and Brazilian coffee from The Coffee Bean Corral is a treat.  I still roast it in the Whirly Pop popcorn popper on top of the stove and then hand grind it.  The other guilty pleasure is DISH HD with a bunch of Premium channels.  I am justifying that somewhat now after I discovered I can hook up an external hard drive to the receiver and save a shit ton of my favorite movies.  Here is just a partial list to give you an idea; I got at least a hunnert more.

The Big Lebowski
Only Angels Have Wings
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Apollo 13
Breaking Away
Lucy
The Longest Day
All the Kings Men (1949)
She wore a yellow ribbon
Braveheart
The Best Years of Our Lives
Kalifornia
Edge of Tomorrow
The way we were
The Aviator
Invincible
Papillon
Great Escape
A River Runs through it
The Graduate
The Hustler 1961
Patton
Shane
Key Largo
It happened one night
The Wild Bunch
Cool Hand Luke

When we blow out of here back to the lean times at the Secret Hideout,  some good movies will fill the gap created by a much scaled back DISH subscription.

I am growing quite fond of this pup.

I am growing quite fond of this pup.

I was talkin’ to BFF Cait a few days back and she made mention I need to be saving my pesos for a new truck.  Whaaaaaat???    Honest, that hit me in the crease because it has never been on my radar.  GM quit making the Big Ass Suburban like mine (2004  3/4 ton, 4×4, 8.1 liter) in 2005 and I have never even considered replacing.  Hell, it replaced a ’96 3/4 ton 4×4 7.4 liter.  There is a pattern here it seems.  Of course,  I sorta understand BFF Cait’s thinking.  These millennials change out their gear all the time for the latest and greatest and it made some reasonable sense to me once I mulled it over a bit.  They wouldn’t know what it was to wring every good mile out of a vehicle before you get shut of it.  FWIW, I guess GM is bring the 2500 Suburban back in 2017 albeit without a big block or 4×4 option.  MSRP is gonna be somewhere around $85k.   No thanks.   Y’all ever wonder what BFF Cait does in the military?  Here is an example and the Stark Dog makes a guest appearance.  Seems like they had a live fire exercise on base with big ass howitzers and stuff and it pissed off the house cows.  Notwithstanding is the fact anyone who buys a house in the area has to sign a disclosure that they are fully aware that they are in proximity to a large and diverse military base and there may be live fire and fast ass jets to deal with.  Evidently this episode rattled the dishes, cowered the dogs and made the babies cry.  This video is floating out in the cloud somewhere and I hope the link works.  I have no room in my brain to even begin to understand how all that comes to pass.

I have been following The Trumpening for the last few weeks and while I haven’t made a face like I was eatin’ a wasp -yet- I am pretty close.  I was 13 in 1968 and remember watching 8 days of rioting in the streets at the Democratic Convention.  I also remember the Kent State shootings in 1970.  Back then, it was a simpler world by far and the hub bub was the Viet Nam war.   Almost 50 years later, the layers pile upon the layers and I am not even sure where I need to be lookin’.  Is it North Korea? Syria?  Iran?  The NSA?  The LaVoy Finicum true story?  Military drones on missions over the US because they say there aren’t enough wars to keep the pilots in practice?  Please, please afford me some respect and  do not assume – even for a moment –  I am the village idiot.

Consider this if you will……..

"When democracy becomes tyranny, I still get to vote."*

“When democracy becomes tyranny, I still get to vote.”*

 

*H/T to Sipsey Street

End Note:  Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd from the  Pronounced ‘Leh-‘Nerd ‘Skin-‘Nerd (Expanded Edition) cd.  I read a kick ass book recently called D-Boys which makes a superbly cool reference to this song.  BFF Cait picked up on it and I was proud of her.  She was digging the book too.  That girl could easily do a Marty McFly back to 1973 and fit in just fine.   Southern Rock y’all with an opening riff that still makes my arm hairs prickle.  Turn it up!  Onliest thing missing in the youtube  is a dose of Honkettes.

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11 comments to The Flower Garden

  • Nancy from South Georgia

    Lovely little flower garden, Andy. That’s proof that water is the stuff of life. Having never been to the desert before, I’ve only seen photos of desert blooms on calendars and National Geo.

    Your daughter is also lovely and you must be very proud of her. Talking with her and getting her perspective on things would be very interesting. Young people like her are truly rare and definitely an inspiration these days.

    Your comment about your remembering the riots in 1968 brought back memories for me as well. I’ll be 60 soon and in your age group. I don’t recall very much about the 1968 riots, but do remember very clearly the moon walk in 1969. My family was visiting relatives in Minnesota, we were at their farm, many of the elders spoke Swedish. Just sitting around a small black-and-white TV set up in the dining room. We kids had come in from outside and were hot and dusty from playing in the barn and all the adults were mesmerized watching that TV.

    The world has changed so much! Nowadays I just appreciate all of the simpler things more and more. So good for you to sit and ponder, with a great dog by your side, and just listen and watch nature every chance you get.

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  • Vince

    Man Andy! That dog is more beautiful every week. If she’s as smart as she’s good look’n……………….

    Any of those critters running across the road wearing shoes?

    I’m think’n that if I had just kept my first pickup and car and instead of selling them and getting something new, just kept up the maintenance and replaced what needed to be replaced I’d have saved beaucoup bucks and the car and pickup would be worth more today than what I had originally paid for them. But who knew then? Not me for damned sure!

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    • Andy

      No two legged critters walking Vince but I know I got narco traffic running the highway out front. You look at my daughter’s video. Her pup is 110lbs and not even a year old yet!

      Those vintage vehicles were sweet but nowhere near as reliable as now. Hell, we thought getting 100k miles out of a 60’s or 79’s vehicle was miraculous!

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      • Joel

        My brother Mike (ORHS ’81) ended up with our parents’ 1977 Toyota Corolla, and got over 250,000 miles off of it. I don’t think he’s ever owned a car that he didn’t drive over 200K. Out there in the desert, you should be able to drive them forever.

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        • Andy

          The heat and UV get ’em Joel. In the real hot summer, you have to leave a window cracked our it will break the windshield. The heat and dryness dry out the rubber gaskets, hoses and tires. Right now, the little gap in my headliner between the windshield and what the windshield screen covers has rotted. You touch it and the cloth cover just disintegrates. the 96 Suburban had 305K on it when My Boy got it and it was still in good running order.

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  • Dawn Rodgers

    Dear Andy – Good post in lots of ways. Beautiful pups both yours and Cait’s. I can never get enough of a good looking dog who is loved and well cared for by their human companion. Thanks to Cait for her service!!! It is just getting to maybe sitting out weather here. Today’s high was 50, but no sun, so no sitting out for me. The dog and I did take a walk up in the woods. I am very glad that yellow lab of mine has finally gotten reliable off lead. More fun for us both when we walk the woods. She will come even if interested in other humans, and animals. The dicey part is if there is another dog or two then it might be a second call, or a whistle. Emma’s ears don’t hear as well as they could with another canine around. Emma is now four and it hasn’t been always very easy training. I got her as a rescue at a little over a year, and she had some challenging ways to overcome. Lots of practice in short sessions, but oh sometimes it is so hard to keep a straight face when she was pushing the limits. Hope spring treats you right down there is Texas. I enjoy your posts and pictures

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    • Andy

      Hi Dawn,

      Tuco the Dog did not start reading my mind until she was between 4 and 5. I constantly remind myself Vela Von is only a baby.

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  • Terry

    Hey Andy thank cait fof her service. You have a YOUNGUN you can be proud of. My little girl also went the AF rte.

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    • Andy

      Will do sir. Those sons and daughters in the military are so very special

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  • Don

    I see why you are so proud of your little girl. She’s an amazing woman. Of course I’d like to thank her for her service to our country.

    Love the dog stories too. We don’t have one right now and are really missing the experience but you can’t have a mutt and travel a lot.

    Thanks to the link to Trumpening; too scary and too close to the truth. But then again, it always seems like we are headed to hell in a handbasket.

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    • Andy

      Your comments are always welcome Don and I am glad you enjoyed the link. I am not that much of a mindless Trump fanboy but I do think he has tapped into hat the silent majority knew and felt but would never voice. The media and our elected government tell us everything is just peachy and we know in the pit of our stomach it just ain’t so. Takes awhile for the decades of conditioning to wear foo but I think we are approaching that point.

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