So the inevitable happens: a dwarf hamster LEGO maze:
Somehow I don't think LEGO sells a kit for this.
Unimpressive, to be honest. The frost on the newly mowed pasture behind us is pretty, and the ditch puddles are frozen, but that's about the extent of Old Man Winter's icy grip here, y'all. We'll see 80 degrees in February and March, along with budding trees and blooming flowers--
--before it snows in April. :/
No, actually, it's a bud emerging from a potted gerbera daisy that we thought was dead and gone. Just goes to show you never know.
--Such as granddaughters, for instance, are already on top of this whole Christmas thing.
Others are not quite feeling the spirit yet.
This 1961 book for boys is, in fact, very good. Author and U.S. Army veteran Bertrand R. Brinley was at one point (to quote from the jacket copy) "a methods and procedures analyst for Lockheed Aircraft's engineering department." His expertise gives an aura of credibility to otherwise improbable but satisfying adventures of a nerdy group of preteen boys.
I have the 40th anniversary edition, whose cover blurb notes, "original text restored." That phrase speaks volumes, as some of the chapters feature tools, settings, and modes of transportation that are dangerous for adults, not to mention children. Also, the freedom with which these boys embark on their missions is almost inconceivable today.
In other words, it's worth reading if only to remind us what was once possible.
You're skeptical about that? I don't blame you. When my Bible reading approaches 1st Chronicles, I mutter, "No, not again. First and Second Chronicles are just a rehash of First and Second Kings--a whole long list of greedy assassins reigning over chaos for a few years before being assassinated by the next king wannabe."
But that's not all there is. Judah had a few righteous kings like Hezekiah, whose stories of divine deliverance are spectacular. But with them all, good and bad, the Chronicler throws in some pungent commentary. And always, always, there is something that will help you today and tomorrow if you take it to heart.
Herewith, let me introduce you to Jehoshaphat. His story is wild. The points made in it are momentous.
If you live in the country with a drainage ditch traversing your backyard and it rains for two solid days in August, you may see a lot of these guys boldly scouting the terrain:
Watch your toes.
(Later in the day): Caught this guy hanging out of his door. As soon as I got close, he scuttled back inside.
Monday, August 14: This guy was huge--at least 6 inches from head to tail. And he resented very much my trying to play with him. He had no idea I wasn't interested in having him for dinner. :D
Since it was a crazy mild 75 degrees this morning, my daughter talked me into a jaunt to the famed Ham Orchard in Terrell, Texas.
Getting there was . . . interesting. But with GPS guiding us somewhat reliably through back country roads, it only took an hour.
Let me just say that it was worth the trip. Their peach pulled pork is amazing. And their store was packed with homemade food stuff. And trinkets. Lots of food and lots of stuff.
The bags on those green tables? Are filled with fresh peaches. Since the last day they're open for the summer season is August 12, you might want to hurry out there. Take the back roads.
A friend lured me to a painting class in which I badly mucked up despite trying hard to follow instructions. When I got the pathetic canvas home, I decided to redo it instead of just throwing it away. After a few weeks, this is what I finally produced.
The photos are of my mother and me--with my older brothers on a great-aunt's front porch, at a beach in California, and in our backyard on Easter morning.
She was the coolest, most fun, most loving Mom. This tribute to her is pretty amateurish, but you know what? It makes me happy.
I wish people still wore hats. I love these so much. Of course, I'd never have the courage to walk around in one of these unless it were something so unremarkable that it just happened to be in the unfocused background of the conflagration that the photographer happened to be focusing on (see below).
On second thought, you know what? I might wear this one (below right) just to see how many people could be tempted to eat my hat.
Go check them out.
My first book, Chataine's Guardian, was published in 1984: the beginning of one wild ride.