Archive for June, 2011

Yoicks and Away! (Although there are no foxes nor hounds involved)

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2011 by Queenie


In a matter of hours, your royalness is headed West – the only true direction in my book, but I’m a mite prejudiced, if you haven’t noticed.  Plants have been watered, packing is almost done, bills are paid up to date – all the necessaries to lay the groundwork for the journey.  The Queen Mum’s larder has been stocked, and MumWatch is in effect.  The Royal GuardMutts have been assigned their duties, and no interlopers will get past their toothy snarls, or their snarly tooths.  The moat has been stocked with scorpions and fire ants, and possibly a rattlesnake or three, so the kingdom, (would that be Queendom?) will be secure whilst I wander about the far reaches, seeking adventure, notable pictorial opportunities, and of course, Rocks.  Ponygirl, the likewise Royal RoadSteed, has been checked and oiled, aired and fueled, and stands stomping in the driveway, eager to be off and galloping across the plains and over the mountain passes, onward to new vistas and wonderments.  We are ready.

All we have to contend with first is getting the hell out of Texas, which seems an all consuming task.  There seems to be nothing that takes much longer than getting across the great state of  Texas, (politics not withstanding.)  Good music helps, and I have plenty of that to entertain me until I pick up my Co-Conspirator in Adventures in Albuquerque in a couple of days.  My first stop will be an overnight with a dear friend in the New Mexico mountains to share stories and keep kinship before embarking on the north and westbound directions.  As they say in common parlance:  It’s All Good.

Well, almost everything.  It seems every day there is a new fire broken out just where I aim to pass through, so I may be winging it even more than is usual.  This lack of rain, and no monsoons yet in the parched West, or much of anything resembling wet stuff around here, has been a sadness of great concern and experience.  I doubt that there will be much of my cove left when I return, and I don’t relish the hike to Big Water in these triple digits.  But I hate to bemoan the future when my present is awaiting my participation, so I shall set my thoughts and my attention to the Right Now.

The Slippery Slope Saga will have to wait a bit.  Although I’ve tied it down and it is mine, (Mine!  Mine!) again, it needs time and attention to become its full self, but even all this is part of the story.  Queenie is so very multi-faceted, you know, (or would that be multiple personalitied?), and so it’s hard to fit in one round or square hole, whatever it is that one is supposed to fit into.  I never did so well with having to fit myself into prescribed holes, don’t you know, and so it is that I fling myself down rivers, or hit the road with Adventure in mind, allowing myself to have one of those Different Lives.  And ain’t life grand?

And so this is a brief Farewell, as I continue with the packing and the crossing off of things on lists, and Ponygirl gets fuller and fuller.  You know how it is – there are any number of possible weather considerations, so any and all conditions must be prepared for.  Looks like I’ll be back in my flannels in the high country, and needing to keep my toesies warm. Otherwise, I have healthy snacks, and a lot of chocolate, so we’re covered on all fronts.  I am a little afraid to ask for what, but TheQueen has requested that I bring a glue gun and duct tape.  I’m not sure what sort of mark we will be leaving on the unsuspecting countryside or denizens thereof.  Some things are perhaps better left to Mystery at this point.  At some later point I’m quite sure you will hear about it, in glorious detail.  Or not.

My faithful companion here knows something’s up.  She feels it days ahead of time when I’m leaving, and her dobber’s down.  Wish she could come with me, but maybe New Mexico next month.  I’ll actually have Shotgun position open, and it’s nice to have company on the road.

This is NOT a happy dog.


Alright then, time to put it all together and unwind a bit.  The fire news is not good.  My usual route of travel may be closed tomorrow, so I have to be prepared for a considerable detour.  Such are the ways of the road.

The adventure begins on the morrow.  Wish me good luck and safe journey, and look to hear from me from the road.

Bye, y’all.  Wagons HO!


It’s As If the Genie Appeared and Said…. “OK, Doll, what can I do for You?”

Posted in Uncategorized on June 24, 2011 by Queenie

Well now.  I seem to be getting pretty good with this Manifesting thing.  Only yesterday morning, mind you, just yesterday, I started throwing around, (again), the thoughts of that Road Trip to Wyoming that had been penciled and question marked onto my calendars.  Last night I took off the question marks and put Exclamation Marks.  (!!!)  I can hardly explain how it happened, except that bits and pieces on several levels and seemingly unrelated episodes all seem to have coalesced into a Road Trip to some of the Wilder Parts of the Old West, as in Mountain Man Territory. (Oh my…….)  I am in the midst of getting all the loose ends together and making lists, while wrapping my mind around meeting up with at least one but maybe two as yet unmet but very familiar and trusted friends in Albuquerque in but a week, and then we’ll all be having us what has to be a ridiculously fun and adventurous Road Trip to Wyoming – to see Bobby Bridger on the 4th of July.  Can you beat that?

I started getting serious about this trip only 24 hours ago.  If it were going to get done, the getting to was going to have to get gotten to.  And so I tossed around a couple of emails, and got some back, and one thing led to another and within a few hours, a major Road Trip was born.  Wham Bang, and in a good way!

To make it all even more Easy On Amazing, this new and thoroughly enjoyable friend is from MaloWorld, an offshoot of my doing the righteous thing and joining a “group” where you have to step up and declare your name, and then state that you are a MaloMama.  There are, of course, more than a few MaloPapas, but they are rather outnumbered.  But they, for the most part, are fairly enlightened gentlemen, for they “get” the wonder that is the devine songman Raul Malo.  It is a very interesting, entertaining, educated, mostly intelligent and diverse group, (there are always a couple of oddballs in any bunch, and maybe I’m one of them), from all over the country, and in fact all over the world.  And while this has all the earmarks of one of those Digression things, I assure you it has everything to do with the story.

So there happens to be this other devotee to Malomania with whom I’ve become acquainted by chat and email, as a direct result of our shared respect for Mr. Malo.  This fact alone would not be of much particular interest, except for these specificals:  I am Queenie – she goes by TheQueen.  We are both photographers, and writers.  She happens also to love and share the excitement of Royal Road Trips.  And she’s another Lover of Rocks.  We have already laughed at our likewise propensities for Mom and Pop funky style motels, and the fact that seeing some particular rock is every good reason for stopping the vehicle, turning around, and making its acquaintance – maybe even shanghaiing it to an unimagined future in some foreign garden.  We are separated soul sisters from the same mother…. or more likely father, in my case anyway.  Biggest difference is she already HAS her trailer!

So in just a few emails, it was done:  Thought.  Idea.  Spoken.  Done.  Just like that.  It had all the same feel as what happened when I decided to go from the calendar project to the book – everything just fell into place, as did this.  Only thing this time, it was practically immediate.  I often curse the bane of Progress, but signals that go invisibly through the ethers and all these connecting lines got me a Road Trip planned in hours, and what miracle that.  And so we go to Wyoming.

After the rendezvous in Albuquerque, (she or they are coming from California), we will hie ourselves northward, into Colorado and onward to the Great Beyonds of Wyoming, heading for Ft. Bridger.  Bobby Bridger, (the impetus for this trek, actually), is a direct descendant of Jim Bridger the Mountain Man.  He is an extraordinary talent, – go ahead and look him up if you’re not familiar – and has been on my radar since the old hippy days in Austin.  Ah yes, I am a child of the 60’s, which might explain a lot to some.  Bobby’s words and voice touched me so long ago, but it took me an absurd length of time to get out and hear and meet him in person, but I finally managed that last March, as I treated myself to a birthday month gift of going to hear him perform Seekers of the Fleece in the small town close to me.  Seekers of the Fleece is an epic narrative, told in rhyme that flows like a river, accentuated with songs that soar and take your breath and heart away.  It tells the story of Jim Bridger, and the times of the Mountain Men as they began to explore the West.  And of the Native Americans who bore the brunt of the assault of Progress, (along with a few million buffalo), all wrapped up in the polite term of Western Expansion.  I’m sure all of you know, or should, that I’m on the side of the Indians on that one.

For his own reasons, Bobby has decided to retire his public performances of Seekers, and this 4th of July, he will present that last public concert at the Jim Bridger Museum in Fort Bridger.  To me, that is honey to the bear, and I am drawn to this event.  He will donate his coyote headpiece and his buckskins to the museum, and Seekers will be relegated to history and recordings.  I feel honored to be doing this, and I can’t wait to see what stories I’ll be finding on this adventure.  Another interesting factoid is that I just happen to share a birthday with Jim Bridger.  Couldn’t possibly be just a coincidence, could it?

New friends.  Laughter.  Beautiful country.  Singing.  Writing.  Photography.  Stories.  Surprises.  New Country.  New Roads.  And oh yes, Rocks!  Old friends, too, to be visited on the way and back.  I am a lucky lady.

Stay tuned.  Back to making those lists.  I’m telling you, this Manifesting thing is the Real Deal.

Fort Bridger or Bust, y’all!

On Being Assassinated

Posted in Uncategorized on June 18, 2011 by Queenie

These be strange times.  I’m not one to get on the End of Days bandwagon, but the goings on of late are getting all too Biblical, if you ask me.  A great deal of the country is washing away in floods, or being blown apart by tornadic winds.  My personal little patch, along with a huge swatch, is experiencing one of the worst droughts since the Dust Bowl years, and many other favorite places are burning away in wildfires, pushed on by the relentless winds that just won’t stop.  It’s not even summer yet, though it’s been summer for weeks now, and we are in the middle, or perhaps just the beginnings, of day after day of temperatures topping 105 degrees.  Come on now.  La Nina, Le Nino, Global Warming, Climate Change…. Pick one.  Something’s up, or else you’re keeping company with that ostrich with its head in the sand.

In the midst of all the weather related catastrophes, which have the trickle down effect to my poor garden as the critters scale the fences and barriers to get at the moisture in my plants, I’ve had my own little encounter with the great outdoors moved in.  Now I have a mostly non-aggression pact with the beasties around here, including spiders, scorpions and even a couple of rattlesnakes I’ve relocated from my front yard.  I give the buggers wide berth, and capture the scorpions and pitch them outside to make their way in the bushes with the rest of the wild things.  Granted I don’t have small children around here in need of protection, and the four foots have a pretty good sense of leaving such creatures alone, and will even point them out.

But the last few nights I’ve been plagued with nocturnal attacks from unknown quarters.  I’ve awakened with huge swollen parts of me, on arms and knees and chest, hot and itchy and painful and going internally to make me sick and feverish.  I’ve got a couple of underlying physical things going on, but nothing that would account for such sudden onsets of said maladies, and my first thought has been spiders.  But three successive nights of attacks just didn’t seem to explain things.

Yesterday I decided to take it down to the bedsheets, knowing I didn’t have bedbugs, and there was a genuine Ah HA moment.  After peeling off the first layer of pillows, there on the next one, sitting all innocent on the dusty pink pillow, was what I believe to be the culprit:  Introducing you to…. The Assassin Bug.

I’ve done a little research, and for the most part they are on the good list of multi-legged beasties.  They go after bed bugs even, (thanks but no thanks, fella – sort of like paying and putting up with the goons to ward off the less goonier ones), but also are beneficial to gardens.  The sad truth is, if they are not in your garden, and happen to find themselves in your boudoir, they are coming after YOU.  They are bloodsuckers, and for good or bad, their bite is virtually painless.  If you happen to be asleep, they bite away and you are never the wiser, till you wake up with a swollen lump as big as a baseball, depending on your own particular reaction to the stuff they’ve injected into you to make their work easier.  Ever heard the term “kissing bug?”  Yep, that’s them, because they are said to have the propensity to “kiss” their victims, get this, near the mouth.  At this point, if I could run screaming, I think I would.  I am ever thankful that I was blessed with their kisses on my arms and mostly extremities, for my face would be ballooned beyond public appearances.

So for all intents and purposes, I go on the record here to report that I’ve been assassinated.  The offender was located and banished, (no, I didn’t even kill it, don’t ask me why), even as I am still hot and swollen and recovering, (and bad joke here as my mind still goes hopelessly and helplessly to the Weiner scandal), but better days are ahead, even if I am now prone to search my bedcovers thoroughly before retiring.

Of great import is that a mystery has been solved.  You might remember a post from months and months ago when I recorded the hatching of some mystery eggs on my deck door, and wondered what they might be.  Well, surprise, and guess what?

Here’s my original picture,

And one from the web which is identifying assassin bugs hatching.


I suppose Science has paid off, though the curious observer had to pay for her curiosity.  Perhaps one of those minute hatchlings grew up big and strong and found its way to my bed.  Figures.  So goes the price of education.  And I suppose I’ll pay it, since it’s getting harder and harder to get one these days.

In the coming days there will be more about the switching of gears as I move into the Slippery Slope side of things, but I figured I’d better keep up the conversation, lest any of you faithful minion types think I’d skipped off the planet again.  And other than the purely pitiful goings on having to do with the local crazies in the neighborhood, I had not much else to offer than the excitement coming from my bedroom.  And more’s the pity that it was due to an Assassin Bug, and it had nothing to do with anything resembling Prince Charming, who has been MIA for lo these many years now.  Looks like it’s going to be a long, hot summer.  And I think someone already wrote that.

Keep a watchful eye, y’all.  And don’t let the bed… um, the assassin bugs bite.

Bad Boys, Revisited

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10, 2011 by Queenie

In the midst of an email to a friend, I tossed out the words, (incidentally, this was while I was listening to a live performance production on PBS of Ray LaMontagne – not a small thing, it turns out – what music): Listening to Ray LaM on TV.  Trouble Trouble Trouble Tamed By a Woman.  Yep, he’s the one.  No one’s sung that to me yet.  And it’s getting short on time.  Where’s my Bad Boy to open his heart to me?  Bad boy…. there’s the problem.  The Good Guys interest me hardly at all.  Ack.  There’s my next column:  In Search of the Good Bad Guy.   Double Ack.

Oh dear.  It’s quite unsettling when the truth just babbles forth, unfettered and uncensored, when you’re not paying attention to yourself.  I hear that happens when you’re drunk, but I can’t quite attest to that.  And nothing much that I’ve heard from obnoxious drunks, (one of my least favorite categories, but ahead of the dangerous ones), has ever been of heartfelt value.  While it sounds like I must’ve been drunk to say such a thing, I assure you I’m not, but right now a Mexican Martooni in the dark hours, listening to the katydids, or cicadas, (I never seem to get them quite right, still), well, it sounds not so bad at all.

I must be a little stirred up by this Slippery Slope Ranch business.  I’ve heard and spoken to voices I haven’t heard in a while, (and no, not those voices the crazy people hear in their heads, lest you think I’ve gone a bit off True North…. more likely West), and it can’t help but grease those old wheels – the ones for which you wish the Picker Guys on TV would come and give you money to take off your hands.  Oh, I’d be the one who probably wouldn’t let them go anyway because I’m so fond of old, rusty things – that’s treasure to me.  But old memories and Ray LaMontagne singing those songs that grab you by the ragged edges of your heart and remind you that it got torn – well, I guess it softened me up a little.  Not so much as to put on my old Victim t-shirt and mope around, but enough to make me remember and think a little bit, of things that I just don’t think so much about anymore.

I’ve already started my new book, or blog, or whatever it is to be.  Like I said in my last missive, sometimes you have to reach back to go forward.  Back is somewhere I don’t wish to spend much time, because it’s a Black Hole of sorts, and I left too much of my life down there.  I don’t mind and in fact love a cloudy or rainy day now and then, (and right now we could use a deluge), but I choose to be one of the Sunshine People from here on out, and avoid those dark mole holes.

Part of the necessary story of the Slope includes things I don’t like to give much spotlight to, but it warrants a backbone of background.  It will be interesting to hear how it comes out – of me.  Interestingly, I’m not so angry anymore, and Ambivalence is getting close enough to me that I can pet it, sort of like a feral dog you want to trust you, and you can get to be friends.  Actually, I’d like to get on very familiar terms with Ambivalence, maybe Friend him on Facebook.  Not a bad guy to know, in some specific situations, but I don’t want to spend that much time with him.  Maybe I just want to use him and have my way with him and then leave him behind.  Have I become that kind of woman?

I’d wondered how this was going to work – how I could keep contributing to Queenie Says, and then spend time creating the new one, (which will remain unnamed until I tie it down), and how is it all to work?  It’s all beginning to take shape, and it reminds me of the old movies or plots of “a play within a play.”

All it takes is Time, and Time is all we have.  Really.  Time IS all we have, and it is our choice, or SHOULD be, how we choose to spend it.  How to CHOOSE to be happy, or content, or peaceful, when confronted with such huge challenges that are delivered unwanted to our doorsteps.  I know I have written of this concept before — When did we order that package that just got dropped off, or why?  And is it already paid for, or do we have months more payments to make?  Everything’s supposed to be a Gift, right?  Ha.  Ask the people in Joplin, or Mrs. Weiner.  (There are enough comedians and politicians and newsmen dealing with that one, but it’s hard not to…. oh never mind.  I propose we switch the comedians with the politicians, and I have no idea what to do with the newspeople.  I think they’re part of the government anyway, so let’s just have the comedians do everything.  After all, Alec Baldwin might run for mayor of New York now.  Won’t that be fun…. Really!  …….. Ah well, I think I digressed again.)

So the telling of the tale of the Slippery Slope will necessitate me to bubble up memories of the Bad Boy.  The one that got away.  The one I ran from.  The one who ran away.  The one who was so much damned fun, (or NOT), and the one that damn near took the wind out of me.  I suppose I’m the one that got away, and it was a good thing.  Fie and hell and damn, and there you go.  I’ll have to cogitate on how to write about it, without exhuming the body or letting the ghost run amok for any length of time.  Like the body in Deliverance, or The Tell Tale Heart, we don’t want any sightings or reminders.  The history will be short, and the rest will be the story of Now, for Now, like Time, is what we have.  Of course a little digressing now and then is not out of the question.

And from my message to my friend, I am forced to ask myself:  Am I still in want of the “bad boy” to perk my interest?  I obviously am not attracted to anything resembling, dare I say it, normal.  I say I appreciate Responsibility, but have yet to meet the Responsible Bad Boy.  They may not make such a thing.  Those terms may be mutually inexclusive.  If you see one, let me know.  And no more cruel jokes of them being perfectly delightful boatmen on the Colorado who are young enough to be my son.  That is just beyond amusing irony, but was somehow entertaining at the time, in that merciless sort of way.  The first one I fancied was so young I wished I had a granddaughter to give him.  The last one was breathtaking, and would have been for the daughter I didn’t have either.  (I just can’t get that Cougar thing going, or even want to.)  Perhaps the next one will be of sufficient geezerhood to be mine.  I told my river buddy I wished I could find a riverman my age.  She said I wouldn’t want him – he’d be too old and broken down.  Tell me that couldn’t possibly be the truth.

OK, here’s what it is, then, if we’re into manifesting.  A Responsible Fun Man… with a little bit of breathless thrown in.  Now that does not mean breathing impaired, thank you.  Perhaps I can just take his breath away, or vice versa.

Hope springs eternal, y’all.

Recovering from Responsibility

Posted in Uncategorized on June 7, 2011 by Queenie

I know, I know.  All appearances to the contrary, Queenie has not fallen off the planet.  It was that Responsibility thing.  Two art shows, big doin’s in the neighborhood, (for which I had responsibly “volunteered” to be a part of, and do my share, having run for office and actually been elected to a position on the Board of Directors a couple of years ago – whoda thought?), and then, well, fun was involved when I immediately turned around and went down San Antonio way for another adventure of the Raul Malo variety.  One must be replenished, by whatever means, and while equally tiring in some ways, the replenishing is more than good in several others.

I dunno. I’m beginning to think this Responsibility thing is overrated, and I am the one who has been parading around waving that Big R flag for quite some time.  Yep, the Scarlet R, a friend of mine and I used to call it.  Responsibility, yessiree.

Queenie even wrote about it – one of my favorite quotes, actually:  Take Responsibility.  Hardly anyone wants it anyway.  It’s in the book, by the way, accompanied by a stunning picture of a hawk.  (This is what you call a plug if I were talking about this on a talk show….. one of these days.)

Responsibility makes one very tired.  At least this One.  I keep asking myself…. Is it really so much harder these days, or am I, (dreaded gasp), getting OLD?  I somehow refuse to believe the latter, but my physical body is seeming to have its own fully In Body experience, and it has been a bumpy ride of late.  But I bet that shirking Responsibility, in the end, is tiring, too.  Or should be.  After all, if one is expending all that energy NOT doing the right thing, s/he has found his own way to Tired, and it probably doesn’t feel as good, somehow, as the rewards – be them as they may – of well executed Responsibility.  I’m beginning to understand it as a Grown Up thing, and why we must thank all those involved who have anything to do with producing responsible children.  I’m not very familiar with children, as a rule, but I like the responsible ones – the ones who grow up into responsible adults.

So I have been so very responsible lately that I haven’t even stopped long enough to give Queenie a go, and let her have her say about things.  The “working” side of me has been active and inspired with the art shows and road trips and music shows and neighborhood association activities, and just any number of things to keep me seeing me zipping past my own self whilst I’m absorbed in some other dither or activity.  Again, are things happening faster, or am I just getting slower – in all forms of the concept.  Is that why, really, the almighty “they” say that time goes by faster as we get older? Probably not, I suspect.  Alas and alack, we have become the tortoise, and the likes of some of the new hares are getting on my nerves.  Even the antics of some of the other fellow turtle people are testing me.  I sure am getting a lot of material lately, mostly from my own neighborhood.  More on that in a bit.

And so I have been dealing and dueling with Responsibility, and now recovering from the very same.  I’ve been reacquainting myself with my garden, which I had gotten off to a decent start, but the drought and the critters are winning.  I can fight off the drought somewhat with the addition of a bit of our incredibly expensive water, but the creatures are more devious to contend with.  My beautiful begonia is now reduced to nubs, a victim of the deer, I believe, who decided to jump my fence and help themselves to the delectables.  They’re not so taken with the geraniums, and spurned them.

This is our second major drought in two years, and last time it affected the behavior of our neighbors in the animal kingdom.  We had coyotes and bobcats move right into the neighborhood looking for anything of sustenance.  Many cats disappeared, and folks were on edge.  With the disappearance of the water sources, reproductivity of the little munchies that usually feed the predators, (mice and rats and the like), slacks off, and the whole Balance of Life thing runs amok.

Not only is there no rain, but the heat is record setting, and the wind has been relentless.  A hundred and three today, and we’re already stalking the Hottest Summer on Record record.  It was instant summer, with not so much springtime flinging.  My dreams of kayaking at eventide are to be just that very soon.  Our little cove is retreating daily, losing itself to the heat and the drought and the rice farmers down south.  Hard thing to say, but we need a hurricane.  And of course, in the perfect irony that reflects such times, the rest of the country – or a goodly part of it – is washing away.  To those who doubt that we are not affecting Mom Nature, and that she’s mightily aggrieved, I say… Really?

So a catch up on what’s going on around these parts is in order, and so shall we proceed.

Back in the Back 40, Progress is still coming toward us from the horizon.  Slashes are appearing in the green masses of trees as roads are being cut, headed toward the adjoining cove.  I’ve not been granted permission to walk on the land since the new regime took over, so I carefully trespass.  It’s sad back there, with cracks taking the land instead of green grasses and wildflowers – same sort of thing that I found down in Big Bend in March. The Milkweed (sometimes known as Antelope Horns) managed to bloom, and attract a bee and some other nameless bugs.  I always call these the plants from outer space.


Over ten years ago there was a fire in the Back 40, ignited by a squirrel who hara-kiried himself on a transformer and went out in a blaze of glory, and then the blaze took off.  It was frightening, but very low level compared to the horrendous fires going on now in the places I love.  There are many reminders of what happened, including the alligator who lives in the dead grasses.  Have to keep your eye out when exploring in the wilderness, you know.  And I did happen upon a rattlesnake a few weeks ago, but without my camera, of course.  Everyone survived.


Speaking of the grasses, and the wildflowers, there are lots of dead grasses from the abundance we had for a while last year, and an equal lack of flowers.  It’s a hard year back there.  It seems to be a hard year all across the country, with extremes being the new normal.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired and a lot concerned about the new normal.


But some things do indeed survive, against the odds, and I’m happy to keep running into Mr. Jack, or perhaps this is the Mrs., since I’ve seen two at one time.  Despite the coyotes and the drought and the Progress, I still see the jacks, and a few weeks ago I was trying to follow a wild turkey who showed up in our driveway for a few days in a row.  She hasn’t been back lately, but I hope she’s still making her way.  And Mr. and Mrs. Jack, too.


Meantime, I’ve been bringing the garden back from the worst winter we’ve had in many years – so bad that I lost many plants in the greenhouse – with the heater on!  It’s been looking a lot better, at least till the latest assault, which took out some of what you see here.  But here’s one of my views as I sit and watch the goings on my garden, usually very early with my coffee or late after I’ve watered.


I watched a female Painted Bunting come cautiously to the water bath, get comfortable, and then start calling to her mate, telling him she’d found the perfect place.  He didn’t exactly show up, but he came as close as the cedars nearby, and then called her away.  Better than television, I promise.  And the wrens finally took up quarters in the gourd that I hung years ago, and fledged a family.  Of course they fledged when I was off at an art show, so I missed it, but I know one family was successful.


Lots of hummers this year, too.  They get used to you and you can stand close and still sometimes, and they’ll hover right in front of you.  Not so when you’re holding a big camera though, and it’s late and dark.  But I still like the action in this image, and the upside down reflection in the sugar water.


And a remembrance of what’s gone now, lost to the marauders.  Poor begonia, nothin’ but nubs now.  And I don’t know if it can come back or not.  We won’t even discuss what has happened to the tomatoes, which just happened to be the first successful ones I’ve managed in years.  Hell and double damn.


A friend no longer in my life gave me some of these supposedly pesky plants that reproduce into infinity and back again – some sort of succulent I’d say.  I like it.  So far the critters don’t.  I made an art shot out of this one.


Magic is still around, and doing his spectacular thing, looking for love but finding only the deer and the squirrels.  I’ll have more pictures of him challenging the deer, (who are getting big and the bucks are growing their antlers again, and there are twin fawns that have just now appeared), but I am always in amazement of his south side.  If you didn’t know what this was, would you know what it was?


Several nights ago, there appeared a fantastic cloud with rain over there, which never made it over here.  Unfortunately, that story is getting old.  But it was glorious.  But I’d like to take my Glorious with Rain, thank you.


A couple of blogs ago I wrote about The Shift.  I didn’t know exactly what this shifting involved, only that I was living it.  I think it to be fairly important that I chronicle it.  One of those epiphany things sat on my head recently, and I made a decision and put some other things into action.  Actions are surely important, but they are formed from thought, and from the two we are delivered what we create.  In these sorts of things we are both Mother and Midwife.  I decided to reach backward to go forward, (not my usual recommendation), and reclaim a dream that I had forsaken so many years ago.  I’m not sure where this will lead, but there is a new beginning.  For those who wish to take the ride with me, come on along.  I hope it is amazing, and for those who follow, entertaining.  Old friends will recognize a familiar name, one that still means a lot to me, and here we go.  I’ll have a lot more to say, (oh, you have no idea), but here’s the new Sign of the Times.  Get ready to hear more about The Last Stand at the Slippery Slope Ranch.  Onward, into what’s next.  I can hardly wait.


Go for your dreams, y’all.  And stay tuned, as I reach for mine.