Thursday, June 19, 2014


Well, officially speaking, spring has all but taken its final bow, as summer waits impatiently in the wings—though if you proclaim your seasons based on the practicalities of looks and feel, and not some invisible astronomical milestone, summer displaced spring some time ago here in the pastoral hinterlands of southwestern Ohio. Temperatures the last few days have exceeded 90˚F, and we've had mid-80s˚F and above for weeks. 

That's summer in my book and I don't care what the almanacs claim about when seasons come and go!

The past week has passed by in a heated rush, like a highballing freight train zooming across a Badlands prairie. And I've sweltered and sweated and stewed my way from one job to another like a cantankerous old buffalo because between writing tasks and post-flood cottage repairs, there's a mountain of work to do and only so much time and energy in which to get'r done. Time for cooking and eating is problematic; fishing and photography nigh impossible. At least not without feeling guilty. 


I'm still head-over-heels thrilled and in love with my sweet and delightful and beautiful granddaughter. She's gained upward of a pound already, and is doing just dandy. And yes, I insist on photo updates daily.

The leg is pretty much healed. The rest of me is seriously sore and battered from all the carpentry and lifting, the bending and banging around—and my masculine psyche has been so discomposed that I now dream about things like building closets and laying subfloor. But otherwise, all is well with me, Myladylove, and Moon-the-Dog.

I did make a brief photographic expedition onto the deck yesterday, where I made the two shots of one of the orange summer lilies that grow by the steps leading down to the river. Same flower…one with a darker foliage background, the other with the river at midday beyond. I couldn't decide which I liked best so I posted both.

And FYI, these two images constitute the creative sum of my photographic output for the week. Sheeeeesh!


Friday, June 6, 2014


The world changed recently. This grizzled-but-still-incorrigible-scribe is now an official grandpa! Anya Grace Blann was born Tuesday afternoon, at 1:05 p.m. She weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and measured 20 inches long. 

Yet babies can’t really be measured in pounds and inches. You have to start with a heart’s desire—two longing hearts of the would-be parents, plus many equally empathetic hearts belonging to family and friends. Then count the words—wishes and prayers and whispered thoughts of encouragement and support. Add in the sleepless nights, lost dreams, and secret wishes. Don’t forget all the worries and fears and what-ifs that can make such hopes seem impossible. When you’ve tallied it up and reached your bottom line, then, and only then, do you have a newborn’s measurements. 

Miracles happen every day. I held one Tuesday morning—a blue-eyed, blond-headed granddaughter, so innocent, so beautiful, so amazingly precious…between the joy and love, my proud ol’ heart nearly exploded! A sweet little blessing that has already enriched my life beyond measure. 

And I can assure you—no baby ever arrived into this world more loved and welcomed than my beloved Anya Grace.


Sunday, June 1, 2014


Laziness is doubtless partly to blame for my longest-ever blogosphere hiatus. Plus the excitement of impending (any day now!) first-time grandfatherhood. Also work—both writing and the start of the cottage's every-room-from-the-floor-up renovations, necessitated by our pre-Christmas flood. 

Then, too, some portion of fault surely lies in the general torpidity I annually seem to go through at the onset of hot weather, which happened hereabouts when, in a couple of weeks, we went from spring's last snowfall to temps in the mid-80˚s F. 

And finally, if I'm being fully honest, some measure of this temporary silence comes from the introspection occasioned by the May 10 passage of yet another birthday, and the dispiriting summing up of my life's genuine worth. Do I really, ever, have anything to say?

All contributed to my blogging interlude…as least for the first half-dozen days. 

But my absence beyond those initial few days has been due to accidentally having taken a rather sizable (3-1/2" x 3-1/2") chunk out of my left lower leg—a flesh-bared, skin-flapping, bleeding, oozing, owie severe enough to prompt quick trips to an Urgent Care facility and an After Hours unit in the hospital across the river from the cottage.   

In case you're wondering, I can be so specific about the injury's shape because it came from the rough-sawn end of a 4" x 4" which, as any carpenter will tell, has a finished dimension of 3-1/2" x 3-1/2". Actually a rather handy size for an injury, since a 4" x 4" non-stick absorbent pad fits nicely, making for a neat bandage. I highly recommend taking this into consideration when planning your own future gashes, gouges, and lacerations.

Because healing has required me to keep my damaged leg elevated to the horizontal, I've spent every day—and night!—in the recliner. Walking/hobbling has been kept to an absolute minimum. No sitting upright with both feet on the ground or floor. I can't do the bed because the injury is on the outside of the leg, between ankle and calf; the first night, when turning over in my sleep, I scraped off the bandage and completely reopened the wound—awakening to pain and blood. Can't sleep all that well in my recliner, either. A choice of the lesser of two evils. 

I haven't been at my desk or on my computer for nearly two weeks. Moreover, I'm technically incapable of writing much beyond a dozen or so words via my iPhone. Siri, faithful helpmate though she can be, fails when it comes to extended dictation. Thus, no desktop Mac, no chance of blogging. 

Yesterday afternoon, however, I hobbled out to the front deck and spent a few wonderful hours in the chaise lounge. That's when I made the from-a-distance backlit photo (above) of a few fading irises along the edge of my driveway. And in just a few minutes I'll check my wound, which is very slowly beginning to heal, to see what amount of drainage/bleeding this first sitting-at-my-desk session has instigated.

It's really, really good to be back.