Sunday, February 23, 2014

Of B-Day Parties, Compassion and Birdie Visitors

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It was a busy weekend here at Crick Hollow. It was my grandmother's 83rd birthday party... goodness, I have trouble thinking of her as being in her 80's. She seems far younger that that... and a lot of people came.

Including my beautiful niece and her young prince. (Both drum majors at their high school). They make a really sweet couple, but it seems my niece's man has another admirer... or two.

Admirers of the furry, lovable, huggable kind. Abby and Izzy were quite smitten!

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Not to say Maddie Kate wasn't in love either, but Maddie loves EVERYBODY.

And believe me... that girl visited with everyone over and over and over again. All our furbabies love company, but to Maddie having company over is like meeting your favorite celebrities. She loves all that attention!


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I wasn't going to mention this, but I have to. It feels wrong NOT saying anything.

The day before the birthday party, tragedy struck for someone that we know. The person I'm speaking of is the family friend, whose house on 43 acres we lived in while our house was being built. (We only left that house a couple days before Thanksgiving, and even now it feels strange to drive past it a couple times a month. We still look in on the house, to make sure everything is in in order and okay).

The tragedy that happened to this person was pretty awful. It made the local news, so I steered clear of watching that. (I was pretty peeved when my father called her house, and she said she had to go because CBS was knocking on her door. I thought that extremely insensitive of them).

I won't go into detail, but for a long time now her husband has had a severe case of Alzheimer's. He finally had to be put into a care facility, but while home the other day he somehow managed to sneak out of the house at around 5 am. Long story short, he was hit by a car on the freeway not far from his home. My sister saw it on the news a few times, and said that the person that hit him was so traumatized they had to be hospitalized.

Words can't express how much my mother and I have been thinking about that poor person. I couldn't even sleep last night from thinking about it. What happened wasn't their fault. This man's death was a tragic accident, and I hate that this person will now live out the rest of their life feeling this dark mark on their soul.

I really wish there was something I could do to make it better. I would feel devastated having run over an animal, much less an elderly man. Imagine what they must be going through!

I just can't stop thinking about it.


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Okay, I have to end this post on a cheerful note.

Here are a few random videos I took of the feathered folk at the end of last month. (I have more recent ones, but haven't uploaded them all yet. I can only upload them from 2-8 am, which can be a problem).

The first was taken after the second freeze that we had. Fortunately, the ice wasn't as big a deal here as it was the week before. All the same, it was frigidly cold and Austin commuters had a lot of trouble with the icy roads. (Not that the weather is anywhere near cold lately. We had a few days this past week where it feels like the arrival of summer is closing in on us. I dread the thought).

I really need to take nice photos of the bluejays, as their feathers are the prettiest and brightest blue. All the pics I did take turned out blurry because the zoom on our camera is pretty lousy. I can't get very close to them either because they're not as tolerant of my presence as the little finches are.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Man of Mystery

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This lovely link-up is courtesy of the talented artist Jane Heinrichs.

Here are the rules, taken from her website:

I'd love for you to join me in sharing "one picture with three stories." The stories can be factual or fictional, they can be inspiring, funny, educational, or entertaining. They can be one sentence long, or much, much longer. The pictures can be photographs or sketches, or whatever tickles your fancy.

Give us a glimpse into your home, your town, your world, your past, your present. Nothing is too simple to feature in One Picture, Three Stories.

The whole idea is that each picture has many layers of meaning. So show us all your layers!


Here's my contribution:

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Story #1: The Celebrity

This gentleman was born February 24, 1845.

When this man drew his first breath, man had not yet landed on the moon. A man's means of transportation and plowing the fields was left inside the barn, having to be fed through winter. The first World War had never happened, and the Titanic was only some shipping mogul's dream.

Space travel was science fiction.

The man in the photograph is kind of a celebrity in this household, even though we're not related. We don't even personally know his descendants.

The only reason we've acquired the photograph in the first place is through my grandmother's husband. The photo belongs to the great grandson of his friend, whom had several copies left after having one blown up and framed. My mother fell so in love with the photo that she was given one of her own.

Story #2: What's in a Name?

The man in this photograph is named Trezevant D. Gill. He was born in Alabama and died New Years Day 1922 in Hidalgo County, Texas.

I've always imagined him as being a quiet sort of character, and who knows... perhaps he was because the only other information we've discovered about his life is that he served in the 7th Texas Field Battery. (Mosely's Co. Texas Light Artillery).

I think what I love the most about this photo is the authenticity of it. My initial thoughts are always that I'm seeing a character from the famed movie "Lonesome Dove."

But this man isn't some esteemed actor, or tourist at Hollywood Studios, posing for a photograph meant to look old. Trezevant D. Gill isn't a fictional character, but was a real person no different from you or I. And it seems that the things he's seen in his own lifetime are going to continue to remain a secret.

Was he married? Did he have children? Was he a kind man? A crabby man? Photobucket What were his thoughts at seeing the first airplane flight? Did it feel surreal to him, or did he think flying was better left to birds and insects? Was he a fan of the industrial revolution, or was it all a lot of noise and dirt and nonsense to him? Did he have a sweetheart, or was love nothing but sentimental mush?

I wouldn't know the answers to those questions, but all that I can gather from his picture is that he loved his guns and took enough pride in his work and livelihood that he felt it important to spend his time and money to have it forever memorialized on film.

Story #3: Conversation Piece

Whatever his character, this Man 'O Mystery resides in a place of honor above our fireplace at Crick Hollow.

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I can't imagine him being sent to the attic anytime soon.


Friday, February 14, 2014

The Loveliest Day of the Year

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This Valentine's Day morning, at around 6:30 am, I let the dogs out as always. It was another foggy, pretty morning when off in the distance I noticed a few deer eating breakfast over by the neighbor's pond. What I initially saw as 3 deer turned into FIVE!

I'll upload and post the video of them later, but the video - as the picture below - is a little dark. I only ever seem to see the deer around here just before sunrise or after sunset.

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So last "Love Day" I made a post about Valentine's Day traditions and superstitions. (Click HERE to read them). This year, however, I thought it time to share a little wisdom from the younger folk.

What do they have to say about the timeless and treasured L-word?

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"Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way."

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
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"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."  photo xtree.gif

"When you tell someone something bad about yourself and you're scared they won't love you anymore. But then you get surprised because not only do they still love you, they love you even more."

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"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."

"Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken."
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"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."

"Love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget, and it's good for them to get reminded."

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Here's the Valentine Card I made my mother this year:
(I was severely lacking in Valentine-ish supplies, so it's a miracle this card even exists)

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Crick Hollow Love

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So it's nearing Valentine's Day, which means love is in the air.

And what do I love at the moment? I love the video I took the other day of the neighbor's baby calf and "Hugs" the donkey playing together. It was really cold that day, and I guess the crispness in the air made them a little more playful than usual. (This was the first time I've even seen Hugs play).

The vids were taken last Wednesday, February 5th.

The next day it snowed - well, sort of - so maybe there's a clue there. The next time the calf and donkey next door get all frisky, I'll be sure to look up the weather report.

And when I say it "sort of" snowed, what I mean is that it was hardly anything and what did fall looked like Styrofoam pellets. Everyone around here is calling it "fake snow."

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