My visit to Cowtown, Part V

The Herd

If you visit Ft. Worth and don't see a cattle drive, then you just wasted your visit.

Of course it's not so easy taking great photos of the drive. It's not like you can stand out in the middle of the street and get right in the midst of the action. There are workers everywhere helping you stay safe.

Here's the one-sided conversation I had with one of the workers.

1. Sir, please stay on the curb.

2. Sir, you might be a little safer if you stay on the curb.

3. Sir, I need you to get back on that curb and stay there. It's for your own safety.

4. Gawdammit sir, if you don't get your ass back on that curb, one of those nasty monsters is going to gore you through the heart, and you're going to lie in the middle of the street, bleeding all over everything, and do you think I'm gonna help ya? Not in the slightest. Do you think those cowboys are gonna help ya? Shoot, they'll just spit on ya as they ride past. Do you think those longhorns will give a shit? Well, not about ya, but maybe on ya.

Now, are you gonna get on that curb or not?

5. Thank you.

(Well, I might of exaggerated the conversation just a wee bit. You can find more "honest" folk over at  A Rural Journal. )

My visit to Cowtown, Part IV

Like bigger trains?

A historic train leaves The Stockyards heading to Grapevine every day.

It comes back, too.

Train Man

My visit to Cowtown, Part II

Well, you won't be seeing scenes like THIS for awhile.

The Texas Western Railroad Club in Ft. Worth is moving to a new location. Which means everything has to be taken down, packed up, moved and rebuilt.

It'll take years for them to do this.

And it'll never be the same.

Luckily, I got to see their setup in all their glory.

Sorry you missed it.

Texas Western Railroad Club

My visit to Cowtown, in multiple parts

Being a teacher, and with school about to begin, it's so terribly difficult keeping these posts coming, day after day, week after week...

... and so easy to make excuses for not doing them.

(Hmmmm, just like students.)

Well, to ease the stress of publication for a bit, here's some photos of my recent trip to Ft. Worth.


Cowboys come in all sizes.

Cowboys come in all sizes

Living the hummingbird life

Humming Bird

It's tough to catch a hummingbird just sitting in one place.

I took this one shot and he was all...

1. SEE ya, sucka!

2. Wouldn't wanna BE ya, sucka!

3. Gonna sit for just a minute in your TREE ya, sucka!

4. Then I'm gonna buzz your old fat head, spin around, upside down, hover for a while until you think I'm gonna try sucking juice out of your ear to make you FLEE ya, sucka!

5. Oh, look! A flower!

So, since that's I'll I got, why don't you hum on over to  A Rural Journal.

I Was the One

I was the one
you stood behind
in line
at the grocery store,
replacing food
I couldn't afford.

Chips. Spaghetti. Herbs.
And you looked so perturbed.

I was the one
who worked three jobs,
maybe four,
I don't remember any more,
trying just to survive.

One. Day. At a time.
And you couldn't even be kind.

I was the one
who wanted to better myself,
get a degree,
to give my baby
a better life.

She. Deserves. The sky.
But you thought I was reaching too high.

I was the one
who pulled myself up
by my bootstraps,
to stand tall,
to give a voice to all the voiceless.

People. Left. Unheard.
While you parsed and played with words.

So if you choose not to hear
what I have to say today,
then I'll stand up --

and speak a lot louder.



Just hanging about

Just Hanging Out

I once asked my father if bugs go to heaven when they die.

He said, "Certainly not."

Then what, I asked, are praying mantises praying for?

"They're praying that their fathers don't come and squash them for asking stupid questions."

(I'm not really sure my father and I had this conversation. I may in fact have just made it up. It's so hard for me to tell these days.)

So, what do praying mantises lift up in prayer?

1. Dear Creator, thank you for sticky feet.

2. God, if you can end all the pain and suffering in this world with the snap of your fingers, prove it on that bird that just so happens to be looking my way.

3. Please don't make me come back as a moth.

4. My dear Lord, why did you create the world upside down, or maybe I'M upside down, or maybe everything's right-side up and I only perceive it as being opposite of what it TRULY is, like some other dimension or parallel universe in which I am the Supreme King of All Lands and Seas, and it's only here that I'm just a dang bug. Oh, never mind.

5. I just wanted to be a dancer.

There's way more interesting things to see at  A Rural Journal.

The power of the sun

Of course I believe in solar power. It's not up there just to look pretty, ya know.

Powered by the Sun

The day of reckoning is nigh

I know what's going to happen.

I'm going to go in for my yearly physical and the doctor is going to give me the evil eye.

He'll ask if I'm feeling ok; do I feel dizzy when I stand up; do I have a hard time breathing; how's you're back feel? You still riding that motorbike?

Fine. Sometimes. Nope. Old. Hell yeah!

He'll tell me my "numbers" are sky high and that it's amazing I'm still alive.

God works in mysterious ways.

He'll tell me I should eat better and get some exercise 'cause the Grim Reaper doesn't need to knock at my door. He has the key.

Thanks, Doc. Mighty comforting.

And the reason he's going to say all this is because I've been on vacation.

And I learned to bake banana nut bread.

Two months with nothing to do, no place to go, no money to get there even if I wanted to, and me just sitting around on the porch, taking photos of stuff and birds, tweeting, blogging, tends to make you want to try new things.

So I made banana nut bread.

Probably 14 loaves.

Well, not all on the same day.

But when you're sitting and baking, and then EATING -- that's the kicker of course -- EATING 14 loaves of banana nut bread (not by myself, of course), well, you get old and fat.

And death can smell old and fat.

It eats it up like banana nut bread

I'm so screwed.

Don't mock the bird

Bird on a Limb

I take a lot of photos of Mockingbirds.

They seem to be the only thing flying around my house, so what else can I do?

Mockingbirds are great mocking birds.

1. I once thought there was a cow in my backyard, but it was only a Mockingbird.

2. Two Mockingbirds together sound like Lucy and Ethel.

3. A Mockingbird looked me straight in the face once and said, "Judy, Judy, Judy," in its best Cary Grant voice. I guess it was trying to tell me I needed a haircut.

4. Mockingbirds are the state bird of Texas, and they can kick YOUR state bird's butt with both wings tied behind it's back. How it'd go about tying up its wings is beyond me.

5. Mockingbirds are not scared to poop on Chuck Norris' car.

And now, why don't you fly on over to A Rural Journal.