Wednesday, August 21, 2013


The rain has stopped, at least for the moment.   The fireflies are coming out of the woods into the meadow.  They're early but the overcast has come back and it's already almost dark out there.

I called my son this afternoon, and learned in the course of the conversation that my daughter has rescued an old horse she found somewhere. Right now it is at a stables up where she lives, but it wouldn't surprise me to see it down here eventually. We used to have horses here when she was a teenager. Wouldn't hurt to have a few again, maybe even a burro. This horse is 18 years old.  I have a lot more sympathy for old animals now than I did when I was younger. I figure, just because you are an old ferret, or old horse, or old dog, or an old human, doesn't mean you can't enjoy life anymore. The animals just need a refuge from people.

While I was in town today I stopped to enjoy the sight of the Burgher King flooding.  It was built down in a hole off the road (most of the town is built on fill ) and the water was running down the hillside in a massive torrent and right under the door into the dining area. I suppose it's mean of me but it was nice to see a catastrophe that doesn't effect me personally.

Walmart had six boxes of Winchester .40 S&W and two boxes of Privi Partisan .40 S&W, but I didn't buy any today. I noticed they had raised the price $3.00 per box since last week.   Just stopped in to buy a bag of cat food and didn't want to hang around in there as every octogenarian in the county was there. I'm no spring chicken myself but I am constantly amazed at the things really old people do. Two of them stood in the entrance with their buggies and completely blocked access to the store while the line got longer and longer behind them. One old lady would turn around and look at all the people waiting to go through the door, then just turn back and keep talking. Finally some middle aged woman suggested they get their ample backsides out of the door and they meandered off, still talking.  If  I ever get to that point I hope I have the grace to drink hemlock or exit in some other painless way. Maybe I'll get one of those little electric buggies they ride around in and do a kamikaze crash into the jewelry counter.

Time to start thinking about what to make for supper.  I'm getting burnt out on hamburgers.


  1. ugh Harry, i really do wish you were closer so i could cook you some food! tonight's supper was locally-made sausages, a few tomatoes from the garden, our first irish cobbler potatoes fried in butter - oh they were yummeh! and a little stir-fry of garden beans, peas, peppers and swiss chard.

    anyway - i have never seen fireflies like that - only a couple here and there. they must look like magic faeries when you see sooo many - i would love to see that many!

    sorry buddy, but it sounds like you are getting a horse! we have 3 cats, all rescues, but our one cat is pretty old...we have no idea how old but getting up there in years. it took years for him to let us pet him and he does not like to be picked up at all. but he has finally started coming out and sitting between us at night when we watch movies. and he purrs. and it breaks my heart that he had to live his whole life before knowing companionship and love.

    my dad used to retire harness-race horses...his friend was a jockey that then went into training horses and when the horses got too old he would send them to my dad and pay him to take care of them at our local stable. my dad's favourite was named whiskey jersey and my dad fed him his normal food but every day whiskey got 2 raw eggs and 2 beer for breakfast - bahahahah! that horse got drunk every morning and stayed that way for most of the day, i guess. but he was happy.

    i have written this a thousand times in a thousand places and i think i wrote it here a few times even! i think a man's character can be judged by how he cares for, and treats animals. i really do.

    i think yer getting a horse buddy. and no worries, if you ever get as bad as those old ladies, you'll have a lucid moment and ask me to come down there. i promise to make it painless and quick.

    your friend,

    1. Kymber,

      The fireflies here start coming out of the woods in one's and two's. Then they swirl together and little clouds of them float along just over the ground all the way up to about 20 feet. On a really dark night it's kind of eerie. Sometimes, after a heavy rain, you see green glowing clouds of light moving through the trees. People used to think it was "Old Nick", the devil, looking for lost souls. Now some people say it is methane gas forced out of the rotting material on the forest floor, and others say it is some kind of thing the fireflies do. I think it is gas, because my son and I drove by a field once late at night after a heavy rain, and it was full of little twisting clouds of light. I can't say either of us were particularly interested in stopping, renaissance men though we be!

      It's good to hear that some people let their horses retire honestly when they are old. I know a lot of place here where there are old horses and especially burros who just live in the pasture and don't work anymore. I'll suggest to my daughter that she try giving her horse a couple of eggs and a couple of beers! He is an 18 year old Tennessee Trotter that was starving to death and just standing in a muddy paddock. Now he is in a stall at the stables where my daughter rides, and when he is well enough he can go out into the pasture.

      I wish you and J did live close enough for me to come over and eat some of that wonderful food you are always showing on your blog. If I did, I bet I wouldn't always have to struggle against gaining weight like I do.

      When I croak I would really like to go out like Maximus in Gladiator, but not everyone is that lucky so I guess you may have to smother me with a pillow....

  2. G'day Harry,

    Fireflies are something else that I have not seen. They look spectacular.

    I love horses. I was brought up with them so am able to ride, and would love to have one. Just a quiet old neddy will do me. My youngest daughter has thirty of them (horse crazy), they range from miniatures to race horses lol! Lucky they live on 21 acres :) I agree that elderly animals need special care just like the rest of us...

    Just popping by to let you know that I am still around, just a little quieter than usual. We are still working through our decisions and it is hard to concentrate on blogging with other things on the mind. Even though it would probably give my mind a break for a while. I can say that the issues involve my husband's work. We have had a very stressful two weeks. I cant elaborate more at this stage, other than change for the better is in the air.

    Thank you for your kind words, and for keeping a check on me, I really appreciate your friendship :)


    1. Tania,
      Thanks so much for coming by. I have been kind of worried, because I know how stressful these family decisions can be. My wife and I are agonizing over a change in location that can't take place for at least five years! Maybe it's just human nature to worry about things.

      I read somewhere that next to a divorce or illness in the family, work related issues cause people the most anxiety. I worked for a gas and oil company for 20 years. The last ten or so, I hated every moment of it and the job was effecting my health. I retired and though I complain about being at loose ends I am so much happier. I hope whatever you and your husband decide to do, it will be a change for the better.

      I really never thought much about horses until my daughter started loving them when she was about 10. We used to drive all the way to a big city three hours off to go to a toy store and buy these plastic horses called "Bryer Horses." I don't know if they make them anymore, but they are beautiful models of horses, not toys. Then we got her a little Welsh pony, and when she got too big for him we bought her a small mare. She has been horse crazy ever since. My wife loves those little miniature horses. If she saw your daughters place, she'd pester me to buy her a miniature horse. Then we'd probably have to keep it in the house so the bears wouldn't get it! (I'm only partially kidding, my wife might do it.)

      I think I like animals so much because I can understand them. I wish I could say the same about most people but human beings are very often a closed book to me.

      I'll be glad when things are all settled and you are back to blogging. I like your pictures and your posts, and it's kind of exotic, knowing someone in the "Outback."

  3. Harry having a daughter that is compassionate to an old horse is a great thing.even if it makes its way to your care.My kids have told me that old jackasses should be put down! I think it was a hint of my future?.
    When i visited las vegas many years ago a comedian made jokes of retires doing a 3 step stop any time they went in a casino door.He said they caused more pile ups in door ways than fog made on interstates!

    1. Gary,
      My daughter has a finely developed sense of right and wrong, and she can't stand to see people or animals abused. I am not sure how she got that way, but I suspect it is genetic. Her mother is a gentle soul until she sees something ugly happening to man or beast, then she gets right into it. One of the reasons I started carrying a gun decades ago was my fear that one day she'd get us into a bad situation and I wanted to be sure I could get us out of it.

      I don't know why older people tend to be unaware of what's going on around them. I wonder sometimes if I am doing that, and just don't know it. I hope not.

      Kymber promised when I am old and senile she will come down and do me in, so at least I don't have to worry about the ultimate horror, winding up in nursing home... ;-)

  4. HF - I have a couple of old nags you are more than welcomed to if you have an urge for horseflesh around your place. No really I will even deliver them.

    Destructive, four hoofed, money pits the lot of em.

    When the wife and I paid off the mortgage on this place because my mother was going broke caring for her horses I promised her we would let them live out their lives. I kick myself for that almost every day. A couple of them are very old but one or two are only in their late teens and I am not sure what I am going to do when my mother finally admits she cannot take care of them any longer. I am not going to encourage her or help any more than I already am, she is on her own with those things.

    From the time I was a child I have had to deal with horses and honestly I can't wait until they are out of my life completely. At least the useless stand in the field leaving ruts and destroying everything variety that might get ridden once every two weeks. My mother squandered every penny she ever had on those things, she has a good pension but if that ever stops she has zilch except an old herd of horses no one wants and that have to be fed.

    Every time she (My Mother) starts going on about how old she is I tell her she better hope she outlives those horses because they won't outlive her.

    My form of tough love giving her a reason to carry on.

    1. "If they have no homes, they'd best die, and decrease the surplus horse population" Ebenezer Preppy.

      Look at it this way. Almost every culture on the planet believes in some version of "you reap what you sew." So by showing kindness to helpless old animals, you are building up a store of good karma in whatever celestial vault you believe in. There's also this, on the serious side. Most human beings, if you look at the ledger of their lives, have a hell of a lot more entries on the debit than the credit side. I know I do. So when I think back on the last thirty years or so, and look for good deeds, most of mine have to do with animals.

      If the horses made your mom happy, then she didn't squander the green. She's damned lucky to know what makes her happy, most don't. And then, she's got a decent son who may fuss but still helps her out. Don't even think about doing in the old horses, I'll tell my daughter and the Avenging Tater will get you. ;-)

    2. Yeah, PP - what Harry said. I've met and know his daughter...she'll kick butt in a heartbeat.

  5. You mentioned tired of hamburgers. I'm almost ashamed to say this being a red blooded American male, but I'm becoming tired of meat in general. Maybe it has to do with me taking Lipitor now for my cholesterol and me having changed my eating habits, I don't know, but I'm starting to become happy with a plate of veggies, beans, rice, and corn bread.

    Sometimes just a bowl (or two) of stew and corn bread works, and I do like some beef in that. I guess I've been watching too many Rawhide reruns.

    1. My problem is I bought this big package of "Bubba Burghers" and there were six of them. Since I foolishly thawed them all, I had to eat them and I couldn't eat but two a day.

      I think I eat more vegetables than anything else, because when the wife is not here I don't really do a lot of cooking. I'm more apt to open a can of peas or corn and just eat that. Then I throw away the can and no kitchen to clean up, no dishes to wash.

      When I go to town I usually have either a salad or sometimes, wracked with guilt, I eat a huge house special hamburger and fries. I'm taking 7 pill a day now and I think two of them have to do with cholesterol.

      When my wife is home, we usually make something good like stew or chili in a crock pot, and just eat when we are hungry.

      Strangely enough, I just saw an episode of Rawhide on tv the other day. When I was a kid, Friday night was a big night. First the Bugs Bunny Show came on, then Rawhide. My mom always made burghers on Friday, the only day of the week we got them, and we would all watch those two shows. Then, if my dad was feeling expansive, he would let me stay up and we would watch a Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff horror movie that came on late. The down side was that he would not let me leave a light on and he wouldn't let me crack the door to my bedroom, so I always spent the night sweltering under a blanket with just a small air hole to breath out of. Who knew if Dracula or The Mummy might not really be out there?

  6. I haven't seen a firefly in years. Must be all this silly-assed pesticide. Even those little green frogs have disappeared, other than forty miles out in the country where they're safe from the bug killers here in town.

    1. I know our county agent told me pesticides have caused the box turtle population to fall dramatically.

      We have lots of fire flies here, they come out of the woods and fly around my meadow just at dusk. My kids used to catch them and put them in a jar, then let them go when they had to come in to clean up for bed time.

  7. 18 isn't so old. We had one until he was 34 and died from stomach cancer. Our horses now are both 21.

  8. That's good to know. Somehow I had it in mind that at 18 the horse wasn't really going to be able to be ridden much. My daughter is a light weight so she won't be much of a burden to him and now she can stop paying to rent horses, so maybe it will all balance out. I guess I'll have to buy a saddle and all, wish I hadn't given the tack away when we sold the horses we had.