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Life is like photography; we develop from the negatives…

perhaps we can not see the big picture due to over exposure from a certain experience or obstacle.

When we share the photos of our inner thoughts with the world, are they negatives or full color potentials and possibilities?

Developing a photograph begins in a dark room. A negative is taken and a process transforms the image into a colorful and recognizable photo. So, is life, in that a process must take a timely course in order to develop a positive situation. Take school or college for example; the many hours of study, enduring the class lectures and hurdling the tests lead to a rewarding finish.

Love, the process that goes from seeing each other for the first time, the first words between two souls and the days that bring them closer and closer. The first kiss, first date and the days turned into years that essentially developed into a lasting relationship. (perhaps even wedding photos)

I was preparing for this years summer vacation and came across two rolls of film that we had taken on our vacation two years ago. We never had them developed. But, the memories are alive and well. I can close my eyes and recall that vacation when we went to Padre Island and played in the surf, fed the hermit crab that had made a home under the picnic table we sat at during the day. The doves that had made a nest in a palm tree nearby and the sea gull that had flown by several times and relieved himself in flight as a bombardier would release its bombs. I still have the sand dollars we had found that summer as memorabilia.

I remember summer vacations as a child. We went to my Aunt and Uncles who owned a resort on the coast. I had my first job washing dishes in their diner making a wop ping .75 cents an hour in the early 70’s. I bought my first camera (a Polaroid) and took a lot of pictures that I still have. When I see the snap shot that takes a millisecond image, I recall a full event in a mental video that unfolds the days of that time.

Life is like an album of memories. A photograph simply reminds us of a time in our life. A picture paints a thousand words … to say the least, if memories are attached.

There is a café in town (now, allow me to remind you that our town has about 400 citizens and at least that many dogs and cats) the photos on the wall at this café are of the olden days. When the town was thriving from timber and steam boats that use to frequent the river but no longer do due to the damns and regulations that have been developed since it is ecologically unsound. The people in the pictures are no longer alive. The general store is now a cabinet shop and the mill no longer exists. Snap shots of what once was becomes memorabilia of a time long ago.

When I was driving to town this morning I saw the sun rise. I can’t recall every sunrise I have ever seen but the one this morning reminds me of so many I have been fortunate enough to have embraced. When I lived in California, (being from Texas) I was amazed every day at the beauty of the distant mountains. I would make a comment about how beautiful the mountains are and the people I worked with (who grew up there) simply would reply… “There just mountains.” They had grown up seeing them every day so to them it was no big deal, but for me they were majestic. The same is with the story of the man with the bag (a bag of happiness) you don’t really appreciate what you have till it is gone.

I don’t dig up pictures of those mountains but when I see a sun rise like the one that adorned the sky this morning, I recall the sun coming over the mountains when I lived in Arvin, California. It reminds me of the song… ‘Till I gain control again’


(one of my all time favorite songs)

“Till I gain control again”

Just like the sun over the mountain top you know I’ll always come again
You know I love to spend my morning time like sunlight dancing on your skin…..

link to a youtube version of this song with mountain pictures (beautiful)


In the story of  ‘Balls of clay’  ‘ we are inspired to take the time to open others up and find a gem in them. Each of us are an album of memories. Each of us have stories to tell that no one else has. We are all as unique as a photograph waiting to tell a story of a time long ago. Life is an album of memories.


Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” Albert Einstein.

~today is a day for making memories~ picture it!!!


While I enjoy all aspects of bonsai gardening, I especially love pruning. Not only does it offer a relaxing break from daily stress, but I’ve found it offers a creative outlet as I try to shape my trees into miniature art forms.

As I was trimming some bonsai the other day, it occurred to me that the lessons I’ve learned can really apply to real life. So here are five of my pruning secrets, and I hope they help you with your bonsai and help you navigate life a little better, too!

Five Bonsai Pruning/Real-Life Tips

  1. Start slow. I learned this lesson the hard way one year when I rented a power washer to clean my front deck. Instead of starting in a far-away corner, I began right under my front door. Turns out I had the machine on the wrong setting and promptly blasted an ugly scratch in the wood that still shows today. My advice: Whenever you’re unsure about what you’re doing, start in an inconspicuous area until you feel comfortable. That way, mistakes (and mistakes do happen!) won’t be quite so glaring.

  2. Focus on the big picture and don’t waste time with the small stuff. I’ve wasted a lot of valuable time (in pruning and in life) by focusing on those things that didn’t really matter. With bonsai, I used to start by cutting the smallest branches first, only to discover that I wanted to cut the larger branches they were attached to. Not only did this waste time and create more of a mess, but it made me reluctant to prune further, which had an adverse effect on the overall shape of the tree. Which leads me to my next point …

  3. Take risks. Sometimes you have to be bold, so if you’re going to cut, cut. I’ve found that sometimes the only way to bring out a new angle or shape is to get a little aggressive and try something new. Like they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so don’t always play it safe. But at the same time …

  4. Be disciplined and in control. One time, I was trimming a Japanese Maple and got frustrated in the process. A certain amount of apathy set in, and I kept snipping away. When I was finished, the poor tree looked like some sort of sheep-shearing incident gone horribly wrong. So, take it easy and step back and take a look every so often, so things don’t get out of control.

  5. Stand up for your vision. Bonsai, like life, is a constant learning experience. So, don’t be worried about your day-to-day results, be proud of yourself, and apply a little of what you learn to the next interaction. That’s all we can do.


So in many ways, bonsai emulates life and can even teach us more than we’d ever expect. Next time you’re pruning, pay attention to the process and you may just learn something new you can apply in your own life, too!


life is not about finding yourself. life is about shaping yourself



article found here


One wintry day a Woodman was tramping home from his work when he saw something black lying on the snow. When he came closer he saw it was a Serpent to all appearance dead. But he took it up and put it in his bosom to warm while he hurried home.

As soon as he got indoors he put the Serpent down on the hearth before the fire. The children watched it and saw it slowly come to life again. Then one of them stooped down to stroke it, but the Serpent raised its head and put out its fangs and was about to sting the child to death. So the Woodman seized his axe, and with one stroke cut the Serpent in two. “Ah,” said he, “No gratitude from the wicked”


A scholar used to teach his students in a certain city. Once one of his students went to another city where he used very bad words for his teacher. A man who knew the scholar heard him. He happened to visit that city after few weeks. He went to meet that scholar. During the meeting the man mentioned that particular student who had used bad words for the scholar.

The scholar replied, ” My student threw an arrow towards me which didn’t reach me. You picked up that arrow and made sure it is inserted in my heart.”

How many times in our daily life are we responsible for picking up arrows from the ground and inserting it in the person’s heart for whom it was thrown ?


They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water,
it will leap out right away to escape the danger.

But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then you gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling,
the frog will not become aware of the threat until it is too late.
The frog’s survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes.

This is a story that is used to illustrate how people might get themselves into terrible trouble.

This parable illustrates how humans have to be careful to watch slowly changing trends in the environment, not just the sudden changes. Its a warning to keep us paying attention not just to obvious threats but to more slowly developing ones.



You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one!





these stories found here

… by Art~


A zen master and a student were sitting by a lake and silently watched nature and all its beauty when the student broke the silence by saying, “I can,t wait till this weekend. The feast of the full moon. There will be fruits, fish, laughter and there is talk of fire works.”

The zen master said nothing, he just kept looking across the lake. The student leaned forward and gazed curiously at the zen master. “Master? Did you hear me?”

“Yes,” replied the master. “I hear you.” He continued to sit, absorbed in his surroundings. Sitting as still as a statue, peering across the lake like a soldier with a thousand yard stare. The student re-adjusted his sitting and imitated the master.

But after a few moments the student asked, “What is the lesson today?” The master sat quietly, motionless, peering forward. “Master?”

“Is it not obvious?” The master replied. “I am becoming one with the granite rock in which we sit upon.” It was then that the student took notice of the giant stone in which they sat on. He looked at the large rock that sat next to the lake. Noticing its shape and size, reaching a hand out and feeling the texture of the stone.

  “But we are humans,” the student stated, “we are nothing like a rock.”

“On the contrary, we have a few things in common with a stone. One is being hard headed.” The master chuckled. “There is a lesson in everything,” the master continued. “The sun teaches us to be warm and shine like a light for others. The trees teach us to bend with the wind, to be resilient in that which comes our way. To grow and reach outward. The water teaches us that we are a body and our emotions are expressed like the surface ripples. To be clear and transparent with honesty and purity.”

“What does the rock teach us?” The student asked with curiosity. Looking at the large slate of granite in which he sat.

The master looked down, reached out and picked up a stone then handed it to the student. “It teaches us to be patient. To sit in stillness and watch as the world unfolds. This rock we sit upon has sat for thousands of years, never moving, never speaking, watching the sun rise and set. Watching the moon change from a full moon to a new moon over and over again, as we watch others grow and change, all the while never changing. It has been rained upon, sat in the blisstering sun, lapped at by the water in the lake, covered in snow and allowed the snow to melt away. It endures all that comes without a whimper or unchanged.”

“We are the same,” the master continued, “We as humans are bombarded with problems and they melt away, we see the seasons come and go. There is a time to move like the wind and then there is a time to sit like a stone. This rock has beared children, like that in your hand, a bit of itself shared with the world. Become as solid in your thoughts and beliefs as a rock in the elements. Obtain the patience of a stone.

……… Art~ 2013

this story came to me after reading this


a word from the mouth is like a stone from a sling


The last four-day work week was long. I have always said that, “the people you work with can make or break your day.” At the unit, you end up working with different people every day. This week, one day, I worked with an individual who went through the day using humor to make it through the intense climate we endure. And of course you learn something new everyday … for example:

Do you know what sex and rain storms have in common?

You never know how long it will last or how many inches you are going to get!

I have always believed that laughter is the best medicine. It breaks the ice, it brings people closer together and it makes the day go by faster and more fun. Laughter inflates the spirit.

They discovered the secret ingredient in Viagra… “fix-a-flat.’

Breathe in. Breathe out.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Forget this and attaining Enlightenment
will be the least of your problems.


Zen giggles

Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique. Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him. When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked, “Why do people have to die?”

“This is natural,” explained the older man. “Everything has to die and has just so long to live.”

Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added, “It was time for your cup to die.”


Japanese Zen master Sesso warned, “There is little to choose between a man lying in the ditch heavily drunk on rice liquor, and a man heavily drunk on his own ‘enlightenment’!”


A Zen Buddhist opened up a hot-dog stand and his first customer paid with a £20 note.

After waiting, the customer demanded, “Where’s my change?”

“Sir,” replied the Buddhist, “change must come from within.”


Q: How many Zen Buddhists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three – one to change it,
one to not-change it and one to both change and not-change it.


If you laugh a lot, when you get older your wrinkles will be in the right places

I am catching the next plane of existence out of here~



Recently I came across a strange situation that got me to thinking. Let me explain, I was giving a break to a co-worker. In the outer towers around the unit. (Towers around a prison called pickets) This co-worker had climbed up to the picket and I was reeling up the rope to bring up the supplies she had with her when I heard a scream. I looked into the building and she was standing on top of the chair. (the chairs are tall, like a bar stool in order to aid in visibility.)

There she stood screaming that she wanted out of the picket. I asked what was wrong and she could only yell, “It went behind the gun cabinet.” I was thinking that I had been out here an hour and hadn’t seen any thing but that doesn’t really mean any thing. I thought maybe it was a mouse or maybe a snake. On occasion chicken snakes have been found up high due to rains. So, While she continued to have a melt down, I pulled the gun cabinet back to see what was behind the cabinet and this just sent her into hysterics. I didn’t see any thing behind the cabinet so I pulled it out more and still didn’t see anything.

“What am I looking for?” I asked.

“A gecko!” she screamed. I never knew anyone to be afraid of these tiny little lizards. I chuckled and looked again and that is when I saw the little creature blended in with the wood on the cabinet. I reached in and took it in hand.

“It just wanted to make a commercial with you,” I said as I put the cabinet back and held the tiny little thing. My fellow officer was still on the chair and yelling, “get it out of here, throw it over the rail.” I couldn’t do that, we were three stories in the air. I told her to lower my lunch bag and I would carry the little guy down the ladder with me. Which I did and let the little guy go in the grass and leaves bellow.

fear is the ultimate self imposed illusion

I suppose we all have that one thing that scares us. Some are afraid of snakes, mice, spiders, clowns (yeah, I know some one who is deathly afraid of clowns) but we all have our own little thing that we are afraid of. In the book, “Relax, you are going to die.” It relays that all our fears are link to the main fear, death. I suppose my co-worker feels that this little gecko could lead to her death.

My wife tells me that my main fault is… ‘not having any fear.’ But deep down, I fear loosing my wife, daughter and mother, brother … family. This is my biggest fear, that something may happen to them and in reality, one day it will. We all have fears. Courage is doing what needs to be done in spite of fear. 

Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit

Yesterday we watched the new show, ‘Gator Boys.’ These guys get into the black, murky waters of Florida and retrieve ‘Gators’ to relocate them to a safe and non-populated area. One family came home and found an alligator in their house. It had crawled through the doggy door and couldn’t find its way out. Another family called these guys out to get a gator out of their family pool. They said that it wasn’t that they didn’t fear the alligators, but their love for the creature inspires them to restrain the reptile and relocate it.


courage is doing what needs to be done in spite of fear.

(couragious) (…like soldiers, officers, fire fighters …animal rescue …etc)


courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear… Mark Twain!



One of my teachers had each one of us bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes. For every person we’d refuse to forgive in our life, we were told to choose a potato, write on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of our bags, as you can imagine, were quite heavy. We were then told to carry this bag with us everywhere for one week, putting it beside our bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to our desk at work.

The hassle of lugging this around with us made it clear what a weight we were carrying spiritually, and how we had to pay attention to it all the time to not forget, and keep leaving it in embarrassing places. Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty slime. This was a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain and heavy negativity! Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, and while that’s true, it clearly is also a gift for ourselves!
So next time you decide you can’t forgive someone, ask yourself– Isn’t MY bag heavy enough?

This story found… here!


(This story reminded me of  … Burdens

A student and a Zen Master were at a creek, filling a bucket with water. As they began to leave the Zen Master offered to carry the water but the student insisted that he would carry the bucket, stating, “It’s not that heavy!”

The student carried the bucket of water walking behind the Zen Master. After awhile the student said, “This bucket of water is getting heavy.” Shifting the bucket to his other hand.

The Zen Master replied, “It is the same weight now that it was when we got the water from the creek.” The student agreed and continued onward. It wasn’t long till the student said, “My arms grow tiered and I must rest.” He placed the bucket on the ground.

The Zen Master then said, “The bucket of water is like your burdens. It is the exact same weight all the time, but the longer you carry it, the heavier it becomes. You must set your burdens down periodically and rest awhile so you can become refreshed, the same as this bucket of water, understand?” The student acknowledged that he understood as the Zen Master picked up the bucket of water and they continued onward.

The student felt uncomfortable having the Zen Master do labor and said, “I will carry the water, I am rested now.”

The Zen Master said, “I will share the burden with you, besides, if I do not use these old muscles from time to time they will forget what they are for and I will be unable to carry my own burdens.”


(moral: the burdens we carry become heavier the longer we carry them. As the Zen Master said, put your burdens to the side, from time to time and rest awhile. When ever possible share a burden with another, like cooking or cleaning. I try and split the chores with my wife and we equally share the burden of house work. Four hands are better than two any day.)

by Art~


no one is perfect… remember, everyone’s ass has a crack in it! 

have a quality day









Little sunshine and I were coming home from town yesterday and as we got close to the house, this is what we witnessed: At the river’s edge was a large grey heron perched on a stump that was probably about 6 inches into the air. (not very tall) And beside this majestic bird was a large vulture that was seemingly charging at the heron, but just as it got close the heron would peck at the buzzard and the buzzard would back away and circle the heron.

“Wonder what that’s all about?” Little sunshine asked. So I slowed to a stop and watched. It then became apparent that about two feet behind the heron on the river’s bank was a cat fish carcass. The heron wanted the post to perch on. The buzzard wanted the cat fish and since both these items were to close for comfort the two big birds were in conflict. Each wanting to dominate the area.

I see the same thing all the time at work. Inmates in verbal confrontations for the best seat to watch television. Or to get into the chow line. They don’t want to get into a full blown fight yet they become in conflict with each other. The sore toe syndrome begins. (Once you step on a toe the person/dog never forgets this and always see’s the person who stepped on their toe as an enemy.)

The funny thing about all this (between the heron and the buzzard) was as we went to pick up the wife and drove back by the stump/ cat fish. the heron was gone and there around the cat fish were 5 buzzards. It was okay for the buzzard to have other birds of its kind around the cat fish and shared this meal. But remembering that the buzzard did not like the heron around because it was not the same. (Yes it was a bird) but not the same kind of bird.

This is another thing that we see all the time with humans. Sunshine told me that the kids at school that wear Goth clothes do the same thing. They don’t like any one who is not goth. I told her how proud of her I was for wearing bright and happy colors. (she likes peace signs and most of her clothes are purple or pink / her favorite colors.) I told her to be like the heron, just leave them alone for there is too much land in this world to fight over one stump or one table or one corner of the school. It is better than being in conflict with another and being unhappy, just leave and find zen in another corner. It is always better to extend an open hand of friendship than to swing a fist in anger.


I was scratching sunshines back, a chore that is a daily ritual before Emma goes to sleep every night. Then she remembered that she has no school due to winter break, She had no bedtime. I stated, “It was almost my bed time,” Since I work four days on and four days off and get up at 4 am in the morning. I said, “I need to go to bed by nine to get my beauty sleep.” She then turned and told me, “It’s not working, you might want to try and go to bed a little earlier.” (brutal honesty)

I was carrying my wifes x-mas present from the truck to the house, a freezer. I told sunshine to get the door and she ran up the steps and opened the door to the house. I started up the 4 steps to the house and told emma to move. She said she wanted to go and shut the door to the truck. (back down the stairs) I told her to go into the house and she didn’t. I took another step and the freezer slipped and I had to make two choice, smash my little sunshine or take the fall with the weight of the freezer. Yep, you guesses it, I took the fall, going back down the stairs head first and the freezer landed on me.

I lay there a minute and did as a pilot would do before take off. ‘ conciousness? check!’ ‘Right arm’ I moved my right arm, ‘check!’ ‘left arm’ I moved my right arm, ‘check! … ‘right leg / check!’ ‘left leg…. uh, left leg…’ It was then when I realized my left leg was pinned and throbbing. (not broke thank goodness) I got up and was basically okay, so was the freezer but then again it had a cuchion to fall on, … me!

It was then that sunshine said, “Suck it up and act like a man.” I was shocked then laughed. I asked her where she heard that from and she said, “TV” … Television is the tool our kids learn from today. So … I sucked it up and put the freezer in the house. Later, sunshine was running through the house and stubbed her toe on a chair… what do you think I said?

“Suck it up… ” (~_~)



You are my sunshine, and by that I mean… you may have damaged me in ways that I won’t know about for years.


The Job … By Art~

Deep in the woods, the wise forest owl gathered the animals of the forest and announced that the stream that provided water for their little community was not enough for every creature in the woods. That when summer comes their will be nearly no water from the little stream due to the drought that comes every year. He stated that he would hold interviews for a position to build a Dam to pool the water.

Most of the creatures of the woods conceded, thinking that the beaver would surely get the job. While the Owl, interviewed each applicant, the beaver sat outside the tree where the Board was held becoming impatient, saying, “Why waste this time, I will get this job. I am the best sooted for this type work. I am the only creature here with experience.”

The Owl patiently and with great thought considered each applicant, giving them the respect and time deserved to at least hear them out. The deer stated they could push big logs with their horns and build the little dam needed to pool up the water. Mud Dobbers said they could gather an army of fellow wasps to build a dam to hold up the water. The beaver yelled from outside the council tree, “You know I am the best choice for this job. Why are you wasting your time?”

The owl allowed each animal that wanted a chance to do this, the time to plea their abilities for this position. The Fox said he could do it and look good doing it too. The squirrel came and in the interview stated that he would, ‘use all the acorns and pecans it could gather to make a damn.’ While the turtle claimed that it might take him a little while but he would be honored to try to make and a dam. The beaver outside laughed.

Finally a decision had been made and all the animals gathered as the wise owl came and perched on a lower branch of the mighty oak tree to announce who will get the job. The beaver patted its wide tail as if annoyed at such grand theatrics over what should have been a simple solution. The owl cleared its voice and stated, “I thank each and every one of you for wanting to participate in this endeavor and help out little community and after much consideration I have come to a conclusion. I choose the family of sparrows to build a small dam to pool the water enough to help us through the hot summer months.”

“What?” The beaver huffed. “Are you crazy? I am the best choice for this job.”

“I know that your skills are unmatched in building great damns Mr. Beaver,” The Owl started. “But we do not wish to have a forest without trees. We do not need a great big lake in our area. I thank you for your offering to do this but choice is based on the facts that we only need a small pool to hold water. The sparrows build quality nest, fitted with patience placing each twig perfectly in place and I believe they can do the job needed. The beaver’s anger was obvious as he stormed off and the sparrows bowed and cheered as they took off to begin the job.

                                                                                                       By Art` (~_~)

(This story came about as I watched a group of people at work walk around for days all claiming they would be the best applicant for a position that came available at the unit. Some you could tell right off were not a good match for the job but to that person they thought they would be. It is hard to explain to someone why they were not the best choice for the position while others boasted they were the best applicant for this job and did not get the job huffed off scoffing the individual that makes the choice who gets the job. all the while the head of the board gave each person that wanted the position time to plea their abilities, and listened patiently to each. When all is said and done I think they made a wise choice.)


My new years resolution… to post less and write more of my own stories as I used to do. So, I may not post as often but I hope to post more quality stories of inspiration and morals.   Art~


You don’t need a certain number of freinds,

just a number of freinds you can be certain of.


Welcome to Year of the Water Snake! Snake is the Yin to last year’s Dragon Yang. That said, Snake does not settle for mediocrity, either. We’re likely to see significant developments in the area of science and technology this year. Research and development are apt to flourish. This is a Water year as well, the element most closely associated with education and research, making 2013 a very special year for scientists and scholars. Snake is a great sign, a positive one, with energy that can help us face all of the challenges ahead of us. Let’s take advantage of this vibrant influence to improve our lives — and our world!


Once upon a time there was a serpent that was persecuting a firefly. The poor firefly fled from the ferocious predator, using all the energy created by fear to speed him along. The serpent, however, never considered giving up his pursuit, so he chased the poor firefly run away one day, and again for the second day.

The ordeal continued, until the third day. Without the strength to continue, the firefly stopped and asked the Serpent, “May I ask you three questions?”

The Serpent said with a haughty tone, “I’m not used to answering anyone, but since I am going to devour you, you can ask me anything”.

Am I part of your food chain?”

No” answered the Serpent

Did I hurt you or provoke you in any way?” asked the firefly.

No” repeated the serpent.

So, why do you want to devour me?”

Well”, said the Serpent, “because I can’t stand to see your shining light.”

In your life, there will always be “serpents” that will come about to try to steal your light and dreams; you will have two options:

You can stop shinning your light, so no serpent will be after you any longer, or you can let your light shine even brighter and learn how to deal with people like that. But it will always be your choice.

(I know, I have posted this story before, but I felt it fit with the coming of the new year and this post)



Water Snakes are influential and insightful. They manage others well and tend to be good for organizations to utilize as staff. They are quite motivated and intellectual, very determined and resolute about success. They will have what they desire, despite the conclusion or outcome they generate because it is worth it to them to not only be recognized for their efforts, but to be rewarded as well. They are affectionate with their families and friends but do not show this side of their personality to colleagues or business partners.



I live on the Trinity river, not fifty feet from the back of the house. We have our share of water snakes. Matter of fact when the weekend home owners come up for the weekends to get away from the big city, you hear gun shots like fire works where they stumbled upon a snake or two. I feed farrow cats nightly. (what is a farrow cat? A cat that has been dumped off down the road/ out in the country, where the owners did not want them any longer. They breed and have wild kittens, and they then keep around the house/ outside, till feeding time, every afternoon.) I keep them fed and they in return keep the snakes away from the house. My little sunshine hasn’t happened upon a snake in our yard in the last three years due to the 12 cats that patrol the yard. Now, while fishing, we see them swim by, passing by, and making their way up or down stream. My wife calls them ‘Hissers’… and she is a dead eye shot, and does not like hissers. Just wait until I tell her that 2013 is going to be the year of the hissers.



another sunrise, another new beginning




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Emma (Sunshine),

wedding day