May 20, 2018

Some Weird Rambling

For some reason I felt like writing early Sunday morning even before we took our morning walk and by the time I finish this long post consisting of a lot of weird rambling, questions running through my mind and photo commentary ... I might post it now and not wait until later this afternoon or tonight. A fair warning, there are a lot of photos and a lot of content to read on this post. Some of you may think I have lost my mind and am on the road to insanity.  LOL

Five years ago when I told my deadbeat neighbor, luckily he moved, that the bank was my property and do not burn it, he not only burned my 100' of bank along the driveway but also my four evergreen shrubs I had planted on top of the bank. I had hopes of blocking any view of his house and with those evergreens. After the shrubs did not recover, in June 2013 I cut them at ground level ... notice how much my property has sunk and is sliding down the bank.

This is nothing new, this area of the yard between the burn pile and my driveway, has been sinking for over 50 years based on what my cousin told me. She grew up just a few houses away. The seven acre field behind the house all moves to this part of my yard with a lot of underground water. I may eventually have to have a dump truck load of dirt brought in to level out the yard and rebuild some bank.

What also added to the faster erosion, six or seven years ago the local electric company cut down large trees on that bank that were under their power lines going to my house. They did that for a million miles of power lines, not really million but a large area of the county. Those large trees played a big role in keeping that bank stable and not eroding.

Right after Sadie jumped from the field into the yard she left a path of fine powder coming off those buds on the tall grass. Since my allergies didn't go crazy I was happy to see it wasn't pollen. It did bring out some new ideas for photos on this walk and I cannot remember seeing this before.

I am that the point of trying to decide whether to put all of my rambling at the bottom of this post instead of mixed with the photo commentary. I don't want to possibly confuse you by mixing in my weird thoughts with the photo descriptions or story. Believe me I have a lot to write about and a lot of questions ... maybe I'll do all of the scrambled brain cell stuff at the end of this post.

Stella was going to get her freedom back this morning and she did not hesitate in following the edge of the house before she turned right to walk up the slight incline, then left heading north into the field. I was fine with that but it was not until later I changed my mind ... something told me she might wander further than the neighbor's woods today and I did not want to take the chance of her getting on the highway. Better safe than sorry.

Not 20' into the field and my hiking boots, thin bicycling socks and feet were drenched with water. Where the grass was tall enough, my legs and the bottom third of my shorts were wet ... we had not even started the walk.

Sadie did her normal thing ... while I looked a little harder for our path that is worn in the field with our multiple walks per day. That is just how fast the field is growing. This seems to be one of the best looking grass field I have seen in years, without wild weeds or ragweed trying to grow.

I couldn't see Stella at first glance but saw her soon enough to see she was walking very fast with her head down. That thought of 'highway' didn't leave my mind ... I decided to go over and get her now instead of the end of the walk.

I made an immediate left turn through new territory and tripled the amount of heavy dew. It literally felt like I was walking in a shallow stream and I could see water running down the front of my legs ... my feet were squishing inside my boots with each step. Sadie was confused but turned to follow me toward Stella.

When I called her name, to my surprise she looked up at me and started waking toward us. Then we almost did something entirely different but not only did I not want to confuse the hounds I didn't want to confuse myself by changing a daily paradigm. That would be walking the whole half mile path in the opposite direction.

The reason that almost happened was after Stella caught up to us, I walked over to the alternate return path we take and stared walking on that path toward the middle field. For a minute or two I thought about walking the whole path in the opposite direction ... but why confuse the hounds. They have those two choices to make on our return where the path splits in two different directions towards home.

A short 10' right turn got all of us back on the normal path right before the first turn at the corner of the field.

Again you can see that 'dust' from the buds on top of the grass as Stella walks through the tall grass. I am sure this happens this time of year annually but I sure cannot remember it. Still when took my first sip of coffee I was confused thinking it was Monday morning but the highway had very little to no traffic at all. That shows you a little bit of where my mind is.

Yes, more of that 'magic dust' as Stella walk along our path.

I caught some of the saturation on this plant but I am once again seeing a lens that doesn't auto focus sharply on a shot like this. It's not the first time it's happened and I have wondered for months if there is something wrong with my lens or with my camera. Another example of where my mind is and what will be discussed later.

Stella is following me I guess since no path is visible until I walk through it. I can tell where it is but it's hard to see for those that don't do the walk with us.

Here is another example of not getting sharp focus when I have in the past. The lens moved trying to get it into focus but couldn't. It was always blurry in AF. So I changed the setting to Single Point and it still would not focus sharply on the flower. This was the best I could get.

With seasonal allergies affecting Stella, there is always time to scratch whether inside or outside.

I tried to get Sadie to face me so I could take a photo of her wet face and ears but she wasn't going to let me and would turn no further than this. As I type this I hear a bird chirping outside of my window. It is where the nest is on top of the electric meter. I wonder if she has had her babies.

I could have cropped this photo but wanting to show just how isolated this small daisy was in the field. I have not seen a lot of them. Well Sadie has come into the computer room and is staring at the window with the birds chirping. I think I am hearing more than one. She is too.

Again the lens fails to focus sharply on the buds. I even tried to step back, zoomed out, but I wanted a close up shot. I am still in range where the lens should work with a sharper photo.

For some reason today the hounds were pretty good on this walk with minimum verbal herding. They started down the alternate path until they saw me take the original return path to the yard. Thru turned my direction. We enter the yard in the same spot as we do when we start the walk when taking the 'original' return path.

Looking up ahead I could barely see the worn path we have followed for years. After the field is cut that path will show up as being a darker green than the rest of the field.

Slowly but surely Stella catches up with us before we walk into the yard.

So not only were my boots, socks and feet wet, so were their face, ears and legs. I notice a little mucus in Stella's left eye which is common this time of year. It's the same way with Heidi also, who was stretched out on the couch in a deep sleep when we left. The click of the camera shutter would have woke her and I did not want to do that.

Some of you may be wondering what's going on by now. What do I have to say that would make you stay here at the end of the page. Well it's taken so long to write this post and edit the photos that I have ALMOST lost my train of thought, thus what I was going to ramble about ... LOL

My mind is always thinking about something it seems. In the past I have analyzed what I was thinking and confirmed I was not insane but I might be a little crazy. Some accused me of that or let me know in the past when I asked some pretty strange questions, or talked about what was on my mind. It kind of scared them about my mental state ... so therefore I am just a little hesitant in the rambling today.

Where do I start ??

I guess I could say that even though I feel content most of the time, my mind seems to be conflicted on a lot of stuff. For example I consider myself a private person and for that reason I don't post on this blog everything that is going on in my life or on my mind like other bloggers do.

Yet I have this inner need it seems to have a lot of blog followers, comments etc ... all things that private, hermit like people do not want. A bigger reason is really that for some strange reason I have this urge to 'let it out' and write more openly.

Or ... I wanted to travel but found enough reasons a few years ago not to. Or .... to blog or not to blog, cancel all social media, get away from the electronic life of smart phones, tablets and computers ... then realized I have been on computers since February 1993 and I doubt that I will ever stop my computer time. It feels like it's too much at times.

The thing about blogging is I love to write and story tell as some call it. Some say I am good at it while others say I am terrible and write like a 7th grader. Blogging brought me back to an old hobby I had not done for 25 years ... photography. Which I enjoy doing and enjoy posting them here, on my Wordpress blog and a couple on Facebook.

So just as I have had these type of questions of going back and forth in my mind about all that I mentioned, this morning I received a couple of articles from websites I follow through Feedly that fed this type of rambling ... one was about starting a photography blog and how to do it. Another was describing how to get your digital photography out into the internet where millions of people can see them.

Of course to be a successful blogger now days or to build a huge following for your blog or that suggestion of an online photography file for all to see ... I would have to do everything that I have tried to delete or drastically decrease my computer/internet time using those platforms recently.

Things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr etc.

This is not all I wanted to ramble about ... but again I have lost my train of thought and am having a hard time trying to remember what I wanted to say when I started this post. That really bothers me sometimes. Makes me wonder what is going on with me.

I have discussed all of this with a couple of close friends. One has traveled and blogged for years with millions of viewers on his blog, while my other friend has never blogged, doesn't read blogs and quit Facebook years ago although his wife and grown kids use it to keep in touch.

Oh, now I remember. I had read on another blog that it seems when you have a schedule written out ( I don't and won't while retired ) or a list of things to do, those rarely are followed or things don't get done just because there is a 'schedule' and a 'list'. Even though it's best to write them out and get them in front of you, it is still better to let life flow and do them as they come to you mentally.

Most of my retirement life if not all of it the past four years and two months, has been just that ... taking things as they come, if something I wanted to do doesn't happen then there is always tomorrow. I will keep it this way also.

This rambling is not about my 'to do' list that continues to draw dust.

Ah ... now it's coming back to me.

My rambling was all going to be about blogging and how those two articles this morning got me thinking even more about what I want to do. No worries, I am not stopping this blog but I am trying to get the guts to expand it ... and here is why.

In the past I have started blogs about different subjects, writing anonymous and would end up deleting those blogs a couple of days later. One reason was, if I don't want to take the time blogging on "Hounds and Other Stuff" then why am I taking time writing on that new blog about different subjects ???? Or, does anyone really care what I think of these things I have started a new blog about ???

Duh .....

The thing is I like to write. I write every day and at times I write on my two private blogs that only I can read. One is for a journal about cars, the house, maintenance, my thoughts in general living here THAT I DON'T WANT THE PUBLIC TO SEE. It helps when I have gaps in my memory and then I can look it up on my blog. Another blog is private and it is for my own sanity as I say. It's about more mental private thoughts, what my mind is thinking, how I am feeling and any problems. It is also a place I can vent about anything, a blog THAT I DON'T WANT THE PUBLIC TO SEE.

Now if there was some hacker or Blogger gets hacked to the point that these two blogs would become public, like your financial data on Experian, that is okay with me because there is nothing bad written on those blogs that I would not freak out if the public was to see them. I'm sure there are private things or thoughts you have that you don't want anyone else to know about ... right ??

The first private blog helps me remember from year to year about what goes on with my house or cars or me. For example, is my yard really moving due to ground swell and underground water in the field ... or is my mind thinking the worst? Did my shoulder feel this way last year or is the pain something new? The second private blog helps me go back years in the past and find out if this is a stage my mind is going through like in the past is this wild crazy thinking something new.

People like blogs that have drama, conflict, politics, religion or they read something and can find help with a problem they may have. Blogs about bloodhounds living in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana has very little of that, thus little interest ... unless Stella escapes, deer show up that they can chase or one of them has died. Really ... all of those topics have the most traffic and page views of any other topic on this blog with 'death' being the #1 visited post on my blog. How sick is that?

So my conflict is I would like to be more open in my writing, much like I was when I was spilling my guts on what I was thinking when trying to decide which RV to buy or where to travel. But that 'hermit' 'privacy' thing gets in my way.

That is where the writing comes in ... in the last six months to a year I have had the urge to write more about what is on my mind on this blog ... but don't ... then I start one of those new blogs with an anonymous author name ... similar to being 'a ghost writer'.

There have been times I've wanted to write a blog that helps those that are single, retired, fixed income but need more, barely making it ... but then I realize I have it better than most single retirees by a lot ... so how am I going to help someone that has a lot less than me?? I would guess they would feel more resentment towards me, than realizing I am trying to help them. Also, how long would I have things to write about?

Yet the thing is ... that would take time, time to write, time to research what I am writing about and more time on the computer ... time ... what I have been trying to avoid since being retired. Blogging like that on a regular basis turns into an 'commitment' .... and like that ex-girlfriend screaming at me decades ago "you have made a commitment to make no commitments" ... I agree with that ... especially since I am retired.

Still, that inner voice to write more and being more open is screaming inside my head to get out. Writing on a private blog is not satisfying enough anymore.

Don't worry, I'm fine, the hounds know I am okay and it's another great day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

... what should I use for my anonymous name ... hmmmm ... I should probably just kick back, relax and stop thinking so much.

Note:  One thing to consider or I should consider, and something I have always thought about since I started blogging in October 2011. One blogger a lot of you know became so big on their blog that people would track them down boondocking to visit unexpectedly or would check out where they were staying. They had lost their privacy.

Another I just read about yesterday, has a huge blog following and had even written a couple of books, popular enough to go on the bookstore circuit to promote at their request ... had a stalker actually move into their town and is bothersome enough that they now have to move from a great small town in a great area.

Blogs with huge followings brings out that 1% or less of the bad element of people. That's quite a chance to take just by blogging.

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