The BOSS

No, I am not referring to Bruce Springsteen, the legendary rock band leader. Nor, am I referring to a criminal mastermind or a particular public figure (many of these like this term as it applies to them). I have been called Boss when on construction sites, but I think this was more due to a worker’s name preference or lack of personal knowledge rather than my actions.

Bosses can be found in all sorts of arenas: the work place, at home, among friends, in most any kind of group, in sports, and the list goes on. Bosses can be inspiring or exasperating, kind or cruel. Some are brilliant and others just plain dumb. However, the Boss I am thinking about was neither dumb nor cruel…he was just furry.

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Here is Carson at the office. He is exhorting his team members to go out and get the job done right, on time and within budget. When Carson barked, people listened!

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Here he is making a point by standing on his desk. He makes eye contact with each person to make sure he is understood, and to offer that little bit of encouragement we all need from time to time. I miss my old Boss, but won’t forget the lessons he taught me. More than that, I remember how his positive actions spoke louder than words. Did he always get things right? No, but in the words of Steve Miller, “He was righter, righter than wrong”.

Serenity

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Serenity. What image comes to mind when you slow down enough to ponder this word? Serenity means many things: peaceful, idyllic, carefree, beautiful, tranquil, and much more.

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For some serenity may mean a leisurely Autumn walk in a wooded park or a relaxing day at the beach. Perhaps a particular moment in time where there wasn’t a care in the world or simply reading a book with a cup of coffee or cocoa by a fireplace.

Since I love nature so much and see these horses graze in their pasture most days, the word serene came to mind as I first noticed this scene. The horses are content, the pasture is turning green with Spring rains, the placid surface of the distant pond whispers clam-all made me feel at peace…even for a moment.

May you find your moment of serenity today and everyday. Your sanity may depend on it.

Sticking Your Neck Out !

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What a neck ! Has there been a time (s) when you have stuck out your neck (risk) for others or a cause? I certainly hope so.  For this Heron, sticking out the neck is common behavior, as you will witness by the next image!

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Perched high upon a tree this bird is all about searching for something. I assume that “something” may be a meal.

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As can be attested to by these photographs, something caused this lovely bird to stretch out the valuable neck line to its fullest extent. Can you relate?

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Then something happened that I wasn’t quite ready (with my camera) to expect…a release from the tree branch to the air.

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Freedom to pursue what he or she wanted to…how exhilarating to witness !

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Please forgive the lack of clarity, but as I stated, I wasn’t ready for this bird to bolt from the tree. However, I wanted to show the breath of its wing span and ability to lift that large structure from the perch.

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Birdie, as I shall call it since I don’t know male from female of this species, landed on a walkway bridge at a local park with a small lake. Birdie is about 3 ft. tall.

IMG_1189 (2) Birdie must have either become bored rather quickly or saw something it liked for it  took flight rather quickly…

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Birdie is seen “all out” as it crosses the lake for some unknown reason to me. Such a slim species of bird. Nevertheless, they are great hunters of fish and frogs and are usually found near water searching for the next meal or enjoying the cool of the water.

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One doesn’t need to ponder very long where the inspiration for flight came from. Birdie is gliding like a kite.

Such a privilege to witness this magnificent creature rest and then take flight. I hope you get a sense of what I witnessed a few evenings ago. Awesome !

 

 

The Times They Are a Changin’

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The times they are a changin’…Bob Dylan 1964

First rays of sun rise illuminating the electricity pole, and the first blooms of a Bradford pear tree. Could it be the season is a changin’, too?

Bob Dylan wrote and recorded this song during the height of the civil rights and social activist movements. He sang it live for the first time the same day President Kennedy died. He said it was a bit surreal, but his entire concert was built around this song.

Surely, we can all relate that we are indeed a part of a very fast changing world. And the boomer’s parents thought their world was changing fast ! And, it was for them. In fact every generation witnesses or is a part of social, economic, political and global change.

Sometimes these changes produce positive results and sometimes not so much. Some changes last while others burn out rather quickly. Sometimes, due to ignorance or factual knowledge, we fear or welcome change and at other times change is almost imperceptible.  Either way changes are occurring all around us and within us.

I hope that the many changes which are upon us will turn out to be positive and productive, regardless of how much we loathe them or like them now. May each of us be a positive force in this world of seemingly endless change. That’s my hope.

 

Baker’s Dozen !

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Mother hen with her brood of ducklings at one of Kansas City’s iconic locations, Loose Park. Watching ducklings or goslings (baby geese) follow their moms around a pond or lake is pure joy!

The babies don’t stray far from mom, but if one gets the idea to lag behind a bit too far, the parental command is given to get back in the group and pronto.

I named this post after what used to be common in the donut world. Years ago when you went to fetch a dozen donuts for the office or family, many shops would include a thirteenth donut which is how the term Baker’s Dozen became known in America. I don’t buy donuts very often, but in talking with people who do they only get twelve and are usually surprised to learn about some baker’s generosity. It was a really smart marketing idea as the shops which gave out an extra donut were usually the busiest.

Actually, there are several theories as to how this term and and extra donut came about and it didn’t involve donuts at all. Do some research and learn when and where this practice was born. Too bad it isn’t done very much today…not that folks need donuts in the first place. However, it’s always fun to get a little extra for no additional cost. As for mom and her ducklings, thirteen is pretty common. I wonder where dad (called a drake) flew off to! He’s probably looking for the generous donut shop!

Porches

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If you could see the farthest porch, it is about twelve houses away from the vantage point where I took this image. These bungalow style ranch houses were built in the late 1920s to early 1930s. Aside from the exact arrangement of each porch in-line with the next for an entire block, the sizes and shapes of these homes were all very similar; the main differences being exterior accents. Each house had a shared driveway between the next home to get to the single car detached garages.

Life was quite a bit simpler in those days and incomes were modest, but comparable. These houses were considered the newest thing in home building as urban began its spread to suburban…hardly by today’s standards. There have been many changes over the years in neighborhoods such as this one. Once considered up and coming, they have been demoted to the lower income class.

The one thing that hasn’t changed are the porches. Back in the days when air conditioning wasn’t invented, people took to the porches to relax in the evenings and weekends, and there was a great deal of waving, swing rocking and talking with one another. Today, these porches still become places of fellowship, even with interior air conditioning. Sometimes the closeness can be disturbing depending on the neighbors, but for the most part these ninety year old porches serve the same purpose.

They create space for human interaction. The separation so prevalent today with suburban houses built further apart, where the vehicles are garaged and the cars pull in and out with the push of a button, neighbors may not be seen for weeks!

Perhaps we need more porches closer together. Grab a cold glass of iced tea, rock on the swing with a friend or family member and relax. Summer is just around the corner.