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rice cakes

The first three days of this week turned out to be really busy.  I hope to stay just as busy for the next two days and then take Saturday off.

Tonight we ate salmon and sweet potato. I voted in the primary run-off yesterday. Only two Democratic races in my area were decided by run-off.My choice won one time out of two, though I was okay with all the candidates.

I am watching "After the Thin Man" and eating caramel rice cakes. I like Myrna Loy.

Today marked the 34th year since I first went to work for a law firm, just out of law school. I thought I knew a lot back then.

The mornings are pleasant and the afternoons are very warm.

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weekend activity

Saturday morning I headed to the Heard Natural Science Center. I love the Heard. It's several hundred acres of hike-able woods and wetlands about 15 minutes' drive from our home. We buy an annual membership there each year. I love going there to walk. I go less often than my enjoyment of the place would lead one to expect.

I got there at 9:30 and began to walk the trails. When I came around a bend, I saw a large raptor fly.  I looked and saw a Barred Owl perched on a nearby branch. 

Barred Owl

I watched the owl. The owl watched me. The owl also watched another birder who watched the owl.  Then the owl flew away. The other birder and I spoke as we walked. His name was Al. He described a recent birding expedition with the kind fellow who is president of our local Audubon Society.

We walked on to the boardwalk over the  temporal wetlands. I told him I was there to see the Prothonotary Warbler that I see every year there.

When we first arrived, we heard a Northern Parula, another lovely warbler. We got a good luck at him, but I did not get any pictures.
As we watched, we got good views of several Prothonotary Warbler. It was practically a clerk's office of Prothonotary Warblers.

Prothonotary Warbler

We watched birds, watersnakes and turtles. As we walked off the boardwalk into the open fields, Al was kind enough to identify some dragonflies for me. We had a good time birding together. We parted when I wanted to walk the short Hoot Owl Trail while he understandably was ready to head in.

I got myself soft chicken tacos for lunch. In the mid-afternoon, I walked in neighboring Glendover Park.

Saturday night we went with my wife's friend Kathy and her platonic friend Rick and our friend Donna to Aboca. Aboca is one of those unpretentious well-done traditional Italian/American cafes.  I enjoyed my minestrone and chicken pomodoro.

Sunday morning I was just beginning my walk when a rain fell. As i did not have my rain jacket, I got back in my car and drove around while listening to the radio gardening show.

I was down 2/10th of a pound, though I am no longer trying to lose weight. I suppose 2/10th is close enough to not losing weight.
I went to church at Suncreek UMC. This was their confirmation Sunday, when kids of 12 or so first join the church. I was impressed by the huge extended families that came for their confirmands. I do not recall anyone but my mother and perhaps my father at my confirmation as an United Methodist, but perhaps there was others and I no longer recall.

Sunday in the early afternoon I went to work. I got a lot done. Before  I began, I drove through Breckinridge Park. The birds were gathered on the wires near the drive to the park--Eastern Bluebirds, Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers, Barn Swallows and Western Kingbirds.
Early evening Sunday I walked Beatrice. She chose that we should walk by the school rather than by the park pond.
Though it was warm rather than sweltering hot, the hour walk was a lot for Beatrice. She rested and was fine, but I must remember to keep he walks confined to cool days.

Sunday night we finished "Little Women" on PBS. I loved that book as a child, and now I wish to read it again.

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friday getting stuff done

Friday I got a lot of work done. I must work a bit this weekend.

Friday at lunch I went with my law partner to Potbelly, where I had a TKY sandwich with baked chips. We talked about good things at work.

I wished a happy birthday to the young man who was my second Big Brothers little brother. He turned 24.  Perhaps someday I will serve as a Big Brothers mentor again, but perhaps I will not.

Friday evening I walked on the Chisholm Trail near Spring Creek in Plano. I saw my first Eastern Wood Pewee of the year, atop a tree, as Pewees are wont to be.

Later Friday evening we went to Holy Frijoles, where I had chicken enchiladas verde and my  wife had chicken enchiladas rancheras.

I woke up at 3 a.m., but did not turn on the royal wedding on television.

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I walked at lunch in  Timbers Nature Preserve. I saw my first Common Yellowthroat of the year. I do not always quickly identify my warblers. I knew this one because we saw a fair number of them during our Horizon Marsh trip to Wisconsin last Summer.

I got a lot done at work. My work can be document-intensive. I have much to do tomorrow.

My wife had things to do today, and learned of an ill friend she will visit tomorrow.

I went to the Salvation Army tonight for pro bono legal clinic work for the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.  Without going into detail, I was impressed with the constructive attitude of the clients tonight. The clinic lasted from 6:35 until 9:35.

I like rice cakes, podcasts and drawing simple flowers.

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new TV and a memorial

Yesterday was my wife's birthday.  This begins the 88-day annual phase in which we are the same age. The rest of the year I am "one year older".

I'm worn out, a bit, from work, but pleased to pitch in again to get more done. I'm halfway through my current science fiction read, Spencer Ellsworth's "shadow sun seven".

Our bedroom television stopped working last week. We had had it for years. We replaced it with a Samsung from Microcenter. I like that televisions used to seem huge if they were 27", but now 27" is no longer a huge television. I think this one is 40". It has very high definition. I hope it lasts a dozen years or more in the way one of our televisions lasted.

Lately I jointed Instagram. it's a good place. I dislike that one must post from a mobile app. I have the same experience with Weight Watchers' Connect social media (the most re-affirming place on Earth). I prefer to post from a computer, though I find on my current phone I am more willing to post from a mobile app than before I got it.

I read about someone I went to high school with who passed away too young. He was a year ahead of me, but I do not remember him. I only went to the high school from which I graduated for two years, so I did not know all the people in the school very well. A woman I did know in high school posted a nice note on Facebook about her fond memories of the fellow, after someone posted his obituary in a Facebook group that tracks such memorials for my school.  The high school I graduated from no longer exists, due to school consolidation. It's another memory.

I will sort more things out today, tomorrow, and probably Saturday.

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Spring arrivals

I find myself suitably busy at work. At lunch I walked in Breckinridge Park. I saw my first Eastern Kingbird of the year.  This brings my Collin County species count to 85. In the morning I saw species 84 in A.R. Schell Park, ten cattle egrets.

I ate a footlong veggie delight sandwichfor lunch. We ate  hamburgers for dinner.

I wished I had been encouraging on one point yesterday.

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blue and tacos

We are watching an episode of "The Blue Planet". My wife is waiting for a show ominously called "Royals Watch". Earlier we watched "Supergirl".

I got some bills paid this morning. I had a productive day at work. I walked at lunch in Timbers Nature Preserve and after work in Allen Station Park.

I liked my soft chicken tacos for lunch and my chicken breast with a sweet potato and squash for dinner.

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Saturday marked our 28th wedding anniversary.  We marked the day with a dinner at the Bonefish Grill. I like to order to Rainbow Trout with a grilled lemon. On our actual wedding day, the Kansas grass was Spring-green and the day was slightly rainy. We exchanged cards and had a lovely evening.  I made my card with TuxPaint, the children's art program.

On Saturday morning I walked in Limestone Quarry Park in Frisco, heading north to Harold Bacchus Park and back again. I saw my first Common Nighthawk of the year. I took pictures of thistle in bloom. I like thistle.

Sunday morning I took young Beatrice, age 16+, for a walk. She still enjoys a walk in the park, though she no longer sets a North American land-speed record with her pace. Once upon a time, she could traverse the park in a bit under 30 minutes. Today she took closer to 55. A Barn Swallow stood sentry on a wire.

We met a few other dogs. With each, Beatrice studiously pretended not to notice them. From long years of knowing Beatrice, however, I know that she knew everything there was to know about each of these over-eager pretenders to her future friendship. She simply preferred not.

At church the Reverend jessica Wright told us of her mother who rented out the family dining room so that a newly-divorced man could have a formal address at which he could have visitation with his daughters.

Both Saturday and Sunday involved some work, which may continue into Sunday night.

Today I walked in Bethany Lakes Park, where I saw my first Green Heron of the year. I also walked in Green Park, where I took photos of a Blue Jay.

Tonight we ate hamburgers and watched the first episode of the new version of "Little Women".

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quick jaunt to Arkansas

I started my morning at my office. In the mid-morning, I hopped in my car and headed out for Camden, Arkansas. Camden is my late parents' hometown and the town in which I spent the last two years of my time in high school, through graduation.  I had a late afternoon meeting with someone. We both arrived early. The meeting went well.

I like the drive from north Texas to south Arkansas.  The wildflowers on this road are not the bluebonnets and firewheels of north Texas or the Texas Hill Country. Instead, susans and various daisies crowd the Springtime hillsides.   Most of this drive was on Interstate 30. When  I was a child, I thought the drive less adventurous than other drives. Now I really like the drive. It's easy and fairly scenic. It's not like a trip through the mountains nor a trip through the canyonlands. When I am driving, that is actually a bit of a relief.

One adventure from my childhood no longer  exists. Near Texarkana, where southwest Arkansas nearly flows into northeastern Texas at State Line Boulevard, one crosses the Red River.  This is not the Red River of the western song "Red River Valley".  That bit of Red River is a good bit to the north. It is the shallow Red River that marks the border between Texas and Oklahoma, and then slices into Arkansas on its eventual way to the Mississippi River.  The adventure was not the Red Riverr\ itself. The adventure was the Red River Bridge.  This bridge was one of those narrow, arching bridges of yesteryear, a kind of roller-coaster-feeling bridge. My late mother had a healthy respect for the sheer frightfulness of this bridge.  The current bridge, by contrast, is safe and vaguely brutalist.  In another place, this bridge would have parking nearby and a walkway, so that one could stare down into the Red River. but this bridge is too practical for all that.

When driving to Camden, I leave the freeway at Hope, the birthplace of former President Clinton. Hope used to be well-known for another thing--it called itself "The Watermelon Capitol of the World". It's in one of those lowland areas that is ideal for growing watermelons. I sometimes look with a jaundiced eye at watermelon from other places, because I compare it with Hope-area watermelons.  It is not melon season, but I did eat at Chicken Express in Hope. That chicken plus a nutri-grain bar were my lunch and dinner all wrapped into one or one and a half.

The drive to Camden is lovably rural. If one is from there, one understands that the sign for a processing place is not a factory but a place that will prepare deer meat for the table. I was surprised that the traffic was so heavy.

After the meeting, I ran a minor business errand downtown. Then I picked up some flowers at a florist shop.I stopped by the town's impressive new library, where I checked work email on my laptop. Then I drove to the local cemetary. I found my parents' grave. I placed a flower arrangement in front of each grave. I miss my parents. 

I drove home tonight and made it home by 9:30 p.m. This was a long yet fairly productive day.

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sweet potato

Thursday I got a fair bit done at work. I walked on the Chisholm Trail after work. I had pork loin, green beans and a sweet potato for dinner. I listened to the Kindness Project podcast.

I got up this morning and did some paperwork. I have a long and busy day ahead. The weather is very warm now. The current sci-fi novel continues to progress at a rate roughly 10x as quickly as the last.

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