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Prothonotary April

Beatrice received a glowing review from the kind veterinarian bright and early this morning. We headed to the post office, where I mailed my paid bills. I took Beatrice for a walk in Glendover Park,which she enjoyed. I watched part of the Daytripper television program, which covered the local Texas town of Frisco.

I arrived at the Heard Natural Science Center at 10:30 a.m. I walked on the Wood Duck Trail. In a two and one-half hours walk I saw three Prothonotary Warblers, two Indigo Buntings and two Anhingas--my first sighting of each of these birds this year. I saw another woman walking the wetlands boardwalk with a much better camera than mine.

As we both watched one of the Prothonotary Warblers, she said she hoped I'd gotten a good shot. I told her that I had several, but was looking for one that I loved. In fact, I got some pretty good ones. Some young men from Austin College were fixing parts of the boardwalk. Several adults with small girls were in a kind of informal touring group.

I ate a catfish lunch at Chicken Express. I had a few phone calls with my sister, who was getting things done but for reasons not of her making also having a very stressful day. I sympathized.  I emailed some paperwork to my brother and my sister. 

My wife and I went for dinner at Silver Thai. I had a spicy bahmee soup. She had a garden chicken. Afterward, we sat on our small patio and listened to a live radio broadcast from the University of North Texas radio station playing acts perfoming live during the Denton jazz festival.

My favorite piece was an unlikely jazz re-write of Rush's song "Tom Sawyer". We planned for a July vacation. Then we settled in to watch a British mystery show on PBS. I listened to pieces by Harry Budd, Harry Partch, Roger Eno and Robin Guthrie through headphones. I am looking forward to buying my friend C. Reider's latest album. Tomorrow I must travel for work again--I picked up a very reasonably-priced hotel on Priceline,com for the trip.

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bus ride to the library

Thursday night I spent time on the phone with a healthful representative of Ting.com. My hotspot stopped working, showing both "no battery" and "SIM card" issues. I have only had the hotspot for a little less than 2 years, so I hope I can get it revived. But that first call, while helpful and not annoying, did not solve the issue.

Friday I caught the 6 a.m. Vonlane bus to Austin, a wise way of travel that nonetheless involved getting up at 4 a.m. When we arrived in Austin, I walked over to the new central library. The tables there, suitably wired for laptops, proved ideal for me to get a bit of work done prior to my meeting. I then walked over to my 11 a.m. meeting.  This lasted, including a break for lunch at that downtown place whose name escapes me that serves giant pork chops, until 3:30. Then I went back to the iibrary and got some more work done. In the early evening, I walked back to the Hyatt Regency hotel just across Lady Bird Lake, where the return bus was to pick me up.

I spoke by telephone with my former law partner, who retired last year. He's a really good fellow I also spoke with my sister, who has been doing things helpful to our family. I caught my 8 p..m bus back to Dallas. That bus ride was uneventful,though it was delayed by a highway accident. I read things of little importance that were posted on the internet as we rode.

This fine Saturday morning I wrote out checks and addressed envelopes to pay 2 family business bills. Then I must take Beatrice to an 8 a.m. appointment with her medical professional.

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rainy physical

I drove in heavy traffic in moderate rain to my doctor's office on Wednesday.  I like my doctor. He checked me out. Later in the day and evening, I got my lab results back. My doctor said, as he usually does, that they "looked reasonable".

I went to Weight Watchers at lunch. I like the Garland leader, whose name escapes me. She has a strong New York accent that somehow fits talking about avoiding eating the unhealthy foods baked by her beloved daughter-in-law.

The rain kept me from an afternoon walk after work.   Instead, I rested a bit at home,and watched television.  Today the sun is back out, albeit among clouds. I will enjoy the day, and then rise very early for business travel tomorrow.

We saw a bobcat Sunday who was crossing the road.

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rain, water

The rain is falling. The weather forecast predicts a lack of severity, which suits me fine. Tonight we ate fish sticks. We decided to try to make reservations for a trip to Montana. I spoke with my sister and my brother today.  My brother is in South Carolina on vacation.

I love the taste of water. My doctor asked me to switch to sports drinks, so help ensure I have the salts/electrolytes to avoid orthostatic hypotension.  I thought all those plastic Powerade Zero bottles were not green. So I switched to Propel powders to accomplish the same thing. Now I branched out to other 0 calorie water flavorings. I like the Kroger store brand, though it is more flavor and less about sport drink.

I remember playing football at age 13 or so, when the coaches made a salty drink to serve the same purpose as Gatorade. It tasted roughly like Kool-Aid leavened with rock salt.

Tomorrow is my annual physical. I want to get there on time.

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font and roll

Saturday morning I got up reasonably early. I drove to Limestone Quarry Park. I took a two hour walk, listening to podcasts through headphones and watching the birds. I saw some 20 species of bird. I logged in my first Cliff Swallow of the year.

I ate a grilled chicken sandwich and a large chili at the Wendy's on McDermott. The young woman behind the counter got a bit behind, and her manager stepped in and got orders handled. I like the kind of manager who rolls up her sleeves when work needs to be done.

Saturday afternoon I walked Beatrice. Though the temperature was pleasant, the sun was a bit bright for her taste. Saturday night we went to Shiawase, the sushi restaurant just off the Sam Rayburn tollway, near the movie theater. I got a tuna roll and a salmon roll, along with a bit of Spanish mackerel roll and miso soup. We split an edamame. My wife got a huge dragon roll.

Sunday morning we got up fairly early. We went to the 7 a.m. Easter sunrise service at Suncreek United Methodist Church. The opening hymn was "Morning is Broken", accompanied by a single guitar.  Pastor Milton Guterriez gave the sermon, which was excellent. We first heard Pastor Milton speak over a decade ago.  He was one reason we joined our current church, First UMC, though it turned out he retired immediately after that service. When he un-retired a bit later, he went to Suncreek. 

This sunrise service featured a "remembrance of baptism" ceremony. We went outside at the end, to the baptimal font. This font was built in honor of  the late Reverend Kathleen Baskin Ball. She was the first woman in the North Texas conference to enter seminary directly from college, rather than as a second career. We heard her speak a number of times. She helped double the size of three congregations. Unfortunately, she contracted cancer, and died at the age of 50.  The baptismal font was built in her honor. Cancer is merciless.

After church, we ate breakfast at the new-ish egg place on McDermott by the Kroger. Then we headed home. I took a walk in Allen Station Park for the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, I read my ebook. I took a bicycle ride to nearby Green Park, where I took photos of House Finches. My wife made a fine Easter meal. Then we watched a Motown tribute special, which was pretty good, but which I watched all the way through when I probably would have done better leaving at 2/3rds through. I fell asleep before the angel food cake and strawberries was served.

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Thursday night I went to the Garland Salvation Army to volunteer time for client intake for the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.  I finished with the last client at 8:45 p.m. and drove home.

Friday morning I got an early start. I stopped at the Chisholm Trail off Orlando Drive in Plano. I walked for 45 minutes in the way I often do, I listened to a podcast as I walked. As I neared the end of my walk, I saw and got photographs of my first Great Crested Flycatcher of the year.

At lunch, I walked in Timbers Nature Preserve. I saw Franklin's Gulls migrate overhead. I stopped in 7-11 for a plain hot dog with two bananas.

My work was busy all day, but the morning was taken up with a single matter. I had a productive afternoon . After work, I walked in Hoblitzelle Park in Plano.

Later, my wife and I drove to PetSmart, where we got a refill of Beatrice's Science Diet W/D food. We dined on chicken enchiladas, salad and refried beans at San Miguel in McKinney. I like that the owner remembers us and shakes our hand. It's a small thing, but a good thing.

This evening we watched a special about the photographer Garry Winograd on PBS.  We really liked it. The pictures of Los Angeles, Dallas and Fort Worth are places we know better than the pictures of New York City.

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hail no

Though I put a tarp on my car, no huge hailstones hit my car. Today the rain fell, though. I drove in Breckinridge Park, where I saw lots of swallows and flycatchers enjoying the weather. Tonight I saw clients at the Dallas Vounteer Attorney Program. I finished up around 8:45. We watched a couple on an HGTV show pick an apartment in Medellin. I picked up a work email, and worked from home on it late tonight.

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My cousins

My cousin Dan was my father's sister's oldest son. She and her two sons lived in the small Arkansas town where my parents went to high school. When I was a junior in high school myself, we moved to that town. I graduated from high school there. That town is kind of home-and-yet-not-home to me, in the way two-years-of-high-school can be for a person.

Dan was thirteen years my senior. My late mother liked Dan. He shared some of her interests--he played in the band, he trained to become a teacher, just as she had, and he had an eye for antiques. Dan and his own mother were very close. During her life, I think they spoke every day.

Dan always seemed to me to know himself. He had a kind of self-assurance which, with hindsight, must have masked some self-doubt. But I never saw that. He was one of those people who understood his interests and his frailties, or at least it now seems to me. I liked him, but I do not claim to have known him well.

I remember one year when Dan was perhaps college-age. He fell ill--I am not sure what malady he faced. He came to live in our guest room for some weeks, so that my father, a country doctor, could keep an eye on him. I believe that we kids were told to stay away, a bit. My brother and my sister, only 1 and 5 years younger than I am, have no recall of this time.  But my recall is accurate, I believe.

Dan finished college and moved to Missouri, because a school district in Missouri paid $ 1,000 per year more than Arkansas schools paid. He taught math and science, and his students reported to my cousin John that he inspired them and teased them in a way they liked. They said they liked being teased by him because he listened to them and based his satire on his knowledge of them.

Dan played the organ in church on Sunday. Late-ish in life, he converted Catholicism. He learned he had a brain cancer in recent weeks. He passed away after some chemo-therapy. I got a call three Saturdays ago about his illness.

Sunday I drove to my brother's house. He drove us up to Arkansas. We arrived at my parents' old home, now my sister's former home newly sold to a third party.  Almost all our living cousins on my late father's side of the family were there. It was good to see them. My sister had picked up grocery store ham, potatoes, BBQ beans and a roll. I sat at a folding "children's table'. My cousins and I had an interesting time together. Most of them are older than I am, I did not experience some events that they did.

My cousin John conducted a graveside service. He did a great job.

I wish I had known my cousin Dan better. I am glad to see so many of my other cousins.

Monday I walked in Shawnee Park and One Eleven Ranch Park.
Tuesday we ate sockeye salmone. Wednesday we ate eye of round,

I walked in a muddy patch today. I hate doing that except when I mean to do that.

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respite from rain and getting things done

Friday I got some things done at work and had rainbow trout at a business lunch. Friday evening I walked on the Chisholm Trail in Plano, where I saw lots of species of bird but nothing uncommon.  Friday I also had good discussions with my brother and my sister.

Friday night my wife and I went to Silver Thai, where I had Garlic Gulr, a shrimp dish. Saturday before dawn a predicted storm moved in. I had planned to go to Arkansas on Saturday, but now I am going to make it a Sunday day trip. I am pleased that my brother and I are driving together, as it is some comfort to have two people along for too many hours on the road.

The choice to stay home proved a good one. First thing in the morning, I took Beatrice to the vet's office. A kind vet and vet tech helped Beatrice with her ear infection. We obtained the necessary medicine and instructions for her care.

. I spent hours today getting family paperwork done. I made substantial progress. Meanwhile, my sister advised that the town in Arkansas where I finished high school had very inclement weather. I hope that no issues arise on our drive. Although a flood warning is in place, it sounds as if the crest remains some days away. The part of southwest Arkansas from which I am from is more akin to the Piney Woods of east Texas than to the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains of the northwest and western part of the state. The places I grew up are also about pine trees, but also with more wetlands, watermelons and winding waterways.

I was pleased with how much I got done. I need to spend another Saturday or three on the tasks I have been addressing. I was pleased with the rain ceased around 3 p.m. I took a walk in Allen Station Park, where I saw my first Eastern Kingbird of the year.

We went to the retauranat Gloria's for chicken soup, after sojourning out in cold and windy weather. A little water leaked onto me, but it was fine. We went home and settled in to watch television

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The Bewick Spring

Today the day turned a bit more chilly rather than warmer. I woke at 3 a.m. and played the retro space game Astro Avengers II. Though on paper I am opposed to shooter games, even fantasy violence shooters, I find the game a bit relaxing.

I made it to work in good order today. I learned new things about things I knew a bit about already.  I made plans with my sister and brother for the weekend.

The Bewick's Wren continues trilling its unique song in our backyard. I think of it as a "western bird", more western than our "eastern"  Carolina Wren.]

We watched tonight's episode of "The Orville".  Now we are watching "Silent Witness"

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