Monday, February 28, 2011

A Final Stroll Around the Yard

These beautiful bells are fully a foot long.

A bit closer view.

I had to lie down on the ground to get this shot.

"Spanish moss is a flowering plant." So begins
the encylopedia article on this plant. As much of it as I have seen over the years, I never saw any flowers until this trip around the yard. Here is a very blurry shot of a bloom, the entire length of which is less than an inch.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Herpetology, Ornithology, and Gerontology

We uncovered the boat for the first time and took a cruise around the lake. While walking to the dock, I spotted the Geico gecko, the first green lizard I have seen this winter. It was in the caladium, and much too quick in its reaction to spotting me for me to be able to focus a camera on it.

Out on the lake, we saw this great eagles' nest, and a great white-headed bird was standing on the rim of it; but ere I could focus the camera...

And now the title makes sense to you. Lizards, birds and an old guy with camera and old-guy reflexes.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. -Isaiah 40:31

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I have never owned a Buick, but yesterday's post and the comments thereon suggest that a sequel is in order. A few days ago, I saw this 1939 phaeton model Buick parked on a downtown street. It evoked memories. I saw this same car yesterday as it drove down the street.

One pleasant day somewhere in the early fifties, a bunch of us drove from the Springs to Denver in a 1939 Buick. It belonged to the parents of one of the girls in the group and was driven by her boyfriend, who was a wildman behind the wheel. But we survived without incident. The purpose of the trip was to spend a day at Elitch Gardens, Denver's "fun park." The old wooden roller coaster, The Wildcat, got well used that day. I suspect that it met its demise decades ago. Given a car full of teenagers and the freedom of choice they had, it hardly needs to be told that we arrived back home very, very late at night.

About the same time in history, I had a friend whose father owned a 1951 Buick Roadmaster. This beast was a beautiful bronze color and was equipped with "Dynaflow" transmission. I vividly remember the "winding up" as one attempted to accelerate from a stoplight. The auto had a quite powerful engine, a 320 ci straight eight, and once you got it going, the car would cruise at exhilirating speeds. But the Dynaflow was not designed to win any drag races!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Two Twenty-five and Counting

It appears that our sojourn in this paradise is winding very quickly to an end. We will begin wending our way northward. But it is not my intention to arrive back in the frozen North while it is yet required to winterize the motorhome. So with luck, we will find more pleasant adventures south of the freeze-zone.

Appropos of absolutely nothing, how many of you remember the General Motors, Buick Division behemoth tagged "Electra 225"? It was referred to by some as "a deuce and a quarter." The date reminded me of this. This model was introduced in 1959, replacing the Buick Limited. The "225" refers to the length of the car in inches. That would be 18 feet, 9 inches. That would be huge by today's standards. A 2011 Buick Lucerne, Buick's biggest, is 203.2 inches in length, nearly two feet shorter than a 225.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Wild Bill spends a fair amount of time with the rod and reel on the pier. He catches his fair share of the elusive piscine creatures. Here he exhibits a nice bluegill.

This little lizard is one of dozens that keep us company as we loll on the lakeside deck of the house. He came out, rested on the step a bit, then went into display. I had never seen this behavior before. What a gorgeous red dewlap he puffs out from beneath his head! But of course, by the time I had retrieved the camera he had finished this activity; but he was surrounded by several what I am guessing were girl-type lizards!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kiddie Lit

"You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

In the post "On Words " a couple of days ago, I quoted a passage from Through the Looking Glass. Sharkbytes and Lin commented on the power of kidlit when written as though children had intelligence. (This is not what they said, but I infer that that was at the root of their comments.) Vee's comment suggested that the power had impinged itself upon her cognizance to the extent that her memory bank contained some of Carroll's verses. All of which got me to reflecting on the children's literature which has made a lasting impression on me. Before I say something really stupid, let me clarify that much literature which may have been written with children in mind is not only apt for the child, but has layers of deeper meaning.

Well, this makes nothing more than good sense. For if one is to learn, s/he must be pushed beyond the limits of current knowledge, else nothing new is gained. Hence, we have that many children's books are a wealth of knowledge, information, conceptualizations which may indeed push many adults to new levels of understanding. But one has to read, and perhaps think, activities which seem to be too nearly lost to this day and age.

I've no intent to turn this into a diatribe. But if only young people, all people, would read!

So, back to the opening quote. I responded to the commenters that I have held certain books to be dear to me, and included among them is Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. It is a fantastic (word used in its true meaning) story, and a veritable mine of little nuggets of wisdom.

Breaking news and commentary.
Jean and Scott Adam, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle were all killed by Somali pirates.
It's too late to do what should have been done; and nothing can bring them back. But is it not about time to put an end to this sort of thing? Can we not deal with it? Do we lack the will to do so?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anarchy and Tyranny

" There is a natural and necessary progression, from the extreme of anarchy to the extreme of tyranny' and arbitrary power is most easily established, on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness."

George Washington, February 22, 1732 - December 14, 1799

Monday, February 21, 2011

On Words

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - - that's all."
--Lewis Carroll,Through the Looking Glass

Either Carroll was prescient and a prophet, or things have not changed all that much since his day.
You heard what I said, but I think you don't realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Lord is Kind and Merciful

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.

The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.

The Lord is kind and merciful.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.

The Lord is kind and merciful.

from Psalm 103

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Tyranny and Division

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” - C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock

"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:" - Jesus Christ

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lake June Sunset

Standing on the pier at 6:12 p.m., I pointed camera to the west and snapped.

Zoomed a bit and shot again.

Then turned to the east and snapped again.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Young Parson's Family

Yesterday we had a view of the neighborhood in which we lived back when. Here is the family seated in front of the parsonage. Sister, Daddy, Me, and Mama.

This village is the site of my earliest memories, as we moved there when I had just turned one, and we moved away the day before my fifth birthday.

Behind the house was a wheat field. I well remember the threshing crew cutting the wheat, carrying the sheaves to the steam powered threshing machine. Beyond this field was the railroad track on which the interurban cars ran.

The goat was tethered behind the house, and there was a shed for shelter when she needed to get out of the rain. It was on the back porch where I fell and cut my right hand when the glass I was carrying broke. The scar has migrated up my wrist and currently dwells four inches above the base of the palm.

Not all of my early memories were pleasant ones, but many were. I mentioned the magic radio in yesterday's article.

My sister deals with parsonage living in her blogpost today. You'll enjoy reading it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The church on the left was the building where my Dad conducted his first full-time pastorate.
This is a picture of the building as it is today. Clearly, it had been at some time repurposed to residential use. Likewise, it is clear that its current purpose is to keep a patch in the middle of the lot clear of weeds.

This house is across the street to the north of the 'church.' It was the residence of Mrs. Anderson, church member, friend of the family; and in the estimation of the child, a very rich person who wanted for nothing. Among the fabulous possessions within this domicile was the huge cabinet housing the great Philco radio with its beautifully lighted dial and the mystery of its contents. How could it hold all those obviously tiny people within, who spoke such words of wonder? This house, too, has been repurposed to weed barrier. From the appearance I would say it is destined to lose that battle.

Across the street to the east, was the parsonage in which we resided. It was here that my little sister was born just three months before my third birthday. It was gratifying to me to note that the house is still purposed to residential use, and that it is in good repair, obviously providing excellent shelter to the occupants. The garage behind the house now takes the place of the woodshed/goat shelter that stood there in the '30s.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bird of Paradise

©2011 David W. Lacy

This beauty is a dozen steps from our parking spot. I have walked by it many times, noticed it for the first time just before sunset Saturday evening. On a plant twenty feet in height, the blossoms are about seven feet above the ground and almost hidden amongst the gigantic leaves of the plant.
©2011 David W. Lacy

Then Monday morning, just a few steps away, I discovered another plant which was laden with numerous blue birds!
Word of the day: plant

Monday, February 14, 2011

Getting to Know Me

Andrea at Arise 2 Write has bestowed an award! "You have a stylish blog here, my friend," she commented. I am flattered, flattered so deeply that I shall accept the award and play the game. I am to tell you seven things about myself.

1) I was born a twin, but my brother died shortly after birth. I look forward to meeting him in heaven.

2. I am elderly; but not yet as old as I hope to be, yet our only hope for the future, here or in the hereafter, is in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
3. My neighbors in the Midwest are enjoying plenty of winter weather. That is something I don't do well. We have been blessed to be able to avoid most of that by escaping to the Southland for the past several years.

4. I enjoy good food. I won't eat liver.

5. I drink whole milk and eat ice cream. There is no such thing as "fat free" either of these; or there shouldn't be.
6. I enjoy cards and table games. There is no such thing as a good loser, but I try to be a gracious loser. Or better, I try not to be the loser.
7. I hate to take an "Incomplete" on a task. Ms. Sharkbytes gave me an assignment on an earlier post. This picture is in completion of that task. Here are the "large" leaves on the giant taro plant. Note that I am using the broom to the leaf for comparison.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shadow Shot

Clara at Meme Mania posts "Shadow Shot Sunday."

Here is one of my favorite shadow shots, taken a while back on Quintana Beach, Texas.


Someone once said Waylon Jennings didn't try to sing like anyone else; he was just himself. If I could sing, I would like to be able to sing like Waylon Jennings.

Waylon Arnold Jennings (June 15, 1937 – February 13, 2002) RIP

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Cactus

The trunk is six inches in diameter, and the plant is taller than the baseline of the roof of the house next to which it grows. It is one prickly customer, and I am very careful to steer clear as I walk down the driveway. But like some ladies, notwithstanding its prickly nature, it has a beauty all her own. The buds and new growth speak of new life. This cactus is clearly a lady of mature years; yet she continues to thrive.

How important is it that, the years notwithstanding, we continue to grow and put forth new fruit?

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.--Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:20

But wisdom is justified by her children. --Jesus Christ, Matthew 11:19

Word of the day: notwithstanding

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Bloomin' Thing in the Yard

Awhile ago, I expressed the hope that "it" would bloom soon. It has done.



Here is a close-up of the thingie. Note how evenly it is tessellated, somewhat resembling a long, skinny ear of corn!

I enjoy things that are new to me.

Sister writes about naming her blog, and recognizes BBBH for her input.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


800 If my count is correct, and arithmeticians love numbers, this may be the 800th post on String Too Short to Tie. That just sort of happened, one post at a time. And it is so much fun that I can't help myself. Addiction, she says.

Horn tooting, too. Otherwise, why would I mention it?

"He that tooteth not his own horn,
Lo, the same shall not be tooted."
--Gene Fowler

Morning Stroll Around the Yard

The camellia is a favorite.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Got Nothin'

but the tangerines are good!
And so are the kumquats; but strangely enough, I'm the only one here who eats them!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Falo delle vanita

Today commemorates the most noted of the bonfires of the vanities. This occurred on February 7, 1497 when followers of Savonarola publicly burned thousands of objects which they regarded as occasions for sin. These things included, unfortunately, not only cosmetics and mirrors, the "sinful" nature of which is obvious, but also music, musical instruments and works of other arts such as paintings and books.

Savonarola of Florence who lived from 1452 to 1498 was a preacher who was much concerned about the state of the Church and the clergy. He preached piety and clean living. It is said that he was the forerunner of the Reformation, but he was nonetheless Roman Catholic to the end. Pope Alexander VI was not pleased, and ordered the priest's execution for heresy and sedition. Savonarola was tortured for a month, then hanged and burned to death.

Just prior to the execution, the bishop said, "I separate you from the church militant and from the church triumphant."

Savonarola replied, "You have no power to separate me from the church triumphant to which I go."


Dr. Philip G. Ryken • Window on the World
Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia • May 23, 1999
Copyright reserved • Internet access via

Google search "bonfire of the vanities savonarola" for many very interesting articles on this subject.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Walk the Line Aisle

Yes, I remembered. Today is our wedding anniversary, Dear. It was eleven years ago that we met at the altar and said our vows.

We are still together. Interesting? To say the least. Humdrum existence? Not by the wildest stretch of the imagination. Tempestuous? I am not telling.

You have loved me when I wasn't all that lovable; though perhaps I've not been so "obstreperous" (your word) as you claim from time to time. Am I hard-headed and set in my ways? Are you? Am I going to be in such deep weeds over this post that I won't see daylight for a week? Nah. Your sense of humor and mine intersect on occasion. Then, too, they don't always.

Do I love your you still? Indubitably. You have fed me, entertained me, kept my hair trimmed and neat. And you frequently remind me that I am "not wearing that." You have loved me in a million ways.

And to think, some of our friends said it "would never last." Silly folk.
Wanna go for another eleven? Okay, one day at a time.

I Love You, JoAnn.
Remembering the Tenth Anniversary.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Military History

February 5, 1958. H-bomb, "The Tybee Bomb," jettisoned in Wassaw Sound. To date, never recovered.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Praise and Worship in the Piney Woods?

No, it is not.
We were advised by our hosts that should we go to these woods early in the morning, place bread in our hands and hold them out, the scrub jays would come and eat from our extended palms.
Six-thirty a.m. arrived and I awoke. My stirring about awakened BBBH, who claims there is no six-thirty in the morning.

We prepared ourselves and presented at the appointed time; made the trip to the woods. This is what you would have beheld had you driven up on these crazy people. That is what you would have thought. And you might have been right.

As my arms tired from holding aloft a dozen bread crumbs, which got heavier and heavier with each passing moment, I declared that our "friends" had taken us on a snipe hunt. No, I was assured. Sometimes it takes a half hour to attract the birds. Half hour? Yikes! Well, you don't expect to always catch a fish instantly upon casting the bait into the water, I was told. Be patient. I was. We were. So were the birds, who, I am convinced, were in the scrub laughing their little heads off. I hope. That they laughed their heads OFF, that is.
We departed the woods, saving the bread for another excursion. Yeah, right. We went into the village and had breakfast. Now that's more like it!

The trip to the woods was not a complete loss, birdwise. We passed a flock of wild turkey, comprised of perhaps a dozen hens and a tom who was sporting his fan! Also saw two storks and assorted waterfowl.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Near the Hearth There Lives a Melody

We are utilizing Diane's RV pad. Diane has a beautiful little tricolor kitty named Melody. Isn't that an appropriate name for the pet belonging to a professional musician? Diane is a violinist, an outstandingly good violinist. She is busy from dawn to dusk with practice, lessons and preparations for concerts. Then she is busy at the concerts.
As is so typical of cats, Melody chose me to be her playmate. Perverse creatures; not that I didn't have fun. And I only got bitten once.

Very pretty cat.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Woodchuck, Quit Chuckin' My Wood!

Today is the day of marmota monax. Perpetuating superstition, we proclaim his emergence from his tunnel to find, or fail to find, his umbra in preparation for prognostication of winter's demise, or not.

There is not a scintilla of doubt that the groundhog will see his shadow if he emerges here.

Little rodent, round and sleek
Come on out and take a peek
At the sky and look around
See if your shadow can be found.

No matter what the groundhog thinks
We know this winter truly stinks
So go away, cold icy wind
Bring this winter to an end.

© 2011 David W. Lacy

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More Winter Weather

(The following is a reprint of a post we put up on January 7 last year. Now I am hearing weather forecasts that suggest the possibility of a storm across the Midwest and the East that may be worse than "any storm in memory."

We are hopeful that all who are hit by this storm will stay safe. This can be no fun for anyone in the storm zone, and it has already been a winter of "too much" for too many.) I found an envelope in my desk tagged "Blizzard of 78." Inside were strips of 35mm black and white negatives. I no longer have equipment to print negatives via wet chemical processes, and I don't know anyone in the area who does this anymore. So, onto the scanner, into a folder in the computer, and with a good deal of "messing around" with two or three programs, I managed to "develop" these images.

The first shot shows me in front of our house. The rest of the pictures were taken at the school shortly after the snowfall stopped. I had to walk over a mile, through drifts and all, to get to the building.

From the inside looking out.

This January snow was delivered by winds in excess of sixty mph, and the howling went on for hours. There were still remnants of this snowfall on the ground in April.

As I write this in the warmth of my cozy home, though it is 11 degrees outside, I hear the "forecast" for a nasty storm to start tonight. It is not anticipated to be anything like the blizzard of '78, but for me, even four or five inches of snow is more than enough!