Good Girl


The canine may no longer be the top dog since we’ve had a child, but she still rates pretty high. Here she rests contentedly while the boy works on his diorama, just an hour or so after happily submitting to his belly rub. (click pic to enlarge)

Things weren’t always that smooth between the two.

When we first brought Cassie home from the rescue organization’s foster placement, she immediately took to us, but was not happy with the new level of competition that Benjamin brought. She cowered and growled any time he got close, and nipped at his leg once — fortunately for both without breaking the skin. I had told Shannon that she was going back at the first sign of trouble.

For years she wouldn’t follow when he tried to lead her to the back door, but changed her tune when he became a regular filler of her food bowl. Now she wags her stubby excuse for a tail and leans toward his outstretched hand, rather than avoiding him at all costs.

They have developed a relationship and, although Benjamin still occasionally laments the passing of sweet Lexie a few years ago, Cassie is the first pet with which he truly has formed a bond.

Funny how it’s almost the opposite for me. Lexie was our only “child” for nearly 11 years before Benjamin came along, my first pet since the steady stream of outdoor dogs back in my boyhood home. Saying goodbye to her was difficult for me.

While I have grown to love Cassie, it just isn’t and never could be the same after having a child. I hope she doesn’t read this.

Branson Delights


At first I was going to write about Branson and how most of its visitors have all of their teeth — that it isn’t merely a hotbed of former music and comedy stars who set up shop when Las Vegas either doesn’t appeal to them or doesn’t want them.

It was going to be witty. Good Lord, was it going to be witty.

Then I remembered that people will continue to judge it without ever going there, regardless of what I type in this space, and that being funny is very hard for me. Plus, approximately four people will read this, and they already possess an unparalleled sense of fairness. (click any pic to enlarge)

Read more

Photographic Finale (Ozarks Weekend Part 8)

(concluded from Part 7)


What a grand trip back to our home state. Here are several shots, some from “downtime” when we weren’t out hiking or driving, un-cropped but taken with two different cameras that feature different aspect ratios. Did I mention Long Pool Campground is a great place to camp? (click any pic to enlarge)

Read more

Unexpected Pleasures (Ozarks Weekend Part 7 – redux)

(continued from Part 6)

Disclaimer: there is no simple way to get out of that area of Arkansas. True, the signs there really mean it when they proclaim “Scenic Drive,” but they also can make you laugh when they warn, “Crooked and Steep next 14 miles.” Um, the next 14? What the heck would you call the last 14?

It’s even tougher to get out when you need to go west but you go north.

Read more