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The sun sinks in the west, on last valiant streak of weak orange lights the hilltop, and down the far side of the road. Again a pensive time as the frenetic world changes, yet doesn’t change. Liquid brown eyes watch me from the door, and I muse that only man measures life.

Clotho has spun my beginnings. Lachesis has woven the tapestry of my live, and Atropos stands at the end ready to snip the last thread.

Paradise gleams across the abyss. I am ready.

Ghosts of Birthdays Past

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… sleepless … ghosts of the past visit me one by one, each one as diffident and uncaring of their impact on me tonight as they were the day the friendship was killed. Each one carries a veiled offer to pick up the friendship again, but the offers are written in changeable script that says one thing now, another thing later.

What do they mean by “friend”? Why would they even want to be friends now after long years of silence? Such friendships are like class reunions, where you meet every ten years or so, make some small talk, and move on, feeling like you had done something worthwhile in reliving the past.


No. I am not going to do that to myself again.

Three ghosts are standing on the fringes of my world, their hands clasped chastely in front of them. The look so tiny, so small, so vulnerable, so alone. They show up at my old haunts and make small talk with my friends while casting probing glances my way. I shant. I can’t. I am too old and beat up and you are all just too heavy for me to lift again.

Go spook someone else.

Subject: Clues That You’re in Rural Texas

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 You just might be in Rural Texas , if…



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Dawn breaks with high broken clouds this morning, at 76° and the high today be around 96°. That is a bit below our norms for mid-August.

Yesterday I noticed that the school zone lights were lit. Geesh. Poor kids. We didn’t return to school until the second week in September. But then, we didn’t get a Spring break so maybe that evens things out. Schools are now their own community, quite divorced from the ebb and flow of the larger community around them. All that was before we had an educational crisis and the Federal government had to step in to fix it.

Schools tended to be much smaller and local before the educrats sold us on the idea that a bigger school was a better school. It didn’t take them long before the various school districts got busy consolidating schools into mega institutions, and the lib … err … politically correct factions abandoned our boys to Ritalin™. But the damage is done, and I doubt that we will ever return to the days when teachers did have some sway and authority over their charges. The only answer left is a good alternative. Home schooling and private schools are certainly an option, but I feel there has to be a better way, one that strips the power from the current elite and returns it to educators who still have some passion left.

But I dream. We know it can’t get better.

So on the agenda today … mount one new tire on the mower, remove another and change it out to remount it with a new one Sunday. Fill the birdbath, water the containers, go clean our little shul in preparation for this Shabbat. Then a long hot shower late this afternoon, change into special clothes for the most Holy day, and sit down at an evening meal to welcome in the day of rest. Oddly, for us, the day begins at sundown, and ends the following sundown. So Shabbat starts on Friday evening, and ends on Saturday evening. But I am not super observant. I do write some on the day of rest, and read some, and drive to services.

Other than that, my days are ones of unending leisure as I am now officially a golden ager, and spend my days trying to stay a few inches beyond Thanato’s scythe. Someday, probably too soon, he will catch me when I am not looking, and I’ll disappear unheralded from the blog sites and message boards. What’s on the other side? Only fools boast they know. Even the sages admit they only hope.

But Chrono’s marches onwards to his doom with eternity, heedless of the carnage he leaves behind him. And Rusty wonders what it all means.

Good morning!





Maudlin Morning Reflections

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Tewsday Mawnin’ … A little down today.

Sitting here awhile in the early light playing with a CAD program and sipping coffee.  Kippur the Budgie is starting to flirt with me.  I think kipper is turning into a girl. (S)he had all the markings of a male when we got him, but this week we noticed that her cere, the swelling above the beak is decidedly turning tan rather than the blue of a male.

I scold her, and she scold back.  I understand that females don’t mimic speech, so all my work in teaching her how to speak has merely entertained us. Oh well … it is not the first fruitless activity of mine.

The last two days have been mower tire changing days.  I really am getting too frail to do the job, so the next time the chore comes around, I am going to have to haul them to the mechanics.  Growing old is not for wusses, they tell me.

Today is the day Snookums volunteers at the local food bank, so I am on my own foodwise.  Not that I mind all that much. I can forage with the best of them, and her absence helps a lot of deserving people, and a few not-so-deserving ones. It annoys me that one couple gets food from the bank when they could well afford to buy at the store, but are very cleaver at hiding their income.  No understanding people, I guess.

But I don’t regret moving out into the country, even with its inconveniences. I do fret about aging though, and there will come a time when I can’t mow, drive to town for supplies, pick up the yard or do any of the myriad of other tasks required for rural living. I fear dementia, and do what I can to keep the old calculator in fine tune. That means I argue with dissenters, work crossword puzzles, play video games and … write.

But with all the arguments and such exacting its price of people leaving the blogging community, and the slow disappearance of the 40’s and 50’s crowd into new lives and senior citizenry, my circle has grown small of late, and I grieve their loss. Most will never appear on my pages again.

But life goes on, a generation comes, a generation goes, and soon a plaque lost in a vast sea of other plaques will read:

Rusty Armor

1943 – ****
“Sometimes you just got to walk
slowly and drink lots of ice water”


Good mornin’ ..

How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

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How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Saturday. The day of rest.

And as usual, the tasks that I ignored all week suddenly get first billing in my head today. I need to get the algae out of the bird bath, water the sweet ‘tater vines and mow the west side. But I’ll sit on my hands. Actually, now that I think of it, writing is also proscribed by the Rabbi’s. Oh hell.

Last night was a sleepless night. They happen once in a while, and when they do, I might as well get up and go putter. So I did. And ate half a bag of Cheetos, drank a can of Squirt, nuked a couple of beef dogs dipped in mustard, forked down a couple of spoonfuls of sauerkraut, and downed half a bowl of grapes.

And I wonder why my digestion isn’t so good.

I ditched services today. Snookums called me in time to shower and go, but I just pulled the blanket over my head while she got ready to go. I could feel the disapproval through the blankets, but I persevered until the silence of her absence woke me. So I sit here in my studio, the heat of the dog days glaring at me from the window. It is 100° and still more to come.

I have started these off and on daily journals to jumpstart the old Muse, but I think I have really horked her off with the last go around we had. It was a false start. One feverish flurry of production, followed by ennui and sloth. So she is giving me the old silent treatment, but like Snookums, I can {{{ feel }}} her disapproval.

And the wars on Blogster® continue … it is easy for me to sit outside in smug self-righteousness when it isn’t me doing the bashing. “Oh you silly kids!” I think. When I am involved, it become very
important that I answer every insult. In detail. Carefully thought out and edited for maximum impact.

I wish I could focus that same energy into completing any of the various manuscripts that I have laying about.

But alas … today is a day of rest, so I can’t pick those up either.

Good afternoon!





But all my words come back to me, in shades of mediocrity

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Almost midnight. I haven’t stayed up late in a while. I soul is unquiet again, and I am restless and trapped. Went around to the old haunts online, but used a hidden nom-de-plume. I recognized some of the old chatters, even some who had changed their screen names. But I just didn’t want to pick that part of my life up again, and headed to the blogs.

That was a mistake. After several posts by bigoted, intolerant people who were patting themselves on the back for their … *ahem!* … tolerance, I sat back and thought about it for a bit. I don’t think I would have one of these people in my house for an evening. They are way too fragile and I would end up walking the minefield of their correct speech, correct politics, correct education, and smug disdain they have for those who challenge them makes me want to deflate them. Just a little.

I don’t know where to go from here.


A very good morning to you too …

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Woke early, decided to whip up my signature dish of blueberry waffles. Cheated a bit and used canned berries, but they cook down into such great syrup without all that washing and cleaning. I am very fumble fingered in the mornings.

Made the special batter … stir exactly three times and STOP. The lumps are just fine. Leave ’em alone. Just set the bowl aside for a few minutes while you prepare the iron.

Checked the ‘fridge. No juice … ‘sok … coffee will work.

Went to get the waffle iron out of the cupboard, but Snookums must have found a new place for it. Finally, after checking everywhere, I asked her where her new secret place for appliances was. Was tersly informed that it had died last week, and my one task FOR THE WHOLE STINKIN’ WEEK was to buy a new waffle iron. I was given permission to buy any damned iron I desired.

I did go to WallyWorld … and walked out with an SD card and a thumb drive. But no waffle iron. I got in a snit because they don’t put the size of the iron on the box. What the hell is wrong with telling the buyer what size waffles the stinking iron makes?

So … the upshot is, what do you do with a quart of waffle batter and stewed blueberries? Waffle cakes? Waffle cakes it is. Thick, gooey mess, sort of pancake tasting, but with crisp outsides and doughy insides. Snookums told me they were pretty tasty … but I know a bad breakfast when I see it.

Then into the studio for some me time. Annie Annie, our black something or the other, sleeps in there. And last night she upchucked something very, very smelly. Or perhaps it came out the other end. I didn’t examine it closely enough to tell.

Funny. I can work on plumbing and pretty much keep my lunch down, but a runny pile of doggy do on my carpet makes me retch …

Snookums rides to the rescue, cleans it up, spritzes it with soapy water and vacuums it up, and sprays FreeBreeze® into the air, and my damaged morning once again becomes bearable, if not sooper-dooper-spanking-perfect.

Good morning, late as it is ….


Mz Muze walks on the darkside

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“Hello darkness my old friend, I come to talk with you again!” she said as she sat perched at the usual place on the top of the monitor.

“If that is your best inspiration, I might as well hang up the idea of ever becoming a writer.” I shot back “You’ve put on some weight since your last visit. It is time to retire that tweed skirt.” I continued, noticing that she still wore that too short, too tight, too dated and too shopworn tweed skirt. And that hideous pink Rayon blouse! I wondered if she pillaged a Goodwill store for it.

“As lazy as you are, you would never make the grade anyway. Writers …”

” … write, that’s what they do. Yeah, yeah. You said that before.” I snarled in annoyance.

“It’s my job. And besides, I like this skirt.” she pouted, and crossed her legs, revealing the tops of her hose and the cottage cheese whiteness above the garter bands.

I averted my eyes as I sensed that I was on a roll, and kept going, “Well, you aren’t doing your job very well. Your inspirations are just as dated as you wardrobe. And garter belts went out three generations ago.”

She waved off my assault with a casual wrist. “I see you dug out ‘Shaman in the Sagebrush‘. You plan on doing any work with it?”

“No, not really. I got it out to show an old friend what my life was like during the mid-60’s. I like the story, but I don’t think it is a salable piece, so I keep it parked on a long ignored blog site.”

“What about ‘Akashaic‘?” she asked.

Yeah. Like she didn’t already know. “I lost control of it again. It has become too big and too cumbersome. I think I will move it to the back stack to show people how not to write a tale. How about a new idea?” I asked hopefully.

She stretched and yawned, then answered. “I am too tired right now. I spent the night consoling Carla’s muse after you so rudely dispatched me to her. When did you get the idea that I was your errand fairy?”

“Well, my friend was stuck, and wanted to get back into her poetry, but her first attempt failed. I thought maybe you could jump start her muse. Besides, you haven’t been all that helpful to me lately.”

“Maybe I would be more helpful if you weren’t roaring about with that huge chip on your shoulders! You spend all your time fighting liberals on the newspaper feeds. Perhaps if you spent as much time writing tales as you did attacking care-more-than-thee and feel-more-than-thee crowd, you would get some serious work done!”

She scored a hit on me. “Yeah. That has been bothering me. I am too old for crusades. The will to fight has left, and all I do now is make them bleed a little. Liberals do bleeding very well. And some of the ideas I have in my head right now is too brutal for my tender-hearted audience. Dark have been my dreams, lately.”

“Stealing lines from Tolkien, now? Well, write your dreams for someone else!” she admonished.

I mumbled. “I have a lot of friends who say they would like to see that material. But I don’t think any of them are ready to walk that close to the edge of primal cravings. As I said, dark.”

“Use a lot of metaphors and innuendo’s. You seem to be good at that. Maybe a bit too good.” She sniffed.

“I dunno. Some things really are unutterable.”

“Well, give me a little time to work on your libidinousness. Maybe we can hammer out a compromise.” she said encouragingly, albeit a little Tom Swifty.

“You sure you want to go there?”

“I’m a fairy. I go anywhere.”

“Not in that outfit.”


There is an appointed time for everything

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There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;
  A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

A time to kill and a time to heal;
  A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to weep and a time to laugh;
  A time to mourn and a time to dance.

A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
  A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
  A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
  A time to be silent and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate;
  A time for war and a time for peace.



Another of them mysterious Spring holy days, 50 days after Passover. Jews and some Christians count those days leading up to Shavuot because God commanded people to count the days (49) AND count the weeks (7). Of course, man being the ornery cuss that he is, decided to mess with the counting, so now we have three theories upon which day this is.

But the Torah was received by the Israelites on this day and according to Christian holy writs, this day was the day the Spirit of God was given to the disciples. Pentecost, if you will.

Anyway, many of us hold convocations lasting all night, though at my age, I usually excuse myself around one or two am. Old men don’t do well with lack of sleep …

So here I sit with a background headache from the late hour, and prepare myself for the congregational celebration at 2:00 this afternoon.

I don’t know why I do this to myself, but I do believe the annual rotation of holy days mean something more than a mere annual even to remind us of past things, but more importantly, they remind us of things to come.

Not that many of you will be all that interested in these days, other than mild curiosity.

Did kinda break the rules a little bit today. This day is also considered a Shabbat as well, so the usual rules to not labor are pertinent. The new tractor was delivered Friday, and of course, I had to take it out for a test run … but perhaps since it could not actually be classified as “labor”, I am presuming that I am forgiven. Of course, that puts me head-up in the rule against presumptuous sins. Oh wicked man that I am!

The heat has arrived … this was such a mild spring for us, and the land is not responding as it usually does in spring because of the persistent drought we are in. It would take a week long drizzling rain to get the land to believing the drought was over. But I took this little piece of rural Texas for what it is. We accept the droughts, and we accept the wet years, and adapt to them as they cycle through the years. There is a time for every season.

Good morning!