Thursday, September 20, 2018

Wallace Spirit Animal...

If you follow here you know all those stories about how the Christmas possum comes each year to save the holiday for everyone. Some complex hero mythology linking marsupial behavioral characteristics and the birth of Jesus Christ could be drawn but in the same way folks have been surprised that Willie Nelson is a Democrat that comparison could be a dress blowing up event in some circles. We will leave it be. Other that we stated it so maybe it is on the table, I don't really know. 

I do know that we have spirit animals. You might think that my spirit animal is the catfish. I seem to draw them to me. I don't think that's what an SP is though. Too common to be easily called upon is not the way to go. The SP shows up looks you in the eye and you start to do things differently.

This SP made an appearance as we sat on the deck overlooking the beach on a recent visit. He brushed under Cathy's lawn chair and her initial impulse was the reach down in the dark and pet what she thought was an ally cat stopping by for a visit.   

Like I say, after an encounter with a spirit animal, things are different. 

I hope your SP looks you in the face today. 


Saturday, September 15, 2018

I don't always know the titles of the songs I sing...

Sometimes when we play a gig we decide "let's play that Calexio song." It's kind of a song where we have to have a full head of steam up, not a good resonator song so I usually have to be playing bass or maybe percussion depending on how we set up and Cathy sings it. 

At Jazz fest last May we saw the band Calexio. It was the second time seeing them for us. The first time was at SXSW some years ago and there is probably a blog post with photos but I can't find it. They are an Arizona based band with guitars, mariachi trumpets, steel guitar and more that stirs up a big old pot of Tex Mex southwestern indie conjunto stew. Other that what we call the "Calexio song" not many of their lyrics stick in my head but it makes for a nice soundscape kind of listening with so many influences going on.  

Steel guitar. Not the original multi guitar man in the band I think they said this guy was from Spain. 

Horns, marimbas and more. 

Plenty of cool guitars. 

So after a real nice set, this might have been the last band we saw of the jazz fest, they fire up the last tune and are joined on stage by Susan Cowsill. Susan is a resident of New Orleans these days and stays quite busy performing. You may remember her from the 60s family pop band the Cowsills. 

You guessed it. She came onstage to sing the song Cathy always sings, the "Calexio song." 

As a hurricane season side note Susan lost her brother, Barry also of the family band in the Katrina floods. 

As far as the "Calexio song" goes it's not even a Calexio song. It was written by Bryan MacLean of the band Love and performed with Arthur Lee on co vocals in 1970. It's really called "Alone Again Or." 

Here is the Calexio version:

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Family Reunion...

It was quite a get together. Wes and Connie hosted. I cooked fish. We had enough singers and players for a band. Fifty two people were in attendance from Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky and Georgia. 

In the poster Connie made you see Caleb and Pinkie Wiley born in 1879 and 1885 respectively. That's my Mom's parents and she is the only surviving child. I want to say there were 9 out of 10 surviving grandchildren in attendance. If I don't have that right I am sure someone will correct me. 

Many of these folks had not seen each other in years. That's one of the good things about social media is that it was a help in bringing relatives together. Looks like there might be more things like this or at least some visiting as we pass each other close enough for a stop in on our travels 

Stories were shared and my favorite one was from my second cousin David on our last meeting. Seems he was on a trip to Lufkin when he was 13 years old. He said I was old enough to be driving because I took him on a trip to a pawn shop. He said it was a bit of an edgie experience having never been in a pawn shop and riding around with a cousin he hardly knew. He said I bought a book about the Beatles. 

I don't remember any of that. Hopefully memories made this weekend will last longer. 


Thursday, September 06, 2018

Dirt Work Done Dirt Cheap...

Everybody remembers the blog post on the catastrophic septic system fail. I know that probably brought to the minds eye the vision of antique slop jars, porta potties and big old plastic 5 gallon buckets pressed into use but it really was not that bad. It was nothing that contacting a local reputable company and writing a big check could not fix. They did a fine installation and the burying of the new tanks left me with a huge pile of dirt to fill in settling. Here's old Ez and the pile  to give you an idea of it's size.   

We have had a little bit of rain so settling has been slow but I have worked diligently each day to shovel and spread the dirt. Here's my set up for work. I have not shoveled this much dirt since the summer I was 17 years old working for Richardson and Sons Construction. It's good to know at this age I can still shovel dirt for at least two hours every day. In fact if you take into consideration the my work ethic at 17 then I am probably as good now as I was then.  

So here is the final result. You might note there is still a slight elevation there but I think it will be fine and settle on out. I have a fig tree in a big pot that I have been nursing this summer and I might plant it there when the weather cools. Some years ago I humped up a big mound in the yard and made a raised tomato bed. I remember exactly when I did that. It was 1986, the year the Chernobyl nuclear reactor blew in Northern Ukraine. Best tomatoes I ever grew that year but in the 32 years since then that mound has settled down and I am not sure of the exact place I had it. Another 32 years I'll probably be on the other side of the river looking at what's left of this mound. 

I'll be glad when the grass comes back. This is clay soil and after the little rain it made a gumbo mud that added about 10 pounds to my boots as I walked through it. We are having a Wiley Family Reunion Fish fry this weekend with cousins from 4 or 5 states coming and while you can flush, shower and wash clothes as much as you want you might not be let in the house after a jaunt through the yard. I am thankful for cousin Wes and his wife Connie for hosting this weekend and I promise to show up with clean shoes. 

By the way, that's not my house, that's the barn.  

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Monday, September 03, 2018

Bridge Out...

I don't know when the last time you have been out to my home for a visit. There are about three different ways to get here sort of depending which end of town you might be coming from. If it's been in the last three months and if your favorite way to and from town is the same as mine, the old Ford Chapel Road, then there is a 95% chance I forgot the common courtesy to mention that the bridge is out for repair. Sometimes it seems that it's about 95% of the time that I forget the bridge is out for repair and go that way by accident. 

The two most popular ways to get to town since this has been a situation is either make a left at the crossroads and continue to highway 69 and then a right to town. That's my way. Cathy's way is to continue on to the bridge, which sits at a "Y" in the road, take the left fork of the "Y" to also end up on 69 with a right to town. I like my way which is wide, straight and suitable for high speed vs. Cathy's way which is curvy, crooked and narrow. I don't know if this says something about our personalities or if Cathy can let her mind idle and not worry about forgetting the bridge is out because the turn is right at the bridge. The turn I like is before the bridge so I have to be alert and doing executive planning which I accomplish most of the time except when I forget that the bridge is out and then I have to go Cathy's way.   

Does any of that make sense? 

What really does not make sense is that with so many things wrong in the world today the bridge near my house is where they have begun setting things straight. Let's just hope this good work continues and maybe picks up the pace a bit so I don't spend 4 months or so going the wrong way. 

This bog post is about me trying to get to town. Tomorrow when I forget the bridge is out and I am trying to get from town to my house I'll be able to make a photo from the other side and it will be a wholly different story to write. 

Cathy stopped and talked to the bridge guys the other day. That's something else to check up on. Is she supposed to be doing that? Anyway they said about another month and then they get started on the rest of the world.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Beach...

The beach. I bet there is more than one post with this title to be found if you look through the blog. We took a couple of nights to stay at a nice little beachfront hotel in Surfside for a fishing/big grandkid visit. It turned out really good because on check out day we were close by when Parker was born so we were able to make just a short drive and be there in a timely manner. 

Warren and Coraline float ashore under a full moon. I always imagine this is how Cabeza De Vaca looked coming in through the surf all those long years ago on the Texas coast with the Karankawa Indians peeping from the dunes and wondering what new hell is this?  Old Cabeza probably only had a little bit more sand in his pants than these two.  

The water was blue green clear. This is usually good for beach front fishing but for some reason it was not to be this trip. I started out with one of those big salt water Zebco 808s and a dead shrimp fished on the bottom just to see what was out there and maybe give the kids something to reel in. I should have came loaded for bear because something grabbed that shrimp and took off like a freight train and probably arrived in Cuba sometime yesterday with my leader in tow. 

I rearmed with a heavy pole and hooked this personal best stingray. He gave a nice fight, peeling off 75 yards of line before tuckering out. Since I was stung by a ray several years ago every time I catch one I clip the stinger before the return to the water so they sting no more.    

Lady fish. This is a pretty good size one. Not swimming in my belly.  They are a member of the tarpon family and make skittering leaps when hooked. I lost a Mackerel on a lure right at the net and hooked another something on  a lure I did not get a look at.  

I think maybe the low river flows make the salty bay environment and the passes more pleasing habitat for the fish. With water this clear it was also hard to catch bait in a cast net. I think they saw it coming.   

The kids with a whiting I caught under examination in the net before release. 

Brother in law Matt throws the net. Note the clear blue water. 

Say hi to Cathy. She usually don't fish this early but I guess it was a can't beat em, join em. 

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

New Granddaughter...

On Sunday August 26, 2018 our newest granddaughter Parker Faye was born to parents Morgan and Ali. She weighted 7lbs and 14 oz and was 20 and 1/4 inches long. I put all this down on the blog because we celebrate family here and also next year when Cathy asks me when Parker's birthday is I can look in up. It's not going to be a date that is easy to forget because that is also Miguel's birthday. 

I have not got a good hair photo yet so we are still waiting to see what that is going to look like. 

Now we have our eyes open and are ready to go. 

Great job Morgan and Ali. I think they should be going home today. Ali has time off from work and since Morgan's company is a global operation the benefits are a bit different from what you might find in the good old USA and he actually has a bit of family leave time. 

She will be out and about before you know it. 

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