Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #827 – OUT OF THE EGG


I found the remains of this bird egg on my morning walk.

I looked up but could not see from where it fell.

The thickness of the casing caused me to marvel

At how hard it can be to come out of our shells

Keep pecking away my friend…monos en theos…†…jim


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Many of us think of Memorial Day as a federal holiday where most people have a day off to barbeque, go to the beach or travel, but in fact there’s a great deal of historical significance attached to the day.

Celebrated annually in May, Memorial Day is an occasion for remembering those who died while serving their country in the United States armed forces. It’s not to be confused with Veteran’s Day, an annual holiday in November that honors everyone who served in the U.S. military.

Memorial Day was first observed in 1868, when it was called Decoration Day, a day set aside to honor the 600,000 U.S. men and women who died in the Civil War. Millions more have served since, and many have made the ultimate sacrifice.

To commemorate the holiday, here are 14 Memorial Day quotes said by influential people.

“The average American is nothing if not patriotic.” -Herbert Croly

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” -Mark Twain

“Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.” -Bob Marley

“Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.” -Dan Rather

“The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” -Minot J. Savage

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” -Joseph Campbell

“I am proud to be an American. Because an American can eat anything on the face of this earth as long as he has two pieces of bread.” -Bill Cosby

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” -John F. Kennedy

“What’s right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity – intellect and resources – to do something about them.” -Henry Ford

“There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens can not cure.” -Dwight David Eisenhower

“I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.” –Bob Riley

“Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.” –Wallace Bruce

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.” –Thomas Campbell

“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.” –Aaron Kilbourn

From the commercials I see on television, to various blogs speaking of how once you have worn camo it is in your blood and it defines who you are. I get that. I respect that. This is not Veterans day and not about what color of uniform covers a man or woman. But this day is about those that bled red until they had no more to give for my freedom.

Hats off, flags lowered, prayers given for those that have given without question, doubt, or care for themselves, but for us……monos en theos…..jim


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I am in the midst of a terrific read, Die Empty by Todd Henry. I am absolutely loving this book, but it forces you to take a look at your aimless tendencies and to find and close the loopholes through which you allow your true purpose to slip through.

I want to be like this much smaller Redwing Blackbird who was just tearing the heck out of the Blue Heron for being in his territory. In the animal kingdom you kind of don’t have a 911 or a way to file a grievance when someone tries to move into your space.

What are you aspiring towards on behave of others?

What will you stand for today?

What will you refuse to compromise on, no matter what?

What will determine your terms of engagement?

What do you know you should be doing, but have been ignoring?

These seemingly simple questions just have me frozen. I’m having a hard time facing up to truthfully answering them. They make me feel weak and a bit like a wimp.

So, what are you standing for today? Share some answers with me, it might help to empower me and find my purpose…. en theos ††† jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #588 – Ah Texas, it just makes you look at things a little different.


We were talking with our waitress at lunch in Alpine Tx yesterday. She is a long time friend and proudly showed off photos of her young son and his recent rattlesnake kill. You just got to love living here.

Now I am not an extreme gun rights advocate, I just simply believe it is our right to have firearms and to use them when necessary. I am not sorry that this just seems right and natural.

Yes, to rest freely in west Texas. For the last few nights, I have watched the same disturbing video of the bikers v the SUV:

Every time I watch it, I keep asking myself, why doesn’t the driver of the SUV exercise his second amendment rights?

Is it just me, but would this happen in west Texas? I just don’t think so. Let the talking heads debate what the driver could or should of done. For me, if I can’t have high capacity magazines, I am adding a couple more clips to the console of the truck.

Live free! ††† en theos ††† jimwork

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas- #508 – This my leaf, any questions?

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In observing the bug world, I have found there is a lot of aggression and a sense of possession in bugville.

Pretty much like there is in our two legged world. But we have a brain, a heart and feelings. We should use those item to rise above the lower life forms. Not fall to their level of life struggle.

How else can we all “live our life to the fullest.”  John 10:10

Share your leaf and your heart with someone that your first reaction is to just wish they would go away.

Peace ††† en theos ††† jim work

Photos on the journey #391

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Okay, so I recant just a bit of my snow feelings. Sometimes, you just have to learn from your dogs. Grace (the blue eyed wonder deaf dog) and Clovis (the beefy one, always first to the feed bowl) were both wearing long faces and mopping around the house. I finally relented and took them out amongst the tumbleweed infested snow. What fun.

The house now smells of wet dog, but a small price for such an image of unbounded freedom…….en theos…….jim

Photo of Da Day @ Da Pine #371


I was having my last cup of coffee yesterday when I heard the different song of a bird carrying into my home. Walking outside, I quickly spied this out of place bantam parrot giving life to an otherwise dead pear tree.

He let me approach within 4-5 feet and with mild interest listened to my pleas and weak attempts to speak to him, to whisper him to my outstretched finger. He chatted back, but I was as lost at understanding as he was. One time he flew towards me and came within a foot of landing on my hand. After 45 minutes of a mostly one-sided conversation, he grew tired of my chit chat and flew to a neighbors tall pine.

My wife sharply remembered hearing his song a passing on our morning walk. We went to where she thought he lived. Responding to our knocking a young father came to our answer and surprisingly confirmed that during the night their dog had attacked the bird’s covered cage and the pet had flown the coup.

I was a bit miffed at his indifference in wanting to recover the bird. The bird had been a pet for 3 years yet had not been given a name nor ever once had physical contact with the humans. The man reluctantly came with me to see his “pet” unreachably high in a tree. He shrugged his shoulders and deadpanned “ I don’t know how I would ever catch him” and returned home.

The bird came back to our yard several times and filled the air with his song and beauty. I kept trying to talk him down, but he would feign interest and fly away. I worried about him and hoped to find where he might roost and try a night capture, but he never returned as the sun set.

I could not shake the question of why had our flight paths crossed? In my am prayers I realized that he had shown me that while we long for and can escape the cage that holds us prisoner, we most often do little with our freedom.

Just as Red from Shawshank Redemption so honed his advise to Andy: “These walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them.”

This creature had escaped, but had no where to go. “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”