Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #899 – A rose without thorns


I am surely in need of a wider variety of blooms. I keep going back to my Rose of Sharon shrub. It is just so prolific and I often favor on the side of easy.

I searched for a poem, some nice words to dance with this image. But the poems all spoke louder and longer and seem to step on the toes of my image. After all the image is supposed to be worth a thousand words and all that.

Some days we fall short  by a hundred or so, but we will make up for them tomorrow.

monos en theos † jas L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #890 – Magenta Daisy

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“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

A lovely store-bought magenta daisy. I try to buy my wife a bouquet of flowers every Monday. It warms her heart, makes me feel like a man and it gives me a photo subject that always poses nicely in the cool of our home.

I applied an oil paint effect to this image. It is such fun to play in PS and pretend I can draw or paint. I can’t even draw a straight line, but who in the hell would want to anyway!

monos en theos †††† james L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #865- Finding Contentment


“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion….In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.”

William Henry Channing

A powerful manifesto to live by…†…monos en theos…jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #837 – A new day, a new start


14-09-20water_5597 copy“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

Meister Eckhart

It is my birthday today and I am trying to present myself with the gift of a new start

remove all the stumbles and falls of yesterday

listen to the dreams,

live at least one of them out

Know that it is never too late

sprinkle one’s self awake

New Years day in the midst of September.

monos en theos…†…jim



Locoweed, the common name of a number of different plants that poison sheep, cattle, and horses on the Great Plains. Some, such as the poison larkspur, are poisonous in themselves. Others are poisonous because they concentrate selenium that exists in the soil. Among these are the milk vetch and white locoweed. The poison affects the nervous system, causing an acute or chronic disorder called loco disease.

Loco is the Spanish word for “mad” or “insane.” The symptoms of loco disease include staggering, falling, defective vision, nausea, constipation, and loss of appetite. Affected animals may suddenly jump for no reason, or run into obstacles. The acute form may end fatally in three days. Animals suffering from the chronic form of the disease may waste away for weeks or even for months.

I think I first heard of locoweed from the old TV series Rawhide. Trail boss Gil Favor and ramrod Rowdy Yates (played by Clint Eastwood long before “Make my day” fame) encountered all kinds of pitfalls and challenges driving the herd from San Antonio TX to Sedalia MO.

Little did I know how common locoweed was and I could have inspected the mysterious plant right in my backyard of Odessa TX. I was probably more interested in having a “cool” name like Rowdy, Sheb or Wishbone instead of plain ole Jimmy.

Be aware of all that you have in your backyard. † en theos ††† jim


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I have been on this cycle of rising early. It has not been intentional, just one of those patterns that naturally occurs. It has been nice as the West TX sunrises have been so outstanding. Lots of colors and patterns put up by the Master.

While it is a quiet time, I am never alone. My dogs, Clovis & Grace are always ready to go no matter what time it is. I am also always greeted and joined in company by my cat Muffs. Muffs is the most social of the three strays that occupy our yard. Muffs was deposited as a newborn kitten by his wandering mom a few years ago. He always would take food but had a circle of defense that was about 10-12 feet. When Muffs was about 6 months old, I became determined to make friends with him. I sat on the ground for about 3 hours, tossing little morsels of chow to him. He always had this longing look that he wanted to be touched, but just needed some encouragement. Since that first reluctant behind the ear scratch, he now so enjoys my companionship. I savour  his curiosity in my making of photos and I swear, he comes to pose for me.

Enjoy your furry friends and the sunrise.   en theos ††† jim


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Some days you wake up early and wonder why?

Then you look out the kitchen window as you built the coffee, and you just whisper a wow and a thank you.  Your day is started with a blessing and a prayer.

Be aware of the wonder out your kitchen window. ††† en theos †††