bits and pieces

Early in the year that my daughter was married (16 years ago!) I came home from work one day and interrupted a lawn services that was doing a treatment on my yard. I hadn’t hired them, and it turned out that they had mistaken my house for a similarly addressed one on the next street over. But they said they might as well finish my lawn at no cost. I interrupted them twice again that year, and a fourth time we found an invoice stuck in our front door for a final treatment. I was pleased that our lawn looked so good for all of our out-of-town wedding guests, but it only occurred to me recently that perhaps a neighbor had actually hired the lawn service in secret. (Our lawn was and remains the scandal of the neighborhood.) And I wish they would do it again.


I did not make it out to Roundrock last weekend as I had hoped. The weather is always iffy this time of year, and what looked promising on the early-in-the-week forecast, grew less promising as Friday approached. As it happened, grandson Emmett was going to spend Saturday night at our house (so his parents could see some big movie), and it was unfair to my wife to have him all on her own.

On Saturday morning I checked the weather map for Roundrock and saw that a giant storm was hammering the area when I would have been there. Good for the fish in our lake, my wife pointed out. And also good for the phoebe whose nest (with eggs) on the porch might have been abandoned for the time I would have been there.

The weather for this coming weekend is looking promising though.


Here is a random photo from the archives:

Many years ago I received an inexpensive game camera as a gift, and while it didn’t take very good photos, it did capture images I would not have seen otherwise, including lots of wildlife. Among the more interesting captures by the camera were a series of trucks including this one that were trespassing on my 80 acres. I don’t suppose the rural folk of west central Missouri are any less lawful than folk anywhere, but I have noticed that the idea of private property is more conceptual than practical sometimes. One of the photographed trucks I know belongs to a neighbor I have down there who lives year-round in his hillside house. I’ve made it generally known that I don’t object to people finding their way onto my property (in concept or practice); in part it helps keep my road open. And I’ve rarely found any sign of visitors but for a few stray cigarette butts or beer cans on the side of the road.


The bloodbath of my rejections last week did not exceed the three I reported earlier. I checked the stories I have out in submission, and, after deducting the rejected three, I still have 9 pieces out there at 20 targeted publications. In a best-case scenario I could have 9 acceptances and 11 withdrawals, but it is also possible I could have 20 rejections. (Check my math.)

Explore posts in the same categories: Ramblings Off Topic

2 Comments on “bits and pieces”

  1. I advise moving somewhere more rural than your scandalized neighborhood, but less rural than Roundrock. It had done wonders for our yard reputation.

  2. Paul Lamb Says:

    Indy – Or even less rural! I have this fantasy of living in a yardless townhouse down in Kansas City (which is pretty much where we go most weekends for anything cultural).

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