THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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A chill in the air

Shock and awe as I stepped out the front door last night and today. Well it was brisk out. Well not as brisk as this photo. But those hay bails out in the field are going to be chilling out tonight and I thought I heard the weatherperson utter those first words of things to come with the first freeze warnings coming. Hell even temps in the 40’s have my body in a death grip.

snow covered hey roll Photo by Mike Hartley

OK enough hostility towards the chill, its going to warm up this weekend and that will be great for me. Because I hope to be out and about for a lot of it. Maybe capturing some early fall changes. Even though with the lack of rain it might not be the most colorful of seasons. Seems like lots of leaves have fallen early. Just a feeling and I’m no scientist so go with the fall experts.

Was reading an article though on the change of seasons in photography.


Random Thoughts

Its time for peace, love and harmony. Sorry, had a flashback there for a minute.

I am going to miss Dale Jr. so much. Class act. Loved watching his father and then him race for decades. Catch him at one of the fast tracks this weekend in Talladega where as they say “the pedal will be to the metal.”

I’m blessed to in such a good place with family life now. Yeah there have been rough stretches. But this is a very good streak of time, it has allowed for me to appreciate and show it to the people who have given me so much. And I’m so happy they all get along. Well as with every family there are exceptions. I wish there weren’t, but life turns in unexpected ways at times.

Wishes for safety and prayers for those out west fighting fires and for those affected.

I’m not encouraged with the health care changes coming.


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A smoking good time

Yeah I think I’ll crank up the grill this weekend. Never owned a gas grill in my life. Charcoal all the way. Maybe some wood chips. No lighter fluid. I want to taste the meat, fish, pork I’m eating. Not Exxon, Shell or BP. So now its just a question of what to apply heat to. I want to try some scallop kabob. Might also try some ribs again.

Smoking
Photo by Mike Hartley

So get that grill out. Put that hammock back up. Get the flip-flops out. This weekend is meant for that outdoor cooking.


Random Thoughts

Heard Facebook had an outage today. Cases of cardiac arrest went off the charts. Too many live and breathe that stuff.

I can’t take the stress of the Yankee/Indians game.

The only time I stop thinking about the weekend is on the weekend.


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There goes tanning season

What a wonderful summer day in the middle of fall. I consider it payback for having to pull out a jacket in August. And one thing I’ve learned about the weather after 60 years is it will be what it wants to be, when it wants to be, where ever it pleases to be. And that is a good thing most days. But it brings me back to my post title. Tanning season isn’t really how I think of it. I mean its summer and I just find myself outside more. And its comfortable in hot temps to wear less cloths.

Laying back
Photo by Mike Hartley

I have been blesses with a body that seems to just tan better than it does burn. Oh not to say I haven’t gotten burned in my history. Its pretty stupid actually and I take full responsibility each time. Its dangerous, it can be deadly and for most at least its painful. Its one of those little signals your skin sends to your brain that says “don’t do that again A-hole.”

Till I got older I didn’t know how the effects look when older. I’ve seen some people who have spent a lot of time in the sun and the skin looks like that well-worn leather at a much younger age than it should. Then the issues with increased skin cancer risk. I’ve been spared from that one so far thankfully, but again with knowing what we know now I wouldn’t take the same risk at all if I knew about this risk as a youth. For when I grew up there wasn’t sun screen, there was tanning oils for amplified tanning.

On my minds side though is how good it feels to be out and about during the summer months when that sun is strong. I look better with a bit of  color. I feel better with a tan. Usually it just comes with the season and I take precautions when at strong or long exposed sun time. I find myself missing it greatly during the winter season. But not to the point where I would ever go to one of those tanning booth places. For when thinking about that my mind says something fishy.

I don’t have much of a point here except we are in the last few weeks where the temps will still be comfortable, the sun will be out and I can maintain that warm brown glow I have now on my skin. It feels healthy and I can pull off wearing white shorts without disappearing for a little while longer.


Random Thoughts

Daytime soaps are doomed when competing against the drama in DC

It looks as if the Republican side has found its comedic reply to Senator Al Franken of the Democrats. For when Republican Senator Corker said its a shame the White House has become an adult day care center and someone missed their shift morning, I hit the floor laughing my behind off. And now today Trump says he wants to take an IQ test against Tillerson shows me even the President can be funny as hell. Maybe this is his way of getting equal time against the late night host who grill him. He’s going to out funny them. Even the White House press secretary said it was a joke and nothing more than that. Funny thing, is how serious the President looks and sounds when he’s trying to be funny.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be free of worry? But then what would you have to look forward to.

Writing each day forces me to think. As you can see, I’m so so in my success.


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Monday minute

What was that this morning? That pounding on the roof. In honor of the pouring rain this morning, I give you the Pitcher.

Pour yourself some water.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well, I see it’s the beginning of the work week. I’m already ready to give that part of the week the Boot.

Giving work the Boot.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So get out there today. Cut a wide path. Leave them in your dust.

Raise a little dust.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m sorry, its one of those down days. Very tired and not anywhere near a creative peak. More like a valley. Time to turn that around after my weekend away from the viewfinder.


Random Thoughts

I’m convinced ignorance knows no limits. Some might say I’m living proof of that argument.

I haven’t gone for a swim in so long I feel like a fish out of water.

The number one focus in life is your health. Trouble is it doesn’t get much focus till we’re sick.

Even when you try to escape the political nonsense, it works its way into your existence.


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From Sun to Rain

A nice warm and sunny Saturday in October makes it a Super Bowl of activities and fun. Well the activities were yard and house work. I didn’t overdo it, but enough where the body was well aware of the work. That opinion was from 8pm Saturday night. At 7am this morning I would change that to I overdid it. You should learn to listen to your body. It can tell you a lot about yourself. The body needs activity and rest. Just like this earth needs Sun and Rain.

Natures shapes.
Photo by Mike Hartley

FUN – Had a wonderful dinner with my better half last evening at Kings Contrivance in Columbia. Well when I grew up I believe they referred to that area as Simpsonville. Very pleased as usual. I like eating out on the porch. More light when we got there and as the sun set it got the romantic lighting. Food and service were great. And Group-on helped make it even more enjoyable. At least that is what I think the name of the company that my better half gets the “kupons” from.

Today I get to hug my children, play with my grand dog and share some catch up time. Sometimes the simplest weekends are the greatest. I’ve been doing a better job separating the job from my weekend time. I’m worrying less about it till it starts again. I’m finding enjoyment in life.


Random Thoughts

Sometimes slow and easy is the way.

I think I’ll listen to Stormy Monday by the Allman Brothers Band tomorrow.

Sports are much more enjoyable if you don’t gamble on them. With the exception of fun bets with family.

If someone has the answer as to where the weekends go, can you book me a flight there so I stop missing them.


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Lovely Lunch

Parents are the best. Well in most cases. Well in some cases. OK I don’t know what percentage are the best but I’ve been blessed with a wonderful set of in-law parents and they are one of the best. Boy if I can make it to their age with my wife (and she does kill me before then) that would be a the cheery on the cake. And if I have their love and kindness in my heart along the way, it will have been a fine life.

Anyone who has parents that are still with you, especially if you’re a senior yourself, get out with them. Help them see things. Have a meal. Stop for a visit. Drop off some flowers. Call them often. Tell them thank you and that you love them.

Some spring colors in fall.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And I thank my in-law parents for helping fill the void of missing my own. No pictures of lunch today. Was too hungry to raise a camera, but it was a very nice one at Leelynn’s in Ellicott City.


Random Thoughts

I can’t believe I just watched the Yankees lose that game.

I saw on a friends post Paper and Ink Imaginings some new “lunchbox notes” she had made in the Halloween theme, but that her offspring were past that stage. Reading this immediately made me think of all things my wife would put in our children’s lunches many years back. Or pack away for them on trips. And then of course when they went off to college and the subsequent care packages she would make them at home that included notes of love and encouragement. She has always put notes in my lunches. Sometimes special ones around anniversary or birthday times. Others just saying thanks for a wonderful vacation or for doing something or be safe or that she loved me. My kids when they were small also wrote me notes when they saw me struggling at difficult work situations. I have a few of the best ones taped to the wall near my desk at home and at work. Come to think of it, I just left a few post-its for my wife on the front door and on her pillow the other day teasing her. So I guess my thought is. You’re never too old for a special note from someone at any time in life. I hope you all get one soon.

I still can’t believe the Yankees lost that game.

OK, you caught me, I’ve been lazy the last day or two. Kind of unwinding mentally and trying to get the body to cooperate. I’ll be humping away on Saturday though and that means an early start before the sun comes up.

I’m going to bed and hoping that Yankee game was just a bad nightmare and in the morning I’ll wake and see they won 8-3.


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62 cents and 26 cents

I found an envelope while doing some cleaning a while back. Typed on it was the contents from my Dad, when he passed. His name was on front with the list, a gold wedding band, a Hamilton watch and 62 cents. I think we sent the wedding band along with Mom. The Hamilton watch stopped many years ago, but I will never part with it. And then I though of the perfect thing to do with his coins. I’ve noticed change on headstones on my visits and wandering around the cemetery and I finally looked up the meanings for this a while back also. So I stashed the coins in my car and knew where I was taking them.

A 1965 penny and quarter from my Dads pockets. He passed in 66.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited. A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp together, while a dime means you served with him in some capacity. By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the soldier when he was killed. Well I decided to leave a quarter because I was with him when he passed and a penny to denote my visit, both from that envelope. I think I’ll take the remainder of the change and just put that on the Medal of Honor winner that lies next to them on my next visit.

I’ll be down for the fall visit soon.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I think I’m going to gather the change I have (lots) and make a donation to Wreaths Across America for the work they do at Arlington and many cemetery’s across our country. And a thanks from our family for the wreath at holiday time.

An Envelop I’ll be saving.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Random Thoughts

Stories of hero’s in Vegas that bring tears to the eyes and faith in humanity.

Proper rest is the goal. It’s a damn illusive one.

I’m getting into that age range, where countdown to kickoff has a whole new meaning.

A long walk in the morning is in order, there is a beautiful field of freshly rolled hay and some equipment still out there to photograph.

It been a great and interesting day.