Tag Archives: #animals

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

testudinal – adjective

[te-stood-n-l, –styood-]

  1. pertaining to or resembling a tortoise or tortoise shell.


crevice – noun


  1.   a narrow opening or crack in a hard surface and especially in rock


“I feel so naked without it,” Terrence said to his best friend Trent.

“You look fine without it,” said Trent.

“But I need it, it protects me. You wouldn’t go anywhere without yours and you know it.”

Trent kicked the ground, shuffling his feet. “You’re right, I wouldn’t.”

Terrence covered himself with large leaves he found.

Trent laughed. “You look better without the leaves.”

Terrence squinched his eyes and curled his mouth. “Fine.” He dropped the leaves.

“We need to retrace your footsteps,” Trent said. “Start from the beginning.”

Terrence led Trent back to his home under the mud bog. Trent scratched around the mud. Terrence breezed through the brush. “Not here,” he called out.

A shadow passed above them. Chills crept over Terrence.

They traipsed to the rock quarry next. Terrence kicked rocks out of his way while Trent noses around the big rock. “Not here,” he said.

Sweat dripped off of Terrence, his skin becoming pinkish.

“We have to find your shell fast. You’re going to fry right up and the buzzards will eat you all gone.”

Terrence trembled at the thought. He led Trent to the other side of the rock quarry where the sun was almost hiding.

A testudinal object poked out from the crevice in the quarry.

“Look Terrence!” Trent pointed.

CRAW! CRAW! A shadow circled above them, then disappeared.

“Run!” Trent called.

Terrence used all of his might pushing his stubby legs as fast as they could go.

The shadow became two.

Terrence pushed on.


Terrence ducked. “Almost there,” he chanted over and over.

Trent chucked a rock at the buzzards.


He ducked into his shell as the buzzards dove toward him.

Swooosh! Miss.

Trent peeked out from his shell, fearful for his friend.

Terrence lunged forward.

The testudinal object was indeed his shell. He pulled and prodded. Swoooosh! and pulled some more. The shell flew into the air…kerplunk… hit a buzzard and landed perfectly on Terrence, covering his body once more.

CRAW! CRAW! Screamed the buzzards, one rubbing it’s head.

Terrence ducked into his shell and hid in the crevice between a rock and a hard place, known as the quarry.

When the buzzards bagged out, Terrence ambled over to his friend.

“Good thing they’re gone, they almost had themselves fried tortoise for lunch.”

“And chicken soup if they had caught me,” Trent said as he shivered.

“You were brave Trent, not a chicken,” said Terrence.

“I guess so. But you’re the one who gave one buzzard a goose egg.”

Terrence laughed. “Yeah. Buzzards love to eat tortoise eggs so I bet they love goose eggs too!”

Together they laughed and laughed all the way to the mud bog where they filled up on leaves for lunch and nestled into the mud for a nap.





Embrace the ‘bold as brass’ Moments

Haha! Today’s word of the day selection for Merriam Websters Learner’s Word of the Day is a phrase and one that I truly enjoy. Here it is…

bold as brass – idiom

[bohld az bras]

  1.   not afraid at all : very confident or bold


One word sticks out to me in that phrase and it is repeated in the definition. Can you guess it? If you need a hint, look at my name and you will see the same word repeated. I use it in both my webpage and Twitter handle.

bold as brass lion (Not sure if this is a bold or stupid move to give a lunging lion a wrapped present. This guy sure doesn’t exude confidence. How would you describe his expression? Write your answer in the comments for this post.)

Not sure what an idiom is? Me either. But idiom is what bold as brass is classified as instead of a noun, verb, adjective, etc. Nope, not idiot, but idiom which is quite different. Therefore, here are some examples of idioms



and definitions:

[id-ee-uh m]

1.   an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own
2.    a form of a language that is spoken in a particular area and that uses some of its own words, grammar, and pronunciations : dialect
3.   a style or form of expression that is characteristic of a particular person, type of art, etc.
idiom explanation
Now that we know exactly what an idiom is I can show what bold as brass is.
My given first name is Traci which in some baby name books means, ‘bold, courageous battler’. When I married and took my husband’s last name, Bold, my full name took on a whole new meaning and one that I have steadily embraced.
Throughout my life I have fought for fairness (the phrase ‘life isn’t fair’ is a load of crap, a cop out,  as it is used by people who do not want to put in the work and time to do the right thing). I battle quite hard to achieve it and have lost the battle numerous times. But I persevere; carry on and keep trying. I have always believed that anything worth having is worth working hard for; there is always a catch in things coming easy.
In my writing, I take a bold approach to convey the story I want to tell or convey the message I want to get across. This is where editing comes in. Sometimes my bold approach is too bold and needs to be toned down to a gentle approach. Boldness requires balance like a teeter totter.
Teaching kids balance
Teaching kids balance – illustration of two children on a seesaw
Balance requires a mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior or judgement. Snap decisions disrupt this balance and do not attribute to the bold as brass moments.
brass knuckles  Bold as brass is a state of mind in how you live your life. It’s not about giving attitude adjustments to people who you think need it but rather adjusting your attitude to handle the situation given with finesse and flair that’s best for all involved. In essence, not taking crap from people and standing up for what is right by doing it the right way, not a bullying way.
Bullies are everywhere and around every corner. Being bold as brass means you fight to do the right thing no matter how hard or how steep the road is. You don’t let the bullies get to you and you put the bullies in their place by being bold as brass, not using brass. Bullies have some type of insecurity that moves them to bully people who have less than them or who have more, it just depends. Often, confident people are their first intended targets. Why? Because they want to shake up the confident persons world to feel better about themselves. But these confident, bold as brass people just let the bullies roll right off their shoulders which bullies hate.
A bully will back down from someone showing confidence. It shakes them up.
However, being bold as brass is sometimes looked upon as being cocky and some people are just that. So, be bold, be brave, stand up for your rights and others but also be humble, kind, caring and loving. When you are all of these, you will have the world in your hands to do great and wondrous things. You don’t have to be bold as brass all the time. Embrace the bold as brass moments when you have them and be proud.
We all have the ability to be bold as brass but not always the courage to be. The choice is ours alone. Make each moment count the right way.
Traci Bold 

A Snippet of Fun at the St. Louis Zoo

[All photos in this blog are copyrighted and belong to Kevin and Traci Bold. They may not be used for anything without written permission/consent from myself. ]

forage – verb, noun

[fawr-ij, for-]


  1.   of an animal : to eat growing grass or other plants
  2.    to search for something (such as food or supplies)


3.   food for horses or cattle; fodder; provender.

4.   a raid.


St. Louis boasts it has the number one zoo in the country. Therefore, on my recent visit to St. Louis,. I had to see for myself and I have to admit, it was pretty cool.

The day my husband and I went, the day was overcast and cool which was great for the animals. We went in late afternoon which was feeding time for many of them and that was a treat for us to watch them eat.

In the wild, most animals forage for their food but luckily, in the zoo, food is brought to the animals.




However, this doesn’t mean one cannot forage for one’s self.IMG_2163

We saw a couple of animal babies at the zoo.



And we saw some pretty goofy behaviors.



Some of the animals were just hanging out.



Others were restless.


Others were playing.



Some stood at attention.



And some just decided it was nap time.




Which is exactly what we were thinking too by the time we finished exploring. It was closing time and the animals were ready for their performances to be done for the day.

So, til the next time…

The End





So Much to See and Do in St. Lou (is)

[all photos in this blog are the property of Traci and Kevin Bold (copyrighted) except for the top image which is from dictionary.com]

confluence – noun

[kon-floo-uh ns]

  1.   a flowing together of two or more streams, rivers, or the like:
    the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
  2. their place of junction:
    St. Louis is at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
  3. a body of water formed by the flowing together of two or more streams, rivers, or the like.
  4. a coming together of people or things; concourse.
  5. a crowd or throng; assemblage. 

ninnyhammer – noun


  1.   a fool or simpleton; ninny.

foolish – adjective


  1.   having or showing a lack of good sense or judgment
  2.   lacking forethought or caution.
  3.   trifling, insignificant, or paltry.



Actually St. Louis is going to wait. Along with my husband, we discovered a cool little town across the Mississippi River and just north from St. Louis. This little town is dubbed, ‘One of the most haunted towns in America’. For good reason too.


Alton sits on the east side near the Great Rivers confluence of the Mississippi River, Missouri River and the Illinois River. With numerous floodings since the beginning of Alton’s birth, and the fires and of course Ellis Island by Melvin Price Lock and Dam No. 26 hauntings are bound to happen. This little island housed the hospital for confederate POW’s between 1863 and 1865 who contracted mainly smallpox but other diseases as well. Close to two hundred soldiers died there and were buried. Locals told us that they do not go to the Island at night because of the hauntings. This little island is now a park and is a sanctuary for many birds.IMG_1900

Behind the bridge to St. Louis is a small island, Ellis Island, to which I refer. This is where the original lock and dam 26 was built.

Besides numerous haunted buildings and such in Alton there are many quaint antique shops (one of which is haunted) , good food such as Fast Eddie’s Bon-Air20160311_125815 (Fast Eddie’s is for the 21 and over crowd, sorry kiddos) and so much history.

For more on the hauntings: http://www.visitalton.com/feature-stories/detail/36/haunted-alton


Let’s get back to history. When two rivers converge into one bigger river only a few miles apart (confluence), areas surrounding that can become big targets for flooding, being ports for merchant barges and then of course great habitat for fish and animals and birds. (Not to mention mosquitoes.)

The Mississippi and Missouri River have seen their fare share of natural disasters and the Illinois River has seen some as well, but in this area, when they all flood, catastrophe happens. The Lock and dam system from the North Mississippi River to just below Alton, Il was built to help the barges through to the upper part of the Mississippi River which is actually a shallower river. These dams were not built to control the flooding.

The Melvin Price Locks and Dam (No.26) has seen it’s share of flooding since being moved to its’ current location. There is a marker on the side of the cement elevator (which is still out of order) from the water level the river got to in 1993. In fact, today there is still a lot of wood caught up in the holding area of the dams that has been there since that flood. IMG_1903

This mess of wood is now home to numerous wildlife species. Now when I saw this, I immediately thought of all the crafting people out there who would love to have this wood but I believe to try to retrieve it at whim would be foolish as this is a highly protected government facility.

Recently in late 2015 15″ of rain fell so sand bags were filled and brought in feeling that another 1993 flood was going to happen but thankfully, it did not. IMG_1898


The dam is attached to the National Great Rivers Museum which gives so much information about this area as well as the lock and dam. You can tour the dam to a certain point but then to try to go further, you would be a ninnyhammer to do so however you can visit the museum and then mark it off of your National Museum Passport if you have one.



In one of the holding areas past the first lock is a perfect spot to spy a blue heron.


He knows where to fish for his dinner. The picture below is the area of the dam where this heron is. IMG_1901

Alton and the surrounding area have so much more to offer and to see and do but that is for another time.

Stay tuned for more about the fun St. Louis has to offer.