In this collection of miscellaneous essays and writings, the author reflects on the serenity of retirement living in the middle of his own private certified Forest Preserve and Wildlife Habitat in southeast Indiana, the inspiration it engenders to be creative, and the ability to focus his thinking. He finds it rewarding to share his perspective, but the selfish reason he writes is that it makes him a better person. When asked why he writes, Mr. Hough admits that writing helps keep his aging mind alert and head on straight. Sitting down in front of his laptop computer with a blank screen is challenging. He’s inspired to unlock novel ideas in his mind, research them, and develop compelling techniques to put them together in writing and encouraged to place the result on the Internet for colleagues and friends to contemplate. Writing is the author’s habit. Sometimes, he gets feedback; sometimes, he doesn’t. He knows the value of free speech is priceless, and being a disabled veteran, keeping that freedom alive is inestimable.Retiring at the end of 1998, James Emerson Hough ended more than thirty-five years in private practice of the applied earth sciences as both a licensed professional geologist and licensed professional engineer. He is the geotechnical engineer of record on more than 3,700 projects requiring terrain evaluations, subterranean investigations, foundation analysis for earth-supported architectural structures and for engineering structures, analyses, reports, special studies, failure studies, explorations, inspections, laboratory testing, construction monitoring, and forensic services. Mr. Hough, the author or coauthor of numerous published technical papers and several technical books, possesses substantial expertise regarding slope stability, landslides, and landslide correction.My mind is like a garden,My thoughts are like seeds,I can grow flowers or I can grow weeds,I need to water them.