Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day One Hundred Twenty...

All is well; there is nothing to fear! I know this may come as a shock to you, but everything is OK. It's worth reminding yourself that you've managed to come through everything that has ever happened in your life. You're the spearhead of evolution. Some people worry about death, but it's perfectly safe; organisms of one sort or another have been doing it for millions of years!
Fears, worries and anxieties only come when a person imagines unpleasant things in the past or the future. When you allow yourself to get into the present, you'll now realize that all is well; there is nothing to fear! Thanks to my friend Chad for sharing these thoughts with me (and now you). It was one of those 'Thanks, I needed that' moments.

Well, there was a lot more going on today than you may have expected (at least more than I expected). Property Management meeting this morning (scheduled for every Thursday morning, but sometimes there are schedule conflicts) and that was great. We really are lucky to have the staff that we have (both of them) and I am really lucky to have the business partner that I have. We have known each other for a really long time, and we are still talking to each other. That must be some kind of record. Today was my meals-on-wheels day, and that is always a joy. I only had six clients today, but most of them are really very nice people. I kid around with a lot of them, and we are all happy to see one another. After that I headed off to Lowe's for supplies, both for the office and for the house and this and that. Got back to the office and finished a load of paperwork, and headed out to get my car serviced at about 3:15 PM (my appointment was for 4 PM). 65K mile check up already. I put lots of miles on a car! I have been using the same service person for a long time, and she is the best. If you ever need your Toyota services, Sally is the one to do it for you!

I also stopped by the Collector's Market in Georgetown, where we will move in tomorrow, the first day of May. I just wanted to make sure they were ready for us, and all is good. It looks like a pretty large space now, but the owner says it won't seem so large once we start getting it stocked with our stuff. The the expandable space will be available on the 15th and that will be the end of it.

I got home and went out and fed the cattle, and I noticed that our neighbor had a new calf, but that I thought it looked a lot like a longhorn (they just have a different look to them), but all our cattle were accounted for, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. After I fed the cattle, I even went over to the fence to look and make sure it was on the neighbors side (Randy & Irene) and it was, with their cattle. I told Jody that Randy had another calf, and that I thought it was funny that I thought at first that it was one of ours. Anyway, after we had dinner, Randy called and said we had another calf on his side of the fence, and we talked about it for a while and sure enough it was one of our calf's, born today that had already escaped. Those darn calves! So here is the photo of the newest addition to the family. This will be the second calf that Daphne (the proud mama) has had since we have owned her. Congratulations all around!

Okay, that is enough for me for one day, I am exhausted! Go do a good deed for someone, and, by all means DON'T HAVE A COW, MAN!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day One Hundred Nineteen...

Today was kind of an up-and-down day...a little trauma here, a little trauma there...but all in all everything just worked out wonderfully. I got into the office at about 8:15 AM and got down to work. I had not been in the office since last week, so there was some catching up to do, but not as much as you would think. We are blessed to have two wonderful assistants in the office, River and Tom. For some reason, I am constantly calling River by the name of one of our former assistants, and that is not a good thing. The two of them are nothing at all alike, and I cannot figure this out. There must be some kind of deep rooted sub-conscious thing working that causes me to do that.

So, I got lots of stuff done in the office, and went off to run a few errands, and made some phone calls, and met with some folks in the office, and then I was off to the Board for the monthly Professional Development and Education Committee meeting. And I was running late, which is not like me at all. The luncheon before the meeting was nice, and the meeting was good (we always learn lots of stuff in these meetings) AND they area always dismissed on time...just like the Italian Railroads!

After the meeting, I got more errands accomplished on the way back to the office, and got more work done in the office, and left for home at about 4:15 PM. On the way home, I stopped at the Texas Store Fixture place on IH-35 and bought a few things for our new enterprise (which officially begins on Friday) AND I stopped at Tractor Supply in Georgetown to buy a new battery for the riding lawn mower that was left behind by the people we bought the farm from. I love tractor supply, and I always like stopping in there, but today I was on a mission, so I did not dilly-dally around, I just did what needed to be done and left.

When I got home, Jody was ready to go for dinner, and we went to another of my favorite places, LUBY'S! We have not been frequenting the Luby's in Georgetown as much as we would the one in Austin, because we find the folks there to just be kind of indifferent. The food is good and all, just everything about the place (the building, the interior and especially the staff) are just kind of blah...I really guess indifferent is about a good way to describe the experience. So, we have just decided to avoid it. Kind of the same with Chile's in Georgetown, nothing to be impressed about the place. We are threatening to try Applebee's again (we had a bad experience in an Applebee's about five or six years ago, but we are caving in to consider trying the one in Georgetown). We shall see...

So, when we got home from dinner, I put the battery in the lawn mower and I will be damned but the thing actually started. Who would have thunk that? I even cot a few swaths of grass with it. Okay, it started, but it needs a little bit of attention to it, so I may try calling Michael tomorrow and see if he wants to come and take a look at it.

We are expecting a few friends over on Saturday to help us do some yard work, so it would be nice if it were working well before that. Oh, and I am taking off on Friday to stock the new re-sale space, which I am really looking forward to. I hope it is going to be as much fun as I hope it will be. How is that for a double hope in one sentence?

Okay, I have had my pie, finished the blog, and it is about time for me to go to bed. Go and do something nice for someone, and make it something nice for yourself at the same time. Multi-tasking in the good deed department is perfectly okay. Just remember, HAVE FUN!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day One Hundred Eighteen...

It seems the nights are not really long enough, or maybe I just need to be less scheduled. Whichever one it is, I really think I would enjoy sleeping longer, but I wake up and cannot return to sleep, so I just get up and putz around until it is time to go to work, or in the case today, to another in a series of Leadership Training classes at the Board. After today, there will be four more classes, and then graduation. It is an interesting program, but it is a time consuming one, and I feel that I am ignoring other responsibilities to get this accomplished. I hope that is not going to be considered a bad attitude on my part, it is just taking up a lot of days to complete! I expect I will feel differently once I am in the class, or at least when the days class has been completed.

No rain overnight, and the winds have calmed down to just about nothing. As expected, the wind turbines are to be installed next week, so I assume there will never be another windy day in this area of Texas. I assume that I will have been completely responsible for killing the breezes in this part of Central Texas, just by installing a renewable energy system out in the pasture. It is true, mankind does have the ability to change the climate, do not believe the naysayers! BUT, we are still hoping for more rain later today and throughout the rest of the week. CORRECTION: I checked the rain gauge this morning, and we have a total of 2.25 inches in the gauge, not 2.5 mistake!

Getting to the Board today sucked...traffic sucked...did I mention the traffic SUCKING part? I was actually 5 minutes late, and by the time I walked into the class, I was just a little bit crabby. Everything worked out alright though, and after I took a few deep breaths, it was all good. Interestingly, the lunch sponsor did not show up, so the CEO of the Board took us all to a very nice restaurant that just opened up in the area, so close to the Board office in fact, that we all walked to the place. The Roaring Fork (this makes two in Austin now) was very good, the service was great, and we all really enjoyed it. We went to the one by Stone Lake, around Braker and MoPac, not the one downtown. Thanks very much David, it was very much appreciated by all the members of the class, and it was actually a very nice bonding experience.And I highly recommend the restaurant. I had the chicken enchiladas, and I have already told Jody I would like to take him there some day for lunch. It was very nice, and they did a great job on a short notice.

We got a bit more rain today, and there is rain in the forecast for all of the next seven days. Just because it is in the forecast, however, does not necessarily mean there will be rain. But, we can always hope for the best. Many of the tanks in the area have water in them now, and this morning I saw a couple cattle on little islands in their tanks, and that was kind of interesting. Anyway, we will always take the rain...I know, be careful what you wish for!

So, now it is up to you...go do your good deed for the day, and make someone happy with your random act of kindness. You will be glad you did, and it will make you feel good about yourself. Oh, and by all means, HAVE FUN!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day One Hundred Seventeen...

It was a dark and stormy night...okay it was mostly dark, but there was a LOT of lightning and thunder, and it was pretty wet at some point overnight. AND the dog is afraid of thunder, and so he was barking and so I just gave up and got myself out of bed about 4:45 AM. When I went out to get the newspaper, it was not raining (just kind of a dribble of rain at that point) but there was almost 2" of rain in the gauge and I think that is pretty darn good. When I got home this afternoon, there was a little bit more rain (Jody said it had been a pretty steady drizzle all day long) and we are up to about 2.5". That is pretty darn good, and again, we will take whatever we can get. There is a chance of more rain tomorrow, then it tapers off, but there is another good chance of rain beginning next Sunday. Stay tuned...

I was off to the Board this morning, and I left a little bit earlier than I normally would, but there were no real traffic issues. It is another two days of the Leadership Training program, and today's class was about spokesperson training, and it was a very interesting class. All about how to react to questions and interviews, whether it will be via print or broadcast media, and lots of good little tips. We were also video taped for much of the class, and that was interesting. As an instructor, I did not think I would be particularly nervous doing that, but as it turned out, I was indeed nervous, but I will survive it. Many of the concepts of the training today are things I teach REALTORS during my classes, and so that will be something for me to incorporate if I am ever called upon to give interviews or respond to questions from the media about real estate and REALTOR issues. Again, all things considered, a very good class and I enjoyed it very much. Tomorrows topic is negotiations, and that should be interesting as well.

There was lots of thunder in the area during the classes, and lots of wet weather all around us. Coming home was pretty okay, again, the Board is ten miles closer to home than my normal commute, so that was good. After I exited the Interstate, I took a bit of a different route home, one that takes me over a low water crossing. I passed a sign that said "water over road" and had no intentions of crossing it if it was really bad, I just wanted to see how high the water was, and to take a photo. So, it may have been worse earlier in the day, but by the time I got there, it was just a bit over the road, and not a danger, so I took the photo and crossed, and lived to write about it as well!

I am looking forward to sleeping a little bit better tonight, and maybe tomorrow I will be able to determine if the battery charging on the riding mower was successful or not. A friend of ours (Rick) has graciously offered to come out this weekend and help us with some of the landscaping, so we are going to accept his offer, and hopefully we will get a lot of work done around the house this weekend. THANKS RICK!

Okay, go be a good and contributing member to society, MAKE NO JOKES ABOUT SWINE FLU, and do something nice for someone. You will be glad you did, and it will just be another star in your crown. HAVE FUN!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day One Hundred Sixteen...

Well, after a good nights sleep (almost nine hours) I got up this morning and got lots of stuff done. I get the cattle fed, and brought some boxes from the feed storage building up into the garage (we are readying ourselves for stocking our consignment space this Friday, the first) and unloaded them. Jody fixed blueberry pancakes for breakfast (I recommend you always eat the last cakes to be made, because all the blueberries sink to the bottom of the mix). After breakfast, we both putzed around for a while, and then we went out to the front shed and got several boxes from there and put them into the garage to take to the re-sale place on Friday. This week I need to buy a couple sets of shelves, some pricing stuff, some plate holders and a couple mannequin forms (just the heads and necks) for the space. Luckily we will only be getting half of the space on the first, and the other half on the fifteenth. It will be fun once it is all set up, and all we have to do is to keep it stocked. We have enough crap to stock it for a year or two non-stop.

After that, I went out into the yard and got the lawnmower started and cut about half of the front yard. Just after we both decided it was time to sit-a-spell, we heard a car (truck actually) pull up into the driveway, and our friend Tonya (who along with husband Jody and son Patrick raise Longhorns) was here having been to Grand Prairie for the weekend. When they were all here several weeks ago, Tonya had left her camera, and I have had it in the back of my car the whole time. Anyway, we had a nice visit and talked bout all sorts of things, from cattle to horse racing to thorn less cactus to humming birds to grasshoppers killing rose bushes and crepe myrtle trees. It was a fun visit, and we were happy to see her.

Back to the grass cutting. As I said, I got about half the front yard cut, and decided to see if I could get the riding lawn mower started that the folks that lived here before left us (as a gift I am sure). Well, it would not start, which I was not surprised about, but I think it probably will without too much effort. We have the battery charger on it right now, and then I will need to put some air in the tires, and I expect it will be working in the next day or so. If not, I am planning to ask our other neighbor (Michael and Hubert) if they can get it running. I am pretty confident that they can fix most things, and I think they share that confidence. Anyway, the yard around the house alone is about two acres, so the need for the riding mower has become evident. I will cut the big areas with the tractor and the bush hog that came with it.

In between chores, Jody and I watched a really cute movie called Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and I recommend it highly. Maybe that is not the exact title, but it is something like that. It is set in the 40's and the music is really wonderful.

So, we are about to have dinner, and I am about to begin getting things ready for another two days of class tomorrow at the Board. It is supposed to begin to rain this evening and we have decent chances of rain throughout the week. By the end of a week of clouds and rain, we should all be ready for some sunshine.

Still nothing on the little black cat, and we figure she is gone. The house is very quiet and still, every time either one of us sees a shadow, we thing it is her. The dog and the Queen Cat are saddened as well, even though the Queen Cat would never admit is.

Have a good rest of your day, and remember to do a good deed for yourself or someone else. It will make you a better person, and that will make the world a better place. And above all, HAVE FUN!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day One Hundred Fifteen...

It is now 3:30 AM (OMG) and I am up and about to have my cup of coffee. I have to leave here in about an hour to get to the site of the TENTH ANNUAL HILL COUNTRY RIDE FOR AIDS. The ride begins and ends in Spicewood, Texas, and I guess there will be about 600 riders, and combine that with all the crew, volunteers and supporters, there will probably be at least 900 people there. I still have not decided how far I am going to ride, and it does not really matter at this point. I raised almost $2,000 towards my goal of $2,500, and I was a sponsor for the ride, so that is really the important thing. This is not about me or about riding any particular distance, it is about supporting those people in our community that are afflicted with a disease that robs them of their ability to do for themselves. The ride benefits several AIDS support services in and around Austin, and that is the important thing.

I am also feeling kind of sad this morning. Our little black cat (The Princess Kitty) has gone missing. She went outside yesterday morning before I left for work and has not been seen since. She was always kind of an adventurer, but we fear that something got her. Whatever it was, it was really quick, because she went out and that was trace of her. I keep expecting her to pop up, and every time I see a shadow, I think it is her. I am sure I (we) will continue to search for a while, and I hope she shows back up, but I do not think it is a very good sign. She was a really sweet kitty, and I am sad.

Okay, here is the actual-factual. Last year before we (out of the blue) decided to buy this house, I had begun training for the Hill Country Ride for AIDS. Well, then life happened, and along the way, I did something to my knee and 'it just ain't right'. Well, to make a long story short, I decided to do the 'short ride' this morning (not that much different than the 'short bus' if you know what I mean. So, I was just a riding along, and really enjoying the ride, and kind of amazed that I was not having any knee issues. That did not really last too long, so I am glad that I did the short ride. The point is that I raised a combined total of over $9,400 for the ride (my sponsorship and the monies folks donated in my name), and that is really the important thing. Even though I did a short ride, I thought of many of my friends that are no longer here because of AIDS. Chuck, Kirk, Tony, Larry, Abel, my brother Robb, Gregorio, Ronnie...the list goes on-and-on. So it was also a day of remembrance and ponderance for me as well. I remember when I started writing names in my address book so I could erase them when/if they passed. It was a crazy time, and it is not really that much better now. AIDS has become more of a chronic disease and not so much of a death sentence. So, next year, if you get the call from me, dig into your pockets and cough up some cash. And don't worry, I will do the same for you, and I WILL support your cause.

I saw lots of old friends today as well. My first real bike ride was in 1988, and I have done dozens of different rides since then, and I love to ride. What I don't have is the time to train. It takes a lot of time, and I just have other priorities in my life right now (Jody). So, that is why I am not as actively riding as I used to.

I hope you all have had a lovely day, and that you have someone special that you truly love, and that truly loves you in return, with no questions asked. We are all special people, and we need to remember that.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day One Hundred Fourteen...

I am becoming a little bit anxious about the Hill Country Ride for AIDS tomorrow. I have not trained this year, and I have been plagued with a knee problem for the last several months. Okay, I am a guy, there is no need to seek medical attention until the leg actually falls off at the knee or it starts to discolor. So, I have just been gimping around for a long time, some days are better than others, but I have done what needed to be done at the time. Anyway, I still think I can make it and that will be it for another year. Just getting to the ride location will take a couple hours, then several hours for the ride, and then a couple hours hanging out post ride, and then a couple hours to get home. So I figure that will take up most of the Saturday. What do you think? If I leave the house tomorrow about 4:30 AM, that will get me there and back by about 7:00 PM. Hmmm...

I got a good bit of work done in the office today, and had lunch with my friend (and agent) Chad. He has been in classes most of the week, so he is in education overload. Another friend (and a former agent of ours) Heather texted (Is that a word? Spell chack does not recognize it.) me about the ride tomorrow. She is doing the ride as well, in fact I sold her my old bike, which of course now I wish I had kept. I tried to buy it back from her for half of what I sold it to her for, but she would have none of it. Go figure!

It looks like I will be number twelve in the ride tomorrow, and I think it will be a lot of fun. I saw one of my clients this morning (Geoffrey) and he is doing the ride as well. I may be surprised at the number of people I know who are doing the ride.

Chad and his partner Richard are coming out to borrow the trailer this evening, so we are all going to the Walburg German Restaurant for dinner. They had real problems on MoPac (Loop 1) on the way out here, something about people going backwards. At one point Chad called and I could hear horns honking and Richard screaming, so I am quite certain it was a delightful ride out from Austin. I luckily missed all of that, and now Chad is texting at every turn in the road. They are going to hook the trailer up to their truck first, and then we will all go to dinner. I wonder if the Polka band (the Walburg Boys) will be playing tonight?

Okay that is it for this entry. If you want to do something nice for someone else, you might consider making a small charitable contribution to an AIDS charity in your area. There are many people living with the disease, and a small contribution will help someone more than you can imagine. You will feel much better knowing you have done something worthwhile for someone less fortunate than yourself.

AND...Have fun!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirteen...

Today is our office assistants second anniversary with the company, and we are so happy that he is working with us. His name is Tom and he is a wonderful person, and a very competent assistant. Time flies when you are having fun! We went out to lunch at ZAX (it was very good, but the waiter was somewhat lacking in the social graces). So, at lunch it was me, my business partner Carrie, our assistant Tom and our administrative assistant River. Here are some photos, the first is Tom, Carrie and me, and the second is River and Tom. A fun lunch was had by all!

The weather cooled down a bit overnight, and that was nice. I like being able to sleep with the windows open. I did get up at about 4 AM and close the windows, and got back into bed and slept for about another hour. We had record high temperatures here yesterday at about 94 degrees. Today (although not a record breaker) it is supposed to be unseasonably warn in the mid-80's. Right now it is about 82 degrees in the shade, and there is a good breeze blowing. A really nice spring day in Central Texas.

I went to the conclusion of my clients (Chad and Emily) inspection and everything went pretty well, nothing drastic, but there are some issues to be corrected by the Seller's. There was a hail storm here several weeks ago, so the roof of the property will need to be assessed by the Seller's insurance company, and there are some other issues that will need to be taken care of, but I hope there will be no deal breakers. This, again, is the fun part for me, because I have no emotional interest in the property, just wanting to see that my folks are getting the best information and the best deal they can get. It was also great because a past client and friend of theirs was at the inspection (Scott) and I really enjoyed talking with him. He looks great, has a great attitude about life, is soon to be a first time father, and all is going really well in his world. I was happy to see him, and he made the whole day brighter!

I think it is about time to head home. I need to stop off a couple places on the way and get some errands done, so even though it is early I will not be home particularly early. I wonder what traffic will be like this afternoon?

I made it home without too many that I have been home for a couple hours, I really cannot remember any issues on the drive home. I stopped at four places on the way home, and got several small errands completed, the most important of them all was getting a floating thermometer (stuck to the bottom of a rubber duckie) for the pool and a pair of goggles because, of course, Jacques Cous-Farmer will be needing a pair of goggles for his underwater explorations to be conducted in the pool! Whatever...

After I get home, Jody and I went out and fed the cattle, and they are covered with flies, so I am going to have to do something about that, I am just not too sure what the solution will be, although I think there is a solution I can spray on them to lessen that affliction. I will investigate.

We went to Chile's in Georgetown for dinner tonight, and I really was not all that hungry after the big lunch, BUT I have been really thirsty...something at lunch must have been extra salty. Anyway, on the way home we went down a new road that we had not travelled before, although we knew where it went according to the map. So, we are jut going down this road and we met a friend of our (Michael) in his truck coming the opposite direction. Of course we did what you do in the country, we both parked, he turned off his truck (were in the Prius, so turns itself off) and we sat there in the middle of the road and talked for 10 or 15 minutes. THAT is what I love about living in the country. We used to do the same hing when I lived in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, only we all had coolers in the trunk and sat along the side of the road and got drunk. I kind of like this way better.

Tomorrow should be a good day. I have a 9 AM meeting with an owner at his property to do a walk-through, and then I have some office stuff to do, and then tomorrow afternoon I will go and register for the Hill Country Ride for AIDS ( that will be on Saturday. If you don't hear anything from me after tomorrow's post, that is why! I may be dead from finishing the ride (and I have not trained AT ALL this year). The ride is only about 40 miles, so I should be able to do it without too much trouble (he said somewhat convincingly).

So, this is the part where I ask you to go and do a good deed, so in case you do not remember the drill, take a look at yesterdays entry...or the day before...or the day before.

Have fun!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day One Hundred Twelve...

This is what greeted me this morning as I was venturing out to retrieve the newspaper. A beautiful crescent moon and (I believe) the planet Venus in the eastern sky. I doubt that the photograph in this post is all that magnificent, but the subjects are (combined) several million miles away, and the camera cost less than a hundred dollars. So taking those facts into consideration, I think it is a pretty good camera. And, even though the weather prognosticators this morning said that "visibility is about 15 miles" I saw much further than that. Go figure...

So, I wonder what the day will bring? It is always a mystery, because even though I generally have an idea about what will lie ahead, things tend to change drastically and schedules that are all comfortably planned sometimes get a bit chaotic! My day is relatively open, and I have lots of office things to get finished, but one never knows, does one?

Our neighbor (Randy) used to own a plane, and still has a landing strip on his property. As Jody and I were sitting out by the pool last night, a small plane took off from his place, and meandered around the area for a few minutes before heading off to parts unknown. It was interesting, but my camera was inside, so there is not evidence of the event, you will just have to take my word for it. You never know what will happen out here on the edge of nowhere.

In honor of Earth Day today, I drove the farm truck into the office...I had not appointments scheduled, and I need the car to be serviced, and they are a little bit finicky about going over the suggested mileage indicators between services. So, every now and then, I have to figure out when I can get the car serviced, and sometimes that means I have to conserve mileage on the car for a couple day. Hopefully, I will be able to get it serviced late next week, which will mean a few more days of driving the truck into the office. The things we do to make sure our vehicles are properly maintained AND that we keep the warranties in effect.

Tomorrow, I have an inspection in the morning, which will mean that I cannot drive my Meals-On-Wheels route. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) work sometimes gets in the way of my charitable commitments. I love delivering for Meals-On-Wheels, but I also enjoy eating and paying the bills, so...

It is time to go outside and enjoy the evening by the pool; water the container plants, sit and talk with Jody, enjoy the evening and stick my foot in the pool to check to see how much warmer the water became today. AND, I will think about opportunities that may exist to do nice things for others. What nice deed have you done recently, that was of no real benefit to yourself, other than the goodness that it provided your heart? Think about it, and see what kindness you can bestow on someone else, for no selfish reason, other than it will be a nice thing to do. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day One Hundred Eleven...

I do not know about you, but this truck looks perfectly fine to me. The only thing about it that could be considered unusual is that it is at a complete stop in the middle lane of traffic on IH-35 (southbound of course) at about 7:30 AM on an otherwise very fine Tuesday morning. The police cars (with flashing lights for that disco effect) and the motorcycle cops (ditto on the flashing lights) give it that feeling that one should pay attention, as if anyone trying to get into the city could ignore this behemoth in the middle of the road. No blood, no guts, and obviously no glory, just stopped there, for all to see. Kind of like a beached whale, waiting to be carted off to the morgue, bit by stinky bit!

A couple interesting things have happened since I posted last night: First, while we were having dinner, we saw two squirrels up at the front of the property where there is a little grove of old trees. I know this may not sound earth shattering to you all, but this is farm and pasture land, relatively devoid of trees (no trees around that are nut producing), and we have been here since October, and they are the first squirrels we have seen around here, PERIOD. There were two of them, having a big old time running up and down the trees just like squirrels do. SO that is a good thing. Second, the little boy calf (Orchid's Square Dude) made a break for it. Jody and I were sitting out by the pool, and I had just finished watering container plants, and our neighbor (Randy) called to say the calf was in his pasture, and we needed to go and try to round him up. He had made a break for it (just curious, the grass is always greener scenario) probably an hour or so earlier, and he was not too hungry yet, and his mom (Orchid) may not have even known he was out of the pasture. Well, I had absolutely no confidence that we would be able to corral him back into our pasture, but after about 20 minutes of coercing, he kind of made a really ungraceful leap through the barbed wire and was back with his mom. All the cattle in our pasture were very interested in this development, and had to gather around to see what all the commotion was about. A relatively good time was had by all. Thanks for the notice Randy, and thanks for all your help in getting the little booger back to where he belongs!

Today will be a busy day...I have about four appointments on the books and three of them are outside the office. Starting at 9:30 AM, I should not get back to the office until about 2:00 PM, and should be finished with everything by about 4:00 PM. We will see how this all works out.

Just as I suspected, the day was a busy one, and tomorrow will most likely be devoted to office work. There are lots of details to be attended to, and I enjoy a good day in the office every now and then. Suddenly we are in the middle of a heat wave as well. Spring is on a break right now, the temperatures were in the mid-90's this afternoon, and that kind of took me by surprise. BUT, the worst day you can imagine in the Austin area, is better than the best day in many other places.

Do you best to be a good citizen tomorrow, it is earth day. Oh, and today is San Jacinto day in Texas. Look it up. But really folks, do something kind for the earth tomorrow, maybe install a compact fluorescent light bulb (or better yet a LED light) in the place of an incandescent. If you do that enough, you should see some real improvements in your energy bills. Be kind to mother earth, and she will still be around for all your descendants. Have fun!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day One Hundred Ten...

Yesterday I failed to mention that the wind turbine folks were back to finish up (clean up) what they had started (and almost completed) last week. It was just one man, and he called while I was out showing property (or maybe getting my hair cut) and said he was on his way from Dallas. He arrived as Jody and I were feeding cattle and left at about 5:45 PM, just in time for us to go out for catfish. Today, I will need to make a call to the company in Dallas to make sure everything is on track with Bartlett Electric Co-op for the pending installation of the turbines. I am hopeful they will be installed during the week of May 4th. Time will tell...

I have been down this road once this year (coming from the other direction) and had never noticed the sign as you turn off FM 972 onto CR 318. That is until Saturday afternoon when a couple of REALLY MUDDY big boy type pick-up trucks were being detained by a Sheriff's officer (and one of them was trying to pull the other one out of the muck. It will be a while before this road is navigible by ordinary vehicles, and I wonder what the consequences will be for the offending off-roaders? I wonder if there is a law that says you shall not tera up county roads with your giant trucks? That is another questions that we will just have to wait on the answer to.

The day turned out to be a very good one, I got a tremendous amount of work done in the office (I used a 'to-do' list and I have been doing that for years) and lots of the items got chacked off (actually, they got highlighted off). It is a true sense of accomplishment to look at the list and see the progress being made. My clients (Chad and Emily) got their contract accepted on their home purchase, and they are excited about that. The first-time-homebuyers incentives will work in their favor as well. This is a perfect time for homebuyers, all the stars and planets are aligned in the heavens!

I also had the pleasure of visiting a $1.5M home high above Austin that the owners are considering leasing and having us manage. It was a wonderful way to spend an hour or so on a beautiful day, about 75 degrees and clear as a bell. This is the kind of weather that only the Chamber of Commerce can make, and they need to capitalize on it (if only they could).

So, that was my day today, I am sure I forgot something really exciting that happened, and I will tell you about it tomorrow. For now, give some thought to doing something wonderful for someone that mys just be a little bit less fortunate than yourself. It does not have to be anything big, and certainly does not need to be anything of a monetary nature...just a kind word or a good deed or a hand with carrying the groceries into the house. Just any little something to let another member of the species know that you care. That's all. Have fun!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day One Hundred Nine...

...traffic on the westbound cattle path of the JB Acre Farm came to a virtual standstill today as Farmer Bill moved the feeding troughs from the east pasture to the west pasture, and access was blocked for traffic in both directions by the gate on both ends of the barn. One cow was said to comment that she was planning to move with her calf to another area of the farm but was foiled in her attempt by "that big oafish bull, Mr. Speckles! He is always up in front!" Traffic resumed its normal pace soon after the troughs were secured in the west pasture, and Farmer Bill once again opened the gate. Traffic in all directions quickly returned to normal, and there were no casualties reported. Stay tuned to KCOW for updates.

One of the big stories I failed to mention to you yesterday was the rain...I know I told you there was a lot of rain, BUT, in total, we received over 3" of rain in the last two days! Yippee-Skippee! There is water in tanks that we have never had water in since we moved here. This place is a land of constant discovery, and I just love it.

I will be getting out shortly to go show some homes to buyers, and that is always fun, and it will be more so today because it promises to be a gorgeous day. Once I get back from that, I am going to start rummaging through stuff to put in the consignment shop. I will also have to start looking up pricing information on the Internet, so that will be a bit time consuming, but it will be fun!

Okay, the day is coming to an end, and it has been a beautiful day, all things considered. My clients made an offer on a property, and it has already been countered, and we shall see tomorrow whether or not the two sides can come to terms. This is the part of the process I really like, the negotiations. I like the negotiating, it is really fun!

I actually did get my haircut this afternoon, AND I reserved the extra space in the re-sale shop. That too is going to be fun. Jody and I went out and fed the cattle and we got several boxes of stuff out of the shed where the cattle feed is, to get it started to put in the vendor space. I have since been busy looking up prices on the Internet (God Bless EBay). We went to Catfish Parlour for dinner tonight (all this time I thought it was Catfish Cabin, but I was wrong). A very good dinner was had by all.

Tomorrow is another day, but try not to let this one pass by without having done something nice for someone. It is really not that hard to do, and you will feel good about yourself, and the person you have done a kindness for will be really appreciative. Have fun!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day One Hundred Eight...

Okay, I don't think there was too much rain overnight, but since I got home yesterday afternoon, we have had about another quarter-inch. I left for the office this morning about 7 AM and it rained pretty heavily at times, and so I expect we will have a good day of rain, mainly because I am going to be showing properties beginning at 10 AM, and that is always a joy to do (in the rain). Oh well, that is what I do to make a living, and I enjoy doing it! We are going to try and see ten homes today, and we will see how far we get into the process!

As I was driving to the first house on the tour, the skies cleared of rain, but it was still cloudy. I will take whatever I can get! We made it through the ten homes and all is well, I have an appointment tomorrow to show them one home again that they really liked. It is interesting that people are hesitant to make an offer on a home that they have seen on the first day they are shopping. It has happened before, and it will happen again, but if you find a home you like, you may as well make an offer and go for it. Anyway, they are really nice people, and it is important that they feel comfortable in the process. They will find the home that is best for them, and they will make an offer when the time is right.

On my way home, I was coming down one of the small roads, and there was this helicopter just buzzing around, very close to the ground, like it was looking for something. If this had been in Austin, I would have assumed it was a police copter looking for a bad guy, but this guy was covering too much territory, and not really concentrating on any one particular spot. Oh well, I got a couple photos, and then I got bored and went on home.

Jody and I went into Killeen this afternoon and bought two display cabinets that are very nice indeed, so we are on the road to resellers! It will be a lot of fun, I think, and we have both done that in the past, me in the re-sale business and Jody was more of a new merchandise retailer. It will be a good thing for both of us. The woman that owns the shop allowed us to take the cabinets directly to the store, so I did not have to unload, then reload and unload again. That in itself is a tremendous help.

Dinner tonight was stuffed salmon, and tomorrow we are going to try for catfish again. I need to get an early start in the morning and move the cattle to the other pasture, I am already two days late, but it is wet and muddy out there, so I have put it off for a couple days.

Go do something nice for someone, and maybe you could put a little something extra in the collection plate tomorrow. Have fun!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day One Hundred Seven...

Okay, it was another day of Leadership Training, and today we left the Board of REALTORS and traveled to the Texas Association of REALTORS for more Governmental Affairs training. Two weeks from Monday, we will have a day of Spokesperson Training and a day devoted to negotiations. Interesting information, and information that is very enlightening to all the members of the program. Today's photo is of Susie and me during lunch at the Texas Association of REALTORS, in front of a computer wall-paper that I thought would look like we were in a spring time meadow. So much for what I was thinking! AND I think I really need a haircut!

When I went outside to get the newspaper this morning, it had not yet begun to raid, but before I made it back into the house, it was raining. Interesting. It rained off-and-on driving into the city, but really did not rain hard at all in Austin. When I got home, I discovered there was almost 2 1/4 inches of rain in the rain gauge. That is wonderful, and it has rained more since I have been home. It is also supposed to rain overnight and into the morning. Yippee-Skippee. The only problem with that is, we have discovered that the dog is afraid of thunder and lightning, so if it gets really bad, I will sleep on the futon in Jody's study and let the dog sleep in that room with me. No reason for the dog to be terrified!

I am pretty much prepared to show a bunch of property tomorrow to clients, there are ten properties on the tour, and we are supposed to have bad weather, and I am not sure how far along we will get. But we are going to make a valiant effort, and hopefully they will find their perfect home, and we will be able to write a contract offer soon. The first-time home buyers program will really be a help to buyers, and our real estate business is really picking up in the Austin area. Yay for all of us!

We are having chicken pot pies for dinner tonight, yummy. So, I will be cutting this off shortly. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we are definitely doing the vendor space in the little shop in Georgetown, and we will start that on May First (MAY DAY). So, for the next several days, we will be going through stuff to see what we will use to stock the space originally, and we have plenty of stuff to keep it stocked up, if we actually make any sales. AND there is a yard sale advertised in the neighborhood, so I may just have to stop on my way in to Austin in the morning. Oh, for crying out loud!

Okay, do something nice for someone, and maybe you could even contact a real estate professional and put in a contract on a house! I know that would really be appreciated by a lot of people! If you can't really go that far in your good deed actions, just be extra nice to someone, and try to do a good thing for someone who could really use the help. Have fun!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day One Hundred Six...

Well, today started out EARLY and was pretty much a full day. I had to go into the office before I went to the Board of REALTORS for another day of Leadership Training. I got to the office at 7 AM (which means I left the house before 6AM, which means I got up before 4AM, just in case you were wondering) and got some work done, and picked up my book for the class. We originally did not need to bring the books for this days session, but at the last minute (or three days ago) the schedule changed, and we needed the book. So... Anyway, I got everything done and got to the Board with time to spare, which is just the way I like it. It was an enjoyable day, and we were concerned with Governmental Affairs in this session, and it was very interesting. A good learning experience overall. Today's photo is of me and two of my colleagues in the class (names withheld to protect the innocent, AND I did not ask their permission to post their photos in this entry).

After the class, I headed home, and traffic was pretty reasonable (the Board is ten miles closer to home than my office). I was trying to get home quickly, because we are expecting rain, and I wanted to get the cows fed before the rain started. It turns out I had nothing to worry about, they are now saying the rain will net really begin until tomorrow (most likely during my drive into Austin BUT DEFINITELY it will be raining vigorously on my drive home!). Whatever...

So, that is about it for now...for today. I am just really happy to be home, happy to live in the country, and happy to know what a lucky person I am. I AM A VERY LUCKY PERSON, and I know it.

Now, go do something unexpectedly nice for someone, and feel good about it. Have fun!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day One Hundred Five...

<-- It was a beautiful sunrise in the country this morning!

Well, the way I understood it was supposed to happen, the men (four of them) who were here to construct the foundations for the wind turbines were to complete their phase of the work, have me sign a form that said the work was completed, and then I was supposed to pay them for that phase of the construction. At 9:45 PM last night, I went outside and asked one of them how much longer they would be working, and they said they had about 45 minutes more to do. At 10:30 PM, I went outside again, and they were all gone. Vanished into the darkness as it were. They did not say they were leaving, that the were finished, NOTHING. They were just gone. I did not sign anything, I did not pay them for the work. I guess I will find out today what will happen about their payment. Life is interesting if nothing else.

On my way into the office this morning, I will stop in Georgetown and have some blood drawn for my semi-annual check up. I stopped by my doctors office yesterday in Austin to get the paperwork, and so I am fasting this morning before that. I am such a creature of habit, that I am not sure if I can make it without my raisin-cinnamon bagel. I probably can without too much grief, but it may be a little bit difficult. I am feeling faint already! (Later the same day) Well, everything was fine, and I did not faint from a lack of food, I even waited until lunch for anything to eat.

I had a couple appointments this morning, and one this afternoon, and now I am home, still working (albeit remotely) and that is a very good thing. I am (and so are lots of other people) delighted that our business is picking up, and it is almost like the flood gates have opened, and everyone is trying to quench their pent-up desires for property. Darn, too bad Oh well..

So, have a nice evening, hope that we all get some rain (as they are predicting) over the next couple of days. Do something nice for someone, and be kind to yourself as well. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day One Hundred Four...

I find it rather incredible that I have (so far) completed an entry every day of this year, and we are now on Day 104. Time is flying when you are having fun, and I am obviously enjoying this. Sometimes there are no photos for the day until the last minute (and I expect you are all a little tired of cow photos), but it seems I am never at a loss for words. Words I got!

I need to be in the office somewhat early again this morning, and get statements and payments approved for our owners. I also have two appointments, one to assess a property for a leasing/property management deal and the other to show property for sale. AND I will need to be home before 5 PM this afternoon to assess the work that has been completed for the wind turbine foundations and pay them. On the way home, I want to stop at a place in Georgetown that we are considering for our consignment goods place. The rent there is considerably more expensive (as is the fee they charge per sale, etc.) but they are open seven days a week. I am not sure there is a real benefit to being open seven days a week in this business, but you never know. We will need to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision if we decide to go forward on this endeavor.

Okay, so the construction guys are still here (8:13 PM) and I am not sure if they will get finished tonight or not. But, when I got home this afternoon, the concrete truck was here, and the head-man was complaining that the concrete delivery was 2 1/2 hours seems someone has had a case of instant karma...but I did not say anything about it. I guess they will get it completed eventually, and the longer I stay out of their way, the better (and faster) this will all be completed and we will have a much smaller carbon footprint.

Jody and I went to look at consignment space later this afternoon, and we decided on a 91 square foot space in Georgetown, and if we need more space later, it can probably be arranged. So, I will take a look at the lease tomorrow and we will most likely start being vendors on the first of May. We need another hobby, we don't already have enough stuff to do. So, this will be a fun thing, and hopefully, we can get rid of some of our stuff, and have an adventure while we are doing it. We shall see...

Okay, so I hope you have all been practicing your good-deeds-manship. You should all be pretty good at it! So, you know the drill by now, and so enjoy yourself, and have fun doing it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day One Hundred Three...

Well, yesterday was Easter Sunday, and when we headed out for dinner, we decided to go to the Catfish Cabin instead of Chili's. They were closed. Then we decided to go into Georgetown and try the Monument Cafe. They were closed. Then we made a tour of the Square in Georgetown (scoping out other possible shop for our consigned space to sell our stuff) and EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED. Then we decided to try the big shopping center, and go to Sour 'R Salads and they were closed. We ended up at a place at the shopping center (I can't even think of the name) that was open, and the food and the service was nothing more than adequate. So, I guess we won't be going back there any time soon. On the way home, we passed by Chili's, and they WERE OPEN, and doing a big business. Funny, if we had gone there to start with...

My goal is to get into the office early this morning and get what needs to be done finished. I have a lunch meeting at the Board of REALTORS and then I am planning to come home to watch the folks put in the pads for the wind turbines. That is the plan, anyway. I also need to stop at the county tax appraisal office and file some paperwork for our Homestead exemption status. That should not take more than a few minutes. We shall see...

In the 'Why Do I Even Try' department...this is what I was up against on the way into the office this morning...and this is not even the whole truck! I guess only this part of the truck flipped on its' side, and maybe the tractor part stayed upright and drove away, but it was no where in sight. AND how do you push the trailer part of an 18-wheeler off the highway and onto the grassy shoulder of the Interstate? The mind boggles!

Okay, the wind turbine folks got here a little after 5 PM (it is now just about 8:30 PM) and they are just now leaving. They should be back tomorrow morning, and get everything completed around 5 PM tomorrow afternoon. So, so far they have dug two 6' by 6' holes, three feet deep, and dug trenches from where each of the turbines will be to the house. They will set these really big screws into the concrete and that ought to hold up the masts for the turbines. These screw things are about 42" long, and will be set into the concrete so about 6" of thread will be exposed. It is (hopefully) going to be an amazing adventure. Again, we shall see...

So, you should know how this entry is going to end, so just go do something nice for someone, and just tell them I sent you. Have fun!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day One Hundred Two...

<- The little bull calf, 'Dude' might be more appropriately named 'Wrong Way' since he is always pointing the opposite way of the other cattle at feeding time!

It finally started to rain this morning about 5:30 I got up, dressed and RAN to the mailbox to pick up the paper assuming it would be raining most of the day, and that the rain would get stronger. I am not much of a runner, and I wonder what that looked like? Anyway, I got the paper, but so far we have only had intermittent showers, no prolonged or really heavy rainfall so far. I will be keeping my fingers crossed. What I would really like is a long steady rain that would last most of the day. That would really do some good around here.

As it ended up, we got about a half-inch of rain, and that was really not worth all the trouble and the dire forecasts by the weather prognosticators. Buy, we will take what we can get. Hopefully there will be more later in the week.

I actually spent about six hours in the home office, and got all of last years receipts filed int heir proper place, and have everything ready to deliver to Claud (via e-mail) tomorrow, so he can process my income tax extension. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling that I am going to need to pay, but that is a good problem to have. If you are paying income taxes it means you are making money. So be it.

Jody and I went out and fed the cattle and put out another bale of hay. I am now down to three bales of hay, so I guess I will be getting some more hay from somewhere sometime soon. I have probably enough hay to last me two months, but I hate waiting til the last minute. I like to plan ahead, and not be left in a panic mode.

It has started to get windy here again, and that is kind of a surprise. We were not expecting that, but it seems this area is always windy. They are supposed to put in the foundations for the wind energy turbines tomorrow, so that will be kind of exciting. I will not be here to watch it all happen, but maybe I can get home in time to see some of it. I hope to be able to put our initials in the pads, just because that is what you are supposed to do with fresh concrete, isn't it?

I think we are going to Chili's for dinner tonight. We still have a little bit of a credit on a gift certificate that we were given last Christmas, and it is always a nice place to go. Along the way, we are going to stop at the Zion Lutheran Church and get rid of a lot of paper that we would normally take to Austin for recycling, but they have a place there to recycle paper, and I will get rid of that on the way to dinner. So, if I have any intentions of going anywhere tonight (and of watching the local and national news programs before that), I need to get up from here and take my shower, and give myself a beauty treatment. That will take some time in itself!

Have a great evening, and go do something nice for someone else. It will make you both feel very nice, and the happy feeling will last for a good long while. And who knows, pretty soon you might just get used to doing selfless things for other people, with no provocation what so ever! Have fun!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day One Hundred One...

<- Last Nights Sunset...

Well, all I can say is Good Luck. What I mean is, today is really going to have to work hard to beat yesterday, yesterday was such a great day! I got up this morning and there was a wonderful red glow on the horizon, but it really did not pan out to be a spectacular sunrise...more of a sun-hint really. I went out to get the newspaper, and did not think it had arrived yet, but when I opened the mail box, there was the paper along with the mail for yesterday. When we read in the paper yesterday that the federal office would be closed in observance of Good Friday, we assumed that meant there would be no mail delivery, so we just ignored it. Oh well, that is what we get for trying to interpret the government.

I am hoping to go back to Lowe's this morning and get some more plants for around the pool, and then Jody and I are going to go space hunting in the Bartlett area re-sale stores. I love doing stuff like this, and both Jody and I have had retail extravaganza experiences in the past. I searched CraigsList last night for some store fixtures and mannequins last night, and I think we can find something that will be adequate. I really think this will be fun, and that will give me renewed reasons to go to yard sales again, once we clean out some of the stuff that we have in storage around the farm. If we get the big building cleared out, we can turn that into a one bedroom rental apartment, and get a full time caretaker at the property...JUST KIDDING. But I really don't know what we will do if we actually get the stuff cleared out, we will have lots of vacant storage space. I am sure we will find something to do with it. No worries.

Well, I was absolutely correct about today not being able to compete with yesterday, although we did get lots of stuff done. I headed out early for Lowe's (again) and got more plants for the pool area, and I must say, it is really going to be lovely when everything settles in. When I got back, I got everything planted and/or transplanted and so that is all settled. Jody and I went into Bartlett to check out the consignment place, and I have to tell you, our stuff that we would be putting in there is a lot nicer than most of the stuff in that shop. I think that might be the 'My baby is the prettiest baby in the world' syndrome, but I really think the stuff we would want to try and sell is pretty darn good stuff. So, we are still somewhat un-committed to doing this, but it still may be worth a go. We shall see...

We had lunch at La Tapatia in Bartlett, and it was very good. When we got home, Jody laid down for a nap, and I have just now finished by defensive driving on-line course, so I can get that all squared away one day next week, after I receive the certificate from the company. That is something that I am glad is out of the way.

As I started to say a couple paragraphs ago, today has been mostly grey and cloudy and windy and chilly, and we are supposed to have a pretty good chance of some rain this evening and tomorrow. I am really hoping for the rain (for all the usual reasons) but also because that will give me an excuse to stay in the home office all day and gather up my stuff to get me income tax extension filed. My CPA (Claud) gave me a call yesterday to make sure I was still alive, since I am usually right on top of this stuff. If anyone needs a wonderfully good and competent CPA, just give me a holler, and I will connect you to Claud, he's the BEST!

Okay, so now it is up to you to go and get your good deed for the day done, and you should be getting pretty good at this, you have been practicing for a while, and it should be getting easier and easier. And doesn't it make you feel better when you do a kind and self-less thing for someone else? Thought so... So, pretend like it is your first time, and go do something kind and helpful to someone who does not really expect it of you. It will make your day that much brighter, and it will certainly take the recipient by surprise! Have fun!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day One Hundred...

Today has been an absolutely brilliant day. A perfect day, a day that will be difficult to surpass in dayness! I slept (okay, I stayed in the bed) until almost 7 AM and got up and made coffee, and generally putzed around until Jody got up. We read the newspaper and I made egg loaf for breakfast, and putzed around the house a little bit more. We were expecting a few visitors to the house late morning/early afternoon, so we decided to go into Hutto and Taylor early. We got into Hutto probably around 10 AM and hit the Lowe's store, where we got some lovely colorful plants for the garden area around the pool...geraniums, zinnia (finally) and some moss roses. Then we went to the feed store in Taylor and got cattle food, and then it was on to Walmart, where I caved in and bought two giant teacup planters that I had been lusting for for months. I did not buy them earlier because I kept expecting them to lower the prices on the, but they did not, so I caved and bought them!

When we got home, I started unloading things from the truck (ten 50-pound bag of cattle feed for starts) and then got stuff pat around the pool. We had a call from the nursery folks who said they were on their way to take another look at all the thistle, and I was pleased to at least hear back from them. Also, our friend Gary was expected around noon, and we were planning to take him to a belated birthday lunch.

Gary got here about Noon-30, and we were all sitting around the pool, and there were the nursery folks. I went and talked with them for a while, and when they left, Gary, Jody and I headed out for Dale's Essenhaus, and I had the fried catfish dinner, Jody had grilled talapia and Gary had a Walburger (named because it is in the town of Walburg). Everything was yummy delicious, and we all had a nice chat over lunch. The place was hoppin', too! I forgot today was Friday (Good Friday) and that could have accounted for a lot of folks being there, and lots of school aged kids on a Holiday.

We then toured Gary through Walburg (for three or four minutes) and then we headed home. Jody piled up for a nap, and Gary and I went out to commiserate with the cattle. Gary and I then headed out on a little field trip and headed out for Salado. I wanted to show him what our wind generator would look like, and then we went into Salado (Gary had never been) and we stopped and had a couple scoops of ice cream (yea Bluebell). We then headed into Holland, and from there we went to Bartlett. On the spur of the moment, we stopped at the Bartlett Antique Mall (it sounds better than it really is) and while we were there, I asked the proprietor if she rented out spaces and she said yes, she had a couple spaces for rent. SO...I am thinking of renting a space there and putting some of the stuff we have all over the house in boxes at the Mall. Probably better than eBay, and it might be a way to get rid of some stuff. Jody and I are going to head over there and take a another look tomorrow. We may even scope out a couple of the other spots, and see if they rent out space, and see which one we like best.

Since we had a really big lunch, we are not having a formal dinner tonight, just kind of munching our way to bed time. I am going to vote for micro-wave popcorn, myself. So, since this is Easter weekend, maybe you can think of something nice to do for someone else. Try to remember how lucky you are, and don't forget to count your blessings. Many people are most likely not as fortunate as you are, and would really appreciate a good and unsolicited deed on your part. Enjoy the feeling you will get after that. Have fun.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day Ninety Nine...

Thursday are generally good days, and this one is expected to be extra special! We will have the usual staff meeting in the office this morning, and them I will do my meals-on-wheels gig, and then late this afternoon, we will have an office meeting at the IMAX Theatre to see Aliens vs Monsters in 3-D. I hope it is as good as the critic for the Dallas Morning News (whatever) said it is. Anyway, it will be fun to get out of the office and see a movie. It is almost like playing hookie.

Our meeting yesterday was with a web-guy who does more content management than web development, and I think we may go with him. He had lots of good ideas, and once he started talking, we all had ideas that we wanted to do to make our office web-site more productive for the company. I cannot believe how dependent we have become on computers and web-technology, and we are still trying to become as 'paperless' as we can, but it is really difficult not to print out everything that comes across via e-mail or any other way. But, we shall see...

It is always interesting to see the patterns that are made in the fields around the house. The spring plantings are coming up, and the winter (whatever) crops of wheat are beginning to be cut. Summer large scale crops around here include cotton, sorghum, maize and corn. I think this will end up being a field of maize, and it is neat to see the patterns that are so precise. How do they get the rows to conform as they do, and when one row intersects another, why isn't there a little bit of overlap? I am sure there is a really easy explanation, but it is beyond my comprehension at the moment.

It felt like a Friday in the office today, mainly because I was happy that we were all going to the movies AND I am not going into the office tomorrow, kind of making my own little three day Holiday Weekend. The movie was good (not really great) and the 3-D effects were good (not really great) although the effects were really fun at first. The movie is really something you should take your kids to if you have them, but I did laugh and have fun during the film. It was a guilty little pleasure.

So, the cattle have all been fed, and they were delighted to see me, and all the little calves are hanging with their mamas. Live is good and peaceful and serene here in the country, and all of our lives can be as peaceful and serene as we make them. That is easily said here in a relatively peaceful corner of the world. I understand completely that peace and serenity are priceless and unachievable in many areas of the world, and that just reminds me about how lucky I am. So, go see how lucky you can be, and bring a little bit of peace and serenity to someone who might feel a little bit stressed right now. Go on, it will make you feel good.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day Ninety Eight...

For the last couple of nights, the dark skies have been cloudless and the moon has been HUGE and really bright. So bright, that I have to roll over to keep the moon out of my eyes (which is what happens when you have no window coverings, ON PURPOSE). The full moon is scheduled for Thursday night, but the sight of the moon in all its' glory just reinforces how cloudy it has been lately, and now that the clouds have moved on towards the east, it is back and very bright during the overnight hours. I am always happy to report on the beauty of my surroundings, and I am really happy to be aware of them, not to simply just take it for granted.

The temperatures are expected to be wonderfully spring-like for the rest of this week and into next week, with a pretty good chance of rain over the weekend. I will make myself a nice long-weekend this weekend, and get some chores done on Friday instead of over the weekend, and hopefully I will be able to sit for a while over the weekend. That is always the plan, but I always seem to come up with stuff to do.

IN THE HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF DEPARTMENT: Look at the photo in today's posting, and compare it with the photo that I posted two or three days ago. Is there any wonder why people hate driving on I-35. This is NAFTA at its' worst! I-35 is a straight shot from Mexico to Canada (well, pretty close to Canada, anyway) and it is just crazy at some times. Why do people drive down the Interstate Highway system in death traps...not necessarily to themselves, but to those around them...those sharing the road. What do you think the aerodynamics are of this vehicle? How long do you think this camper shell will stay secure to the rest of this vehicle once it maintains a speed of, oh, I don't know, let's say 35 MILES PER HOUR? And what happens to it when it falls onto the roadway at any speed at all? Your guess is as good as mine, but I am glad traffic was travelling at a slow rate this morning, or things would most likely have been much worse!

Okay, enough of that. My day today was (otherwise) relatively calm...a good meeting this morning in the office, a really waste of my time meeting at lunch today, and a mediocre meeting at the house this afternoon. There is still the possibility that the meeting at the house this afternoon can be salvaged, we will just have to wait and see the outcome. Anyhoo...

So, Jody and I went to Chipotle for dinner tonight, and it was yummy good. I had a chicken Burrito, and Jody had the vegetarian Burrito is good, and I am reminding myself that I am the luckiest person in the world (even though you might not think I really feel that way when I go off on the topic du jour).

So, go out and do something really nice for yourself this time, since I am absolutely convinced that you deserve it. Sometimes doing something nice for yourself actually means doing something nice for others. You know, in order to grow better corn, you have to share your best seeds with your neighbors. Because the winds pollinate all the corn, yours and theirs, and if your neighbors are growning inferior corn, it will eventually make your corn inferior as well. So share what you have with others, and remember you have to share your best seeds with your neighbors, to make sure you grow the best corn!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day Ninety Seven...

Well, so far so good. The nuclear clock/weather station reports the temperature to be almost 42 degrees, and that means the temperature on the ground should be about 37 degrees, and that means there was no real freeze last night. Hopefully, we dodged the bullet on this one, and it will be seen as the day goes on as to whether or not we DID have a freeze. The tender new vegetation will tell us if it got below the freezing mark last night or not.

I have been sleeping relatively well for the past couple of weeks, except for this persistent hacking cough, and I think that is something that is just going around. It is not nearly as bad as it was originally, so I hope there will come a day when I realize, hmmm, I have not been coughing as much as I had been. I really think many times that we cough as a matter of habit, not just because we have something to cough about. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

We had company in the office today, Victoria (see photo, ain't she purty!) from Arizona is one of the folks that helps to make us all better at what we do, and she was in town to work us through any questions we might have about the compliance software that her company provides. It is always nice to see her, and we have a great time when she stops by our office, and makes sure we are going forward and not regressing. Ultimately, we hope to be in a paperless environment, and Vickie will help us get to that point.

Traffic yesterday and today has been okay, not great but not terrible either. I got home in time to see part of the news, and then Michael, one of our neighbors, came over to find out what areas I wanted wee treated. He came and fertilized the entire property today, and will be a weed treatment on the pastures that will be used for baling hay later in the season. AND, we may even get a little bit of rain over the weekend, so having just fertilized, I hope that will all be helpful.

Okay, so I hope you have had a wonderful day, and that it was good enough for you to share your blessings with someone else. It should always be remembered that you are lucky for all your blessings, and if you can share some of it, it will make you just that much luckier. I wish you could all be as lucky and as happy and content as I am!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day Ninety Six...

It is windy (whatever) and cool this morning (not as cool as they were predicting) and it is supposed to be even cooler tomorrow morning. And maybe THEN that will be the last of the cool weather for this season. I think lows in the 60's and highs in the low-to-mid 80's would be just perfect for me, because for heaven's sake, I really do not like to be inconvenienced. That is so inconvenient! They are predicting a possible light freeze overnight tonight, but I hope they revise that forecast, since I really do not want to do all the stuff that would involve just for one night and then, just the possibility of a light freeze. Depending on who you believe, it could be the coldest day on record in Central Texas in April, but another prognosticator says our county (Williamson) may not even see a freeze. That is a problem when you live 50 miles from any television weather source, you are never really sure what is going to happen!

It should be a good day at work today, nothing really on my schedule, so I can play catch up, and hopefully get things started for my estimated income tax liability. That will entail entering several months worth of checks into my Quicken program, and that will take at least a day or two to accomplish.

RATTLESNAKE SACKING UPDATE: It seems the event was held this past weekend, and all I knew of it was what I saw on the two signs advertising the event. Unfortunately, there were no dates, times or locations included on the signs, so I had to look it up on the Internet. So, better planning for next year's event is called for, and maybe a little advance notice would be helpful as well. AND, maybe I should go into Taylor a little more regularly. If you are really interested, you can click on this link and you can see details AND PHOTOS of past events. Whatever it takes to keep you informed, that is my mission!

I am absolutely, positively certain that there are hundreds of reasons for traffic accidents on our Interstate Highway Systems, one of which I AM POSITIVE is a driver taking photos of other drivers on the road. BUT REALLY! I honestly think one of the reasons could also be the total stupidity of the other drivers. Look at this truck! How long do you think the washer and dryer on a mesh-metal platform, designed to carry iced-down coolers filled with crawfish (mud-bugs if you are from Louisiana) is going to last? I predict it will be Maytag Mayhem before it gets to the county line! I will watch the evening news and the morning paper to let you know if my prediction was an accurate one. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

It was a good day at the office, and lots of work was done. It is really one of the first days in a long time that I had that luxury, and it was nice. I got some of my income tax stuff done, some Defensive Driving done, and actually some of my office work done! What a deal. This week will kind of be a short one, a full day in the office tomorrow, a couple meetings an Wednesday and an appointment at home in the late afternoon, Thursday will be a couple meetings and the office is going to see Aliens vs Monsters (at the Austin IMAX), and then Friday is Good Friday, so the office will be closing at noon, and I won't go in that day. Nice work if you can get it!

Jody made Mexican Pork Chops for diner tonight, yummy, yummy good! Big thick pork chops baked in a casserole with lots of rice, and onions, tomatoes and green peppers on the top. Like I said, yummy, yummy, yummy!

So, go make a good dinner for yourself, and always make enough to share. You never know who might drop by unexpectedly, and you need to be prepared. And if you have something left over, it would not hurt you to call someone up and ask them over for a quick bite!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day Ninety Five...

Jody and I picked up some butterfly iris yesterday afternoon on our adventures, and we will get them planted this morning. Otherwise, I am thinking this will be a relatively calm day. I think we will get in the car and head out somewhere like we used to...just point the car and see where we end up. I expect I will include a photo or two in this entry, but I am not sure I will be able to beat the photo from yesterday. The cattle will need to be fed later this afternoon, and one of the neighbors is supposed to come by and talk about fertilizing and weeding the pastures, so I guess there are a few things that need to be accomplished, but I do not think there will be any box openings!

The winds are supposed to shift and be out of the north later this afternoon, and the temperatures are supposed to cool down for a couple days. Lows tonight are expected to be in the 30's and highs tomorrow and Tuesday are only supposed to be in the 60's. So far, our spring has been pretty nice, but we could still use all the rain you can send us. I know when it gets hot, it will be hot for a long time! I believe we are going to convert the pool into a salt water pool, so it will generate its' own chlorine and it is supposed to be better on the skin. AND I intend to spend a lot of time in the pool this summer. When we bought this house, that was one of the things I really wanted, a pool. So, there you have it...

So, we are back from our adventures and as you can see, we went through the towns (burgs, communities, wide-places-in-the-road) of Red Ranger and Zabcikville. I have never heard of either one of those, and I was really disappointed in Red Ranger. First, I did not see a single ranger, and second, I saw nothing really red about the place. Zabcikville was a bigger someplace actually, at the junction of County Roads 437 and 153 (I think), and it had lots of nice houses and what looked to be an old city hall type of structure. Further on up CR 153 we came to a city named Seaton (or maybe Seatonville), just before we took the road to Oscar, and there was a wind generator just a generating up a storm. It looks like the same type of generator that we are having put on the farm, so I am thinking of looking it up later to see if it is so. Anyway, that was fun to see like minded folks in Seaton (or Seatonville).

So, the cattle have been fed, the butterfly irises have been planted, lunch has been consumed and Jody is taking a nap. Life is exquisite. We have no idea where we will be going for dinner tonight, but it will be the perfect ending to this perfect (albeit really windy) day. So, why don't you see what you can do today for the environment? It is not really that hard...just go change out a light bulb or two to the compact fluorescent type (or better yet, change a couple to the LED lights, even more energy efficient). Or maybe you could just do a better job of recycling. If I can carry my recycling into Austin, you can separate your cans and paper and plastic. It will do the planet good!