Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day One Hundred FIfty One...

Well, our hired man did not show up today. He called at about 10 AM to say he would be here in a little while, and by then I thought it was too late for him to come out. He said he will be here next weekend, so...we shall see... He came to get the trailer last week (Friday) and I think he is bringing some old rail road ties to re-do some of the terraced areas in the gardens, and that would be good, but I am an early starter. By the time he called, I had already used the tractor to cut the grass that I did not get to yesterday, and retrieved several boxes from the front shed to go through and sort stuff to take to our re-sale shop.

Jody and I headed to the re-sale shop at about 11:30 AM, and we got there and unloaded today's haul. It did not take us very long, and we left there and went to Home Depot (I prefer Lowe's but the closest one is in Taylor, and we were not heading in that direction). We wanted to get some of that Miracle Grow liquid feeder stuff, and while we were there, we picked up two 'yellow bells' (not sure of the technical name) and a plumeria for around the pool. The gardenia that I bought last week is still putting out blooms, and it is deliciously fragrant. Now all I need to do is plant the stuff!

After Home Depot, we headed to Dairy Queen to ruin our appetites for lunch, which we accomplished with no trouble. A Blizzard Treat is always a good thing, and that way, we skip lunch and then we pretty much just kind of knosh our ways through dinner, with nothing formal, just a bite here and a bite there.

When we got home, we went out to look at the one surviving peach tree that actually has three peaches on it, although they are hard as a rock. I am not sure if they will actually ripen enough to eat of not, but they are getting some red color on them.

Then we laid around in the pool for a while, until it was decided that I would come in and watch 'Cadillac Records' which I have had here from NetFlix for about a month already. I am going to try and fast forward through the other two movies that have been languishing here and send them back tomorrow...I do not even know what I have on the list that will be sent next.

Don't forget to do a good deed for someone (or yourself) and remember, HAVE FUN!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day One Hundred Fifty...

This is a photo of one of our 'passion vines' in bloom. THe blooms only last one day, and the butterfly larvae love them for breakfast!

Okay, so far so good. I slept in until after 6 AM this morning, that was great. Got up and made coffee, Jody was up before I even went out to get the newspaper. Read the paper, and wrote one check for a bill that I was putting off paying for as long as I possibly could, just because it was for some work that was done at the farm that was a totally crappy job, and really expensive. I truly feel like I was taken advantage of, so I wrote on the check that I was paying in protest, and that the work done was totally unacceptable. Whatever...I am sure they will cash the check and laugh about what a dumb-ass I was for being taken advantage of monetarily by them. That is what I get for trusting folks to do good work, etc., etc., etc.

So, on the way to the mail box with the check, I got a little bit distracted, and about four hours later had cut most of the front and part of the back areas around the house. Probably at least two acres, maybe more. The first part was cutting-in and around all the trees and stuff, then I took a break for breakfast...Jody fixed bacon and blueberry pancakes. Then it was back outside to do the big parts of the yard with the riding lawn mower. There is something wrong with the riding lawn mower, it gets to where it does not want to go into gear, and I can hear something slipping when you try to put it in forward or reverse. But, eventually it will decide to go, so I was trying to cut the areas immediately around the house first just in case it quit for good. I had to put gas in it once, and then it would not really run for more than a few minutes. Maybe it was flooded or something, but after a couple more hours, I get it running again, and it seemed to do pretty well.

THEN it was time to move the cattle to the other pasture, which means moving their feed troughs and molasses buckets and mineral and salt-licks, not to forget moving them! They were happy to go to the other pasture, and as soon as they got there, they put their heads down and went to town on the fresh grass. The little boy calf that we 'banded' last week is doing well, but his little testicles are turning black, so it seems they will be dropping off in another couple weeks or so, and he will join the ranks of the boy sopranos.

After that, I took a rest for a couple far I have drunk three root beers with no fizz...we brought them from the old farm, and somehow they lost their fizz. They taste kind of like creme sodas, not terrible so I am gonna finish off the two or three that are left. Not bad! I moved three bales of hay (the last three bales from last year) out of one of the pastures that I will put the cattle in in another three weeks. Hopefully, we will be baling hay in out other pastures here in another week or so, so that will give us plenty of hay to make through the winter (I hope). Hopefully, we will continue to have a little rain now and then, and the grass will continue to grow, and we will not need to depend on (or have to buy more) hay for a while.

Anyway, after that, I hooked up the shredder to the tractor and I am planning to cut more grass later tonight or tomorrow. I must be doing something wrong hooking up the shredder to the tractor, because I do not think it should be that hard of a chore, although it would definitely be easier if it was two people putting it on. Anyway, I got it done, and took a couple swipes to make sure I had the height correct, and brought it up to the front of the property. I will need to fill it up with diesel before I do much of anything with it, so it is sitting out on the side of the property right now, waiting for fuel.

We are heading to the Catfish Parlor for dinner, yummy! And then I think it will be early to bed for me! I am getting tired, and I think it will be an early night.

Random Photo! I saw this in a grocery store parking lot the other day, and went back to my car to get the camera. Where would we be without the ta-tas? This photo is in honor of my friend Shane! She knows who she is!

Do something nice for someone, and remember that niceness works two ways! Have fun!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty Nine...

Okay, so in anticipation of this wonderful day, I was in the parking lot at Shipley's Donuts in Georgetown before they even opened up this morning. It was just before 6 AM, but there I was, much to the consternation of the single employee that was trying to stock the shelves. Interestingly, when you get there that early, you find out that they do not make their own donuts on-site, but instead, they bring them in from a satellite commissary location, the EXACT location of which remains a secret. If the forces of evil ever found out the location of the donut-making-commissary location, the threat level would most likely need to be raised from its' current YELLOW level to at least ORANGE or maybe even RED! OMG!

I have an Ethics hearing to chair at the Board of REALTORS this morning, and of course I left the case file in the office yesterday, so I had to come to the office first and then back-track to the Board for the hearing. Traffic so far has been what you would expect before the sun comes up, and we shall see how it behaves for the rest of the day.

Work with me here...I hope to leave the office around 3 PM this afternoon, and I may need all the help I can get. I have one transaction that is scheduled to close today, and so for the Title Company has not received the closing instructions. The lenders (as a whole) are being really difficult since all the crap that has occurred in the last couple years, so they really have no respect for the process. Always one more piece of paper, but the issue I have is, they should ask for the piece of paper sooner than one day before closing. I am representing the seller in this deal, so I can blame it all on the Buyer's lender, and be happy with that. The issue is, if the transaction does not close, the Buyer will be in default, and the lenders do not really care about that. I will let you know how it all works out (which I am sure it will).

Well, the closing made, even though the Title Company did not get the documents until about 11:30 AM...and my clients appointment was at 11 AM. The Buyer's did their part of the closing at 1 PM, BUT the lender did not wire the funds to the Title company, therefore, the Buyer does not get the keys to the property until Monday. That is always such a disappointment. Sometimes you can get things worked out, and sometimes you can't...

The hearing today was an interesting one, and we found the respondent to be in violation of several Articles of the NAR Code of Ethics. There were a couple of the sited Articles that he was found not to be in violation of, but fair is fair. That was what the panel determined to be correct, and that is what we did.

I left the Board about 111:30 AM, and headed to the property I had listed, and removed the lock box from the property, then headed to the office. Unfortunately, I forgot to stop and get myself anything to eat, so I was hungry for most of the afternoon. I got the three security deposit refunds handled, and then Carrie (my business partner) checked to see if I was hungry, and she and I and Margaret (the bookkeeper) went next door for lunch. WE ALL HAD ONE BEER with our lunches, and Carrie is on pain meds as well because she has an abscessed tooth that is being extracted on Monday. Better living through chemistry is my motto! YIPPEE!

I left the office at about 3 PM, and did a few errands on the was home. One was to stop at the Collector's Market to pay our rent for the next month, and another was to stop at a little out-of-the-way place where I have commissioned a metal sculpture of three birds (kind of like herons) on a stone base for Jody as an anniversary gift. If any of you reading this know Jody, keep yer big mouths shut! IT is a surprise! We will be celebrating our 17th anniversary this year, and the time is certainly flying by! I will try to get photos of the sculpture posted as it goes along. It should be very nice, although the time between the idea and the reality is sometimes clouded with uncertainty. BUT...

Okay, I am looking forward to sleeping a little late in the morning. I need to move the cattle to the other pasture tomorrow, and on Sunday our hired man will be here to help with other work around the land. There is always something to be done, and you will read about most of it here in these posts!

Have a great rest of the day, and think about doing a good deed for someone. Try not to be selfish, and spread your generosity around a little bit. Keep some for yourself, but share with others. HAVE FUN!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty Eight...

It is going to be a long day! Well, not so long for me because the wreck on the Interstate was in the north bound lanes, and I was in the south bound lanes. The wreck involved an 18-wheeler and a paint-striping crew on the Interstate! Lots of paint all over the place, and lots of traffic and lots of flashing blue and red lights. Traffic was backed-up about six miles, and it was not getting any better. No word about injuries, but I am kind of looking forward to see all the pretty highway paint when I go that way later this afternoon!

Okay, so the day turned out to be REALLY busy, and I did not have very much time to myself, and not really much time to get into any trouble (or into any fun, either). I showed property from about 10:30 AM til about 3 PM, then I prepared for my 5 PM appointment, and that appointment ended up taking very little time. I did manage to get home this evening about 6:30 PM, which was much earlier than I had anticipated.

I will need to leave the house earlier than expected tomorrow, I will be chairing an ethics hearing at the Board of REALTORS, and I forgot the case file in the office, so I will need to go and retrieve that and THEN head out for the Board.

The National Spelling Bee is on TV tonight, and even though we really do not watch that much TV I think this is always a fun thing to watch. I remember in 6th or 7th grade, I always thought I was a pretty darn good speller, but I got trumped up on the word 'burglar'. I spelled 'bugler' instead, and I was just devastated. I don't think I even made it past the first round! Oh well, it is interesting the things that you remember. And I remember a lot!

Okay, have fun, and try to do something nice for someone. And do something nice for yourself while you are at it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty Seven...

Well, well, well...and so it begins, not enough hours in the day, over scheduled, and everyone is in desperate need of your full attention RIGHT NOW. there not enough time to stop and smell the morning glories? Okay, I will grant you that this is not one of the most fabulous of all photos of morning glories, but it was the best I could do at 6:30 AM, and you should be happy with what you are getting. So THERE! Okay, I am better now...inhale pink...exhale blue. If you are interested I can teach you the 'square breathing' method which is guaranteed to lower your stress level almost instantly, or cause you to or the other! You choose!

Traffic continues to be tolerable, and I continue to have a wonderful life. I am a very lucky man, perhaps the luckiest man in all of the world, although I know a couple other folks who think they are the luckiest, but unfortunately, they are mistaken. I AM THE LUCKIEST and the HAPPIEST person I know. Thanks for asking.

We are getting close to the end of the month at the office, which means processing security deposits, and answering tenant complaints when the pay their rents for the next month. As I have explained in the past, many tenants cannot pay their rent without complaining about something, and that is just a fact of life.

I did attend a luncheon this afternoon at the Board of Realtors with the Regional Vice Presidents of the Texas Association of REALTORS, and it was very interesting and an informative meeting. Chances are good our elected State leaders will be called back into Austin for a Special Session of the State Legislature, and that is always interesting. Some times I feel our State Government procedures are desperately in need of fixing...okay, face it, I always think that. Lots of other good information was shared, and I am enjoying getting to know how things work on a Local, State and National level. Very interesting. I did not have this much information since I quit going to work out at the Town Lake YMCA! There were always deals being worked out in the locker room there, and it was really interesting!

I know for sure that we are having corn-on-the-cob for dinner tonight...with what else I am not so sure, but I know it will be good.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day from sun-up to sun-down, so I am going to try and get some rest. It rained like crazy for a short while in Austin, but not a drop here at the farm. DARN DARN DARN! Maybe rain tomorrow, maybe this weekend. Even though we got rain over the weekend, we can never have too much rain. Try telling that to the folks in Florida!

Hurricane season starts on Monday, so everyone needs to get prepared. Don't say I did not tell you!

Have a great rest of your day, evening or night. Make sure you do something nice for someone, and HAVE FUN!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty Six...

Okay, it was back to work today, and all went relatively well. I was back up at more-ro-less my usual time, about 4:45 AM, and got my morning rituals all done; coffee, paper, e-mails, this-and-that. I got on the road about 7 AM, and traffic was not too terrible, and I discovered this afternoon that the University of Texas (Hook 'Em) is out for the summer, so that may explain some of the ease in traffic congestion.

Got lots of stuff done at the office this morning, one of the most important things was putting fresh batteries in the wall clocks in my office. They have been slowing down a lot in the last week or so, and we did not have any new batteries, BUT they arrived today. No use making a special trip just for batteries, just put them on the list from Office Depot and they will get here when they get here. In the meantime, I thought time was kind of standing still.

My business partner (Carrie) and I went to check out a property of hers that she has been having some renovation work done on, and then we went to Bed, Bath & Beyond, and then we went to Costco after that. We bought a two-pack of bacon (she wanted the bacon) and I split it with her, and therefore we had to take the bacon back to the office and put it in the refrigerator before we could go to lunch.

We then took off for lunch at Magnolia Cafe, and I had a ham & cheese omelet, with a short stack of buttermilk pancakes. Carrie always is happy to split the pancakes with me, so that is a good thing. Anyway, we had a good talk about the direction we see our business going, and we did some good strategic planning, and I think we have a good understanding about the direction we both want our business to go. The action plan items will be relatively easy to implement, and that is a great accomplishment. We shall see...

I left the office at about 4 PM, and traffic was okay. I had intended to make several telephone calls while driving, but no one I needed to speak with was available, so I had to leave voice-mail messages. I will get caught up eventually.

Dinner tonight is left-over meat loaf, and I am happy for that. I love left overs, and I am really not very picky about what I eat (and I am certain that is evident judging by my physique). OH, I also got a gardenia plant at Costco, they are lovely, but we need to add Epsom salts to the soil here in Texas or they do not do very well.

Have a great rest of your day, and do something nice for someone. HAVE FUN!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty Five...

Happy Memorial Day to you all, and I hope you have properly thanked anyone and everyone you know who is or was in the military for their service to our country. We should never take our freedoms for granted.

Okay, I thought about doing the last twenty-four hours in photos, but I thought that would be somewhat cheesy, so I will just include a few photos in this entry. Last night after I posted my entry, Jody and I were sitting out on the patio enjoying ourselves, and there was a familiar yet unfamiliar sound coming closer and closer. Months ago you may remember that I had written about these hang-glider type of kit-built experimental (?) aircraft that I had seen flying around the house and lots of them in Taylor. Well, there was one last night, and I think for a minute he was going to land at our neighbors (he used to have a plane and he has a grassy runway) but I think he just barely touched-down and then he was off again. Interesting things go on out here in the country, you never quite know what to expect.

Jody made blueberry pancakes for breakfast this morning, and they are always yummy. We pretty much got off to another slow start. There were quite a few things on my 'to-do' list, and unfortunately, not all of them will be completed by the end of the day.

A tree on our other neighbor's side of the fence decided it was going to give up the ghost, and this morning I had to cut much of the overhanging branch down so we could get out of the driveway. Perhaps that was a little bit too much aerobic exercise for so early in the morning, but I finally got it all done.

We left the house at 9:30 AM and headed into Georgetown with another load of stuff to put in the resale space we rented. It is very interesting what stuff sells and what kinds of people visit that little shop. This morning, there was a single Latino man, two gentlemen of Oriental descent who spoke little English, a lonely grandmother full of stories about her grandchild, and a couple late middle aged women. And we were only there for about an hour or so.

After that, we headed in to Austin to take some more cardboard boxes to the recycle center. On the way home, we wanted to stop at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and we found out there is not one in Georgetown. I thought there was one in EVERY town, but not in Georgetown. So, we went to Chich-Fil-A for lunch, and then to the DQ for Blizzards! Why do they always turn the Blizzards upside down when they serve them to you? Beats me.

We got home, and I went out and laid in the pool while Jody took a nap. Our intentions are to watch Jeopardy, then two or three sets of news, and then maybe (MAYBE) have something for dinner, although neither of us are hungry. After all that, I will hopefully go out and work on one of the arbors where the morning glories are climbing. I hope I can get that done today, if so, that will be pretty much everything on my list for this weekend.

Go do a good deed for someone, and have fun while you are doing it!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty Four...

Okay, so there have been a gross of days gone by the way side so far this year. Well over a third of the year is gone, and the days seem to be going faster and faster. I am of that age!

Today was a really good day, in a weird kind of way. I stayed in bed late again this morning, and made it another slow start kind of morning. I putzed around on the computer for a while, then went out to get the morning paper. Had coffee, and was beginning to read the paper, and by that time Jody came out and fed the dog and cat, and we pretty much finished the paper. I made us one of my 'famous egg-loafs' for breakfast, and it was very good and really filling, especially with the two English muffins that I had to go along with mine.

We were expecting our friends Chad and Richard to arrive about 10 AM, and we were going to have a grass cutting party...Chad on the riding lawn mower, Richard on the tractor using the shredder, and me with the regular gas powered lawn mower doing the detail work. I got a pot of native daisies planted, and set two mouse traps inside the house (because we have mice, that's why) and then I got distracted pulling weeds, and that is really easy to do here. If you have a weed pulling fetish, just let me know and we can put you down for some weed pulling time! Anyway, while I was pulling weeds, Jody decided he needed to go to the store, and I was still pulling weeds. Jody was not gone 20 minutes before it started raining again. I called Chad and Richard and let them know there may not be much grass cutting today, but we all decided it would be a nice visit anyway.

When Chad and Richard arrived, it was raining, and it kept raining. Don't get me wrong, we love getting the rain. Interestingly, it almost ALWAYS rains on Memorial Day Weekend in the Austin area. One of the biggest (and deadliest) floods in Austin's history occurred over a Memorial Day weekend, I think it was in about 1979 or 1980, somewhere around that time. Anyway, we ended up having lunch (leftover bar-b-que from the party) and it was DELICIOUS. Chad and Richard left about 2 PM, and Jody and I both went to take a nap for about an hour.

When we got up, we decided to open the boxes that I brought in from storage yesterday, and get the stuff priced so we can take it in to the resale shop tomorrow. That has worked out a lot better for us than trying to price it while we are in the store...that does not work AT ALL. So, we have LOTS of stuff to take in tomorrow, and that should do it for a while. We shall see.

We are still expecting more rain this evening, and there are dark clouds off in the north. The local weather forecast showed a good line of rain coming our way, and I hope it gets here. In the meantime, I don't know how or why, but there is a tree limb over the driveway that is going to have to come down tomorrow. Probably by tomorrow, it will be blocking the driveway, and we may have to cut it down in order to get the cars out of the driveway. We shall see how that goes.

Have a wonderful rest of the Holiday weekend. I took American and Texas flags around to our neighbors (the Bartlett Triangle) and only one set of neighbors were home. I left a card so they will know who left them. Try to get your good deeds done and it will come back to you many, many times over. HAVE FUN!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty Three...

Okay, well, today's theme will be NATURE! It all happened quite by accident. Here is how the day progressed, and I hope you will see the common thread. Everything started kind of slowly. I actually stayed in bed until a little after 6 AM, and I got up, made coffee, took pills, checked e-mails, and went out to get the paper. While I was getting the paper, I saw this gecko (or lizard or whatever) on one of the strawberry pots. He was not afraid of me and I was happy to go back into the house to get the camera. I hardly go anywhere these days without the camera, but I usually don't take it out to get the newspaper. Anyway, he was still there when I got back, so he is the photo for today's entry.

Miguel was supposed to come out and work today, but he did not make it. I got some stuff done that was on the job-list (planting the Hibiscus (Hibisci?), planting the two day Lillie's, cleaning out the bed of the Mule, getting some boxes out of the shed to take to the re-sale space, and pulling some weeds and trying to dissuade the 'root beer plants' by pulling up what I could and taking a shovel and shoveling out some more of them. A few months back, we planted a lot of zinnias in one of the back beds, and they did not do worth a darn, so we decided to go into Taylor and get some geraniums to replace them.

On the way into Taylor, just as we got through Granger, we passed a small billboard on the left side of the road, and there was a great horned owl (okay, maybe not technically a great horned owl, but what I would think a great horned owl would look like). So, I turned the truck around and went back to try to take a photo. We got up close enough to the owl to get a good look at it, but before I could get the camera ready, he flew off. I have seen owls before, but not that obviously out in broad daylight perched on a sign post. I think the hunting last night must have been pretty poor, so he was out for a snack.

We went on into Taylor, and Wal-Mart had just what we were looking for, so we got 18 geraniums and headed home. On the way home, we were driving down FM 972 and there was a great big old turtle crossing the road. The truck straddled him as we drove over him, and I stopped and backed the truck up and got out and put him in the grass where he was headed. He was 'plate sized' so he has been around a while. He would have probably made it to the grass on his own, and there is not that much traffic on that road, but I think there are some people that will run over things like that just because they can. So, I took no chances, and we left him safe and sound and out of harms way.

When we got home, I was placing the geraniums out where we thought they would go, and there was a BIG snake in that flower bed. It scared the living stew out of me. The neighbors have all said that this house was built on a rattle snake den, and so far we had not seen any rattle snakes, and this snake today was the first snake we have seen here, period. We have seen snake skins this spring, so we knew there were snakes around. This snake was black with kind of gold colored square patterns on his. He was a big one for sure, and we just wanted him to skee-daddle on away, and mind his own business. I am not really interested in killing snakes just because they are snakes. After all, they do a job in controlling rodents, and we do have a bit of a rodent problem here. I got all the geraniums planted (and they look really nice) and put the old gazing ball in the center of them, and that is pretty too.

By then we were kind of tired, and Jody made me a meat-loaf sandwich for lunch (I am hoping for a repeat for dinner tonight, too). After lunch, Jody decided to take a nap, and I planned to move some firewood from the garage out to the wood-pile, and to move a metal cabinet from our closet to the garage (where the wood was). While I was moving the fire wood, there was ANOTHER SNAKE that scared the crap out of me again. IN THE GARAGE! A big black snake, with no markings at all, but no sounds of any rattles, either. I got Jody up from his nap to come and try to identify the snake, but he just said it is a 'black snake', and that was that.

Okay, so after that was all done, I too took a little bit of a nap, and our friend Roy came over to band the little bull calf. The little bull calf (who I call Dude, but the calf is being given to Roy, and Roy's wife Sharon is going to name him Punkin') was born in March, so he was needing to be banded before too much longer. Banding is basically a castration of the bull calf; you put strong rubber bands around the calf's testicles, and in a couple months, the testicles will fall off, and then you have yourself a steer. Pretty much, that is it. He was not happy about it, but the catching of the calf (for us) was worse than actually banding him, and I do not think it any of it was particularly pleasant for the calf. Anyway, that is done, and after he is weened from his mama, he will go to live on Roy's farm in Smithville, where Sharon will spoil him rotten.

So, can you see the nature thread working here? If not, maybe you could re-read the entry, and if you still can't see it, send me an e-mail and I will try to explain it for you.

So, since this is Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, I think we should all do good deeds for our friends and relatives (or even folks we don't know) who have served our country to ensure we all enjoy the freedoms that we have. Try to do a good deed (or three or four) this weekend, and pay special attention to those who have served in the military. Good deeds are easily done, and are really appreciated by those who are the beneficiaries. And it is always a good thing for us to do, and we can all use the good feelings that we get from having done a small kindness for someone else. HAVE FUN!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty Two...

Okay, so there I was, minding my own business, not causing anyone any problems. I was sitting at the breakfast room table, dressed rather casually in my underwear, reading the paper and finishing my cinnamon-raisin bagel and out of the corner of my eye I notice movement at the pool. There was Jeanette (the pool lady) and her son at 6:20 AM servicing the pool. I was a little bit surprised by the early hour, but I acted casually and kept on about my business. I guess it did not bother them because they did not really pay me any attention, and we all kept on with what we were doing. I finished my breakfast, they cleaned the pool, and life went on as scheduled!

Overall, today was another great day. I got into the office, got some work done and was pretty much ready for our 9 AM meeting with the web-site guru. Progress is being made, and all is well on that front. He also brought breakfast tacos, and I made a pig of myself and had two. Yum! Which of course meant that, when it was time to head out for lunch, I was not hungry. Chad and I (Chad that works with us, not the Chad that closed on his new home yesterday) went to Panera Bakery on Bee Cave Road in Westlake, where I had a Pepsi and I bought two muffins to bring home for breakfast tomorrow. We had a nice lunch and talked about things going on in our careers, and plans each of us have for our futures. A good lunch.

I got back to the office, did a little more work, and headed home for an early start to the Memorial Day Holiday. I feel kind of like I won the I-35 traffic lotto this week. Traffic has not been terrible at all for me and those around me on the Interstate, but others have not been as fortunate. I have had some traffic slowdowns during the week (and some traffic stand-stills as well) but overall it has not been terrible, and I have been averaging an hour commute pretty much all week. Life is good. The worst I have seen this week was this fender-bender in the southbound lanes while I was heading north this afternoon. SO, I hope it continues, and soon school will be out for the summer, which is always good for reduced traffic congestion.

When I got home this afternoon, Jody and I both decided to hit the pool. It was lovely, just a bit cool at the very beginning, but very comfortable after we got in. We stayed in the pool for about an hour, and when we got out, we decided to try the outdoor shower that the previous owners installed off the gazebo. It worked well, and since we converted the pool to salt-water, it is convenient for getting the salt off the bodies and out of the hair. Very nice!

Jody is in the kitchen cooking chicken livers and onions for dinner tonight. YUM for the fourth or fifth time. I am getting hungry since I had no lunch, and I will be happy to eat. After I get the kitchen cleaned up, I imagine we will hit the patio again and enjoy the sun and the breeze and watch the hummingbirds, etc.

Probably gonna have a few chores to get completed this weekend. Got some things planned for Saturday, and company coming over on Sunday. Maybe try to take in a couple local Memorial Day Parades here and there, but a whole lot of not much is what we really have planned.

Get some good deeds done, and chalk up a few points for yourself. It will make you a happier person overall. Volunteering is always a good thing to do, and I am relatively certain there are many volunteer opportunities available that would really appreciate your help. HAVE FUN!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty One...

Today was another pretty good day. I got into the office for the Property Management meeting, and then got a few things done, and then it was time for Meals-on-Wheels. One of my clients was not home, so guess what I had for lunch? Yup, a perfectly balanced recommended daily allowance of processed food that was tough and bland. No wonder real folks do not like to eat foods that are good for them, there is no taste and the portions are minuscule (I apologize for my obviously improper remarks in yesterdays entry).

After that, I had a Noon-30 appointment that was very nice, and then I headed north to a property walk-through before closing. I met my clients at the property they are purchasing, and then we headed to the Title Company for the close. We are still not certain as to whether the transaction will fund today or not, but there is still a possibility that it will, which will mean my client (Chad) will get the keys to the new home today, and not have to wait until tomorrow. We shall see. **Okay, I just got the call from the Title Company, the deal has funded, and Chad and his lovely fiance Emily will be getting their keys tonight. It is no fun to buy a house and then have to wait an extra day to get the keys. You want to go to YOUR new home and just kind of walk around in the big emptiness. I know, I have done it many times in the past.

Anyway, we are all on the downhill side of the long Holiday weekend, and that will be very nice. I like extra long weekends, and there is always a lot of stuff to do around the house, and I like it. Did I mention that I like it?

Tomorrow, we have an appointment in the office with our web-developer guru, to see what they have been working on, and that will be fun, especially since he is trying to bribe us with breakfast tacos. Yum!

I am not sure, but I suspect we will be having meat-loaf leftovers for dinner tonight, and that is just perfect for me. Dinner, clean the kitchen and then go and sit out by the pool. What could be better?

This being a long Holiday weekend, I hope you are giving yourself some time to think about extra special good deeds you can get accomplished. Remember, it does not have to be anything costly, and you don't have to go out of your way to do it. Just try to do something nice for someone, someone that does not expect it of you. You will be happy you did, and I know the recipient of your kindness will appreciate it. AND HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day One Hundred Forty...

Okay, first things first! We went to dinner tonight in Taylor and, although we had a choice of at least three restaurants, I basically chose to go to the Sirloin Stockade. I swear that only a week ago they had a big cow on top of the sign, but it was gone tonight. It turned out to be a buffet, All You CAN Eat (as opposed to all you CARE to eat) which is code for all the really overfed people need to come here and eat AS MUCH food as you possibly can and then go home and shove your fists down your throats until you puke. Why do you think we (as a society) are so overweight? Come on people, think about it. We really should have (okay I should have suggested) that we go somewhere else, but we stayed. The food was abundant but underwhelming. The people at a table near us ate and ate and ate, and they really wasted more food than I think they really ate. Okay, so by now you should kind of get my point.

I will go on to more fertile (probably not), and likely less inflammatory diatribes.

It was a good day again today, and on the way to work the radio news person was discussing the fact that TXDOT (the transportation department) was surprised at how much traffic the new toll road was experiencing. SO, maybe that is part of the reason that traffic has seemed more manageable the past couple weeks, and maybe it is not ALL the economy. Whatever is the cause, I am happy about it. Now, having said that, I am sure traffic tomorrow will be totally unacceptable, and we will be back to the old routine.

I spent most of the morning doing office work, and making (or trying to make) arrangements to see some properties this afternoon. I ended up showing only one property, but it was a nice property, and my client seemed to like it, and he may be near a decision. That will be nice, and I think he will be in the market to purchase a property in the coming months. You would be surprised how many properties are for lease in the area between $5K and $15K per month. I was surprised!

I had a luncheon meeting at the Board this afternoon, and that went well. I am still surprised that Monday is a Holiday. I did not figure that out until yesterday, so I am still trying to reconcile that in my little pea-brain.

After my showing appointment, I made my way home and put the gates I bought a while back in the truck and took them back to tractor supply. I bought two new (bigger) gates, and the new plan for the gates will work out well.

So anyway, that was the purpose of going to Taylor for dinner tonight, I needed to go anyway to trade the gates, and it was convenient to 'multi-task' as long as we were going to be there anyway.

Now, go and do a good deed, and make sure you have fun while you are doing it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty Nine...

Well, I don't exactly know why this is happening (or if it is really happening or not), but I always seem to be the one that has computer issues. I have that magic touch, you see, and things computerwise can occur to me and never to anyone else. It seems however, that for the last several days, it has taken a near eternity for photos to upload onto this blog. So long in fact, that I have posted the blog entry in the evening, and then come back and posted the photos the next morning. Tonight, I started relatively early to post the photos first, and it took a long time, but at least the photos are posted. FINALLY.

Today was another good day, no issues traffic wise, and lots of work was accomplished in the office. We had a NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers) luncheon at Marie Calendar's at the Arboretum. The local NARPM chapter has been meeting there for YEARS, and when I was VP of the local chapter, I wanted to move to a new location, but you see how that was received be the membership. The food is adequate, and service is really good actually, but the management does not really care for or value us as a monthly source of revenue. I do not think you need to fall all over us, but you can at least ACT like you like us! Anyway, at least they have remodeled recently, and your feet do not adhere to the sticky carpet any more. So much for progress!

After the luncheon, I headed back to the office and got some more stuff done, getting ready for my closing on Thursday afternoon, and one next week. And I had an appointment to show a property in Leander at 4 PM, so I had to get some stuff done, and leave for that appointment at about 3 never know what may be between you and a location 30 miles away. But, all was good.

Michael came by and fixed the nail hole in the tractor this afternoon, so that is a good thing. I am going to go and take back the two gates and the fence posts I bought from Tractor Supply and trade the gates in for 5 foot gates, and I will not need any posts the way Michael is planning to do it. I really like it when folks offer better ideas than those that I have...they have been doing this kind of thing A LOT longer than I have, and I am lucky for them to share their knowledge with me.

Yummy! Pizza for dinner tonight, and it was delicious. After this, I need to send a few listings to a client, and then go out and sit by the pool with Jody. Life is good!

Tomorrow, the morning is pretty much open, and I have appointments in the afternoon, so that is a good thing as well. A luncheon meeting at the Board of REALTORS, and show some houses in the afternoon. I am a lucky guy!

How have the good deeds been going? I think you can probably work at least two or three more in before the end of the week, what do you think? HAVE FUN!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty EIght...

Today was a nice, quiet, relatively uneventful day. Today was the last day of the Leadership Training class, and I think all involved were/are somewhat relieved. It was a long process, but a worthwhile one. The most important thing I got from the program was the interaction with other members of our association and of my profession in leadership positions. It was a very valuable tool to help me better understand the processes and procedures of our association and the state and national levels as well. Good job to Lynda and all the attendees. Well done!

Traffic to and from the Board offices today was remarkably calm and uneventful as well. I do not believe there were any stops, although a bad traffic day is like a bad boyfriend or tend to forget all the bad parts and only remember the good parts...until you go back on the road and remember the bad parts! I got home from the office (and made telephone calls all the way, and more after I got home) and took the mule battery that has been charging overnight and reconnected it to the mule. Started up like a charm, so I hope I do not need to keep charging it periodically, hopefully this was a one time issue. When I disconnected the battery yesterday, I did notice that the wires to the positive terminal were not tight, so maybe it had been shorting out for a while, and I just did not recognize the symptoms. I will know better next time!

The cattle are all in fine shape, and the fly-rub is still connected, so the c-clamps that I hooked it up with yesterday is doing its' job as intended. I took a look at the hay in the pasture, and they have not been paying too much attention to it, so I assume they are happy with the grass, which is better for them anyway. And I think I am going to cut back on their feed, to at least one time per week, and maybe not even that much. Let them eat grass (a direct quote from Marie Antoinette, I think)!

So, all is well in this part of the world, the temperatures were very nice today, and the humidity somewhat lower than it has been . Life is good. Speaking of good, how goes it in the good deed department? It is never too late, so maybe you can get a jump start on tomorrow in case you missed any chances today. Have fun!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty Seven...

It was another busy day in Paradise, so what else is new? I started the day by going into the office, my goal was to be there by 8:30 AM, and I beat the goal by about 15 minutes, AND I stopped off on the way at the recycling center to drop off some cardboard boxes that we have been collecting (since we have been emptying more boxes by taking stuff to the resale market. AND there was lots of stuff for recycling from the party last week. So, now that is all taken care of, and I will be taking the ordinary recycling stuff into town on Tuesday for the regular pick up day.

ANYWAY, I got to the office and got a few things done because I will not be in the office tomorrow, it is the last day of Leadership Training. YIPPEE! It has been a long three months or so, and after tomorrow, there is only a half-day left (which includes the graduation and a luncheon. SO, tomorrow is it! After I got some things done in the office, I went to my appointment in Lakeway (closer to Hudson Bend actually) but I took the slow route. I was on a mission for chocolate covered sour cream donuts, and I was finally successful after the second attempt. So, with donuts in hand, I got gas (actually, I stopped to purchase gas, I had taken Jody's truck into town since the recycling was in his truck) and went to a convenience store to see if any of my LOTTO tickets were winners. $3. But that is more than I had won in a LONG time, so I think it is an omen that I am getting close to winning the big one, what do you think?

The appointment went well, and I headed back to Bartlett. Jody and I were scheduled to take more stuff to our consignment space, and I wanted to get a few more things out of the shed. Having done that, we took both trucks into Georgetown, and got the space looking pretty decent, and we found there is still lots of room for more stuff, and we have PLENTY of more stuff! After finishing that, we went over to El Patrons for lunch (okay whatever you want to call it at 3 PM). We both had spinach enchiladas, and they were really good, I must say!

We ended up getting home about 4:30 PM or so, and I put the new tires on the lawn tractor, and took it out for a teat spin. Then I went into Bartlett to run another little errand (more about that tomorrow, maybe), and when I got home we settled in to watch the news. After that, I went out to re-hang the fly-rub for the cattle in the back pasture, and the mule quit running, and so we now have the battery on a charger. Little bitty irritations, but not enough to be discouraging, just inconvenient. After that, I cleaned off the patio by the pool and moved the sodas and beer left over from last weekend into the garage refrigerator, so things are getting back to normal a little bit at a time.

Since we ate so late, neither one of us are hungry, so we are kind of skipping dinner, although I can tell one of the donuts may be calling me like an alluring siren, trying to get me to crash my ship upon the rocks...well, the ship cracked in pieces years ago, there is really no fight left in me!

I am about finished with this entry, and I have a feeling I am leaving something out, but I really can't remember what it is...kind of like when you walk into the kitchen and forget why you went in there in the first place. If I think about it between now and posting, I will amend the entry.

So, today was a great day for doing good deeds, and Jody and I did a couple together. How about yourself, did you do any good deeds today? Well, there is still plenty of time, and it is okay to do a make-up...two or three in one day is not against the rules. Have fun!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty Six...

This was a lovely day! I stayed in bed (not necessarily asleep) until after 6 AM, which is kind of a record in and of itself. I got up and had a leisurely morning, and looked at the list of things I wanted to get done. Fix up the trellis so the morning glories will trail across the path, fix the fly-rub for the cattle, plant the hibiscus, cat the grass in the dog's yard and around the solar clothes dryer. Well, I got some of that stuff done. I headed out to Taylor to make a visit to the Tractor Supply Company, where I got the stuff for the trellis; and then I got sidetracked...I got a post-hold digger and eight posts for Miguel to come next week to put the walk-through gates in by the barn. I also got four new tires for the riding lawnmower.

On the way home, I stopped by the tire place in Bartlett to make sure they were open, and to make sure they could mount the tires for me. I told them I would be back, that I needed to hook the trailer up to the truck, get the lawn mower on the trailer and bring it in to have them mount the new tires. The guy at the tire place said, "why don't you just bring the wheels in?" Well, DUH! Do you think I am always trying to make things difficult? Sometimes I wonder! Anyway, I got home, and Jody gave me moral support and we got all four tires off the lawn mower and he took them in to Bartlett to have them mounted. The lawn mower is now up on blocks!

While Jody was gone, I cut the grass in the dog yard and around the solar clothes dryer. It may not sound like a lot, but I was breathing pretty hard by the time I was finished. Almost immediately after I get the grass cutting done, the cold front come through and the temperature dropped a good ten degrees, maybe more. The air dried out, and it cooled off.

Jody and I went out to the front shed, and brought a few more boxes into the garage to go through. We are taking some stuff to the re-sale space tomorrow, and our expanded space will be open, so we need to take more stuff in to fill it up. We opened about six or eight boxes, and got most of it priced. What we did not get priced tonight, Jody will do in the morning. I need to go into the office early in the morning to get some work done, and then I have a 10:30 AM appointment. When I get back, we will load up the trucks and go take the stuff to the re-sale shop. I will take Jody's truck into town tomorrow to take the cardboard boxes into the recycling center on my way in.

Jody's truck turned over 30K miles this morning. His truck is about a year older than mine, and he just turned over 30K miles, and my car has over 65K miles on it. I just drive a lot more, that's all!

We were invited to our neighbors for a shrimp boil, and the rain caused the venue to be moved. We ended up going to Irene's brothers house between here and Bartlett. It is a beautiful place, and they have a large (I mean LARGE) covered patio area that they just put in about a month ago. It was all very nice, the people were wonderfully friendly, there was a LOT of boiled crab, shrimp, corn, potatoes, carrots, just like being back in mud-bug country. Wonderful! They also have a lot of wild life...goats, geese, guineas, peacocks, cats and a couple pet deer, one of which is very tame and her name is Honey AND she has only three legs, but gets around with no trouble at all.

All of the people at the party (in honor or Randy and Irene's daughter Diedre, who just graduated with her master's degree) know our house as 'Aunt Mary's place'. We did not know we lived at 'Aunt Mary's Place' until today. Aunt Mary Turner to be exact. It seems that a lot of the folks at the party grew up around here and had lots of stories to tell about growing up in the area. It is nice to be integrating ourselves into a community where everyone knows everyone else. Not sure about the knowing every one's business part of it though, but we will work on that!

Okay, I hope you did some good deeds today, and that you were thanked profusely for your generosity. Good deeds will come back to you many times over, both in kindnesses that will be paid to you, but also in just the good feelings you get from being kind and generous to others. Have Fun!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty Five...

I saw this hawk on a VERY low hanging electrical line on a road a couple miles from the house on my way home this afternoon. I decided to turn the car around and go back for a photo, and he (I assume) was very cooperative, and was not spooked by my attention. He did eventually fly off, but not before I was able to take a few very close range photos. I guess I was about 15 feet away from him (as the crow flies).

Today was not a bad day. The traffic going into the office was not intolerable. I wonder if we are finally seeing the downturn in the economy affecting our traffic patterns? I have heard that cities around the country have realized a lessening in traffic congestion, and they have attributed that to the problems with the economy. More people are out of work, so less people commuting TO work makes the traffic congestion on the highways less of an issue. I had not really thought our traffic challenges had become less of a problem until this week, when the daily commute was noticeably less problematic. Whenever there is a major education holiday or break (spring break, Christmas break or school is over for the semester types of things) there is a noticeable lessening of traffic, and we always look forward to that. The University of Texas has about 50K students, so when they are on break, it is like an entire town is off the road.

I had a productive day at the office, and got lots of work done, and then I had a chance to have lunch with my friend Chad. I was also waiting on a tenant to come into the office to pay her rent, so that caused us to have to do a hastier lunch than we had anticipated, because I had a 2 PM appointment that was about thirty miles away from the office. So, we went next door to El Mercado for lunch and I had the #5 daily lunch special which is the chicken enchilada plate. Yummy good!

I went to my appointment and was actually seven minutes late, but I called ahead and let them know I would be a few minutes late. The appointment lasted about an hour, and then I left for home, making a few stops along the way. I stopped at Lowe's and bought two more shelf units for the re-sale shop, and then of course I had to deliver them to the market. After that, I stopped at HEB for a couple donuts. They did not really have the kind I wanted, so I settled for the next best thing.

On the way home, I called our friend Michael to ask about his grandmother (and our friend) Pauline who was scheduled for surgery today in Temple. Michael said they had decided not to perform the surgery today, and was not really sure of the reason for the decision, but I will find out more about that later. I also congratulated Michael on the birth of his son last Saturday. The proud papa apologized for missing the party, but I told him that childbirth was an acceptable excuse and that we would look forward to seeing the new citizen.

I also called the wind turbine generator folks that were here today installing the antenna on the one unit that failed to have it. They are both out there just spinning-up-a-storm...I hope that our electric bill will show some considerable decreases. Time will tell, but it will not be because those things are not spinning. I still kind of think the far generator is working better then the generator nearest to the house, but maybe that is my imagination. We shall see...

The pool also looked kind of cloudy to me, and I called Jeanette our pool maintenance person, and she said she bet the chlorine level had finally gone down, and so I went out and put the chlorine generator button on 'AUTO' and turned on the system. Hopefully it will begin to clear up pretty soon.

Jody is making a pasta dish for dinner tonight, so we are both looking forward to that, and there will be plenty of things for me to do tomorrow. There is always stuff to do around here, and I take great pleasure in getting it done. Also, there is a party to be attended tomorrow afternoon at our neighbors (Randy and Irene) home in celebration of their daughters graduating with her Master's Degree. What an accomplishment that is!

So, I consciously did a couple good deeds today, and I am happy about that. How about yourself? Did you do anything nice and unexpected for anyone? Well, in case you did not, don't fret over it, there will always be a chance tomorrow. Have Fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty Four...

All things considered, this is expected to be a pretty good day. The morning should be pretty full, but the afternoon is somewhat open! Yippee!

So far, my predictions for the day have been pretty darn accurate. We had a great office meeting this morning, and Meals-on-Wheels was good. I had lunch with my friend Bryan, and that is always a pleasure. We have not had a chance to sit and talk in such a long time, and I really miss hanging out with him. We both used to have 'needs' to do some retail therapy, and we could always count on the other to go on a shopping excursion. That was always fun.

I have also done a couple Ombudsman cases today, and those are always interesting, as well.

Jody reports that the wind turbines are going to town, and that is a good thing. I am heading home shortly, I have to feed cattle, and we are heading to Chipotle for dinner tonight.

All things considered, everything is fine. Jody and I went into Georgetown, ran an errand or two, stopped at Tractor Supply and bought two c-clamps (you don't want to know), and then had dinner at Chipotle. We came home the long, leisurely way, not in any hurry. Once we got home, Jody fixed himself a cup of coffee, and I had a couple of sugar-free popsicles (my favorite kind). Then we both jumped into the pool and just talked for a while. Eventually, I remembered the dog had been out on the patio with us, and he was no where to be seen. SO, that was a traumatic bit of an event, and he was not really far, he was over in the neighbors pasture (eating I do not know what, and really do not care to even think about it). The only issue is, once he gets over there, he forgets how he got there, and we have to find a place to get him through the barbed wire. Not a happy thing, and as far as I am concerned, he is on the fast track to losing his priveleges. This is not the first time he has wandered off (I know it is mostly our fault) BUT that could explain how he ended up in the shelter in the first place. DUH!

Okay, take a deep breath (me). It is all okay. How are you doing on the good deed thing? I am sure you are racking up lots of points, so I am glad of that. Remember, it does not hurt to do something nice for someone, or to be kind to someone, or even to just say 'thank you' to someone for doing you a kindness. It can't hurt, can it? Oh, and don't forget to have fun!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty Three...

...and the corn is as high as an elephants eye...well, not really, not yet anyway, but things are really growing out here in the country. Everyday we see more stuff, things we had not seen the day before, it is pretty amazing (and pretty). We are full of awe at our first year here in the country, we will soon finish eight months, and it is all good. The land is wonderful, the neighbors are friendly, and the peace and quiet is really very pleasant. You should come for a visit!

Today was a really nice day, no issues going to or from the office, and there was some office work to get done, and then I had two meetings in the afternoon. I stopped at Lowe's on the way home and bought three hibiscus (hibisci?) and a couple other things. I also bought motor oil for the lawn mowers and a battery for one of my digital cameras. These are all things that I have been wanting to accomplish for some time, and got a few things out of the way. That is a good thing!

We are still eating bar-b-cue, but that is no issue for me. I am not against left-overs at all, and it has to be eaten. We may go out for dinner for a change tomorrow night. I watered some of the plants in the front of the house this evening, and as soon as I finish this, we will sit out by the pool for a while.

Michael called from Miami this evening, and let us know that he had made it back with no issues, and we are really ready for him to come back whenever he wants to, we had such a nice visit with him.

Tomorrow there will be a few more meetings, Meals-on-Wheels and then I am having lunch with my friend Bryan. We have not had lunch in a long time, so it will be really good to visit with him. I am really looking forward to it.

Okay, that is pretty much it for this brief post. Work on your good deeds, and be sure to have fun while you are at it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty Two...

A sad day, our friend Michael is going to head home to Miami (okay Del Ray Beach) this afternoon, and it has been really a blast to have him visiting with us. We are going to head out for the airport around 11 AM, and take the long way to the airport. We had some really wonderful talks while he was here, and it is great to have such a good friend, even though he is so far away. We both know the other is available if needed.

The wind turbine saga continues. I think I will withhold judgement until this afternoon, when the winds are supposed to be from the south at about 20 miles per hour, more than enough for that other turbine to do its' thing! I also need to call our electric co-op to see when they will be bringing out the new meter, so we can officially turn them on and begin producing energy.

I went out this morning and pulled a few weeds (really, only a few) and did some watering. Watering the plants and gardening is almost like riding my bike used to be, just hours of no concentration on anything in particular, and doing lots of thinking and solving all of the worlds problems. Great ideas probably come to mind while gardening or bike riding. I think it is probably a toss-up.

I called the Bartlett Electric Co-Op official (a very nice man) and he told me they had ordered a new electric meter for the house, one that is built to run backwards if we are generating more energy than we are using. When he first answered the phone, I introduced myself, and he acted as if he knew me (I had talked with him about two or three weeks ago). I asked him if he knew who I was and he answered "windmill number three". I thought that was pretty cool. I then explained to him that we had two turbines, so that made us windmills number three and four. Anyway, he said that it would not hurt anything if we turned the windmills on, so of course that is what we did. Actually, I expressed my concern to him that, everyone had told me NOT to turn them on until the electric company had a chance to come out and make sure everything was okay. He said he could not think of anything that could go wrong, and I asked him to send me an e-mail to that affect, and that it was okay to power up the turbines and he said he would. About an hour later, I guess that is how long it took him to reconsider, he called back and said they would be out on Thursday to put in the new meter, and, yeah, it is probably best to turn them off until we get a chance to come out and look at them. So that is what we did, and we should be all 100% up and running early Thursday morning (first thing)!

Well, I took Mikey to the airport and we miss him already, but we all hope he will be back soon. It is not terribly inconvenient to go back-and-forth from Ft. Lauderdale (I guess, it is not me doing the travelling), so maybe he will come back soon.

We had bar-b-que for dinner tonight, and we are planning to invite lots of people over in the coming MONTHS so we can try to eat all the food that was left over from the party on Saturday. Oh, well...if you accept an invitation from us, guess what you will end up having? Two guesses...

Okay how are you doing in the good deed department? I did a couple good deeds today, and I fear there are at least a few folks that think I was mean to them, but I also believe it is all a matter of perception. Anyway, you can always catch more flies (believe me) with honey than you can with vinegar. So, this is your cue to go and be sweet to someone, and it will come back to you many times over. HAVE FUN!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty One...

Oh no, this is awful! This is what I came upon on my way to work this morning. There is one road that I like to take to FM972, because it is really a pretty little lane, and there is this really cute, nicely redone home (and the property is right on a little creek). Today, there were lots of emergency vehicles there, and the place pretty much burned to the ground. The neighbors were there and I stopped to talk with them (they own the Bassett Hounds, but that is another story). I do not know if they reported the fire or not, since you cannot see this house from their house, but they said no one was in the house to the best of their knowledge, and that the house had been vacant for a while, and there were no utilities on in the property. That certainly makes it somewhat suspicious. The property had also been rented in the past, but not recently. Interesting. I think this is just terrible, it was such a nice little home.

Okay, here is the definition of 'first thing in the morning' as explained by an installer of wind turbine generators. 1:30 PM. Whatever! I called the wind turbine place at about 12:30 PM, and I was told that the equipment to raise the turbines was scheduled to arrive between 1:30 PM and 2 PM. That means 3:05 PM to you and me. Finally at about 7:15 PM they had both of the turbines erected, and one of them was spinning its' little heart out, but the other one does not seem to want to spin. It is blamed on the direction of the wind, and if the wind changes direction that will solve everything. They are not that far apart, and there is not that much interference, but I will wait and give them the benefit of the doubt. Oh, and there is a piece missing off of the one that is actually working, which causes it not to transmit date about how much energy is being produced. So, they will have to come back again and fix that, and-on-and-on-and-on.

Jody fixed us a nice dinner this evening of stuffed salmon and broccoli, and that was yummy. Our friend Michael will be leaving tomorrow, heading back to Miami, and we will both miss him. He is so much fun, and makes me remember all the fun we had when we were 'kids' in our mid-to-late 20's. We both love him very much!

Okay, were you kind to someone today? I am certain of it, and I am certain that you are getting this down comfortably by now. Go on, do a good deed, and it will come back to you many times over. And, HAVE FUN!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty...

This is what a money end of a wind turbine electricity generator looks like in a box sitting in our front pasture. Just kind of sitting there, not being very productive at all.

Today has been a busy day, but one filled with relaxation and a general sense of do-nothing-ness. Wonderful. Our friends Jim and Bonnie stayed overnight with us last night, after having come into town from Houston to attend the party. We all got up around 7'ish and went to Denny's for breakfast. When we got home, we were actually kind of sleepy (okay, I was kind of tired and Jody was kind of sleepy), so we just kind of hung around the yard and looked at stuff, sat around out in front (while Michael picked weeds, BRAVO!) and then we just moved from place-to-place sitting and talking and having a good time.

We all had lunch and by then it was pretty close to 2 PM and Jim and Bonnie headed out for Houston (by way of the outlet mall). Soon after that our friend Gary came for a visit, and he and Michael and I took an excursion to Tractor Supply Store to get a fly rub and the stuff you put on it to help treat the flies on the cattle. The flies are REALLY bad this year! Anyway, to accomplish that, we had to go to two different Tractor Supply Stores, and by the time we got back to the house, it was too hot and I was too tired to really do anything. SO, I am planning to put up the fly rub and all that stuff tomorrow, HOPEFULLY. I have it kind-of figured out in my head how I want to do it, I just hope it will work the way I want it to. Sometimes things look great on paper, but the reality is something different. Hopefully it will all work out, and life for the cattle will once again be good.

Gary left to go home (by way of Target) and Michael and I went into the pool for a while. I was surprised how much warmer the pool is today compared to yesterday, although we did have a pretty sunny day today. I am a little bit concerned about the flies, though. Those suckers can bite, and Michael said he was bitten by one that had a knife and fork. Honestly, they are really kind of mean, no wonder the cattle are so disturbed by them. After the swim, we went to find the blackberry bush that our friends Colette and Wayne found yesterday. Finally on the fourth or fifth try to locate them, we found them. The actual tree (I always thought blackberries grew on a thorny kind of vine, but these are actually growing on a tree) is in our neighbors pasture, but we felt we were entitled to the ones that were hanging over to our side of the fence. They are kind of sweet, but really small, and it would take a lot to make a cobbler, so we will continue with the frozen cobblers that are readily available at the local markets.

We all come in and had a nice dinner, and that will pretty much be it for the night. The wind turbine installers are due to be here 'early in the morning' and I really think that means just a little while after Noon, but I will give the the benefit of the doubt for right now. We shall see...

So, take a moment to reflect on the good deeds you have done today, and I hope that will make you feel warm and comfortable that you were able to do something kind and worthwhile for someone else. Good for you! and I hope you had some fun doing it, too!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day One Hundred Twenty Nine...

Ah, springtime in the country. Fresh baled wheat in the fields. Who knew?

Well, just as I suspected, it is now Noon:30 and there has been no word from the folks that have tried unsuccessfully for the last two days to install the wind turbine. I knew all along that they had no more any intention of coming back today than they could put a wind turbine on the moon, and they were just pulling my chain (much like the French tried against Nazi Germany a lifetime ago). So, there are just some things that we have no control over, and I cannot help it that some folks find it easier to mislead people than to be honest and forthright with them. Whatever...

So far today, I have moved cattle to the other pasture, and they were all pretty excited to go except for Mr. Speckles...he thought it was great fun for me to try coaxing him into the other pasture. It actually took about 20 minutes for me to get him moved, but after that he was happy. He has even done his 'this is my pasture' routine for the benefit of the neighbor's bull, who is wholly un-impressed with his amateur theatrics. I wonder where he gets that from? Oh well, we shall wait and see...

Jody and I went into Bartlett this morning to vote on the School propositions, and that was fun, it was our first time to be able to vote since we moved to Williamson County. There were only two things on the ballot (we cannot vote in the city elections) and I only voted for one of the two. If I have no idea about any of the ballot measures, I just do not vote for that at all. I would rather not vote than to vote and later find out I should have voted the other way. So, I just don't vote if I am not certain of how I want it to go.

ALSO, our friend Michael is still with us, and he did a lot of gardening yesterday, and came close to cutting his finger off they some gardening shears...he showed me the spots of blood on the porch to remember him by. AND, we have gotten everything ready (almost) for our annual party which is today. All we need to do is run to the store and get several bags of ice. We usually have a party around the Fourth of July, but we changed it to a spring time party this year, hoping it would be cooler (the nuclear weather station currently shows the temperature to be 86 degrees) and the flowers around the property would be blooming. Well, I do not think it is going to be particularly cool today, and most of the flowers are between blooms, so we will see how it goes. We are thinking this will be the last year for the big party, and we think we may just do a few more intimate get-togethers in the future. We kind of feel that the tradition has run its' course. We shall see...

Okay, well I was somewhat wrong about the people installing the wind turbines...they did not show up today to complete the installation,but they did call at about 12:55 PM this afternoon to let us know that they were not coming...actually they said they did not know if they were coming or not, but that they somewhat doubted it. Go figure... Anyway, they said they would be here bright and early Monday morning, which I think means sometime after 2 PM. Whatever...

The party is over, and there were some folks here that I only saw for a minute or two. It seemed like the party was over before it even got started. From all indications, everyone had a really nice time, and there was plenty of food and all was good. I am sure we will get more reports on Monday and through the week as to how everyone liked it. I spent a lot of time taking folks back to see the cattle and they all seemed to really enjoy it, most folks have never been that close to cattle, and they really do not realize how BIG they are. FUN! And here is a picture of Jody and Michael in the pool!

Okay, time for me to go beddy-bye. I hope you did lots of good deeds today, and there will be plenty of time for even more tomorrow. HAVE FUN!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Day One Hundred Twenty Eight...

Today was the penultimate day of Leadership Training, and although the training has been valuable and well worth it, it has also been exhausting and difficult. We are mostly A-Type personalities, and we are not used to sitting around in a classroom setting all day. Both yesterday and today were very good classes, but...there is a limit...there is only so much we can take...and I think we have found that point. One more class, and then the graduation. I have no idea what I will do with all that free time!

Well, there is really no news on the wind-turbine front. They were back today, and the turbines are still not up, in fact, if you were to go out there, it looks much like it did yesterday. They were kind of trying to fake me out that they would be back tomorrow (Saturday) but I truly believe they were just saying that to appease me...I have no doubt they will not be back until Monday. They need another piece of equipment to lift the masts into place, the piece of equipment that the 'scheduler' told me on Wednesday they would be bringing, and she needed to verify that we had not had any rain recently, because the piece of machinery weighed 26,000 pounds. Well, there was certainly no piece of machinery like that for the last two days, and that is most likely what they will need to complete the construction. So, they have WASTED two days, and two trips from Dallas, and there is still nothing to show for it. Whatever...

I used to be kind of surprised at the things I would see on I-35 during my daily commutes, but now I am hardly surprised at anything. I guess I never thought about all the stuff that went up and down the Interstate System, but seeing is believing (or at least understanding). So, this is how you get a broken down old Greyhound bus from one point to another, especially if the bus in question is incapable of its' own kind of locomotion. Just put it on a trailer and haul it to where ever you want it. It is somewhat disconcerting to see a behemoth such as this coming towards you on the Interstate, until you realize it is being towed. Hmmm...
Jody and Michael and I went to Catfish Parlour for dinner tonight, and a good time was had by all. The place was jumpin', too (and I had a beer). So now, after coming home and sitting out on the patio by the pool (and having a pop sickle) I am ready for bed. All laxed out, and ready to go to sleep.

I hope you found it easy to do a good deed for someone today, it should be getting easier and easier as you go along, and I hope you are finding it to be a rewarding and worthwhile use of your time, energy and resources. And, as long as you are at it, HAVE FUN!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day One Hundred Twenty Seven...

It always works out this way...nothing on the schedule and then EVERYTHING on the schedule at the same time! Today I have another Leadership Training Class, this afternoon I will o pick up our friend Mike at the airport, AND the installation of the wind turbine is scheduled for today as well. I would really like to be here for that, and I will (it is assumed) miss the whole installation process. That's is the way it goes, nothing much I can do about it! Anyway, it will be interesting to see the turbines up (and hopefully spinning) when I get home about 8 PM this evening.

Later the same day...The class today was a very good one, and I might be somewhat prejudiced because it was mostly about something that I am very familiar with and very passionate about...REALTOR ethics. I love the subject, and I can really get into it and it is just something that I enjoy teaching and learning about. So, that was really good, and I think the class overall really enjoyed it. The beginning part of the class was about conflict management and competition between individuals. A very good class indeed.

We were dismissed from class about 4 PM, and I headed to the office. I did that because my friend from Miami was due to arrive at the airport at 6:25 PM. I checked his flight and found he was to arrive 35 minutes late...but I had a hunch it might not happen. Southwest has a really good habit of not being late, and the flight did indeed arrive late, but only by about 5 minutes. So, we got to the farm at a reasonable time, and had a great time on the way. I have known Michael since about the mid 70's, and we have always been great friends, and it is always wonderful to see him. We always have big fun together and you really can't tell that we have not seen each other in almost a year. We met in Memphis, and I think Mike left for Miami in about 1976 and I left Memphis in 1979...but we have always kept up with each other.

Jody had dinner ready when we got home, and it was delicious...baked chicken and corn on the cob. The wind turbines are not up yet, in fact the two masts are laying on their sides out in the pasture. It seems the machine that lifts them into place (a crane maybe) broke and they had to go to Dallas to get another one. Oh well, they are supposed to be back tomorrow. Maybe they will be up tomorrow, and I will give you a full report. ALSO, the electric Co-op that we get our power from does not have our new meter ready, so even if they get them up tomorrow, they will be spinning away, but not yet supplying power to the house. Another delay, the they should have the meter installed next week. Hopefully.

So, time for bed. Have you done your good deed for the day? I did let someone cut in front of me at a red light, so that counts. Do something nice for someone as quickly as you can, and report back to me! Have fun!