Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day Two Hundred Seventy Three...

I call this one 'Cattle Butts in the Tall Grass'. What do you think? After I got home from work this afternoon, I watched a little bit of the news, and then I went out to check on the cattle. All is well, but the strangest thing is that part of the electric fence is not working...and it makes no sense at all. I am not a master electrician or anything of the sort, but I should be able to figure out this solar charged two-line electric fence. Along one of the fence boundaries, the top wire is not hot (charged) but the bottom one is. Turn the corner, and both lines are hot, and they are all getting power from the same source. I checked all the connections, and just cannot figure it out. However, it does not seem to concern the cattle. I don't think they know one is hot and the other isn't...I just think they think there is no sense in tempting fate, and for all practical purposes, they would just as soon not screw with that thing that shocked the stew out of them once or twice. We will all just stand around here and eat this grass until we get full, and then we will go lay down over there and chew it all some more. The life of a cow...

Not much excitement in my world today, and that is just fine with me. This morning, my friend Greg P came by the office to gather up some things that I am donating to the Education Committee for use (give-aways) at the Realty Round-Up next week. That is the Board of REALTORS annual trade show, and it was also an opportunity for me to get some stuff out of my storage locker. A double-whammy!

After that, I had an appointment at 11AM to show a managed property for lease, and had confirmed the appointment on Tuesday. I got there about 7 minutes until 11 (okay not about, exactly 7 minutes til) and waited until 19 minutes after 11 and no prospective client. I hate being stood up, it gives me a bad attitude. I can understand it when you do not confirm the appointment, but really... So, I was very nice (highly unlike me) when I called her and inquired if something had come up or if she needed to reschedule the appointment. Of course it was her voice mail...but I do have her name and phone number. Not even the courtesy of a return phone call to apologize, or say she had emergency surgery or anything. I can only assume that she is dead, otherwise, she would have responded. We do live in such a genteel society that common courtesy is always observed. Whatever...

So, other than that, I had a meeting at the Board of REALTORS, and it was a good meeting, part of the Government Affairs area of the Board. Interesting stuff. Being a REALTOR is not just about helping folks buy and sell (lease or manage) properties...there are all kinds of things going on behind the scenes that are really interesting and I am happy to be involved with all that. Good meeting!

So, now that I have had my say about the day...remember...good deeds, be kind, make a small (but significant) change. Have Fun!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day Two Hundred Seventy Two...

Do you remember the old story that when you are up to your butt in alligators it is difficult to remember that your objective was to drain the swamp? Well, here we have the story about the septic system that would not quit. I have learned more about septic systems in the past month and a half than I ever expected I would need to know. This particular septic system has a drain field issue, but we all think it can be repaired, as opposed to needing to REPLACE the entire septic system. You see, the liquids (work with me here) from the septic tank are supposed to work their way through the septic tank and into the drain field. The drain field is a series of large perforated PVC pipes about three feet below ground, that are resting on a bed of sand and gravel. Well, because of the extreme drought conditions we have been experiencing in the past two years, the trees in this yard have been seeking water (whatever) from where ever they can get it, in this case, the perforated pipes in the drain field. ERGO, no holes, no drain and big time backup. STINKY. Anyway, it should all be fixed by this afternoon, and no one got hurt (except financially) and this case can be closed!

I can remember when a 20% chance of rain meant NOTHING. It seems now that a 20% chance of rain means it will rain, thunder and lightning for HOURS. Then it will quit and then it will rain again. I am not complaining (yet), but suffice it to say, I would prefer to be home taking a nap. It seems I do not do well when the sun is not shining. INSERT BIG YAWN HERE! At least tonight maybe it will be good sleeping weather. It is still a little bit too humid for sleeping with the windows open, but this morning when I went out to get the paper (protected by my umbrella and jacket) it was 60 degrees, and it was wonderful. Only the smallest of concerns that my umbrella would act like a lightning rod and my body would be found smoldering into the asphalt of the driveway. Compound that with the fact that the paper was not even there the first time I went out to fetch it. That hardly ever happens!

Guess where I had lunch today? I am nothing if not a product of televised marketing campaigns. I saw a commercial for the Chicken Strip Dinner at Sonic yesterday, and it was like "Meg, BUY ME"! So I did and it was yummy and greasy, and Dr. Atkins would have been proud. Except that I ate the Texas Toast and the French Fries and Gravy as well. I know, it is not a perfect world in which we live, deal with it...or as my friend Pat would say "Build a bridge and get over it!" Pat is an instructor, and that always works for her, but whenever I make reference to that, it is like I have slandered someone. Whatever...

I made it home with no difficulties, and it is wonderful to be home. I had made a call to a friend Rhonda in Dallas, and she was kind enough to call back...we were playing phone-tag for a while. I needed to go out and check the cattle, and so I thought I would call her from the pasture. It worked, and I got the information I needed. While I was out there (the cattle were all doing fine, thanks for asking) my neighbor in the back (Alan) was out watching the guy dig out his tank, so I went back there just to see what was going on. Of course, I was dressed in my underwear (boxers natch) and my pink fake Crocs, so I guess it is not necessarily true that clothes make the farmer. Anyway, we all stood around and solved the problems of the world for a while, and I made it back into the house to watch the end of the news.

Busy Day! Be kind, do good, make small changes, Have Fun!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day Two Hundred Seventy One...

If any of you know me really well, you understand that I really do not talk much about myself, or my accomplishments; I kind of get embarrassed. I prefer to give than to receive...I prefer to entertain, rather than be entertained. If I were to go to a party where I don't know many people, that would be me leaning up against the wall, smoking a cigarette (okay, not really, but in the 'old' days, YES!), not talking to many folks. Usually one of the first to arrive, and almost ALWAYS the FIRST to LEAVE. I am a creature of habit, and I like my habits. Usually you can set your watch by my habits. But today, I am going to make an exception...something I am really proud of... For many years, I have sponsored many events and charitable endeavors in the Austin area, and one of those is the Empty Bowl Project. The Empty Bowl Project is always held on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, and it benefits the Capital Area Food Bank. This year, Carrie (my BP) and I decided that the company would take over the sponsorship of the Empty Bowl Project. We have donated $5,000 to the Project this year, and today was the ceremonial check presentation at the offices of the Capital Area Food Project. In this photo are Lisa, Kelly, Tom, Myself, River, Carrie and Patty, all members of the Austin REAL Pros Team, except for Kelly who is a member of the Capital Area Food Bank Staff. I will give you more information about this years Empty Bowl Project as we get it. It is a very worthwhile event, and you should all mark your calendars RIGHT NOW for the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Put it on your calendar in INK!

The commute both going and coming today was not terrible. I left REALLY EARLY to go to work, and moderately early to go home. I think traffic on the way home became really problematic, but I missed out on all of that.

When I got home, I went out to check on the cattle, and I am glad to say that all is going rather nicely, thank you very much. The cattle have stayed within the confines of the electric fenced area, and have made no indications that they are anything less than ecstatic with the arrangements. We will see how long that lasts. I was worried that they were too 'citified'. After all, they get feed, hay, grass, and a lot of attention from me. Jody said he doubted that the cattle were 'citified' but that he worried that the cattle rancher might be too 'citified' for the cattle. Whatever...

Jody took the dog in to the vet this morning for a check up, and he has an ear infection, so we are charged with putting two different kinds of goop in his ears on a daily basis. Then he has a pill to take four times a day...the pill is not too much trouble, but we were expecting big issues with the goop part, but alas, he was a strong dog-boy, and 'took his medicine' as it were. Sit! Stay! Good dog!

Red Beans and Rice for dinner tonight. Interesting discussion after a paragraph about dog ear infections and medicinal good. Whatever! It was yummy good.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a septic inspector at one of our managed properties...the day of reckoning for the septic system at that house. More interesting discussions...

Good deeds...kindnesses...small changes for the good of the planet...Have Fun!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day Two Hundred Seventy...

Jody and I decided to head out to Bastrop since we had not been there in months-and-months, so we headed out Highway 95. The goal was to be at Mimi's Cafe in Round Rock at about 2PM. Have a smallish breakfast, a big lunch and very little for dinner. That was the plan. We got into Taylor, and we were intrigued by all the new construction going on behind the turns out they are building a very impressive parks and recreation development, and they must be building at least a half-dozen baseball fields, another bunch of (what looks like) soccer fields, and who knows what else. After that, I stopped and got gas at HEB at $2.19 a gallon, and off we went. By the time we got pretty close to Coupland, we both decided we were hungrier than we had expected to be, and neither one of us thought we would make it to Bastrop and then back to Round Rock. So we decided to turn around at Coupland and head for Round Rock.

Once in Coupland (I had been there many times on my bicycle when I was training) we came upon the Huntington Sculpture Foundation. Don't get me wrong, we also checked out the Coupland Dance Hall and the other couple spots that you would expect to find in Coupland, but the Huntington Sculpture Foundation was not something we were expecting. I remarked to Jody that there was/is a sculpture reminiscent on these at Laguna Gloria in Austin, and sure enough, when I looked up the Foundation on the Internet, the sculptor does indeed have a work at Laguna Gloria. It was a very interesting place, and we strolled the grounds and took several photos. There is also a donation container, and Jody made a modest investment in the cause. To find out more information, go to It is always interesting what you will find once you get off the roads MORE travelled. We recommend the roads less travelled!

So, we headed back down CR 1660 and finally made it into Hutto. It was an interesting road, and we like going down roads we have never been on before. 1660 led us to Highway 79, and in short order we were at Mimi's. The place was packed, even though we had expected the church crowd to be long gone. We got there at about 1:30 and there was a short wait. I had the Patty Melt and fries, and Jody has the crab-meat quiche. I ate everything on my plate, and Jody brought about half of his home with him. It was all yummy good.

Earlier this morning, I had gone out to check on the cattle, and I am happy to report they are all doing splendidly, thank you very much. They seem to be happily grazing on all the tall grass, and really did not pay me very much attention at all when I went back there. AND, there seems to be no interest in escaping to other pastures at all. I think the electric fence is doing its' job so far. Keep your fingers crossed that it all continues.

After checking out the cattle, we planted some pansies that we had bought yesterday, and I trimmed back a couple trees around the pool that had gone CRAZY. Everything is looking much better now, and we hope the cooler weather will help the new petunias, pansies and tomato plants. At least the nights are cooler, and hopefully the days will begin to be cooler. After all, it is practically October. I jumped in the pool yesterday, and it was COLD. That did not last long, and Jody basically just put his feet in and sat on the side for a few minutes.

After we got home from lunch, we both took naps, and that was pretty much it for us. A wonderful conclusion to a perfectly wonderful weekend. Remember to do something kind for someone and to make some small change for the benefit of the planet. You can do it, it will be really painless. Have Fun!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty Nine...

A YEAR AGO TODAY...(except a year ago today was a Friday, not a Saturday)...A YEAR AGO TODAY, Jody and I closed on the property where we now live. Time flies when you are having a good time. The Seller's had a short lease back, and we began the transition from the condo in town and the other farm in Red Rock. I think we actually moved in (or actually took possession) on the 7th or 8th of October. There has been a lot of work done since then, and although the exterior may not look too different (the drought has not helped) there have been lots of subtle changes. Fences added, all the flooring redone, the entire house painted, replaced the entire HVAC system, new cook top, new toilets (my personal fetish) some upgrades to the septic system, lots of efficiency upgrades including the installation of the two wind turbines and I am sure there is more that I cannot think of right now. We both love it out here, and we enjoy the neighbors and the real sense of home that we have. I wonder what the next year will bring?

We think the cattle are enjoying it, too. We moved here with four longhorn cattle, and we have eleven now, both through breeding and purchase. We expect our base will remain at a constant 8 head of cattle, Mr. Speckles and his personal harem of seven cows. The offspring from here on out will be either sold or given away. Eight is a good number, and they will be able to graze on the land with no issues. We now have three separate pastures to rotate them from one to another. I have thrown caution to the wind this morning, and opened up the new pasture to them. They are back there with their heads down, eating the grass that the new pasture affords. I want them to eat down that grass, so I can sow my new Blackland Prairie seeds in that pasture, and then I will keep the cattle off that pasture for a couple months, while the new seed takes hold. Eventually, I would like to sow all the pastures with that seed, since it will be more drought tolerant and it is native to this part of Texas.

My first sighting of 'shrooms! Back in the day, I did not really pay attention to what they looked like...but the pastures are full of these now! I am WAY TOO OLD for further experimentation, so just live with the memory, if you have any memories. I do not even know if these are the real (wink-wink) thing or not...I guess I will look them up on the Internet. I am kind of blank from the late 60's to the mid-90's. Whatever!

Since I have opened up the back pasture to the cattle, and since I only have the two-wire electric fence around that area, I am going to go visit with all the neighbors and ask them to be on the look-out for wandering cattle. I hope I do not need to go out and herd cattle today/tonight/ever! BUT, with that possibility in mind, I have decided not to put out any fresh hay or give them any feed. I will need some type of bribe materials if they decide to make a break for it. I will keep you all informed!

Jody and I went into Georgetown to get some chrysanthemums for the front beds, and some petunias and some pansies for the back area around the pool. On the way, were were heading down FM 972 and there was this turtle in the road. Why did the turtle cross the road? Whatever... Anyway, I practically killed both of us trying not to run over the turtle, and I stopped the car, backed up and deposited the turtle in the pasture (on the side of the road towards which he (it) was headed). I have stopped many times to put turtles out of harms way, sometimes I think country juveniles find critters like this to be 'sport'. Anyway, this one should be okay for a while.

Of course, while we were in Georgetown, we stopped for our traditional spoiler. Yummy. This is pretty much it for today. I think the rest of the day will be spent lolling about the house. We will go do a 'cell check' on the cattle later on, but so far it seems they are more interested in fresh green grass than they are in escaping to the other pastures. I hope that holds for a while. I am not in the mood for going and chasing cattle.

Do a good deed for someone, show some extra kindnesses towards someone who is not expecting it of you. Do some small thing that will make the planet a better place for all of us. Have Fun!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty Eight...

It is an absolutely GORGEOUS day in Austin, Texas. The sun is shining, the humidity is not 100%, the temperatures are in the mid-70's, and I just finished lunch at Freddie's on South First Street. Even though we ate inside, the doors and windows were open, and it was wonderful. It is truly our 'second spring'. We don't really have too many seasons here (okay, we don't really have all four of the seasons that other parts of the country might enjoy), we really only have spring and summer. Spring can be in the spring, or it can be in the fall. There is really no winter, but SUMMER WE GOT! We should be okay from now right on through to next May or June...we will have some cold temperatures, but very rarely do we have freezing temperatures, and if we do, it is usually just during the overnights. Almost no sign of freezing temperatures during the days. If you are all confused, then my job is done!

Traffic was really pretty much of a breeze this morning, although I did come to a complete stop two or three times. It is just something to be expected, but I made good time into the city, and I hope that will keep up for this afternoon. I have a 3:30 appointment, and so far, there is nothing on the schedule for the weekend except lolling about with a good book (okay, really, probably not) but you get the idea. I am sure I will find something to do. Cows and those kinds of things tend to keep someone busy.

I am thinking about opening the back pasture up to the cattle tomorrow morning. I have a lot of Blackland Prairie Grass Seed to put out, but I need the cattle to eat down the grass that is there so I can plant it. I am really kind of nervous about the cattle with only two electrical wires between us and freedom, but it seems to work for all the other cattle in the county. I guess I need to just put on my 'big boy cowboy' boots and go with it. If you see an anguished post tomorrow, you will know what happened. They all made a break for it!

OMG! It is after 8 o'clock, and Jody and I jut got home from dinner. We went into El Patron's in Georgetown...YUMMY! We both had spinach enchiladas, and they were really good! After dinner, Jody wanted to make a run into HEB, and I wanted to make a run into Tractor Supply. I dropped Jody off at HEB and I went on to Tractor Supply. I then picked Jody up and we BOTH went into Hobby Lobby. This cooler weather has gotten me started on crocheting again...the Holiday Season is just around the corner, and you need to get your Holiday Crocheting done. Don't wait till the last minute!

The drive home this afternoon was a real snooze...I could have snoozed while I waited for traffic to move, but instead, I updated my FaceBook status and other important things. It was a long commute home.

Pretty darn close to my bedtime. Gonna be a great weekend, I can tell already! Try to do a kind deed for someone who is not expecting it of you. Try to come up with some small thing that will make the planet a better place for all of us. And, as long as you are at it, Have Fun!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty Seven...

This do in memory of Hellen (with 2 l's). Today was my day to deliver Meals-on-Wheels, and as I predicted, it was indeed raining. The rain made the delivery from the main kitchen to our satellite pick-up spot delayed, so there were lots of us there when the van arrived. We were all having a good time, talking about the weather and solving the problems of the world, twice or three times! I have been delivering Meals-on-Wheels since 1997, and I really enjoy it...unfortunately, sometimes you lose track of your clients, and sometimes they just disappear and you have no idea what has become of them. Earlier this week (or maybe it was the weekend) I read that one of my clients had passed away. I don't remember her age, and it was a very short obituary, but there she was, and I had been delivering to her for about two or three years, ever since I switched my route from mid-town Austin to a more south location. I remember the last time I saw her, she was sitting in her wheel chair, smiling and nodding her head, but she had nothing to say. That is a nice way for me to remember her. She looked happy and at peace. Meals-on-Wheels is a good thing to do, and a nice way to spend an hour or two of your day once a week or so. You ought to think about it.

It was raining again today, and we have about another third of an inch of rain in the gauge. It seems to be pretty dry here at the house, but it rained most of the day in Austin. I think they are predicting a 10% chance of rain tomorrow, and then just plain cloudy for a couple days...I don't think there is a big rain event in the seven day forecast. We need a little time to dry out and take care of some things, and then we will be ready for more rain.

Our telephones, Internet connections and cable connections were hit and miss today. They were out, then back, then out again. I think that is the big part about why the office was so quiet today. If nobody can get in touch with you, it makes for a quiet day! I left the office about 10 minutes before 4, and the service was still out. I have connected in to my office computer from home, so things seem to be working again. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Traffic was about what you would expect for crazy people driving in the rain today, nothing better, nothing worse. I had one appointment today, and that turned out nicely, and I have another appointment on the books for tomorrow afternoon. So far, the weekend looks open, and that will be nice. There are a few things we need to get taken care of at the house.

Deeds...Better Place...Kindnesses...Good Words...Have Fun!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty Six...

I know I have posted photos similar to this before, but I really like the way the lights reflect off the glass and the reflective tape gives you that 'trailing' kind of look. Reminds me of how I used to view life when I was much younger and not really concerned about a substances long-term effect. Jody is also appreciative of the reflective tape usage, since he has stock in 3M! As you can tell, I left for work before sun-up this morning, and this is just one of the benefits of an early start!

Okay, you are going to laugh. Not only am I in touch with my masculine AND feminine sides, I am also in touch with my chilly side. I actually put on my jacket this morning when I went out to pick up the paper. The nuclear weather station reported the low temperature (well, the temperature when I went outside) to be 63 degrees, and it was a bit humid. The perfect kind of weather for becoming ill...drastic temperature changes, rain, chill and humidity. So, since all the newscasts are reporting the H1N1 flu strains are rampant in central Texas, I have decided to take no chances. Ergo, the jacket. See, there was a point to be made, you just sometimes have to wait on it!

So, in the last twenty-four hours, we have recorded about an inch and a third of rain in the gauge, and it looks like the rain will hold-off for the next couple days. Cloudy and overcast, but no rain for a few days. I am sure it will rain tomorrow, between the hours of 11 and noon, when I am delivering my meals-on-wheels route. We shall see...

I attended two great meetings at the Board today...Professional Development and Education and Realty Round Up. The Professional Development Committee always provides us lunch, courtesy of a sponsor, and it is a really hard working committee. All the members of that committee work really hard, and there are lots of benefits to being on the committee as well. Chairman Chad does a great job, and next year's Chair will have a lot of work to do. We are getting down to the wire with the Realty Round Up committee, the event is October 7th, so there is not much more time to get everything done. Then the planning for next years event will begin, and we will do everything we can to make it bigger and better.

Okay, so now I know that everyone was wrong about the rain...when I came out of the Board of REALTORS it was raining, and continued raining. For all I know it is still raining in Austin. Jody said it rained most of the day in the country, but it was not a hard rain, just persistent, light drizzle. According to the rain gauge, we have about another quarter of an inch, and that is great. This was a good soaking drizzle and it will be great for the land. I ordered a bunch of seed today from Junction, Texas...native Texas seeds for both wildflowers (which we will use in beds and kind of along some creek areas) as well as a native grass mix (which includes some wildflowers) that I am intending to sow in the pasture areas. To do it correctly, it will take a couple years, you can only keep the cattle off so much of the land for extended periods of time. BUT, by next spring, at least part of the pasture land should have some good native Blackland Texas Grasses growing on it, and the cattle HAD DARN BETTER appreciate it! I'm just saying...

Looking for another good evening at home, and enjoying the cool weather. The prognosticators this morning were predicting the temperatures to begin increasing tomorrow, but I think they may have been off by a day or two...I do not think it will get too warm tomorrow, but I will wait and see. The last I heard this afternoon, there is still a 70% chance of rain tomorrow. BRING IT ON!

Deeds...Better Place...Kindness...Whirled Peas...Have Fun!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty FIve...

The creeks in the area have water in them again, and that water is actually running. It is wonderful to see the tanks holding water, and even on our property, the tanks are (not full) but looking good. This is a photo that I took on the way home this afternoon, looking 'up stream' at one of the low water crossings that has been dry most of the time we have lived here. It is hard to believe that we closed on this house and land almost a year ago, and we started moving in about a week or ten days later. Time has really passed by quickly, and it was a really good move for us both!

I woke up to just a slight sound of rain on the roof. By the time I went out to retrieve the newspaper, there was a little over a quarter-inch in the gauge. By the time I left for work, we had just a little bit over an inch. I think it has been raining on-and-off all day, so it will be really interesting to see what this 'rain event' turns out to be. We need the rain very badly, but we are turning into the Seattle of the Southwest. I AM NOT COMPLAINING, I'm just saying...

Traffic on the way to the office this morning was not terrible, it was just REALLY slow. I mean 18 miles per hour slow was a good average. I think I really only stopped dead once but it was really REALLY slow going. That was better than multi-car pile-ups, so I an glad for that.

It is supposed to be cooler for the next several days, and that will be a nice change. 99 degrees yesterday, most likely not even making it into the mid 70's today. I think I was a little bit too generous with that temperature range. I got in the car to drive home, and the weather person said the temperature (at just a little after 4 o'clock) was 65 degrees. And it is not expected to get very much (but a little bit) cooler over night. I think the low temperature tonight will stay in the 60's, but I would not be surprised if we made it down to the upper 50's. They are predicting upper 50's for the Hill Country. YOU WANNA HEAR SOMETHING CRAZY? There has been snow in Colorado the last few days, and they are saying that parts of Colorado will get about 16 inches of snow tonight. Last night while Jody and I were in the pool, we were remarking that is was, after all, almost October, and our pool days might be numbered!

Tomorrow will be a day of office work in the morning, and a couple meetings at the Board of REALTORS in the afternoon; a luncheon meeting for the Professional Development and Education Meeting, and a later Realty Round Up (our annual trade show) Meeting. Then, most likely, it will be about time for me to head home.

Even the pool has filled up again, and I was just thinking last night that the water level had gone down enough that the skimmer was finally really able to do its' job. Well, we are at that high water mark again, so we will see how long it will take the pool levels to go back down. It is better by far than having to keep adding water to it!

I hope you have enjoyed your first day of fall; it arrived at about 4:18 this afternoon, and the season has really changed. Good deed...good work...better planet...Have Fun!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty Four...

How do you like this for a recurring theme...and remember...this is from the kinder, gentler Bill Evans. Traffic was moving along nicely this morning, and suddenly, we were stopped...and stopped again...and on-and-on. Finally, we got to where we could see the flashing lights ahead, in the left lanes, so everyone was merging into the right lanes. When we got to the fire truck with the cones all strung out and lights blazing, the three vehicles in the mishap were on the left shoulder of the road, out of the line of traffic and the only thing in the way of progress was the fire truck. Okay, for the benefit of the doubt, I am going to assume there is some policy there, but REALLY...

Made my way on into the offices of the Board of REALTORS where I was chairing an ethics hearing. The hearing lasted until after 2PM, at which time I headed on into the office and made myself useful for a while. I actually attended to a lot of business in a shore period of time, that is one of the benefits of showing up in the office on get wither caught up or ahead of the flow of business.

So...traffic was not good both going and coming...on the way home this afternoon, there was a car in the left hand lane of the Interstate, where there was not shoulder, looking like they were changing a flat. All traffic was again trying to merge into the right lanes, and it was not really working. Finally I got my zero cylinder car to go REALLY fast and cut off a guy in an 18 wheeler, but anyway, I was able to merge. Traffic was pretty much like that all the way home...a series of small inconveniences that caused havoc for drivers on a 40 mile stretch of the Interstate. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

The wind has come up considerably, and the high temperature in Austin today was 99 degrees...just one degree short of the number we needed. We just need one more day at 100 degrees or better to officially be the hottest summer EVER RECORDED. I have no fear that we will NOT break the is not really that unusual for us to hit 100 degrees in October, November or even December...we shall see what happens.

Just finished a yummy dinner, gonna go see if the pool is still simply 'refreshing' or 'extremely refreshing'. That is code for COLD!

Good deed...better place...Have Fun!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty Three...

Yahoo! I finally got my hair cut. You may not think that is such a big deal, but it is. You cannot just stop anywhere and get your hair cut, you have to be very careful about your hair. I know, it is just hair and it will grow back, but why take a chance? I have a wonderful stylist and I will work my schedule around her schedule, it just does not happen that often. So, I found out today that she works late a couple days a week, so that may make it easier for me to get my hair cut more often. I would really like to get my hair cut every two weeks or so, but it seems more and more that I do not get it cut but about every six Weeks. CRAZY!

It is a beautiful morning in Central Texas, and I have been conscious for over three hours already, and so far I have accomplished very little. Chores around the house to be done (I am thinking about them) and other than that, this is intended to be pretty much a 'found day'. A 'found day' in my opinion is a day that you had appointments or commitments scheduled for most of the day, and then everything falls through or is cancelled for one reason or another. Suddenly, you can breathe, suddenly you have time that you con do with what ever you will, and that is a wonderful thing. I love 'found days'.

We have lots of things on our schedules, but since it is Sunday, nothing much can get started until 11, because some of the things we have planned entail going into Georgetown and off into that area.

UT was victorious last night, and that is a good thing. Go Horns!

We went into town, got all our chores done, and determined that the pool was VERY refreshing...that is code for NOT 82 degrees. It was about 70 degrees in the pool, and we stayed in for about 20 minutes or so, just long enough to be 'refreshed'.

On our way back home, we stopped at Michael's new house that he and Hubert are building on some of their land. It is a 'barn-dominium' and it is going to be really cool when they get it finished. It will have a great floor plan, and it is even better (I think) because they are building it themselves. Michael and Abby and the baby Jackson should be moving in in a couple months, certainly by the Holidays. It will be really nice when they get moved in, and they are really nice, and I look forward to knowing them more. They are all certainly a handy bunch, and can fix or build just about anything.

My next project is going to be a chicken coop, and we shall see how that goes. I think we just have to expect a certain number of chickens will succumb to; 1) Coyotes, 2) Owls, 3) Hawks, 4) All of the above.

Do a good deed, make the world a better place, Have Fun!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty Two...

The City of Taylor, Texas is a quiet small town at 7:45 in the morning, just the way I like it. I was in town early this morning to pick up feed for the cattle, and the Taylor Feed Store does not open until 8 o'clock, but I could not figure that out on the Internet. So, I got there a little bit earlier than they open, and I just spent a few minutes of quiet time. It was great. It seems, too, that the owner of the feed store is a Real Estate Broker and an appraiser, although he has let his appraisers license lapse. He said he is still keeping his Brokers license, just in case the feed store gig doesn't work out. I think it will eventually lapse, though!

Anyway, I bought feed, molasses buckets, salt blocks and mineral blocks, and headed home. Once I got closer to the house, the guys that are installing the structures that will eventually be electric transmission lines were out working, and I stopped to complain to them that they were ruining the appeal of the country kind of life...I also acknowledged that I know it is not 'them' but they are the only people we can see, and they are doing it, so the unhappiness naturally manifests itself to 'them'. I think they understand that, and no cross words were exchanged. I am happy to report that the 110 foot towers will most likely be visible from our property, but they will make a turn and head-off away from our property, so there will not be any power lines crossing our property for the immediate future. You never know what can happen down the road, though.

So, to continue...I got home and our hired guys were here, and I got one of them to help my put out hay, feed the cattle, distribute molasses tubs and salt and mineral blocks, and by 10 AM I was taking a shower and getting ready to go into Austin to get ready for my real estate appointments. I had pretty much done a days work, but it was okay...working around the farm is not REAL work, it is kind of like PLAY work, and I really like it.

So, traffic was crazy in Austin, everyone is getting ready for the UT vs Texas Tech game tonight. I have no strong opinions either way, but it would be nice if UT could be victorious, after the whoopin they took last year. We shall see...I however will not be watching the game...I kind of feel like I am a bad luck charm, so I will wait until the late news or the morning newspaper to see who won. GO HORNS!

Meatloaf for dinner tonight, and tomorrow will be another busy day, although at this time I have no reason to go into Austin. I think Jody and I will be doing some chores in Georgetown, and we will of course have to stop for a spoiler at Dairy Queen. I am also determined to get a hair cut tomorrow. IT WILL HAPPEN! And, we will see what other kind of mischief we can get into on a nice Sunday. We are hoping for a little bit of rain next week, and we will see if that will pan out or not.

Okay, good deeds, kind acts, make the world a better place, Have Fun!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty One...

Tom and I had to go and walk a couple properties this morning, and I also needed to preview some listings in the Mueller Development, and that put us around I-35 and Manor Road right at lunch time. Tom said his favorite restaurant was El Chile on Manor Road, so that is where we headed. I have to tell you, it was REALLY good. I had the Chicken Enchiladas Verde (which is pretty standard for me when I go to a newish Tex-Mex restaurant) but it was delicious. It had a sweet taste to it, and I am not sure what that was about, and the salsa that was presented with the chips was about the color of mole, and had a smoky flavor to it. I think I will go back sometime soon, and hopefully be able to get Jody to tag along with me. YUM!

It has been a good day today, and lots of things have been accomplished. I am really looking forward to the weekend, even though I will be showing properties for several hours tomorrow. But that is okay! I love showing properties, and especially to buyers that are wanting to move and are ready to make a decision.

The first part of the day was swell...after lunch, it kind of went downhill in a hurry. Nothing really terrible, just lots of small details that were incredibly time consuming and nagging. It was turning out to be one of those 'not enough hours in the day' kind of things. And my weekend is already booked up pretty solid.

Why can't tenants call in their backed-up toilet issues before 5:20 PM? Honestly, I had to pull over to the side of the road on the way home just to three or four different people...about really inconsequential issues. I have to admit, I really had no patience, but I did not let that point get across. I am better now. Anyway, remember, I am the luckiest man in the world...hands down!

I will be off to the Taylor feed store early in the morning, so I can hopefully be back home before our hired man shows up. We have lots of yard work to get done, and I have asked him to bring reinforcements. I kind of need to get them started, then I need to get ready to go into Austin for my appointments, and I need to have procured the cattle feed and other supplies before any of that gets started. It will all work out!

Have a kind...make the planet know the routine...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day Two Hundred Sixty...

Is this order for here or to go? To go. What'll you have? I'd like one cup of hot & sour soup, six spicy rangoons, one Pad Thai and one Firebowl Fried Rice, please. Name? Bill. We'll call you when it's ready. While I waited, I was really thirsty, but there was nothing to drink that would be carried conveniently in the car (at least there was nothing I wanted to try carrying in the car). When they called my name, I stuffed several (maybe 10) fortune cookies in the bag, and kept another two in my hand to eat on the way home. My favorite fortune of all time (from a cookie) said 'Next time try the fish'. I loved that!

It was black as pitch at 7AM this morning (well almost) and that was really surprising to me. I don't remember it being THAT dark that late until this year, and that may be because we are living someplace where we can see out the windows. I think when you live in town, you do not pay that much attention to outside darkness and lightness (is that a word?). Work with me here!

We had a good property management meeting this morning, and then I worked on some things and took off for my Meals-on-Wheels route. That was a lot of fun, and I always look forward to it. I had five folks on my route this time (up from three the last time), and it was all good. Mr. Stan and Dennis at the distribution center are always fun to talk with, and as is David, the man that delivers the meals to the center where we do our pick-ups.

It has turned out to be kind of a cloudy day, and that kind of gives me the blues. I like the sunshine a lot more than the clouds, but I do appreciate the cooler temperatures. It was nice and cool last night, and we slept with the windows open for a while, but it was too humid for comfort, and I got up and shut the windows and turned on the air conditioner. We may try it again before too long. The leaves are falling outside my window at the office, and I am watching a grackle parading on the roof top at El Mercado. I do not think the leaves are dropping from the change of seasons, but more probably because the trees are stressed from not having enough water during the summer. We are still concerned that we will be cutting down about four trees at the house because there was NO WATER for them during the most brutal part of the year, heat wise. Everything just really baked this summer.

I will be leaving the office shortly, and trying to head home before the traffic gets too bad. I have been listening to Books on CD in the car (still not listening to ANY kind of talk radio), and I am about finished with 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter'. Set in the 1920's and written in (I think) the 1940's or 50's, it is a really interesting book, and describes how life was (almost) a hundred years ago in the deep south. I thank my friends Michael and Lynda for suggesting the Books on CD, and I will soon have finished my second book. I have a queue of books lined up, and I am looking forward to broadening my horizons, literature wise.

I am going to stop at Firebowl tonight on the way home to get us a couple dinners to go. Pad Thai for Jody, and I am not sure what I will have just yet. I will let you know later what I have decided on. EDIT: See the opening paragraph.

Carrie and I are looking for new computers for our office, and we WILL NOT purchase Dell products. That makes me feel very badly to say that, but it is the principle of the thing. It is a long story, but we have been very unhappy with the customer service from Dell since we bought the last computers. Whenever we think we have one issue fixed, something else comes up. What a pain in the tookus that has been. Any ideas what we should look at? We probably need a PC based system, but we were kind of thinking we would go the lap top way, but many folks say we will not be happy with laptops in an office setting.

Getting home was a little bit of a chore...I did not leave the office as early as I had intended, but overall it was not too bad. I made it home well and safe, so that is the important thing. Life is good here, and it is a beautiful day. I am a lucky man, and happy to acknowledge that fact.

We must be really closing in on the Holiday Shopping PEOPLE MAGAZINE arrived today, and I always 'de-nude' it of all the stapled in advertisements and things, and there were no less than three of those advertisements in it that have the perfume and cologne samples stuck on them. STINKY! PEE-YEW! Makes my sinuses all close up. TMI!

I will be working on Saturday, and I have four men coming to the house to do lawn work. I also need to go into Taylor EARLY in the morning, because I need cattle feed, and other supplies. So, I will be there when the store opens so I can make it to my appointment in Austin at 11AM. No problems, I will survive. "More sturdy stands the bowing reed than doth the mighty oak."

Do a good deed, try to make our world a better place, and Have Fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty Nine...

Well, it was a back-to-work day today. Traffic was a bit of a challenge, and I should know that when I start out late, it is not going to be smooth sailing. BUT, I got to stay home a little longer, and that was okay. Today we celebrated a passel of birthdays in the office with a little luncheon at ZAX Pints & Plates on Barton Springs Road. This is a photo of Tracy, Lisa, River and Tom from our offices, all celebrating birthdays recently or in the near future! It was a lot of fun, and congratulations to all of them!

I did not really want to be rushing out of the house this morning. It was nice and cool when I went for the newspaper, about 68 degrees according to the weather prognosticators, and there was actually a little bit of a chill in the air. It was very nice, and I really enjoyed it...although there is a little bit too much humidity for opening the windows...maybe the humidity will go down soon, and we will be able to get fresh air into the house!

A beautiful day in Austin, all things considered. I will be leaving the office shortly, and getting an early start on my trip home. Time for relaxing is near!

The drive home was easy, no issues. I had one stop to make, but other than that, there were no issues. It is a wonderfully breezy day, and it is almost like a spring time day (except it is not)! When I got home, I settled down in front of the television to watch the last few minutes of Jeopardy and the news, and, as is the norm, went directly to sleep. My afternoon nap!

I am such a creature of habit, you can pretty much set your watch by what I am doing and when I am doing it. I have certain tasks which MUST be performed at a certain time, on a certain day, and that is just the way I like it. I am too old to change now.

How are your good deeds coming? Have you thought of anything you can do to make the world a better place for all of us? Try to think about these things, and let's all work on this together. Many hands can accomplish more together than separately. Have Fun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty Eight...

Okay, I am back from my trip to Dallas to attend the TAR Convention, and I had a great time, learned a lot of stuff (that is a technical term) and got to know many of my colleagues better than is possible during the normal course of business. All in all, a very successful trip. This will be kind of a recap of things from the last couple days. This photo is of me and my friend Carrie W. (not my BP Carrie, a different Carrie), and this shot was taken outside the site of the CRS Luncheon on Monday, where she was being installed as the new President of the Lone Star Chapter. CONGRATULATIONS CARRIE!

It was a rainy kind of overcast day in Dallas on Monday, and this is the view outside my window in the Hotel. On the first night, I thought I was hearing other guests in the Hotel slamming doors and crashing into things, but it turned out that I was within spitting distance of the rail lines, and it was trains I was hearing. On Sunday night we had a reception at the Union Station terminal, but I never really made the connection. The old terminal building was very nice, and made a grand setting for the reception.

There were lots of educational opportunities at the convention, and I did my best with the five classes I attended. Generally speaking, I attended classes with topics that both interested me and that would help me bring new insights to the classes that I teach. It was really good to be able to hear the broad array of speakers and instructors, and to see the staff, Directors and other TAR VIPs up close and to be able to learn from all of their combined knowledge. If you have been thinking about attending our State functions, I think it would be well worth your time.

I kind of hung-out a lot of the time with Mark and his beautiful wife Shara. I have known Mark for many years, but this trip really gave us a chance to get to know each other well, and the fact that they sprang for the wine was not a bad thing, either. Shara is a wonderful person with a great sense-of-humor, and I had a great time hanging out with them. Much of the time, I kind of felt like the third-wheel, so I hope I did not burden them too much with my presence. It was really fun to share stories and situations with the two of them.

So, what do you think this is all about? This is a photo of the bed in my is obviously not enough that they have just ordinary pillows on the beds, and I can kind of understand the bolster pillow (makes it somewhat easier to lay in bed and watch the television). But what do you think is up with this crazy medicine-ball pillow thing? I have never seen pillows like that ANYWHERE. It is kind of cool, but not the most practical thing I have ever seen. I was so curious about it, I decided to bring it home with me for further inspection (NOT REALLY). It just seemed kind of odd, so if you know of a purpose other than just an oddity, let me know.

See what happens when we get a good rain? We get flowers blooming. I noticed the shoots coming up out of the ground on Sunday before I left, and I mentioned it to Jody, but today, just a few days later, they are in full bloom. They are some sort of a Lilly, and I think they might be native to the area, but not sure of the name. The name is really not important, they are beautiful, and we are glad to have them. The temperatures have been very unseasonably mild lately, and that has been very pleasant (even though I was not outside the Hotel for a couple days), but I think the temperatures are expected to rise soon. Back to late summer, early fall in Texas, but the brief respite was greatly appreciated. The sun is shining right now, and that is a wonderful sight.

Last night I was invited to join the in-coming chairman of the Austin Board of Realtors (John) for dinner along with his lovely wife Susan. We had a delicious dinner in the Italian Bistro at the Hotel, and had great conversation they both shared lots of their knowledge of the industry with me. Thanks for the very gracious invitation, and I hope we get to do it again sometime.

Okay, it is almost time for dinner, and I have to unpack and get ready for working the rest of the week. I expect there will be lots of stuff waiting on my desk when I arrive, and I need to be ready.

How goes the good deeds? Have you been kind to someone who may not be expecting you to be? Have you made any improvements that will be a benefit to all mankind? Just changing a light bulb is a good start, it does not need to be something grandiose. See what you can do, and remember to Have Fun!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty Seven...

I am still in Dallas, another grey and cloudy (and rainy) day. The skies are grey, everything is grey...the meeting rooms where our functions are being held seem to be cloudy. I think I may be one of those people that needs to sit in front of a light box when the sun does not shine. BUT, I know the sun will come your bottom dollar that tomorrow... I think there may be a song there...

Okay, so the TAR Convention is going very well, and there is a LOT of really good information being shared. This is the first time I have attended the convention, and I am very happy that I have decided to start attending. I attended the National Convention last year, and that was great, so I decided to attend our State convention this year. A good decision for me.

I took four classes...ranging from civility in our every day dealings to ethics to property management issues to conflict resolution. Many of the topics offered to the attendees are things that could be useful to the population in general, not just to those of us that have chosen the real estate profession. Good subjects, good instructors, good planning on the part of the Texas Association to provide good information to its' membership.

I have not been out of this building since I arrived yesterday, and do not expect to go outside until I leave tomorrow afternoon. Could be worse...I could still be trapped inside the REALLY EXPENSIVE Bed & Breakfast we stayed at in Santa Fe a few years back. Now THAT was real torture, but don't get me started.

Good deeds are called for, as well as random acts of kindness and acts of senseless beauty. What have you done for the planet lately? Have Fun!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty Six...

I felt like a little kid this morning, out playing in the mud and listening to the cattle bellow because I was out there. They are certainly curious, and they know my habits all too well! They know when it is feeding time, just as if they were on a ten-day cruise! No fooling them! Well, we have another inch and three-quarters in the rain gauge, so that makes close to eleven inches of rain in the last three days or so. CRAZY! I had to go out and move the feed troughs for the cattle this morning, before I leave for Dallas for the TAR Convention. It was just a little bit muddy, but the cattle pretty much left me alone, and I was able to get everything done and was not assaulted by them. I was able to get it all done, too, while it was not raining.

They all seemed relatively content when I left them, and they were happily eating away. You should be able to count ten of them in this photo...the littlest one is taking a nap in the background, she looks kind of like a little black and white lump on the ground. I went back into the house and had some of Pauline's cinnamon rolls for breakfast, they were really good, and there were pecans in them as well. Very good. I am trying to get all my normal chores done before I leave. I am going to try and leave around 10 o'clock, and it is 9:15 now...and I have not packed or showered or any of that stuff...those are all just details! No problemo!

I made it Big D with no real issues...I think I got here at about 1:30, not bad since I left about 10:30 and I stopped for gas a burgers on the way. It was a nice drive most of the way. No rain until I got to about Carl's Corner, and then it was raining, and the old lady driver in me came out. Before it started raining, the clouds were really beautiful...dark, light, grey, fluffy, flat, you name it. They were really interesting. I got settled into the the Hotel, called Jody to let him know I had arrived, and then I went downstairs to the trade show. Bags full of give-away stuff from the different vendors. I will make another trek down there later, I actually participated in one of their games, and I need to be present to if I disappear, I was intending to be down at the trade show at 5PM...

Okay, I am back. I went to the prize drawing and did not win anything, but I was able to hang out with Mark and his lovely bride Shara. Very nice evening, and we had a variety of topics to discuss. I had THREE glasses of wine, and I kind of think that is a new record for me (post fraternity days). AND, I am not even feeling the least bit intoxicated. I am not feeling like I would be ready to drive back to Austin, either, but...

I just got off the phone with Jody, it is raining again in Austin, and we are up to about three inches in the gauge since yesterday, so that puts us over twelve inches of rain in the last three days. CRAZY!

Work on your good deeds, and on something you can do to make our world a better place. I will check in with you again tomorrow. Have Fun!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty Five...

Okay, so yesterday, we had over nine inches of rain. Jody thinks we had a little bit less, I think we had a little bit more. This is a photo of our 'middle tank', a tank that has never had water in it since we have lived here, almost a year! It is still raining, and there is over an inch in the gauge right now. I have no idea what the total will be, but there is water in tanks around here where we did not even know there were tanks. I think some of the tanks are actually just peoples front yards! There has been a lot of water coming out of the skies for the past couple days, and there is more on the way! It is supposed to kind of taper off tomorrow and most of next week, but I do not really think the weather prognosticators were expecting this, so we shall see exactly what happens. I will keep you posted.

This is a photo of the 'back tank', the tank in one of the pastures. This tank had some water in it when we moved here, and kept some water for a while, but eventually dried up over the summer. It is wonderful to see the tanks with water in them. This morning I slept late, and finally got up and went to the back pasture and moved the cattle to the other pasture. IT IS A MUDDY MESS BACK THERE! I need to go tomorrow and move the troughs into the other pasture and give them some feed, and that will be a mess, but it has to be done. I am not complaining one bit about the rain, but I am not crazy about mud. Do you know that mud does not occur on its own in nature. Mud is the result of man-made this case, the cattle. Pay attention the next time you see is not a natural occurrence!

After I moved the cattle, I had some cereal and went into the office to catch up on some work. I was teaching on Thursday and Friday, and had some stuff sitting on my desk from those two days that needed to be handled, and I am going to Dallas tomorrow for a couple days...I will be back in the office on Wednesday, but I needed to get this stuff taken care could not wait until Wednesday.

I got back home about 1:30 and had some lunch, settled down in my big chair in front of the television, and fast forwarded through a couple NetFlix movies. Actually, I slept through most of one of them, and then REALLY fast forwarded through the second. After that, Jody and I went into Bartlett for dinner, and back home in time to see the evening news programs. An early night is forecast for me tonight!

Pauline, one of our neighbors just stopped over to bring us some home made cinnamon rolls for breakfast in the morning. We really truly do love living in the country. No one ever brought us cinnamon rolls when we lived in town. We have fewer neighbors here by far, but we see them a lot more than we saw any of our neighbors in town.

Rain makes me sleepy (or sleepier, or just plain tired). How are you doing on your good deeds? Anything happening on your end that will make the world a better place? Have you been practicing random acts of kindness and senseless beauty? Have you been having fun?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty Four...

So far, since my last post last night, we have had over 9 and a half inches of rain! Twenty miles to the south of us in Georgetown, they recorded over six inches of rain (I think) and about ten miles north of us in Jarrell, they have had 15 inches of rain TODAY! Incredible. Not really sure if these are drought busters, but it is a start. I do not think there was too much water that made it into Lake Travis today or yesterday, but there is always tomorrow. We have the possibility of another six inches of rain here at the farm on Saturday, more on Sunday, and then it starts to taper off next week. Nothing is more welcome in Texas than a good rain or a new calf...and in the past week we have had both!

The rain woke me up at some point last night, but I did not think it was raining very hard, and I even thought it was tapering off. I was startled when I went out to get the newspaper, and discovered there was over two inches in the gauge. Jody said there had also been quite a show of lightning and some good claps of thunder, but I slept through all of that. It started to rain this morning before I left the house, and it rained on me until I got to Georgetown, and then it let up.

While I was teaching at the Board today, it did rain there pretty hard for about 30 minutes this afternoon, but nothing like what we got up here in the northern edge of Williamson County, and into Bell County. We are all delighted with the rain, and I just wonder how long this can go on before we start vigorously complaining about it? We are never satisfied!

The class at the Board concluded nicely this afternoon, and I learned some new things, and I hope the students learned a lot. Very good group of learners! I hope they all become successful in their chosen careers, and I look forward to working with them all in the future.

Did you do a good deed today? Well how about this? Practice random acts of kindness. Visualize whirled peas! Have Fun!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty Three...

Tonight, after I got home from my class at the Board, Jody and I went to dinner at Chipotle in Georgetown. Yum! I had the soft tacos, and I was in jeopardy of getting it ALL over me, but somehow I managed to stay stain free...although it did take a multitude of napkins and an occasional wipe of condensation from my beverage container. ANYWAY, I did not get anything on my clothes, and so that was a good thing. While we were in Georgetown, I seized the opportunity to go to the Dollar Store where I purchased a couple cheap hair brushes and some assorted personal hygiene products. TMI, most likely! Also, I stopped and filled my car up with gas, and then we proceeded home. I got home in time to watch the last 20 minutes of Big Brother, which pretty much went the way I wanted it to tonight. The clincher will be Tuesday night, when we will see who wins the season. We shall see...

Today was really a great, but a really long day. I got up about 4:15 and did my usual things to get the day started. I left the house about 6:45 (or maybe earlier) but did not make it to the Board of REALTORS until about 20 minutes til 8. I really like to get to my classes EARLY so I can make sure all the AV equipment is working, and just to have time to chill out before the class begins...but I was a little hurried today, but everything worked out well. There were 14 learners in the class today (continuing tomorrow) and they are a good bunch of learners. No one in the class has been licensed for more than five years, and I like learning from those newly licensed agents myself. We can all learn something form those around us, we just have to recognize the opportunity when it presents itself. The good thing about newly licensed agents is, there are no pre-conceived notions...they are looking at this career path with fresh eyes, and they have not figured out how to get around issues or do things in a possibly incorrect way. I really like working with newly licensed agents, and watching them grow their business. Great Fun!

Tomorrow will be the last day of class for this session, and I already have some appointments for Saturday. I will work about a half day on Saturday, and then try to rest a bit before I leave for Dallas on Sunday. I will be back in the office on Wednesday.

Do a kind thing for someone, maybe even a perfect stranger...pick up something they dropped, thank them for opening the door for you, or just offer them a kind greeting. It will be appreciated by the recipient, and you will make yourself feel better about yourself for the rest of the day. And, while you are at it, see if there is not something you can do to make our world a better place. It need not be something HUGE, just some small thing that will be of benefit to all of us. And, as long as you are at it, remember to Have Fun!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty Two...

The score is now Round Rock Toyota ZERO, Lamb's Tire & Automotive Center FOUR...and Evans is 500 in the hole. AARRGHHH!!!! So, I have been having issues with my tires for a while, and when I took it to the Round Rock Toyota Dealership (A Division of the PENSKE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP) they told me it was my fault, that I had obviously driven the tire while it was flat which caused the rim of the wheel to damage the tire...even though it was only damaged on HALF of the tire. I was not happy, and there was no one to make me feel any better, so I left the dealer and went to the first tire shop I came to. They seemed to think it was an issue with the tire called 'belt edge separation'. Anyway, I am not done, but I have spent enough time with this tire trauma for a little while. Needless to say, I have four new tires and now I will feel totally safe when driving to Dallas on Sunday!

Side Note: Penske Automotive Group (the company that owns Round Rock Toyota) is the same group that is working to purchase the Saturn brand from General Motors. Does not bode well for Saturn! Just my opinion, of course! Another Side Note: My spell-check program does not recognize the word Penske, and the first suggestion they give is PENIS. How fitting...I would have shared that bit of trivia with you , but this is a family blog, so I will just have to telepathically communicate it to you...Whatever...

Even though I left the house this morning IN THE DARK so I could creep to the Toyota Dealer (running on a donut), I did not manage to get into the office until almost 10 o'clock. I have been accused (and quite often I will gladly accept the accusations) of driving like an old woman, particularly when I am texting down I-35 or making phone calls or putting the mayonnaise on a bologna sandwich. Whatever... Anyway, this morning I was driving very conservatively because the donut does not handle like a regular tire, and then after I got the new tires, it was RAINING while I was driving down the Interstate. I am not crazy about driving in the rain either, but I just figure I did not get to this advanced age by being stupid, so the rest of you can just wait!

The sun is trying to shine just a little bit now as I sit here and write this, and so far I do not even think we have broken the 80 degree is still early though. We were able to get a little bit of rain in Austin this morning, and into the late morning, but Jody says we got three drops here at the farm. There was one small puddle in the middle of one of the county roads, but that was it for the rain. There seems to be a good chance of rain in the seven-day forecast, though, and that is kind of promising.

I will be going in early again on Thursday and Friday, doing a teaching gig at the Board of REALTORS for two days, and that will be lots of fun. I really enjoy this class (I really enjoy all the classes I teach...I choose NOT TO TEACH the classes that I do not enjoy, so that is wonderful!). I am also ready to head to Dallas on Sunday for the TAR convention, that will be fun, and it will be interesting to see folks from all over the State. The NAR convention is very interesting as well, with folks from all over the country congregating to talk about real estate.

NOW, try to do a good deed, try to make the world a better place. If you do that often enough, it will make you feel like someone you might like to hang out with. What could be better than that? Have Fun!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty One...

Okay, there is continuing drama on the low-pressure in the tires saga. I was headed off to work this morning, and the low-pressure light came on in the car. Just about two weeks ago, both of the front tires were low on air pressure, and all has been well since then...until this morning, of course, when I am on my way to work. So I pulled off the Interstate and found Wal-Mart with their 75 cent air service (DO NOT GET ME STARTED). Anyway, I think I was losing more air than was actually going into the tires, but I did manage to get the light on the dash to go off, so that was good. I did not use the car at all today, but when I get back in the car to go home, the low-pressure indicator was on again. SO, I went to the tire repair shop in Bartlett, because I thought that would be quicker than going to the dealer. It was quicker, but we found out I have at least one bad tire, and I am now operating on a donut...not like I have never done that before, but I have never operated a motor vehicle on a donut before. So, I plan to be at the dealer bright and early in the morning (7AM) and I will show them how the tires are not wearing evenly AGAIN! They gave me four new tires about 22,000 miles ago, and I think maybe I will be getting four new ones again. Either that or I will (perhaps) make a scene. We shall see...

Well, there is new on the NEW DOG front. It seems the dog is much older than we estimated (and the vet estimated) and it used to live in Schwertner and then was adopted by some folks that live not far from us, maybe a mile or so. So, there was a desperate call this morning from a lady and they should be stopping by the house this evening to retrieve the dog. They said they had intended to take it to the vet on Saturday, but had not expected to spend as much as we is an old dog for Pete's sake! Whatever... Anyway, now they area going to come pick up the dog and start a payment plan for the money we invested in the dog...Whatever!

EDIT: Okay the dog is gone, and back with its' second set of owners. It seems to be a long story, but the bottom line is, the dog is loved and cared about, so it all has a happy ending. And our dog is happily basking in the glow of 'top-dogness'. All is right with the world.

A really busy and productive day at the office today, after a three day weekend it was not nearly as hectic as it could have been. I got in early (even after the tire-pressure fiasco) and had some quiet time to myself. I did not leave the office until it was time for me to head home, and you all know how that went. Tomorrow is another day, and then I will not be back in the office until a week from tomorrow. I am teaching on Thursday and Friday, and then going to the TAR convention in Dallas until Tuesday night. Fun, fun, fun!

Do a kind deed or at least try to BE kind to someone that you may encounter in your daily meanderings. AND try to do something that will make our world a better place. It is not really that much trouble, and it will all come back to you many times over. Have Fun!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty...

It has been a relatively quiet day out here in the country. The day started by taking the trash can out to the road, and the collection company was here by five minutes after seven. I did not even know if they would pick up today or not. Made coffee, read the paper, and went outside to do a couple things. Waited around for a decent hour to see if we could find a vet for the new dog (we have named him Ole Shep), but the best we could do was a 4 o'clock appointment this afternoon at PetSmart in Georgetown. We just need him to be checked out, we know he has worms (don't ask) and we want him to be able to sleep INSIDE the house with the other dog tonight if possible. It is really hot outside and he has A LOT of hair on him, so we know he is extra hot. He is a good boy, and there have been no issues when we take Bear outside with him, BUT that may all change when Ole Shep comes inside. We shall see... We think there may be issues when Bear is asked to share food scraps and his casa with the new boy. It may be exciting.

I filled the Mule up with gas, cleaned the back of the Mule out, and put two empty gas cans in the back of the truck and Jody and I went into Granger to get gas. $81 later, we were headed home. On the way into Granger, we passed a group of bicyclists on CR 302, there must have been about 15 of them, and I always like seeing packs of cyclists on the road. They are really pleasant to look at, and this area is great for bike riding. I have stopped a couple riders on occasion and asked them where they rode from, and have asked them to e-mail me with ride dates, but no one has responded. Maybe I should take the hint, what do you think?

The Collector's Market in Georgetown called and said they had sold a bunch-o-stuff yesterday, so there was some space in our cases, so we are rummaging around in sheds and in the garage for stuff to take to fill in. That is not really hard to do, since we have STUFF everywhere. It always amazes us what they sell in that place, we get an itemized list of the sales every two weeks, and it just boggles the mind! We will take a fresh pile-o-stuff in to them sometime in the next week or so.

Okay, well we are back from the vets with the new old dog. He is probably a retriever-collie mix (I would never have guessed that) and most likely between 5 and 7 years old. He has heart worms and plain old worms (I knew about the plain old worms) and other than that, seems to be in pretty good shape. Stage One on the heart worms, so we will most likely take him in in a couple of weeks and have him will be about a six month process, but it should eliminate the heart worms period, instead of just treating them. He also has an appointment with the grooming place on Saturday morning at 8AM...allegedly with a patient groomer. We are just going to have him shaved and give him a fresh start. He is really badly matted. We brought him home and let him inside for the first time, and one of the first things he did was to go for the garbage pail in the kitchen...not a good sign, since the other dog never paid any attention to it. Oh well, it will take some adjusting for all of us. It will all work out.

Tomorrow starts the abbreviated work week, and I will be teaching two days, and then next Sunday leave for the TAR convention in Dallas. Then things will calm down for a little while. In October Carrie and I will be going to Orlando for almost a full week for the NARPM convention, and then in November I will be going to San Diego for the NAR convention. Then we will be almost at a new year, and it will all start all over again.

Okay, if you can think of it, try and do something kind for someone who is not expecting it of you. It can be as simple as making a small financial contribution to a local charity, or just saying thank you to someone who has done something nice for you. It does not need to be a gigantic thing. Several small kindnesses will add up over time! AND, while you are at it, see what you can do to make our world a better place for all of us. I personally will appreciate that very much. And Have Fun!