Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Fifty One...

Happy Memorial Day, and a BIG SHOUT OUT to all our service men and women, past, present and future. Thank you for everything you have done, are doing, and will do for us, and for preserving our Freedom.

Today was a great day. I got up and started doing things, as is pretty typical for me. First, I sprayed Round-Up (I actually hate chemical weed control, but there is a limit) on our pathways around the house. I did not do everything, I want to see how this works out first. Then I cut a tree down in the front yard, close to the house. We will use the tree for chicken roosts. Then I went out and fed the cattle, and decided to move them from one pasture to the other.

I even went so far as to move a fresh bale of hay to the pasture they were in, but then I decided to move the cattle. The pasture they were in had very little (if any) green grass in it, so I decided to move them to the other pasture that had some green grass in it, might as well let them get the green while they can. We really need rain. Little Mr. Chairman Moo (that is the name of the most recent calf) and one of the other young calfs decided they were not really ready to move when the rest of the cattle transferred, so I had to kind of herd them into the pasture with the Mule. Eventually I won out, and all was okay. I also had to clean the two water troughs, but that did not really take a long time, and all was (and is) good.

Jody and I went into town for a couple errands this afternoon, and stopped at the grocery on the way back, and at Tractor Supply, and at Dairy Queen for another spoiler. As we were coming down the road close to the house, they were out harvesting the wheat from the field around the corner from us. Interesting how things work and how machinery has changed things. AND, I don't think there are any really new machines, just improvements on old machines.

After a while, I decided to call the man (Vince) that I had ordered Jody's Anniversary present from. Just a little over two weeks and we will be celebrating our 18th Anniversary. Time Flies! Anyway, I went and picked up the present, and now I need to find someone to dig me a three foot hole, pour concrete in it, level up the pole and let it sit for two weeks. Here is a sneak-peek at the 'Air-Show'. It is really kind of hard to describe, so you will just need to stay tuned to see how this all works out. It will be interesting!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HARVESTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Fifty...

Can you believe this is already the 150th day of the year? AND it is Memorial Day Weekend, it is the beginning of the downhill slide to Christmas and New Years! Where has the time gone? Well, to tell you the truth, today was one of the best days I have had in a long time. I had a WHOLE DAY OFF today, there were a couple of telephone calls that I did not answer, but otherwise, it was just a day for my and Jody to do what we wanted to do. That meant I cut about 2 or 3 acres of grass, repositioned the weather station I got us a couple weeks ago, finished the chickens nesting boxes, made their screened in pen a little bit more secure, did a whole lot of this-and-that, and overall just had a great time.

The chicks are really getting big, and they really like being outside of their coop. Who could blame them? I would prefer a nice screened in patio to a hot coop too if I were given the option. We have put a couple tree limbs in the coop and in the screened in area, and they are taking right to the theory of roosting. They are thinking they are pretty darn lucky chickens. I heard one of them telling the other that they had two-daddies. Whatever! Anyway, they are a lot of fun to watch, and that is what it is all about.

The cactus suffered during the extremely cold winter we had last year, but they are coming back nicely. These have almost bloomed out, and I came close to not even noticing the blooms. Cactus flowers always remind me of the old Goldie Hawn movie. Tomorrow I think I am going to cut down a dead tree that we had kind of been trying to nurse along for the last couple years, but it finally gave up the ghost. We kept cutting back dead parts of the tree, and now the whole thing is dead. We REALLY NEED RAIN, and things are beginning once again to suffer from the lack of rain. It looks like we might have a little chance of rain this week coming, hope so.

AND tomorrow I will also feed the cattle and take a fresh bale of hay out to them. Later on in the day, I am expecting that I will need to go into Austin to take care of a few little real estate issues, nothing major, just tying up some loose ends. Life is good!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NESTING BOXES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty Nine...

Long day, short entry...I got up about 6 o'clock this morning and started doing things. Nothing really important or consequential, but just stuff. I let the chick loose in their pen, and read the meters, got the paper, made coffee...the usual stuff. I was pretty much prepared for an appointment at 11 o'clock, but I had a few things to finish up, but nothing big.

One garden worker showed up about 7 o'clock, and that was great. I think we are on a one-man-once-a-month schedule right now, and I hope that will be all we need. We got him started, and I went back in the house for some breakfast.

I headed into Austin about 10 o'clock, and had to make a phone call to a prospective client who is currently living in Lubbock, but will be heading back to Amarillo soon. He is a property management client, and I need to send him a contract tomorrow. I made it to my appointment and it was a very good appointment. I hope to get that property listed next Thursday if all goes well. A very nice home in Scofield Farms just in case you know anyone who is looking.

Then I headed into the office to meet with my Buyer Clients. We looked at four properties, and then it was back home for me. The lawn mower arrived about 3 o'clock, and I did not even see it when I pulled into the driveway. I am not sure how I could have missed is green and yellow after all, but I just drove right past it. I must have been concentrating on something.

Jody and I went to dinner at Souper Salads in Georgetown, and then made ANOTHER stop at Home Depot for just a few things. If I play my cards right, I could get away with not leaving the house tomorrow, but I doubt it.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LISTINGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, May 28, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty EIght...

I am thinking of using this as my new glamour shot for my business cards...what do you think? If you look really really closely, you can see the white hairs up in my nose! Now there's a picture for you, sorry about the fact that you won't be able to sleep for weeks at a time now! My Bad!

I got in the pool last night for the second time this year, and it was lovely. All is well, and it is once again pool season. Warm but not too warm. Refreshing, but not chilly! PERFECT!

I was in class all day today, and I am now home. I have two appointments tomorrow, and then I hope to have two full days off. I hope I am not kidding myself, but that is the plan. Business is really picking up, but I get very jealous of my personal time. Everything will work out!

Next week will be a busy week as well, it is the first of the month; move outs, move ins, rents due, complaints to handle, the usual stuff. I am a very lucky person.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, POOLS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty Seven... seems I almost overlooked the gardenia bush blooming its heart out in the backyard. I have passed by it a couple times and noticed the blossoms, but it has not really been very fragrant this year. I was out early this morning checking on the pool, and thought I would take a photo for the journal entry. I LOVE GARDENIAS!

Today was supposed to be my Meals-on-Wheels day, but instead, I needed to attend a property inspection for my Buyer clients. Generally things went well with the inspection, but there are some nagging issues that need to be solved. These are issues that were addressed in the contract, but the issues are still not resolved. Everything will work out the way it is supposed to work out, I am just not certain how that is yet. We shall see.

On the way home this afternoon, I stopped at Home Depot and bought a new riding lawn mower. It will be delivered on Saturday, so I think there is lawn mowing in my future. Hopefully this one will run 'like a Deere' for many years to come. Also, I think tomorrow I will need to get a new battery for the Mule. I had the other battery on the charger for almost 48 hours, and it really does not want to start. It DID start, and I got the Mule moved and out of the way, but I do not think it is reliable. I do not want to get the Mule out somewhere loaded down with stuff, and then have it not start. It is all about the convenience factor!

Okay, not this photo is really kind of deceiving. After leaving Home Depot, I came very close to being in about a fifty-car pile-up on the Interstate. If this had happened in Austin, it would have been all over. It rained so hard, started so quickly that it took everyone by surprise. The windshield wipers COULD NOT KEEP UP with the rainfall, and you could not see five feet in front of your face. People could just not see. Cars were pulling over to the sides of the Interstate, and stopping under bridges. As quickly as it started it was over. Weird. And, so far we have not had a drop of rain here, and although there has been a few rumbles of thunder.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, RAIN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty Six...

This post is not really going to feel chronological. In show-biz talk, there is no continuity to this post. I am choosing to begin at the end, more or less. This is a photo of the sunset I watched on the final leg of my drive home this evening. It is now dark outside, but I was able to see this, and it was very nice. It really and truly does make you feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and that is okay with me. I really think the rows and rows of corn that I pass with little more than a notice are more important than me (overall). The corn will feed, and I will consume. I have no idea where this conversation is going, but I really enjoyed the sunset this evening, and it makes me sad that everyone in the world could not share it with me. More importantly, there are people on the other side of the world that are not sharing the peace and contentment that I am enjoying. Do NOT get me started.

Today was a day of meetings and catching up. The day began (actually) with me feeding the little chicks and making sure they had fresh water. THEN, I took the battery off the Mule and hooked it up to the charger, in the hopes that I do not have to buy a new battery. THEN, I came back in the house and got ready to go for work.

I had a Board of Directors meeting first thing, and after that we met with the CEO, Chairman, Chairman Elect and other executives from our Region from the Texas Association of REALTORS. Lunch before the meeting was very good, and the meeting was wonderfully informative. Lots of things our Associations are involved with, and the political and economic realities of everyday are going to play a large part in the future of our/my chosen career.

Then it was off to the office for just a little while, before I was off to meet up with my Team from the Leader's Choice class that I am enrolled in. We met to make cold calls, and show support for one-another. I am privileged to be associated with that Team, and I am making friends and bonding with folks I would not have otherwise been acquainted with.

What will tomorrow bring?

Deeds, Actions, Changes COLD CALLS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty Five...

I went to my first meeting of the Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association tonight in Georgetown. Quite a different group than the group I have been getting all my beekeeping information from up until now. I think this is a much more serious group of people, much more in tune with the amateur or hobbyist beekeeper, and much more natural or organically driven. The first part of the meeting was general information for 'beginners' and then there was a brief business meeting, and then there was a presentation about how to keep a particular (Verroa) mite from doing damage to your hives. I like anything that can be treated with powdered sugar. Who would have ever thought powdered sugar could 'do-in' a bee pest? Well, it's true. Anyway, they have meetings once a month, so I will see what happens in the future.

Another chaotic day technologically speaking, but it will end at some point, and I will go on to complaining bitterly about something new. We shall see...

The chicks stayed outside for most of the day today, although not totally free, they did stay in their 'run' outside the coop, and they seemed to take to it very nicely. I put them up before dark, and I am not sure what I will do tomorrow, since I will not be home until WAY after dark tomorrow.

Speaking of dark, I did not get home until almost 9:30 this evening, and I do not like that one little bit. AND there will be another repeat of that tomorrow, since I have an appointment that does not begin until 6 o'clock, and I am pretty sure it will run til about 9PM. Whatever.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BEEKEEPERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, May 24, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty Four...

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. Well, the sun looks like I can handle it, but if that truck is really closer than it appears, I may have some issues. It was a typical Monday, our assistant Tom is back from his vacation, and he had a wonderful time in Hawaii. The day actually was not terrible, there are just little nagging issues that I cannot get solved, and the folks that we hire to be the experts seem to be unable to get them solved. We hire people to do certain things for us, because it is certainly not the best use of my time, and I can't do it anyway. But then, when I get terrible advice and have to do things twice that should have only needed to be done once, it tends to irritate me, and it makes me retreat and shut down. It will all be better in a few days, and it will be just another one of those Mondays.

Tomorrow I have a pretty clear calendar, and I will be attending a Williamson County Bee Meeting tomorrow night. Wednesday is pretty open, but I am going to do some extra work for my Leader's Choice class on Wednesday evening, and that is the part that concerns me. I do not like late nights away from home. I like being at home, and I like being at home with Jody, and I am very jealous of anything that gets in the way of the time I get to be at home. I am a home boy! For sure!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CLOSE TRUCKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty Three...

It was a busy and productive day. I got up and read the meters and got the newspaper. Once Jody was awake, I went out and accosted the bees once again, and that only took a few minutes, but they were not happy, and I had to get back on the mule to escape them. Having done that, I went out and hauled 15 bales of hay from the far back field up to the storage area next to one of the front pastures. AND THEN, I came inside,had a cup of yogurt, and got in the shower to get ready for my appointment in Austin. This is a photo of the cattle after I opened the back pasture up to them. Twelve out of 13 is not too bad...the only one missing is Doodle Bug, she was the first to get back into the far pasture.

I left the farm about 10 o'clock, and got into the office just before 11, and my appointment was at 11. We looked at five houses, and my Buyer clients decided to make a contract offer on one of the houses, and we will see how that goes. A good offer, and I am hoping (for all parties) that we can get the contract negotiated by about Tuesday (at the latest) and get ready for inspections and things like that.

When I got home, I went out to tend to the chicks, swept their coop out a little bit, and took a bale of hay out to the cattle. They are not particularly interested in the hay since they have o much good grass to eat, but I want them to have it if they want it. OKAY, WE REALLY NEED RAIN! There, I have said it. The hay has been cut, baled and haled, so now we could afford some rain. A nice steady drizzle for about a day or two would be just great.

Tomorrow is the beginning of another work-week, and I am already looking forward to the long three-day Memorial Day Weekend. I feel like I am wishing my life away, but I am really ready for the long weekend.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CONTRACTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty Two...

No bees were harmed in the writing of this blog entry. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of working the hives this morning. In addition to everything else, I think the bees were angry because I was concerned that I should be smiling as I took this self-portrait of myself, just prior to being stung to a stupor! What an idiot! I went out to work the hives this morning, and my intention was to remove the feeders from all of the hives, put queen excluders on all the hives, add one super to all of the hives and remove the entrance reducer from all of the hives. I got everything done except for removing one of the entrance reducers from the last hive...AND I still need to strap that hive down. By the time I got to the last hive, the bees were not happy people. I have chosen not to use the smoker when I work the hives, but I will not be doing that anymore. From now on, the smoker must be used. I was stung three times, not any really big deal, I seem to have built up a nice tolerance for bee stings, but hundreds of bees tried to sting me, and ended up just martyring themselves by stinging my suit. I hate it that I caused the untimely deaths of so many bees, but I will know better next time. I will go out tomorrow and finish what I started!

I moved twelve bales of hay this morning from the field to the storage spot, so the front field is ready for rain. This evening, I am going to try and move at least eight bales from the far back pasture, and then eight more tomorrow morning and eight more tomorrow afternoon. That is the goal. I have to show property in Austin tomorrow in the late morning, so that is why I am trying to pace myself. Who know, I may get more done tonight than I think I can, so we will just play it as it goes.

Our friends John and Susan came out to the farm this afternoon, and they brought two of their grandchildren along with them to see the cattle and the chicks. The granddaughter liked the chicks better than the cows, and the grandson seemed unphased by the whole thing. It was fun to have them out to the farm, and we had a nice time just walking around and enjoying the peace and quiet of the country.

Jody and I went into Taylor earlier this morning, allegedly to fill up the gas and diesel cans, but as long as we were there, we might just as well stop at the Dairy Queen for a spoiler. We both had the monthly special, I think it was called the 'Bar Buster', and I think it had like a Heath Bar Ice Cream bar kind of theme. It was good...peanuts, chocolate and ice cream, you can hardly go wrong.

Okay, I am in for the night, it took me basically an hour to move 8 bales of hay, and I think that is plenty for the night. That means I moved 20 bales of hay today, and I think that is just fine. It also means I have 16 bales to move tomorrow, so I will be up early doing that. I have to be at the office by 11 o'clock in the morning, so I think I can get most of the hay moved in the morning, AND accost the one bee hive and get that all finished. I am on a mission.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HAY BALES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, May 21, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty One...

Hey! What are you doing? Oh, nothing, just kind of hanging around! These guys (and there were a total of six of them) were using these little wheeled carts travelling along the high tension lines the other day. They were just going back and forth across the lines, and they must be used to people driving very slowly and looking up to stare at them, because almost all of them looked down and waved. Even the guys on the ground stopped and waved. Interesting!

Today was another class day at the Board of REALTORS. This was session four of nine sessions, and they are held every Friday. Our team was again honored with the highest production for the week trophy, and that is the third week in a row. The only trouble with that is, there is no place to go but down! This is a photos from the day in class.

Jody and I went out to dinner tonight, we went into Georgetown and had Tex-Mex at El Patron. I had the Chile Rilleno and Jody had the Enchilada Especial, and we both agreed that we should have stuck with the Spinach Enchiladas. Live and Learn!

Tomorrow will be a good day. I have chores to do, and that will be great. I will recap the accomplishments tomorrow. No telling how far along I might get!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TROPHIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Forty...

HEY! It's HAY! Pardon me for my enthusiasm, but Hubert and Pauline cut hay yesterday and they raked and are baling today. I think by the end of the day we will have at least 30 bales, and probably end up with 40 to 45 bales all together by the time they are finished. We got 46 bales in our first cutting last year, and I hope we will have more than that this time. We shall see. After we get everything baled (and getting the bales moved would be nice, also) then I give my permission for it to rain. I have been hoping the rain would wait for a little while, but now it is okay for it to rain.

It is late, and I kind of kidnapped Jody to go back to the back pasture to watch Hubert bale the hay. I am fascinated with all that stuff, and I think the technology of the farm equipment is equally fascinating. So, as we were getting ready to leave, Pauline and her grandson Sterling arrived, and I got distracted again, and we were just talking about stuff, and I think Jody was ready to get back to the house. ANYWAY...I am just like a big kid (a really BIG KID) when it comes to the farm stuff. When I was a little kid, I was perfectly content to just stand and look out the window. There needn't be anything to look at, I could just look and entertain myself.

So, class day tomorrow, and then I am looking forward to the weekend. I need to find a suitable house for my Buyer clients pretty darn soon, they need to be in a new place by the first of July. It is getting a little bit crazy!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty Nine...

This is what $15 worth of food from What-a-Burger looks like. Not that much, huh? Usually I am a value menu kind of person, but today I was doing a food run, and it was not pretty.

Today was not a great day as far as accomplishments are concerned, but it will just have to do. There were ups, there were downs, luckily there were no sideways. That in itself is kind of an accomplishment, if you know what I mean!

Computer problems both at home and in the office, and other problems of various sorts that, in and of themselves are really not that important in the grand scheme of things. I will get over myself!

Jody called me in the office to tell me that Michael was out cutting hay in the pastures, and that means that in the next day or so he will rake it and then bale it. NOW THAT will be a great day! I love fresh baled hay, nothing better than that.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ACCOMPLISHMENTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty Eight...

Okay, okay was another busy day, but one filled with good things. I worked on my homework for the classes that I signed up for, and made some progress. It seems that I need just a couple more days in the week, and I could get everything that I have committed to accomplished. I wonder if I should just be committed myself, and that would solve everything. We shall see.

Had a great meeting at the Board of REALTORS this afternoon, and I was not prepared for the length of the meeting. I thought it was going to be a one-hour meeting, and it ended up being a 2 and a half-hour meeting. It was a great meeting though, and I was interested in the work that was being accomplished, so I really did not mind. I would most likely have stayed longer if given the chance, but we needed to wrap it up.

I got home and worked the bees. Now all the hives have been worked, all checked out and everything is good with everyone. No issues. I am very happy with the progress that I have made with the bees as well, and I thank my friend Chris for giving me the confidence. I am feeling very good about all that now.

Tomorrow is the big day, we cut over to a new phone, Internet and e-mail provider, all in one swell-foop. I have no issues with the changes now, and I won't have any issues with anything just as long as everyone does what they say they would do, and there are no issues with our service. That is all yet to be seen.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BEES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, May 17, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty Seven...

This morning, the sun was chasing me down the road. It is always nice to see that big old orange ball rising in the sky, since it has been kind of cloudy most of this month. Cloudy but hardly any rain. May is supposed to be our best month for rain, but so far we have only recorded a quarter-inch in the gauge. Jody got himself a new digital/wireless weather station on Saturday, and we can now keep a more accurate track of the precipitation. I think we need to do a little tweeking of the location of the different pieces of equipment, so they will be optimized. I think there is some sheltering of the anemometer (spell check just blew a fuse) and we are probably not getting accurate records from that, but we will get it right over time.

I had intended to get home this afternoon and work the other two hives that Chris and I did not get to yesterday. The closer I got to the house, the darker and darker it was getting, and there was a lot of lightning. There was a brief rain shower, and then everything was calm, so I went out and checked the chicks, and they were all good. I decided to go ahead and 'suit up' and work the hives. As soon as I got pretty close to finished with the first hive, the winds came up and I thought I was going to be blown away. I secured the hive, and called it a night. Still pretty windy out, but there is always tomorrow. I am very happy with the hive that I worked this evening, the bees are making good progress in that hive, and I may put another super on that one in about a week or so. I am pretty sure they are close to taking off, and we will have lots of bees and LOTS of honey later this summer. Time will tell.

I just had an anonymous call from someone that lives in one of our managed property neighborhoods. Seems the tenants had some trash outside, and the winds have strewn the trash all over creation. Just pick up the phone and tell me to come over and pick up the trash. Yep, I will be right there! Whatever...

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WINDS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty Six...

I will tell all of you something...that Mr. Speckles is one sneaky bull. We had another new calf appear this morning, although I am pegging him (yep, it's a bull calf) to have been born on Friday, and that is what the certificate will say. Anyway, even though I had some doubts early on in the process that Mr. Speckles was doing his duty, he has certainly proven himself. This calf was born by Lady Bug, the calf that I bought along with her mother Doodle Bug just after we moved tho this farm back in 2008. So, the new bull calf is Lady Bug's first calf, and he is a pretty one. Very good job Doodle, and congratulations to Mr. Speckles on another job well done.

About mid-morning, my friend Chris came out to help me work my hives, and we got three of the hives worked. All the hives we worked seem to be doing very nicely, and thee are no signs of distress in those hives, and there is evidence of honey storage and pupae in the hives. They will be having lots and lots of new bees in a very short order, so things are going very nicely. I will need to work the other two hives this week, but that should be okay, and I am pretty confident that I will be okay on my own. This photo is a frame of bees that I am holding. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself! Lots and lots of bees, and they were not at all aggressive during the time we were working the hives. Interesting to work the bees, and watch the progress they make. It will be more interesting when the time comes to harvest the honey!

The chicks are progressing nicely as well. They are all capable of escaping from the trough that I had tried to keep them in, so they now have free reign of the coop, such as it is. It will be another week or so before the coop is actually finished, and at least another week before they will be allowed to go out in the screened run area, but everything is going nicely and according to the plan. It will be interesting to see if they try to escape from the pen area, and I am certain there will be chicken tragedies before all is said-and-done. Life on the farm!

I went into Austin this afternoon to show some homes to my buyer couple, and this is what I encountered before I even got to the expressway. The auto transport vehicle should not have tried to make that turn, since he bottomed out on a hump in the road, and for all practical purposes, shut down traffic both ways on FM 972. Life in the country, you never know what to expect. Then once I got close to town, traffic pretty much came to a standstill; it seems an Interstate Hotel was on fire, and people all had to stop and look and take photos of the event. I was only a few minutes late for my appointment, but I hate having to be that close in my scheduling. I just do not like it.

This week should be a relatively calm one, lots of work to be done in the office, and that will give me time to catch up on my work and be calm. I also have lots of homework to do for the classes that I signed up for. Three classes done, six more to go.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FIRES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty Five...

Okay, I don't much care where you live, it is not every day that you see a Bentley parked at the Dairy Queen. Nope, not an every day thing. But there is was, with the top down, just glowing there outside the mecca of the Blizzard and Fried Chicken Finger combo. There was a lot of buzz inside about who was driving it; okay, I was all abuzz about it, and one other guy expressed a curious interest. Everyone else in the place just thought it was some kind of Chrysler that was new for 2011. I got it right, it was the guy out on the patio with his two kids. Anyway, it really is a pretty car, and I would sure liked to have gone for a little spin in it. He probably got it off CraigsList, who knows.

Jody and I had gone in to Georgetown to do just a little bit of grocery shopping, and of course we had to stop at the Dairy Queen on the way home for a spoiler. On the way into Georgetown, I saw a cactus blooming that I had never seen in bloom before, so I made a little detour on the way back to take the photo. After we got home, it was time for me to go into town to meet with an out-of-town client. Very nice man just checking the city out to see if he might want to make a change. I expect to be talking with him more next week.

Tomorrow will be a busy day; my friend from bee class, Chris, will be coming out in the morning and we are going to work the bee hives, AND he also keeps chickens, so I am expecting some expert advice on chicken-keeping. My little chicks are quickly learning how to escape from the water trough I have been keeping them in, so it is a good thing that the coop construction has been going nicely. I expect in another week or two they will be outside in the screen-pen, checking it all out. Before you know it, I will be posting pictures of brown eggs on this blog.

Tomorrow afternoon I will be back in Austin showing property to my buyer clients. It should be a nice day for it, so that will be fun! I will let you know if they find anything they like!

Deeds, Changes, Actions, BENTLEY'S, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, May 14, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty Four...

Okay, it happened and I saw it happen. I got out to go to work this morning, and my dash board sensor said that I had low pressure in one of my tires. The last time it said that, I did not believe it and then I was the proud owner of four new tires. None of the tires looked low, but I was taking no chances. I got into Walburg, and THE gas station there leaves the air compressor on all the time AND THEY DO NOT CHARGE FOR AIR. What a concept. Anyway, it seems both my back tires were low, and I took care of that. Interestingly, I had the car serviced yesterday, which includes rotating the wheels, so I wonder if that had anything to do with it. Whatever... AND, I was able to watch my odometer click over to 100,000 miles. I would not have been surprised if I had totally missed it, but I caught it for all time.

Got into the office and got a few things done before it was time to head off to class. Today was Session 3 of nine sessions, and our team again was rewarded for having the highest production for the week, so that was good. And, one of our team members, Jay, was awarded the trophy for taking a 7% listing! Way to go Jay!

Obviously, some of these photos will not be in order, work with me here! The fourth photo is of Shirley (from the Education Department at the Board) and me after the class was over. Lots of blue going on in the class!

It rained a little bit in Austin, about a 30 minute nice shower and there was lots of thunder. Nothing serious, but the nice little rain has washed all the dust off of everything, so everything looks really nice and vibrant.

Traffic was not too bad, even though there were a few more wrecks than usual. I got home and Miguel was here working on the chicken coop. I don't think it will be totally finished for another week, but that is okay since the chicks are still really small. No big issues there. It will be done in plenty of time, and it will be a nice coop. That is important to chickens, you know?

I have a late appointment in Austin tomorrow, and we are still under the threat of rain for the next couple days. Who knows what will really happen?

Deeds, Actions, Changes, RAIN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty Three...

Okay,Thursday is pretty much over, now on to Friday and the weekend. I was in the office for most of the day today, except for Meals-On-Wheels. I only had five folks on my route today, hopefully that means people are getting better and not something worse. Got lots of stuff done for my class tomorrow, and that was a good accomplishment. I am not used to having homework and deadlines!

The chicks are doing nicely, and I am happy with that. Miguel is going to be here tomorrow, and will probably get most of the coop finished. It is also supposed to rain from now until the middle of next week, so I am not sure how much will be accomplished. There is building to do, painting to be done, and generally lots of work to do. Always something to do around here.

My car will not click over to 100K miles until I am on my way to work in the morning, so I am sure I will be causing all kinds of chaos around me as I try to take a digital photo of the event. Right now I am at something like 99,969. I will not be a happy camper if I am distracted and miss it. There is a very small window available for the photo taking. I did get the car serviced today, so that is done.

Jody and I went out to Dale's Essenhaus for dinner tonight, and it was good. My stomach is bothering me, and I have been ingesting the acidophilus like it is candy. It does taste good to me, but this is ridiculous. I think that is mostly why I was not too happy with my dinner. Whatever!

I need to work on Saturday, but I am hoping to be able to take the day off on Sunday. We shall see.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ACIDOPHILUS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty Two...

In just one hundred fifty nine more miles, my car and I will reach a milestone, and I fully expect to sleep through it. I cannot even pay attention long enough to remember to change the station on the radio in three minutes so I can hear the local news. I cannot focus long enough to set the sleep timer on the television so it will go off after the weather report. I cannot remember to take my telephone and/or the key to the lock boxes when I leave the office for appointments. What makes me think I will be coherent enough to watch the odometer in my car click over to 100,000miles? Just another 159 miles, which I should be able to rack up tomorrow; let's see, 48.3 miles each way to the office, that leaves just 62.4 miles to go. Meals-on-Wheels ought to take about twelve to fifteen miles, so that takes me down to 50 miles. I am not sure it will happen tomorrow. For sure if Jody and I go out to dinner tomorrow night, that will put me over the edge. I need to have the car serviced, too, so that will add another couple miles. If I don't get it serviced tomorrow, I won't be able to do it until next week. What to do, what to do?

All was well in the office today. Walked more properties, and got home in time to see the 5 o'clock news (part of it anyway). Then I went out to give the new chicks some fresh food and water. They are doing well, and I made a point to pick each of them up and hold them for a few seconds, just to let them start getting used to being held and petted. The breeds we have are supposed to be pretty docile and easily domesticated, but I am sure that if anyone can screw up the psyche of a chicken, I am the one to do it. We shall see!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ODOMETERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty One...

I spent the better part of my morning smushing little gnats and buggers against the windshield of my car. I am not sure how it happened, but there was a whole army of little bitty pesky flying bugs in my car this morning, and they all decided (about two-at-a-time) that they wanted out, and they were not intelligent enough to escape through the open windows. SO, I kind of amused myself with a little game of smushing them with my thumb or sometimes my whole hand. It was somewhat a sense of accomplishment, but at the same time, each little smush made it just that much more difficult to see out the windshield. Another example of unintended consequences. When will I ever learn?

Spent the day working mostly in the office, entering listings into the computer, following up with calls. Doing homework for the Leader's Choice classes that I have enrolled in. Good stuff! By mid-morning, it was time for all of us to head out to EL CHILE for lunch, where we were celebrating birthdays and anniversaries of our agents and staff. Very good food, service left something to be desired, and that went right along with the attitude of our wait person. Poor.

We all got back to the office, and I sent out one listing agreement and I will have another to send out tomorrow morning. I hope I can get them both back by the end of business on Thursday, so they can be counted as my production for the week. We shall see.

I left the office at close to 3:30, and headed off to Taylor to buy my chicks. The chicken coop is coming along nicely and these six chicks will need at least two or three weeks before they will be able to go outside of the coop, and by then the coop out to be well completed. I actually think everything will be done by this weekend, but there is absolutely no rush, there is plenty of time. The six chicks have all been named, see what you think. Pauline, Irene, Abby, Diedre, Lynda and Bonnie. Perfect names for a bunch of chicks, don't you agree. I know their namesakes will all agree. I had wanted to get a rooster just to hear him in the mornings, but the Feed Store did not have any roosters. These are all supposed to be sexed, and there may be a male in the bunch, only time will tell.

Tomorrow is hump-day, and I am still not really all that prepared for it. Lots of work to be done, and it seems like I am getting busier and busier. No time to rest, but there is always the weekend.

Changes, Actions, Deeds, CHICKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, May 10, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Thirty...

Can you see the sunrise in my rear view mirror? I got kind of a late start to work this morning, and it was not nearly as cloudy as it has been lately, so there was a lovely sunrise as evidenced from my rear view mirror. Jody is amazed that I am not dead from pulling stunts like this while driving down a two-lane country road, but I am perfectly comfortable with these kinds of shenanigans. Let's just see if spell check finds that one.

A busy day in the office, lots of things to get done, we are just getting into the height of leasing season, and our property management accounts are really starting to become active. Worked on three lease listings today, two or three sales listings tomorrow, and still working with Buyer clients and Seller clients, so it is just a little bit chaotic. I actually had to go to a couple properties twice today, because I forgot my access key, and had to go back to the office. Those are the kinds of mistakes that I hope to only make once every ten years or so.

It is a warm and windy day here in central Texas. Temperature is now in the 80's, and there is really a brisk hot, humid wind from the south. One good thing about that is that we are on track again today to produce much MUCH more energy than we are consuming. So far we have used 1 KWh and we have sent back 19 KWh's to the grid. I like it when that happens. Makes me get all tingly inside.

Tomorrow we will be celebrating several office birthdays and anniversaries, so that means luncheon out, and that is always fun.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LISTINGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Twenty Nine...

It was a really good day in the country today. I got up about 6:15, even though I really had not slept that well. I think I had too much sugar last night before going to bed. All the dinners and desserts that I took full advantage of pretty much kept me rockin' and rollin' for most of the night. It was one of those nights when, I am almost certain that I slept more than I feel like I slept, but I just did not get a lot of REM sleep. Tonight will be better, no sweets right before bedtime.

The gardeners were back this morning, and Miguel was back as well. I fed the bees their sugar water concoction and I am happy to report again that I escaped being stung by them. Everyone was busily working away at their particular things, and so I took one of the lawn mowers to the very back pasture to cut the grass from around the lines of the electric fence. With the grass rubbing up on the fence lines, it cuts down on the strength of the electrical current, so I needed to get all that cut. I cut the perimeters of about 15 acres of pasture, which is about 75% of the pastures that the cattle have access to. I will finish the other 25% sometime this week, in the evenings when I get home from work. Some of the grasses were higher than my waist, and the far back pasture has native rye grasses growing in it, so I needed to let the cattle back there before it dies off. No sense having the rye grass die without letting the cattle have a go at it.

I took a break while cutting the grass, I needed liquids. When I got in the house, Jody reported that Miguel had run into one of the bee hives with the tractor and it was kind of off-kilter. I went out to see if I could get it back in line, and the bees would have no part of it. I went and got suited-up, and took care of it with no real issues, but the bees were NOT HAPPY. Getting all dis-jointed like that is kind of like a really bad earthquake for you and me, so put yourselves in their places. Not happy campers. Anyway, even though I was out there for a while without my suit, I still managed to escape sting free, although some of the bees had other intentions. Miguel got one sting, and Jody had going out to see if he could help, but Miguel told him he should leave well enough alone, so he was also sting free.

I had a call from a client, so Jody and I went into Austin to show a house, and we were in a really nice little rain shower, but there is no evidence that we got any rain here at the farm. We could actually use a little bit of rain, just a nice little down pour ought to do it, nothing crazy.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week, and I am looking forward to it.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FENCE LINES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Twenty Eight...

Man-o-Man-o-Man! Today was a busy day. I slept in until about 6:15 this morning, and got up and checked my phone, and there were two messages from the night before. Both were from the gardeners, saying they were planning to come early today, which was fine with us. We were expecting Gardeners and Miguel and one other guy. The gardeners to pull weeds and do the mulch and compost, Miguel to cut grass and general handy-man things around the house. Everyone showed up; we had another delivery of mulch and compost from Home Depot, and it is all used up (practically) and we are not buying any more. We figure we have used almost 800 bags of mulch and almost 400 bags of compost, and we are done with that for this year. Maybe more next year, but we are not sure.

First thing this morning, I moved the cattle troughs from one pasture into the pasture where the cattle are, and fed them and put a fresh bale of hay out for them. They are really not paying any attention to the hay because they have plenty of green grass, but I figured if I did not put the hay out there, they would go through it all by the middle of the week, and I would not feel like lugging hay out there after I got home from work on Wednesday or Thursday night. So, I took the bale of hay out there, and now they should be good for a while.

Then I went into Taylor to get some more cattle feed, since I had just fed them the last of the creep feed. On the way back, I stopped for a couple minutes at Tractor Supply to get a book about chicken coops. I am pretty darn close to getting a chicken coop installed, and to getting some chickens. Who knows? What will be will be. But if I am going to do it, I may need to do it pretty darn quick because chick season is just about to be over.

On the way back from Taylor, I stopped in Granger just to see what was going on on the movie set. They are filming a re-make of True Grit in Granger, and I had been by there about six weeks ago just to look, and I thought I would stop by again. All the streets are covered with mud (since I expect they did not have paved streets when this movie is supposed to be), and all the buildings are made up to look kind of old fashioned. I hope they do some sort of technical enhancements of the scenery, because everything just looks kind of fake. It will be interesting to see how it all looks in the movie. I have been told they finished filming a couple days ago, but there are still plenty of movie making gizmos hanging around. Lots of lighting things, cables, wires, all kinds of stuff.

Got home, and just kept on doing things. Everyone is coming back tomorrow, too!

Today was apex of the social season in our neighborhood, referred to as the 'Bartlett Triangle'. First of all, Michael and Abby were celebrating the first birthday of their son Jaxon, and we were invited to celebrate with them. They were also celebrating their house warming. They have built themselves a wonderful home just down and across the road from Michael's grandparents Hubert and Pauline. So we had a great time down their celebrating and eating brisket and cole slaw and beans and this and that. All very delicious.

THEN, our neighbors Irene and Randy were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary today as well. Their actual anniversary date is April 24th, but the were celebrating it today. They had a craw fish, mud bug, shrimp boil and everything there was delicious as well. AND, they had some Czech desserts that were very good too. Needless to say, we are both stuffed and cannot hardly even consider that there will be any need to consume food for the rest of my life. I expect I will reconsider tomorrow.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, PARTYING WITH NEIGHBORS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, May 7, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Twenty Seven...

Early to bed, early to rise and all that stuff! I have accomplished both of those things quite proficiently over the past several years, and now I would just like to sleep in a little bit! Up early this morning, got a few things done in the office and headed off to work early. Needed to finish up a few things in the office before heading out to the Board for the Leader's Choice series of classes that I am taking. A lot of fun, a lot of interesting and good information and training, but a lot of work and responsibility as well. Our team (Team H.O.P.E.) received the highest production award today, so that was great. We are already well on our way to meeting our goals for the next week as well. Oh, and by the way, H.O.P.E. stands for 'Helping Other People Excel'. YEAH MAN!

I had to make several stops on the way home this afternoon, and as I was driving down FM 972, I spied this KVUE Satellite truck. SO of course, I had to turn around and go back to investigate. I am not really that shy, and if I want to know something, I just ask. It seems there has been a rash of burglaries in the area, so I guess that was making the news in Austin. It must really be a slow news day, what with the stock markets cratering, Greece going bankrupt and the worst ecological catastrophe in the history of the world unfolding one gallon of crude at at time in the Gulf of Mexico. Yep, I guess Austin is starved for news. Whatever!

Jody and I went to the Filling Station in Bartlett for dinner, we both had sandwiches, and watched as the staff tried their very best to control the population of house flies that seems to be trying to take over the dining room of the restaurant. I understand that it is somewhat disquieting to watch the staff dispatching house flies to the great land fill in the sky, but it is probably better to try to control the issue than it is to ignore it. I'm just saying...

Believe it or not, but I have no appointments scheduled for the weekend (so far). That is not to say I will not be busy. The gardeners will be back, and we will have more mulch and compost delivered; our own crew of workers will be here to help get a few things under control, and we have a birthday party/housewarming AND a 45th Wedding Anniversary Party to attend. It will be kind of a busy day, I expect!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HOUSE FLIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Twenty Six...

Today was a really good day, and I will tell you all more about it in just a little while, assuming that I am still conscious then. I am going out onto the patio, skim some privet blossoms out of the pool and jump in. I think it will scientifically be considered 'not-hot' and that is the reason for the possibility of a full (or at least near) comatose state. We shall see...

Okay, I am back, and refreshed. It was not as cold as I had expected, and I suspect that if it had been mid-day instead of early evening it would have been quite pleasant.

Last night, Jody and I were sitting out on the front porch, and we began to notice a new species of butterfly (or moth, not sure) checking out the blossoms on the privets. See above, I do not seem to be able to get the photo to the place I would like it. Technical difficulties! Very pretty! The Monarch's will come through in the late summer.

Jody also told me this afternoon that the meteorological gurus are mentioning that a La Nina pattern could be developing, which will mean it may never rain again. I am really not that surprised about that. It is either one way or the other with Texas weather.

Today was my Meals-on-Wheels delivery, and I had eight clients on my route. I have never had this happen before, in all the years I have been delivering; I went to the door of one of my clients, and a man came to the door. He said 'I will take the food, but she died'. Hmmm. I called the office to let them know, but really, that is a new occurrence to me.

Lots of good things accomplished today, and I am ready to take on the Leader's Choice class tomorrow!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BIG DIPS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2010 - Day One Hundred Twenty Five...

Another busy day, but there were several accomplishments along the way. Throughout the day I was plagued with technical issues and computer glitches, but hopefully those things have been solved and will not continue to be a challenge. I think it is amazing how quickly we have become dependent on computers and technology. WHERE ARE THE FLYING CARS?

How do you like this sculpture I had commissioned of myself? YOU LIKE? Actually, Carrie gave that to us as a Christmas gift, I just had no other photo for today's post.

I got into the office relatively early, and played 'sort out the desk' and before I really knew it, it was time to head off to the Board to sponsor the break time for the Quick Start class. Then, I headed back to the office, and had to make a run to the bank, and THEN I had lunch today with my friend Shara, and that was a lot of fun. I really wish I had more time to sit and talk with her, but I was feeling overwhelmed and needed to head back to the office. It is that time of year when there are listings to get entered, Landlords to make contact with, and lease listings to get on the market.

Tomorrow will be another day for me to get caught up on some work, and it is also my Meals-On-Wheels delivery day, and that is always nice. I have a class on Friday, and I may be showing property on Saturday, but probably will have the day off on Sunday. I hope all you mothers are planning on having a nice day on the 9th.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, GLITCHES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!